LOD problems - Trees Fix Revisited

Thank you for sharing. Like yourself I too have edited the vegetation files using 100’s of different variations to determine the best representation of trees. Although there are certain sets of settings which do make a pleasing visual difference, the problem is somewhat more complex as CptLucky8 has already mentioned.

Terrain LOD affects the detail visible on the terrain, although there is a slight draw distance ring increase in Terrain LOD, the actual ring LOD from the aircraft position is not directly affected. The same principle works with Object LOD, higher settings do not render objects further away from the aircraft, all it does is render the objects within the ring LOD with sharper details. As previously mentioned… again by CptLucky8 :wink: things start to get really weird when reducing the Terrain LOD to 100 or less, more trees are rendered further away from the aircraft, however the LOD ring (trees specific) close to the aircraft position is sometimes reduced.

Here is a simple breakdown of how the LOD settings actually work. Picture yourself on a giant sheet of paper (flat), the sheet of paper is populated with 1000 black squares (representing objects) and 1000 black circles (representing trees), there are also feint lines on the paper (horizontal and vertical) representing the Terrain. While flat on the piece of paper, you can see the squares,circles and lines nearest to you in all it’s glory. You begin to start ascending, and the patterns start becoming smaller, there’s still the same number of squares (1000) and still the same number of circles (1000), also there are still the same number of lines. Terrain LOD depicts how sharp those lines on the paper will be while ascending, the number of lines do not increase, only the quality of what’s already present. Objects LOD works exactly the same way, the quality of whats already present is more definable from altitude.

Draw distance (the setting we do not have access to yet) will determine how many sheets of paper we can add to our original one. Trees, Buildings and Bushes settings (within the sim) do have an effect on the LOD within the LOD ring, however there are dependencies within the code that makes the behavior of populating these objects somewhat confusing.


@DaffodilGlue317 This is a very clear explanation of what is happening and what the current implementation limitations are vs what the simmers are looking for ! :clap:t2: :clap:t2: :clap:t2:

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Thanks for the reply, I’ve been following this thread since the beginning and appreciate your input and work on deciphering this issue.

I do not change the UserCfg.opt file to read only after making an adjustment. I have checked this file many times after using the sim and find it is never changed by the sim, at least not that I can tell. Perhaps the sim itself disregards the higher number I’ve entered and limits the two settings to 2.0 no matter what I’ve changed the number to, but I didn’t believe that. I had done a lot of testing up until a few weeks ago with the ObjectsLoD Factor setting and found it most definitely made a difference in city skyscraper view distance. I did those tests on numerous cities and in all cases was pleased to find the draw distance increased greatly. I left that setting at 8.5 and didn’t look back.

After reading your replies and that of DaffodilGlue317, I did a new test of the Chicago skyline a little while ago and it now appears the skyscraper draw distance has been extended in the sim code, as both a setting of 2.0 and 8.5 appears to show the skyline at about the same distance away from the city. Talk about confusing, I know I wasn’t seeing things a month ago when conducting these trials. I think Asobo made code changes with the last patch or two because of the talks about tree LOD’s and draw distances, etc. I don’t know this of course, just going by what I know I was seeing and what is happening now, or appears to be happening now.

I do think that my edits to tree sizes and their numbers in the tree files has made a noticeable difference in the appearance of trees. As for your second question, I have seen what you are describing, but in my case I believe it’s effect to be somewhat mitigated because I increased the tree sizes and it isn’t as noticeable to me. Would you concur that is possible?

To sum up, I am going to leave my settings as is, it isn’t hurting the sim in any case and I definitely prefer the larger tree sizes to the reduced sizes. I will continue to follow this thread and your discoveries, and as Asobo has already stated publicly they are investigating all of this I am encouraged they will sort this out and fix the tree LOD and draw distance issues.

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@CriticalClub72, thanks for the tip. It makes a huge difference, but you shouldn’t be afraid of tall trees :joy:

I tried several values, the only problem: trees are not realistic with the size of the world.

But I prefer too tall trees with a large lod than realistic trees displayed at the nose of the plane :kissing_closed_eyes:

Just look at the side of the millau viaduct (thanks to Thalixte by the way)
I live in this area and I am finally reconciled with msfs, waiting in my sweet dream that asobo releases a fix for trees lod.

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@LaSaussice I was about to ask you whether you’re living in Murteau, Montbéliard or Strasbourg :joy:

Thank you for sharing these, there is definitely more ‘green’ visible in the middle of the village there.

PS: You might not know this: you can directly drag and drop your JPEG into the message, this forums is hosting and embedding images too!

@CptLucky8, you forget toulouse :joy:

This is a simple general improvement but not perfect, a lot of details are lost ; Tall trees hiding roads, houses…

As the lod depends on the size of the trees, it would be necessary to find to make them spawn only in far distance to improve the lod, and keep realistic trees around the plane.

Maybe with the remote spawn values? I’m going to try.

Thanks for the pic tip!

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I try not Toulouse (à lire comme la chanson de Nougaro) :wink:

@CptLucky8 what a singer, reminds me memories…

For those who had access to the alpha, how tall were the trees? Higher than the release version?

Some people already complained that the trees were too tall on the alpha but many others talking that the lod was fantastic, with a launch version tree lod reduced.

Maybe asobo reduced the size of the trees at launch? (in addition to the bug introduced with the updates)

no one could answer you about how it was during the alpha because of the NDA. However there are already comments in a lot of places mentioning trees size is smaller in release version. Given LOD depends on size (bug or feature is yet to be determined) if they’ve reduced tree size, they have essentially also reduced LOD then which is unfortunate.

I believe this may well be the crux of this issue. They have some logic in there which doesn’t draw trees if they are deemed too small to matter visually, but since they reduced the overall size of trees in the late alphas, they have not changed that logic to comply with the new reduced tree size, so many trees are not getting drawn.

It does make me worry about the level of internal testing which is done on this stuff. I mean, one flight will show you the tree LOD is currenlty very poor, yet the devs only seemed to become aware that there might even be a problem at the last Q&A session, even though I’ve been reporting this continuosly to Zen after every release, with a a detailed description, screen grabs and videos.

So that indicates that the reporting mechanism is woefully inadequate to date. It is also hideous that we take so much time to report these things over the months, yet there is zero meangingful feedback from the devs or management to indicate what state the bug is currently in. That is very frustrating, and leaves the user just guessing whether their efforts have had any effect at all. Hence the need to repeatedly report the same bugs after each release.

I get quite annoyed when I file a detailed report to Zen, and then about 2 weeks later I get a stock email from Asobo saying thanks for the report and then just regurgitating the same old stock diatribe telling me how to clean my cache or resinstall the sim. I’m not expecting a personal reply, but we do need much better bug tracking and accounting than we have to date.

It’s really not helpful to either side.


Robust system or not most of us with mid to high end machines can max it out pass 200 and get acceptable results when flying GA.Some of us do fly tubeliners.
What happens when you push LOD sliders pass 200 and let’s say the 787,a320n ,747 into JFK or another demanding airport guess what you get long pauses and possibly fps drops.

Good results but only suitable for GA :wink:

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I did this a while back (adjusting the LODs in the user config file) and had to experiment quite a bit with what would work. I found some interesting things.

If I had terrain above 4.0, the Sim would crash if I loaded into a really dense area (like JFK). However, if I loaded into a remote area nearby, it would run just fine and then I could fly into JFK and it wouldn’t crash. Strange, but maybe the Sim or my RAM (32GB) couldn’t handle all that it was trying to simultaneously load.

I ended up settling on 3.5 for terrain and 10.0 for buildings and my Sim is staggeringly beautiful. I have a Gigabyte RTX 3080 OC to push it that far.

Interestingly enough, building LOD also affects how far out AI aircraft are drawn and so my skyline is glowing with aircraft and buildings on the horizon.

At 4K, I usually hang out around 45 FPS and dip to 30 in a busy area.

It’s wonderful.

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Thanks, appreciate the info. Glad to see the adjustments work for some people. I’ve been doing more testing today based on feedback by other individuals. I went through one test in the Chicago area quite extensively and found the settings did not seem to be working as they had been. Then I bumped the settings up for another go round before giving up and all of a sudden trees were being drawn way out as they had been for me and the Chicago skyline was visible many miles away as mere dots on the lakefront, which is what I’ve been seeing on my system for a while now. Strange behavior sometimes…

Hopefully in one of the upcoming updates Asobo will announce they have discovered the cause of the LOD issue and have corrected it, and the sim will be back to what it was with the original debut trailer or close to it. And give us back the sensational water as well. (One can hope…)

Hi CriticalClub72! I really like your setting. The scenery is wonderful!
Please share your settings. (Tree settings, LOD settings) Please describe in detail which values should be overwritten. To which folder should the setting values of the tree be changed, to which value?


I compared the files “10-asobo_species.xml” from the “fs-base/vegatation” catalog from the current MFS2020 install ( and the original release version (from my backup copy dated 20-08-2020). To my surprise both files are identical, so if Asobo changed trees size in one of the patches it wasn’t done by changing this file. Both are dated 18-08-2020 18:52.

Don’t talk to me about trees.
Trees are for the birds!

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Could you please share your modified tree files as with them the draw distance seems much bigger.

What you did to make them look like that?

It looks like he just made them bigger but that going to look horrible when flying low, they will be disproportionately large compared to other 3D objects, assuming that is what he has done. If he has, its not really a solution.

I do IFR so totally not a problem having big trees for more view distance.