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Xanthippus
09-07-2004, 10:46 AM
'lo all,

I posted the theme of this message in response to a recent "question of the day" but the replies don't last very long, and i wanted to gain some reflections from others on this issue.

Currently i believe the smoke effect on stricken ships is the only 'disappointing' (if you can use that word in relation to this game!) visual aspect in this game. One notable example, but it applies to all that i have seen, is where the bismarck is taking numerous hits.

http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/Bis_under_attack01.jpg

http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/Bis_hit01.jpg

It all just seems a little 'light' at the moment, currently it appears to me that we generally just get a limited amount of 'pale black smoke'. Naturally my knowledge into this is limited and i would assume that not every shell or torpedo would set of fires and cause vast amounts of smoke, but having seen films (always something people should avoid placing to much faith into i admit) but also footage from WW2 and the Falklands war, there appears to be far more dramatic smoke in these images.

Currently it just appears that we don't have enough smoke, or of a 'dark' enough, varied pattern, that really shows the seriousness of being hit.

I admit that this is possibly an unfair criticism when its based on screenshots and limited video time, more videos of a longer duration might well transmit the smoke effects better. But to compare, look at various sinking ships with smoke, then look at screen shot 37:

http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/Bismark02.jpg

Look at the plane being shot down in the background, now to me that looks great (maybe even a little to dramatic!) and i would of thought a burning ship might well produce more smoke and flames then that of a single plane, but so far it appears we have only a 'pale black haze' which doesn't trail very far from damaged ship.

As i say, looking for other views on this, what do you think?

Xanthippus
09-07-2004, 10:46 AM
'lo all,

I posted the theme of this message in response to a recent "question of the day" but the replies don't last very long, and i wanted to gain some reflections from others on this issue.

Currently i believe the smoke effect on stricken ships is the only 'disappointing' (if you can use that word in relation to this game!) visual aspect in this game. One notable example, but it applies to all that i have seen, is where the bismarck is taking numerous hits.

http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/Bis_under_attack01.jpg

http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/Bis_hit01.jpg

It all just seems a little 'light' at the moment, currently it appears to me that we generally just get a limited amount of 'pale black smoke'. Naturally my knowledge into this is limited and i would assume that not every shell or torpedo would set of fires and cause vast amounts of smoke, but having seen films (always something people should avoid placing to much faith into i admit) but also footage from WW2 and the Falklands war, there appears to be far more dramatic smoke in these images.

Currently it just appears that we don't have enough smoke, or of a 'dark' enough, varied pattern, that really shows the seriousness of being hit.

I admit that this is possibly an unfair criticism when its based on screenshots and limited video time, more videos of a longer duration might well transmit the smoke effects better. But to compare, look at various sinking ships with smoke, then look at screen shot 37:

http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/Bismark02.jpg

Look at the plane being shot down in the background, now to me that looks great (maybe even a little to dramatic!) and i would of thought a burning ship might well produce more smoke and flames then that of a single plane, but so far it appears we have only a 'pale black haze' which doesn't trail very far from damaged ship.

As i say, looking for other views on this, what do you think?

Shan_Hackett
09-07-2004, 11:49 AM
Im no expert on pyrotechnics, or am i a fireman,
but what little i do know about combustable chemicals, is that "Smoke" is a direct by-product of the current material which is combusting.

Diesel, oil, gasoline, plastic, rubber all combust at varying degrees of temperature, rate of burn, combined with the effects of the accelerant used to ignite them, and the amount of oxygen available.
Smoke also emits at varying degrees of the color spectrum, again dependant on the material burning, the accellerant used, and the combined chemcial composition fused at impact.

Take thoughs screenshots of the Bismarck, and the likely materials to combust from a HE round impact. On the superstructure, it is mainly steel, with wood decking, some rubber from liferafts, buoys, etc. there is probadly asbestos lining the inside the gun turrets.

After an impact, the "Secondary" fires which ignite invarably dissipate -unless there is actualy something to burn, or the reminants of the accellerant/incendary freely burn on contact of whatever material it initialy impacted on.

Untreated wood for instance, burns at a slow rate, with a low temperature, the ignited carbon generly emits a light density of particals.

Rubber also burns slowly, at a low temperature, but due to its chemical compound, emits heavy densities of smoke particals, but due to the probable low amounts which could be ingited at any one time, it is unlikely to engulf a ship the size of the Bismarck.

On the other hand, if a HE round penitrated the oil bunker, that would be a different matter.

Oil burns at a slow rate, with a high temperature, and like Rubber, its chemical composition emits very dense particals,
and the quanity, and mass of oil bunkers on board a ship are inherantly large, a fire in this location, would probably engulf the ship to the exstent that any enemy firing upon it, would probadly be unable to score any "Aimed" shots.

If a shell penitrates a turret, the asbestos plus any cordite in the turret at the time of impact, would burn hot enough, quick enough, and dense enough to emit very heavy particals, for a large enough smoke trail to be seen. -heavier than what is portrayed in the aforementioned screenshots.

In short the screenshots of the example subject -The Bismarck, the smoke looks about right, depending on what is simulated to be burning, if the simulation even goes to that depth of physical programming. But!!! Im no expert, and my findings are based solely on my own "limited" knowledge.

Xanthippus
09-07-2004, 05:00 PM
All interesting and nicely explained points.

Although when you say the smoke on the Bismarck looks about right, it appears that there is hardly any, despite 5 red glows (although hard to say if these are instant hit graphics or smouldering previous hits).

But let us not focus on the Bismarck, the point was a general one, out of all the footage i have seen, and applying your logic that certain materials would indeed produce a fair amount of smoke, i have yet to see what i would consider anything more then distinctly average smoke emissions from any ship.

finchOU
09-07-2004, 08:30 PM
lets see a shot of a tanker burning!!! That would put an end to it whether the smoke effect is enough.

http://www.crt.state.la.us/crt/tourism/lawwii/courier_articles/img_Benjamin_Brewster.htm

Xanthippus
09-08-2004, 05:03 AM
Agreed need to see an extreme example to be sure they have modelled this effect, although if it is in there somewhere i hope they apply it a little more liberally then they have done thus far.

Shan_Hackett
09-08-2004, 08:14 AM
A perfect example of Oil burning. nice pic!

Burning Merchant (http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/tanker_broken_back_comp_s.jpg)

Burning Merchant#2 (http://www.silent-hunteriii.com/ss/the_red_ensign_comp_s.jpg)

The screensshots for these presumably early Alpha shots, depicts a reasonable image of smoke emmision. although looking over the entire list of screenshots once more, i do have to say, the smoke, varys very little in color, but the overall density looks "OK".

Xanthippus
09-08-2004, 09:04 AM
Again, those screen shots seem to show nothing special to me, the smoke doesn't 'bellow' but instead it looks like a large fire which has just been put out with a load of water and the result is a pale, sooty haze.

AnalysisMan
09-08-2004, 09:08 AM
My question on this topic of smoke is actually :

Will the destroyers etc use smoke screens?

This was a very widely used tactic in sea battles to prevent the other ship from obtaining an acurate range and bearing on the vessel.

Would make it damn near impossible to range it with a periscope if they know a sub is in the water and produce smoke.

Xanthippus
09-08-2004, 10:21 AM
Given the number of surface units there will be in this game i think it would be a good feature to include.

Don't know if it happened all that often with U-boats though, or at least i can't recall any examples where i've read about it.

On reflection, i would assume the tactic wasn't really needed (although this is me making an educated assumption).

1. Surprise is a U-boats greatest weapon, so why would you make lots of smoke (and possibly make it easier for other U-boats to spot the convoy) if your not sure one in near-by. If you have spotted one then the chances are torpedoes have already been fired, or that the U-boat is no longer in a position to make a successful attack as it is forced to dive out of range given its imminent attack, so why make smoke?

2. Along the lines of number 1, while a smoke screen may be useful, given the proximity that a U-boat would have to be in to pose a threat you would in effect have to release a smoke screen 'on top' of the convoy, possibly posing a greater risk to the merchantmen then any torpedo would, given the huge risk of collison that would exist between the ungainly merchant ships.

The main reason that smoke screens are more applicable to surface ships is that they pose a danger at a far greater range and thus you would be able to place a smoke screen slightly further away from the merchantmen without endangering them but still protecting them.

Shan_Hackett
09-08-2004, 10:32 AM
Agree on "Smoke Screens" to combat U-Boats. I haven't come across many examples of smoke screens to deter a U-Boat attrack, although i have read several examples of escorts using a smoke screen to evade "After" an attack has despersed a convoy, but thoses were rare, and as mentioned, smoke screens were more effective against the long range guns of surface raiders.

Xanthippus
09-08-2004, 11:32 AM
ah, i've put my finger on it, the more i look at the smoke from damaged/sinking ships the more i think it's basically the same smoke pattern (but multiplied some) that they've got set for normal smoke emissions coming from ships under-way. Looks very similar (if not identical).

Now that can't be right? I hope that they can do better in this area, given that they seem to be excelling in others.

Shan_Hackett
09-08-2004, 11:50 AM
After u mentioned it in this whole thread i went back and re-examined the screenshots, and yes! smoke effects from boiler rooms (Ships under steam!) and damage effects look identical, but to be fair -and optomistic, those screenshots r getting old now, and may have been cleaned up, redone, changed.

With all the suggestions, moanings, and threats not to purchase the game if that, is or other features not implimented, (I included, if there was no dynamic campaign would not buy, and convince other parties to also not purchase)I wouldn't be surprised if the whole overall look of the game, hasn't mutated somewhat.
But there is very little new visual udates, i guess one has to be exact in their request...

SailorSteve
09-08-2004, 03:57 PM
Also, if they have included a fair amount of modability it will be simple enough for people to change the smoke files; just look at the original SHII vs. the Vickers' Mods.

Of course, I too would prefer if it was the way we'd like it right out of the box.

______________________________

The poster said "Join The Navy, See The World". So I did, and I'm here to tell you, the world is flat and blue.

Xanthippus
09-08-2004, 07:54 PM
Ya, certainly would not stop me buying this game, far to many good/excellant features that have been done thus far. Just a case of pointing out one area that i think would be a justifiable area to spend a little more time, but of course the game is still many months away from completion (something of a mixed blessing) and no doubt many aspects will be improved so i've no intention to be to harsh, expect for pointing out that i believe this area needs to be worked on.

Joe the Killerman
09-09-2004, 04:12 PM
Ships shinking in many different ways are more interesting for me than smoke. I prefeer to see from time to time a cargo ship breaking in two or falling to one side rather than to care for an overrealistic smoke partern. :P

Das Panzerkunst!

KL.Schuhart
09-09-2004, 05:20 PM
Do not forget the videocard / cpu processing power that realistic smoke needs.
Smoke is definitely a must and should indeed be different according to ship type. But what about fire, on the water, burning ships that do not sink, and debris, like cardboard boxes.

Ok I hope I'm not getting too far of the matter.

KL. Schuhart

one.zero
09-09-2004, 05:54 PM
This topic appears to be very well studied at present. I must also agree with the position that smoke from ships in the preview photos is insufficient at best. Burning ships bellow smoke, just look at any burning naval vessel photos from WWII or for that matter even the Forrestal Carrier.

Bottom line, the smoke effects on burning ships should equal or exceed that of the SHII smoke mod, which is very realisitic with the layering effect at high altitudes and thermoclines.

Development team....lets get more smoke rolling on those damaged ships..if possible.

thanks...

one.zero

AnalysisMan
09-10-2004, 05:43 AM
Back to the smoke screen part of the thread http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I fully appreciate the points listed as to why smoke screens would not have been used against u-boats, but when you come accross a sea battle going on between surface ships - it would be nice to see the smoke screens, and it would make it more difficult for you to help out your German Destroyer friend. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Joe the Killerman
09-10-2004, 06:19 AM
But a sub has a very short range. In a naval battle, where ships are suposed to sail at least at 20 knots, your meager 7 knots speeds make you unable to get a target unless it passes near to you -less than 4000 meters. At this distance, you can get acurate bearings to send a couple of fishes to this ship!

I think scarce subs were able to see a naval battle. Mainly because they were in short numbers during the first years -when last big naval battles happened.

Das Panzerkunst!

Shan_Hackett
09-10-2004, 09:41 AM
A convoy could only transit as fast as the "Slowest" ship in the group.

The RCN -Royal Canadian Navy- maintained specific records of the HX and SC convoy series, including in almost all instances the average speed of individual convoys.
From these records it is possible to state that the average speed of the HX series for 1940 was "8.08 knots". In 1941, "7.56 knots" increasing to "8.98 knots", when the offical transit speed was set to "10 knots". In 1942 the average was "8.95 knots"; 1943, "9.15 knots"; 1944, "8.81 knots" and 1945, "9.24 knots".( HX convoys were designated as "Fast Convoys") The drop in HX speeds for 1944 is explicable by the suspension of the SC series (Designated as "Slow Convoys") and the inclusion of these slower ships into the HX convoys. This resulted from the need to reduce convoys during the mid year to release Escort Groups to protect the Normandy landings.

The equivalent figures for the slower SC series were; 1940, "6.67 knots"; 1941, "6.49 knots"; 1942, "6.84 knots"; 1943, "7.32 knots"; 1944, "7.44 knots" and 1945, "7.64 knots".

Ships that could make 15 knots or more were routed as "Indipendents", on the basis that they were capable of evading submarine attack.

In November 1940 the minimum speed to qualify as an independent was reduced to 13 knots. It became clear in May 1941 that the reduction in speed of independents in the North Atlantic had increased the loss ratio of such ships, against that for convoys, by between 250 and 300%

The 15 knot minimum was re-introduced on 18 June 1941 and led to a rapid reduction in interceptions and loss of independents. In 1943, when fast tanker convoys of some 18 knots were instituted by the USN on the Atlantic crossing, other vessels capable of upto 20 knots were included in such convoys wherever possible. Although these ships were few in numbers.

Initialy, in the case of the OA, OB and OG convoys, the convoy speed was set at 6 knots due to the small size and the age of many of the vessels. It was felt that this was acceptable in view of the short duration of the escorted passage. By early 1940 the speeds for these convoys, except in isolated cases, had risen to that of the SC series, and every effort was made to increase this wherever possible.
At this time neutral ships, which were trading on British behalf, also joined the convoy system. The lower limit for speed in all outward oceanic convoys was eventually set at a nominal 7.5 knots and ships unable to to make this speed, had perforce to proceed indepedently at their own risk. Coastal convoys were of course often slower than this. With the introduction of the ON series, eastbound Atlantic convoys alternated between minimum speeds of 7.5 knots and 9 knot; this arrangement continued until the start of the ONS series in 1943, thereafter all ON convoys had a minimum speed of 9 knots.

Infact, the service speed of many freighters and tankers constructed in the 1920's and '30's was of the order of 10 to 12 knots, tramps some 2 to 3 knots less. This simple fact made organization of convoy series with speed differentials inevitable.

In general the speed of advance, i.e. the average daily rate of progress, of a convoy was approximately 1 knot less than nominal speed. This was due to course alterations, corrections, "Zigzagging", weather and the state of a ships' hull and machinery. In the case of westbound vessels, headwinds and the large number of vessels in ballast were significant factors in below nominal speed transits.