Night lighting issues still present - The community solutions

agree 100% . Rayleigh scattering probably. All of the discussion on lamp size aside, the night scene i remember early sept was stunning, i did a good few approaches and flew around glasgow being amazed. It now looks harsher and has less sublty between side streets and main roads.

What concerns me is these changes never get documented in the release notes. So, it burns 100’s of hours of peoples time objection handling them into either admitting it changed, or, as an example the LOD, people finding the settings in the cfg file and putting back was was there before. All the smaller bugs still also dont get fixed (high alt airport temp/pressure etc), just stick it backlog and see how many posts we get voted about it. This isn’t a great way to fix, develop or tune any software product. The huge gap between the # of fixes per month vs the revenue taken in is certainly worth thinking about.

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Thank you. You’ve got me covered in all of your posts!

There is no confusion. And why your enlargements are so low res? I can count just a bunch of pixels, very differently from the cutout that I posted.

So this talk of ‘downsized and heavily compressed versions’ is more applicable to you.

I’m not sure why are you trying to skew the argument.

Funny thing is, only reducing brightness in Freestyle won’t make the orbs smaller… I got that effect by using a special FX filter called “sketch” a tad bit. It sort of grey-washes the entire image over, but it has an effect of “chipping away” the edges of the orbs to some extent.

And of course since your scene is now grey-washed, then you’d need to play with shadows, gamma, brightness, colour temperature etc so it looks darker instead of grey.

A very limited band aid temporary solution for me in the time being… But I prefer the original (non-filtered), with smaller orbs that don’t get fuzzy/blurry in the distance. A tad fuzzy can be understandable maybe due to atmospheric effect etc… But not to the extent of myopic blurry.

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It is a temporary solution. After some experimentation it feels fake. For now back to the original.

This will probably be my last post about light bulbs sizes, but I’ve experimented trying to make them more visible and this is really interesting comparing the different approaches vs the photo. Here is:



FS2020 Update 3:

FS2020 Update 7:

NB: you have to open these images in their full size to really see the details!

A few quick comments on what I see:

  • fs2020 update 7 is rendering almost all “street light” bulbs at the same size, whatever the distance to the viewer. In addition the emboss filter is showing sharp edges which means they are very bright with very small halo. There seem to be “types” of lamps each displayed the same size and same way (all taxiway bulbs are rendered the same, all street bulbs the same, etc…)

  • fs2020 update 3 is rendering smaller street lights in the distance which is good, and the emboss filter is showing more fussiness revealing a wider halo. However it looks like their size vs distance is not linearly distributed like in the xp11 shot. Instead it seems they are displaying by LOD rings (all lamps in LOD ring 1 are the same size, all lamps in LOD ring 2 are same size). Otherwise if not by LOD rings there is some form of ‘clustering’ of same size lamps.

  • xp11 is rendering street lights with size varying with the distance and all lights are softer than fs2020 indicated the rendering of the halo around the light even for the closest ones.

  • real photo is showing more variation in light sizes but it shows there is a correlation still with light size and distance to the viewer. Furthermore, some of the lights are as sharp as the ones in fs2020 but most are fuzzy like xp11


That right there is part of the confusion.

You’ve taken a picture that first has been made smaller & degraded with high compression, and then made a blurry enlargement out of that.
That introduces a bunch artefacts and destructive defects blurring the whole thing, not longer an exact representation of the original size difference being compared.

The lamp size compared in the originals at native resolution where 6x7, 7x6 & 6x6 pixels / size in the versions compared.
Or do you refute that?

It becomes more obvious looking at the enlargement. (Since and the forums quality compression wrecks the original as your enlargements clearly shows.)

The enlargements I made are showing/representing the exact same numbers of pixels as the original native scale being compared, but “bigger” to make the comparison easier without blurring/messing up due to forum compression, as you now can see exactly how many pixels (if any) the size differs at native MSFS resolution (after all, that’s what we’re getting on the screen when flying.

That’s what the comparison is about. Showing the lamps (within range before falloff starts) at the same location, same distance, and same conditions actually have the same size.

But the distance where the lamps start to fade is much further away now, due to the increased lamp draw distance.
And because of this the size of the lamp texture definitely needs shrinking and scaling needs fixing too.

Won’t waste my time anymore. Bye dude.

Indeed… It feels like viewing the game through a video recorder.
I like the original colour palette more… It feels more “natural”. Once Asobo deal with the size (or apparent size) of the orbs in mid-long distance, the night scene will look way more pleasant I reckon.

Have a look at this video that just got out and was proposed by the official MSFS Facebook page:

How Microsoft Flight Simulator Recreated Our Entire Planet | Noclip Documentary

A nice documentary to watch it from beginning to end.
Have a look at 27:28…or 15:40. Really why would you like to change that and turn it into a completely different thing?


Yeah I saw that… Thought exactly the same as you…
However same old… Due to “NDA” we would never know sadly :frowning:

That “visually” look like a solid base to build on. Judging by that alone, all they needed to do then were adding various window lights to skyscrapers, lower buildings and houses, add white sporting field lights, some green/red lights on intersections to simulate traffic lights, red beacons on top of skyscrapers, change light colours on top of harbours / warehouses / factory complexes to white etc and we’re mostly set!

The rest, 3rd party devs who make city sceneries can do their stuff…
It will even be better if the SDK allows third parties to do their stuff to night lighting in a particular region.

Fully understandable and probably for the best, given the way it was going.
No hard feelings. : )


That’s exactly what many was wondering when those gorgeous & sharp lights went from being visible for long distances like in that video, to be reduced to a fraction of the distance and be replaced with he sepia mask after very short distances as just a kilometre or two.

Screenshots from the much cherished early alpha build (before that big change that removed the lamp visibility and replaced it with Sepia mask) showed quite a few rural roads being lit, and with tons of lamps visible at the same time, they were bound to look uniform in places. same as now since they haven’t implemented a solution for that yet.

Not knowing what the devs thoughts were, one can only guess/assume they might’ve listened to all the voices (same as now) saying everything is so bright and rural roads should have no lamps, with no suggestions on how it could be done, and lacking examples of how it actually works/looks like IRL flying at night at various altitudes & scenes.

Those voices surely got their wishes fulfilled when the lamp distance got cut down to almost nothing compared to IRL. And that effectively hid all those rural roads, the somewhat uniform appearance and so on.

The version after this big change (sepia/short lamps)got more and more polished up until release version, looking natural and balanced up close & down low. And this is great for all those just playing around at low level.

But everything just a bit higher just looked nasty to those knowing what it actually looks like flying at night.

I really hope for the sake of all types of users they will implement two choices of night tech, legacy for everybody who got used to the sepia version, and modern for those wanting a more realistic approach like we had early alpha.
That way the realism development wouldn’t be held back/downgraded by those only caring about eye candy down low, avoiding another big change like what happened to the early alpha, once again.


Can’t agree more …

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I understand why the NDA existed in alpha and the need for it then, but why is it still in effect now months after release? Would it not be helpful to the discussion to be able to give context about why something may have looked better in Alpha but was ultimately removed because of x,y,z rather than having to just say, “Yeah it was better, but can’t talk about it.”


I believe this is already addressed and illustrated in this discussion in previous posts. You’d have to search for them but I remember having posted publicly released pre-relesae screenshots (and a URL to get much more of them) and @Grinde81 further commented and contributed with the relevant information.

So true. That’s a real immersion killer too,together with the unusual uniformity and mesh-like arrays of the light bulbs.

I strongly encourage everybody to watch those Developer Q&A streams, in particular those of you who’re doubtful as to whether the team is willing to listen to us and address the discussed issues. Every time I have watched one, I felt much more certain afterwards that things will eventually get much better.
These things take time, that’s all.


I fully agree on this, but then again there are probably reasons well beyond the insights I gained from being on the alpha, that made them take this decision.

Here’s the post regarding NDA for alpha/beta testers.

With respect of this I restrict myself to giving my opinion on what could also be learned by close inspection of the from the pre-alpha / early-alpha screenshots/videos officially released

But in this particular case, I really wished this could be more openly discussed, since early-alpha had absolutely stunning night lighting in terms of realistic visibility range and lamp textures (as can be seen in the screenshots and videos posted earlier) , and building upon this and polishing using facts / real life properties would probably have given us stunning night lighting already, both low medium high altitudes, close and far.


Yep… Before I decided to buy MSFS and watched those pre-alpha trailers etc, I said to myself “show me your night lighting then we’ll talk”.
When I saw those pre-alpha nights, I was sold. Granted, there are stuff to improve, such as window lights from buildings weren’t there etc, but the basic was solid.

But of course out of the hundreds of images and trailers, screen shots / clips that shows night lighting were only about 1-5%(?) so we don’t really remember how it looks like, unless we’re part of alpha/beta team.
Honestly after I bought MSFS, I thought the pre-update 5 night light WAS the pre-alpha night light! Just when I got engaged with this topic and it got brought up, I checked again past clips etc and yeah they’re different!

Again, i don’t understand at all the “technical side” of software development etc… But if right now they “randomize” lights, and wants to randomize lights at rural area etc… They could’ve done it right then with the pre-alpha lights? Why reducing lights visibility? Short term solution back then?