Friday, September 20, 2013

Steve's DX10 SceneryFixer released!

[FS Utilities] Steven Parson has finally released his long awaited DX10 Scenery Fixer for FSX. The aim of the product is to resolve the issues that cause some add on scenery to appear grey in Microsoft Flight Simulator X DX10 Preview mode. It can also assist with add on aircraft that similarly appear grey but support in this case is more limited and has limitations when it comes to night lighting. Additionally it bundles all the DX10 fixes that have been published to the Avsim Library into a combined easy to install package. This includes the flashing runway fix, disappearing bridges fix, Virtual Cockpit shadow, performance improvements and more. Thanks to Laurent Billault for the tipoff!

Legacy Scenery
The scenery that appears grey always does so from dusk till dawn, it appears normal during daylight hours. Scenery that behaves in this manner uses the FS8 BGL format rather than the XML BGL format introduced for FS9 and FSX. This older scenery format is sometimes called ASM or SCASM. Although it is a legacy file format many scenery designers continue to prefer it even for new FSX scenery as it gives more conditional control of when objects are drawn. Throughout this manual I will refer to this style of scenery as legacy to distinguish it from scenery that uses the FSX SDK.

Legacy Aircraft
Aircraft that use the FS8 BGL format in their model typically appear grey all the time. FS8 aircraft may separately have issues with incompatible textures which cause small elements such as wheels to be missing altogether. Throughput this manual I will refer to these aircraft as legacy aircraft to distinguish them from aircraft that use the FSX SDK.

Bundled Fixes
  • Progressive Taxi
  • Improved VC Shadows
  • Bridges Appear at Night
  • Runways that don't Flicker
  • Water Tone Closer to DX9
New Fixes
  • Rain/Snow Similar to DX9
  • Hight Definition Jet VC Shadows
  • Red Lattice Towers
  • FTX Global Lights
Important Note
The tool works around flaws that exist in the flight simulator core software. Not every DX10 issue can be fixed. I have selected what I believe to be the best compromises. In particular if a legacy scenery does not currently work during the day with the Avsim patches installed then DX10SceneryFixer will not make it work. If a legacy scenery does not completely work then I am sorry but there is little more that can be done.

System Requirements:
Windows Vista, 7/8, 32/64 bit. Windows XP not supported.


Unknown said...

wow great news!

this could be a major turn point for fsx community.. finally!

Unknown said...

Great news! Does this mean that developers like Orbx will fix all of their current scenery that is presently still not working properly in DX10 even with this DX10 SceneryFixer? I have read that Orbx Southhampton has major runway lighting issues even with the DX10 SceneryFixer from Steve.

And if Steve has managed to fix the black boxes from the vector lights that appear in FTX Global when using DX10, why is there still no free DX10 fix available for this from Orbx?

Does John Venema expect us to pay for additional software to fix FTX Global that was released as being fully DX10 compatible?

Kevin Firth said...

Thanks for making others like me aware of the continuing issue, but wouldn't you be better posing the questions in the OrbX forum ? I'd rather not have the reintroduced comments start up again as a blunt instrument to have a go at developers. If you could post the link to the info about Southampton people may find that interesting and factual, but please address complaints or criticism to the actual developers as its only them that can make alterations! :)

Unknown said...

I wish he could fix the tool-tips.. for some, like me, it's a bit hard without them.

Matthias, you should read the entire post on steve's blog. He explains why orbx couldn't do it. Above all, I think no one can blame devs for the broken dx10 mode. Steve goes further and admits his fix is not 100% solution. He does however, offer solution for devs who want to assure their add-ons will be dx10 compatible. With the method explained and his fix, future can be bright, at least until p3d 2.0 with full dx11 support is out.

Anyway, we will only know the extent of the fix until some time passes and users start sharing experiences.

The 'beta' test starts now! ;)

Unknown said...

I'm sure Orbx were given a copy of this DX10 fixer ahead of release. One can only hope that Orbx will start fixing their scenery that isn't DX10 compatible without people having to constantly complain and remind them that they need fixing.

Today I purchased KBZN and even with that scenery there are severe issues in DX9, the whole airport shimmers like crazy. Maybe in DX10 it would be different, but I personally do not use DX10 at present, as I'm not willing to spend money on something that Orbx should fix for free.

Unknown said...

Charles, shimmering can be caused by incorrect antialiasing settings in inspector (assuming you use nvidia and has a mid-end gpu or above). Usually, it's not a scenery specific problem.

To avoid shimmering, you need to set AA mode to 4xS (or 8xS) and transparency AA to 4x SGSS (short for Sparse Grid Super Sampling). The two combined should give you sweet looking, and shimmering free visuals.

Unknown said...

I have the exact same problem as Charles described. I'm sure that if his settings were all wrong, then other airports would shimmer too and in another thread he said that none of the other Orbx airports he has shimmer.

I too have lots of other add-on airports including some from Orbx and none of them shimmer like the new KBZN. There is definitely an issue with KBNZ and I hope Orbx will fix it asap.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

The good news is that this fixes many sceneries. The sad news is that many of the best sceneries like FlyTampa Dubai and LH Simulations Budapest are still not fully working with this. I just bought the Budapest scenery and while the runway and taxiway lighting is great, the night textures of the apron are absolutely not working:

The shimmering at Orbx KBZN on my system seems to be present with fence type structures that have some sort of mesh or fine detail such as aerials. I made a small video to illustrate this:

Another big problem at KBZN is the night lighting of the runway and taxiways, where the light glow is way too exaggerated and appears much too big:

Orbx should take each of their developers on a night flight so that they can get a better idea of what runways look like at night. If there is one developer that almost constantly gets the night time approach, runway and taxiway lighting wrong, then it's Orbx. Alternatively Orbx should buy a copy of LH Simulations Budapest airport scenery, for if ever there was an example of perfect approach, runway and taxiway lighting, that would be it.

Unknown said...

The main reason we developers still use the 'old' fs8 code is because it allows for conditional tweaking as Steve says but also because the 'better' FSX XML code which we all want to use causes flickering on the ground polys, which only can either be solved by a patch from MS or doing some fancy stuff a developer out there does which is not available to us.

As long we have this limitation we will continue to use the old fs8 code.


Kevin Firth said...

Can you explain more what the reference to 'fancy stuff' is please Ricardo? Which developer? And why it's not available to you?

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Sounds to me like the issues described here are due to anti-aliasing not being setup correctly.

I use DX10 and in NV Inspector use 8xS and 8x Sparse Grid Supersampling. In the [Graphics] section of my fsx.cfg file both MultiSamplesPerPixel and MultiSampleQuality are set at 8.

It is imperative that you use the same number for all, as otherwise you will find that fine lines are not being drawn properly, hence the shimmering of fine structures like lines and poles. I have a GTX Titan, if you have a less powerful video card I recommend using 4 instead of 8.

Unknown said...

In my experience DX10 Fixer is a very good working piece of software. The result at my pc - with a Geforce 450 and i7 cpu - is a noticable increase of FPS and an also very visible improvement of visual quality.
I would recommend it very much.

Unknown said...

FSDT uses an interface in order to have the FSX ground poly not flicker. That is a method only available to them because they created that for their products.

However, you can if you wish work it out if the airport is relatively small, since the effect of flickering won't be too much noticed.

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