[BUG LOGGED] Mountains/coastlines constantly morphing since the USA/UK/Nordics World Updates

It is indeed unfortunate that this is happening. This issue goes all the way back to flight simulators of 2006 and possibly before, and while this simulator seemed to have sorted it out, the morphing and other notorious terrain glitches made their grand return with the USA World Update.

As said above, it was brought to their attention in two Q&A sessions in a row, and they don’t seem to be particularly alerted, but the latest Feedback Snapshot says it is under investigation after so many months of this issue getting ignored. But there are a couple ways you could help:

  1. Send a Zendesk report. Asobo have made it clear that when prioritising visual/cosmetic issues that aren’t game-breaking, they rely on the amount of times it is reported. As such, the more reports they get about this, the quicker they’ll start taking care of it. I saw this happen with the flickering clouds several months ago.
  2. Upvote this thread. You can do so by clicking the blue “Vote” button at the top of this thread, right next to its title. It also helps to keep it alive with new footage or discussion around the issue’s status (threads are automatically locked after 30 days of no replies), but bumps are not allowed.
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Hi All,

Just voted, we need one more to go to 300 :slight_smile:

I also have been having a lot of issues with terrain morphing or small buildings popping up lately and I do no think its the specs and settings because I lowered the settings considerably and the problem persists. My connection is not great but decent - 50mbps so I am hoping the problem is not there either. An example I had today is the landing challenge of Saba (TNCS) with morphing of parts of the rock and small buildings on the hillside. In fact there is a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qyAnj5Ur5Q ) by someone else that shows the same problem. I also had a very serious issue flying close and trying to get a closer look at the presidents heads at Mount Rushmore.

I think in some ways this is even more annoying that stuttering.

I have an i7 9700f, RTX 2060, 32gb RAM, running MSFS2020 on NVMe SSD, no other apps except sometimes Chrome for maps and the like and usually never above 100 on the sliders and a combination of Mediums (few) and Highs (more) with only clouds on Ultra and FPS locked at 30 in game. Monitor is 2560x1440 144Hz but I limited to 60z and setting render scaling to either 80 or 100.

Thoughts / advice will be much appreciated.

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Thanks for your contribution! Indeed, this isn’t something affected by system specifications or connection quality. If you check the videos I uploaded a few posts above yours, they were taken with data streaming disabled and the area manually cached. The problem is that the terrain swaps between different levels of detail way too frequently, and the shape retention at lower levels is not very good.

In fact, you’ll find that reducing graphics settings (specifically the Terrain Level of Detail slider) makes the morphing even more obvious, because it happens closer to the camera.

I’m so happy to finally find a topic about this. Didn’t know it was called “morphing”. It really brake the immersion seeing huge empty space on mountains and everything morphing constantly. I’m happy to see that Asobo is giving attention to this and hope it’ll get fixed ASAP. Also got this since USA update… You got my vote !

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It’s quite prominent in the new Scandinavia update (WU5). The size of this update was small, they seem to use a low resolution LOD (again?), to display high resolution mountain details in some way. This causes mountains, or parts of mountains to change shape suddenly, or even suddenly pop up (change height drastically) so the issue remains, alas. Despite >300 good votes here.

I can add some information: it definitely improves when your terrain LOD is better. Tonight I compared the LOD distributed with the WU-5 with a public domain LOD for Norway, which is - I estimate - 2x better and 4x the size. More resolution helps with this issue. If you use a 20m Norway LOD, you keep seeing pyramids (mesh simplified to zero) on the far horizon, but the sudden height changes are less prominent, because max height, the horizon in view is more accurate, when the mesh is simplified on longer distance.

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I tested some areas covered by yesterday’s update and I don’t like what I’m seeing. Hopefully I can get some videos up soon.

No problem - and I don’t envy your role here!! We appreciate all the hard work and thanks! :slight_smile: :+1:

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Settings medium, default Norway DEM, zoom of drone was 100% (to exaggerate) I just made

this video

… you’ll have to download it, I’m not a YT member and it is too long to post here.

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Thanks for the video! I compressed it to a file size that stays below the forum’s limit, only a minor loss in quality and the unneeded audio track is discarded.

Towards the end it also shows off well the issue with the mountain seams.

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Thanks ! I did not succeed with my little video tools to get it compressed.

Absolutely, these are related issues… I suspect these seams are related to tesselation errors with textures that don’t cover the teals completely… rounded/misaligned UV coordinates or something… but I’m not sure about that analysis. It could also occur when the underlying mesh is actually broken. Contains gaps. I looked into it, but using SDK/Options/Wireframe I can’t see what actually happens. When it happens, it is too far away for close mesh detail. When you approach a bit, the seams (broken mountains, transparent strips, ugly ridges, whatever they call it) disappear for a while. Then it goes to the next tesselation detail level… and at some point, the seams return for that LOD-level… and disappear again on further approach… Some kind of rounding error could be the root cause.

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And here I thought the morphing couldn’t get any worse. This is in Norway, after the Nordics World Update. There is so much more distortion and mismatching between the LODs now.

That huge transparent area with the floating trees in the second video looks hilarious. I don’t think they changed anything in the LOD rings/distances, but it appears they totally screwed up the shape retention with this new mesh. Not very encouraging that the issue is getting worse!

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Urgh! That’s horrible!

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Imagine what this will be like when you are flying those top gun F-18s. Just dreadful!

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Wow this is unbelievable!!
As usual I am just checking in after this latest update to see where we are at on the “morphing”. What the heck?!?!
I have not even updated the sim yet. In fact I haven’t even fired it up in a few months. These little videos you just posted are enough for me not to even bother doing the update. I am going to continue to stay away from fs2020 entirely. When I start seeing some kind of movement in the right direction on this issue, I’ll come back.
At least I still have your wonderful and informative posts to keep me in the loop (whilst I spend all of my simming time in DCS) For what its worth, I really do want FS2020 to be awesome!
Thanks ChaoticSplendid as always! Your efforts are much appreciated! Cheers

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I know very little about coding but I imagine blocking big differences and using a subroutine to halve them would be relatively easy to implement, the difficult part would be picking them up in the first place without dramatically increasing latency.

Thought my last clips looked bad? Well, brace yourselves.

The coastlines are morphing even worse than the mountains as expected, but now there is some dark flickering before the terrain morphs into its new shape. So bizarre! And as usual, the morphing in the underlying terrain is causing landmarks to pop up and down (the Preikestolen in this case).

Even though this should have been a scenic area, the morphing, the disrupted coastlines and the mountain seams turned this into a miserable flying experience.

This has got to be some of the worst morphing I’ve ever seen. You can literally see hills and spikes being created out of flatter terrain, or disappearing into thin air. And look at that semi-transparent hill with gaps at 0:08.

What surprised me is that in this area, setting the Terrain Level of Detail slider to 200 did almost nothing to clean up the morphing. Even very close to the aircraft, those artifacts were quite frequent.

So much work they’re putting into these World Updates, going to total waste because of these gnarly mesh issues. It is clear now that the terrain engine requires a total overhaul.

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Iceland’s Ísafjörður landing challenge. notice the hills morphing on the right. all settings on ultra.

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its happening in all mountain ranges. I have experienced morphing in himalayas, swisszerland and alaska also

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Orbx released their free Iceland Mesh add-on a few days ago, with the same promise that, like NZ Mesh, it greatly reduces morphing compared to the default mesh.

Wonder whether it lives up to its promise? No need, I’m here to show you!

This video was taken with default mesh:

The morphing is not nearly as bad as in Norway, but still pretty bad. You can distinctly see parts of the mountains rising up as the camera approaches.

Now this is with the Orbx mesh:

The morphing is much, much less frequent now, and the swapping between the different levels of detail is a lot more graceful. These two videos were taken with Terrain Level of Detail at 25. At 100 and above, with the Orbx mesh the morphing is nearly invisible. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Orbx show that it can be done. Too bad they didn’t answer my question regarding licensing this technique in the last Q&A. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait for Orbx to cover the entire planet…

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ORBX NZ mesh is a real improvement. Makes flying in New Zealand so much more enjoyable. :grinning: :+1:

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