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Thread: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

  1. #31
    Supporting Member FZG_Immel's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    What monitor do you have DUI ? What about you guys who posted in this thread.

    I currently own a samsung syncmaster P2770 but I'm on the verge of buying a new asus VS278Q
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    Supporting Member JG4_sKylon's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    I can see 14 contacts in this test mission, the last 2 only have size of 1 pixel and grey.
    Have set DSR to 2.0x, no AA or any other postprocessing. Brightness, contrast etc all on default at the NVIDIA settings.

    Monitor is a 32'' TV, here is a link to the successor of my model: http://www.amazon.de/Toshiba-32L2433...dp_ob_title_ce

  3. #33
    Supporting Member FZG_Immel's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    I can see only 11 currently. And at least 5 of them are single grey pixels.
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  4. #34
    Supporting Member DUI's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by FZG_Immel View Post
    What monitor do you have DUI ?
    I have an about three year old 24" LG monitor (LG W2442PA) with a resolution of 1.920x1.080.

    I think I already wrote it in the initial post: I do not use any special software settings - just plain AMD driver for my HD6970 with in-game AA activated.

  5. #35
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    I can see 12 contacts; one more when i am nearer to my monitor.
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  6. #36
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    I find the spit easier to spot than 109.

  7. #37
    Supporting Member FZG_Immel's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by EAF51/155_TonyRule View Post
    I find the spit easier to spot than 109.
    im pretty sure that at the distance they are hard to see (>7km) the pixel looks the same....
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    Admin ATAG_Snapper's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    "Whoever saw the enemy first, won."

    "Lose sight, lose fight."

    I've stickied this thread because, courtesy of DUI (), we have a simple but ingenious method to determine how effectively our PC/monitor system can spot distant contacts in Cliffs of Dover. I now automatically use DUI's little mission (link and directions in the OP) after I've made ANY video setting changes, be they changes in Nvidia Control Panel, ingame settings, or settings on my TV-monitor. For instance, when I changed my TV's resolution from its native 1920 x 1080p to Nvidia's new down sampling DSR 2.0 33% smoothing, my "dot count" decreased from 14 down to 5!!! Actually, I couldn't see any pixel-dots at all, just the 5 LOD planes of varying sizes (ranges).

    In this sim, that equals "dead" IMHO. With DSR activated the terrain and countryside look gorgeous. No wigglies when zoomed out within the cockpit or looking at mid-distant terrain. But for me pretty scenery is too high a price to pay to surrender tactical advantage.

    Many thanks to DUI for providing such an easy way to check this vitally important aspect of this sim!


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  10. #39
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Aren't there any adjustments that can be made in future updates to help with this? It's not that difficult in real life.

  11. #40
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Snapper View Post
    "Whoever saw the enemy first, won."

    "Lose sight, lose fight."

    I've stickied this thread because, courtesy of DUI (), we have a simple but ingenious method to determine how effectively our PC/monitor system can spot distant contacts in Cliffs of Dover. I now automatically use DUI's little mission (link and directions in the OP) after I've made ANY video setting changes, be they changes in Nvidia Control Panel, ingame settings, or settings on my TV-monitor. For instance, when I changed my TV's resolution from its native 1920 x 1080p to Nvidia's new down sampling DSR 2.0 33% smoothing, my "dot count" decreased from 14 down to 5!!! Actually, I couldn't see any pixel-dots at all, just the 5 LOD planes of varying sizes (ranges).

    In this sim, that equals "dead" IMHO. With DSR activated the terrain and countryside look gorgeous. No wigglies when zoomed out within the cockpit or looking at mid-distant terrain. But for me pretty scenery is too high a price to pay to surrender tactical advantage.

    Many thanks to DUI for providing such an easy way to check this vitally important aspect of this sim!

    Hey Snapper,

    did you check in the TV settings whether it has some "sharpening" function?
    At default setting (50%) i seem to lose visibility of 2-3 contacts (not 9 like you which is really strange!), i´ve increased the value then et voilà, i see 14 again.
    Check this and vary the TV sharpness and the DSR smoothing to find the sweet spot. Too much sharpen with minimum smoothing does not look good ( halos like in photographs wich are too much sharpened).

  12. #41
    Admin ATAG_Snapper's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by JG4_sKylon View Post
    Hey Snapper,

    did you check in the TV settings whether it has some "sharpening" function?
    At default setting (50%) i seem to lose visibility of 2-3 contacts (not 9 like you which is really strange!), i´ve increased the value then et voilà, i see 14 again.
    Check this and vary the TV sharpness and the DSR smoothing to find the sweet spot. Too much sharpen with minimum smoothing does not look good ( halos like in photographs wich are too much sharpened).
    Good thoughts, Skylon. My TV indeed has a bunch of menu settings, including sharpening, contrast, etc etc. Based on your findings here, perhaps I need to play with these and the DSR settings a little more before writing off DSR as bad for spotting contacts. The search continues....LOL


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  13. #42
    Supporting Member JG4_sKylon's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Snapper,

    just for orientation:

    in Nvidia control panel i have all post processing off! Setting AA in combination with DSR might influence spotting, at least some reported this.
    I did not notice any difference, but you might want to check this also.

    Contrast, Brightness and Gamma are all set to 50 in Nvidia control panel. After new installation of OS and graphic driver there was no more need for me to play with them (and i finally see something on "Relinquish" haha).

  14. #43
    Supporting Member FZG_Immel's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Snapper View Post
    "Whoever saw the enemy first, won."

    "Lose sight, lose fight."

    I've stickied this thread because, courtesy of DUI (), we have a simple but ingenious method to determine how effectively our PC/monitor system can spot distant contacts in Cliffs of Dover. I now automatically use DUI's little mission (link and directions in the OP) after I've made ANY video setting changes, be they changes in Nvidia Control Panel, ingame settings, or settings on my TV-monitor. For instance, when I changed my TV's resolution from its native 1920 x 1080p to Nvidia's new down sampling DSR 2.0 33% smoothing, my "dot count" decreased from 14 down to 5!!! Actually, I couldn't see any pixel-dots at all, just the 5 LOD planes of varying sizes (ranges).

    In this sim, that equals "dead" IMHO. With DSR activated the terrain and countryside look gorgeous. No wigglies when zoomed out within the cockpit or looking at mid-distant terrain. But for me pretty scenery is too high a price to pay to surrender tactical advantage.

    Many thanks to DUI for providing such an easy way to check this vitally important aspect of this sim!
    That is why believe the server distance visibility should be increased. It would allow everyone to play with nice graphics, antialiasing, etc. without getting 'blind' and combat ineffective.

    If some want to keep playing with ugly graphism to see at 15km instead of 10km, it doesn't matter. 10km is far enough to take defensive actions anyway.

    As a side not, I changed my monitor. I bought a asus VS278Q (previously using a samsung syncmaster P2770) and while I don't see much farther away (13dots instead of 11) I can see them much better when they have a ground or water background.

    Also, my first sortie on the server, I didn't miss a pass on bandits. Everytime i pressed the trigger hit the plane I was aiming at, and went home with a 4.88 score and 6 confirmed kills, with 3 cannons rounds left in each cannon. (I fire all guns at the same time).

    I think the 1ms makes a huge difference
    Last edited by FZG_Immel; Nov-25-2014 at 11:13.
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    Supporting Member Little_D's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Hi gents,

    i set my grafik-settings and monitor settings to a new standart, to see the contacts in the posted singleplayer mission.
    i can see 12 contacts now, without Track IR, but as soonest i use Track IR i only can see 5 contacts?

    is this normal?

    and by the way what is DSR?

    regards

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    Veteran Combat pilot javelina's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    I can manage to see 14, and I think I can see a 15th, almost.

    - Currently using a Samsung 39" LED HDTV
    - 1920 x 1080 (no DSR, I don't want to loose those "dots").
    - nVidia GTX 970
    - No SweetFX (running Win 8.1, though SweetFX works fine with DCS + Win8.1)
    - AA on

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  17. #46
    Supporting Member hnbdgr's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_D View Post
    Hi gents,

    i set my grafik-settings and monitor settings to a new standart, to see the contacts in the posted singleplayer mission.
    i can see 12 contacts now, without Track IR, but as soonest i use Track IR i only can see 5 contacts?

    is this normal?

    and by the way what is DSR?

    regards

    Little_D
    headtracking has absolutely no impact on my graphics. I don't use trackir5 however. Maybe you have sweetfx and bound the same key to start/stop trackir as well as sweetfx?

  18. #47
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    7 contacts no matter what i do...;/

  19. #48
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    I think people need to be aware that if that they ought to use the same rcu file as the server uses if they want to check this appropriately. Otherwise if you're checking with default or customized settings you will see not enough dots or all of them which might be unrealistic. Does someone have the values for the server RCU?

    EDIT: not URL, RCU. words hard they are
    Last edited by hnbdgr; Nov-29-2014 at 04:27.

  20. #49
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    i have just reinstalled CoD, but not added the TF patches yet (have used the official steam updates)

    i can only see 5 contacts (one of which is very faint) @ native monitor resolution of 1920 x 1200
    if i reduce my resolution to 1024 x 764 i can see 7 contacts
    changing the FoV from 30 to 70 or 90 doesnt change the amount of dots i see for the distant aircraft,


    PC using a 27' Dell monitor (model 2707WFP with 8 bit S-PVA panel ). an aging 1gb 5770 ati card, with win7 64 bit on a Intel i7-4770K CPU @3.50GHz, with 24 gb system ram)
    Last edited by Silver; Nov-29-2014 at 02:57.
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    Manual Creation Group Continu0's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver View Post
    i have just reinstalled CoD, but not added the TF patches yet (have used the official steam updates)

    i can only see 5 contacts (one of which is very faint) @ native monitor resolution of 1920 x 1200
    if i reduce my resolution to 1024 x 764 i can see 7 contacts
    changing the FoV from 30 to 70 or 90 doesnt change the amount of dots i see for the distant aircraft,


    PC using a 27' Dell monitor (model 2707WFP with 8 bit S-PVA panel ). an aging 1gb 5770 ati card, with win7 64 bit on a Intel i7-4770K CPU @3.50GHz, with 24 gb system ram)
    Add the TF-patches and you will probably see improvement. The LOD-Rendering was changed with the patches!
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  22. #51
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    I honestly thought this was a thread about Team Fusion
    "The needs of the Flight Sim Community outweigh the needs of the one or the few"

  23. #52
    Admin ATAG_Snapper's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by Mysticpuma View Post
    I honestly thought this was a thread about Team Fusion
    Moved to the Technical Section.


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  24. #53
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by Continu0 View Post
    Add the TF-patches and you will probably see improvement. The LOD-Rendering was changed with the patches!
    most of the distant aircraft in this mission file are in the form of Dots, so no LoD models are being used for the smallest most distant dots that are the hardest to see in this visibility test. i am not aware if TF also changed the visibility of distant dots (i remember they worked on correcting errors in LoD models), and worked on the "disapearing aircraft" problem (a bug) where some aircraft suddenly become invisible at certain distances.

    i just did a fresh install of vanilla CoD directly from my DVD, but without letting steam update it (on install it shows v 1.0013820). so this is as the game was originally released (including still having its annoying anti epilepsy filter etc)
    - i can now see 9 contacts

    letting steam update CoD to v 1.1120362 with all the official CoD patches via steam
    - i can now only see 5 contacts !!
    Last edited by Silver; Nov-30-2014 at 01:50.
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  25. #54
    Manual Creation Group Continu0's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    and with the tf-patches?
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  26. #55
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Snapper View Post
    Good thoughts, Skylon. My TV indeed has a bunch of menu settings, including sharpening, contrast, etc etc. Based on your findings here, perhaps I need to play with these and the DSR settings a little more before writing off DSR as bad for spotting contacts. The search continues....LOL
    any comparison of how well we can see these distant aircraft dots has to be with a correctly calibrated monitor, and NOT be determined by how extensive people can artificially distort the normal video on their monitors just so they can see dots better in games like il2/CoD. This means that as a starting point for any comparison of distant dot visibility, our monitors should be setup to produce the most accurate and best possible colors and detail for normal uses (eg, looking at images/photos and video, web and desktop office use, and gaming). Ideally for calibration we would all prefer to use hardware calibration (because it is more accurate), but for this you need a specialized piece of hardware that can cost from 300 to 1500$, so software calibration is our baseline. since we only use calibration once when you first buy a new monitor/gfx card to set it up correctly, software calibration is a low cost and easy to use process, and it will allow us to get the most out of our existing hardware with no additional cost. The main adjustments done in this process are normally, gamma (being the least reliable), brightness, contrast, colour, and sharpness. there are free online resources for this.

    we need to try and avoid using these video adjustment settings for flightsim gaming that alter/distort "normal settings" just for the single purpose of maximizing how well you can see distant aircraft dots or Lod models in CoD. this will artificially increase what the game is intended to display OR what the human eye would normally see in a similar Real Life situation (presuming the game is correctly programed and has no inbuilt distortions or errors). imho it is much more important we still try and figure out what residual LoD model visibility problems there still are in CoD and make sure dot visibility is not beyond a realistic visibility range, and resolve these "errors" with future TF edits/patches.

    for ex, in the early days of the il2 series there were many online stat whores who would radically change their video settings to gain an unfair advantage. the end result was that their idea of fun was to fly around in an ultra low detailed empty landscape, using resolution settings for their monitors that were 1/2 or 1/4 of its native resolution, and use ingame colors which made it look like a fluro post Chernobyl landscape. the end result was that they were chasing aircraft LoD models that looked like flying lego blocks, and distant aircraft dots would be seen as big ugly blobs that stand out as like dogs balls at 4x the distance you would normally perceive them with the human eye !!

    is this really the path we want to go down with CoD ? i suspect most CoD enthusiasts that support TF would say no to this.

    for the above visibility test file, the ballpark figure of what a human with 20/20 vision could see a small single engine aircraft at under good visibility conditions is probably around 5 km. there could be exceptional circumstances where it might be a little further, eg multiple small aircraft closely clumped together and having sun reflections bounce of them at just the right angles etc, but that should NOT be our reference point of what is "normal" visibility under most conditions. i would sugest that NOT being able to see all the aircraft dots in the test mission file is a good/normal result

    this is of course presuming that our aim with CoD is to SIMULATE what a real ww2 fighter pilot would experience under similar flying/viewing conditions, and accepting that we shouldnt artificially give ourselves 360 degree superman radar vision. not being able to see aircraft from certain distances was just part of the real life experience. obviously this simple visibility test mission file is just the start of inter-player comparison, i just wanted to caution against people trying to see ALL aircraft in that file, some of the more distant dots are in fact beyond what normal human vision can see. the way CoD is programmed right now, imho some of these same dots (up to 5 km) are probably still NOT visible enough when seen against water/ground terrain, and are TO VISIBLE against open blue sky (but reducing this visibility against open blue sky will also make them less visible against terrain/water background so reducing their visibility is probably the least important error)), and most of the dots beyond 5km should simply not be visible at all.
    Last edited by Silver; Dec-01-2014 at 00:27.
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    Supporting Member Vlerkies's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    My monitors are calibrated with a Spyder4ELite.

    I find little difference between running the game on the monitors native 1920x1080, or stepping it down to 1600x900.
    At the lower step it is easier to see contacts over the ground.
    For the this test mission it made no difference. I can pretty much see 14-16 contacts, depending on when the mission is paused exactly.

    DSR at 2x,,,, lucky if I see 5 or 6.
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlerkies View Post
    My monitors are calibrated with a Spyder4ELite.

    I find little difference between running the game on the monitors native 1920x1080, or stepping it down to 1600x900.
    At the lower step it is easier to see contacts over the ground.
    For the this test mission it made no difference. I can pretty much see 14-16 contacts, depending on when the mission is paused exactly.

    DSR at 2x,,,, lucky if I see 5 or 6.
    Hey I use, SPyder4Elite the main purpose of that tool (at least for me) is to give your monitor the a) correct brightness b) correct white point. You can make some adjustments in the software but I use sweetfx to change graphics "on top" of spyder4 calibration. Either way it's a good way to see true colors. The suggested brightness is always very low for me(120cdm?). I leave it around 200cdm

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    Supporting Member Vlerkies's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Yeah brightness comes out a bit low for gaming.
    I use the spyder to calibrate my monitors for photography editing and also to get them to match.
    http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=4036&dateline=1382347  940

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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlerkies View Post
    I find little difference between running the game on the monitors native 1920x1080, or stepping it down to 1600x900.
    At the lower step it is easier to see contacts over the ground.
    it used to make a significant difference in the earlier il2 series, because distant aircraft dots were made up of a fixed number of pixels. so the larger the pixels would be on your screen (which is dependent on the size and resolution of your monitor), the easier it would be to see the distant aircraft dot.

    for ex: a 30' monitor running at 2560 x 1600, you have significant problems spotting the distant aircraft dot (it is nearly invisible)

    h10-2560-1600high-reson30inchlcd.jpg
    but if you set that same monitor at 1280 x 800, it is now much easier to spot the distant aircraft dot below you over the snow covered terrain background

    h10--l1280-800low-res-on-30inchlcd.jpg

    this problem was reduced by oleg and luthier in CoD because the issue/problem was repeatedly raised in previous yrs, and it is now much less of a problem (because rather then distant aircraft dots being a fixed 4 pixel size, after the smallest lod model the small aircraft dots mow still keeps reducing in size until it becomes one pixel afaik, and then stays at that size untill it disappears completely (at a predetermined distance, which can be edited in the icons.rcu file).

    for those who dont care about the quality and realism of ingame visuals, you could now still artificially increase dot and lod model visibility in CoD by altering your resolution and video settings (but it would look rather ugly).

    i am simply cautioning about not trying to distort our normal calibrated video settings to try and artificially improve dot/lod model visibility, but instead first determine how realistically CoD can reproduce what a real ww2 fighter pilot would/could see from his cockpit (and there are some unresolved issues in CoD)
    Last edited by Silver; Dec-04-2014 at 12:03.
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  31. #60
    Student Pilot A.S's Avatar
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    Re: The Men Who Stare at Pixels

    LOD instances and switch ranges:

    Coming from others sims and being for 13 years in this bussiness, it appears to me (correct me if i am wrong, although i think i am hitting the nail here), that the
    LOD instances and the ranges at which the LODs are switched to the next lower lever or higher are not very wise made in CloD.

    At close ranges one has the 3D model with the highest details ( polygons if you will ).. but the further out an object is, the lower is the LOD detail (LOD0, LOD1, LOD2, LOD3, LOD4, LOD5 etc).
    This ensures, that far away objectives are rendered in less detail, hence saving alot of FPS, BUT, if the ranges (distances) are not "smart" where it switches from LOD1 to LOD2 and so on,
    the visibility of distanced aircafts can be very "obscured" against the background. This challange also other sims faced, but i can assure you, that by making this right (experiment with it if it is possible of course) one can achieve great visibility results PLUS FPS savings. I personally worked in this field, but i am not an expert on the data and file structre of CloD, hence no more detailed help from my side unfortunatly (unless i find the muse to rip things apart and look under the hood).

    In FalconBMS i.e we have something called "smart scalling". What it does, is that is re-scales objectives to are more natural size on distance without increasing their size out of proportion.
    This allows great visibility on 3D objects and finally makes the "hubble telescope zoom FOV" thingy plus the "in real pilots see better excuse" absolete.

    cheers.... just sharing thoughts to improve vital parts
    "... Dominance dissolves into attitude. Superiority reveals intentions. Self-confident commitment is bondage. Truly, a moment of truth. However, it is "Spirit" the choreograph of life and death. Majesty becomes weakness. Vulnerability becomes strength ..."

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