3 Transparency Fixes for older content with issues in Acceleration/SP2



Fix 1: Replace wonky texture with a modified grayscale alpha


from “Stoopy” in this thread:


http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=121&topic_id=419638&mesg_id=420007&page=


and I quote:



So anyway I just did it the old-fashioned way and replaced the alpha layer with a normal dark-gray bitmap and voila…..windows are transparent and also have just a fine layer of grime if you look closely.



Fix 2: Replacing DXTn textures with 32-bit textures


from Haldir in this thread:
http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=121&topic_id=419490&mesg_id=419644&page=2


and I quote:


Keep in mind this is just for FS9 aircraft, or early FSX ones that have been ported from FS9, like Carenado releases etc.


To do this you will require one of the following tools: Imagetool.exe from the FSX or FS9 sdks, or DXTbmp, the Nvidia DDS tool, or you can use photoshop if you have the nvidia texture plugin for it, available from the nvidia site.


Look for the VC canopy reflection or glass textures for your particular aircraft. They’re usually intelligently named. They may be in the aircraft’s main texture folder, or in each of the variant folders. It changes from plane to plane.


Make backups of the textures, then load the originals into your preferred tool. Change them from DXT1/3/5 or 8 bit format, whichever it is, to 32 bit and save. Depending on how the textures were authored you might lose the reflection definition in your VC glass (if the original textures didn’t employ an alpha channel) but you’ll be able to see where you’re going. If you’re comfortable with image editing in photoshop it’s no trick to get the proper reflections back into them via the texture’s alpha channel.


You can do this with FSX running and test it if you have a ‘reload aircraft’ key assigned, but its best to restart FSX to test the change. Sometimes textures don’t refresh without an FSX restart.



Fix 3: Different path through FSDS design tool


From Jean-Pierre Brisard and Bob Mays by permission in this thread:


http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=121&topic_id=419490&mesg_id=419886&page=2


And I quote


Other tools like older FSDS versions ( 2.24 ) can also have issues. We have worked through this with one 3rd party and they successfully fixed their issue within the same version of FSDS ( yes, they didnt need to move to FSDS 3.5 ).


I also got permission to distribute the technique they used, here it is:


Restoring virtual cockpit appearance and external light disks after installation of FSX Acceleration/SP2


Concerns only designs made with FSDS2.24 compiled with ” SCASM ” which previously worked satisfactorily on FSX+SP1
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————


PROBLEM: WHEN ADDING THE ” ACCELERATION ” FILES, the following effects appear;


111 – SOME TRANSPARENCY, mainly on Virtual ####ît parts, causing “see-thru”


This problem is due to the “$pans” polygons used in FSDS to hold the gauges. These polygons become fully transparent beyond the part
on which they are applied, depending on the design rank in the model.


I RESTORED VC CORRECT VISIBILITY :


aaa – BY LIMITING THE SIZE OF THE $PAN POLYGON as much as possible to cover only the part on which applied.


bbb – REORDERING THE DESIGN RANK OF THE $PANS FOR THEM TO BECOME “LAST DESIGNED”


This is highly dependent on the way the designer has worked his model…and the issue might even not occur.


( NOTE THAT THIS POLYGON RANKING IN VC WAS NOT A PROBLEM WITHOUT ” ACCELERATION ” )


222 – LANDING AND TAXI LIGHTS


PROBLEM: While the Light beams display correctly, the LIGHT DISKS, which should display bright when switch “ON”, remains dark.


PROBABLY DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE NEW SETUP DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THE ” FSDS PRE-PROCESS ” Parts ( mean switch “on or off” )


FIXED BY DESIGNING INSTEAD THE LIGHT DISKS WITH THE ” L ” BITMAP SETUP which works OK with the light command.


Another posibility is to simply delete the night bright disk and, replace by a ” light landing or taxi landing ” in the “aircraft.cfg ( “light” section)


NOTE THAT ALL OTHER LIGHTS ( Strobes, Beacons, Nav…..) DISPLAY OK.


333 – Hope this gives some help. This is not an exhaustive check and I do not guarantee that other designers will not find more….


Jean-Pierre Brisard
Premier Aircraft Design
www.premaircraft.com


25th October 2007



There they are.


HTH


Phil


Comments (26)

  1. jazzselect says:

    Is there any Buy Download for acceleration pack out there? -checked simmarket and some others

    Thanks Phil

  2. Phil Taylor says:

    Jazz:

    Acceleration is box only. At 2+G, it wouldnt make sense as a download for most customers.

  3. Ian McPhail says:

    This is fine for the experts, but NOT for those of us who can best be described as ‘consumer level’ users.  I have some of the Carenado airplanes and have absolutely no skills to make these adjustments. But I have many other commercial aircraft that are essentially ported over like the ATR72, or the Wilco PIC 737, and the FSD Navajo – a favourite of mine.

    So is Acceleration/SP2 to be another expensive trade-off?

    If I install Acceleration does this mean that I might lose a number of aircraft?

    Or wait patiently until the add-on maker or some kind individual uploads the necessary patch.

    Can’t we ever get things nearly right?

  4. sk121 says:

    I share Ian’s concerns. Would be great if there was a way to quickly make these fixes to addon aircraft but there isn’t one yet.

  5. murattartan says:

    Phil,

    I just dont get it… I got this acceleration with super hopes about the frame rate issues, much nicer graphs through DX10 etc. But I see no improvment at all. I can not really tell what changed due to superior graphic technology that DX10 brought. I see still very lousy highways that look like a dirt roads etc. I hate to say but I think this DX10 was a big (but really big false advertising to get consumers spend their big bucks on hw and upgrade to stupid Vista… For nothing… I feel like robbed.)

    I love flying, I am a real pilot as well but I think FSX is becoming a product not to be used on flight training (like it was supposed to be) but to train computer programmers to add and delete nonsense parameters to cfg, bat, xml files. This product was relased a few days ago and there are already 20 million add’l fixes that we are talking about. Coul these not be done before the relase so that once the consumers dont have to change these famous cfg files?

    I am having above avg PC with C2D E6600 @ 3.30 GHZ and 4GB PC2-1066 SLI certifies memory with 8800GTX video card and I still can not go beyond 8 FPS on ultrahigh settings. Where is the performance gain? Absolutely nothing has changed including the graphs unless you call it a great improvement when you see the reflection of the clouds on water…

    Sorry to judge this very new improvement harshly but this is really what I feel and I am sure I am not alone.

    Regards.

  6. antonism96 says:

    I saw two Amazon.com reviews for FSX Acceleration. They rated one star because of these problems :

    1) In the first reviewer, Acceleration install couldn’t detect FSX, and it did some changes to the system by deleting "orphan" files.

    2) When the second reviewer opens FSX with Acceleration, it always wants the product key.

    Should I buy Acceleration or not? I’m afraid of these problems. Has anyone experienced any of these problems? If I don’t get help, I’ll not buy it.

  7. adelm says:

    Hi,

    When i bought FSX and installed it first time i got like 6 FPS with my P4 830, 7800GT.

    then i upgrade CPU+mb to P35/Q6800(same GPU) and i got like 15 FPS then came FSX SP1 and i reach the 20 FPS..

    i was waiting after FSX SP2 and real dx10 acceleration to upgrade to a 8800 or the like card but with what i see here i’m really disapointed with the ability of that team to deliver.. it seems to be that ACEs goal under MS pressure is to get the stuff out for Christmas to create sx10 hype and get people to upgrade to vista and invest also in new hardware to close the loop…

    i would be pissed if when i bought my car i had to upgrade tires to reach 20mph, then be asked by the dealer to turn some screw in the engine to have it rev above 3000rpm and then be asked an additional fee for seat belt and doors..  really that would have pissed me off.. but this doesn’t happen and that’s why i’m happ with my car and will go back and play with my PS3 or 360..

    we PC gamers are really the cash cows..

  8. Ian McPhail says:

    Phil: when one reads the statements by Eaglesoft and FSD why would one bother with Acceleration.  Or why should a serious simmer bother?

    Aircraft rendered unusable except for those with a degree in computer programming and game coding make it too daunting for the consumer – your major customer group – so with X running mediumly well on high end computers it is too risky to change.

    I’ll take another look when the pros have looked at it more closely over the months ahead.

  9. sinpo says:

    Sorry, Phil, I must simply conclude:

    ACES team (including yourself) is either not able to deliver a finalized product, or you are making fools of all of us …

    All people that admire your work, being "thankful for helping" us, simply do not understand that IT IS YOUR JOB, to make a product correct,YOU ARE PAID FOR IT !!, and every further tweak, patch etc is only a correcting of lousy work done before.

    It is really time to go for X-Plane.

  10. Cartman says:

    Sinpo,

    FSX runs fine without add-ons.

    Go out and flame add-on developers for not delivering genuine FSX-Add-ons.

  11. sk121 says:

    Then perhaps SP2 and Acceleration should not be in a single release?  The knee jerk reaction is why is an "addon" breaking 3rd party addons? SP2 nomenclature atleast lets people know that it may make significant changes to flight sim itself.

    FSX is also not like regular game, its a platform on which there is a thriving ecocsystem. And ofcourse their will be pain when you move from one version of flight simulator to the next but you don’t expect this going from SP1 to SP2 of the same release.

  12. Ian McPhail says:

    FS has always been about add-ons.  To fly the default scenery and aircraft would be sterile and without challenge.  MS designs and promotes itself as an open platform.  sk121 gets it right.  There is a thriving creativity dependent on the platform and promoted by it, and the feedback loops are two way. No car engine gets a fundamental redesign part way through a production run.  Putting out a brilliant platform, but incomplete and poorly thought through has cost MS and its customers money and angst.

  13. Daddy Rey says:

    Phil,

    For the record, I am able to run Acceleration with no problems. I do see a performance increase. Locked at 30fps, i am averaging about 28fps, with a drop at metro areas to the low 20s. The missions are fun, especially the carrier ops. The only thing bug I notice thus far is texture flickering on taxiways. I am thinking this is a driver issue though since I’ve experienced this in fs9 about two years ago with a bad driver then. As far as huge graphics improvements, not tremendous, but the FPS increase is a big plus plus for me. Thanks!

    Rey

    PS.. I do not have too many addon aircraft, but i am able to run level D 767 just fine.

  14. joeysipos says:

    Phil, I made this video in celebration for you and the rest of ACES. It’s using Acceleration in dx10 mode. http://youtube.com/watch?v=2NW1h3IA1kk – now when you get knocked down just get up agian, ok!

  15. jerm138 says:

    I’m not looking for a solution here… I am aware this isn’t tech support…

    But I just wanted to add to the ‘warnings’ about SP2 problems and see if any other users have had this problem and (hopefully) have a solution.

    I installed FSX acceleration a few days ago and ever since, I get a "fatal error" every time I try to bring up a menu window (control settings, graphics settings, instant replay, etc.)  It only happens when I’m running in full-screen mode.

    I’ve found somewhat of a workaround:  I can hit ALT + ENTER to switch to windowed mode.  But this doesn’t always work since I also get a "fatal error" about 50% of the time when trying to switch from full-screen mode to windowed mode.

    If there’s no known solution, I guess it’s another few hours of uninstalling and re-installing FSX.  I’m getting good at it now.

    One question though…

    When I install a fresh copy of FSX, do I need to download and install SP1 first, then install Acceleration… Or do I go straight from the initial install to Acceleration?

  16. jazzselect says:

    jerm138: if u are running dual-view or any multiple screen setup, disable it and run fullscreen on a single screen.

  17. Ian McPhail says:

    Does that mean Matrox H2Go is rendered unusable.  This is serious because a significant percentage of the sim commumity now uses it.  It would render SP2 useless for us or seriously reduce the quality of our experience.  No-one I know running VC on Full Screen over three screens would ever go back.

  18. Phil Taylor says:

    Jerm:

    Accel will work with either RTM or SP1 as a starting point

  19. Phil Taylor says:

    Ian:

    Acceleration can also be manually configured for TripleHead2Go support using the following steps:

    Open your fsx.cfg file by clicking “Start>Run” (under XP), or “StartButton>Start Search” (under Vista), and copy in the following string:

    %appdata%MicrosoftFSX

    Then press ENTER.

    Double-click on the fsx.cfg file and open it using Notepad or any other text editor.

    When the config file is opened, find the field “WideViewAspect” – it should be located under [Display]. (You can use the “Find” function in Notepad to make this easier).

    The setting should be defaulted to “WideViewAspect=False”. This needs to be changed to “WideViewAspect=True”.

    For reference, here is an example of how the config file block should look:

    [DISPLAY]

    WideViewAspect=True

    This tweak will allow the field of view in Acceleration/SP2 to properly adjust to your desired TripleHead resolution.

  20. Ian McPhail says:

    thanks Phil:  Just a clarification.  In the first step you ask for fsx.cfg to be opened – is this a conventional opening in notepad.  Under what heading to I post the %appdata%MicrosoftFSX?  Are you talking about a Command Prompt?

    Sorry to be so limited in understanding of the technicalities.

  21. jerm138 says:

    Once again Phil, I’m not asking for tech support from you… I just want to communicate this with other Acceleration users/potential users.  I really do think this product is causing a problem and a web search for "FSX Fatal Error" will reveal that the problem is not unique to my computer.

    =============================

    So, here’s how my evening went…

    I uninstalled everything related to Flight Simulator (FS9, FSX, all addons, etc)

    Defragged my HD.

    Installed FSX by itself.  It tested out fine, no "fatal errors."

    Installed SP1.  It tested out fine, no "fatal errors."

    Installed Acceleration.  THE PROBLEM RETURNED!  If I’m in full-screen mode and I try to access anything on the menu, I get a "fatal error."  If I lower all of my sliders to the minimum, then pause it, then try to bring up a menu, I get a "fatal error."

    Call me crazy, but I think Acceleration/SP2 may be causing the problem.

    I’m running the following:

    3.4 Ghz P4 Dual Core

    2 Gig RAM

    NVIDIA 7600GS 512MB with updated drivers

    Windows XP

    DirectX 9.0c

  22. philby says:

    This is not a transparency Issue.

    But a problem with the Direct X 10 Preview. After installing Accerlation pack.

    See this forum, I’m not the only one.

    http://ultimatetraffic.flight1.net/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=4336&PID=20132#20132

    If I have that turned on, some add on aircraft and a payware addon by Flightone called Ultimate Traffic X, their AI acft do not display their textures for every aircraft. What is up with this.

    I purchased a Nvidia 8800 GTS card to get the benefits of Direct X 10 with Vista and FSX and 12 months almost to the day FSX first came out, it seems I cannot fully do it. One other thing I noticed for it turned on, lines on taxi ways are blurry or flutter.  And this so far is what I have found checking it out for 1/2 a day ( only came out in OZ on Thursday, (why are we always a week behind!) Except for the extra 3 afct and missions, what have we paid the $44 AUD for?

    Dell XPS-710

    Intel QUad Core 6700

    4gb ram

    250 sata HD

    120 sata HD soley for FSX

    Nvidia Ge Force 800 GTS 756mb

    All Vista updates installed including quad core performance one etc.

  23. abdulmalik says:

    Yeah guys me too I have a same problem ………..

    Dear Phil ,

    I am really disappointed :( first when I heard that DX10 will be release at the end of this year with the expansion pack accelerator I was very happy cause I thought finally I can get all the benefits details and graphics and sliders to the right on FSX cause I spend a lot of money on my PC just for the FSX cause I love it to the death.

    I hade a  quad core extreme   processor 2.6 with 4G ram 800Mhz and a NVIDIA 8800 ULTRA with 768MB video card and raptor hard drive with 10000RPM 16MB buffer  .

    Huh!!!! I thought this is the best on market these days and it will get me the sliders all to the right with full details and graphics.

    To be onset with you I think FSX works better with DX9 I saw no deferens with DX10??

    Phil can you please tell me when and how I can get the hole details and graphics to the maximum and really have all game benefits?? in other hand I have the best Pc’s on the world.

    my pc is up to date

  24. philby says:

    To add to my comment. I have today updated Nvidia Ge Force 8800 GTX drivers to version 7.15.11.6904 dated 28 October 2007. These are Beta test drives avaliable from Nvidia web site and as such may not be full ready to solve issue if drivers are causing it.

    Problem is still the same if Direct X 10 preview is sturned on.

    As for performance, thanks to a couple of guys at the flightsim.com forums, after playing around with Anti Alisianing settings in the aqctual Nvida COntrol panel software, I have been able to improve my frame rates about 20 to 25 %. NOTE you must play game in full window mode to get the best possible frame rates.

    Ciao Phil M

  25. abdulmalik says:

    Phil,

    its been a long time and we get no answer????

  26. rob_37 says:

    This video nicely highlights the poor ground rendering issues with the DX10 implementation in FSX that many folks have been fuming about recently.  

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffSW-fnom-c

    I’ve seen these exact same issues with DX10.  There is some performance increase, but it’s essentially negated by these other bugs.