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GUI text not visible

Graphics issues like: bad framerates, weird colors, OpenGL errors etc. Bad graphics ar usually the result of bad graphics cards or drivers.
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GUI text not visible

Postby Derek_cz » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:42 pm

I already know that the issue is my GPU. I found many discussions regarding the topic, but they always ended with the statement "it's your GPU" and no tip on how to fix it.
So now I wonder, is this even fixable?

Image

PC specs:
AMD Athlon X4 880K 4x4GHz
Sapphire Radeon RX470 8GB
8GB DDR3 RAM

Also, I know it doesn't really belong in this topic, but I seem to lack sound of the engines when in helicopter view (I hear only alerts and callouts).
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby wkitty42 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:14 pm

Derek_cz wrote in Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:42 pm:but they always ended with the statement "it's your GPU" and no tip on how to fix it.

generally speaking, "to fix it" you simply replace the GPU with a better one... this is much much easier to do in a desktop machine...
some laptops have two GPUs... a default low end one and a higher end one... i do not know if the higher end ones can be replaced and upgraded or not...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Derek_cz » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:28 pm

wkitty42 wrote in Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:14 pm:... "to fix it" you simply replace the GPU ...


I see, yes... It's not like I do not know how to replace a GPU, it's just, ya'know, as a student I don't have much income and that $500 computer is pretty much the pinnacle of what I could afford at the time

EDIT: it is a desktop machine, and runs pretty much even the latest games fine. I also have a dual core celeron laptop with no graphics card, and it displays the text well
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Thorsten » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:58 pm

It appears to be a resource allocation thing by the driver

* try playing with the renderer, lowering quality level usually makes more text visible
* try playing with the menu theme, has worked for some
* try up/down grading GPU driver, maybe there's a sweet spot
* canvas rather than PUI also solves your thing, there's an experimental pui2canvas module which renders you something for many dialogs, although it ain't pretty
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby wkitty42 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:35 pm

Derek_cz wrote in Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:28 pm:I see, yes... It's not like I do not know how to replace a GPU, it's just, ya'know, as a student I don't have much income

i fully understand... i'm 50+, not a student, and have zero income at this time :|

Derek_cz wrote in Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:28 pm:and that $500 computer is pretty much the pinnacle of what I could afford at the time

i have similar... my first video card was a $30US NVIDIA GeForce GT730 w/ 1Gig RAM on-board... i got another one a year or so later with 2Gig RAM on-board... it was only $60US... both of them generally give me 15 to 30 FPS depending on where i'm flying and how detailed the scenery is... when i started, 10 FPS was quite common for my system... see my profile for my system details...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Richard » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:26 am

Derek_cz wrote in Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:42 pm:I already know that the issue is my GPU. I found many discussions regarding the topic, but they always ended with the statement "it's your GPU" and no tip on how to fix it.
So now I wonder, is this even fixable?


There is a known problem with certain/most/all AMD GPUs. I've spent days trying to fix but currently the only solution to this is to use "cycle-gui" on the Debug menu.

If you can't see this option because there is no text on the menus you can try your luck (it's the last entry on the debug menu which is usually the second or third menu item from the right), or exit FG using ESCAPE and then RETURN;

use windows explorer, type %APPDATA%\FlightGear.org into the path; find the autosave.xml that matches your version of FG, open this file with notepad and find the following lines

Code: Select all
    <gui>
      <current-style type="int">1</current-style>


change them to
Code: Select all
    <gui>
      <current-style type="int">0</current-style>
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Hooray » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:25 am

Richard is correct, it's as simple as changing the default UI style.
Note that we implemented very simple (using Nasal) heuristics to detect intel chipsets and show custom settings in the rendering.xml dialog (a few years ago actually)
Something like that should also work to automatically detect AMD/ATI cards and programmatically select an appropriate style.

In the meantime, using --prop: should work just as well

The Canvas stuff mentioned above is not really a solution as things are standing now, because it's really just proof-of-concept and hasn't been maintained in years, since it didn't seem very popular at the time.
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby wkitty42 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:37 am

so i'm guessing... add the following to the command line or to the launcher's Additional Settings?

--prop:/sim/gui/current-style=0

since "/gui" only contains "map" and that doesn't seem to be related to the menu format... i'm guessing that this one property is all that is needed to switch between Tortola and Anthrax styles? i don't see any noticeable difference when i manually change this property in the property tree... is something else required to trigger the visual change?
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Derek_cz » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:32 pm

Richard wrote in Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:26 am:
Code: Select all
    <gui>
      <current-style type="int">1</current-style>


change them to
Code: Select all
    <gui>
      <current-style type="int">0</current-style>


That solved it, thanks! And a pleasant side effect seems to be that buildings now render correctly as well
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Hooray » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:52 pm

wkitty42 wrote in Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:37 am:is something else required to trigger the visual change?


this is a change that must happen at init time, or the sim/gui subsystem needs to be re-inited (fgcommand re-init)
It should be pretty straightforward to do this sort of thing with a handful lines of code using Nasal.
We implemented Nasal space subsystem re-initialization support roughly ~5 years ago in some branch called "init nasal earlier" in response to James asking for that at the time, because he wanted to use Nasal/PUI for rendering a launcher-like UI prior to the rest of the sim being available. Obviously, priorities have changed over time since then, nevertheless, it's still perfectly possible to detect and change fgfs defaults accordingly, in line with the GPU vendor found.

I am not very familiar with the effects subsystem, so I believe that someone like Thorsten would be in a better position to judge if any of the following makes sense or not, but as far as I remember, effects can contain heuristics in the form of so called "predicates", so that might be another way to dynamically detect/change certain default settings "on demand".
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Richard » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:59 pm

Derek_cz wrote in Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:32 pm:That solved it, thanks! And a pleasant side effect seems to be that buildings now render correctly as well


The buildings is probably an unrelated happy accident.

wkitty42 wrote in Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:37 am:so i'm guessing... add the following to the command line or to the launcher's Additional Settings?


You can set the property from the command line, but you can't just set once running without doing some other things to get it to switch. I have managed to force a reload of the xml and getting the GUI to switch style from Nasal, but that was when I was developing Tortola, and I can't remember the magic now. I just replicated what cycle-gui does.
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby wkitty42 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:10 pm

yeah, i found that out the hard way the other day... i had set the property to 0 and forgot about it... when i restarted FG, it used the 0 theme... the problem then was how to switch it back... i set the property to 1, exited FG properly, restarted and we were back in theme 0... i finally had to add my property line above to the launcher's Additional Settings page and force it to 1... then FG would restart in the default theme 1...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby V12 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:46 am

Try disable antialias.
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Re: GUI text not visible

Postby Imran Anees » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:16 am

I have the exact same problem. My system runs a Radeon RX 560. I can report that it is caused due to poor memory allocation of the GPU. Lesser quality results showing the menu bar, try disabling ALS and it would show.

The cycle-gui works perfectly. This is only found on AMD choosers not on Nvidia or Intel chipsets.
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