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Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

An exciting "new" option in FlightGear, that includes reflections, lightmaps, the particle system etc.. A lot is yet to be discovered/implemented!

Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Imran Anees » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:29 am

I was wondering whether the graphics of the simulator can be improved? You may have seen how realistic Blender can render. It looks really great! Well, I want to know whether it is possible to take the current graphics in Flightgear to the next level. Like other simulators like P3D has great graphics. I was wondering whether we can do this in our sim too.

Regards, Imran
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Catalanoic » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:22 pm

First check whats has been done in FG relative to your "graphic" wishes , later try to know what you like to see in FG to be improved, then learn how to get it there with or without the community help and only at the end you can compare it to other sims, not before. Without objectives, general questions and not finite points to work we can't help, sorry. This isn't new, a lot of people pop threads and discussions here without working or doing anymore.
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby CaptB » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:41 pm

You are mixing things. What Blender does is not realtime. As to P3D, do not mix texture quality and overall polish with the engine's capabilities.
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Thorsten » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:42 pm

Well, I want to know whether it is possible to take the current graphics in Flightgear to the next level


Most of the capabilities which the effect framework supplies aren't widely used, i.e. the simulator can render much better than it is usually run.

Most of what's missing is artwork - graphics needs textures, lightmaps, normal maps,... and one main difference between FG and a commercial sim is that a commercial sim has an art department.
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Imran Anees » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:27 pm

@Thorsten

Thorsten wrote in Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:42 pm:
Well, I want to know whether it is possible to take the current graphics in Flightgear to the next level


Most of the capabilities which the effect framework supplies aren't widely used, i.e. the simulator can render much better than it is usually run.

Most of what's missing is artwork - graphics needs textures, lightmaps, normal maps,... and one main difference between FG and a commercial sim is that a commercial sim has an art department.


Does that mean if I create great models and realistic textures and I configure the light maps properly, then I would get a better result? Or is there something else I need to do?

@Catalonic
Sorry. I know that I shouldn't be asking about these stuff, but firstly, I currently don't have a working PC in order to do that and secondly, I was just curious to know.

Thanks, Imran
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby wlbragg » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:00 pm

Does that mean if I create great models and realistic textures and I configure the light maps properly, then I would get a better result?

Yes, at least partly. While plenty of time has been put into the graphic resources of our scenery, there is plenty of room for improvement. It takes time and artists.
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Johan G » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:17 pm

Imran Anees wrote in Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:29 am:You may have seen how realistic Blender can render. It looks really great! Well, I want to know whether it is possible to take the current graphics in FlightGear to the next level.

I am quite happy that you did not not ask for ray tracing, but more or less for improved artwork. :D

A lot like light maps, the cockpit mask used by ALS and possibly ambient occlusion can be prepared in advance so that FlightGear do not have to be concern with those at run time.

While a lot of the techniques used to create artwork, weathering liveries and interiors etc. can (and frankly should) be borrowed from both 3D artistry and real artwork like movie prop replication, decoration and weathering (see for example Tested - One Day Builds: Adam Savage Demonstrates Weathering Tricks, 31 min YouTube clip), some things are really hard to get to the level of a really good ray traced image. In particular at 60 frames per second. ;) Looking at topics now and then at blenderartists.org one realizes that large images of complicated scenes can take several hours to render, yet still need some touching up for the extra "sparkles" after that.
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby adam_one » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:56 pm

Catalanoic wrote in Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:22 pm:First check whats has been done in FG relative to your "graphic" wishes , later try to know what you like to see in FG to be improved, then learn how to get it there with or without the community help and only at the end you can compare it to other sims, not before. Without objectives, general questions and not finite points to work we can't help, sorry. This isn't new, a lot of people pop threads and discussions here without working or doing anymore.

That was a very useful statement.
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Johan G » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:55 am

+1 :)
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby erik » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:45 pm

I finally made some time to add some effects to my models and applying the reflection shader to you favorite aircraft makes a huge difference in visual appearance. In particular the PC-9M nos has a nice glossy finish.

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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby erik » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:54 pm

Image
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Clive2670 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:40 pm

It's all ok wanting "top drawer" graphics if you have a machine with, lets say, a (true) quad core (or above) processor, a TOP end graphics card with up to 8Gb of onboard RAM, 16 or even 32Gb of system RAM. But then this will push out others that like flightgear for what it is FREE and open for most people with an average to slightly above average machine to fly with. My personal point of view is, if you want all "eye candy" go out and buy one of the other SO CALLED simulators that offer you all the high end eye candy stuff, but are no where as accurate in thier simulation properties, as flightgear is!!! I find that when I am cruising at FL370 I really don't see an awful lot of eye candy just wispy clouds and the odd AI or Multiplayer. My machine really complains if I turn all the shaders over to full, Real time weather enabled, have AI on, Multiplayer, and rembrandt as well, This is without terrasync enabled, as I have the complete World downloaded from Tarramaster 1.4 and it fetches "just in time" I get about 12 - 20 FPS. I would hate to think how much my FPS would fall through the floor with the extra eye candy added. I am more than happy with the way things are with flightgear at present. As the old saying goes " If it ain't broke...don't fix it!!!"
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Thorsten » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:33 pm

My machine really complains if I turn all the shaders over to full, Real time weather enabled, have AI on, Multiplayer, and rembrandt as well,


I guess the answer is simple - just don't turn all shaders to full. It's configurable for that very reason, and as long as it is, no one gets pushed out by adding things at the high end.
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby Clive2670 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:24 pm

Agreed Thorsten, But my point mainly was, I think we all would love the "top drawer" graphics within Flightgear wouldn't we, But it is maybe a few (selfish) people that have the dogs b******s machines that want this sort of rendering, They don't care about people with fairly "normal" machines with a normal amout of processing power, graphics power or RAM power, because their machines are able to run so "they want". Flightgear as we know is for all, not the (richest) few who can afford to spend thousands on a gaming machine. Also like I put if those people want the eye candy rather than realism, they need to move elsewhere!!!
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Re: Flightgear: Photorealistic Rendering

Postby bugman » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:28 pm

Clive, do you see a better frame rate if you use ALS rather than Rembrandt? ALS (atmospheric light scattering) gives you a much more realistic view of the world from up high, as it mimics the real physics of our atmosphere. Note this is not photo-realistic, but eye-realistic. What you see in a photo is often not what your eye will see, and the aim of ALS is to give you what you would see, not what a camera in HDR, timelapse, or other mode would capture.

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