Rob_Ainscough

REX Environment Force performance issue ... shaders?

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I've opened a support ticket with the good folks over at REX, but I noticed a very strange situation today with REX EF that results in very poor performance (as in 50% drop in FPS).

My process:

  1. Load ChasePlane
  2. Load REX EF
  3. Load P3D

During my P3D session I noticed this:

uc?id=1HbNEbSrG10CzPtFP59XXsBk2FoIvkrgW

If I shutdown REX EF while P3D is running I ended up with no Shaders folder, just the "Shaders - Backup" folder?  I have no idea why REX wants to backup the Shaders cache folder as it's not something that you'd ever want to restore, you'd always just have P3D regenerate a "New" one ... there are other products that might be working shaders also so one can't assume exclusive use to these cached files.

So I'm a little puzzled at what REX EF is doing and wondering if anyone else is having an issue and/or what happens to your shaders folder when you exit REX EF?  (when P3D is running and when it's not running).

Note the this is the "shaders" cache folder (see path in image) and not the ShadersHLSL that contains the shader code.

I really enjoy what I can do with REX EF real time, very powerful tool with lots of flexibility.  Anyone else run into this issue with performance, shaders, and REX?

Cheers, Rob.

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Hi Rob

This is not a normal behavior of EF. We are checking on this.

Thanks 

Federico

 

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Hi Rob

I have not experienced your issue. However, what I have noticed is if I use EF on a flight shut down P3dV4.51 and then start a new fight without EF, I get all black scenery and environment textures. Deleteing the shaders folder prior to starting P3DV4.51 will prevent this or fix it.

Greg

 

 

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1 hour ago, gregmorin said:

Hi Rob

I have not experienced your issue. However, what I have noticed is if I use EF on a flight shut down P3dV4.51 and then start a new fight without EF, I get all black scenery and environment textures. Deleteing the shaders folder prior to starting P3DV4.51 will prevent this or fix it.

Greg

 

 

Having the same exact issue which shouldn’t be happening as EF is supposed to automatically delete the shaders folder w every exit....

 

Its a shame we have to continue to post issues and questions in here as REX have shut down their public forums which I’ve gone to quite frequently in the past to resolve issues with their software....

Edited by Kilo60
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17 minutes ago, Kilo60 said:

Having the same exact issue which shouldn’t be happening as EF is supposed to automatically delete the shaders folder w every exit....

Its a shame we have to continue to post issues and questions in here as REX have shut down their public forums which I’ve gone to quite frequently in the past to resolve issues with their software....

The support ticket is working, and REX has a good reputation on support, so what you are stating is not accurate nor fair.

If you have an issue open a ticket and you will be contacted accordingly.

 

Edited by fs1

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1 hour ago, Kilo60 said:

Having the same exact issue which shouldn’t be happening as EF is supposed to automatically delete the shaders folder w every exit....

 

Its a shame we have to continue to post issues and questions in here as REX have shut down their public forums which I’ve gone to quite frequently in the past to resolve issues with their software....

I can confirm what Federico wrote. Support works super. Also discussing here on the forum works. A ticket is the right way to go if you have an issue or found a bug. Regards Marcus

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13 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

there are other products that might be working shaders also so one can't assume exclusive use to these cached files.

Indeed I have some add-on's that are using logical shaders replacement for certain features and anything restoring already compiled shaders as Rob screenshot is implying could potentially break functionality.

@fs1 Federico any enlightenment you could provide on this subject would be very much appreciated as I want to be sure my products remains 100% compatible with EF. 

Regards,
Simbol

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2 hours ago, fs1 said:

The support ticket is working, and REX has a good reputation on support, so what you are stating is not accurate nor fair.

It is absolutely accurate and fair to complain about the shutdown of the REX support forum, irrespective of the working ticket based support. We are the customers, it is up to us to decide what we like and what not. If the decision to go with support tickets alone will hamper your sales, you might get enlighted about who is relevant in economics... Leaving the forums open as read only to at least access the vast resource of knowledge from the past was already a wise step, I hope more will follow. And do not get me wrong, I love your products, it is just more and mor the case that addon developers seem to lose focus on what is relevant for the customer. Or, to cite a rule that was gold standard for centuries: the customer is king. Some companies (not only in the branch of simming addons...) should seriously revise their attitude to check if they still try to pursue this standard or if having a big plus at the end of the year is all that counts... Rant over now.

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21 minutes ago, AnkH said:

It is absolutely accurate and fair to complain about the shutdown of the REX support forum, irrespective of the working ticket based support. We are the customers, it is up to us to decide what we like and what not. If the decision to go with support tickets alone will hamper your sales, you might get enlighted about who is relevant in economics... Leaving the forums open as read only to at least access the vast resource of knowledge from the past was already a wise step, I hope more will follow. And do not get me wrong, I love your products, it is just more and mor the case that addon developers seem to lose focus on what is relevant for the customer. Or, to cite a rule that was gold standard for centuries: the customer is king. Some companies (not only in the branch of simming addons...) should seriously revise their attitude to check if they still try to pursue this standard or if having a big plus at the end of the year is all that counts... Rant over now.

The communications strategy is defined by REX managing partners, which I don't belong.

On the other side, if your route is complaining about REX SLAs on their support system I can tell you that REX support is pretty good, they have a good support system above the industry average.

There are plenty of forums such as Avsim you can still post, and you will get insights as well.

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3 hours ago, fs1 said:

The support ticket is working, and REX has a good reputation on support, so what you are stating is not accurate nor fair.

If you have an issue open a ticket and you will be contacted accordingly.

 

If this is TRUE why is the original poster posting in here then...?

 

It seems like his issue should have been resolved immediately via a ticket request!

 

I guess nobody should post any REX issues in here (Avsim_Prepar3d_Forums) according to your logic?

Edited by Kilo60

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OK, folks, we're dancing on the edge here. Let's keep it civil or it will get locked.

Avsim is always open to discussions of problems with any product For OFFICIAL support, you follow the dev's rules.

Vic

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Dear Kilo60,

it can be clearly seen in the first five words of the opening post that a support ticket preceded this topic.

Earlier, you wrote

Quote

Having the same exact issue which shouldn’t be happening as EF is supposed to automatically delete the shaders folder w every exit....

 

In my experience, Environment Force does not delete anything but in fact renames the

AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\Shaders

folder when it starts to

AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\Shaders - Backup.

It does this whether P3D v4 is running or not.

P3D v4 then writes a Shaders folder when it starts and of course if Environment Force is started when P3D v4

is already running, it still renames the Shaders folder to Shaders - Backup, leaving no Shaders folder.

Rex Environment Force does not delete the Shaders folder when it closes.

All of this can easily be observed by opening Windows File Explorer at AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\

and watching what happens when each program is run and takes the guesswork and assumptions out of the equation.

 

 

 

Edited by Reader

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1 hour ago, Kilo60 said:

If this is TRUE why is the original poster posting in here then...?

 

It seems like his issue should have been resolved immediately via a ticket request!

 

I guess nobody should post any REX issues in here (Avsim_Prepar3d_Forums) according to your logic?

You are off topic here.....please read the topic headline and follow the rules before complaining about a company decision. And read the post proper before making wrong assumptions. 

 

Regards Marcus

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I've run into the black/grey texture thing a couple of times. As for the performance issue, it basically cut my frames in half (30 to 15) in cloudy weather. At some point, when they said performance issues had been fixed, it got indeed better but then I ran into a slide show again and some others have reported the same as far as I recall so it appears it still is a performance hog in some cases. Then there is the issue that it doesn't change cloud textures when using AS which made me put it aside for now.

@fs1 Has the AS cloud texture issue been resolved yet?

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2 hours ago, AnkH said:

It is absolutely accurate and fair to complain about the shutdown of the REX support forum, irrespective of the working ticket based support. We are the customers, it is up to us to decide what we like and what not. If the decision to go with support tickets alone will hamper your sales, you might get enlighted about who is relevant in economics... Leaving the forums open as read only to at least access the vast resource of knowledge from the past was already a wise step, I hope more will follow. And do not get me wrong, I love your products, it is just more and mor the case that addon developers seem to lose focus on what is relevant for the customer. Or, to cite a rule that was gold standard for centuries: the customer is king. Some companies (not only in the branch of simming addons...) should seriously revise their attitude to check if they still try to pursue this standard or if having a big plus at the end of the year is all that counts... Rant over now.

OFF TOPIC: Maybe you speak for yourself. I am a user and customer too and can live with their great support and also clear processes of how to use the support system. 1 Forum, like here on AVSIM, for non support themes, is more then enough for me. It bundles the content and I don't have to search at different places. But that is my opinion. And....you are off topic here as the headline of this topic states. So maybe you should use another approach...And exactly this kind of behaviour makes supporting issues/bugs via Forum impossible as everyone mixes things off topic. 

 

And I am not having any performance issues as well. Performance ican be affected by a lot of things. Also cloud texture size, shader issues by other shader tools, to high settings, etc

Regards Marcus

Edited by mpo910

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Having some WLAN Problems in Egypt.....so if double posted....feel free to delete....sorry for the inconvenience. regards Marcus

Edited by mpo910

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1 hour ago, Reader said:

Dear Kilo60,

it can be clearly seen in the first five words of the opening post that a support ticket preceded this topic.

Earlier, you wrote

 

In my experience, Environment Force does not delete anything but in fact renames the

AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\Shaders

folder when it starts to

AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\Shaders - Backup.

It does this whether P3D v4 is running or not.

P3D v4 then writes a Shaders folder when it starts and of course if Environment Force is started when P3D v4

is already running, it still renames the Shaders folder to Shaders - Backup, leaving no Shaders folder.

Rex Environment Force does not delete the Shaders folder when it closes.

All of this can easily be observed by opening Windows File Explorer at AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\

and watching what happens when each program is run and takes the guesswork and assumptions out of the equation.

 

 

 

Hmmm, that’s interesting?

IIRC The only official workaround posted on the REX forums was to manually delete the “Shaders” folder and when you run the sim it gets rebuilt again.  

 

I have observed the Shaders folder as well as the backupshader folder in the file path you specified.  I have deleted the shaders folder and left the backupshaders folder and folder and can confirm that this fixes the b/w textures.

 

Is there a problem with my REX install creating a shaders folder when there should not be one?

Edited by Kilo60

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I don't see Environment Force creating a Shaders folder at all.

If the Shaders and Shaders - Backup folders are not present and Environment Force is started,

it does not create either.

I have added Environment Force to the exe.xml file so that I cannot start P3D v4 without first

starting Environment Force.

That seems to work, for me at least.

Edited by Reader

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3 hours ago, simbol said:

Indeed I have some add-on's that are using logical shaders replacement for certain features and anything restoring already compiled shaders as Rob screenshot is implying could potentially break functionality.

@fs1 Federico any enlightenment you could provide on this subject would be very much appreciated as I want to be sure my products remains 100% compatible with EF. 

Regards,
Simbol

I will be discussing this with Reed, so I don't miss any detail, and I will get back to you.

Edited by fs1
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17 hours ago, fs1 said:

This is not a normal behavior of EF. We are checking on this.

Thanks Federico, let me know what you find out and if I can provide any more info here or in the ticket system.

Additional Info: If I do not load REX EF (at all), delete the "Shaders - backup" (and confirm no "Shaders" folder exists), run P3D with my add-ons (ChasePlane, Orbx, AI Lights Reborn, UTLive, Maddog MD80, GSX 2, AS EGLL, OldProp FX, REX SF (not loaded but textures installed individually)), then performance returns to "normal".

Couple of questions:

1.  I'm still not clear why the folder is renamed?

2.  Why would REX EF rename the Shaders folder on exit when P3D is still running?

3.  Why have an "in-sim" overlay option that requires REX EF to be running in order to be available in P3D?

Didn't mean to stir the pot here on AVSIM.  I posted here because REX no longer have a support forum (sorry not a fan of Discord) ... typically what I do is search a vendor support forum to see if anyone else has ran into a similar issue or poised similar questions.  I do this to avoid the creation of an "official" support ticket IF I can find existing resolution (saves everyone time and money).  AVSIM is a good resource to communicate with other REX users that could possibly help and/or add clarity to my situation/observations and send me to a solution (be it a bug, my error, or a work-around), hence my post.

Cheers, Rob.

EDIT: A visual symptom of when I detect REX EF FPS issues is that I can be sitting doing nothing and my CPU will be pegged at 100% and my FPS log will show a pattern of spikes (using MSI AB with RivaTuner 7.2.2).  Without REX EF, my CPU is around 60-70% load and my FPS log is very consistent ... using same scenario file and same graphics settings (BTW, no weather, clear sky in all test cases).

 

Edited by Rob_Ainscough

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My understanding  of  using  ef  is  that  you start  ef  before  your  sim   close  sim and  than  close  ef or  else  you have  issues

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4 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

1.  I'm still not clear why the folder is renamed?

2.  Why would REX EF rename the Shaders folder on exit when P3D is still running?

3.  Why have an "in-sim" overlay option that requires REX EF to be running in order to be available in P3D?

Hello,

in the spirit of
 

Quote

 AVSIM is a good resource to communicate with other REX users that could possibly help and/or add clarity to my situation/observations and send me to a solution (be it a bug, my error, or a work-around), hence my post.

 

1. does it really matter whether the folder is deleted or renamed? The result is the same, P3D v4 cannot see it and will therefore create another one.

2. in my installation, it does not do this. I have no idea what it is supposed to do but the Shaders folder is only renamed when Environment Force is started.

If Environment Force is closed while P3D v4 is running, there is no immediate effect on P3D v4 and the Shaders folder remains.

If Environment Force is then restarted or is started after P3D v4 is running, the shaders folder is deleted and if the scenery is reloaded, the P3D v4 window is black.

The simple answer to all of these customer created problems is don't do these things.

It works exactly as advertised if Environment Force is started before P3D v4 is started and closed after P3D v4 is closed.

Reading between the lines of the remaining reply in the Rex Support forum, the behaviour is not the same if Environment Force is used in its manual mode.

I do not use this as I am quite happy with the job it does in its automatic mode.

3. I don't understand the question.

The overlay is to control Environment Force and is therefore only available when Environment Force is running.

I am guessing that I have misunderstood what you are asking.

Edited by Reader

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11 hours ago, pete_auau said:

you start  ef  before  your  sim   close  sim and  than  close  ef 

Yes! This order is really important. When EF was first released I was attempting to launch it via  FSUIPC and this caused lots of shader and CTD issues for me.

So the execution order is:

1) run EF (and ensure it fully loads with it's UI window displayed)

2) run P3D. Fly!

3) exit P3D (I always ensure P3D.exe is no longer running in memory as it takes many seconds to fully terminate after all its UI elements have closed)

4) only once P3D is fully closed should you exit EF using the “red cross” to close its UI window (using ALT-F4 wasn't adequate in my experience as EF responded to generated SIGINTs by only closing the UI but not actually gracefully terminating it’s resident process in memory which required a SIGKILL to clear).

Edited by paj
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15 hours ago, paj said:

Yes! This order is really important. When EF was first released I was attempting to launch it via  FSUIPC and this caused lots of shader and CTD issues for me.

So the execution order is:

1) run EF (and ensure it fully loads with it's UI window displayed)

2) run P3D. Fly!

3) exit P3D (I always ensure P3D.exe is no longer running in memory as it takes many seconds to fully terminate after all its UI elements have closed)

4) only once P3D is fully closed should you exit EF using the “red cross” to close its UI window (using ALT-F4 wasn't adequate in my experience as EF responded to generated SIGINTs by only closing the UI but not actually gracefully terminating it’s resident process in memory which required a SIGKILL to clear).

just  to add  you  don't have  to have  the  ui  displayed  if  you  don't  want  to,  you  can have  off  just  change  it  in the  options

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8 hours ago, pete_auau said:

you  don't have  to have  the  ui  displayed  if  you  don't  want  to,

I haven't tried that option. Do you mean EFs "mini-UI" menu (which normally appears once you've started a flight) or the full Environment Force configuration window? 

If it's the latter, and you choose not to dispay the main EF window, how do you verify that EF is fully loaded before launching P3D?

Edited by paj

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