Tuesday, March 11, 2008

X-Plane 9: What Comes Next

X-Plane 9.00 is going to be going final pretty soon - we're on RCs right now. But this is hardly the end of the road; rather it's the first step for a number of new development areas. What comes next?

Tools: I am working on tools releases now; a few users already have alpha copies of MeshTool. My hope is to have some new tools posted tomorrow, with more by the end of the week

More rendering engine/shader work: X-Plane 9 only begins some of the shader work we want to do; more engine enhancements will be coming in 910. Like 9.00, more advanced rendering will consume more hardware, and will be scalable via rendering settings.

Systems and Airplane SDK: X-Plane 9 introduced a lot of new features for airplane modeling, but there's still more to do. I hope to have the panel region system and advanced lighting options all fleshed out for 9.10. Austin is doing a lot of work on systems modeling. We'll be making more new airplane-related datarefs to tie it all together.

Orthophoto Scenery: I don't know if this is going to happen or not, but we get more and more requests for large-orthophoto-scenery support in X-Plane; MeshTool is only going to increase that desire by making it possible to cover large areas with orthophotos without sacrificing framerate. So I would like to do some work on the texture pager, but I do not know if I'll be able to do that in time for 9.1.

My hope is to get 9.1 into beta early so that we can start getting third party aircraft authors involved with trying new features. If you are working on an advanced airplane, keep in touch!

6 comments:

aMaLaHaMa said...

"More rendering engine/shader work: X-Plane 9 only begins some of the shader work we want to do; more engine enhancements will be coming in 910."

This maybe means that we have full shadows?? In 9.00 there is a buggy hidden option for turning on shadows, I hope you can fix it soon. "Spherical/Cubic Environment Mapping" for metal aircraft reflection (like FS2004) would be great too. Anyway, good news here, I can't waiting 9.10 betas!!

Dan31 said...

Orthophoto Scenery: I don't know if this is going to happen or not,…

YES ! YES !
I am still using X-Plane 7.63 to be able to do Orthophoto scenery, :-((((

Anonymous said...

Would be cool to have animated engineblades too :) You know, it's 2008 :) Thanks anyway

Anonymous said...

"Orthophoto Scenery: I don't know if this is going to happen or not, but we get more and more requests for large-orthophoto-scenery support..."

So one more request from me :)

I know there are other Items on the list, but when I see discussions about this on the .org, this is really a wanted feature!

I have converted a FS9-Scenery of Switzerland. And it looks great in X-plane! The loading times are extreme (understandable) and the frame rate is not that bad but loading strategy of the tiles seems quite strange. X-plane loads tiles that are FAR away and behind from the current position and not the one right ahead of the plane...

I really enjoy VFR flying with orthophoto-scenery and beyond that it is a quite "easy" way to create a scenery for VFR navigation instead of messing around with streets, buildings etc. to get a comparable result.

Best regards
Jens

Benjamin Supnik said...

Amalahama: I make no guarantees about any new rendering features. I strongly advise against going into the prefs file and changing trying to find "hidden" stuff.

Anonymous: you can make engine fan blades now using datarefs and animated objects.

Anonymous said...

Hm, so this means we can now see spinning engine-blades (in jets)? I have not seen that in x-plane, ever. Wow!