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#3544219 - 03/24/12 02:11 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience ***** [Re: Novum]  
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CuMelter Offline
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Comet, You've taken a big load off of my mind.
Today was a super-suck day, and I was almost at the point of exhaustion trying to explore this card.
I finally reached a livable framerate with a buttload of experimenting using Instant Action and TE w/the B61.
If I bump the details down one notch on the sliders, then use some 32-bit instead of Ultra...
Discovered that the bios had a video aperture setting of 256 Mb...choices were 128/256.
I lowered it down to 128.
Installing 'this month's driver set allowed me to force more AA options to the program w/o loss of interface..so far so good.
So basically, with it looking pretty respectable now, dogfighting in the clouds, FPS will average about 50.
Low level ground work will run from 30-50 depending on the details of the metropolis.
Trees/Shadows/Reflection look really good.
Clear skies can go up to 76...
Rotating outside view using 2&4 keys will complete in roughly 3 seconds.
AI aircraft now look smooth, as well as their exhaust.
B61 will result in a 8-33 fps as the dust settles =)

But the HUD is still stair-stepped like hell. Sometimes, the 3d HUD looks cleaner.
I can't understand it. But like you said, this is a desktop card. I should've known that you get what ya pay for.

And a Large A$$ thanks for walking me through this turmoil.
The card was 35 bucks US shipped. So it got me started.
I see that my board's PCI-E slot will only allow/deliver 75 watts to the video card.
That's all I know at this point about this new/overstock board.. I got a new power supply (500watt) and I had to do some sheetmetal work to make it fit. Then recheck for proper air flow to the ps, and a drill came in handy. Pulled the faceplate off of the cabinet and made an inch of room forward so that the dvd drive wouldn't be so close to the ps air intake grill.
It's been a crash course in patience. But I'm a gunsmith, by trade/hobby so it wasn't the end of the world.
But Guns and Electronics are two different spheres.
So buying another card will be like pulling the enamel off of my teeth w/all the computer language jargon out there today.
I speak fluent target rifles, Falcon4 and animals but D915GAG Daddy will ring someone's neck.
I'll need help finding a suitable card. One that doesn't break my little bank.
Anywhoo-
Seriously, Thanks Comet.
We'll converse on Falcon as the years go by.
All The Best-
Ed in 'Bama USA


Last edited by CuMelter; 03/24/12 09:47 AM.
Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#3545405 - 03/26/12 02:55 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: CuMelter]  
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Comet Offline
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Originally Posted By: CuMelter
Comet, You've taken a big load off of my mind.

Glad that all my typing served a purpose smile
Nah, seriously, I just shared bits of knowledge. Some of it was hard-learned from my personal
experiences. They weren't nice and I hope you dodge 'em altogether.

Do not see the 35 bucks spent on your 8400 GS as a bad investment. Quite the contrary.
They made you understand important things before you had a chance to make any *real* mistake.


I never finish anyth
#3545420 - 03/26/12 03:14 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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Comet Offline
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Forgive the double-post, gents.
It's just to keep different subjects separate.



This is from yesterday night. 5th day of operation Balance of Power, Balkans theatre.
With the Frag Order of my favorite squadron (315th) seemingly empty, I peeked at the ATO to find
some interesting action. The 77th at Falconara had an Interdiction coming up. Short distance to
travel. Target zone reasonably 'cold'. Mission priority only an 'E'. Sounded relaxing - I took it.

I was ramping up, waiting for the gyroscopes to align. As usual when I got nothing better to do,
I began looking around for anything to catch my interest.

The next series of screenshots will document the last 2 minutes, 10 seconds, and 12 hundredths of
second of flight... of the sorry dude depicted here:



That's not something you see everyday. Too bad he didn't make it v_v
Wish I could screenshot a chute. But there wasn't any.
In the first instants I got him on camera he still had the gear up, the brakes closed, and enough
speed and altitude to make it. If only he jettisoned the winders and made a gentle turn to align...
Instead he hit the brakes and deployed the gear, of all the stupid ideas! >_<"
He doomed himself and the town below. Tragic. I began capturing the screenshots as it became clear
he wasn't going to change his mind.


I never finish anyth
#3545458 - 03/26/12 04:23 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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enigma6584 Offline
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May he RIP. frown

#3545547 - 03/26/12 06:47 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
Joined: Feb 2012
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CuMelter Offline
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Twin States, USA

#3546058 - 03/27/12 05:42 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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Comet Offline
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Somewhere in an earlier post I said that F4:AF's weather is dynamic (it is), but its clouds have a
tendency to disappear for good, never to return - pushed 'out of the world' by the winds, with no
fresh new clouds pushed 'in' from the opposite side.

I also said that I was experimenting with the 'set g_bEnableWindsAloft 1' BFops.cfg switch to see
if it made any difference.

I still don't have solid conclusions about it, but I'd cautiously say that 'set g_bEnableWindsAloft 1'
may have a positive effect on the weather:


This was taken late into day 5 of the campaign. Usually at this point into a campaign, you have the
sky totally clear theatre-wide by like three and a half days already. Not only I'm having clouds, but
I'm having 3 different types at once.
In fact, excluding the topmost (angels 40) stratum of clouds -which is always present- we have the
puffy cumulus clouds (on the left, they extend from 10000 to 22000 ft), then some flat clouds ('overcast' ?)
that look like snow (it's no snow, it's clouds @ 11000 ft), and finally we have that weird lone strip
high and far. Can't say how far it is, but the height appeared to be above 30000 ft.

I'm not privy of AF's weather details, but if I were to make an educated guess I would infer that
'set g_bEnableWindsAloft 1' somehow makes it unlikely for the wind to 'push out' all the clouds
before the weather system manages to elaborate on new ones to insert into the theatre. And this would
be, 'cause the wind is not allowed (with the switch On) to blow into the same direction for too many
sim-hours.

Hehe, maybe now that I said it the sim will disprove me (Murphy's Laws always linger). Maybe this is
all a coincidence... that is lasting 5 sim-days.


I never finish anyth
#3546112 - 03/27/12 06:48 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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CuMelter Offline
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Sh!# Comet, I'd bet that during Easter Sunday, You would've found all of the eggs tucked around the yard here & there.
How'd you stumble up on that line of code? Was that in a list from BMS or FF5 somewhere.
Anyway, cool as spit. I wonder what your FPS numbers reflect with the newer weather 'conditions'

Hang 'Em High, Boss.

I remember when I started my first campaign in Falcon4.08-
That spilled buttermilk cloud layer. I had mixed emotions about that design. But it was what it was.
Then to run into Allied Force, Fall in love all over again, knock the dust off of the brain cells, and get into the campaigns again...
And what did I see...
More buttermilk.

Last edited by CuMelter; 03/27/12 06:50 PM.
#3546598 - 03/28/12 03:22 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Comet]  
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Comet Offline
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Originally Posted By: Comet
Hehe, maybe now that I said it the sim will disprove me (Murphy's Laws always linger). Maybe this is
all a coincidence... that is lasting 5 sim-days.

And I had barely finished to say that... _"


Originally Posted By: Comet
I'm not privy of AF's weather details, but if I were to make an educated guess I would infer that
'set g_bEnableWindsAloft 1' somehow makes it unlikely for the wind to 'push out' all the clouds
before the weather system manages to elaborate on new ones to insert into the theatre. And this would
be, 'cause the wind is not allowed (with the switch On) to blow into the same direction for too many
sim-hours.

That 'unlikely' is the problem. It's just an 'unlikely'.
The fact it's unlikely isn't enough to guarantee it'll last. I should have known.


No more clouds. This is 8 sim-hours after the last screenshot:
(am I disappointed...)



Here's where they have gone (I think).


My route later brought me closer to them. I believe to have recognized the same cumulus formations
observed around my home plate only 8 hours earlier. But here is at ~130 nm away from home plate.

This is enough to disprove me (gee, thanks so much...).
The 'set g_bEnableWindsAloft 1' switch certainly has some effect on the clouds (it's no coincidence
that they lasted 5 good days), but it isn't enough to prevent the theatre from turning almost cloudless
in less than half a day. At best it makes it harder to happen.

Looks like periodic clouds injections are still needed to keep the sky interesting. Less frequent injections
than without 'set g_bEnableWindsAloft 1', perhaps, but still needed.

I perfectly understand that the real sky is rarely as full of clouds as I'd like. If I look out of my window
right now there's no clouds. It's the same white-azure gradient filling the sky in all directions as far as
my eyes can see.
But the real life terrain is rich of features. With or without clouds a pilot has constant perception of
movement and speed. In AF the terrain is less feature-rich, and clouds are useful, even necessary, to
some extent, to provide the simmer multiple points of reference, so he retains perception of movement
and speed.


Originally Posted By: CuMelter
I wonder what your FPS numbers reflect with the newer weather 'conditions'

My hardware (which is far from exceptional for today's standards) appears to have enough excess power
to keep up with the workload, no matter whatever about clouds. Nevertheless, I'm trading a lot for all
the pretty clouds I showed in the past days. Do not think they come for free smile Nothing does.

But since I Vsync AF with my monitor refresh rate, I'm not seeing any performance difference both with
and without clouds. But I'm sure the difference would show up if I turned the Vsync off. It's normal.

The cumulus clouds appear to be the costly ones. Just like all clouds, they cast a shadow on the ground.
The CPU has to work in order to compute *where* the shadows will appear. But the cumuli clouds also
have a 'translucency', which has a cost for the GPU. Little cost, to be sure, but when you put like 400
translucent textures all together and overlapping with one another, then the GPU workload sums up to
something you can't ignore (more so when all nVidia control panel graphics settings are pumped up to
the maximum, as in my case). Still, AF handles the situation very well. I've seen more modern games
cough their soul outta the rear end when asked to perform a comparable feat (and without me messing with
the control panel settings).


I never finish anyth
#3547019 - 03/29/12 05:27 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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EinsteinEP Offline
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Have you tried setting the "set g_bGlueCloudsToTerrain" option to "red_KrazyGlue" instead of just "Elmers_Craft_Glue"? wink


Shoot to Kill.
Play to Have Fun.
#3547025 - 03/29/12 05:48 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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CuMelter Offline
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Well I'll be go to ------
another Einstein.
Where do ya'll get this stuff from?
Amazing mycomputer

#3547264 - 03/29/12 06:03 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: CuMelter]  
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Comet Offline
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Originally Posted By: CuMelter
Well I'll be go to ------
another Einstein.
Where do ya'll get this stuff from?
Amazing mycomputer

Albert was kidding. There's no 'g_bGlueCloudsToTerrain' switch... I think pilot HA Ha ha ha ha ..


I never finish anyth
#3584688 - 06/02/12 10:46 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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Comet Offline
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Shot taken in the morning of the 7th day of the campaign I keep forgetting the name of. I love this
time of the day. Beautiful colors everywhere, and they get better as the time advances to 08:00.

Look, the moon almost eclipses the sun:


Nice smile
Later on I noticed the two were even closer, but I didn't take a pic as I was busy slamming a Su-39.
The damn thing wanted 2x 120s to go down. Stubborn bogeys.


I've been playing with different nVidia drivers lately. What a hell...
Trying to find the most recent one that would support the Force MipMaps 3D setting, I came
across the 186.18 version, which lies to my face by saying that it supports the Force MipMaps
3D setting! Once in the sim, looking at the ground, it's shimmering galore. Haha.

Drivers past that version (186.18) officially drop support for the Force Mipmaps.
Looks like I'll have to stick with the older 181.22 until I find a way to force the mipmaps outside
of the display driver. With that driver version, which I used for like a lifetime, there's no such
thing as shimmering in FalconAF.


May you have a coffee, folks.



EDIT:

For those interested, at the link below can be found loads of old drivers no longer hosted on their
respective devs' websites. Bless the guy that had the idea. When a download category contains modified
files, it'll say (Modified). Otherwise assume that the files are unaltered copies of the originals.
Here's the link: http://downloads.guru3d.com/

Now have another coffee.

Last edited by Comet; 06/02/12 12:52 PM.

I never finish anyth
#3587658 - 06/07/12 10:29 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: CuMelter]  
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Kolmo Offline
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Originally Posted By: CuMelter


[...]4x....w/FPS highs of 76 and 30s for lots of explosions...( I use the older explosions found in the old Falcon4)[...]



Hi.
I'm interested about that. Are those the BOM0001.GIF - BOM0022.GIF files located at \terrdata\misctex?
If so, those files are 256x256 sized in FalconAF and 64x64 in vanilla Falcon 4.0, IIRC. Do you need to resize the later for them to work in AF, or just copy them as they are?

Sorry for the OT, BTW. smile

Regards. cheers

#3587693 - 06/07/12 12:32 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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damson Offline
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Hiding in the bushes
@Comet

Very interesting screenshot, but in RL apparent size of Moon and Sun seen from Earth is almost the same, in the screenshot the apparent size of the Moon looks like 2x of the Sun.

Or maybe you played the campaign set in thousands of years BC, when the Moon was closer to Earth wink

#3588815 - 06/09/12 10:43 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: damson]  
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Comet Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kolmo
Originally Posted By: CuMelter


[...]4x....w/FPS highs of 76 and 30s for lots of explosions...( I use the older explosions found in the old Falcon4)[...]



Hi.
I'm interested about that. Are those the BOM0001.GIF - BOM0022.GIF files located at \terrdata\misctex?
If so, those files are 256x256 sized in FalconAF and 64x64 in vanilla Falcon 4.0, IIRC. Do you need to resize the later for them to work in AF, or just copy them as they are?

Sorry for the OT, BTW. smile

Regards. cheers

I can answer that.
I'm using 2048x2048 gif's at the moment. My guess is that AF will accept any-sized images so long
the files' name and format are respected.
Cheers.



Originally Posted By: damson
@Comet

Very interesting screenshot, but in RL apparent size of Moon and Sun seen from Earth is almost the same, in the screenshot the apparent size of the Moon looks like 2x of the Sun.

Or maybe you played the campaign set in thousands of years BC, when the Moon was closer to Earth wink

Hehe. I recall there's a period of the year (in RL) in which the moon appears to be *much* bigger
than usual. Perhaps it was that period? hahaha
Good observation though.

The campaign is... *checking*... Balance of Power, in the Balkans (1998) theater. I'm replaying
the old campaigns, as I found them to be the most interesting. In the screenshot there's a group
of 4x F16 ramping up (you can spot their lights). I was in the second one from the right (or just
draw an imaginary X from corner to corner of the screen and the jet in the center is me - Hi mom! wave2).


OT:
Man you should see how pretty become those clouds when the clock is around 10 in the morning (there's
a few pics earlier in this thread -2/3 pages ago- if you want to take a look).
I just can't get enough of the candy. But it sometimes make low-alt bombing runs very challenging.
At times I have to flex, waiting for the wind to push the clouds away so I can get visual of the
target. Not very RL-like, admittedly. I ought to drop the clouds' density to reduce the chances that
one of them will sit right on target. But I'm still busy with testing different nVidia drivers.

So far the one that gives the absolute best visual quality for AF is the old 181.22. The screen is
just... perfekt. I imagine that those with too beefy a gfx card can't afford to run 181.22, lest
their hardware ain't even recognized. Thank goodnesss I don't have this problem, yet.


I never finish anyth
#3588823 - 06/09/12 11:37 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Comet]  
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Kolmo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Comet
[...]
I can answer that.
I'm using 2048x2048 gif's at the moment. My guess is that AF will accept any-sized images so long
the files' name and format are respected.
Cheers.


Thx mate.
Regards. cheers

#3624717 - 08/12/12 01:59 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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Mizzy Offline
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Falcon AF was a waste of money !!! period

#3626125 - 08/14/12 01:42 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Mizzy]  
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Comet Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mizzy
Falcon AF was a waste of money !!! period

I disagree and kindly point out that Falcon 4.0: Allied Force was THE product that brought a
much needed standardization in the jeopardy that had become the jungle of modifications to F4
over the years.
No more dance and no more what-do-I-need-to-download-in-order-to. You simply
installed it, patched to latest version, and you were good to go and play carefree whatever
mode you wished - Multiplayer and Campaign(!) not least of all.
The developers did focus more on getting the problems solved rather than giving you yet another
eye-candy that only served to steer your attention from the plethora of lurking bugs. Modern
games should have taught you something: they are all graphics and no polishment. Then you have
to wait for patches to no end and pray that in the meantime the publisher won't cease support,
leaving you with a buggy product forever.

Have a coffee wave2


I never finish anyth
#3626196 - 08/14/12 03:45 PM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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I agree with that, the only reason I entered the Falcon world was because of AF. It was: run the installer, click next, next, next, and play. Period. No mods, no patches (except the updates that were also next, next, next), no settings, no "why I just get a black screen?"... Just run and play, as it should be. yeah


When you're feeling sad, just remember that somewhere in the world, there's someone pushing a door that says "pull".
#3662059 - 10/13/12 01:31 AM Re: Share your Falcon AF Experience [Re: Novum]  
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Comet Offline
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I want to show something.

I was testing cloud patterns vs. cloud distribution vs. performance. To get the cumuli clouds
I so much like I have the habit of altering the wheater of the campaign missions I fly in.
Perfornace wise the cumulus cloud is the heaviest type. It is heavy because of its translucency,
which has a cost for the GPU, and it is heavy because of the shadows cast on the ground, which
have a cost mostly for the CPU.
In the past I was used to activate inordinate amounts of cumuli clouds all over the theater.
It was pretty, for sure, but it made A-G missions a PITA. What with clouds likely obscuring my
targets? Flexing in wait for the wind to push the clouds away was rarely an option.
I kept refining my algorithm for clouds distribution, and have lately found a good one that
gives me satisfactory theater coverage without clustering the clouds in a predictable manner.
In no way it simulates real world clouds coverage, be clear, but for what the virtual pilot
gets to see during his flight the overall result looks plausible.

What's important is that the new clouds distribution allowed me to dramatically raise the terrain
quality without suffering a severe performance hit. I do this during Campaign. It's no TE with
limited action going on.

1) Using the following nVidia control panel overrides:

(Note: In short, everything but FSAA is maxed. Further raising the FSAA is a waste as
it won't improve the screen quality past what 8xQ already does. In my case, at least.)

2) Using the -g5 command line parameter:

(Note: Every new -g you ask for gives the Landscape and Object Detail sliders 6 more notches.
For example, at -g4 the sliders cap at: 1 + g(4) * 6 = 25)

3) Using the following Simulation and Graphics Setup:

(Note: Landscape Detail is set to 31. Object Detail is set to 14. With hindsight, raising Object
Detail was bad. Too high FPS loss for too little gain in far objects' visuals -buildings, mostly-.
Also notice the Disable Shadows in Simulation Setup. It ought to be Disable Clouds' Shadows, really.
With this On, in fact, sim objects still have their shadows. Only the clouds no longer shade
the ground below. The change in visual quality is negligible while the gain in FPS is huge.)

4) It is possible to obtain THIS hi-poly terrain along with lots of Cumuli. Notice how defined
the mountains' profile is. Also notice the reported FPS. Keep in mind that the overrides set in the
nVidia control panel were hitting the performance heavily. And yet...


(Note: Tiles are from the HiTilesAF addon. Active season is: Fall.
Sorry if the pics are somewhat dark. It was ~17:40 in the sim at the moment.)

It doesn't take a super computer to render this beauty, folks. Give it a try yep
P.S.= Just in case, the last 4 pics are taken from the standard Balkans theater, about 70 nm
East-South-East of the town Split. I hijacked a BARCAP to run tests.

Goodnight wave2


[edited for grammar]


I never finish anyth
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