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Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby wlbragg » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:36 am

Can you show the area around N48.216657 E16.395787? There is the Ferris wheel in Vienna and some roller coaster also.
Its interesting if the algorithm from MS do it better then Google or not.

Nope, at least not in "medium" default resolution. It's not there nor the roller coaster. I flew around for awhile trying to see if maybe it just needed some time to load. But nothing.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby wlbragg » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:34 am

MSFS Yukon River glitches...
I didn't expect to randomly find this many issues. It's not like I went out looking for them. I started from a known dirt runway on the Yukon and this is what I got right out of the gate. Disappointing for sure. There have been some other issues with the aircraft that are not giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling. There is an assist mode that got stuck the very first time I used it. Their mouse controlled view control is really buggy. FG's is much more user friendly.







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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby bugman » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:53 am

That's not a glitch, that the water getting out of your way. You must have been flying too low ;)

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby PINTO » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:43 am

I've been tooling around in the Icon A5, in Eastern Washington/North Idaho, and have been enjoying it quite a bit. Haven't noticed any major terrain anomalies yet. Water landings are quite fun on those mountain lakes :)
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby StuartC » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:18 am

On the Xboc App, its got a 2* rating by the players. Many people are not impressed at all.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby benih » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:19 am

I had the opportunity to have a beautiful low level VFR trip from EDDM to LOWI (via Tegernsee/Achensee) with MSFSs C172S in the max realistic setting. I know that route from personal experience in reality. As comparison i also did the flight in FGFS (with traffic shader and high details).

I only have some very minor negative points to note for the MSFS flight:
  • I was not able to figure out how to fly with the mouse. Glad there was a XBox controller lying around! (Edit: Turns out it's not possible)
  • I was not able to get a list of available inSim frequencies, especially for NDB.
  • When dragging the trim wheel, the text box often hides the trim marker so i can't see where i'm trimming to
  • The electrical system seems to be reduced to the power and avionics switch. No breakers simulated, no overcurrent etc. We already have that for years!
  • The engine simulation seems to be reduced to throttle and mixture parameters. No fuel system simulation apart from the tanks and selector switch. No oil managemet. I did not test if the oil press and temp is simulated right on the basis of real fluid or if the values are just made up for the display. We also have that simulated for years.
  • What i really missed was advanced pre-/postflight checklist stuff like securing or oil management.
  • I'm not sure the turbolences i felt were correct. I had the impression, they were randomly introduced "to make it harder" because of the "realism setting". I have flown with live weather and at the time there were just very minor winds and i would have expected a smooth flight. The turbolences did no change by location, height or time, they really occured randomly to me.

The Flight
Startup procedure was nice, but lacked preflight stuff, so it boiled down to "switch on, prime, start". Priming using the fuel pump and fuel flow readout was simulated properly (oh, btw, the first prime went wrong and i flooded the engine. Remedy actions did not fire the engine as expected from the POH, but cleared the manifold so i could reprime and successfully start the engine). I wanted to listen to ATIS so i get the proper starting runway and weather conditions, but that went wrong: The frequency did not match the one at skyvector.com. I really struggled how to get the right frequencies out and fiddled with the PFD of the G1000. That finally did spit out the tower frequency. Tuning that allowed me to switch COM2 to the ATIS frequency using the ATC dialog, but that experience was inconsistent and i have no idea when it offers me to switch to ATIS and when not. Using the G1000 yielded no way so far to get the frequencies out (but otoh i have no idea how to use that thing properly).
This also restricted my ability to find the proper NDB frequency. I'm glad that was not a problem on this flight.

The following taxi to the runway and takeoff was a cool experience. There was roughness so i could "feel" the asphalt i was rolling on. That added alot to the immersion and fun.

Clouds and weather effects were quite cool. I did fly into the sunset and think the afterglow was a little too exaggerated.
The scenery was very lively and landmarks in munich were very cool to see (BMW tower, Allianz Arena, Olympic park, Frauenkirche, etc). Some other landmarks, like the wind turbine in the north were missing.
It was very easy and visually pleasing to follow the A99/A8 Autobahn to the south and the traffic was lovely to watch. Also railroad tracks were very good to locate.

More south, i have overflown a very small local airport (Warngau), i personally know good. It was not modelled but autogenerated and missed some buildings. But there were planes standing and the runway looked way better than ours (which appears squeezed badly).
A important landmark (a big church on a field) was missing, as well as the radio Tower of Schaftlach, wich is an important landmark for finding the warngau airstrip approach.

Shortly after that i reached Tegernsee. The buildings did not match the real ones but were generic (but nicely looking and detailed!) models; like also in the towns between munich and there. The monastery of Tegernsee was modelled nicely, but some important buildings were missing.
The lake was astounding, and i took a photo with my phone. At first glance you couldn't tell the difference to reality, mostly due to the satellite images driving the mountains textures and lakeside.

The fly trough the mountains was also nice to watch, but thats also the case with FGFS already.

Reaching the Achensee i could clearly identify terrain features, again, because of the sattelite images. The lake again looked awesome.
However, again, the buildings were not the real ones but generic models; some landmark buildings however were correct (like a relatively new indoor swimming pool). What looked nice also was the connection between the river and the lake.
However also major glitch was visible, the road to the east of the Achensee, (a quite important north/south route trough the alps!) was not modelled. It was just the satellite texture which stretched unnaturally at the flank of the mountain, cars driving in the air and into the ground. I would have assumed such an important road to be modelled correctly.

Flying into the Inntal then was a very cool thing (like in FGFS). The Kanzelkehre (a characteristic road bend) was clearly visible and nicely modelled.

The Approach to Innsbruck was cool as expected. The Airport is nicely modeled but the buildings do not match exactly (for example the "Innsbruck" letters are missing).
Taxiing to the parking position was quite fun (as already in munich), i could feel the roughness of the asphalt and really had the feeling of rolling. We should have that roughness feeling with our cessnas as well! That little detail adds so much of the feeling.

After a short real life break (where the sim went on) i could start the engine without priming like expected.

The back flight led me over Bad Tölz, and there also only generic buildings have been placed. Major landmarks like the Kalvarienberg-Kirche were missing.


I really enjoyed the ATC integration. And also the "tune com" feature from that dialog, because i really struggled to use the G1000 (it was my first flight with that thing!).
Regarding the G1000, i missed the leaning assistant, but leaning using the EGT was easily possible.
The integrated autopilot worked somewhere south of munich, but was easily screwd by the "live pause" feature. After resuming the autopilot was so confused i had to turn it off. After that he regularly tried very hard to kill me, but i'm unsure yet if that was a pilot error on my side (i set the heading bug be 12'clock; then engaged HDG+AP and the plane immediately turned very sharp left (would say >60° bank angle!) and trimmed all the way down. This was every time i turned on AP... i really have to investigate that using the garmin manual and our implementation).


Conclusion
As expected already beforehand i think FGFS wins the race in the deep simulation detail but looses on the graphics effects side.
But the potential is definitely there to catch up a bit!

Most of the "wow" effect (in my opinion) was detailed scenery combined with satellite images. Some minor details like vibrations from the engine and roughness from the asphalt really added to the feeling. The (random?) turbolences/shakings removed the "on rails" feeling i often have when flying in FGFS.
The water is really transparent, most notably on the lakesides. This yielded a smooth transition between land and water, which really added to the "wow" of the scenery.
The satellite imaginery made the land seamless. there were no sharp transitions between land classes like we currently have. That really was a huge difference, also on the small airports i have overflown, that appear as rectangle meadows clearly distinct from the surroundings in FGFS.
While not critical to VFR (in FGFS i can easily navigate here) it really made it more easy and visually pleasing.


On to the horizon
Buildings. As much effort as the osm2city project has done, our generic models for buildings are still low detailed. We might increase the detail of the generic buildings in osm2city, specially roofs.

Is there any tutorial/guide on how to do that?

our art is at the bottom of what it could be and it is still pretty damn good. With that I really mean it's it is about the least we can do. We all know we need more of it.

Is there any tutorial/guide on how to do that?


I think we could make a huge difference, when our landclasses would feature some overlap and transition instead of the sharp edges we have now; specially on the border land/water. The trick MSFS2020 does is to have a sattelite shoreline and a transparent water surface for the lights effect. Combine that and you have first class shore lines (the sat image takes care of the "invisible/dark blue" ground, and also for nice shallow water effects). The drawback is some artifacts, like "sunken" ships or piers like visible at the Achensee (Geißalm/west side), but that's a good tradeoff in my opinion.
Also, we should in my opinion rework the trees texture. Currently they have a bright edge and that looks somewhat unnaturally/gamey/2000ish on low altitude.

I feel we need a coordinated community effort to do those things. I think we need clear guides/todo's on how to add to the scenery graphics to make it way more easy to start. I certainly would, and so would others (as i guess from the various forum posts on that subject).
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby stuart » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:24 pm

Hi benih,

(I'd be interested to see how their G1000 simulation compares with the FG1000, but I think you'd need quite deep familiarity with the Garmin manuals to determine which is correct.)

Regarding improving the generic building textures, have a look at both Docs/README.materials, and also Docs/buildings.png which shows how the texture should be laid out. That will affect both the smaller osm2city buildings and the "random buildings" feature.

The file you need to modify is Textures/buildings.png. Once you've got a set of textures you are happy with, you can modify Textures/buildings-lightmap.png to match up and show the lighting properly. Then add it to the appropriate regional materials definition.

Let me know if you need anything else.

-Stuart

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby benih » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:27 pm

stuart wrote in Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:24 pm:Hi benih,
Let me know if you need anything else.
-Stuart


Hi Stuart, some kind of manual would be good. What software should i use?
Where do i hand in my results?
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby islandmonkey » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:21 pm

ludomotico wrote in Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:40 am:- Buildings. As much effort as the osm2city project has done, our generic models for buildings are still low detailed. We might increase the detail of the generic buildings in osm2city, specially roofs.


And not to mention for starters the Z-fighting that happens on many building textures.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby wlbragg » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:45 pm

Water landings are quite fun on those mountain lakes

Was that a joke or did I miss an aircraft option somewhere along the way?

That's not a glitch, that the water getting out of your way. You must have been flying too low

Ah, good thinking!
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby wlbragg » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:47 pm

This is excruciatingly slow when trying to check out different aircraft and different locations. I'm spending much time in loading screens. I might as well be developing on the Shuttle.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby benih » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:00 pm

The loading times are really horrible.

Today i checked the autopilot issue i had and in my view it is a little buggy. Heading mode did work very well today, but at one time we activated alt hold mode wuch resulted in a Immediate mistrimmed plane and therefore nosedive. It looks like there is no servo simulation and the trim wheel insta-flips to the max mistrim setting.
Otherwise the alt hold mode and also interceptions were nicely working.

The G1000 is very nicely modeled in my opinion, and readability is better as the FG1000 one. I did not test every feature but the ones i tested were working according what i have read in the manual.


I also ein the engine on 100% power on the ground with several minutes in critical oil temp.
The numbers are made up and simulated just for display. Overheating the oil was without consequences so far.

I also checked the flooded engine procedure. The motor won’t ignite, and as soon as you have mixture in and try to start, the motor fires.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby PINTO » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:17 pm

wlbragg wrote in Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:45 pm:Was that a joke or did I miss an aircraft option somewhere along the way?


The Icon A5 is amphibious and can do water landings. This pic was from my flight yesterday. I landed at Marshall Lake in Washington

Image

Edit to add that the GPS unit (a garmin tablet?) is pretty nice in the Icon A5. It has the 3D view and map, and you can plan an entire flight with it in-sim. No idea how full featured it is compared to reality though. Definitely not as full featured as the (F)G1000.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby wlbragg » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:23 am

Thanks PINTO, I can't wait to get home and try it.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator returns to the skies

Postby stuart » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:07 pm

benih wrote in Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:27 pm:
stuart wrote in Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:24 pm:Hi benih,
Let me know if you need anything else.
-Stuart


Hi Stuart, some kind of manual would be good. What software should i use?
Where do i hand in my results?


It's just a case of editing the .png file, so you can use whatever tool you wish (Gimp?). Probably worth using layers.

Just email me the results, or create a merge request on fgdata.

if you have any questions, just let me know. It would be great to have more building textures, particularly as they will be used for the osm2city scenery.

-Stuart
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