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Thread: FSX-native models vs AI models as AI Traffic

  1. #1
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    Question FSX-native models vs AI models as AI Traffic

    I have recently began making my own AI traffic to update some of the outdated WoAI packages and have been using this site frequently for textures and AI models. From mostly using WoAI (which include and use most, but not all of these models) I know that these models cause a big FPS drop in comparison to default aircraft (being FS2004 models).

    If I were to set flyable, fsx-native models (i.e. Thomas Ruth Airbuses, POSKY fsx-updated models, etc.) as opposed to AI-specific (AI Aardvark, DJC, Alpha-India Group, etc.) models, would I get a boost in FPS in FSX?

    I vaguely remember reading a topic on this forum (whether it was about AI traffic in FSX or FS9 I don't recall) that using pilotable models can cause a larger FPS drop as opposed to AI specific models. Is this true for FSX (even when using fsx-native models)?

  2. #2

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    It is true.

    You can use (in theory) any FSX aircraft as AI traffic. There is a very nice freeware application called GA-Traffic that lets you select which aircraft you want to use for AI traffic and how often they fly and then it will generate flight plans for you covering the entire globe if you wish.

    As you said, there is a price to pay. Very nice looking (high poly count) aircrafts can cause fps drop when you approach a busy airport and there are several of them.

    GA-Traffic has a built-in option to generate a "simplified" external model of any aircraft which is supposed to be more frame-rate friendly. I have however never tried it.

    Paolo

  3. #3
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    If you where to build a new model from scratch in fsx style you would expect some improvement, but using flyable models has its own issues as Paolo staed, the high polygon count will cause a hit, plus all the animations and vc. This is why ai dont have vcs.
    Intel [email protected] 4.6 1.223V Gigabyte GAZ87X-UD3H, Gigabyte GTX 680 2Gig GPU, 8 Gig Cas 11 2100 Mhz ram, Win 7 64 Bit

  4. #4
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    The question about FS9 vs FSX model aircraft is comparing AI models to AI models - not AI models to flyable aircraft. FPS impact is based on many factors.

    The biggest 'hit' is the number of aircraft active, both in your view radius of approx 10 nm and the active AI zone of approx 120 nm radius. A good AI model uses several LOD (Levels of Detail) and is modeled to use the minimum number of polygons in each LOD. Also the size of the textures has an impact. The AIA B737-800W model uses 1.25MB of your RAM to display the aircraft textures. The default FSX B737-800W uses 14.2 MB RAM to display the same aircraft.

    Quote Originally Posted by chainchomp2 View Post
    I vaguely remember reading a topic on this forum (whether it was about AI traffic in FSX or FS9 I don't recall) that using pilotable models can cause a larger FPS drop as opposed to AI specific models. Is this true for FSX (even when using fsx-native models)?
    The flyable vs AI question comes down to polygons. For example the AIA B747 FS9 model with 3,562 polygons at LOD1 and 16 LOD - and compare it to a flyable FSX native model B747 which has about 15,000 polygons and only 1 LOD. When you are sitting next to the aircraft - the AIA FS9 model is approx 23.7% of the FPS 'hit' of the FSX model.

    When the two aircraft are 300 feet from your eyepoint - the AIA FS9 model is using 1,567 polygons at LOD 8 and the FSX native model is still using 15,000 polygons. A 10-1 advantage for the FS9 model.

    Quote Originally Posted by chainchomp2 View Post
    I know that these models cause a big FPS drop in comparison to default aircraft (being FS2004 models).
    That is incorrect. The default FSX aircraft have about four to five times the FPS hit when compared to an equalivant aircraft FS9 AI model. The default FSX aircraft have between 8,000 and 12,000 polygons while the FS9 models have 2,000 to 3,000 polygons. The default FSX aircraft do have LOD, but not as efficient as AIA, AIG, AIM, DJC or TFS models.

    Some areas where FS9 and FSX native AI models vary which has some impact on FPS performance.

    XML Animation - FS9 aircraft can display animations like chocks and engine covers when the engines stop, flaps which lower one level before takeoff, pilot head in military fighter aircraft which turn toward the view eyepoint. FSX models cannot have those animations. The animations do impact FPS slightly, and do require a few more polygons.

    Night Light Textures - Both FS9 and FSX native models can use a completely different type of night light to produce a better view at night. This is a function of how the texture is built, not the model itselt. This technique requires a unique night light texture for each repaint - not the use of a general texture for the aircraft model. Often a much larger texture.

    Reflective Models - A great many FS9 AI aircraft use non-reflective models. All FSX native models are reflective. Non-reflective models are a noticable less FPS hit than reflective models.

    DX10 - FS9 models simply will not work well with DX10. Newer FSX models will.

    If you want to pursue replacing your models - buy a commercial package like Ultimate Traffic 2. Use the models from that package with many of the WoA repaints. The UT2 package contains many AIA, DJC and TFS models which were recompiled as FSX native models. Since these are the same aircraft and texture maps as many of those used by WoA in the FS9 version - you can use the same textures.

    Another thing you can do is to study up on alpha textures and night light map textures - and start working with a tool like Adobe Photoshop to create new replacement textures for each repaint.

    But the only real way to reduce the FPS hit of AI aircraft is to lower the number of AI aircraft you are trying to display, keep active. Lowering the % slider is the main way. Another is to not fly in extremely complex air spaces such as London, New York, Los Angeles - or at really big airports like Frankfurt or Amsterdam.

    Another big cause of FPS hits is complex airport scenery. If you want to fly to such places, use the default scenery, do not buy any addon scenery. Again, a simple matter of the number of polygons. All addon airport scenery increases the number of polygons displayed, and the number and size of textures needed. No matter how well done - they are always a huge increase in the resources necessary to display the airport.

    Adding AI to a complex airport scenery only makes the problems more noticable.
    Hello Dave

    @ PawPaw's house - near KADS, Addison, Texas, USA

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