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Future of X-plane

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8 minutes ago, BiologicalNanobot said:

Reading all of the previous posts, the exact thing I'm afraid of is happening. Posts are quickly turning into "MSFS hasn't achieved anything, it looks worse than X-Plane, it flies worse than FSX, X-Plane is already so much better, it doesn't need any improvement". That exact mindset causes all of the issues with X-Plane to be dismissed, while Laminar Research would definitely appreciate proper feedback, preferably not from gatekeepers. Thankfully Laminar Research doesn't follow that mindset, otherwise X-Plane wouldn't improve at all.

Also, being annoyed so much by people calling X-Plane dead because of MSFS and at the same time desperately hoping MSFS to fail is what's called double standard, but whatever.

I think you miss the point. MS do it for the money Laminar do it for the love of flying. And that makes teh difference.

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30 minutes ago, mjrhealth said:

I think you miss the point. MS do it for the money Laminar do it for the love of flying. And that makes teh difference.

Firstly, my point was about ignoring feedback for X-Plane while bashing every other thing, which definitely doesn't help Laminar Research at all.

Secondly, What's wrong with doing something for the money? Why can't someone do it for both the money and for the love of flying? They are not mutually exclusive. I don't think Laminar Research is doing all of this just for the love of flying either, this is simply not how things work. Companies are not evil demonic beings working for a conspiracy with a collective consciousness. Companies are nothing more than collections of people, and people have feelings. I wouldn't be surprised if many people in Asobo poured their heart and soul into their work. And I wouldn't be surprised if Laminar Research wants to make profit out of their work. There's nothing wrong with either of those.

Edited by BiologicalNanobot
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PC specs: i5-12400F, RTX 3070 Ti and 32 GB of RAM.

Simulators I'm using: X-Plane 12, Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and FlightGear.

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1 hour ago, BiologicalNanobot said:

desperately hoping MSFS

Watched this particular mindset through 2006-2013 and last year.

Just because you expect a global financial crisis, or the zombie apocalypse doesn't mean they are something you "hope" will happen.

Same applies to Microsoft/Asobo, just because I expect them to do what they usually do, doesn't mean I don't hope they will do better (before the money runs out)

1 hour ago, BiologicalNanobot said:

That exact mindset causes all of the issues with X-Plane to be dismissed

Actually, I think the org beta forum holds much of that blame. I actually understand Greazer's perspective here, he's spent so long trying to draw attention to X-Planes issues and being dismissed its just become a habbit, it's just a shame for him that the problems he has left are windows problems that MS will never fix and he can't bring himself to switch to a better OS.

I literally went on a rampage during the 11.50 beta run after the 100th or so person I saw trying to discuss bugs in the Beta forum being told by admins and community leaders the solution was not to use the beta...... 

Also, at this point, most if not all the issues with X-Plane are fairly well established (especially since they set up the dev slack to actually get the message across), I've been raging on the clouds for years,

9 Nov 2018

11 Nov 2018

It took you to fix the two worst problems.

And your main repo still doesn't

Sure, they don't "look" as nice, sure there is more to be done.

But until something is done, I'm just happy all X-Planes show stopper bugs are now fixed, either by LR (the helicopter flight model) or you and me (cloud dynamics), and I can now actually enjoy it - anything more is just a bonus.

Edited by mSparks
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17 minutes ago, mSparks said:

Especially since they set up the dev slack to actually get the message across

The Slack server is definitely one of the best things I've ever seen. Being able to directly contact developers of X-Plane in a Discord-like environment is really refreshing and it is much faster than old-fashioned ways like e-mails. They might be rather slow at implementing visual features (which is more than understandable as their team is really small), but they are definitely listening to the feedback and taking them seriously.

Edited by BiologicalNanobot
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PC specs: i5-12400F, RTX 3070 Ti and 32 GB of RAM.

Simulators I'm using: X-Plane 12, Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and FlightGear.

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On 1/29/2021 at 1:21 AM, mSparks said:

(Ben has as good as confirmed they are laser focused on raymarching right now)

are we sure it is ok to talk about here? a noob question probably.

Saw some nice comments about vegetation too.

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10 minutes ago, akita said:

are we sure it is ok to talk about here? a noob question probably.

Saw some nice comments about vegetation too.

It has been mentioned in public multiple times, so I think it's fine. I remember Ben explicitly talking about "voxel clouds".

Using ray marching / ray tracing they can create volumetric atmosphere effects, sky and clouds. As it will be directly built into X-Plane, it will be much more capable than the plugins and there will be less performance roadblocks.

It is possible to render volumetric sky with almost no performance impact as the atmosphere can be modelled using mathematical functions, so they can be integrated analytically, instead of trying to estimate the scattering integral (ray tracing), which takes a lot of computational resources.

They can even go ahead and calculate all possible results for the scattering integral, put them in a lookup table and use that. For volumetric clouds, they can combine the satellite cloud coverage data with multiple layers of noise, which then can be ray traced.

Given that all of those are planned, I can safely say future X-Plane is really exciting.

Edited by BiologicalNanobot
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PC specs: i5-12400F, RTX 3070 Ti and 32 GB of RAM.

Simulators I'm using: X-Plane 12, Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and FlightGear.

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6 minutes ago, akita said:

are we sure it is ok to talk about here? a noob question probably.

Saw some nice comments about vegetation too.

pretty sure they said anything in general is generally fair game. 

But also he actually blogged it 2 months ago

https://developer.x-plane.com/2020/11/stuff-we-are-working-on/

Quote

We have now switched gears and we are working on new features in the engine itself, e.g. we are working on what we draw and not so much how we draw it. In other words, we are working on graphic enhancements, new features, etc.

So its not anything that isnt already public.

Edited by mSparks
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1 hour ago, BiologicalNanobot said:

Posts are quickly turning into "MSFS hasn't achieved anything,

I agree with your point that it`s not a good idea to start discussions about MSFS vs. XP. But, in MSFS forums as also in here, discussions about MSFS vs XP are generally accepted by the moderators, as long as they are not drifting out, (which happened some times).

I personally stated MSFS in here because on its release, there were people that commented LR will go bankrupt against MSFS and showed their vision of the survival of LR, to an extent that it was annoying. Their comments were nigligible. 

I defenately disagree with your point:

1 hour ago, BiologicalNanobot said:

That exact mindset causes all of the issues with X-Plane to be dismissed, while Laminar Research would definitely appreciate proper feedback

Posting XP is way better than MSFS does not conclude X-Plane beeing perfect. Of course people who don`t like MSFS at all can still also post improvement suggestions to LR. For me MSFS is a fail when watching videos like these. But it is a personal preference, as physics are most important to me. Also areas outside of the offical videos are graphically really bad compared to the official ones. The old and new upcoming bugs and the great lack of realistic aircraft systems. really makes MSFS a GTA game to me and they have deserved it in my eyes because they fraud sim fans with their hype they were doing. I too think MSFS vs XP discussions are a not a good thing, but I don`t agree with yout antipathy against them.

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2 hours ago, mSparks said:

pretty sure they said anything in general is generally fair game. 

But also he actually blogged it 2 months ago

https://developer.x-plane.com/2020/11/stuff-we-are-working-on/

So its not anything that isnt already public.

 difference between "we are improving graphics" vs "specific features".

anyway i'm happy they are not taking MSFS's route with vegetation, rather the actually modern one.

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29 minutes ago, akita said:

specific features"

Well, I did say "as good as confirmed"... We should all be wary that next gen PS5 level graphics (and distribution..) for xplane, made by people trained in the same schools as those who made witcher 3, cyberpunk 2077 and the medium - might not actually be hitting our tinterweb pipes in the next few weeks.

Its all speculation - even on their part.

But the chances are significantly higher than Asobo ever recording actual flight characteristics of the space shuttle to import into their flight model tables, maybe even higher than them doing so with more than 1 light jet anytime soon.

And I really dont mind waiting a while longer, only just starting to really enjoy XP11 - and its already kept me entertained for 4 years.

Edited by mSparks

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4 hours ago, BiologicalNanobot said:

It has been mentioned in public multiple times, so I think it's fine. I remember Ben explicitly talking about "voxel clouds".

Using ray marching / ray tracing they can create volumetric atmosphere effects, sky and clouds. As it will be directly built into X-Plane, it will be much more capable than the plugins and there will be less performance roadblocks.

It is possible to render volumetric sky with almost no performance impact as the atmosphere can be modelled using mathematical functions, so they can be integrated analytically, instead of trying to estimate the scattering integral (ray tracing), which takes a lot of computational resources.

They can even go ahead and calculate all possible results for the scattering integral, put them in a lookup table and use that. For volumetric clouds, they can combine the satellite cloud coverage data with multiple layers of noise, which then can be ray traced.

Given that all of those are planned, I can safely say future X-Plane is really exciting.

That is encouraging. But with all your expertise do you really think they will be able to implement these effects without a consummate and severe degradation in performance? That is my worry and where, for me, MS2020 excels. We do not all possess super computers. X-Plane 11 even with Vulkan struggles with FPS with regard to shadows, volumetric clouds, reflections and Ai planes on my pc compared to MS2020?

Edited by jarmstro

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23 minutes ago, jarmstro said:

severe degradation in performance?

If you are asking if you need next gen hardware to get next gen graphics and next gen performance.

Let me be very blunt.

Yes. 99% of the reason, XP11, with its 1 GB VRAM GPU minimum spec didn't get such things added in its lifecycle.

____

If you are asking if you can have last gen graphics on last gen hardware, ala MSFS2020, then I have good news for you,

yes, of course, why would you think otherwise?

Edited by mSparks

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26 minutes ago, mSparks said:

If you are asking if you need next gen hardware to get next gen graphics and next gen performance.

Let me be very blunt.

Yes. 99% of the reason, XP11, with its 1 GB VRAM GPU minimum spec didn't get such things added in its lifecycle.

____

If you are asking if you can have last gen graphics on last gen hardware, ala MSFS2020, then I have good news for you,

yes, of course, why would you think otherwise?

Well actually I was asking whether X-Plane 12, with the additional effects, will be able to match MS2020 in terms of FPS given its legacy code? And whether as per my previous post, if it's upgraded, I will be able to run all the addons I have spent a small fortune on? I got an extra 5 fps with Vulkan which is nowhere near enough for all the promised bells and whistles?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, jarmstro said:

Well actually I was asking whether X-Plane 12, with the additional effects, will be able to match MS2020 in terms of FPS given its legacy code? 

Its not legacy code now, Sidney has even been writing the next gen code for AMD/NVIDIA and Laminar have been testing it for them.

https://github.com/GPUOpen-LibrariesAndSDKs/VulkanMemoryAllocator/issues/81

Legacy code is DirectX11, in fact its a stretch to even call it last gen, since there have realisticly been two generations since ("close to the metal" like sidney was doing above, and recently ray trace optimised hardware)

6 minutes ago, jarmstro said:

will be able to run all the addons I have spent a small fortune on

backwards compatibility seems to be a pretty big thing, if it works in XP11.50 vulkan it will almost without doubt work in XP11+1 - although of course, new defaults may end up better.....

8 minutes ago, jarmstro said:

I got an extra 5 fps with Vulkan which is nowhere near enough for all the promised bells and whistles?

What is your GPU time?

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29 minutes ago, jarmstro said:

Well actually I was asking whether X-Plane 12, with the additional effects, will be able to match MS2020 in terms of FPS given its legacy code? And whether as per my previous post, if it's upgraded, I will be able to run all the addons I have spent a small fortune on? I got an extra 5 fps with Vulkan which is nowhere near enough for all the promised bells and whistles?

 

 

The term "legacy code" is rather misleading, as coding techniques haven't changed so much. I wouldn't be surprised if P3D v5 shares a lot of its source code with FSX, and X-Plane 11 shares a lot of its source code with X-Plane 9. Obviously the source code is updated over time and optimized for new hardware (DirectX 12 for P3D, Vulkan for X-Plane), but basics usually stay the same.

About the FPS cost, when properly optimized, volumetric clouds shouldn't cost so much. Artifacts are inevitable, though - voxel rendering isn't black magic and optimizations come with their costs. However, clouds being directly built into the game allows many more optimizations with a lot less artifacts, compared to what an external add-on can like xEnviro or Enhanced Cloudscapes can do.

For instance, temporal reprojection. As clouds don't move much, they don't change drastically between frames. This means rendering clouds each frame is wasteful, as there's little difference between frames. With temporal reprojection, instead of re-rendering each pixel, only a portion of the existing pixels are re-rendered. Rest of the pixels are repositioned based on camera parameters - for instance, if camera moves to right, pixels are moved to the left to compensate for the motion.

However in real life this doesn't always work so smoothly, as camera parameters have limited precision. This means temporal reprojection can't always keep up with the camera motion, which results in ghosting or grain artifacts. This is why MSFS sometimes has grainy clouds. This is one of the main issues I experienced with Enhanced Cloudscapes - camera parameters exposed by X-Plane are extremely low-precision, preventing proper temporal reprojection. You can try it yourself - using Enhanced Cloudscapes Controller, set skip_fragments to 1. You'll see the amount of ghosting and other weird artifacts. This wouldn't be an issue if the clouds were built directly into X-Plane, as it would be possible to choose an arbitrary camera precision.

There are other add-on limitations like not being able to render in 3D using a camera, which similarly causes issues. An implementation directly built into the game wouldn't have any of these issues.

Edited by BiologicalNanobot
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PC specs: i5-12400F, RTX 3070 Ti and 32 GB of RAM.

Simulators I'm using: X-Plane 12, Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and FlightGear.

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