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akita

Let's really discuss next x-plane

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I have to admit that looking at the latest x-plane topics regarding some of the next features got a bit cringy..

as we all know laminar has a opened a new feedback site in which you vote for your most wanted features, and they actually response.

I thought of instead some of the folks or possible trolls fight on pc maybe we could just discuss some of what we want and maybe also open those discussions on the feedback site, however it's worth talking about here also.

currently looking at the most wanted is lightning, weather, clouds, procedural terrain and more.

I thought of being a bit more specific, what about ray tracing?

Although I am no coder I rather like the art side, it's not insane for x-plane to have a native ray tracer; for first, x-plane is vulkan ready.

And vulkan ray tracing extenstion are available and can be accelerated on gpu compute, does not need RTX you just get even more fancy if you have one.

even if not for a 200nm view scene, can be used for special effects like in airport lightning as it can be as an attached shader that shoots rays.

vote if you want 🙂  https://feedback.x-plane.com/posts/1219/ray-tracing-to-x-plane

 

 

 

 

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I don´t want to stifle any such discussion - always entertaining - but you will find that it is going to be hard to find a consensus on these things. Take your ray-tracing, for example. No one would say that it isn´t nice to have it. But should Laminar do this as a top priority? Certainly there are more important things.

And here lies the crux. Everyone has different priorities. Yes, we all want pretty much every feature suggested on that webpage. But we all want something else tackled FIRST.

Laminar knows what the users want. They have for years. They couldn´t give the users what they want because they are a small team with limited means and assets. This hasn´t changed.

The website is a smart idea - the users feel they can voice their opinions and their input is getting heard! Nothing has changed, though. LR assets are still limited, they will add what they feel they can and where they feel the benefit is the greatest.

Raytracing can only be used by a very limited number of users and has limited benefit. It will be implemented right after they finished implementing walking people that shake their fists and plug their ears when an aircraft passes by too low 😁.

Cheers, Jan

 

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51 minutes ago, Janov said:

Raytracing can only be used by a very limited number of users and has limited benefit. It will be implemented right after they finished implementing walking people that shake their fists and plug their ears when an aircraft passes by too low 😁.

From what I understand vulkan extensions can use gpu-compute for it and not necessarily RTX hardware required.

Seeing that they are talking about gpu-compute utilize in the last blog, and the fact that it's all cross platform and not limiting people with older hardware; since ray tracing can be merged with normal PBR rasterization, if you have ray tracing capable hardware you just get a fancier scene.

As for the rest, I don't mind a discussion as long as people ignore other users who try to escalate stuff, they'll just fade away eventually.

 

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Current Ray-Tracing does only compute reflections, as far as I know. It lacks calculating light paths. Current hardware is simply too slow for that and I don`t see any benefit in using ray traced reflections in X-Plane.

The developers would be best adviced to improve the graphics with current rasterization technology, as there is so much room to be improved in there.


I`m not upvoting/liking postings, because I don `t think they are representative or necessary.

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1 hour ago, akita said:

not necessarily RTX hardware required.

I am sure that IF raytracing can be utilized by a large chunk of the userbase (few are running RTX capable hardware) AND it is easy to implement, LR will. If any of those two conditions are untrue, they will not. ROI.

Cheers, Jan

 

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3 hours ago, Janov said:

Take your ray-tracing, for example. No one would say that it isn´t nice to have it. But should Laminar do this as a top priority?

99% sure we get global illumination very soon.

At which point a lot of the "xplane looks old" and "gimme graphics" crews will be reaching for their wallets.

Personally I think raytacing would have been the way to go, because lighting "hacks" that get most of the way there require a lot more dev time to not look as good and detailed. It would also instafix longstanding issues like x-ray vision with scenery transparancy.

 

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As always the graphics engine is the number one biggest issue with XP in terms of visuals and performance, but now its desparately needed to fix the world environment, clouds, terrain, cities, water etc.  But just remember to always keep a low expectation .

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51 minutes ago, Greazer said:

As always the graphics engine is the number one biggest issue with XP in terms of visuals and performance, but now its desparately needed to fix the world environment, clouds, terrain, cities, water etc.  But just remember to always keep a low expectation .

YAWN!!!!

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AMD Ryzen 7 1800x, 1080GTX, Ram - 32GB, 32" 4K Monitor, WIN 10, XP-11 !

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Nvidia do have a list of changes going on in vulcan, Raytracing is part of that in teh vulcan Beta, but since Vulcan is still in development, dont expect it too soon. Considering the issues that raytracing brings to gaming titles that are only covering a few miles hate to think what card we would need to do 100 square miles. Besides isnt a pilots head supposed to be in the cockpit flying the plane

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2 hours ago, mjrhealth said:

we would need to do 100 square miles.

The cloud shadows on the ground in Enhanced Cloudscapes are raytraced using raytracing but not using the optimised Raytrace/RT cores

plus scenery is more a nice to have, its the cockpit lighting that really needs global illumination. It can already be done with a reshade shader

 

Edited by mSparks

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4 hours ago, mjrhealth said:

Besides isnt a pilots head supposed to be in the cockpit flying the plane

No, not necessarily. VFR pilots are looking outside 90% of the time 🙂 

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3 hours ago, Ianrivaldosmith said:

No, not necessarily. VFR pilots are looking outside 90% of the time 🙂 

Yes but thats so they dont run into other planes, mountains power lines, enjoying the scenery is secondary, though i do wish they would add more trees to hawaii

 

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x-plane does global illumination that can be attached to objects.

Lightning in x-plane is flat due to it not moving to physically based specs yet, this to not be mixed with PBR materials which are merely textures, lights is measured in lumens and candella:

1) This will give the volumetric look of light in general.

2) Can be used to otherwise have non normal shapes of light like architectural lights easily, thus artists do not need to bake night textures (aircraft night panels as an example) saving time and VRAM for the user. photometric lightning specs are a norm these days and does not require special hardware that isn't available to most x-plane users.

 

Ray tracing refers to the ability to cast rays and trace them, how many geometry it hits along the way (thus hurt performance too) depends on how far the ray has to travel, and what intesrsections it checks.

as an example MSFS cast rays but trace them from A to B only not bucketing what geometry it hit along the way thus results in a much less accurate results, while the clouds look better than any before the lightning is not accurate when scene gets more complex, like in many cloud layers etc.*

Ray tracing can be achieved to otherwise almost non possible effects, like night shadows that are impossible to get right because light sources come from many directions on opossed to day light which is a single big source:

x-plane lacks shadows at night and this can be the solution instead of trying to simulate shadows from x10000 possible angles, and the light has to travel for a few meters only hence interacts with less geometry. night shadows at night when moving under a light can be VERY distracting. besides, during v12 life-time we will probably see RTX4090 5090 etc.. giving artists and x-plane the freedom to grow with hardware is a great value too.

So as mentioned, does not limit hardware but if you have an RTX3000 you obviously get better fps and graphics, as it should be.

Of course ray tracing also means development time, but Ben Supnik said he is working on lightning for a while and they want to do it right since it's crucial for other graphic features, so it is a #1 priority to them. I would find it odd moving to next-gen API to use current gen tech.

Also marketing wise ray tracing might be a killer, if MSFS is nominated for a a could not care less prize, if laminar bring a ray traced 60FPS VR simulator they deserve a noble :-)))

 

*AKA ray marching, this is why I saw people confuse and claim MSFS has ray tracing. what MSFS is common in many games and engines.

Edited by akita
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1 hour ago, akita said:

x-plane does global illumination that can be attached to objects.

not GI. closest thing xplane has is the bugged ssao.

xplane lighting hasn't been touched since practical realtime gi algorithms became available.

Edited by mSparks

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Excellent post @akita !!!  Thank you - you were actually able to make me better understand some stuff about to Ray or not to Ray tracing 🙂

Wish Austin could read it.

Let's, nonetheless, hope for the best in XP12, regarding graphics and other features like weather modelling.

Being a LOT more open to 3pds than the competition, the XP platform will always have a very good user and dev support, certainly not decreasing after MFS ( as much as my jaw drops when I play MFS due to the overall sensation of "being there"... ), because we know we can get from it stuff that will probably never make it's way into that other platform.

Weather modelling, now officially confirmed as closed under ASOBO development, will be one of the areas where god cooperation from 3pds might well be used by LR to bring us a more robust and fully featured weather modelling, which for me, more than reflections / lighting / pbr is way way above in my list, together with flight and systems modelling.

I would love to have in X-Plane, for instance, a consistent soaring weather model - something maybe tailored by 3pds given a well designed DK.

Let's see - I am sure I am going to cycle install / uninstall between XP and MFS for the rest of my ( simmer ) days 🙂

Edited by jcomm
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Flight Simulation is the Virtual Materialization of a Dream...

Uninstalling flightsims is a temptation I can never resist...

 

 

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