BillS511

New Orbx Central v4.0 now available to download

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Wolkenschreck said:

But it would be indeed interesting to know whether the new Cenral is saving add-on.xml files in X:\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons or not.

This is not necessary, those XML files can be anywhere. I have yet to try the new FTX Central, but if what the other write about it is true, then it is adding a new Discovery Path for each "Library", in addition to "\Documents\Prepar3D V4 Add-ons". That folder and name convention is in no way mandatory, it is just the default. You can add additional paths that work the same way to P3D (called "Discovery Paths"), they are simply added to the add-ons.cfg in \PogramData\. Any add-on.xml in a subfolder of those paths will be discovered automatically by P3D and listed as a "Package" in one of the two add-ons.cfg files.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI

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14 minutes ago, Lorby_SI said:

This is not necessary, those XML files can be anywhere. I have yet to try the new FTX Central, but if what the other write about it is true, then it is adding a new Discovery Path for each "Library", in addition to "\Documents\Prepar3D V4 Add-ons". That folder and name convention is in no way mandatory, it is just the default. You can add additional paths that work the same way to P3D (called "Discovery Paths"), they are simply added to the add-ons.cfg in \PogramData\. Any add-on.xml in a subfolder of those paths will be discovered automatically by P3D and listed as a "Package" in one of the two add-ons.cfg files.

Best regards

Ok, thanks for this info. BUT: does this result in increased loading times or not? There, I do not see the link...

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I'm no expert, but everything ORBX should go in it's own folder with the label ORBX and all ORBX sceneries should be controlled by FTXC v4.

Any other method will be redundant and maybe even problematic.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, AnkH said:

Ok, thanks for this info. BUT: does this result in increased loading times or not? There, I do not see the link...

Under normal circumstances - no. Unless the XML files are in some way wrong or ineffective. I would have to see one to have an optinion about that (I have an opinion about what is "wrong" WRT the XMLs, but not everybody shares it). Or maybe the scenery is linked twice (=artifacts still left in scenery.cfg) which could also happen.

In a way ORBX is opening a new chapter here, since there are so many packages popping up at the same time. Effects that we have deemed minor in the past may be exacerbated now. For example, if there really is a small performance penalty when you arrange the addon components in a certain way, you won't notice with a couple of addon sceneries. But with 100, you will.

But anything could be wrong here. What most often leads to long loading time are missing assets. Maybe on some systems a package or component doesn't get linked properly. Might be worth it turning on the content error log in P3D, see what it says.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI
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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the clarification, Oliver.

Judging by Geralds shots, ORBX is already registering their products in ProgramData. I own KSUN and this was registered by Central 3 (the old one) in ProgramData and it would make sense that ORBX has stuck to this method. So ORBX seems to use the most loading time efficient way already.

But what I do not fully understand is the correlation between each method and the loading time? For my totally nonempirical experiment, I moved the registrations of my add-ons from the "AppData\Roaming" add-on.cfg to the the add-on.cfg in "ProgramData". Loading times for my 131 packages (all non-ORBX) are now considerably lower with the add-on.cfg in "ProgramData". The add-on.xmls itself were not changed. I just moved the add-on.xmls from "X:\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons" to each separate scenery folder and changed the folder paths in the add-on.cfg.

Edited by Wolkenschreck
Disregard the loading time info. Both are the same.

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I was considering purchasing Barcelona City Scene. However, I'm not planning on updating from FTX Central 3 to 4 with all this mess. Can I still use V3 to download and install a new scenery or will that force an update or screw things up somehow?

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Posted (edited)

I understand that you need the new Central only to buy new sceneries or to better squeeze in the  210 Gb TE sceneries made for XP.  So I have no need for it presently. I will let the dust settle down.

 

Edited by domkle

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39 minutes ago, Wolkenschreck said:

But what I do not fully understand is the correlation between each method and the loading time? For my totally nonempirical experiment, I moved the registrations of my add-ons from the "AppData\Roaming" add-on.cfg to the the add-on.cfg in "ProgramData". Loading times for my 131 packages (all non-ORBX) are now considerably lower with the add-on.cfg in "ProgramData". The add-on.xmls itself were not changed. I just moved the add-on.xmls from "X:\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons" to each separate scenery folder and changed the folder paths in the add-on.cfg.

Isn't it also true that the sim takes longer to load the first time you start it than any subsequent try? Did you start P3D at least three times in each configuration?

The only real difference is, that the add-ons.cfg in AppData\Roaming is synchronized automatically with C:\Users\...\Documents\Prepar3D V4 Add-ons every time you start P3D, while the one in ProgramData is just sitting there. I imagine that several things can go wrong here when it is edited manually or by an installer (neither of the two should ever happen!). For example, if you put packages in there that exist, but aren't on the discovery paths, P3D has to deal with that situation. Or if the local folder is on a very slow drive with a symlink to a fast one. Or... 

Then again, things work differently in P3D 4.4 and all other versions of the sim, due to the bug mentioned above. So simulator version is important too.

Btw. neither of the two add-ons.cfg files should be edited. They are managed by the sim, and there is no telling what might happen if the files are tampered with. To add "static" packages to the sim, use the CLI (Learning Center -> SDK -> Add-ons -> Add-on Configuration Files)

Best regards

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Oliver, 

As I have my scenery now organized with AO ( scenery.cfg entries + xml entries mixed ) is how I want to keep it.

Is it correct that when I make a backup with AO and put it back afterwards everthing is ok again ?

Then I only need to add new Orbx entries manually I guess.

regards, Gerard

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, GSalden said:

Is it correct that when I make a backup with AO and put it back afterwards everthing is ok again ?

Restoring a P4AO backup means, that all(!) your simulator config files are replaced with the state that they had when you created the backup file.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI

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7 minutes ago, Lorby_SI said:

Restoring a P4AO backup means, that all(!) your simulator config files are replaced with the state that they had when you created the backup file.

Best regards

That is working great for my second left view pc that imports the AO backup from the main view pc ...

Or what would you advise icw Central 4 ?

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10 minutes ago, GSalden said:

Or what would you advise icw Central 4 ?

To be honest - I don't know yet. I haven't used it myself, and it will be a couple of days until I can. Gut feeling tells me that I will wait until I use FTX Central on my simulator computer. I will try it on a devel system or a test computer first. 

Best regards

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Alright, I played around a bit more with the discovery method vs the direct package distribution. To sum it up, there is no difference in loading time between both methods. My finding was nothing more than a spurious correlation that resulted from some large photo sceneries I deactivated on the weekend and forgot about it. Sorry for spreading wrong information here.

But I still think that loading times with the xml-method are longer compared to the old scenery.cfg-method. It makes sense to me that some hundred new ORBX packages will increase loading times and no developer has tried it yet in this scale.  

Also, once more a big thanks to Oliver for his explanations and clarification. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Wolkenschreck said:

But I still think that loading times with the xml-method are longer compared to the old scenery.cfg-method.

Sure, reading and parsing multiple XMLs will take longer than reading a single .cfg file. But I am not sure that you will be able to notice that, these are all "cheap" operations that don't require a lot of processing power (unless you count the additional disk access events - but those only matter if you already have a performance problem with file access in general).

I am pretty sure that the actual scenery indexing and loading will only happen after all asset paths are completely determined - and if that is true, then for that "expensive" process it doesn't matter in the slightest where that list of paths initially came from. I came to that conclusion because this whole process is not only about scenery. There are CFG files and add-on package components for every type of simulator asset. In a "normal" program, developed to the usual standards, you would collect all that path information first, build lookup tables or lists, and then feed these to the processes that require them - scenery scanner, aircraft scanner, shaders, autogen, weather - etc. there are 15 different types of assets in play here, that can be linked by a cfg or an XML file!

Of course, P3D can work totally differently, but still - just determining the path where the sim shall look for stuff isn't performance intensive, and you would only notice a delay when the same operation would be repeated on a massive scale. With file access and XML parsing, "massive" would mean hundreds of thousands of files, not a couple of hundred.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI

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35 minutes ago, Lorby_SI said:

To be honest - I don't know yet. I haven't used it myself, and it will be a couple of days until I can. Gut feeling tells me that I will wait until I use FTX Central on my simulator computer. I will try it on a devel system or a test computer first. 

Best regards

Can you keep us informed as you are an expert ? 

Thanks in advance , Gerard

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25 minutes ago, GSalden said:

Can you keep us informed as you are an expert ? 

No more an expert than any of you. I can only drop it in and see what happens... I wanted to collect more user experience before I do though. I already learned a few valuable things that I need to watch out for.

Best regards

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For those planning on migrating Orbx scenery now, be prepared for many duplicate files in P3D root. I feel a clean install of P3D and installation of Orbx Central 4 with library location set from the beginning, the better and cleaner option. 

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6 minutes ago, SolRayz said:

For those planning on migrating Orbx scenery now, be prepared for many duplicate files in P3D root. I feel a clean install of P3D and installation of Orbx Central 4 with library location set from the beginning, the better and cleaner option. 

I stated in the ORBX forum that I was not touching FTXC v4 until my next full install. Unless Oliver finds a way to get this upgrade done smoothly, I'm staying with v3. I hope that users who are having issues are able to resolve them without having to re-install. It's a word not allowed to have to go through a full install for what amounts to a new way of buying ORBX add-ons.

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Hmm, I use GEXP3D and UTX along with ORBX regions. Don't use Global or Vector on this system. Anyone know how v4 handles that type of system?

 

Vic

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Just completed migrating 188 Orbx titles from the P3D core folder to a new folder (Orbx library) on same P3D dedicated SSD drive.
Only duplicates were the FTX AI in the SimObjects folder, simply deleted that.
Renamed the old Orbx folder in P3D to confirm no errors when loading the sim. This tip was mentioned in the Orbx forum.
Elevation issue at EGHA Compton was reported at the Orbx forum and was resolved by putting that scenery layer above the EU Region using Lorby's Addon Organizer.

I arranged the Orbx layers to what they were in the past.
1 All 3rd party airports
2 FTX Orbx Airports
3 FTX Orbx Regions
4 Tongass Fjords Higher
   Tongass Fjords Lower
5 FTX Orbx Global Open LC
6 FTX Global Vector


I checked several airports for any potential elevation issues and found none so far. Tongass Fjords still looks good.
As for the Vector tool to run the AEC use PAO to export library to scenery.cfg for the Vector AEC to read. Noticing no increase in P3D load time as some have reported.

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Think I will just stay with FTX Central 3 for the time being! Looks like there is a lot that needs to get straightened out. And I have to say now that I have finally moved from P3Dv4.4 to v4.5 everything is working better than ever before. Faster load times, autogen performance has improved, generally smoother performance than before. A few problems with UK2000 vfr airports, otherwise it's great. I think I will just enjoy the sim while everything is working so well!

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1 hour ago, vgbaron said:

Hmm, I use GEXP3D and UTX along with ORBX regions. Don't use Global or Vector on this system. Anyone know how v4 handles that type of system?

I was wondering the same thing, i use UTX and Orbx OLC and I had to move the UTX scenery.cfg entries around manually to get things working properly.

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Sounds too scary to upgrade to FTX Central 4.  I WILL wait until the dust settles as one forum member has stated.  This transition should be seamless and just a click.  I don't want to risk any of my ORBX installations or have to play with any files.

I will not buy ORBX products until this is a click away from upgrading.  Anything else to me will be unacceptable.  I've worked too hard to download all of their products after updating anything on my system.  I love their products but I'm not going to risk a massive install again.

Stan

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Scary indeed Stan.

I've just loaded P3Dv4.5 for the first time since upgrading to Central 4.02.

I have an 8700K CPU at 5000Mhz with 32GB RAM and an RTX 2080 TI overclocked with 11GB RAM.

Everything is on SSD.

Prior to ORBX Central 4.02, my load time for the TFDI 717 at EGLL was 5 minutes and 7seconds and everything looked great with all things ORBX.

My load time today was 21 minutes and 25 seconds of which 17 minutes and 50 seconds was just looking at 6%

If that's not bad enough, Once I'm out of the airport all the ground textures look like garbage.

I'm not sure what I'll do from here, try to restore from my backups, spend a day or so investigating what ORBX has done to me or spend a month reinstalling P3D.

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME 😞

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How does this change affect the transition from 4.4. to 4.5. I hadn't moved to 4.5 yet but was looking to do so relatively soon. Once I do the client update, don't I need to run FTX Central again? Will this cause problems and headaches?

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