Night lighting issues still present - The community solutions

The floating light issue and (night light system in progress), are near mountains in average, on the latest Q@A they explained this “Discussion: Live Developer Q&A – Nov 2020”, most should be fixed but if still please reported them, floating light are system used on altitude, some are doubled on lower, it’s bug.

I don’t know what you’re referring to as “before”, but here are 2 side-by-side Update 3 (Japan DLC) vs Update 7 (USA DLC) from my 2 RJTT screenshots (left side is 3 and right side is 7):


They are exactly the same size. However in update 7 there is nearly no falloff (which further makes them brighter). As a matter of fact looking at this comparison again, it might be they’re trying to simulate dimmer lights farther away in changing the falloff (which is a basically taking a spot sprite texture, and adding ± RGB value to increase the brightness, which the shader will cap to the maximum and make the falloff disapear (similar effect to white clipping in photos).

Why does size matter?

Comparing EGNX screenshots I’ve posted, side-to-side, FS2020 Update 7 vs X-Plane 11:

Because they’re not varying size with distance this even makes a color shift in the opposite direction:

  • the red lights at the end of the runway are supposed to be the same red lights at the begining.
  • in FS2020, then are washed out at the front and red-ish at the back
  • in XP11 they are red-ish at the front and washed out at the back (atmosphere absorbing)

All these observations and comparison leads me to this:

Nov. 25 2020 Q&A info and concerns

They are working on it… what concerns me is what they intend to do because I don’t see this solving the issue we’re describing in this discussion. Which begs the question whether night lighting will solely be something under the creative decisions at Asobo, or, whether like many other things the community doesn’t want they’ll change direction and adopt some if not most of our suggestions here.

In effect Sebastian was describing the problem of sampling multiple lights in the same pixel and he is right, there is no way you could this properly (simple signal sampling theory). In addition, he said they’ll add density to the road lights base on population statistics.

My point of view is road light should mostly and nearly solely be a factor of road traffic. You can see in all screenshots they’re adding yellow/red bulbs over the street and roads. So in turn with the population density data you’ll still get light bulbs over the roads and the streets, only, you’ll get less bulbs and spread apart. Now imagine you’re flying country side and you see a few dots there and there, 500m apart, they are no longer helping you spot it is a road (there is not enough points to see that), and they are static in the scenery.

Therefore, in adition to the 4 points I’ve enumerated above there are 3 more in my opinion for convincing night lighting of roads:

  • Use OSM data with population density to generate a ground illumination texture

This will pave the ground with the refracted light coming from the light poles which are present only where there are buildings and cities mostly.

  • Use OSM data with population density to generate non emitting light pole point sprites

Because light is baked in the ground texture generated by OSM data, there is less need for actual lights (with the Shader code doing the computation for illumination like it is now, if it is). Point sprites could be sufficient but point lights as they are currently implemented have the added advantage illuminating the nearby buildings which is neat.

  • Add Head and Tail lights to cars and don’t cut car range to the 1st LOD ring

You’ll get moving red/white lights on the roads and this will give you the sense of the road shape laying out below you. With the population density they can modulate traffic density too (like in X-Plane).

Attention: FS2020 is for now cutting out any car beyond the first LOD distance ring (maybe up to the 2nd). For car lights to work they have to display them farther away. In order to avoid the cost of it far away, they could use impostors or blinking lights like I’ve indicated above.

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Yep… light bulbs / orbs size, especially further away in a distance, should be their first target to fix. It should get smaller.

The near ones could use some cuts also… make them smaller, then add a tinge of halo in the future.
This will make a very noticeable difference.

Current one gives a “blurry” effect in a distance, similar to “out of focus”.

Next is the height of the bulbs/orbs… It should be at a fairly consistent height from the ground.
Suburban street lights at consistent correct height (about 6 metres) will give chance for buildings and trees to cover the light orbs, thus creating nice variety and randomness, while also realistic.

“Before” means the lightning messed up update that everyone complained. Before that, lamps were smaller. It is pretty clear the update when the lamps got huge. I’m not sure if it was 4 or 5.

My post shows the size difference from before and after.

From this thread, it seems the lighting update was the #5. So before that, lamps weren’t huge. The difference is clear.

Update: I’ve just cross checked Japan DLC is update #3.
Therefore My RJTT and EGNX screenshots above are from Update 3 (post above updated accordingly)

So between Japan DLC and USA DLC lights are the same size in the examples I’ve shown above. The difference is not the size, it is the white clipping which in turn makes the semi-transparent halo being opaque, and therefore gives the real impression they are bigger.

I’ve just added the following in my post I didn’t even notice before:

Because they’re not varying size with distance this even makes a color shift in the opposite direction:

  • the red lights at the end of the runway are supposed to be the same red lights at the begining.
  • in FS2020, they are washed out at the front and red-ish at the back
  • in XP11 they are red-ish at the front and washed out at the back (atmosphere absorbing)

I think you got tricked by the fact that after the lighting update the lamps don’t get bigger anymore with the zoom. So you think they have the same size.

If you compare a zooom out print, you can see that after update #5 the lamps are huge, the size of a car. While before the update #5 they were small and got bigger as you zoomed in (as it should).

Like I said, most people were tricked by the fact that they remained in the same size with the zoom.

before update #5, the light was the same since the release. They messed it up after that sepia mask thread.

@CptLucky8 is right. Same lamp texture since release.
Oversized at release, still oversized.

Here’s the release build early september, compared to Update 5 & Update 7. The biggest difference is the brightness falloff, “old” lamps also fading into invisibility with unchanged size after a very short distance.

Before update 5, lamps disappeared after just a fraction of what the distance in real life. But they where still the same size bulbs.

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But that’s a semi-zoomed print, and the more you zoom, the more the both lamps (from before and after the update 5) will look alike in size, even though the left print still has smaller lamps.

That’s how they found a way to make the lamps bigger (brighter) and don’t get huge when we zoom in: after the update 5, they aparently don’t get bigger as you zoom in.

On both prints below, you can see that before the update 5 the lamps were hugely smaller than after the update 5. Again, if I zoom in the image (we can’t do that anymore), they will start to get to the same size.

That’s how most people weren’t able to identify that the lamps were just bigger, as I posted in the beginning of this thread. And even now people still got confused about lamp size.

From both prints below, the main road lamps after the update 5 are more than twice the size they were before the update 5.

I still have to compare the update 7, but it does not burn my retina like before, so they toned it down somehow, but they still have a long way to go to get near the lighting we had at the release and with the improvements people were asking.

You don’t have to, I just did it above between updates 3 and 7 and we seem to agree it was better before 5.

I’ve also done comparison using same shot position * , zoom, size, and I’m publishing all these shots in 4K so that you get every single pixel as-is and you can compare apples with apples.

And I can assure you because lights are not changing size by distance, they don’t change size by zoom either (in update 7) [yes I’ve tried it too]

*except for RJTT which is near same position.

I can see this is confusing for many, so try this one then and you might understand.

With the extremely short lamp visibility range of release build, you never encountered scaling problems as these since lamps disappeared.
There’s no part of the sim I’ve tested since december last year, as night lighting (it’s where I have the most knowhow), so I can guarantee you the actual size of bulbs have remain unchanged since release. But the extended range after update 5 will fool many into thinking they actually got bigger.
But it’s the range where the light starts shrinking/becoming weaker that has extended by quite a lot, due to more realistic visibility range.

Also release build, early september:

A lamp sized 6x6 pixels neither should nor would grow to 12x12 pixels when zooming in x2 except when very close.

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My prints prove you wrong. It is so clear the difference that I’m not sure how can you dispute that.

Is this 4k? I don’t know why but when I play (1080p), the orbs become rectangular-ish the further they are… And yes they don’t really get smaller in size and just become “blurry” and out of focus.

Disorienting to some extent, but definitely better than update-5.

Then we might misunderstand each others points, or the language barrier playing tricks on us.
Did you understand what I wrote to you in those posts?
Let’s try again.

Which is exactly why I tried explaining to you, given the wildly different visibility ranges, you’ll have this effect at a very close range with the old lamps, and up to a much bigger distance with greater lamp visibility. If the lamps were to scale linearly, we’d either have lamps vanishing after just a few miles, or lamps the size of houses when zooming in. That’s simply not how it works.

Look at my screenshots, as well as CptLucky8’s posts. Feel free to measure the pixel size in those.
It’s simply the same size. Is that something you dispute?

Look in my 2nd screenshot. you have lamps in the distance nearly the size as houses, exactly the same angular size as the ones much closer. (which is something I’ve remarked on ever since those got implemented mid-alpha.)

I’m sure of how you interpret your prints, but looking closer, albeit heavily compressed, it’s very easy to see the extremely short lamp visibility range, with lamps fading away after just a mile or two.
But the “same size” phenomenon is clearly visible.

With longer lamp visibility range, you will have exponentially more same sized lamps until the fading starts in the distance, and with short visibility range, you’ll get this effect much closer to you, as your pictures clearly shows.

I’m not sure if we’re talking about two different things here, but try to at least respond to the parts of my post you either don’t understand, or disagree with regarding the lamp scaling shown in both mine and CptLucky8’s posts.

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Yes that’s a 4k screenshot from before Update 5 to show we have the same sized bulbs now since release (albeit much longer visibility)
Could you post a screenshot?
Different renderscales can induse some squareness due to sharpening/downsampling, but I’m not certain that is the case in your situation.

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Look, from your own print, if I scale them equally, the release build is way smaller, and your print is already zoomed in.

See what I’m saying?

MFS_17

If they were half the size, I’d call 'em way smaller…? But take a look, they’re practically the same size, but I can see with blurry resample you’ll catch some of the glowing halo like you did. For a fair comparison, maintain pixel-scale.

Here are the exact measurements of my picture comparison between the 3 versions.
At pixel level, I even counted the pixels for you to make it easier for you to see/understand the actual size difference, instead of some blurry mess due to resampling.

And here you can see lamps getting smaller with different zooms/distances in the latest build as well.
Although at a much longer distance than pre update 5, as I explained in earlier posts.

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Here is a series of images to show what is creating the illusion of a bigger size, i.e. white clipping the halo.

The source image is one of the texture from XP11. It is has a bright center and a falloff. The image shows the original in the middle and the effect of just adjusting the brightness level:

bulb_variation

NB: This is the same light bulb texture in all cases but showing as 5 different sizes in appearance.

Since it can’t be whiter than white, it will clip when adding brightness and make the semi transparent halo less transparent and whiter, adding to the ‘core’ size.

What is happening in update 7 like I’m showing is that they are increasing brightness nearby, and decreasing it farther (most likely nor inc/dec at middle distance). this gives the illusion of brighter lights close by and dimmer lights farther away, but this is wrong. They shouldn’t change brightness, they should only change size.

Now compare the light bulb above with the comparison with update 3 and 7 at RJTT:

Update 3 was still showing the halo not far away (this is a crop from the lower right of the original image) while update 7 is white-clipping.

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I like the way you do your zoom-in boxes!!