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GaryGB

FSX Shaders

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Hello,Has anyone had time to tinker with FSX shaders? I have looked at them, and while syntax is new to me, logic seems fairly simple. I've tried to adjust a few things - namely, deepen the terrain shadows (we're porting our lunar scenery package to FSX and the shadows, for some reason, are a lot lighter in FSX as compared to FS9 - we need them deep and dark for lunar scenery). I tried changing a few values in what seemed appropriate terrain shader files, but with no apparent change in the scenery.Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.Misho

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Hi Misho,The shader files are cached in your user folder under C:Documents and SettingsyournameLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftFSXShaders. You need to clear those out before restarting FSX so the changes can take effect.Hope that helps,Christian

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Have you had any success with the shadow map contrasts?I've also wanted to increase the contrast between dark and bright - mostly to create a more realistic appearance in desert areas.So far I've only found the piece of code that interpolates (softens) the shadow masks during rendering, but not the place where its effect on texture brightness is finally determined.Also I need some way of increasing the shadow mask resolution... The low pixel count creates some kind of pixelated appearance and I would like to upsample this. I've got access to the FSX DirectX textures by means of API hooking. So I wonder if I can simply create larger textures for the shadow maps (tradeoff: texture memory & rendering speed vs. precision)UPDATE: I found some nVidia document about hardware shadow mapping where on page 5 the screenshot displays a shadow that looks much like the one seen in FSX for terrain self shadowing. http://developer.nvidia.com/attach/8456Christian

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Hi Christian!Thanks for the reply. I'll tinker with those and see if I can affect any changes. I've browsed through the shader fx files and one of the things I was thinking of adjusting is the ambient lighting... reducing this would, I think, deepen the shadows while keeping the areas under the direct sunlight brightly lit. Let's keep in touch on this, I'll report if I can get anywhere with it.Misho

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Hi Christian,Both things that you are after would greatly benefit me as well... I am working on the lunar scenery for FSX, so the amount of extra scenery detail (Autogen) is minimal, and thus the texture memory hit, so I would LOVE to get the sharper shadows going. Re. the deeper shadows, haven't tried it yet, but I was hoping the ambient lighting values would do the trick... So, am I to understand that the shaders in the cached dirs can be modified and experimented with? Have you gotten any visible results by modifying them?Once again, thanks for the response and pointers!Misho

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Yes, among other things some people tweaked the Fresnel terms for FSX water shading in DX9 and DX10 modes and I was able to come up with a fix for a terrain occlusion issue with Rain/Snow effects in DX10 mode.So modifications of the shader code is possible for sure.I am actually astounded that Microsoft/ACES haven't tried to obfuscate their shader code, because it allows a lot of insights into their rendering system.

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Hi Christian...I see two Christians in this conversation... is this the same person with 2 accounts? Or just a coincidence? :)Well that sounds great - so what is the process? Basically, clean out the shader cache, make changes and let FSX recompile them on startup? Misho

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I think the other Christian is Down Under.BTW Christian is the most frequent boy's name in Germany. We're everywhere, we multiply, ... like rabbits. ;-)

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Hi Misho:I believe that the AVSIM forum name "Christian" is used by none other than the illustrious Christian Stock... noted for many contributions to the FS community (and especially for his ongoing FS scenery work in the New Zealand area): :-halo http://library.avsim.net/search.php?CatID=...&Go=Change+View...Of course "cbuchner1" (Christian Buchner) is noted for some outstanding contributions to the FS community as well, particularly for the TileProxy project! ;)http://library.avsim.net/search.php?Search...=root&Go=Search..Just a quick FYI... good luck with your interesting Moon project! :-)GaryGB

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Well, used to be in the 60s/70s - which shows our age ;)

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Thanks for you wishes, Gary! I'm having great fun with it... esp. gearing to release the FSX versions, and all the missions and cool stuff that will be possible. I've actually pitched the concept to NASA, as they have released a RFI for a Science-based MMOG (Massively multiplayer online game). Now wouldn't THAT be cool?Say, I'll toss this question out there: Is there a limit as to how many on-line people you can fly with in FSX? Would that be considered Massively-Multiplayer?

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Hi Christian (Buchner):Thanks for updating us on the better location to browse to find out about your latest and greatest version of TileProxy ("TP").:-walksmile <-- (Going to Christian's new TP site already!)..Does the readme in the older AVSIM file library package have the new address you posted above, so anyone not yet familiar with your newer web address can keep up to date on your fascinating TP project? :-roll ....Misho:I am wondering if one of the folks at ACES might comment on any connectivity limits with the default FS9 and FSX multiplayer (MP) features? :-wave If they are too busy working on Train Simulator 2 and ESP to reply, perhaps one of the folks familiar with multiplayer FS servers and software such as FSHost (www.chocolatesoftware.com), TeamSpeak (http://www.goteamspeak.com/) and/or FS MultiPlayer / Virtual Airline sites might offer some input...Just on the basis of TeamSpeak alone, it looks like there is quite a large active user base already involved in MP flight simulation:http://www.tsviewer.com/index.php?page=lis...ht%20SimulationSome types of software in use:http://www.ivao.aero/network/so/...BTW: Not FS specifically here, but if you haven't seen these Orbiter connectivity projects yet, I thought you might find it interesting: :-abduct http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Orbit...yer&btnG=Searchhttp://purinton.us/.(Not much happening in Orbiter yet; maybe you will be on the leading edge when MS releases a "Space Simulator 2" extension to FS in the future?)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Space_Simulator...Generally, in FSX it appears there are challenges to gathering info on multiplayers and AI traffic outside a certain default distance radius limit using SimConnect, and some folks are trying to find workarounds using special C++ gauges and XML to avoid the CPU hit. ;-) If I understand the related posts I have read about this on fsdeveloper.com, if one wished to be able to log or connect with ALL players on/around an area the size of the Moon, there would be some developmental custom programming challenges to be surmounted; otherwise one could work within the SDK compliant default radius until a well-tested FSX workaround/hack by the FS community surfaces...Hope this helps! :-) GaryGB

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I was under the impression that rabbits were better known for solving systems of simultaneous equations.Bob

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Once again, Gary - thanks!! I think the multiplayer functionality as it is implemented in FS (radius-based) would be adequate for my purposes. After all, I don't think s horde-style exploration excursion would be very realistic ;)Since I have you on the answering roll, let me ask a few other q's :) ... I have only started dabbling with SimConnect, and I am interested in finding out if I'd be able to reference Sim Object animations from the SimConnect module. I understand that something like this is possible from within the mission engine but I'd like to trigger anims without having to be in the mission. For instance, I'd like to be able to trigger CUSTOM anims (that is, not gear retraction or door opening) from the SimConnect module, AND hopefully be notified when anim ends. Is that possible?Re: Orbiter: That's one amazing piece of software! It does very well what MS Space Sim did... some 15 years ago. I wish, however, that Orbiter did do planetary surfaces better... FS can't be beat at that, and I think that's where the excitement is - boots-on-the-ground (or low to it) exploration. Honestly, flying in space is pretty boring. Once you take off, you point your spaceship in the direction you want to go, fire the rockets for a while and then sit and monitor systems while your spacecraft coasts for 3 days (pretty much what Apollo astronauts did). RE: MS Space Simulator - I indeed am a proud owner of a copy, with all the documentation, original box and 3.5" disks... except it is becoming a real challenge to run it these days. And, while digging in my basement for something else the other day, I found a real jewel that I forgot I have: "Space Simulator strategies and secrets" book, one of those 3rd party publications that are supposed to help you and give you an "insight"... I put that book back up on the "active" bookshelf in my office :D

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