Fix photogrammetry bridges so that they are not "solid" underneath

@Musis3rd there are a bunch of threads already logged with votes in both the bugs category and wishlist category, just splitting the vote unfortunately - please have a look using the search first before you start a new topic.

This has been a day 1 issue and is a photogrammetry issue - just the way it works. They can fix it for hand crafted bridges, but I don’t know if the AI can do it for the others. The good news is that Google Earth can do it, so there must be a way.

Note that although a lot of threads are raising this as new after 1.11.6, that is only because there are a bunch of bridges on the new US Tour and so it makes it pretty obvious.

Also some of these threads are about being able to fly under the bridges. These are two related but separate issues I think. Whilst flying under is fun, personally I’m not worried by that as much by the look which is pretty ugly compared with the rest of the beauty around it.

@moderators - any chance you can combine/rationalise some of these? Appreciate they have votes, but some with not many. Thanks in advance


I remark that at each NVIDIA update, my NVIDIA (2080 Ti) settings siwtch to optimal ( performances instead quality). I have corrected my settings and I will try again the same flight
My LOD are greater than 100 and I haven’t bandwith limitation
Thanks for your answers

So I did this trip for a 2nd time and I got different (worse) results than last time. Could it be that the more people download the USA patch and fly over it / stream it the worse the result for the end user gets? Like on a movie streaming platform when there is a high demand on a particular film?

Starting on the bridges:

Bear Mountain Bridge has a duplicate on the satellite image under the model that seems to be handcrafted (not as cluttered as Brooklyn Bridge with cars on top of the bridge for example):

Tappan Zee Bridge doesn’t get fully loaded when nearby even with high LOD settings. Furthermore this very important bridge near Sleepy Hollow undergoes a major update since years (see Google Earth). This bridge is also an important landmark when on approach to Westchester County/ White Plains Airport for all business jet lovers!

On the horizon you can already make out Empire State Building which loads ages earlier than the rest of Manhattan. This was discussed in another thread already. IIRC hand crafted objects load earlier than the streamed rest of the 3D cities.

George Washington Bridge is no exception when it comes to buggy bridge animation.

Check out these 3 Manhattan bridges. Williamsburg Bridge seems to be a native streamed 3D bridge from Bing Maps whereas Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge seem to have been replaced by hand crafted models. These hand-crafted models appear much brighter than the rest of the streamed buildings from Bing Maps.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is another brick in the water.

Philadelphia gave me a HUGE negative impact on FPS. While the leg from Philly to Baltimore gave me approximately 27FPS in the Philly region I got about 10-12FPS. NYC and Washington didn’t cause a FPS breakdown that big. Also, the LOD was way lower than in other cities while my settings remained the same.

New Castle tower seems to have an evil “shadow twin”.

The big reservoir near Potomac river on final to rwy 19 of Reagan airport has some big elevation mistakes. Seems to be a “water reflection problem” as I got the same mistake at the lake southeast of Alta ENAT airport in Norway when turning on final for rwy 29 and at the big diamond mine near the city of Mirny in Russia.

Furthermore if I use ATC services along the route all words written in CAPITAL LETTERS get spelled letter by letter from ATC using the NATO alphabet. This is ok for tail signs and airport identifiers but is really annoying for AIRPORT NAMES such as RONALD REAGAN MUNICIPAL AIRPORT. It took ATC ages to let me start the approach and I was still at 1500ft while passing Arland D. Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge. The dive to rwy 19 therefore was quite impressive. Nothing the Caravan couldn’t handle in full landing config but the passengers ripped off the hand holds and some people on Gravelly Point Park called 911 thinking they were witnessing a plane crash.


What is your “buildings” set to? I saw the same thing but I’m running with custom settings including buildings set to “medium” to keep my ■■■■ system above 15fps. I figured it was a building detail setting issue.

i7-6700K Overclocked to 4.6Ghz
GTX 1080
64GB DDR4 2133 CL16
RAID-0 x4 Samsung EVO 860 SSDs

Dozens of players are reporting the same problem. It has nothing to do with LOD settings. My New York look exactly the same… and it looks like there is someting wrong with the photogrammetry in the game. It is only loading the scenery in a very near distance - not depending on the LOD setting - and it is only loading 80 %. So the buildings look black/grey and “dead”. Looks like the city has been bombed in a war or something. I have had this problem since game lunch in august.

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Photogrammetry has a few “quirks”. It is difficult to know how fixable they are.

The PG areas looks darker than surrounding areas - something you don’t notice so much in the cities with full sun, but you definitely notice where the PG blends (or doesn’t actually) into the surrounding area. See this thread you can vote on which is looking to improve the blending:

I’ve not seen a specific thread about making the PG itself brighter - you might want to raise one in the bugs or wishlist sections?

The bridge problem here is definitely unrelated to settings. It is what PG does. Having said that, Google Earth doesn’t show the bridges like this, so there is a way to resolve it, hence this thread.

In terms of loading/distance etc - this has been an issue for some players for a long time. PG doesn’t load until you are quite close and from a distance you get melted/pointy cone shaped buildings. I don’t know what cause that, but there are a few threads on this issue too that you can vote for.

There are also bridges that look ok but do cause a crash due to an invisible wall. Navajo Bridge in the Grand Canyon near Page KPGA is an example. Sometimes you get lucky and can pass underneath and on other attempts you crash or your prop stops spinning as if you’ve hit sth.

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Wasn’t aware of that - that’s also weird!

We certainly can’t expect every bridge in the world to be hand crafted objects so the vast majority of them need to be generated on the fly from analyzing Bing Maps. If Bing Maps does not have an object defined then it’s up to the engine to determine that a bridge likely exists and how to draw it so there’s some realism to it. Traffic needs to be routed across whatever it is that’s generated as well.

Luckily there’s hints in the basic map that can tell the engine to draw a generic bridge. Bodies of water and roads are both defined. The engine can assume that if those roads cross those bodies of water (especially at a right angle) that a bridge likely exists. The width of the span of that crossing can determine what generic object to use. (Over a certain width those bridges could be defaulted to having some overhead support structure for example).

Those Bing Map aerial photo textures are layered over the top of the underlying mesh which should give the engine information about water height compared to the the height on the banks and the bridge can go at or slightly above bank level. The area underneath should be left blank and open. On a known body of water the roads should never go down a bank to water level and back up. That should be an exclusion of the road segment replaced by the road being redrawn atop the bridge surface.

That same logic could be used for deep canyons where there is no defined body of water at the bottom. If a major road hits a large depression in the mesh where it suddenly drops down and then back up, a decision can be made to replace that segment with a bridge on the top of that deep canyon.

Google Maps obviously has modeled most of the world’s bridges and I would imagine that eventually Bing will catch up but in the meantime, these solutions should work. Overall most of the graphics are pretty stunning especially if you grab some of the excellent free add ons that hobbyists and designers are pouring out. Lots of them are concentrating on things such as major bridges. Some are taking short cuts and grabbing the Google map objects which is a somewhat risky shortcut given possible legal issues that could arise.

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Good post thanks. There are also rumours that some community scenery doesn’t have the proper scaling (not sure of the right term) which means they are very CPU/graphically intensive even when far away - this can presumably contribute to frame rate drops some people see.

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Posted about this back on Sep. 3rd. Filed a zendesk at the same time. Same bridge still messed up.

Glad to read that these things are a quite common issue… “solid” bridges and dystopical “burned out” cities.
Forget thinking about Nvidia settings - it happens with Radeon cards as well. So it seems to be PG related, out of our reach.

Sad thing: I haven’t been focusing on so many things in the release version that now I can’t tell if they are new behavior or not :frowning:

I remember that the devs mentioned solid bridges were resolved within Update 7 or am I wrong ?

When in fact, they still seem to be right in the sim.

Most PG in the US urban areas have brownish ‘autumn’ tones when compared to the deeply greenish summer Bing Map data surrounding them.

Not to mention the unrealistic Bing Maps green roads and highways all around the USA.

Don’t remember them saying that

Yes see my post above with a link to a thread you can vote on about that

The LOD level for photogrammetry seems to be calculated by physical distance, not taking into account the zoom level. That’s why everything looks melted when you zoom in. When you fly closer instead, a higher LOD is used and everything looks (relatively) crisp.

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Nope mate 8-(
For me it’s melted even if totally zoomed out, it’s just not that obvious at first glance.

Crisp is exaggerated. I think it looks dead. I have to fly 3-4-5 times over Manhattan to get PG built up. Freedom tower looks grey and apocalyptic. When I have flown by it is already melted away…

This does appear to be getting fixed slowly. If you really want to fly under bridges, go to downtown Paris, almost all of them are working for this.