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View Full Version : Your Opinion on Pop-Up Range of Ships



MBot
11-20-2004, 06:39 AM
Since we have currently quite many discussion about visibility range of planes and since the developer is open for new suggestions, I would like to take the oportunity and have a closer look at the ships visibility range.
Since the last patch there has been a big step forward with the inclusion of "dots" for seeing ships farer. But what I consider one of the biggest problems of PF, the late pop-up of the ships 3d model, seems still unchanged. Well, lets first have a look at some pictures and see how far the 3d models get drawn.


Test subject was the USS Essex. Fyling height was 1000m. Grafic settings are perfect with water=3.


Range to ship: 5km
------------------

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis1_wide.JPG

Field of View: wide

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis1_med.JPG

FOV medium

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis1_narrow.JPG

FOV narrow

What we can see here is that at a range of 5km the 3d model of the Essex doesn't get drawn at the wide field of view.


Range to ship: 5+km
-------------------

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis2_wake.JPG


Just a moment after 5km the ships wake doesn't get drawn at all FOVs.


Range to ship: 7.3km
--------------------

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis3_med.JPG

FOV: medium

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis3_narrow.JPG

FOV: narrow


At a range of slightly over 7km the ship doesn't get drawn at medium FOW.


Range to ship: 10km
--------------------

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis4_shadow.JPG


At a range of 10km the 3d model of the Essex doesn't get drawn at any FOV and only the dot remains. Interesting to note is that the shaddow of the 3d model still gets drawn !


Range to ship: 12km
-------------------

At this range the shadow ceases to exist and the only thing to remain is the dot.



Conclusion

The pictures above show there is something seriously off regarding the LOD settings of the ship models. Altough I tested only the Essex I experianced simmilar behavior with all ships in PF. Signifficant is that the whole problem gets even more worse the wider the FOV gets, and thats the setting most pilots I know use. Also the short wake visibility is completly different from reality. Everyone that has ever flown in an airliner over the open ocean knows how clearly visible the ships wakes are.

Since this subject is pretty obious I guess the guys at Maddox Games did it that way at purpose.
But I wonder why.
I can't imagine technical limitations. The Flak shoots at you even if the enemy ship isn't visible, wich shows that AI calculations are done anyway even if the 3d model doesn't get drawn. Also with good LODs I can't see that long visibilitys for ships could be a big fps hit. The lowest LODs would just need a couple of polygons.


So here are my suggestions on that subject:

1. Make draw distance of ship models the same for all FOVs.

2. Increase draw distance of ship models to realistic ranges. Perhaps this would need some new low LODs.

3. Increase draw distance for ship wakes sicnificantly. This should be the first thing you see from a ship.


Comments on this subject are welcome. Thank you for your time.

VW-IceFire
11-20-2004, 10:27 AM
I've got to be honest here...I don't see too much of a problem. Its a reality of technology that you are going to see a bit of popups. The key is that it doesn't happen too often.

Good suggestions tho. I'm sure things can be tightened up a bit with the whole dot thing, but I think its a major step forward.

Tater-SW-
11-20-2004, 10:42 AM
I agree the wake might be the easiest fix. Ships were routinely shadowed from 20-30 MILES or more away (22-50km). The shortrange means that you'd have to fly absurdly tight search wedges to find anything.

They also need the AI to take an order to attack a ship as far away as you can see it (AI only sees it to 3000m or so, even in alt, so you can't order them to dive bomb unless you fly unrealistically low).

tater

Hans_Philipp
11-20-2004, 11:01 AM
If the popup happens at such a distance where the gfx engine renders it with haze and fog, the effect will be almost completely erased.

Ships, and ESPECIALLY their wakes, should be visible tens of miles out, depending on the environmental conditions.

clint-ruin
11-20-2004, 12:31 PM
If you think PF is slow now, just wait til every single model for 10 miles is rendered at its max size and LOD.

Willey
11-20-2004, 01:52 PM
That's the case with Lomac and because of that it sucks. It has 50000 poly planes, FB has 3000-3500 polys per plane. I bet the worst LOD in Lomac is 5000-10000 polygons http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

MBot
11-20-2004, 02:20 PM
I don't think the performance hit would be big with good use of LODs. Look at the second last picture above. At this range a simple textured box ( 10 polygons ) would do the job. Lets be generous and make it more detailed with 50 polys. Hell, I think even the bomb models have more polys http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif It's all about LODs.

Btw, isn't it interesting to note that the shadow of the model gets calculated even after the model dissapears? If fps would have such a big impact here I guess they would have spend more time optimising here.



Compared to the 52'000 polygon Su-25T model of Lock On 1.1 this is a piece of cake anyway http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

A.K.Davis
11-20-2004, 03:42 PM
problem is a lack of intermediate LODs between dots and the first LOD, especially for large ships. The transition with small ships is hardly noticeable, but those carriers need 3 or 4 additional lower LODs.

MBot
11-21-2004, 12:39 PM
bump

Tater-SW-
11-21-2004, 04:43 PM
I'd be happy with just wakes and/or smoke at very long ranges.

tater

plumps_
11-21-2004, 06:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
If you think PF is slow now, just wait til every single model for 10 miles is rendered at its max size and LOD. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
We're not talking about cities with lots of houses, where increasing the draw distance will dramatically increase the number of densely placed objects that have to be drawn, which brings down the frame rate. How many ships do you have in one mission? The number is limited (unless you try to build a realistic D-Day mission http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ), so increasing the draw distance shouldn't affect the frame rate that much as only a few more objects have to be drawn at the same time.

Of course I'm not a member of the development team and I don't know at all what I'm talking about. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

clint-ruin
11-21-2004, 06:36 PM
Well, the reason they did that is because the polycount for the landscape goes up dramatically in the wide view all by itself. It's about optimising for the worst case. I think it might be better to focus on seperating out 'draw distance' for different kinds of objects - I know there's a parameter that gets used for this already but I can't remember its name - they use it on a lot of the landmark objects already. Being able to set this in a field in the FMB would be a good compromise.

Otherwise, combine a high polycount with PFs fairly limited transform support and sticking large objects all around the place looks pretty bad for the low end people who're just scraping by running PF now. As far as I know every LOD has to be hand-tuned in PF as well, so adding more LODs to the carriers probably isn't as simple as generating a bunch of 'em and stick them in the game.

MBot
11-21-2004, 07:22 PM
Well I realy can't see how the low LODs could slow down performance that much. The low LODs of ships realy don't have to be very complex because you can't see details at that range anyway.

Just look at that screenshot:

http://mbot.catclan.ch/vis3_narrow.JPG

This is an Essex at 7km. The shape is already very basic. Basicaly it is a box for the hull ( 10 polys ) and a box for the superconstruction ( another 10 polys ). Add the right colours and you get what looks like a carrier from distance.
Of course the model you see on that picture is more complex than what I describe, but 7km is still pretty close. The farer you get the simpler you can make the model.

And since we are the region of 10-100 thousends of polys on screen I don't think that some hundert additional polygons for some distance ships will make a big difference. At least I haven't heard until now that adding a bomb loadout to your aircraft can kill low end systems http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
And if they can afford to calculate the shadows for a model, they can also afford to calculate the model itselfe http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

p1ngu666
11-21-2004, 07:43 PM
the dots help... before it was nightmare, u used flak to help u find ship...

for some 20poly ships would help alot..

clint-ruin
11-21-2004, 08:12 PM
I think I should point out here that I'm not saying that this is a bad idea, just that there are reasons MG haven't done it.

More than just being drawn or not drawn, the narrow FOVs force higher detail LODs to be drawn at the same distance compared to wider FOVs.

There are very likely texture/model memory issues to go with this. GL can't tell the app what specifially is sitting in VRAM and what's in system memory or on a disk, so the more you force to be done on the card the greater the risk of dropped textures.

This is not a problem for Mr Geforce Ultra 6800 256mb and a FX55, but it is going to be a problem if it's switched on all the time for Mr ATI 7500 and a Duron.

There may also be problems defining objects out [moving 'vehicle' style objects especially] - the system Il2 uses to call objects for loading is pretty obtuse, and there's a fair bit of customisation of that system already in place. As you'd expect from an app this old that has had to go from east to west to way way east again :>

I think this is one of those things where it would really help to try to understand the implications of what you're asking for and maybe make some suggestions of how to implement this feature. Otherwise we might have some very pissed off posts from the low end guys about it.

As for the shadow LODs - for the carriers at the minLOD this is just a pair of triangles, I think, so that ain't much of a stress.

PB0_Roll
11-21-2004, 08:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 3. Increase draw distance for ship wakes sicnificantly. This should be the first thing you see from a ship.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

i support this idea fully, at least 15km with wide FOV would be perfect.

MBot
11-22-2004, 08:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
As for the shadow LODs - for the carriers at the minLOD this is just a pair of triangles, I think, so that ain't much of a stress. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats the whole point about it. As far as I know the shadows are caluclated from special low detail models. Now if it isn't much stress to calculate the shadow from a 12 poly box it can't be much stress to draw the box itselfe.
This is no voodoo magic, we are just talking about some textured boxes.

clint-ruin
11-22-2004, 12:03 PM
Well, as I was saying, it helps to be clear about what you're asking for.

"change the pop up range of ships" is different from

"change the in-game object rendering system to seperate out ship objects from other ground objects, make several different scaled small LODs of different sizes to represent different shipping - PS please get the various modellers to go and do this now - and change the FOV system to force LOD by distance rather than by FOV, all as a user selectable options"

MG have in the past tended to be fairly literal-minded about implementing some of the user suggestions, so like I said, helps to be clear about what specifically you want them to do.

AFAIK there is very very very little transform support in PF, or at least its render order doesn't allow a T&L unit to do much with what's being drawn. If you do this for one ship, you are also doing this for 30 ships engaging each other. In the one case you outline of a single ship winking in and out of view the load is negligable, but as I keep saying, there are scalability issues that kick in here when it's -not- just one ship and the users PC sucks a cockpit :>

The wakes/smoke idea is also good. At the moment a lot of effects - particularly anything that just applies a texture to a flat stream of polys from an object [engine smoke, wakes, etc] - only seem to start rendering when the camera is detected as looking at that object specifically. Flick through the ctrl/shift-f2 views and you see ship wakes start anew each time. There has to be some way to improve this without making ships look stupid when they turn or whatever.

plumps_
11-22-2004, 03:18 PM
In 3.0 carriers were visible from ~10km, no matter what field of view, while other ships' draw distance was depending on the FOV. And there were no dots. In 3.01 we have dots and the draw distance of carriers now depends on the field of view. These are some fundamental changes that show that the developers do have a large room to move.

clint-ruin
11-22-2004, 04:10 PM
I don't know if I'm being clear enough about this LOD thing.

In 'gunsight' view the LOD for a carrier object changes at 1.75km.

In 'normal' view the LOD changes at .70km

In 'wide' view the LOD changes at .45km.

Very similar for all other objects in the game. That's just for the first LOD change. it's not just a matter of drawing or not drawing an object in.

I am sure people are familiar with the lag that gets caused when you suddenly approach another object and it needs to load in the next nearest LOD and texture state - usually [annoyingly] just as you close to gun range on a target. Lots and lots of VRAM and system RAM and pre-caching is the only real way around it, since there's pretty much no other way to tell GL what you want loaded until it actually needs to draw it in.

Again as I keep saying I don't think there is anything wrong with this idea, just that the implementation of it needs to be carefully considered so the game doesn't get made unplayable for people who are running it borderline playable now.

plumps_
11-22-2004, 05:43 PM
What's the relevance of your last post? The change between the first and the second LOD is not the topic of this thread. It's rather how long the last LOD remains visible. And 3.0 has shown that it's technically feasable to treat certain objects (in that case carriers) completely differently than others in this respect. The change between the first and the second LOD was depending on the FOV just like in 3.01, while the visibilty of the last LOD wasn't.

Are you a member of the development team? As I told above I am not; and it's rather pointless to have such a discussion with someone who doesn't know much more than I do but will write long postings with guesses about some possible implications without really knowing if they apply.

I'm here to look for possible improvements from the customers' perspective. I do have confidence that the developers don't need anybody to take their perspective and protect them from implementing all the stupid things we suggest.

clint-ruin
11-22-2004, 06:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by plumps_:
What's the relevance of your last post? The change between the first and the second LOD is not the topic of this thread. It's rather how long the last LOD remains visible. And 3.0 has shown that it's technically feasable to treat certain objects (in that case carriers) completely differently than others in this respect. The change between the first and the second LOD was depending on the FOV just like in 3.01, while the visibilty of the last LOD wasn't. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Buh?

Here's what the original post said.


Since the last patch there has been a big step forward with the inclusion of "dots" for seeing ships farer. But what I consider one of the biggest problems of PF, the late pop-up of the ships 3d model, seems still unchanged. Well, lets first have a look at some pictures and see how far the 3d models get drawn.

The pictures above show there is something seriously off regarding the LOD settings of the ship models. Altough I tested only the Essex I experianced simmilar behavior with all ships in PF. Signifficant is that the whole problem gets even more worse the wider the FOV gets, and thats the setting most pilots I know use.


Here is a mission file for you with a carrier, planes on the carrier, a barrage balloon, an observation balloon, and two pieces of scenery.
[MAIN]
MAP CoralSea/Online_load.ini
TIME 15.0
CloudType 0
CloudHeight 1000.0
army 1
playerNum 0
[Wing]
g0100
[g0100]
Planes 4
Parachute 0
Skill 1
Class air.A6M5
Fuel 0
weapons none
[g0100_Way]
TAKEOFF 26095.67 30003.61 0 0 0_Static 0 &0
[NStationary]
0_Static ships.Ship$IJNShokakuCV 2 26199.17 30003.61 360.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
1_Static vehicles.aeronautics.Aeronautics$ObservBalloon_90m 2 26194.33 30101.57 360.00 0.0
2_Static vehicles.aeronautics.Aeronautics$BarrageBalloon_60 0m 2 26199.60 29897.89 360.00 0.0
3_Static vehicles.stationary.Stationary$BunkerD_gun 2 26097.25 30098.11 360.00 0.0
4_Static ships.Ship$G5 2 26087.93 30199.17 360.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
[Buildings]
0_bld House$CAENCASTLE3 1 26200.78 29749.13 360.00
1_bld House$CAENCASTLE6 1 26204.50 30265.03 360.00
[StaticCamera]
25004 30003 100
24001 29996 100
23010 29985 100
21986 30010 100
20994 29982 100
19981 29978 100
19011 29992 100
18002 30003 100
17017 30007 100
16011 30003 100
15027 29985 100
14007 30007 100
13004 30007 100
11977 30000 100
10993 30000 100
9990 30021 100
9006 30021 100
8011 30003 100
7023 29989 100
6024 30000 100
[Bridge]
[House]



You can check out for yourself just what gets drawn at which distances at which LODs.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Are you a member of the development team? As I told above I am not; and it's rather pointless to have such a discussion with someone who doesn't know much more than I do but will write long postings with guesses about some possible implications without really knowing if they apply. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No I'm not. I am however unaware of any special magic that allows 1c to load in textures and models for no cost in memory or geometry performance. Perhaps you should tell them your technique?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I'm here to look for possible improvements from the customers' perspective. I do have confidence that the developers don't need anybody to take their perspective and protect them from implementing all the stupid things we suggest. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, because as we've seen, noone has made the slightest noise about dots, or indeed any other change made in the entire history of the sim. Thank goodness for that.

Could you perhaps go and release whatever is in your bowels before the next reply? Thanks.

clint-ruin
11-22-2004, 06:24 PM
Also plumps, does the topic subject show as "your opinion on pop-up range of ships" or the "Comments on this subject are welcome. Thank you for your time." tag at the end of the first post show up on your computer? Just wondering. I thought I was expressing an opinion on how this should be implemented but perhaps I am wrong.

WWMaxGunz
11-22-2004, 09:29 PM
I'd like to see a seperate dot and dotrange parameter for ships.

plumps_
11-22-2004, 09:34 PM
Your mission wasn't very useful as it contained only one ship.
So I made my own mission with 10 ships which you approach by aircraft. Use the map grid to see the distance. Two balloons mark the distance of 10 km.


[MAIN]
MAP CoralSea/Online_load.ini
TIME 17.833334
CloudType 0
CloudHeight 1000.0
player IJN_C_Zuikaku_FS01
army 2
playerNum 0
[Wing]
g0100
IJN_C_Zuikaku_FS01
[g0100]
Planes 4
Parachute 0
Skill 1
Class air.A6M5
Fuel 0
weapons none
[g0100_Way]
TAKEOFF 26015.10 30247.13 0 0 0_Static 0 &0
[IJN_C_Zuikaku_FS01]
Planes 1
Skill 1
Class air.A6M5C
Fuel 100
weapons default
[IJN_C_Zuikaku_FS01_Way]
NORMFLY 38028.91 29696.88 100.00 250.00 &0
NORMFLY 26024.03 29695.67 100.00 250.00 &0
[Chiefs]
0_Chief Ships.USSCVGeneric 2 0 2 1.0
[0_Chief_Road]
25999.29 29987.45 120.00 0 2 8.809722900390625
25999.41 29997.48 120.00
[NStationary]
0_Static ships.Ship$IJNShokakuCV 2 26000.40 30277.25 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
5_Static ships.Ship$USSLexingtonCV2 2 26000.07 30546.74 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
6_Static ships.Ship$USSBBGeneric 2 26001.91 29714.36 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
1_Static ships.Ship$Niobe 2 26000.72 29076.30 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
2_Static ships.Ship$IJNAkizukiDD42 2 26001.40 29197.25 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
3_Static ships.Ship$USSIndianapolisCA35 2 26002.30 29500.69 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
4_Static ships.Ship$Aurora 2 26002.48 29338.98 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
7_Static ships.Ship$USSEssexCV9 2 26001.26 30838.59 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
8_Static ships.Ship$USSCasablancaCVE55 2 26001.34 31046.93 630.00 0.0 0 2 1.0
9_Static vehicles.aeronautics.Aeronautics$ObservBalloon_90m 2 36000.10 29800.41 630.00 0.0
10_Static vehicles.aeronautics.Aeronautics$ObservBalloon_90m 2 36000.02 29599.75 630.00 0.0
[Buildings]
[Bridge]
[House]


Here are some screenshots from another test. (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=63110913&m=8981074442)

Somehow it was weird, after I had patched back to play the mission in 3.0 now I get the same thing in 3.01: Contrary to ground objects the visibility of the carriers' and other large ships' last LOD doesn't depend on the FOV. The Essex is an exception as it becomes only visible from a distance of 5 km at the widest FOV. As it was the only ship among the 10 types I tested this must be a bug, the Essex seems to be classified as a small ship by mistake.

Of course that result renders all your reasoning based on the Essex's visibility invalid.

In general the visibility of ship LODs is already good at the widest FOV. Drawing the LODs even earlier at that FOV would be pointless as they're simply too small to be represented on our monitors; that's what the dots are there for. Only at narrower FOVs an increased visibility of the LODs would be desirable.

Dots: Currently when you approach a huge carrier with some small aircraft on top the first thing you see is the plane dot, while actually the ship should be more clearly visible than the plane.

clint-ruin
11-22-2004, 10:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by plumps_:
Somehow it was weird, after I had patched back to play the mission in 3.0 now I get the same thing in 3.01: Contrary to ground objects the visibility of the carriers' and other large ships' last LOD doesn't depend on the FOV. The Essex is an exception as it becomes only visible from a distance of 5 km at the widest FOV. As it was the only ship among the 8 types I tested this must be a bug, the Essex seems to be classified as a small ship by mistake. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's certainly weird.

When you load my mission, do you see the ShokakuCV and the balloons fade in and out at the exact same distance? Because if I can see one I can see the other on my rig.

Reminds me of something I noticed before - I got these exact same 'ground dots' that people are raving about back in AEP2.00 using a TNT2 in 16bit mode. Didn't appear with anything else. I so hope this isn't some kind of renderer/driver dependent thing.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Of course that result renders all your reasoning based on the Essex's visibility invalid. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have never tested with the Essex, just with the objects you see in that mission file.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>In general the visibility of ships is already good at the widest FOV. Drawing the ships even earlier at that FOV would be pointless as they're simply too small. Only at narrower FOVs an increased visibility of the lods would be desirable. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As I said I get the exact same thing happening with the ShokakuCV as with the original thread starters tests.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Dots: Currently when you approach a huge carrier with some small aircraft on top the first thing you see is the plane dot, while actually the ship should be more clearly visible than the plane. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah I agree. Whatever they decide to do with the visibility I hope it's customisable with conf.ini or .mis tweaks. One size fits all gets pretty ugly if you want to set up some kind of mission/internet server specific scenario.

plumps_
11-22-2004, 10:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
When you load my mission, do you see the ShokakuCV and the balloons fade in and out at the exact same distance? Because if I can see one I can see the other on my rig.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I can see the balloons much better than the ship. But the balloons have dots similar to those of the aircraft, depending on your mp_dotrange settings. So that says nothing.

Tater-SW-
11-22-2004, 10:44 PM
The nice thing about your observation that the plane dot appears first? We now know the two dots can be controlled independantly!

tater

Hans_Philipp
11-23-2004, 12:40 PM
The point is, regardless of what settings other objects in the game have for their pop-up and lod range, that ships, their wake, and their smoke, need to be visible from tens more miles than they currently are.

I'm sure the developers can't argue with that, and I'm sure it's doable.

WWMaxGunz
11-23-2004, 04:06 PM
It's not just about graphics drivers but also graphics settings.
Long distance dots need to be as independant of those as possble
for playability/fairness reasons.

I am sure that the render range (or just range) graphic setting affects LOD's, at
least the ground ones as it sets the horizon, doesn't it?

How detail, lighting and textures may affect LOD's I dunno.

plumps_
11-23-2004, 08:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by plumps_:
Dots: Currently when you approach a huge carrier with some small aircraft on top the first thing you see is the plane dot, while actually the ship should be more clearly visible than the plane. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tater-SW-:
The nice thing about your observation that the plane dot appears first? We now know the two dots can be controlled independantly! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I shouldn't have generalized it that way. Sometimes ship dots seem much too bright to me, given that the ships usually were painted grey, and they become visible earlier than the planes. It depends very much on the light conditions. I wouldn't draw the conclusion that 'we' can control them independently, they just behave differently. Also in my test missions I saw a huge plane dot that actually consisted of 4 aircraft dots sitting on the carrier. Still 4 aircraft should be smaller than the ship.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
I am sure that the render range (or just range) graphic setting affects LOD's, at
least the ground ones as it sets the horizon, doesn't it? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes, 'Visibility Distance' in the Video Options menu does affect the distance at which LOD's are drawn. You can easily see that by changing the settings when a ship has just popped up. Reduce the 'Visibility Distance' and the ship often disappears. So this shouldn't be about optimising for the worst case, because if the high visibility distance affects your FPS you simply reduce your video settings. Keeping the game playable on low-end machines is about how the lower settings are tuned, not about the maximum visibility you can get at highest settings.

clint-ruin
11-23-2004, 09:43 PM
Respectfully plumps, I think that's precisely the kind of one size fits all "solution" that should be avoided if at all possible. That's exactly what I hope they don't decide to do. Draw distance is tied into everything - dropping it makes even things as close as the flyby view look awful.

I must admit I am now totally confused as to what you think should be done with the LODs and what you think happens in the game now. I thought what I showed with the carrier was that they're equally tied in to distance/lod/etc as for other objects - I would really like to have the option of drawing in the ships seperately to drawing in a port full of barrage balloons - and drawing all of those over FOV90 for 30 miles.

Ideally we could either toggle different classes of objects or the objects themselves in the FMB as to what gets drawn where. There's a tag for it [drawdistance=infinite or similar - seen it come up in the console] that's already usable for those kinds of purposes, I hope.

You ever take a dump that makes you feel like you slept for 12 hours?

plumps_
11-24-2004, 02:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>]Respectfully plumps, I think that's precisely the kind of one size fits all "solution" that should be avoided if at all possible. That's exactly what I hope they don't decide to do. Draw distance is tied into everything - dropping it makes even things as close as the flyby view look awful.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't remember giving any solution. I only reminded you of an existing fact: That owners of low end systems need to reduce their video settings, while the average users don't. This is the way the game is made playable on a wide variation of systems, while it still looks great on newer systems. I wasn't asking specifically for any kind of change that will force everybody to play with lower settings.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I must admit I am now totally confused as to what you think should be done with the LODs ... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
But why would you want to know? My opinion on anything the way it works I don't understand fully is completely irrelevant. Just as yours.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>... and what you think happens in the game now. I thought what I showed with the carrier was that they're equally tied in to distance/lod/etc as for other objects <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I showed that there are variations between different kinds of objects. Maybe it happens only on my system? But you said yourself that such a tag exists. One more to make it more obvious. Each row consists of the same objects:

http://home.arcor.de/rayluck/sturmovik/object10-4.jpg

By tuning these variations maybe you get a better solution for the visibility of ships without an overall reduction of the framerate/memory usage?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I would really like to have the option of drawing in the ships seperately to drawing in a port full of barrage balloons - and drawing all of those over FOV90 for 30 miles. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Who would try to force you to draw all those objects within 30 miles? Any object you see now beyond 5-10 km is a dot anyway and not a LOD. Even if the visibility of dots gets increased you can reduce it by using the mp_dotrange command, if you feel that you see too much. The sizes of dots for different types of objects and the distances where they begin to fade out do vary. Increasing the visibility of some dots won't do harm to anybody. Did you notice that observation balloons have much bigger dots than big ships now? Doesn't it seem easy to change that?
Increasing the distance where big ships' LODs become visible may or may not increase the memory load (to what degree?) and reduce FPS (to what degree?) Did you notice that the visibility distance of the big ships' last LODs in PF is twice as big as it was in AEP? Did this make the world go down?

All these (among others) are possible measures the developers may use at their discretion and it's neither up to me nor up to you to judge which is the appropriate way.

clint-ruin
11-24-2004, 06:21 AM
All I can say is that this is getting profoundly silly.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I don't remember giving any solution. I only reminded you of an existing fact: That owners of low end systems need to reduce their video settings, while the average users don't. This is the way the game is made playable on a wide variation of systems, while it still looks great on newer systems. I wasn't asking specifically for any kind of change that will force everybody to play with lower settings. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

More options for tuning performance to a specific PC are better. It's not like we have thousands of cvars to plug into the console - we have some pretty stark landscape light/texture/geometry settings and the same for 'objects', and some driver tweaks. The current geometry setup in PF offloads a very minimal amount of work to the GPU - you can infer quite a lot about the way any engine works just by playing with the driver and playing with the detail options to see what it likes and what it chokes on. PF doesn't like lots of overdraw and it doesn't like lots of polys being thrown around. In terms of what it actually draws in any one single frame, it's not exactly a performance beast as compared to other engines written since. Not just a problem for PF - just that it has a difficult job to do given the range of terrain and the number of models it needs to be able to push around in the one single session of play. A lot of 3d cards are still basically "quake accelerators", not really suited to the same kinds of scenes as PF wants to draw. Geometry work hurts it the worst - large mountains, cockpit overdraw, looking at a city from a few feet off the ground. There is not the same access to the same tricks as FPS games use to squeeze every last frame out of the system - no easy way to predict what any scene will look like, no portals or other tricks to use to reduce the overdraw.

If you increase all object visibility wholesale for everyone then you whack the engine with even more work, more overdraw from the cockpit, more individual models to access over a larger landscape area. I have no idea why this would be a controversial statement - there is a fixed amount of work the hardware can do given what the software tells it to do, and if you give it more to do, it takes longer to complete each frame. Having more models and textures loaded increases swapping - always. This is not some kind of uninformed musing on how their engine might work - this is how your computer works.

The reason I am somewhat confused as to what your point and your wishes might be is that I have suggested letting the user toggle on or off any changes that might be made. I myself suggested tuning the ranges for these objects individually too, but I have no illusions that this would not be a tedious and time consuming process. If this was 1 seconds work to do and had no associated performance hit, they would have done it already, simple as that. That's all I'm saying with regards to the difficulty of implementing this feature. Again, I don't see what issue you seem to have with this.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But why would you want to know? My opinion on anything the way it works I don't understand fully is completely irrelevant. Just as yours. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You've lost me here again. The thread asked for comments and opinions. I gave mine. I want the feature implemented in a way that is flexible and that the user can control, given that this has a performance hit coming with it. I have no idea what your problem is with this suggestion - you don't quite seem to be able to say. I would like the mission builder as well as the user to be able to say what scale of ranges kick in for different kinds of objects - takes the workload off of 1c having to do them all individually, just let the user tag them individually [missions] or for their PC. Bomer pilots in particular would appreciate being able to toggle the landmarks needed to navigate or the target they need to hit designated as visible from a very long way away. But not everyone would. So let people choose.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I showed that there are variations between different kinds of objects. Maybe it happens only on my system? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have no idea what this illustration is intended to show.

What I said was, the objects are all influenced by the draw distance / FOV / range system in the game. Here's something to try. Set your maxlen to 15000 or so, ctrl-f2 to the carrier with zeros on it, view from 90 degrees down, and right click+pull back on the mouse. Now change between wide/mid/gunsight FOV. The mission I posted had one of each 'type' of object I was able to find in FB in there in terms of how their LODs differ - but they're all influenced by the same settings, except for stuff with that infinite range tag. The chunk of castle with grass on it seems to be one of the 'inifinite' draw things. You can also see the exact [or near enough] range that each LOD pops in at if you turn range icons on the zeros, which is handy.

As I was saying, if we increase the draw distance for ships, let's be able to tune when they or other object LODs kick in - some variation of the infinite range thing would be good for some objects, bad for others, depending on the mission and the system. If I have a reasonable number of barrage balloons in a mission I don't want a ship 30 miles away costing me frames over what's in the immediate vicinity - but if we tie that to the general 'draw distance' setting, avoiding the new ship rendering is going to mean every other model looking like crud. Again not something that I see as some kind of controversial issue. Just a suggestion on how to implement it.

Should I start a poll to reduce the confusing detail level settings to two choices? Very low and perfect. Would that equally be good and better than letting the silly users get ideas about what they would like to switch on or off? I really don't get where you are coming from here. At all. Sorry :<

Do you like belgian waffles?

plumps_
11-24-2004, 08:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>All I can say is that this is getting profoundly silly. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I agree. And it's an awful waste of time.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You've lost me here again. The thread asked for comments and opinions. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The only relevant comment to the original posting would be that you can't base such a discussion on those observations as the Essex is not representative of what you get in PF. All it shows is a bug with the Essex.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If you increase all object visibility wholesale for everyone then you whack the engine with even more work, more overdraw from the cockpit, more individual models to access over a larger landscape area. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hu? Where did you read such a suggestion?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The reason I am somewhat confused as to what your point and your wishes might be is that I have suggested letting the user toggle on or off any changes that might be made. I myself suggested tuning the ranges for these objects individually too, but I have no illusions that this would not be a tedious and time consuming process. If this was 1 seconds work to do and had no associated performance hit, they would have done it already, simple as that. That's all I'm saying with regards to the difficulty of implementing this feature. Again, I don't see what issue you seem to have with this.
...
I want the feature implemented in a way that is flexible and that the user can control, given that this has a performance hit coming with it. I have no idea what your problem is with this suggestion - you don't quite seem to be able to say. I would like the mission builder as well as the user to be able to say what scale of ranges kick in for different kinds of objects - takes the workload off of 1c having to do them all individually, just let the user tag them individually [missions] or for their PC. Bomer pilots in particular would appreciate being able to toggle the landmarks needed to navigate or the target they need to hit designated as visible from a very long way away. But not everyone would. So let people choose.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I took the above screenshot to ask Oleg if it's possible to increase the draw distance of the big hill object you see on the left side. The answer I got was "it is impossible to write special code just for one object."

I'd like to have an improvement in one of the next patches, not a complete reprogramming of the engine which we couldn't expect before BOB. Your suggestions are simply unrealistic.

Let's have a closer look at it:
Visibility distance of individual objects tuned by the mission designer: Impossible according to Oleg. If it was at least possible to tune the visibility distance of object classes it would really piss of the owners of low-end systems, as they'd never know what the mission designer has in store for them.

Visibility distance tuned by the user: We already have a realistic implementation of that in IL2/FB/PF. What exactly do you suggest as an improvement that's user-friendly, easy to implement, practicable und couldn't be used to cheat ?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What I said was, the objects are all influenced by the draw distance / FOV / range system in the game. Here's something to try. Set your maxlen to 15000 or so, ctrl-f2 to the carrier with zeros on it, view from 90 degrees down, and right click+pull back on the mouse. Now change between wide/mid/gunsight FOV. The mission I posted had one of each 'type' of object I was able to find in FB in there in terms of how their LODs differ - but they're all influenced by the same settings, except for stuff with that infinite range tag. The chunk of castle with grass on it seems to be one of the 'inifinite' draw things. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Set your maxlen above 15000 (I've set mine to 90000 long ago) and you'll notice that the castle object is not drawn infinitely. If you watch my picture you'll notice that it also shows that object. At the wide FOV its draw distance is actually about half as long as that of the carrier and the test runway. That's not really infinite, is it? And where do you see that it's not influenced by LOD settings? I do see a switch between LODs as the castle wall object disappears.

All this shows me is that it's not a problem to have certain objects with longer visibility distance, as long as there are not too many of them.

clint-ruin
11-24-2004, 08:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by plumps_:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>All I can say is that this is getting profoundly silly. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I agree. And it's an awful waste of time.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thank goodness we agree :>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I took the above screenshot to ask Oleg if it's possible to increase the draw distance of the big hill object you see on the left side. The answer I got was "it is impossible to write special code just for one object."

I'd like to have an improvement in one of the next patches, not a complete reprogramming of the engine which we couldn't expect before BOB. Your suggestions are simply unrealistic. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My suggestion is, if the view distance of objects - especially ships, especially large carriers with complex models - is increased, then make that "perfect" view distance, and leave high vis as is. That's as complicated a suggestion as I am making here. If you make FB draw more, let users switch that extra drawing off, rather than make them reduce the vis distance further again than they already have to for everything.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I took the above screenshot to ask Oleg if it's possible to increase the draw distance of the big hill object you see on the left side. The answer I got was "it is impossible to write special code just for one object." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do we

a) currently have different visibility ranges for different LODs for different objects at different FOVs at different ranges at different detail levels.

or

b) not currently have different visibility ranges for different LODs for different objects at different FOVs at different ranges at different detail levels.

Because from your own shot and my own .mis it certainly seems like a) is correct, and it is indeed possible to do for an object, and is in fact done for objects now.

The difference you can see in the chunk of landscape WRT its draw distance is a lot easier to see as you flick through different FOVs and detail levels at the same distance. Objects are affected wholesale by the draw distance settings at differnt FOVs. All of them. Different amounts. I know you know this, all I'm curious about is .. how do you think I don't know this? And why do my own findings seem to be getting spat back at me with extra snark attached?

I find your lack of taste in pastry disturbing.

I have no idea where you are going with this. PS. I don't even know where you are picking up this "essex" thing from since those weren't my tests to start with, they were MBots. I have no idea what the conclusion I have supposedly reached on those tests might be since as far as I know - I haven't said a thing about it.

Anyhow, I think we can at least agree that this is silly and that it would be good to get ships drawn at "realistic" distances, even if they're not scaled that way in terms of pixels-per-real size on the monitor. Let's hope Oleg does something with it :>

plumps_
11-24-2004, 10:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>My suggestion is, if the view distance of objects - especially ships, especially large carriers with complex models - is increased, then make that "perfect" view distance, and leave high vis as is. That's as complicated a suggestion as I am making here. If you make FB draw more, let users switch that extra drawing off, rather than make them reduce the vis distance further again than they already have to for everything. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
So you have a new suggestion now. Which will mean that many people with average systems who can now play on perfect settings by a narrow margin won't be able to do so afterwards. And those who can easily play on Excellent, but not on Perfect won't be able to enjoy the larger view distance. So this isn't a user-friendly switch either.
BTW we're not talking about complex models, but the simplified last LODs.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I have no idea where you are going with this. PS. I don't even know where you are picking up this "essex" thing from since those weren't my tests to start with, they were MBots. I have no idea what the conclusion I have supposedly reached on those tests might be since as far as I know - I haven't said a thing about it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, that's probably the main problem. You enter this thread, don't say anything about the topic, but present us with an ugly bugbear instead:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin
If you think PF is slow now, just wait til every single model for 10 miles is rendered at its max size and LOD. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're over-interpreting other people's statements just to find something to contradict. That's trolling de luxe.

clint-ruin
11-24-2004, 10:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by plumps_:
So you have a new suggestion now. Which will mean that many people with average systems who can now play on perfect settings by a narrow margin won't be able to do so afterwards. And those who can easily play on Excellent, but not on Perfect won't be able to enjoy the larger view distance. So this isn't a user-friendly switch either. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wow.

No, people who run perfect now, would simply select "perfect" as the setting. As I suggested. They don't lose anything - no frames, no detail, over what they have now. If you have the HP or want to make it up by dropping any combination of settings, set the DD to "perfect" to enable longer ranges. Same terminology as every other setting too - couldn't be more clear.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Yes, that's probably the main problem. You enter this thread, don't say anything about the topic, but present us with an ugly bugbear instead:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin
If you think PF is slow now, just wait til every single model for 10 miles is rendered at its max size and LOD. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're overinterpreting other people's statements just to find something to contradict. That's trolling de luxe. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Excuse me? The original post just suggested increasing max lod draw range. That's what I was responding to. Could you go back and read the section I wrote earlier on how increasing load will increase render times? That's all that statement says. Do you think this is untrue?

The fact that I have had to ask these questions, all the way through - really just makes me feel that you are going out of your way to be contrary. That's why I PM'd you earlier just to see if this is some kind of weird grudge. I'm amazed to see you think I'm trolling you. I am simply providing the requested opinion on how this should work, same as everyone who's posted in this thread.

If it's so terribly distressing I am sure you and your eyes and your fingers could come to some kind of arrangement about the amount of time you spent replying to posts you consider to be trollish.

WWMaxGunz
11-24-2004, 10:25 PM
Well, my current hardware can't handle past medium range and I wouldn't mind having dots
past that so I'm not blind where someone with better hardware still sees me.

I'd like different dots for some classes of objects by major divisions; big ships, ships
not big, bombers, fighters, or maybe just all planes, vehicles, fortifications not hidden,
emplacements of guns not hidden.... hidden things that fire should make smoke that stays
for a while like wingtip smoke would be ideal and before firing no way to find.
I guess that all is too much but even one or two would help!

plumps_
11-25-2004, 12:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin
I know you know this, all I'm curious about is .. how do you think I don't know this? And why do my own findings seem to be getting spat back at me with extra snark attached? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Come on, why can't you just admit that this picture

http://home.arcor.de/rayluck/sturmovik/object10-4.jpg

shows that the following statement is 'Bravo Sierra'?:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
If you think PF is slow now, just wait til every single model for 10 miles is rendered at its max size and LOD. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

---

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>No, people who run perfect now, would simply select "perfect" as the setting. As I suggested. They don't lose anything - no frames, no detail, over what they have now. If you have the HP or want to make it up by dropping any combination of settings, set the DD to "perfect" to enable longer ranges. Same terminology as every other setting too - couldn't be more clear. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Same terminology as every other setting? My version of PF has only one 'Perfect' setting, and that is for 'Landscape Detail'.

So your new idea really is not to modify the 'Perfect' mode but to create a new, higher setting for 'Visibility Distance'. I think that sounds like a good idea if it leads to more than a general, slight increase of the view distance rather than a solution for those objects that really need much better visibility. It will then lead to new discussions about what objects should be affected to what degree. And it will certainly create more work for the developers than just modifying some of the existing values.

---

BTW if you want to make yourself understood completely I recommend that you use only words I can find in the dictionary, otherwise I'll simply have to ignore some parts of your posts. The alternative would be to conduct this conversation in German.

clint-ruin
11-25-2004, 02:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by plumps_:
Come on, why can't you just admit that this picture

http://home.arcor.de/rayluck/sturmovik/object10-4.jpg

shows that the following statement is 'Bravo Sierra'?:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
If you think PF is slow now, just wait til every single model for 10 miles is rendered at its max size and LOD. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do you notice there's a LOD scale operating in the shot? X distance, X physical pixels on the screen, means that the model will use a different LOD - or none. If you increase the raw range of view, you have to adjust for this in terms of which LODs are kicking in at which distance. As I mentioned, the original post called for objects to have the same distance visibility in Gunsight as in Wide view, and for that view to be made much longer than it currently stands for ships. This involves changing the scaling of how much distance and how many physical pixels = a set LOD at a set detail level. That's not a guess about its implementation, that's what the suggestion directly called for to happen. So I made a quick post saying that drawing more over a longer range is going to make the game slower. I'm sorry I didn't have time to write 5 blocks on it at the time or I could have saved myself a further 38597 posts of explanation of what I mistakenly assumed was a very very simple point to make.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>So your new idea really is not to modify the 'Perfect' mode but to create a new, higher setting for 'Visibility Distance'. I think that sounds like a good idea if it leads to more than a general, slight increase of the view distance rather than a solution for those objects that really need much better visibility. It will then lead to new discussions about what objects should be affected to what degree. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You know how I was calling for both the mission builder and the user to be able to set this themselves to save 1c the effort of having to do it? You remember how you said that was a bad, bad, impractical idea?

I am totally at a loss to explain how you took this:

My suggestion is, if the view distance of objects - especially ships, especially large carriers with complex models - is increased, then make that "perfect" view distance, and leave high vis as is.

As saying "change perfect mode Landscape Detail to force higher Visibility Distance" when I am very clearly and explicitly stating that I am talking about adding this as an option for Visibility Distance. I'm just not smart enough to think of any other way to write that suggestion down.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
BTW if you want to make yourself understood completely I recommend that you use only words I can find in the dictionary, otherwise I'll simply have to ignore some parts of your posts. The alternative would be to conduct this conversation in German. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My apologies.