Prepar3DV4.4 released

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Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby cowpatz » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:43 am

A massive feature/ fix update list.
Added the Carenado AC 114 commander aircraft with PBR. Also fixed the C130 texture issues.

Might wait a few days before committing to the upgrade just in case it is shown to break something.
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby toprob » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:46 am

Yes, I wasn't planning to update until I had an idea of what people were experiencing... however I am currently downloading the full package, to take advantage of the servers before all those Americans have finished yesterday's dinner! (currently 4.3MB/s) so at least I'll have it ready to go if it doesn't break the flightsim world.
I shouldn't really even bother until I've finished NZCH, but I do love new sims....
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby cowpatz » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:44 pm

Rob what sort of improvements (if any) can we expect with respect to your photo real scenery. No blurries and popping of airports/autogen as well as improved texture loading so possibly no brief black textures.
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby toprob » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:13 pm

It'll be a few days (maybe on the weekend) before I can install it, so I'm not entirely sure if anything will change with my scenery. As long as it doesn't make it worse, I'll be happy:)

I really think that the black textures are more a symptom of older, non-drawcall-batched (sorry, that's a bit of a mouthful) models, which I try not to use any more. As I still use GMAX to model, I only get the older, LOD-based method, but I do convert the finished libraries to fully-batched, to minimise this. My normal workflow when I'm building an airport is to export each model as I finish it, add it to a Library, then update the library in the placement tool (Whisplacer) which creates a simobject from the older models, then I convert the library to Prepar3d drawcall-batched. If I forget the last step -- which I do more often than not -- when I load Prepar3d to place my new model I notice the black textures briefly. That always reminds me to convert the library!

I think that 4.4 will benefit from a full install, whereas I normally only do the Client. I did my first full install update with 4.3, and it went well enough. I don't think we'll see any default PBR without a full install, otherwise we'd be awaiting third party stuff to appear.

Looking at the new SDK, it does seem to offer a real improvement in ground textures, with a 'native' P3D method which make it easy to add PBR. So as I think I've said earlier, I may be more inclined to stick to my normal 3D modelling method, but use PBR for the ground textures.

P.S. I see there's an open beta Active Sky available, which is one less thing to hold me back.
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby toprob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:42 pm

Well, I've done it now, it took a while starting this morning, and now look at the time!
I did a complete reinstall, taking the opportunity to move Prepar3d v4 from my nearly full 1TB drive to half full 2TB drive. This also meant that uninstalling first left only those files in the old P3D folder which were additional to a default install, and they can just sit there until I decide whether I still need them... so far I've moved all the left-over aircraft, which gives me all my addon aircraft with no reinstalling and no clashes.
The installer did stop and ask for more disc space, it tends to use the system drive a lot during the install, and my 120MB SSD is quite tight already. Still, a normal clean up -- the biggest culprit is Spotify, which cache's everything I play, and it can eat up 10GB of my SSD in a few days -- did the trick.
I did remember to reboot after the uninstall, but I did have a few issues after reinstalling, until I had rebooted a couple of times. For a while I was thinking that I was in trouble, but it all settled down in the end.
Most of my important addons use add-on.xml, so it was surprisingly easy to get stuff back up and running, I then ran FTX Central to install HD Trees, but nothing else at the moment.
I will post some screenshots later, but really I'm very impressed with this update. I know a lot of folk have said that this is the 'most improved' update for Prepar3d, but I normally just assume that they are just fragile creatures who want so much to be happy with their sim -- but really there is a big, noticeable jump in both performance and appearance.
I'm still awaiting PTA, but even without it, I'm enjoying the new sim. Initially I thought something was wrong when the alps looked funny, but I'd forgotten to activate the VLC mesh, and it's been a long time since I saw default mesh!

In answer to Cowpat's post below, yes photoscenery looks better, off into the distance, I have some screenshots which show this I think. I even trying slewing fast the southern lakes, and it still holds together well, compared to 4.3 where if I slewed from one side of NZCH to the other I'd need to wait for the scenery to catch up.
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby NZ255 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:08 pm

Well that’s my Saturday night planned :D
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby toprob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:47 pm

I will just point out that I have been playing with the settings (plus trying some of the tweaks makings the rounds at the moment) but I can't really go higher. If I over-do it, I get the same weird things every time -- the default tarmac appears over my ground polys, and half my buildings disappear as I approach them. So I've pulled the settings back to a comfortable level. So don't expect to go higher, but you will get better performance at the same settings.
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby cowpatz » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:48 am

Rob did you uninstall the individual components or a complete uninstall prior to your install?
I really don't want to have to have FTX central download all my ORBX sceneries again and just wondering how best to go about it.
Poppet's guide is good but doen't mention much about current add on preservation. Does the uninstall/install process leave non P3D files alone (excepting 3rd party add ons that might swap out texture files etc)?
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby toprob » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:50 am

I did a complete uninstall of the sim, but nothing else (such as Orbx), but it helped that I was planning on shifting my P3D location. As I didn't put the sim back into the same folder, I can clearly still see that it does just leave anything it didn't install originally -- including all my addon aircraft, Orbx scenery etc. If I was installing to the same location, I'd be inclined just to backup anything left from the previous install, just in case the new install baulks at anything.

Ok, since I began this post, I've just copied my old Orbx folder over to the new location, telling it not to replace anything already there. Then I ran FTX Central, and just shut it down immediately. The three airports I'd previously installed (without any regions!) work well, without having to take any other action. Not sure if there are bits missing, like elevation stubs, but certainly Whangarei looks especially lovely.
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby NZ255 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:53 pm

I gave my F-16 a polish to make PBR shine >buck<

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It's better to see it in motion but it looks pretty good.

The F-16 might have been an odd choice to show off PBR as it's so matte. It's easier to see shiny stuff.

I don't think it's a placebo, but I know you might have been able to achieve a similar result using the odd (non-pbr) materials, but at least it's an industry standard.
Also it's not at the same level as X-Plane yet as I couldn't see the runway lines being reflected in the fuselage even with dynamic reflections cranked, unless the runway need to use PBR materials too (I wouldn't have thought so)?

Edit: I’m learning more about PBR, this post may be inaccurate with regards to comparing it to xplane
Last edited by NZ255 on Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby NZ255 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:20 pm

Add to give you an idea on how good the rendering engine is.. here's someones 'thing' they posted on AVSIM.
Looks like a real object plonked in the cartoon world, image when the rest of it looks that real :D

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Re: Prepar3DV4.4 released

Postby toprob » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:18 am

NZ255 wrote:...Looks like a real object plonked in the cartoon world, image when the rest of it looks that real :D



That's so true, and the same with the latest test shots in that avsim thread. There goes my thought that I could just do a PBR terminal for NZCH, and leave the rest, but it should be all or nothing. In the case of NZCH, it'll be nothing, as it would take far too long to convert it all to PBR.
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