MFD Export Upgrades

Posted By: Javelin

MFD Export Upgrades - 06/22/19 08:50 PM

Hi Guys, Just thought I'd start another thread on Exported MFD's since that's what I'm working on.

I have the Mi-24 Hind Map MFD up and running. I had to drop the resolution down to 256 from 1024 to get the exported MFD to look decent. The routine that exports the textures auto reduces the texture down to 256 by skipping pixel rows in the original texture, so angled lines end up as a dashed mess. The moving map was a jittery mess after it chopped out 3/4'ths of the detail. At 256 pixels it looks quite nice, just lower resolution than I think it should be. I may have to look at the export screen functions to see if I can fix that.

I don't quite know how to take a screen shot of the export screens, so this will have to do. I guess I could get a phone camera. Maybe next time.

I'm going to add a second MFD to the Hind next, a Flight instruments screen, then I'll go back to the Mi-28 Havoc.

**** OK Guys, here is the download so you can test out multiple MFD's on a second monitor. **************
The Hover Mods are in here, the MFD Export fixes are in here, and the Ka-50N Night Shark upgrade with FLIR is in here, and the MFD video contrast upgrade is in here.
The joysitck Deadband fix is in here too, and the commserver fix is in here too (for you cockpit builders). 7/13/19
The Havoc Engine Gauges have been fixed now too, we are up to cohokum_test16.exe now. 7/20/19
I also added a Heading dampener into the Hover modes, since there is no joystick deadband now. 7/21/19

Hover & MFD Export Mods Files, cohokum_test16.exe

Attached picture IMAGE040.jpg
Posted By: Viper1970

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/22/19 10:37 PM

Great work Javelin!!! thumbsup
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/23/19 02:03 AM

There really aren't that many to fix, the Hind needs two, the Blackshark needs two, the Havoc needs a second one, then the Blackhawk will have two. By the time we get a new Helo added into the sim, I'll have the MFD's and exported MFD's pretty well figured out.

I like the exported screens because then I can keep my eyes on both the MFD's and my surroundings. I don't have to pick. And with the button frames, I have little icons around the frames so I don't have to resort to remembering the numerous key combinations it takes to do things. I don't have a full cockpit, but this works for me.
Posted By: Viper1970

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/23/19 08:07 AM

I don't have a full cockpit, but this works for me

No need for a full cockpit. You can also make some switch panels. All you need is an interface-card which is able to do keyboard emulation and some cheap switches.

I use Pokeys cards in my pit, but there is also the option to use Arduino's. There is a software for the Mega for example, you could make an easy to built an really cheap switch panel (or box). I used this for my retro rig. It runs with every program not only with the FSX. Could be a way for just experimenting a bit with it. The Arduino clones are really cheap at Ebay, so if you don't like it, there is not much lost.

But be careful!! The simpit-virus is extremly infectious and it seems that most wifes or girlfriends are totally immune to it biggrin

Here is the page with the software for the Arduino Mega:


There are also tons of tips here in "Flight Sim Controllers" and "Flight Sim Pit Builders" in the forum. A small switch-box or panel does not need much room and can easily be put away at any time wink
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/23/19 02:47 PM

I traced the Export routines all the way back to the Direct3D drawing primatives. It uses a 2D textured triangle fan (i.e. a quad) to draw the exported MFD. The quad can be any shape with four sides, it matches the texture to the quad, but in stretching and scrunching the texture it messes up the texture. The code is buried in a D3D dll, so it isn't alterable. I may be able to correct part of the problem by using thicker lines (I found a thick line command). An anti-aliased line would work, but I couldn't find one. Blurring the texture would also work, but I couldn't find a blurring filter either.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/23/19 07:29 PM

OK, I increased the line size and was able to increase the Exported MFD up to 512x512. I also had to fix the fonts which were too small to be legible.
You'll notice the exported MFD is taller than the one in the cockpit, so it shows more map area than the cockpit screen does.
Your position indicator on the exported MFD is a green circle rather than the big cross hairs. I can change that if anybody cares.

Attached picture IMG_20190623_132008025_HDR.jpg
Posted By: Viper1970

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/25/19 11:04 AM

jawdrop Javelin you are great!!! dance My dream to use EECH fully functional with my homepit comes always closer.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/28/19 11:32 PM

Ok. I got the second Hind MFD up and running. It was harder than expected, thanks to DirectX. OpenGL is much easier to program in.
My Mi-24 Hind now has two exported MFD's, the mission Sortie Map on the right, and a Flight data MFD on the left.

For some reason, SimHQ won't let post a picture. It's only 82.5k, not sure what the problem is. Had to host it on my website.

[Linked Image]

Not a good time of day for a photo, sorry about that.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 05:12 AM

OK, I got the BlackShark working too! This one wasn't that difficult, I left the texture sizes alone and wasn't adding any additional functionality. This is the older cockpit, not the one Messyhead is upgrading. I don't have his code yet, so I can't compile it in with mine.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: messyhead

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 06:08 AM

Banita had asked about increasing the contrast on the EO mfd. Is that something you could look into?
Posted By: Viper1970

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 08:30 AM

Wow Javelin, great work you make here!!!! thumbsup

I already asked this, but I want to do it again. Do you think that it would be possible to configure the whole instrumentation in an external text-file or something else?

I mean that you could adjust the, the coordinates and the type of gauges and MFD's with a simple text-file, like it is done with the flight dynamics now for example.

Don't know if it's even possible and for sure not yet, cause I think this would be a real hard coding work, but I think it is something that we should consider for the future, if it's doable.

This would make implementing new helos to EECH a lot simpler, I think. Most of the russian helos and also the US ones share the same instruments, so if someone e.g. want's to make a MI-8, he could use the instruments from the Hind and put the coordinates and the size in a text-file, to arrange them in his new 3D pit.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 03:26 PM

Better visibility on the LLLTV monitor? I can look at it. It's probably the lighting they used for the scene.

A configurable Instrumentation Module? I've thought about that, I've wondered why they didn't program it that way in the first place. But then, the original programmers were only enabling two helicopters. Our guys did all the rest. Gauge instruments could be done that way, MFD's probably not. There is WAY too much code behind an MFD, ties into the targeting system and weapons controls. The gauge code could go in with the Avionics\Common files, since those files get loaded for every helicopter. I'll think about it, maybe inspiration will strike.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 06:49 PM

OK Guys. I've got the second Mi-28 Hokum external MFD up and running. Didn't take long at all!
In a minute, I'll edit this thread and add a link to the testing download in the first post in the thread along with some instructions.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 07:30 PM

OK, I inserted a download link in the first post to this thread so you can test it out.
Let me know if you find any problems or bugs.

It's easy to test, all it takes is to hook up a second monitor.
Most graphics cards have more than one output, and a lot of people have a spare monitor sitting around.
Just saying...
Posted By: BANITA

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 09:26 PM

Ok after quick test alll works.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/29/19 10:13 PM

Fantastic! Thanks Banita.
Posted By: Viper1970

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/30/19 12:00 PM

Sorry, I could not really test this at the moment, cause I have no possibility to add a second monitor to my laptop. It would be technically possible for sure, but it's more a problem of space.

The whole flat still looks very chaotic, and the most parts lying arround are things for my hobby. I also occupied the dining table with my laptop at the moment and I think an additional monitor also, isn't a good idea now. Wan't to keep the sanctity of the home, here biggrin

I hope I'm back at my homepit within the next three months and I really look forward to make use of the excellent work you done, Javelin!
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 06/30/19 02:46 PM

No problem! I'll just consider this done for now since Banita has checked it and move on to FLIR on the Blackshark.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/03/19 05:48 PM

OK Guys, I finished upgrading the Blackshark to the Ka-50N Night Shark variant with FLIR. You can download it here, along with the MFD fixes and the Hover Controls Flight Model upgrades.

This also includes all of Messyhead's gauge fixes and improved cockpit. If something doesn't work, get his cockpit upgrade/3D models from his download towards the end of the "KA-50 AIO RELOADED" thread and that should fix it.
Posted By: Viper1970

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/04/19 10:26 PM

Thank's Javelin!

I will do my best to fix the rest of the missing textures in the cockpit and then switch to external model of the KA-50.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/05/19 12:32 AM

OK, I've got another upgrade for you guys. I went in and fixed the TV views, LLLTV and DTV, so they are now truly low light cameras. They work well even at midnight. The following shots were taken at Dusk. I also increased the contrast on the FLIR camera views, you can now see some background behind the hot foreground items. If you guys think this is too much, let me know and I can turn the contrast down some. Thinking about it, I think I will tone it down a bit, it's too good at night when you should be switching to FLIR. I'll tone it down a bit tomorrow.

You can download the upgrade at the front of this thread as usual, it's cohokum_test13.exe now.

First, an LLLTV and DTV shot at Dusk.
[Linked Image]

And a shot of aircraft on the runway in the improved-contrast FLIR camera view.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/05/19 05:25 PM

Hey Banita, there is a quirk in EECH relating to the LLLTV camera external monitors (and probably the DTV's also). The scene rendering turns off the main terrain lighting when the MFD's are not in view in the main window. Lower your cockpit view down until the MFD monitors are at least halfway into view on the screen with the LLLTV on and it should render the terrain textures clearly. It's an on/off switch, you'll see it immediately when it goes on or off on your second monitor. I've tried to find it, but it could be just about anywhere in the rendering code. I haven't been able to find the switch to disable it.

You will also notice the LLLTV camera has a light-adjust built into it, it increases the contrast automatically from dark to bright over about 2 or 3 seconds after you select LLLTV. Once it's on all the way, move your view up and down to bring the MFD's in and out of the view and you'll see the switch snap the texture lighting on and off in the external MFD.

I'll look for the switch more, but it doesn't look like I will be able to find it. It's too hidden in the code.

If you don't have external MFD's in a cockpit, this quirk won't affect you.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/05/19 06:22 PM

I tested it out on six different helicopters and it affected all of them.
I also figured out a way to see the bug without an external monitor. It is evident on the Comanche MFD when you have widescreen mode selected "\".

The bug might also be the spotlight direction vector tilting up and down with the cockpit viewpoint. I just tried to redirect it, but it didn't work. I think I'll go work on something else.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/06/19 03:03 AM

Yes, but I don't have any claim on the rendering routines, I just made them work externally. I've noticed some goofy stuff too, now that I can see the MFD up close. It happens on objects that are partly outside the clipping boundaries of the viewport. Maybe I'll look at it if I can't think of a more important task to work on.
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/09/19 02:34 AM

Well, I didn't changed anything in the rendering, just the light levels. The picture was just too dark to see anything before. I might also add, all of the MFD's are only 256 x 256 pixel textures so there isn't much detail there in the first place. No anti-aliasing either, so edges get the jaggies. It will take someone who knows DirectX 9 well to upgrade it. That's not me, I don't know anything about pixel shaders. But you can do it!
Posted By: Javelin

Re: MFD Export Upgrades - 07/13/19 12:26 AM

Hi Guys, I added labels to list what all of the Icons do on the Icons I made for my MFD's. Here it is.

[Linked Image]
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