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Rob Ainscough

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About Rob Ainscough

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    Life Member
  • Birthday 07/16/1964

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  • Gender:
  • Location:
    Concord, California - USA
  • Interests:
    Auto Racing, Flying (both simulated and real world).

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  1. Excellent, I can imagine it was one hell of project to pull off, congrats and looking forward to it. Cheers, Rob.
  2. Hi Ben, it's been a little over 6 months, any updated ETA on FTX Central 4? Cheers, Rob.
  3. Seasons in P3D v4.4+ is: 1. Terrain changes 2. Tree/Vegetation changes 3. Frozen surfaces 4. Scripted/conditional runway surfaces (visual and physical change to traction/rolling resistance) 5. Runway closure and/or open based on season 6. Different environmental objects (people, cars, trains, boats routes, etc.) based on seasons 7. Doing a long haul flight from one country that is in Summer while landing at another country that is winter (same calendar date) Having "seasons" is MUCH more than just adding a white adjustment layer to a summer base texture or attempting shader based snow, seasons is core to P3D/ESP product. To ignore it seems like a lost business opportunity ... or a gain for competitors. I understand that some are summer only fliers of which they can simply set P3D date time to summer. But for those that want more like myself, I see a demand that could be filled. Cheers, Rob.
  4. I was so excited with the news I brushed off my old VR headset ... Rob
  5. I'm no outsider (I've seen many attempts in very small scale), if you can pull it off in a believable manner with the type of distances and poly counts involved in a flight simulator, then I will invest in you and/or your team because that would be extremely valuable outside of flight simulators. Cheers, Rob.
  6. Depends on what one is trying to do with shaders, they clearly have an impact on performance even with relatively simple usage from vendors like TOGA Projects and PTA and others with shader modifications. For example ENVSHADE usage on clouds is excellent but definitely isn't "free" and they even flag the option as have a significant performance impact. But if you think LM (or whomever as I'm not tied to a platform) will implement something like this then I can't wait to see it in use ... I've never seen any development group successfully implement shader based weathering of terrain and buildings in a believable manner so I'm excited to see someone/group attempt this. Cheers, Rob.
  7. No didn't suggest that, suggested the surrounding airport area, however far that might reach which in some packages can be a large area. Surprised, I know some other developers are using scripted processing along with some manual touch up post processing to produce final season. So your processing of seasons is done entirely manually on a single summer image set? That seems like a HECK of a lot of work ... even for just LC. Yes, I'm aware of that. Agree that LC changing based on weather is not a pleasant effect especially when going from "green" to instant "white" ... the issue being "instant" and stark contrast in square tiles turning on/off as one flies. But for material scripting at airports it can be leveraged to good affect/effect when triggered at a distance so as to not be that perceptible (and bad weather be it snow or rain comes with low visibility so I'm not going see much beyond my destination anyway) ... meaning the end user doesn't have to select "winter" or "hard winter" for the airport prior to flight in the airports configuration panel and isn't tied to any "season" but rather weather conditions. Material scripting is a very powerful tool, it does need to be managed so there is not a case of hysteria and can be managed such that changes are gradual over time (sure it requires more work as one has to make many of the same terrain variants to make believable change in weather). I do agree with JV on the "concept" of shaders to build and decay terrain with weather so as to avoid seasonal work loads, but we just don't have sufficient hardware to make that a believable reality now and I'm not seeing any hardware that can do that real time and maintain any semblance of FPS for the next 5 years and if it were it would most certainly require multiple GPUs of which XP11 doesn't support but P3D does. I'm still voting for LOD15 seasons and happy to pay for all the hard work and there is clearly interest in seasons in this thread ... I'm just not a summer all the time user and the seasonal hacks in XP11 just don't cut it for me. I enjoy change even if it's not perfect ... we all have to use the blind eye regardless when it come to simulation. Cheers, Rob.
  8. And there is nothing that says Orbx or any scenery designer has to put snow "all over GB" for a winter season ... the only reason that happens is because the processing of snow under Orbx is done via scripts (automated) and then manually touched up any issues resulting from the automated process. For example a winter season could be more snow cover in Scotland or North England vs. no snow cover in Bournemouth (south of England). Regardless of altitude, the terrain will not look the same over the seasons for those parts of the world that have a very defined set of seasons. But like I suggested on the airports and surrounding terrain there is Material Scripting available in P3D V4.4 so you can make the terrain/buildings in that area match to whatever the weather conditions are ... so if the weather is snow, you can script airport/textures with snow textures, or if it's raining you can script them with wet textures and with PBR support what I've seen of the wet textures is amazingly good. It's all there if the developer wants to make use of it in P3D V4.4 onwards. These features are new (Material scripting and PBR) to P3D V4.4 so it'll take some time for content providers to get up to speed with these features, but we're already seeing some content being provided with "some" of these features, give it time to ramp up. Cheers, Rob.
  9. The only reason this is done is due to cost (one can buy seasonal imagery that is accurate to the time of year). I'm aware that most content providers use a single season source for terrain textures and then do their own processing thru PS scripts or one's image manipulation software of choice ... but that's the content creators choice to operate it that way in order to save money and keep the product cost down and hopefully sell enough to bring some profit home. Carefully used shaders are nice in "addition" to a base seasonal textures. Look at the FlightGear depiction of drift ice from the link you provided, it has no depth and no shadows, it looks just like someone place another texture layer on top of the water (it has no dimension). But the BIGGEST issue with FG is there is NO climate simulation. Shaders is not a solution and it will require more of a blind eye and processing power than going with static 4-5 seasonal textures. I completely understand the "desire" and how it would solve workflow and imagery cost on the content provider side, I get that. But shaders alone is NOT a solution for a global environment. We're stuck because we just don't have the computational hardware yet ... I see storage capacity getting cheaper, I don't see GPU's getting cheaper, just the opposite. Like I said earlier, 10TB drives now at $260 and 2TB M.2's $479 these were $1200 last year. I'm hoping Vulkan will bring better shadow quality to XP, I'm not expecting any FPS increase ... Vulkan (or DX12) is the way forward for any attempt at Ray Tracing support and control of multiple GPUs which I hope Laminar add support for in their Vulkan update. Cheers, Rob.
  10. You wanna buy some shares? It's that nagging $200/yr average user spends on add-ons per Navigraph survey that's holding us back. Come on John, we love your scenery, your company, your dev team, just do it ... seasons!! I'm curious to see what's going to happen there on the performance front ... AF2 Vulkan had better shadow quality but performance was down from OpenGL implementation and multi-GPU support was problematic and I've never had any success with multi-GPUs in XP. Cheers, Rob.
  11. Sure they have, and you've most likely already been using them ... TrueGlass, PMDG's rain effects on windshield ... those are shaders but they do take "some" processing resources and those are "special gauges" per window exposed via the P3D SDK/PDK. Implementation of shaders on the primary view/window will obviously take more processing resources. How much more I don't know ... from the xEnviro videos I could definitely see there was a significant FPS hit but no idea what hardware was used in that video. Just waiting for 1.10 release ... it's better than no seasons at all ... however, I'm still in favor of Material scripting and full season support as a better solution on visuals and the FPS front. Cheers, Rob.
  12. Isn't that the key statement? Come on John, you know you can sell seasons in P3D/FSX, hire more devs ... shaders are great and supported in both platforms, but they have limits and they don't come for free in terms of FPS. Material scripting however is far more efficient, no FPS hit, and you can get the "exact" look you want ... yes I know it's exclusive to P3D V4.4 (no FSX or prior version support) ... does XP support material scripting (I couldn't find anything in the XP11 SDK)? Cheers, Rob.
  13. I saw those videos also, still very much under development and on the performance front looks like an update for the elite plus hardware group ... don't think my 9900K @5.4Ghz 2080Ti setup will be enough to hack it. On the fence regarding the clouds ... better than want currently exists in XP11 but not a fan of TrueSky as it looked odd in FSW with rapid warping of sprites (if that's what is being used) but maybe it just a matter of better implementation? As for the dynamic lights highlighting clouds, I definitely like it, but it looks like another significant hit to FPS (the demo vids were definitely showing signs of "load"). In P3D the lighting of clouds happens with certain aircraft and AS4 cloud motion effects ... but that's a front face quad just being illuminated and not a dynamic illumination with volume like that shown in xEnviro 1.10. xEnviro 1.10 would be a welcome improvement to XP but not a replacement for 4-5 seasons. Cheers, Rob.
  14. Welcome, looks like I'm not the only one doing this, hopefully some adjustments to FTX Central with the P3D V4.4 enhanced Add-On approach will save Orbx's bandwidth cost that could be put to better use across the board. I think JV knows we love the work his team does and only wish the best for a prosperous future which leads to more content for all. Cheers, Rob.
  15. Many reasons: 1. frequent testing where I need a clean slate 2. reducing load times 3. problem solving conflicts with other products 4. ID possible performance issues 5. recover space to allow for other products that use even more space Just a few reasons. Cheers, Rob.
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