Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
freddy_

LiveTraffic - three questions

Recommended Posts

Oliver,

When I changed to P3Dv4 from FSX, back in April last year, I was extremely disappointed to discover that the "HeliTraffic 2009" program did not work with P3D. I had invested a lot of time in that program, with FSX, setting up helicopter routes and virtual helipads etc.

Whilst checking to see if there had been any recent updates to P4AO, I happened to read the full blurb for LiveTraffic. Imagine my surprise when I saw the words "...offline randomized helicopter...".  A quick download, some setting up, and I now have AI helicopters flying once again in my simulator.  I've even managed to get all the same virtual helipads in to LiveTraffic that I previously had in "HeliTraffic 2009" by using a lot of patience and plenty of find-and-replace, cut-and-paste type work.

If it fantastic to see and hear the helicopters once again in my sim skies. I am very happy (it just didn't seem right to not see helicopters in a flight sim).  Sure, there are some (minor) quirks, so I'm likely to ask additional questions in a different post ... but, for now, I have three initial questions ...

1)  Does the setting for "Parking Duration" apply to the offline randomized helicopters (and GA and military)?  Or is that setting purely for the online planes that are using the Live, Simulator AI, or Hybrid modes?

2) There are two percentage options for the "Add offline GA, helicopter and military traffic" checkbox. The first one is on the main screen, and the second one is behind the cog (which opens a new panel to adjust the individual levels of traffic for each AI type -- the "Adjust traffic density" panel).  What is the first percentage option for (on the main screen)?  I can find no mention of it in the documentation.  Out of interest I have set the traffic densities for General aviation and Military both to zero (0%) because I only want LiveTraffic to generate helicopters in my sim -- my existing AI package already does GA and military well enough.

3)  How does setting a percentage for traffic density work?  I know how traffic density works with my existing AI package where each AI plane is allocated a traffic density number and will only appear in the sim if the traffic density slider in the sim is at or above that setting.  But how does it work here, for the offline random AI that LiveTraffic is injecting (in my case, helicopters)?  I will guess that when LiveTraffic generates a helicopter to inject in to the sim, it is allocated a (random) traffic percentage number, and that helicopter will only be injected in to the sim if the sim's traffic density slider is above that number ... would that be an accurate guess?  If that's correct, then I think I can see how the first percentage option on the main screen might work, but I'll await your answers to be sure.

Thanks in advance.  (And thanks for bringing my sim back to life with helicopters!)

(I am using LiveTraffic 1.75 b04)

 

Edited by freddy_

Regards,

Freddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Freddy,

  1. the parking duration applies to all parked aircraft, the offline traffic too.
  2. and 3. The main percentage dial controls the "randomized" factor - the higher you set it, the more likely it is that an offline traffic aircraft is created at any given minute (but that also depends on weather, day of week and time of day). How many that are exactly depends a little but upon your local machine, so I thought that I will stick with percentages as we know them. The smaller dialog just handles how many of each type there are. The probability that an offline airplane is created is much higher than that of a helicopter (because there are a lot more parking spaces), so I thought it would be good to add an option so you can dial them back a little bit. A 1-per-increment numeric percentage dial is certainly over the top, but the easiest to make...

Unfortunately I don't really know the HeliTraffic program, I have never used it. If you find things that need improvement, please let me know. If you are using older helicopter models (FSX/FS9) you may want to switch to the Lorby FDE. Using the FDE built into P3D I had the default FSX Jet Ranger fly backwards if there was any kind of wind. 

Best regards

 

Edited by Lorby_SI

LORBY-SI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh.  Thanks for the explanation.  Those options for percentages were not quite how I imagined them to be.  But, now that I have an understanding of what they do, I will certainly be able to use them effectively to achieve the results I want.

It is interesting that you have never used the HeliTraffic program, because your LiveTraffic program has very similar features. In fact, nearly everything that I could do in HeliTraffic, I can do in LiveTraffic.  Each program has their own unique features, but there are also lots of similarities.

I chose the LorbyFDE. With the FDE built in to P3D, I have seen helicopters take off, pitch forward too far, and then head for and scrape on the ground, before adjusting/flattening their pitch and flying away. Quite unrealistic. I guess that could have been due to winds/weather. But, seeing them do this once, and ruining the immersion, was enough for me to go with the LorbyFDE which did not exhibit this behaviour.  That said, the LorbyFDE does have a quirk (which I mention and ask about below).

I am using older FSX AI helicopter models from Just Flight's old Traffic X program.  They may not be the latest and greatest models, by today's standards, but they work perfectly well as AI helicopters and they're very easy on framerates.

A backwards Jet Ranger ... wow!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

OK, seeing you mentioned the LorbyFDE, I'll ask one more question here ... I notice that you are using a Chase Camera with the LorbyFDE (this is evident when you use aircraft labels and when you look through the installed program files).  This chase camera appears to sit slightly above the AI helicopter model.  However, the problem I have with this is that the chase camera "model" gets lights on it (nav lights and strobe lights etc). And, because the chase camera sits slightly above the AI helicopter model, all of the AI helicopter's lights appear duplicated. The lights are clearly the exact lights used by the AI helicopter model (as per it's aircraft.cfg file).

If I use the FDE built in to P3D, I do not see the additional duplicated lights.  The duplication only happens when the LorbyFDE is used.

Is there a way to eliminate these duplicated lights?

A screenshot illustrates this:
 

Lorby-FDE.jpg

Edited by freddy_

Regards,

Freddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, freddy_ said:

I notice that you are using a Chase Camera with the LorbyFDE

Not really, the purpose of that invisible object is a different one. But close enough. It shouldn't have lights though, at least it doesn't have them in "factory state"

Did you use any AI light addon that may have altered it?

The object is here: 
C:\Users\...\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\Lorby-SI LorbyLiveTraffic_P3D_V4\Content\SimObjects\Misc\LLTX_Helo_Chaser

Please check the aircraft.cfg if there is a LIGHTS section.

Edit: I just ran a couple of tests, and I am not getting duplicate lights with my helicopters. Which model are you using in your pics, is that freeware so I can try it too?

btw. I think that I forgot an important information in the manual: the Lorby FDE likes limited FPS. With "unlimited" frames, the models tend to stutter when flying (P3D V4.5 does that a lot with added simobjects, even default AI).

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI

LORBY-SI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see where you are going with the question about an AI lights program.  Yes, I do have a program that modifies the AI lights (AI Lights Reborn Pro).  However, due to my not having a lot of time to properly configure and adjust all of my AI, I did some initial experiments with it and then went back to the "Use P3D defaults" option.  That option purports to remove any changes and supposedly sets the AI lights back to the default P3D settings.  I will revisit the AI Lights Reborn program properly when I get a bit more time.  But, for now, I will assume it has done what it says and has reverted my AI lights back to the P3D defaults.

About the Helo_Chaser object, you wrote "It shouldn't have lights though, at least it doesn't have them in 'factory state'".  Fair enough.  I would agree then that this could perhaps have something to do with "AI Lights Reborn".  To be honest, I cannot see what or how.  Here's why I say that ... I have done plenty of aircraft.cfg editing in my time, including contact points, adding removing effects files, etc.  I've also done countless aircraft repaints, airport mods (ADE), and a whole lot of other stuff.  In short, I know my way around the simulator and it's files.  As a bonus, I also work in IT.  So I know enough about Windows and product development, etc, to be dangerous. Armed with experience, when I first noticed the duplicated lights, I went hunting. But, I didn't find anything. The first place I looked was the Helo_Chaser object in "C:\Users\...\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons.....".  No, it does not have a [LIGHTS] section.  So that's what led me to ask this question.

Now, an observation about AI Lights Reborn.  I did mention that I had set AI Lights Reborn to use the default P3D lights.  Despite this, I do believe that my AI lights look a little better in my sim than they did before I purchased that program.  I would not be surprised if the effects files had been modified, or if some other internal setting somewhere has been tweaked by AI Lights Reborn -- and that's been done despite my choosing the "use P3D defaults" setting.  Of course, I cannot really be sure.  All I know is that my AI aircraft lights look and work fine. In fact they look great.  And the AI helicopter lights also look and work fine provided I choose the FDE built in to P3D in LiveTraffic. As already mentioned, the issue with the duplicated AI helicopter lights only occurs if I use the LorbyFDE in LiveTraffic.

 

"I just ran a couple of tests, and I am not getting duplicate lights with my helicopters. Which model are you using in your pics, is that freeware so I can try it too?

The model is one of the AI models that comes with the old Just Flight Traffic X program.  Traffic X has 6 different AI heli models (Jet Ranger 206, Eurocopter AS350, Eurocopter AS355, Eurocopter EC135, Robinson R22 and Robinson R44).  All of these models have duplicated lights when the LorbyFDE is used.  Considering that Traffic X is no longer in production or being sold, I doubt Just Flight will get too upset if I send you one of those models for testing.  I can make arrangements to put one on to Dropbox and send you a link via PM or email.  Or do you have another preferred method?

Edited by freddy_

Regards,

Freddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, freddy_ said:

put one on to Dropbox and send you a link via PM

Sure, works for me. Just use the PM system here? I'm not planning on keeping these models anyway.

Did you observe duplicate lights with all models or only those? P3D has issues with effects that are attached to objects which are not controlled by the simulator AI logic. I have that in other apps too. In short, P3D applies the movement and acceleration data to the effects that the object would have if it was a native one. But it isn't, and even when it is not moving, the effects are.

Best regards


LORBY-SI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are six AI helicopter models in Traffic X.  I observe duplicated lights on all six of those models.

I was not aware that P3D has issues with effects that are attached to objects which are not controlled by the simulator AI logic.  Considering I do not see duplicated lights on the helicopters when I choose the default P3D FDE (ie, when the helicopters are being controlled by the simulator AI logic), but I do see duplicated lights on the helicopters when I choose the LorbyFDE (ie, when the helicopters are not being controlled by the simulator AI logic), I wonder if that's the very reason right there.

PM sent (containing a download link for the helicopter model in my screenshots).

I'll be interested in your results.


Regards,

Freddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For @ll those who are interested:

The lights issue has nothing to do with LLTX. The helicopter in question has a double set of nav lights, one in the aircraft.cfg and the other embedded in the MDL. Both sets are at slightly different positions, and when the nav lights are turned on for this model, you see two sets of lights offset to each other.

From my point of view there are only two solutions: remove the [LIGHTS] from the aircraft.cfg of the EC135 or adjust their position so it matches the location of the lights that are embedded in the model.

btw. as was common in FS9 and FSX days, in order to have AI helicopters at all, the models in the Traffic X package are actually airplanes, with an airplane FDE. That is why they fly so funny when P3D tries to operate them. I would suggest replacing .air and aircraft.cfg with those from an actual helicopter that works in P3D.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI

LORBY-SI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oliver,

Thankyou very much for your time on this. Armed with this information I will certainly be able to get the helicopters looking good and working correctly in P3D using LiveTraffic.

Edited by freddy_

Regards,

Freddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Tom Allensworth,
    Founder of AVSIM Online


  • Flight Simulation's Premier Resource!

    AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!

    Click here for more information and to see all donations year to date.
  • Donation Goals

    AVSIM's 2020 Fundraising Goal

    Donate to our annual general fundraising goal. This donation keeps our doors open and providing you service 24 x 7 x 365. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. We reset this goal every new year for the following year's goal.


    50%
    $12,660.00 of $25,000.00 Donate Now
×
×
  • Create New...