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Overly dark when flying in shade under a cloud


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I have flown a few instant action, free flights, and also a couple of quick ME made free flights with a couple of different presets. 

 

Anyway, while flying a few of these something seemed "off".  Then I read a few posts with people saying it seemed very dark, but I hadn't hadn't noticed it initially.  I'm using the F/A-18C "instant action" free flight in Syria for reference (following a flight lead wingman in from the coast for a few minutes, before he peels off to land). I continue East (?) past the airfield where it's cloudier and the ground is in the shade... fine from a distance when you're not in the shade...  once you're "in the shade", flying treetop level, it's hard to discern trees and other ground objects clearly, since everything is too dark...  it should "auto-brighten" as your eyes would.  Flying anyplace with broken clouds, some areas cloudy, some clear sun, it looks great from above and a distance...  but if I fly under a cloud into the shade, it's dark to the point of being hard to see clearly...  it's shade/overcast, NOT night.  As a professional photographer, I think ED is treating the pilot's eye like a camera (with fixed settings, not variable), and is constantly "exposing" the pilot view for the bright areas of the scene, which turns normal mid day shade/overcast excessively dark.  Think HDR where you combine 3 or more photos (1 normal exposure, one overexposed so you can see the detail in the shadows, and one underexposed so you can see the details in the bright highlights).  The human eye does this at once, and instantly, and can see details in shadow, and bright areas "on demand", unlike a camera in a single exposure (think being outside in the sun, and then going inside a house).  If real life was like the way that change is programmed in the pilot cockpit view, you'd be walking into furniture, because it is too dark to see clearly in your house in mid day, because it's WAY brighter outside the window. The way the light changes are being modeled in 2.7, ED is basically programming that your pupil in your eyeball never dilates when there is less light, and is always exposing from the brightest areas, even though they may be 20 miles away in the mountains.  If I fly into a shady area (shade from a normal cloud, not black as night thunderstorm), the cockpit and everything in the shady part of the landscape shouldn't be as dark as 5 minutes after sunset, where you can barely make out details.  The pilot view needs to be much more "variable" in how it reacts to shade vs bright areas, just like an eyeball.  

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I used to mess with Blender a lot. This tutorial changed how I thought about light - similar to what you are talking about. Interesting stuff.

 

https://www.blenderguru.com/tutorials/secret-ingredient-photorealism

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I would also say the terrain beneath cloud layers is way too dark. This was already so before 2.7, thatswhy I never played with the two highest density settings (when the whole map was overcast) because terrain was always dark like evening even in summer at noon. Some gamma adjustments are definitely needed here.

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Yes, you can barely see any ground features or runways etc under the cloud shadows. Especially difficult in VR.

 

if you adjust the gamma then when you are outside the cloud shadows it’s all too bright. Definitely needs some adjustments 

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Please keep the darkness for being inside very thick cloud layers though. I love how in a severe thunderstorm cell your cockpit gets dark and depending on the light situations you can get some very impressive moods. 


Edited by Toumal
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Imho, the darkness and transition between sun and cloud is spot on!. It gets REALLY dark under thick layers of clouds (even more under 3+ layers. Asking for touching this will lead to detriment 99% sure 🙄. It looks GREAT and realistic as it is now. If anything, there should be cloud shadowing over the water, which is now missing.

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26 minutes ago, Ala12Rv-watermanpc said:

Imho, the darkness and transition between sun and cloud is spot on!. It gets REALLY dark under thick layers of clouds (even more under 3+ layers. Asking for touching this will lead to detriment 99% sure 🙄. It looks GREAT and realistic as it is now. If anything, there should be cloud shadowing over the water, which is now missing.

 

Dont agree at all. In real life your pupils would adjust for the transition. In the game all that happens is that you cant see anything (at least not in VR anyway). If I adjust the gamma to correct for the shadowed terrain then the sunlit areas are totally washed out. Thats not realistic at all.

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6 minutes ago, Canada_Moose said:

 

Dont agree at all. In real life your pupils would adjust for the transition. In the game all that happens is that you cant see anything (at least not in VR anyway). If I adjust the gamma to correct for the shadowed terrain then the sunlit areas are totally washed out. Thats not realistic at all.

It might be an VR exclusive issue then. No problem at all in monitor.

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It's a problem with using photographs as reference. The human eye see such a large colour gamut and our brain is so amazing that it constantly builds upon the image we see with different exposures. The term 'photorealistic' is a bit of a trap, because really in DCS you want to replicate how the human eye works, not cameras. But then comes the other issue of how peoples monitors display the image produced. Most modern monitors will display +99% of sRGB and usually now +90% of D3, which means that graphics engineers have to find clever ways of displaying all the colour data without too much clamping of colours.

 

In addition to this, you can start adding auto exposure systems on the in-game camera/s but then you're constantly fighting bit's that'll blow out and then bits that are mega bright. You've got to remember in games like dcs, we have an entire day/night cycle with dynamic lighting and weather conditions. Unfortunately until monitors can display 32bit and encompass a colourspace like aces (or even better if we get there). Then we are always going to be compromising on this matter

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34 minutes ago, Danny_P said:

It's a problem with using photographs as reference. The human eye see such a large colour gamut and our brain is so amazing that it constantly builds upon the image we see with different exposures. The term 'photorealistic' is a bit of a trap, because really in DCS you want to replicate how the human eye works, not cameras. But then comes the other issue of how peoples monitors display the image produced. Most modern monitors will display +99% of sRGB and usually now +90% of D3, which means that graphics engineers have to find clever ways of displaying all the colour data without too much clamping of colours.

 

In addition to this, you can start adding auto exposure systems on the in-game camera/s but then you're constantly fighting bit's that'll blow out and then bits that are mega bright. You've got to remember in games like dcs, we have an entire day/night cycle with dynamic lighting and weather conditions. Unfortunately until monitors can display 32bit and encompass a colourspace like aces (or even better if we get there). Then we are always going to be compromising on this matter

 

Oh god no!! not another "pics are not like human eye"...of course the dynamic range of the light captured by the human eye is much higher than any camera can capture, but a correctly exposed picture (that looks close enough to what the human eye looked at a particular image) is absolutely fine and representative of how a human eye  would see. Shadows below clouds ARE DARK!!. Changing this will f***k up the new visuals! 🤦‍♀️


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22 minutes ago, Danny_P said:

It's a problem with using photographs as reference. The human eye see such a large colour gamut and our brain is so amazing that it constantly builds upon the image we see with different exposures.

 

You are talking about dynamic range, and it is fooling people as human eye does not have wide dynamic range but very quick adaptation to exposure changes.

One can take the above like photos and compare them in the scene and see that they are exactly as real as seen with naked eye. Nothing odd there.

 

But we have our problem that DCS World is not simulating cameras, we are very limited to displays dynamic ranges. We are already talking about 5-6 stops on average monitor. Even on the so called "HDR" displays are very limited unless we are talking about a real HDR monitors that cost tens of thousands. 

No matter what would be done, the real scene can not be captured even in 3D environment and presented via monitor as realistic. But it doesn't matter, as 5-6 stops is plenty, and 7-8 is amazing. You can capture everything in the nature with just 10 stops. Where 1st and 10th stops are pure white and pure black. That leaves only 8 stops for everything else.

 

The problem is that human eye just adapts so well and human brain creates the illusion that it sees everything at once. Looking outside from northern window in mid day shows outside bright and nice, and then looking to inside it is bright and nice, but actually the human eye adapts fast and brain creates the illusion that indoors are seen as well bright. 

 

We need to wait ED to complete the weather engine, as not all clouds are same. Some diffuse light just lightly, cutting maybe just 1-2 stops of light. While some clouds has different composition of water and cuts 5-6 stops of light just next first one. One day there are lots of clouds that just diffuse sun softly everywhere, and some days they are hard and tightly packed clouds that blocks sunlight like it would start to rain even when they look totally white and puffy. 

 

People just usually love high contrast and colorful imagery. That is again one of those things that has driven the recent shader mod to increase saturations, even when it looks unrealistic and very unnatural.

 

Trying to present a 15-16 stops environment through a 7 stops capable display is not easy task.  

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2 minutes ago, Ala12Rv-watermanpc said:

 

Oh god no!! not another "pics are not like human eye"...of course the dynamic range of the light captured by the human eye is much higher than any camera can capture, but a correctly exposed picture (that looks close enough to what the human eye looked at a particular image) is absolutely fine and representative of how a human eye  would see. Shadows below clouds ARE DARK!!. Changing this will f***k up the new visuals! 🤦‍♀️

 

 

Actually there are black and white films that can capture far more than human eye can see. We are talking about 10 stops that average human eye can see at once. But human eye works so fast between highlights and shadows when looking at them that it is like adjusting camera aperture where amount of light is quickly controlled. It is extremely rapid process and brain does amazing things to build the picture in mind even when we can see everything just about 2 degree FOV as sharp area.

 

It would be good that people would go out with a spot meter and check out how much does the luminance change between shadows and direct sunlight etc at various scenes.

 

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13 minutes ago, Ala12Rv-watermanpc said:

 

Oh god no!! not another "pics are not like human eye"...of course the dynamic range of the light captured by the human eye is much higher than any camera can capture, but a correctly exposed picture (that looks close enough to what the human eye looked at a particular image) is absolutely fine and representative of how a human eye  would see. Shadows below clouds ARE DARK!!. Changing this will f***k up the new visuals! 🤦‍♀️

 

Again, all fine until you go under said cloud. Then your pupil will adjust to the lighting conditions in the shade. Right now flying under the cloud is like somebody switched off the lights. Its not like that in real life. I know.

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2 minutes ago, Canada_Moose said:

Again, all fine until you go under said cloud. Then your pupil will adjust to the lighting conditions in the shade. Right now flying under the cloud is like somebody switched off the lights. Its not like that in real life. I know.

 

Not my case, sorry. In monitor that situation is NOT taking place. Try increasing gamma.

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40 minutes ago, Ala12Rv-watermanpc said:

 

Not my case, sorry. In monitor that situation is NOT taking place. Try increasing gamma.

 

Like I said, in VR, adjusting gamma for the shade screws up the lighting in the bright sunshine. The balance is off.

 

Anyway, I don't need to argue about it with you because the dev further up the post has acknowledged its off and they just didn't have time to fix it yet. In other words, it will be changed.

 

https://forums.eagle.ru/topic/268020-overly-dark-when-flying-in-shade-under-a-cloud/?do=findComment&comment=4627716


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2 hours ago, Canada_Moose said:

Again, all fine until you go under said cloud. Then your pupil will adjust to the lighting conditions in the shade. Right now flying under the cloud is like somebody switched off the lights. Its not like that in real life. I know.

 

Problem is that you would want that when you fly under the shadow, that the game would automatically adjust the lighting effects so that the shadow would become brighter so your real eye that is looking the display would need to adjust itself. 

 

It is surprising dim to be under some clouds shadows. It can be even darker than being under a sunshade (like umbrella) because the cloud covers so large area that reflective lighting doesn't happen. While being under a sunshade the area is so small that surrounding area reflects light and illuminate the shaded area. 

 

One of the major differences that people don't get is that when light is diffused, it can get very dim illumination but it looks bright. This because high contrast is lost to make a comparison that what are highlights and what are shadows.

 

I think the lighting is proper at the moment, there is always possibility to tweak things but first weather I tested was the heaviest rain weather. And that was amazing experience as you really got that dim feeling where everything feels that someone just turned lights off. And that what DCS offers is not even a dark as it can get when lighting and all starts to feel super bright. 

 

We need little bit more contrast, like contrast to clouds shapes edges (but we might not have yet proper cloud formations for that yet, so it can be coming in future) as well sharp shadow edges and darkening.

 

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Agreed, the lack of dynamic range and virtual pilot pupil dilation makes it appear too dark. Under broken clouds at 16:00 taxiing on the ground in a warbird is tough because the lighting is the same as the sun having just set. Can't see taxiways or runways at all on the Channel.  


Edited by Nealius
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Dynamic HDR with adjustable transition time*.

It's been used in some games already (ETS and ATS from SCS if I remember correctly). 

 

* faster or longer time for this adjustment could be related to pilot fatigue and adrenaline or just left as a slider in menu;

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I agree that under cloud is too dark, but what I am seeing is more of a fogginess.

Things are dim, hazy and somewhat out of focus. Raising gamma helps, but is too much for daylight scenes.

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This is becoming a real issue on the Channel map, where grass strips like Lympne and Hawkinge are not discernable from the grass around the strips. I had to bump my gamma up to 2.5, which still didn't help much. 

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I reported the same problem with the shadows

 

I think the problem is multiple.

1. there are different kind of clouds, some of them can let the light goes trough itself  more some of them less.

2.  the light is bouncing under the clouds  between ground and bottom of the cloud from the brighter area.

3.  the human eyes behave different way than the camera lenses. They can adjust  for the dark area to more than the camera. 

4, the monitor have a limitation to show so big range of dynamic

 

Now if you can see  the clouds of shadow from the distance is fine, because your eyes are adopt the light where you are, and  it doesn't bother you  the bright and the dark area and you can see the very dark area under the cloud. 

But if you goes under the cloud  your eyes need to adopt this situation and set up a new range. but such a way that there is no over  light the bright area. because if the pupil is not enough to reduce the amount of the light then we have an eyelid also  to close the area.

 

So this problems should improve in the DCS .  maybe a new  auto exposure or "eye game engine" introduce

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