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Guest jshyluk

Is it Worth it?

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Is the option "Ground Scenery Casts Shadows" worth it (in your opinion), and does it give much of a performance hit?Thanks,

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It always amazes me that people can work quite hard to get scenery looking great, including paying for high quality airports, and then settle for the flat, unrealistic look which you get without scenery shadows.-RobinGodzone Virtual Flight, for 'Real New Zealand' sceneryhttp://www.windowlight.co.nz

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>It always amazes me that people can work quite hard to get>scenery looking great, including paying for high quality>airports, and then settle for the flat, unrealistic look which>you get without scenery shadows.Agreed! For me some things are just a "given" in the sim and shadows is one of them, whether you think they look realistic or not.Regards, MichaelKDFW

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI-x16 / AMD

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No, the question was not whether the shadows are realistic. The question was whether the improvement is worth the performance hit. I've seen a lot of opinion either way. Anyone have any numbers?Cheers,Noel.

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The numbers are going to vary as a result of other settings and the testing machine so would probably be of little use.Here's how I would answer the question of "are shadows worth the performance hit?" The answer is ... it depends on what you are doing.If you're flying a 737 Boston To New York ... no, probably not. You're not spending much time looking out the window anyway and since you are in very highly-detailed scenery environments, the cost of the candy goes up significantly.If you're flying the Sitka mission, you probably have plenty of overhead to turn them on without even noticing the cost. So, here, the answer is yes.If you are multi-player racing, you probably want the best performance you can get, right? So, in this case, you'd want to turn building shadows off, right?There is no single "settings" for FSX. That's why the FSX interface allows you to save multiple settings configurations. There are simply too many different flight scenarios where the performance-to-eyecandy ratio significantly alters the cost-benefit analysis.Cheers,

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>Is the option "Ground Scenery Casts Shadows" worth it (in>your opinion), and does it give much of a performance hit?>>Thanks,Why don't you just try it? A "performance hit" for one person may be acceptable for someone else.Or are you just asking for opinions generally about shadows?

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A little bit of both actually.Well I did a short flight from Denver to Colorado Springs and got 18 FPS with shadows and 20 FPS without. I got such low FPS anyway because I leave my traffic at 80% (cars 35%) and it was a very cloudy day.

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I see a performance hit as well, but leave them on. I will say though, this feature is nowhere as good as it was in FS9 in terms of how it changes the scenery from above. Not really sure why, but FS9 did do a better job shadowing hills, mountains, etc. In FSX it almost seems non-existent. Although there are not many, it is one of the things I do not like about FSX.

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Sometimes the shadows look realistic, and sometimes they look terrible. I think the shadows look better in the mid-day hours, when they are the shortest and the light is the purest. I don't like the long evening shadows in FSX, especially coming off of bridges. I've studied long shadows from the air in real life quite a bit. I think the major problem with the FSX shadows is basically two-fold:1) The long shadows are sometimes too "literal", in that they seem to take the ninety-degree profile of the object and elongate it to make the shadow. It does not quite look realistic to me.2) The FSX shadows merely darken the region with what looks like a grey transparent shade. In reality, shadows will uncover a lot of reflected colours, usually complementary colours (colours that are directly opposite one another on the colour wheel). Look at a Monet. Listen to the song "Blue Shadows on the Range". See what I mean. 2a) Looking down from altitude should present a bluish tinge, due to atmospheric perspective (in LA, a yellow brown). Again, in shadowy areas, you should expect to see reflected complementary colour. Shadows do seem to have an impact on frame rates, but like anything else in FSX settings, it's adding straws to the camel's back. If your scenery is relatively sparse, then shadows don't kill frames. If your scenery is all Manhattan New York-y, then your computer will feel the brunt of shadows. I generally leave the shadows off when I am flying or making screenshots for my reviews, but sometimes I turn them on. Overall, though, I prefer them off. Mostly I'd say it's a matter of personal preference.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior STaff ReviewerAVSIM

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