Beijing City 2019

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#1
Hi,
I am done with the ZBAA. I think it would be good if I can see the Beijing while approaching from the south. I started this project a few weeks ago. I think it is pretty good. The city is supposed to be a frame rate friendly as possible since the airport is really huge. The aim is to make a moderate detail of the city with less textures as possible to minimize the drawcall. The texture will be repeated as much as possible along the height of the high rise buildings and repeated along the length of the low rise buildings such the Forbidden Palace. Here are the screenshots, more will come on the way of developing process. There are some building footprints but I think I will do it in Gmax by drawing the footprint myself as rectangles, combine them together and convert to editable poly then extrude them. The height of each polygon to be extrude can be estimated by the length of the shadow of those buildings. Since some buildings have height information available, so the rest of them can be calculated. I think I will separate the groups of the buildings by the intersection of the road. Each intersection will provide the coordinate of that group of buildings. There will be 4-5 intersections to be selected and those buildings around that point will be modeled. I plan to use only 1 or 2 of 2048x2048 pixels texture. Right now, from the pictures, I just spent two quarter of pixels in 2048x2048 texture sheet. I have labeled the project "Beijing 2019", so it has to be finished before it turns to be 2020.... Hope I can get through those obstacles.
Any suggestions or photos are very welcome.

BeijingCity10.jpg
BeijingCity01.jpg
BeijingCity02.jpg
BeijingCity11.jpg
 
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jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#3
Thanks, lionheart. The reason I use 2048x2048 to minimize the drawcall but I hope polygons will not exceed the limit in one sheet. Most of those buildings contain only 5 polygons. So, I can have a lot of buildings for one sheet.
I planed for FS9 version too. I marked on the texture sheet at 1024th pixel both vertically and horizontally. Each group of buildings will not cross the boundary of 1024th pixel. So, I can split the models and the textures using 4 sheets of 1024 pixels to be used with FS9. There will be no scaling down the texture since the resolution will loss.
 
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=rk=

Resource contributor
#7
I believe 2008 was a real eye opener,

China announces emergency Olympics smog plan

so to speak and we are starting to see the changes anticipated for 2022. This will be most noticeable in dense urban areas, like Beijing, as people transition to electrics, from ICE, imo.

The other side of it however, Tic, is that it's looking like, instead of smog, someone is going to have to start simulating snow, this time!
 
#8
Personally I'm a big fan of these city sceneries. I view them as indispensable for creating an immersive feeling upon approach. Just think: How much fun is it to land at KLGA without DD's New York city scenery? it wouldn't be even 10% of the experience! And so I'm very glad to see development of Beijing City, to go with your ZBAA. Looking forward to it. Will you be including seasons as well?
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#9
Will you be including seasons as well?
Yes, I will. I found that seasonal variations are not so difficult to make but the most tedious work is night lighting.
Personally, I think New York City sceneries are some how fps killer. I will not be that level of detail. Not for helicopter flying, but just a decent town to fly by on big birds. I have downloaded the demo and those buildings use many textures. FPS is my first priority. Detail of the buildings and number of polygons are limited to help reducing drawcalls. If I use too many polygons, it will exceed the limit of one texture. So, there will be many textures and drawcalls to drag the computer down.
 
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#10
Tic,

I wonder what your PC specs are like nowadays?
I run PD3v4.5 with most sceneries at high settings, dynamic lighting and dynamic reflections at a reasonable FPS rate of around 20 at the heaviest parts on my old W7, I5-4570 Quad core 3.2 GHz CPU, Geforce GTX 650Ti GPU and 8 Gb RAM.
With all the attention you give to minimize draw calls, polygon count, etc., your sceneries should run smoothly on most modern computers!
PS: I do only use default aircraft and some FSX native ones and no PMDG stuff so that may make a difference (or not?).
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#11
Roby, perfect, I was just summarizing a similar perspective when you posted.

You'd do well to study that package in detail, Tic. It is highly configurable and professionally produced, any performance issues can arguably be traced to the computer running the software. The number of textures used has nothing to do with it, drive storage and video card on board memory, dispense with most bottlenecks from the FSX years. I think it's important to distinguish between rendering limitations that are imposed by the simulator software and rendering limitations that are imposed by the hardware.

Also, in many ways, I feel that demo does not properly showcase the product, because valuable features are not present, that could make the difference for a customer that already owns a system powerful enough to render them, while respected developers like you, give it the thumbs down, not good for them. In my experience, when I disabled some of the advanced features, I believe it may have been dynamic lighting, or vehicular traffic, my frame rates improved dramatically. I have only a modest system, barely capable of assembling the scenes I offer.

I believe you make really excellent scenery, some of the best and I already know your system is like mine. There are issues, specific to the simulator, that we have to design for. Lately, I've seen what I interpret to be a relaxation of the rules. Skilled developers are publishing models with 20 and as many as 40 draw calls. To me, that's heretical, but the models render fine, in the settings I test them. I am pretty sure my simulator would crash if I tried to render them in Drzewiecki's NYC.

I think you'd find that many of the old limits no longer exist and I'd like to see you express your art as freely as possible...
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#12
I might try NYC sceneries years ago when the hardware was the limit. Nevertheless, i will try to make the models of those buildings as detailed as possible.
I am not sure that the polygons per one drawcall are still limit to around 64K... Last time I did the service vehicles in ZBAA, all the vehicles disappear when I hit that limit. I need to make LODs for some detailed vehicles that placed many times. FPS was better than batching all the models into one drawcall.
 
#13
But you have not answered my question!
And I concur wholeheartedly with what Rick said.
Vehicles (custom ones) is another story that I have not figured out yet either how to lessen their impact.
I would suggest to not use static ones but AI ones that (for unknown reasons to me) have less impact on the FPS.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#14
But you have not answered my question!
I was too shy to answer your question,Roby, that my computer is 12 years old.... haha!

I also have almost the same system as yours. I need to test sceneries on P3Dv4 with this computer. It runs my ZBAA with fps around 30 on default airplane. Which is very good for such a big airport with a lot of detail.

If I do the scenery and I am able to fly with this computer, anyone in this world can fly with a very good fps.
 
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jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#15
I have made some progression. Adding more texture to the buildings. Some buildings are complex and need some time to understand the shape of them.
Adding more trees makes the palace look better.
BeijingCity12.jpg

I would like to show how I am so conservative with amount of texture. If we do the buildings conventionally in 3dsmax, we will make a model and unwrap all the faces of the polygons, then do the texture and texture baking by ambient occlusion. The buildings look good but this consume quite a lot of texture. I decided not to do that way. I reuse the texture as much as possible. This is the real building, the Kerry Center tower in Beijing.
Kerry-Centre--South-Tower_5120_20170916_002.jpg

This is the model I have done and the texture. You can see I use the reuse the texture as much as possible. The city is huge and the textures can be so much that you computer has OOM problem.
KERRYcenter01.jpg

I think I can have the decent buildings without ambient occlusion and texture baking.

This is how they look like in FSX. Custom-made environmental texture makes reflection of those glass building better, not a toy like texture as you see in Gmax/3dsmax.
BeijingCity13.jpg

BeijingCity14.jpg

I think the building are detailed enough for helicopter flying. I will add platform to roof top helipad of each buildings.
 
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#17

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#18
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#19
yes its the problem with huge sceneries
i started a vintage region in France on 2013 (still not finished) i hope 90% will be completed next year

Rhone Alpes 1960

ok there are several airports and two citys in this photoreal backdated scenery

but in a general way it better when we choose projects that can be finish on 1 year or two maximum

its complicated when we are not ORBX :)

Envoyé de mon SNE-LX1 en utilisant Tapatalk
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#20
I think may be it is better if we do the city scenery by making boxes, shapes/cylinders for those buildings whithout paying much on the detail. Then come back later for more detail. So, the project can be done at a considerable amount of buildings. If you get bored, the whole city in less detail is still usable rather that scattered detailed buildings here and there.
 
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