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Guest cwright

Autoasm / dynamic objects problem

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Hello all, I've been adding a major new feature to AutoAsm: dynamic objects that move along VTP lines. This can be used to create moving road traffic on VTP roads. Here are a few screen shots: http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/dyn_2.jpg http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/dyn_3.jpg http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/dyn_7.jpg These are simple test objects, but the manual will include instructions on how to create new dynamic object libraries using gmax and fsregen. Settings for dynamic objects are density (number of objects per VTP line), speed, offset from line centre, on RH or LH side of road and direction. You can also set altitude, so you can create dynamic aircraft flying at constant altitude. You can also define train objects. You can assign several different object types to a road and you can have traffic moving in both directions. This works pretty well and can bring large areas of scenery to life. But, as always, there are some problems! It seems there are limits in FS on the number of dynamic objects and the number of path points. My measurements indicate a maximum of about 220 displayed objects and a maximum number of path points of around 1,500. If the number of objects is exceeded by a few hundred FS may lock up. If the number of points is exceeded FS will definitely lock up and usually the only way out is a Windows re-boot. So my first questions: are these limits real or is there a way around them? I have a solution that works fairly well. I have added the option to split the scenery into smaller scenery sub-squares. The program creates a separate bgl file for each sub-square. This works fine, but - as always! - there is a problem. In the asm file I set the loading and unloading squares to be equal. Therefore, when I fly across the boundary of two sub-squares I should expect the objects behind me to disappear and the objects ahead of me to appear at the same time. If I am flying westwards this is exactly what happens. But if I am flying eastwards the objects behind disappear as expected - but the objects in the new sub-square ahead do not appear until I have flown a further three minutes of arc (about 3 miles). The sub-squares may only be, say, five minutes across, so the gaps are very significant, causing no objects to appear for quite a lot of the time, depending on the direction you're flying. The same problem occurs if I am flying northwards but not if flying southwards. A typical loading/unloading section in the asm files: FE_DYNAMIC_HEADER 6134, 6106,50841, 50815, dynamic_end DYN_PATH_HEAD 6134, 6106,50841, 50815 The values in both lines are the same and I would expect the load and unload positions to be the same - but FS does not appear to follow the instructions! Does anyone have any ideas? If the object and point number limits cannot be removed, how can I make the load / unload positions equal? Many thanks. Best regards, Chris

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Astonishing, Chris, simply astonishing! You are really taking this sim to the limit.Best regards.Luis

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Unfortunately, I only have a question. Can your characterize the impact on frame rates? Lago's FSE program offers dynamic objects and I have never seen any comments on limitations. But, perhaps no one has attempted to occupy a highway/motorway with a "real" population.Still using old AutoASM,Dick Boley @KLBE

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Hi Dick, My impression is that impact on frame rates is pretty small, particularly as the objects are quite simple. In some tests probably at least a hundred objects are visible and the frame rates are still high, but those are desert areas. Unless the 220 object limit can be overcome, then in most cases you would only see a maximum of a few tens of objects, in which case the frame rate impact would probbaly be negligible. I'll do some more realistic tests in fairly high density scenery areas and report back! Best regards, Chris

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Hi Luis, Thanks for the nice comments. But I hope there can be a solution to those problems, in which case it really could take FS to the limit, with thousands of busy objects in each scenery area! Best regards, Chris

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Hi Dick, I've done some measurements. I used a fairly dense area (Florida, created by TerrasScene / AutoAsm) and populated a single road with 100 dynamic objects.The results:No dynamic objects: 22 FPS50 cars plus 50 trucks (gmax): 13.5 FPS (down 38%)100 gmax trucks (simpler model compared to the car): 14.5 (down 34%)100 SDK fuel trucks: 18 FPS (down 18%) The car object is unnecessarily complicated, so probably in general you could expect a frame rate fall of less than a third when 100 objects are in view. My PC is pretty slow by today's standards (AMD 2400+ / ATI 9200) so higher spec machines should still return good frame rates with complex scenery and 100 visible dynamic objects. In practice the number of visible objects would usually be quite a bit lower. Best regards, Chris

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Ok, given the inherent limitations it should be quite interesting. My system is similar. I certainly do not want to emulate "rush-hour". I had enough of the.Regards,Dick Boley @KLBE

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> Does anyone have any ideas? If the object and point number>limits cannot be removed, how can I make the load / unload>positions equal? Anyone? These problems seriously limit the effectiveness of this feature. It would be great if there can be a solution. It would also be useful if it could be confirmed that the only solution can come from Microsoft.... Best regards, Chris

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