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Christopher Low

Diamond Point

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Does the default Diamond Point airstrip have runway and taxiway lighting ? If not, then I must have added the taxiway edge lighting, runway edge lighting, threshold lighting and REIL lighting for my expansion packs. The problem here is that it all looks a bit excessive at this small airfield.So, do you think that it would be better to remove all this lighting ? I don't want the airstrip to look completely unrealistic, and that runway edge lighting looks a bit daft on a strip only 20 feet wide ! Having said that, I'll have to check the tarmac at Spanaway and Whidbey Airpark.....Mind you, these have AI planes operating from them........Chris Low.

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Hmm....I've just remembered that these airfields all have PCL lighting. So why is the lighting at Diamond Point on by default ? Is this a glitch in the software, or is there something significant that I'm overlooking ? Ahh, maybe it's the lack of AI planes at Diamond Point. No planes....no pilots to operate PCL lighting.....Right, that does it. The lighting at Diamond Point gets the chop.Chris Low.

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I agree here, Chris.I always find it strange to land at at a unicom strip at night and find full runway and taxiway lighting. Then you taxi to an unlit FBO...There are two fixes for this - 'populate' the strip (which can get unrealistically busy and kill framerates) or remove the over-the-top lighting. Or you could use my latest FBO - with lights ;):-waveJon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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Hi Jon,any expirience who is killing more framerates. 3d objects and scenery package or ai-planes.And by the way, hows about the dash res file?Many thanksTFT

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My own comments as a scenery developer (and Jon I'm sure will add to this), framerates are affected by many things.Scenery objects have a big effect. I'm not sure what causes the most problems, but its a combination of number of models, complexity of models and size of textures used. Ansgar has made me think that my initial thinking was wrong on this - the experience with building higher resolution runways has convinced me that size of textures is important.So too many high polygon planes, or too much high detail taxiway, will both slow down the sim. Also ground textures and transparent textures take more grunt.Weather is a big factor. Fly in fine weather and your framerates will head for the stars, fly in English weather (sorry, typing misprint, I mean wet weather) and they'll fall to ground zero. Obvious.The instrument panel is a known framerate sink.AI planes have a substantial effect to, esp if the AI is a bit buggy.You can test for yourself which is most significant by using the options slider in FU3 for AI traffic density. I'm using a 500 MHz machine and found that my own recent modifications to Gatwick were a bit heavy, so simplified by combining some ground objects together with substantial improvement. I look forward to upgrading my computer at some stage!RobD.

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This is one reason I did Clare's Valley - to find out what did what.Given my current system (Athlon 1700+/512 meg/Nvidia FX5200), framerates are affected (in descending order) by:Terrain detail - Since experimenting with this, I have found that, given the current range of settings (if you don't use the patch, you get 200% range...), most effect (visually AND framerate-wise) occurs above 50% on the slider. Running it like I do (set in the cfg file as '999') really kills it! Takes me from 25+fps to ~12-15fps.Weather - yep, besides terrain, storms and rain kill my framerate more than anything now. My 'cloudy, still day' weather file reduces framerate by about 5fps over clear ground, less in Seattle city.AI aircraft - switching from 0 to 100% on the slider reduces my framerate by almost half at SEA. Some AI IS buggy (or is that sulky?) and reduces framerate to <10fps when it appears. Mostly to do with planes going through things or underground. Surprisingly, Ansgar's latest AI beta is very smooth on my PC, better than the previous one.Models - almost last, models CAN make a major difference but only when they come into view. As you know, FU3 simply doesn't render anything that you cannot see. Models behind you make little difference. Try flying through Seattle city at 3kft. Look at the framerate. Terrible? Now, after flying over it, hit F1 and look back. Same models, much better framerate. Why? FU3 has already loaded them from disc and they are 'waiting' in RAM. Besides, most models use few polygons, compared to the terrain textures! Where they slow down is trying to render complex shapes. This means that a simple structure with complex mipmapping (i.e. lots of transparency) is a lot slower than the same model with no transparency. There is a tradeoff for each model. Rob's 'smoke' for example, is a bit of a killer. I threw away my original power tower model because it had lots of structure and no mipmap! After changing it to a much simpler shape and adding better mipmaps, the framerate improved markedly. Guess what? Due to the actions of bsp.exe, I ended-up with the same number of polygons - but it renders faster. Again, why? Because FU3 is doing less work. The renderer only has to render a simple object in the first pass and (most importantly) only map the facing textures, not ones you cannot see. Given no textures, it has to map the entire model to render it.Aircraft - being guilty of trying to use as many polygons as possible made me conscious of any effect on framerate. Fortunately, there appears to be none! Loading the Dash-8 or the Baron (old type) made no difference to the framerate in the F5/F8 views. When viewed from inside, things change - the more 'outside' view, the slower it goes BUT - if you set the '3D' (outside) views to full screen, it makes no difference. It also makes the view work better with the side/rear views.Sheesh! I waffle on a bit, eh?:-waveJon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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Jon,Further to your waffling..... :-).....the aspect of my Seattle airport upgrades that annoys me the most is that frustrating freeze at McChord AFB, SeaTac International (and very possibly others) when the taxiway lines and stuff are displayed just after touchdown (or removed shortly after take-off). You are probably well aware that I basically rebuilt all of these taxiway lines, lighting systems etc. at the large airports in the Seattle region, which probably means that the new layout simply hasn't been optimised enough.The consequences of this are severe. There is a SIX SECOND freeze at McChord AFB shortly after take-off (which is a right royal pain in the ****) :-) Removing the lines whilst sitting on the threshold ready for take-off is probably the best solution (since a pause when you are standing still is better than one when you are moving), but I don't think that I can do much about the freeze just after landing.Oh yes, I tried that "999" thing for displaying more detail at great range. You are quite correct when you state that it kills framerates, but I also noticed another problem. Certain terrain textures near my plane do not display in their "high resolution mode". They remain blurry, even when I am right on top of them. Both of these problems are too severe for my liking, so I have reverted to "103" :-) Like you said, the "999" setting seems to reduce the framerates by 50 per cent :-eek When you are only getting 14fps or less to begin with, this isn't a very good idea ;-)Chris Low.

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Lighting removed at Diamond Point.....two trees moved near runway 34 turning zone at Whidbey Airpark.....one tree moved near runway 12 threshold at Leisureland Airpark.....FBO moved at Moss Field.....sequence lighting and runway edge lighting corrected at Bremerton National.....overrun lighting modified and sequence lighting corrected at Moffett Federal............will this never end ? ;-)Chris Low.

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Nah, never ;):-waveJon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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Oh yes, I almost forgot. I also corrected the sequence lighting and runway centreline lighting for runway 21L at Travis AFB. I am sure that more tweaks will be required over the coming weeks :-)Chris Low.

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Hmmmm...............extensive tweaks to AI pathways and taxiways at Paine Field, plus AI plane modifications (including the addition of an AI Concorde).....AI plane modifications at Sanderson Field, Gray AAF, McChord AFB, Hamilton AFB, Moffett Federal, and Alameda NAS (removal of AI F18's until someone provides us with a high detail replacement)......modifications to parking area at Flying B Ranch....Further update next week ;-)Chris Low.

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Chris,You're at least as bad as me. I spent 3 hours last night, perfecting the intake and bypass ports on the Twin Otter engine nacelles! I thought I had it right then I got a photo from a new angle and...It never stops. Now, for some light relief :-lol I noticed that you mentioned Kapowsin Field, one of my favourites. I was thinking of doing a package for a REAL strip sometime (and I had thought of Kapowsin too!), so why not 'flick one my way' and I'll have something to distract me when the aircraft building gets too much (every night, about 11PM). I have some more 'rural' models (and can always do more) so I wanted somewhere flat-ish (good for fences) to play. Any suggestions? I don't wish to duplicate your work as such - the intention was to leave your part alone and simply augment it, off-field of course ;):-waveJon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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Jon,Do you want me to send you my updated version of Kapowsin Field (the one with the lighting removed) ? You could then add stuff at your leisure. Feel free to release this as a new package when you have completed it.Chris Low.

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Sure thing, Chris!I promise I will mow the grass every Saturday and keep the trees pruned. Oh! And I'll fix the fences...Please send to the address I sent you ;):-waveJon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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Nice shots Allan. OK, you win, FS2004 looks better (is it FS2004?). But you should still load up the UKS region and check out the airports we've done there. We may not have the optical candy but both Chris & I try to make it as "real as we can get" within the FU3 limits.We're probably pretty well into the fourth generation of Seattle, where new scenery packages are again being developed. And we're still learning and improving.RobD.

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Well, Diamond Point airfield certainly looks better in FS2004 (I am assuming that this is Lago's expansion pack), but I'm not too sure if the surrounding terrain would be...or the feel of the flight models. Still, everyone has an opinion....Chris Low.

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After looking up 'The Point' as it's known (great name, same as mine!), I found what every FU3er would want in a holiday home. See link below:http://www.airporthomes.com/hm0497.htmThis got me looking around the 'skyparks' of WA, and there are quite a few. Kapowsin is another one but there are >10 in western WA alone! Wouldn't want to live at Kapowsin though - too many skydiving flights :-( One would get very tired of the continuous sound of the Twin Otter (fine plane!) all day. Actually, by my experience, that would pale in comparison to the skydiving parties every weekend :-eek:-waveJon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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