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Night Lighting


wilbur81
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The Strip probably doesn't model the strip down to the last light bulb, and it was never the intention either. I really feel cities and such have improved, Vegas is a special case, it's all light for sure.

 

I don't expect DCS to model every light on the Vegas strip. Nevertheless, Vegas is an easy real world example for me personally to judge the lighting because I'm familiar with it (I can't judge Caucasus or PG because I've never been). I also agree Vegas is an extreme example. That said, it *does* detract from the immersion factor when we have to fly low over the strip just to see the lit buildings when they should be visible from a very long distance. Don't get me wrong. I'm trying to give constructive feedback and I'm happy with the general direction of the lighting improvements. The current lighting is much better than it was initially in 2.5.0. I just think it needs a little more work - especially in arid maps where light travels better.

 

Things like that are easier to work with for sure, I will check it out

 

The taxi lighting (blue taxi markers) are also improved (with 2.5.0 I had to use NVG's to taxi), but they still seem dim to me in the A-10. However, if someone tells me that IRL Warthog drivers can't see sh*t thru the tinted window at night then so be it.

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Yet another example: F-15C, instant mission: Cold start, map: Caucasus. Even when I turned on all the available lights (landing, nav and anti-collision) I was blind enough to drive into the aircraft on my left or the vehicle on my right as soon as I started rolling. And there are some light poles nearby which do not help much. Screenshot taken without aircraft lights.

I know, night should be night, even pitch black when there are no light sources, but not where there are lights nearby, like in active airbases. You can't leave us with 2006 Doom3 lightning type these days.

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Yet another example: F-15C, instant mission: Cold start, map: Caucasus. Even when I turned on all the available lights (landing, nav and anti-collision) I was blind enough to drive into the aircraft on my left or the vehicle on my right as soon as I started rolling. And there are some light poles nearby which do not help much. Screenshot taken without aircraft lights.

I know, night should be night, even pitch black when there are no light sources, but not where there are lights nearby, like in active airbases. You can't leave us with 2006 Doom3 lightning type these days.

 

Yes, I feature requested that the airport lights effect aircraft and vehicles, right now they are part of the terrain and do not.

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Because generally its so damn dark when flying the A10C in DCS 2.5 at night ( in any map) , I cant see s***! ;) Surrounding landscape and buildings, when outside the Vegas area, are enveloped by the dark.. Even the illuminated dials in the cockpit are hard to see. And when flying thru Vegas things are much darker then in real life.

 

This is why I went back to 1.5. I could see stuff at night in that version.

 

Just sitting here enjoying comie1's stream on twitch as he flies A-10C missions at night.

 

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What can I say.. Again:

 

AGREE AGREE AGREE! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

 

The question is.. does ED agree? :bored:

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Maybe ED is still tweaking the light rendering and thus postponed the rework of specific the night lighting tech (including the halo lights from the taxiways, runways and aircraft nav lights).

 

They'd have to balance the whole thing again if they'd change the lighting intensity, contrast, saturation and whatnot.

At least, that would be a reasonable explanation given the slow process of improving the rendering.

The deffered shading for the cockpits has been greatly improved in the recent versions. I know I didn't fly for months until recently and the cockpits now look much more balanced and realistic.

 

Of course, that's just an optimistic thought.

 

Whatever is happening it doesn't change the fact that flying at night without NVG is not that practical. I know I'll avoid it at all cost now that I've checked how it's currently rendered.

I guess I/we can just hope for the best, but nothing anytime soon.

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I suggest that everybody experiencing lightning issues should post screenshots of the exact same location, same date and time. Let's define this exact location :

 

  • Set the date to 10th of July 2006 (full moon)
  • View from your cockpit
  • 5nm from Nellis AFB
  • Aligned with runway 21R
  • From 10.000 feet

 

 

Here's my settings and screenshot :

 

  • Textures : High
  • Terrain Textures : High
  • Civ. Traffic : Medium
  • Water : High
  • Visib Range : Extreme
  • Heat blur : Low
  • Shadows : Flat
  • Resolution : 3440x1440
  • Monitors : 1 screen
  • Res. of Cockpit Displays : 1024
  • MSAA : Off
  • Depth of Field : Off
  • Lens Effects : Dust + Flare
  • SSAA : Off
  • Clutter/Grass : 1500
  • Trees Visibility 100%
  • Preload radius : 100.000
  • Chimney Smoke Density : 4
  • Gamma : 1.8
  • Anisotropic Filtering : Off
  • Terrain Object Shadows : Flat
  • Cockpit Global Illumination : On
  • Raindrops : On

 

 

Mod(s) installed :

 

  • Tacview

 

Look for the red circle, this is Nellis AFB at 5nm. Vegas is not even visible. Better viewed at full resolution.

 

a424b55276241782015622884f715bde.png

 

Your screenshot shows exactly what I meant. Almost nothing is visible at night time compared to the real world (I‘ve flown over Las Vegas at night before, as have many others of you) Doesn‘t depend on whether I set the time to 23:00 or 03:00, moon phase doesn‘t make a big difference either, because the city lights are so faint.

 

I really cant do much with that info, do you have any screenshots, what are your graphics settings, etc... I mean gamma can have a big effect, do you run any mods?

 

No mods installed. Settings maxed at 1440p except MSAA at 4x and those lense effects, which I have turned off.. Preload set to 120.000. Gamma 1.9 which looks already quite bright on my calibrated monitor. Screenshot would be very similar to 33-DFTC‘s.


Edited by Manuel_108
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone. I use VR all the time and I have the same problem as you guys. When I approach Batumi airfield from the sea I barely can distinguish the city light from the dark background even the airfield lights. Is there any mod to calibrate this or modify some value in a .lua file?

Thank you.

Arturo "Chaco" Gonzalez Thomas

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  • 5 weeks later...

any new on how the night lighting improvments are coming along?

 

i really like those WIP pic from some months ago. f.e.:

DCS-PG-Night-Lighting-04.jpg

 

 

can we expect the improved draw distance and better dynamic range with the vulcan update?

also any chance of some more WIP shots for the next weekend news perhaps? i think the night lighting improvments are (besides new clouds/weather) the most awaited graphical features...

My personal wishlist after half a decade with DCS: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=216873

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  • 3 months later...
...

 

 

This photo looks really promising and on track of what I am hoping. I wanted to ask somebody who knows about the technology X-plane uses for night lighting and is something like that possible in DCS today and in future?

 

 


Edited by Nick-ZG

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This photo looks really promising and on track of what I am hoping. I wanted to ask somebody who knows about the technology X-plane uses for night lighting and is something like that possible in DCS today and in future?

 

 

 

And even in that screenshot it is WAY off of what it should look like. I should not be able to see color of the ground at night from those distances and a long list of other issues exist in it. Night lighting in DCS is completely broken and does not even try to emulate real life. At this point, after this long, with basically no actions and largely silent on the issue, we won't be seeing decent/realistic night lighting in DCS with this engine. As for X-Plane 11's night lighting methods, this is some info on them (I won't be surprised if this comment is deleted due to including).

 

https://iliastselios.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/hdr-is-not-x-planes-lighting-system/

 

and this

 

https://developer.x-plane.com/2016/11/physically-based-rendering-is-always-on/

 

Basically they use HDR with Global Illumination and PBR to achieve a realistic effect. I think DCS only allows Global Illumination within the cockpit as an option, not the outside world. We need it in the outside world. X-Plane has from version 10.0 both GI and HDR, and now, in 11.0, PBR materials as well. But, ED felt DS is the way to go and at this point it looks like a total failure for Night time lighting.

 

If we want DCS to look even close to as good as they have XP looking, ED needs to follow their obviously very successful approach. Why reinvent if your results are totally inferior?


Edited by Torso
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I totally agree with about night lights in dcs, the other day I toke off from the Tarawa at night and the lights in tarawa illuminated the cockpit interior of the AV8B, it was awesome. When I parked in an airport at night, my plane was under a big light located in the front of the hangar, almost day outside and dark as hell in the cockpit.

 

 

Sent from my Tornado IDS while on autopilot using Tapatalk Pro.

Arturo "Chaco" Gonzalez Thomas

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And even in that screenshot it is WAY off of what it should look like. I should not be able to see color of the ground at night from those distances and a long list of other issues exist in it. Night lighting in DCS is completely broken and does not even try to emulate real life. At this point, after this long, with basically no actions and largely silent on the issue, we won't be seeing decent/realistic night lighting in DCS with this engine.

 

This. What actually makes me angry is seeing how many times in this thread NineLine gaslights us on the issue. Post after post of, “what are you talking about, everything’s fine, it’s so much improved,”

When you can’t see Las Vegas at all from a few thousand feet directly over Las Vegas, your rendering engine is broken.

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dcs @night is completely unplayable, it's been broken sicne 2.5 cameout....on 1.5 it was much better.

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dcs @night is completely unplayable, it's been broken sicne 2.5 cameout....on 1.5 it was much better.

 

Absolutely true . My very first impression of DCS was in the 1.5 SU-25 free flight instant action mission . I immediately broke away from those silly fpm squares , and then marveled at the realistic lighting and colors experienced by anyone IRL low over a city at night . I still keep a copy of 1.5 for this and other reasons .

 

But i wonder if this , and so much else we complain about , isn't ultimately a result of the limitations of current technology , rather than ED development problems . Much as any aircraft design represents a series of compromises in pursuit of fulfilling a series of mission requirements , so too is a sim and graphics engine .

We demand great graphics , high and stutter-free framerates , realistic flight and systems models , realistic damage models/explosion and blast effects , VR compatabilility and so on and so on ad infinitum , as though ED can solve these problems in isolation . THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS !

 

Given the limitations of current technology , one must "rob peter to pay paul" to accomplish anything like a workable flightsim . Consider but three of the optimisations that ED has lately incorporated into 2.5 in the interests of performance .

 

1. Reduction of view distance

2. Removing HDR

3. The peripheral blurring of VR .

 

They did not make these changes because the're lazy :) . They are trying a series of compromises in order to meet the demands of the community at large .

 

One sim does indeed have better night-lighting . Another has better VR implementation . NONE have better daytime graphics , cockpits , flight and systems modeling , in conjunction with the requirements of a combat sim .

So yes , we need better night-lighting , but which of peter's pockets are we willing to sacrifice ?


Edited by Svsmokey

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Consider but three of the optimisations that ED has lately incorporated into 2.5 in the interests of performance .

 

1. Reduction of view distance

2. Removing HDR

3. The peripheral blurring of VR .

 

I don't think high-dynamic-range-rendering got removed. It should be an integral part of PBR...

On the other hand HDR10 output (to an HDR monitor) has never been implemented and has not been announced as of yet.

My personal wishlist after half a decade with DCS: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=216873

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I totally agree with about night lights in dcs, the other day I toke off from the Tarawa at night and the lights in tarawa illuminated the cockpit interior of the AV8B, it was awesome. When I parked in an airport at night, my plane was under a big light located in the front of the hangar, almost day outside and dark as hell in the cockpit.

 

 

Sent from my Tornado IDS while on autopilot using Tapatalk Pro.

 

Some of that is done for performance reasons as well, if terrain lights at night lit up everything and cast shadows, we might see some real performance hits, although I would like to see at least the airport lights affect aircraft.

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dcs @night is completely unplayable, it's been broken sicne 2.5 cameout....on 1.5 it was much better.

I am all for improvements and agree that 1.5 looked nice at night but "unplayable" is way over the line. There are even night missions in the campaigns and DLC and I don't see anyone complaining or not progressing due night lightning. I flew some myself without problems. These were A2A but A2G depends on the sensors only too. You should not flight at night without IFR certification if you rely so much on visuals.

 

@Svsmokey: Of course there will be some performance penalty for improving the lightning but there is no technology limitation. You don't have to defend the devs as it is a wishlist thread.

 

Yeah, even small changes in the airport lights would be something for starters. Just show us some progress - small steps at a time.

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If using modules like the harrier, the hornet (which have proper instrumentation and first of all NVG googles) its ok, but have you tried flying at night with a su27, f15, mig29?

it is dark pitch.

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Fix the lighting in general. Lights going through the cockpits, lights doesn't illuminate things and objects. Illumination rockets doesn't illuminate anything and so on... I can go forever. List is much much bigger.

 

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I also agree that improvements are necessary here.

It is far from unplayable but lighting is kinda broken in DCSW.

 

 

 

Just give us a slider in the menu so we can (for example) turn off shadows or the maximum number if illuminated objects, or the visibility distance on lights, or only have aircraft lights showing and not ones on the ground, or vice versa. Something like that. So everyone can decide what is acceptable performance wise and visually.

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[quote

@Svsmokey: Of course there will be some performance penalty for improving the lightning but there is no technology limitation. You don't have to defend the devs as it is a wishlist thread.

 

Perhaps we are dealing with a semantics issue . By technology , i mean the limitations of our pc's . I'm not really defending the devs so much as trying to inject a little reality into the thread :) One poster compared DCS night-lighting with a tubesim , which is otherwise inferior to DCS in many areas important to us , and like DCS , is bumping up against performance limits . A different set of compromises ...

 

I would like to see one of our graphically-talented members render an aircraft designed by the community . I lack the imagination to conceive its form , but one thing is certain-that aircraft would never leave the ground :)

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Fix the lighting in general. Lights going through the cockpits, lights doesn't illuminate things and objects. Illumination rockets doesn't illuminate anything and so on... I can go forever. List is much much bigger.

 

Sent from my Redmi 4 using Tapatalk

 

 

I agree completely.

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I agree completely.

 

Yup. You can shove the eye candy and the "my sim is prettier than yours" handbag war for all I care, but this is broken core sim stuff in need of fixing.

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