Any of You Who have "Great" Photogrammetry in Cities... Please Read


OK, so I think I see pretty much exactly the same as you from the runway in JFK, but zooming in. Here are a few pics:

50% zoom

60% zoom

70% zoom

80% zoom

90% zoom

100% zoom

That last one looks horrible, but I think you can see that all the zoom is doing is making the same stuff that you can see at 50% zoom bigger. It’s not drawing any more in.

So I made a little video to show what happens when we fly the drone closer. What is interesting is the trick that PG does which I think is to fool the eye into making things look better than they really are. It makes things looks close enough and our eyes/brain fills in the gaps. From a distance. Zoom up close, and you can see those gaps very clearly.

In the video, I get actually pretty close with the drone before the skyline begins to look good. Have a go at this yourself and see how it looks for you. You will need to give youtube a litle while to process the HD version of this though as it’s quite a big file. SD version is available now (but won’t tell you much!).

1 Like

Pilot, those screenshots look like mine (and I’m having the problems) because you’re flying right over it. I think the bigger issue is from a few miles back, the skyline doesn’t “render”.


Gordon, you’re quickly becoming my hero. Will take a look at this soon. Thanks for all your help!!!

So, in your opinion, this is how it’s meant to be or how it currently should be vs a bug?

Something else: flying towards Manhattan, buildings start to look great when I get close. When I fly away, they go back to looking terrible. They look good again when I get far away. Given that the streamed data is cached (and I have a 100GB rolling cache), if it were a bandwidth/latency issue, I would except building to remain good-looking after they had been first streamed to the client.


The photogrammetry “melted” buildings or low LOD related problem is not related to the internet speed at all (unless this prevents downloading data altogether). Case in point: take a slow aircraft, fly over a photogrammetry city at 100ft height, pause the sim and look from the outside. You shall have highest LOD resolution on your buildings like the picture posted above:

The problem is most likely only related to LOD ring distance and there was a long discussion post Q&A about this. Hopefully the developers are now aware of the issue and are looking into this.

For a complete picture (no pun intended) of all the LOD bugs I’ve extensively documented and illustrated:


I think it’s hard to say that it’s a bug - maybe more of a “feature”. I think the PG is doing the best it probably can given the current data and tech. What could change is the zooming in - I think the sim could redraw the image from where you would be if you were seeing the zoomed image without the zoom if you get my meaning. That way it would be drawing more detail onto the screen. In some ways it feels as if they’ve taken a bit of an easy way out with that.

Think of it like a photocopier - you can enlarge your page from A4 to A3, but that doesn’t add any extra information, it just makes it bigger. I think that’s what is going on here.

We should probably wish list it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I also have no idea what impact making this work “properly” would have on FPS etc.

1 Like

Fair points. I am going to test other cities and will report back on the thread. Thanks EVERYONE for helping and at least testing with me, this is more than I’ve had in weeks!

For those who want to vote on the issue (whether it’s LOD or photogrammetry, maybe the title of the bug is incorrect) here’s the thread --> Please Fix Photogrammetry and/or LOD (Latest Patch Has Made it Worse)

How have I missed your post?? Thanks for sending me the links, looking at it now. Hoping Asobo will review as well.

1 Like

Thank you for your comments! Please note the post I’ve linked above is a little bit sarcastic, meaning when you read me writing “it is no longer necessary” you’d have to read the opposite!

Here are the links to my follow up posts in the same discussion with more information:

The last one ends with a good note:

PS: there are good news though and we’re making progress, because of all these documented bug reports, at least the latest (LOD distance using square root of its value) is not just closed:

Thank you for submitting your report, we’ve added it to the Development Team’s Internal Bug Tracker!

I’ve rasied a wishlist thread for the zoom function. Please vote for it here:

In a real plane I can’t zoom either, so I don’t care. Nice to have but not necessary. I have voted just because it would be comfy and many user complain about, despite that has nothing to do with reality.


Maybe there are several reasons why it gets like this, but for me it looks absolutely perfect at times, both from distance and closer up. While at times ity just this messy melted appearance.

So I don’t think it’s related to settings or LOD in my case, but more the Xbox networking/servers.

When I flew over Chicago the other day the photogrammetry was perfect, before the session I logged in and out of my Xbox profile in MSFS. Not sure it was coincidence or not, will need to test that a bit more.

1 Like

True. And you’re right (as well as Gordon) that I needed my expectations set a bit when zooming in so much.

However, it is even noticeable when I’m not using a camera mode and just in cockpit at times and that’s my biggest complaint.

This whole issue with LOD and houses with strange textures seems not to have taken into account zoom feature on the sim.

Firstly most of the pictures included to illustrate the issue are take outside of the plane. (What are you doing outside of the plane. This is supposed to be a simulator)

Very rarely are people including any refference of zoom factor used in the pictures.

Just flew over Manhattan to check for myself and thought I see no problems here. Everything looks alright.

Then I pop out of the plane and zoom in. There they are, skyscrapers that look like they were melted.

If you want to get a closer look at something in the distance you cannot just zoom in and then expect the sim to enlarge the details as you zoom. You have to fly there and look.

If you want to explore then use the showcase camera.
There you can move freely around.

When all this is said I would also like to be a le to move the camera/wiev point in external wiev, closer to or further from the plane.

1 Like

That is because you are zoomed in in the picture it looks like that.

If you move to that position in the cockpit using the move feature alt up arrow you wont get this.

Why MS/Asobo have chosen to go with a zoom rather than move viewpoint feature I dont understand.

1 Like

That seems to be an issue with internet bandwidth. You can have 3333333333 mb/s, but if it’s clogged or throttled when you fly, you’ll see this.

Have you done an actual speedtest at the time of flying?

More importantly, have you tried to manually cache the areas you’re flying over? If the manual cache works, it means it’s a bandwidth issue.

I don’t think it’s due to bandwidth. I’ve never had any trouble with bandwidth, but I do see these horrid landscapes in most cities with Photogamatry. Sometimes you can ignore the effects just by not looking closely, but at other times the colors are so bad that you can’t help but notice the lack of quality.

One problem with diagnosing the problem is that there are so many variables involved, it could be due literally to anything.

Doesn’t have to be bandwidth issues on your end of the line. Could be on microsofts side, or somehwere in the network connecting the two, or at your ISP.

I just mentioned how to test it. It may not “have” to be, but assuming it’s not is bad practice.