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View Full Version : Chuck Yeager talks about the 3.02 dots.



Jumoschwanz
12-01-2004, 12:16 PM
In Chuck Yeagers autobiography he talks more than once about the visibility of enemy aircraft at distance.

Yeager and another in his outfit he called "Andy" were the two in his squadron with exceptional vision, and Yeager said they could spot enemy aircraft from eighty kilometers away, five minutes before the rest of the squadron!

Yeager was one of the best test pilots ever. The data from test instruments taken from craft he tested were so consistent that engineers said the graphs should be in textbooks. So he knew what he was doing and seeing as well as anyone could.

Now if we put some math to what Yeager said we can come up with some interesting data to apply to flight sims maybe.

If Yeager was cruising in his Mustang at 480km/hr, and his enemy was flying toward him at the same speed they would be approaching each other at 960km/hr. At this speed, five minutes later, when the rest of the squad with average vision saw the enemy, the planes would have closed the whole eighty kilometers separating them! This would be about right the way dot visibility is in 3.02b.

Now if Yeager was flying perpindicular to the enemies path, the five minutes the others would see the enemies in would put them still twenty five kilometers away. Quite a bit farther than we can see dots in this sim.

Even if we are conservitive and cut this in half, to 12.5 kilometers for the average pilot, the visibility for enemy dots is still far greater than we have in 3.02b.

I put myself over Smolensk in a A6m5 against four Seafires with void skins in the QMB. When I met the Seafires we of course got into a fairly tight dogfight in which I don't think I was separated from them by more than 2-3 kilometers. But even at this short distance, with void skins on the Seafires I would lose them against the green background fairly easily. I tried it over the deep blue sea by Okinawa and it was the same.

I am not a real pilot so the only reference point I have on these matters is watching aircraft from the ground by the airport, and from reading first hand accounts like Chuck Yeager's.
For me, the dots in 3.02b make it very tough to keep track of opponents with the full difficulty I prefer to fly at, even at very close ranges I believe I should be able to see at.

S!

Jumoschwanz

GR142_Astro
12-01-2004, 12:41 PM
Some good points.

For the record, the guy called "Andy" was none other than P51 ace Bud Anderson.

http://www.leisuregalleries.com/aaandersonB.jpg

Jumoschwanz
12-01-2004, 01:48 PM
Cool Astro,

I didn't have the book right there to get that detail.

On the dot issue:

I just got done flying on a great, full difficulty/limited icon server. And the close up dogfighting was ok. I easily kept track of my opponents. Maybe in the QMB something was different in settings or something.

Fighting online in this server seemed about the same as since the original Il2, except for visibility of craft at greater than four or five kilometers is a bit reduced. I guess if the real pilots who are involved in the il2 project think the 3.02 dots are the best compromise I can live with it. But not being a pilot myself I will always wonder what it is like in actuality. I guess I have to get my a$$ up in some light craft and take a look somehow....S!

Jumoschwanz

Bearcat99
12-01-2004, 01:49 PM
You beat me to it Astro.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

To Fly and Fight was a great read for sure. I like the part about the inverted buzz on the highway in the P-39s during training.

uhoh7
12-01-2004, 01:56 PM
I agree the dots are now hard to see again. For me, I would rather have slightly unrealistic dots than icons of any type, which just kills immersion.

It's too bad we cannot have various DOT options for the server, so the host can decide how visible AC should be. I know mp dot range has some effect.

Ground objects are espcially hard to see now, though they were a bit obvious in 3.01

all the best,

uhoh7

TheJayMan
12-01-2004, 02:10 PM
I'm a private pilot, and I find that it is hard to see other aircraft in the air when they are flying directly toward me, directly away from me, or parallel to me. This is because of our stereoscopic vision. So while it is hard in RL to see airplanes that appear relatively stationary relative to your own ship, it is WAY EASIER in RL to see other planes that are moving dramatically because stereoscopic vision and 3d depth perception really facilitate spotting things that are moving.

I, like Yeager, have 20/10 vision in both eyes. I can say that there have been times when I was able to pick up traffic at huge distances, but there was also one time when I totally missed seeing a C141 Starlifter less than 3k from me over Travis AFB once, because those suckers are so big, and when they are directly opposite you, they look like they just hang in the air, and painted OD they blend right into the hills. Scared the living daylights out of me. You have to "learn" how to see traffic in RL, no matter how good your vision is.

So it can be sometimes easier, sometimes harder to see planes in RL, but for different reasons than pure visibility issues.

Now, with respect it PF, here's my $.10...

With the new dots, while its not the same experience, I think overall that visibility at long distance is adequate for average eyeballs. It is not realistic, but the pros and cons balance out to where I think its "fair," for lack of a better word.

However, at close range, I find that PF in perfect mode has much better lighting effects on the wings and bodies of planes as to make AC pretty realistic to spot. There is still the issue of depth perception that will not be solved until we have a stereoscopic video solution. So it is harder that RL to see the differences in movement that make it easier to make the initial pick up, but in Perfect mode, once you find the plane, it is just as easy as in RL to keep it in vision even in ground clutter.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

Herr_Kessler
12-01-2004, 04:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jumoschwanz:
If Yeager was cruising in his Mustang at 480km/hr, and his enemy was flying toward him at the same speed they would be approaching each other at 960km/hr. At this speed, five minutes later, when the rest of the squad with average vision saw the enemy, the planes would have closed the whole eighty kilometers separating them! This would be about right the way dot visibility is in 3.02b.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You do realize that 80km is over 50 miles, right? I'm not trying to be harsh, but as kindly advice, when you start out with a number like that, it's hard to take this argument seriously. Look, I know Yeager was a great pilot with a reputation for having excellent vision, but let's be realistic here. First, I think you are trying to draw hard numbers from a rather casually worded statement. "Five minutes" is an awfully vague statement the way it's commonly thrown around, and I seriously doubt that anyone was checking their watch at the time. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Seriously though, if you change your mp_dotrange settings, you can spot dots out around 10km or more, and that works out to over 6 miles, which is MUCH further than I could ever hope to see one IRL. Seriously, I think the new dots are a darn good compromise. That's my opinion anyway.

Kess

LEXX_Luthor
12-01-2004, 05:08 PM
Don't laugh Kess, the militaries since the days of Greek and Roman oared warships look for people with vision you and I will never believe to be possible.

However, we don't need to model Yeager's super vision but "average" pilot vision which in war time means average human vision. With the mp_dotrange lowered from Default, the 3.01 dots correspond to real life aircraft spotting. The lazy simmer who is too lazy to look will still never spot dots no matter how big or small. Not just laziness, sometimes the real life Aces would get exhausted in the cockpit and stop looking around and they too would get Bounced. The pilots that survived learned to look, that's why all surviving pilots were experienced lookers. Simple weeding out process.

As experienced amatuer astronomer, I have only seen about 12 stars in the Pleides star cluster, although 30-35 have been spotted by people with much better vision. I personally say it is not possible, but it happens no matter what I say.

Willey
12-01-2004, 05:18 PM
Some math http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif .

10m (wingspan of a fighter) at 80km is like 0,125mm at 1m distance. I've got a 22" CRT and on 1280x960, 4 pixels are roughly 1mm x 1mm. That would translate to a .50 x .50 pixel for a dot on the screen. I don't have superb eyes, but I think i could make out a single pixel on 2560x1920 res if my CRT had it. OK, a plane is not a 10m orb, but that's just it's wingspan/length. If it comes head-on, you might just see something like 1x2m and that get's hard to detect. A 1x1m object would have the same visibility then on 8km. 1x2m would be 16km then. Default dotrange is 14. Not to mention that Yeager didn't see a single plane, but maybe 20 or more. The more the merrier. You'll see them better. And they're moving. So I think, spotting a fighter with good contrast should be no problem up to 20-25km. Camo, non-reflective skin and stuff would reduce it, though. I think the 3.02b dot's render this effect quite well, but the range, where they become clearly visible (3-3,5km) should be a tad higher. But putting the dotrange to 25km helps a bit, especially for ground targets. With 3.02b you've again no chance to hit anything with a Heinkel from 3-5k, because you can't see ****. Not even buildings. Don't forget that you don't look straight down, but rather in a 30? angle below the horizon. That's twice the distance then, and at 6-10km, you can't really see ground objects.

LEXX_Luthor
12-01-2004, 05:51 PM
Willey:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But putting [increasing] the [3.02b] dotrange to 25km helps a bit <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes, but it hurts the dot fade out with range--the dots don't fade out fast enough and so we have problem with judging range. Judging range was the only complaint about 3.01 dots that had merit, and it went to the core of the problem--3.01 Default dotrange was too large.

If you know exactly where to look, anything is visible at any distance. What we are doing is looking around the entire sky and beneath us to spot dots we don't know are there yet. This is alot of area to cover and we should miss something often--now what does "often" mean?. :roll: So I would not go overboard on spotting small aircraft at Xtreme long ranges with high dotrange numbers.

Stiglr
12-01-2004, 05:54 PM
This is getting to the heart of the matter.

Some people just can't get it through their thick heads that when we play this sim, our ENTIRE field of vision (and when zoomed in, LESS than that) is represented on a 17", 19" or 21" diagonal screen. Sitting here at my computer, I can easily see that whole screen, and a bout 2 feet of my computer room wall to all sides of it. The monitor screen itself is about 30% of my field of vision.

When you consider how little of my real life FOV my monitor takes up, then take that math shown above, and scale it down to our monitor, that "little speck" of aircraft 6km away ends up being a fraction of a pixel, and thus, just doesn't show up on the monitor. But, in real life, at real visual scale, a trained, WWII pilot (which assumes at least 20/20 vision) would probably see it.

That's why we need slightly larger than real scale dots, or icons, to provide that visual cue that we would have in real life.

We also need increased CONTRAST to provide the depth of field cues we get in real life but don't on our monitors. Dots often just fade right into a background many kms "behind", but might as well be right down in it, for all you can see of them.

Stachl
12-01-2004, 07:01 PM
Thank you JayMan that was a very informative post. I also think that, weighting all the variables between RL and the sim, we are reasonably close, at least to simulate real world tactics and strategies. However, I do wish the visuals were just a bit better. It sounds like the 3.01 dots, adjusted properly with dot range, would've been better than what we have in 3.02. Hopefully the next patch will be better.

antifreeze
12-01-2004, 07:57 PM
I love the 3.02 dots. But I think that the default dot distance (14km) is too low; it means you can only see the dots emerge faintly at about 6-7km at 1152x864x32, excellent settings, wide view, poor weather (I always play poor weather when possible; the Earth's atmosphere looks much better than in the 'clear' setting). Setting dot distance to 25km (which is max), you can see dots emerge against the sky at 12km at the above settings, which I think is very playable on the scale of maps we have and the distance/time players usually wish to spend flying to a target.

The biggest fixes that no-one seems to have mentioned too much are:
-allied and luftwaffe dots are now the same size, whereas before you could ID a plane's side by the size of the dot. 3.01 'fixed' this, but only by making everything a big blob. 3.02 does it properly I think. The 'fade in' is just perfect; personally I can judge distance very well with these dots, and the way the dots turn gradually into aircraft is masterful.
-wide/normal to zoom view works properly now. Before, when zooming in, the dot size actually decreased instead of increasing. Now if you zoom from a distance of 6-7km, the graphic changes from a dot to an actual plane outline. Fantastic!
From 6km above a small fighter which is flying at 100-200m above the trees, you can see him easily in zoom view, but you might just miss him in wide view unless you caught a quick white 'glint' of him whilst scanning. This is absolutely brilliant news for low-level bomb runs. Now the BnZoomers will actually have to do some work to find the bombers! Is this what everyone is complaining about? No easy meat anymore?

In this instance don't care what's 'realistic' any longer, when it obviously isn't achievable (or Oleg would have done it by now) on the equipment we have. IMHO the 3.02 dots set at 25km makes the game extremely good fun because you are not certain to see every aircraft in a 12km radius, so if you are not paying attention you could miss the planes you are meant to intercept, or there is a risk you could get jumped. I think the default setting is ok for dogfight maps perhaps, where fights tend to be in small 'pockets', usually not far from the ground targets or airfields.

Well done 1C. You really tried hard to solve this issue and did extremely well as far as I'm concerned. FB/PF has never been such a good sim and such good fun at the same time!

However, I do also have a question. I use commands bound in my RCU file to set dot distance and icons. It used to be that once the command was run, the icon settings would remain set until I closed FB. But now in 3.02b it looks like the mp_dotrange is reset back to default every single game.
Can anyone confirm this?

Jumoschwanz
12-01-2004, 08:05 PM
Anyway the book is a good read and I thought it was interesting. If you do read it you will gain a sense of what an incredibly precision pilot Yeager was. He was like a machine when it came to test piloting aircraft and measuring their performance. The book has many depositions from other pilots and officers, etc that all rave about his ability.

If it was just the average Joe rattling off distances and times I would be more skeptical, and I am skeptical. But if anyone could competently talk about what was going on in an aircraft Chuck Yeager was it. I have read a lot of pilot's autobiographies and no other one made this same impression.

And what does it mean anyway. I cannot fly perfect settings with my rig at the 1200x1600 I like to run, I run excellent. If I run perfect my framerates drop low enough that I cannot see anything at all. The way my finances are I am not buying any upgrades for as far as I can see in the next year. And I am betting the majority of simmers, especially those in less capitalistic countries are not even running as near as high a settings as I am. So that is the compromise that has to be made with the dots, so those without megabucks can still enjoy the sim?

S!

Jumoschwanz

LEXX_Luthor
12-01-2004, 08:09 PM
Antifreeze:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>However, I do also have a question. I use commands bound in my RCU file to set dot distance and icons. It used to be that once the command was run, the icon settings would remain set until I closed FB. But now in 3.02b it looks like the mp_dotrange is reset back to default every single game.
Can anyone confirm this? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I may be wrong, but "rcu" settings have always re~set back to Defaults at the beginning of a new mission, at least for my installs.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>-wide/normal to zoom view works properly now.

Before, when zooming in, the dot size actually decreased instead of increasing. Now if you zoom from a distance of 6-7km, the graphic changes from a dot to an actual plane outline. Fantastic! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
What you are seeing are improved aircraft grafix drawn to somewhat greater range apparently. Tully pointed this out recently. Its amazing addition to immersion http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif especially at high resolutions. Just got my ATI~9200 to run smooth 30fps at 1280x960. If the new aircraft grafix must go with 3.02b dots, I would have to go with 3.02b dots http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif unless the new aircraft grafix can be mixed with 3.01 dots.

If the dot is far enough away, zooming in will just show the same dot. The "decrease" of size everybody posts about is optical illusion created because the space surrounding the dots now fills the screen at zoomed in view, and the same dot is lost to your memory of position and you must search for it again. But the dots don't decrease in size.

Put it like this, nothing can get smaller than 3.0 dots, so this "decrease" in size when zooming has always been optical illusion and it suceeds in tricking old timer flight simmers into posting the dots get smaller. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif NOTHING can decrease in size and get smaller than 3.0 dots. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

antifreeze
12-01-2004, 08:22 PM
> The "decrease" of size everybody posts about is
> optical illusion created because the space
> surrounding the dots now fills the screen at
> zoomed in view

lol.. sounds sensible but, with all due respect, I tested it often enough to see clearly that a cluster of dots (or one antialiased dot perhaps?) in wide view turned into one pixel in zoomed view over a certain distance. What I saw on my system definitely wasn't an optical illusion.

Thanks for the feedback about the RCU file. It's a bit of a pain typing the command into the console every single mission!?

LEXX_Luthor
12-01-2004, 08:42 PM
Antifreeze:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>lol.. sounds sensible but, with all due respect, I tested it often enough to see clearly that a cluster of dots (or one antialiased dot perhaps?) in wide view turned into one pixel in zoomed view over a certain distance. What I saw on my system definitely wasn't an optical illusion. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
mmm, I have never seen that. By cluster of dots, do you mean a formation of distant aircraft close together? Its possible you lost dots, vanished and not rendered for some reason. The apparent spacing between aircraft--the spacing between dots--increases when you zoom in, so what you are seeing in that one dot left is not the formation of aircraft but only one aircraft rendered. This cluster of dots, could you tell they were individual aircraft when in zoom out view?

antifreeze
12-01-2004, 09:00 PM
> do you mean a formation of distant aircraft
> close together?

Nice explanation, but nope. Single aircraft.
1024x768 or 1152x864. G4ti4600.
Quincunx 4x anti-aliasing enabled.

Valid for FB 2.04 and below and PF 3.00

Wide view at 10km and under equaled a small clustered blur of pixels. Zoomed view at same distance equaled one or two sharper pixels. The reduction is size was connected to the sharpness. This occured until the dot changed into a solid 'blob' (about 3 or 4km depending on allied or luftwaffe).

WUAF_Badsight
12-01-2004, 10:34 PM
one of the african american pilots of the Korean war was interviewed in "Aeroplane" Magaziene

his comments about the leading aces of that conflict (he flew wingman roles the whole war with them in Sabers) was that . . ..

they carried a common trait over other pilots

VERY GOOD EYESIGHT

LEXX_Luthor
12-01-2004, 11:43 PM
Thanks anti~freeze, what you are looking at may be the AA then, as I have never used any on my ATI~9200--I go for higher resolution. I heard AA does bizarre things with dots. Try turning off AA and see if it still happens. What I see when I zoom in is identical dot, only lost among much greater zoomed in space.

xTHRUDx
12-02-2004, 12:29 AM
the problem is the dots stay drawn as dots until they are too close.

another LOD models is needed, perhaps?

WWMaxGunz
12-02-2004, 03:47 AM
I've read C. Yeagers' book and remember that average eyesight pilots could spot at about
half the distance he did. What they spotted at very long range was reflected light from
canopies and parts of the enemy planes, glints only not sizes and shapes.

There was also that finding planes easier was something learned after getting to the war
as a matter of practice. Considering how many of those guys were pilots before training
and the time of training with other planes around then, it's not something they picked up
in a couple of months.

I'd like to see the dots cycle through a few close shades of gray over a few second period
if that's what it takes. I doubt the sim can do sun-object-viewer angle checks without a
huge FPS loss so I won't even think about actual glints. Just something to latch onto would
be nice though, which we had in 3.01 but on some setups it must have been like a zeppelin
painted white and black from what some posters carried on. Funny, my screen and the screen
shots I saw (even ones that complained!) showed dots that if it wasn't for the icons I would
have been a while finding the planes because it took me 4 tries to find all the ground targets
and I did spend some time staring to find what the post said were there.

Still, close up and moving they weren't real hard to find once I scanned the area the planes
were in the sim itself running 3.01m. What I am feeling is that those of us with less than
perfect or maybe excellent settings are going to end up with a choice of not hard to spot and
just impossible to spot until well into LOD's or a light background.