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Complex sceneries.

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What is the best way to optimize complex scenery? Play with v2 visibility distance variable or cut down the "polygon fat"?Or perhaps ... break that piggy bank again and call for new computer? Ted

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Try some of this:- optimise the distances for each object (v1)- use a v2 as small as possible (so the smallest circle where your object fits in)- you can add complexity levels, so that on slower PC's you can turn off the less important objects- and it is never bad to use not more polygons then really neededArno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

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Thanks Arno for your reply. Just curious, with high end P4 and good graphic card - is there any fps issue anymore? Can users of high end computers give some input here ?I, myself, am still rowing with P3/800 and that aint longer any pleasant. Such a woders of scenery design like recently issued Kansai or DCA are sadly beyond my scope. The only "logical" reason behind this obsolency of mine is suddenly rediscovered fiscal responsibility (yeah, I wish :))), but also the fact that slow computer impose on me some fps curbing discipline, while creating my own scenery Projects. However, at this moment even I agree, that its really time to upgrade. Ted

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I've got a 1.8 GHZ with the NVIDIA card that came with the system, 32 meg. Since you mentioned the DCA scenery, I've installed that too, so it's a good comparison. With everything running full up, I get about 5 FPS. That's still playable, but noticeably jumpy. Fortunately the designers of that DCA scenery put in fairly short visibility distances so rates go back up quickly after you get away.So, the answer is no, you will never get away from frame rate problems. As soon as you get a faster machine, you will find that scenery designers and Microsoft itself will have already used up all your new MIPS. My machine is less than a year old, and I'm hungry already...

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Hello Ted,As there is no comprehensive tutorial on making scenery, we all have to figure it out by ourselves. Please allow a few comments:1. Keep the polygon count of your objects low. Make simple objects. They will be seen from altitude anyway, so there is no need to make them very complex.2. Make different LOD models of your objects.3. Instead of using many textures, try putting them together on one texture sheet. Textures are probably what causes most systems to bog down, so putting a limit on the amount of textures that must be loaded is probably a good idea.4. Convert all textures to dxt format. Many designers are still not doing this.5. Compress the bgl. Most designers do not do this, but the savings can be considerable. You can use the Microsoft BGLZip, but I use the front end by Herv

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It is somehow very frustrating to know that even faster systems have still fps "bottle neck". Imagine putting all that effort and work to make large scenery, which on the end is still to slow to use it and appreciate. I have recently came across Honolulu by Lago and must say its a blast. In contrast Airport 2002 by Wilcopub has very harsh reviews. Both are large Projects, with very different results. Where is the secret?I think new concepts should be developed in order to push further graphic envelope of FS. Something like famous "bubble" in Falcon4. Perhaps some clever use of backgrounds such a like those used by racing sims. Anything else ...?Ted

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Thank you all for great tips. Bglzip was for me a little eye opener, completely forgot about it. Here what I did to be also little more informative: run a test with my scenery project which is nearly complete and ready to be optimized. Same conditions for all tests : same approach, same plane and panel, fps target 10.0.textures uncompressed , scenery uncompressed: - 3.6-4.5 textures uncompressed, scenery compressed: - 5.6-6.0 textures compressed , scenery compressed - 5.8-7.0all textures removed , scenery uncompressed: - 5.8- 7.0 all textures removed , scenery compressed : - 6.1-7.5Comments: compressing textures is necessary compressing scenery file helps further (!)I think if the textures are removed program is still calling them so removal of the textures only should not cause speed up but only less burden on graphic card which is not the "bottle neck" in most cases. Ted

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As designers make more detailed scenery, obviously the polygon count tends to go up. I've noticed this on smaller objects where designers seem to want to model every nut and bolt.Instead, try to add detail using the textures. You can fake a shadow, or a ledge easily without having the extra polygons slowing down your system.BTW, I had never even heard of compressing BGLs - thanks for the tip.- Martin

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Photographic textures vs. poly count - not so sure here anymore.I was and perhaps still remain strong believer of photographic textures. However after making some tests I am no longer convinced that hirez texture will save on model detail - thus will help fps. I was exporting various "ready made" models from the web, some of them many thousands of polygons with "unbelievable" low impact on fps. When I want to maintain quality of low poly model with hirez texture I usually end up using 512x512 - lower resolutions 256x256 look not too sharp for phototextures (still OK for handpaint) and 128 x128 usually is unacceptable for both. But loading 512x512 texture causes hit on fps no matter what. So the question remains - what is the best? I do not know yet. With very powerfull gMax Material Editor, transparency, self ilumination features, shaders etc, etc. here may be the solution for the future. Ted

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>>When I want to maintain quality of low poly model with hirez >texture I usually end up using 512x512 - lower resolutions >256x256 look not too sharp for phototextures (still OK for >handpaint) and 128 x128 usually is unacceptable for both. >But loading 512x512 texture causes hit on fps no matter >what. Isn't that what mipmaps are for? Make your textures 512x512 if you like, but create mipmaps in imagetool. This will let the FS engine use the lower resolution bitmaps when viewing from a distance.- Martin

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I know the purpose of the mipmaps, but I think that somehow it is the greatest size of the texture, which impact the speed of the action. Remember once I purposely capped all textures at 128x128 max with mipmaps. Fps rose dramatically, but the look was awfull.Ted

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Interesting, I use 512x512 textures for most of my sceneries (and even some bigger ones in my latest) and I have never seen a really big performance hit. Maybe this has to do with videocards and their amount of memory?Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

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Entire issue of the FS performance is strictly related to hardware components of one's computer and how those components are handshaking while working under the strain. FS is one o the hell benchmark program putting stress on many areas of the computer. Depending on the situation "bottle necks" pop up unexpectedly and for example despite high processing power and high memory video poor memory access can also seriously affect fps. All that,however, is slowly and luckilly becoming thing of the past, as the hardware gets better by each day. The only reason for running this thread was to spark some ideas how to make and run sceneries crammed to the brimm with "as real as it gets" stuff. Ted

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