Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Darkest Night

Sergio is on the blog now! Sergio is the Godfather of global scenery; his immense and tireless work very much make the global scenery what it is. Without him all we have is a huge pile of triangles.

Massimo and Cristianno also work on the artwork for the globabl scenery and have put in long hours and really gone the extra mile working on the artwork. To appreciate what the three amici have done, try viewing the raw PNG files from the scenery and witness the care, detail artistry and precision of their work.

[EDIT -- this bug is fixed in X-Plane 8.30. so the following only applies to older versions of the sim.]
On to the night...this is a bug that gets reported at least once a day: as it gets darker in X-Plane, lights appear on the cities - a few at a time, then more - then poof! They all disappear and everything goes black!

You may notice that if you turn off both the landing and taxi lights then the city lights come back on again. What's going on?

Well, this bug has been in X-Plane since the landing light was first introduced, and it's actually a limitation: X-Plane cannot draw the night lighting overlays and the landing light at the same time because the landing light code was written years ago for older, less powerful graphics hardware. Before we had global scenery with lit cities and night, this was annoying but relatively unnoticable. Now that the cities are bright at night, this limitation is very clear.

Perhaps it can be fixed -- I don't know for sure; I am working with this code now. I can tell you this though: if you have older hardware (GeForce 2, GeForce 4 MX, Rage 128, ATI Radeon 7000, maybe a few others) then it cannot be fixed for you - your card doesn't have power to draw the effect correctly. If you have a newer card (GeForce FX, 6000 or 7000 series, ATI Radeon 9000 series, or Radeon "x" series) you should be able to use a fix if we can develop one. In the middle are cards whose capabilities I don't know off hand.

1 comment:

James Good said...

Great blog Ben, very interesting to read for someone who loves X-Plane! I was wondering about the night lights issue.

I just bought a 250GB drive, and Radeon X700Pro for my X-Plane today. Looking forwards to much flying over your scenery.

Thanks for all your hard work.

-James.