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MSFS Global AI Ship Traffic FSX, P3D and MSFS2020

Messages
14
Country
us-california
Their Channel Islands demo didn't last 30 minutes on my machine, whereas I've been using Global AI Shipping for.... how many years have you been doing this? :p
 
Messages
804
Country
denmark
Their Channel Islands demo didn't last 30 minutes on my machine, whereas I've been using Global AI Shipping for.... how many years have you been doing this? :p
2012… i posted first time on Pilote-virtuel.com presenting a few screenshots and response was amazing… it was my first post on public social media and that thread is still allive with more than 700.000 visits and close to 3000 posts… the last version of The project reached now more than 40.000 downloads in 4 months… and it can’t even fly and it isn’t an airport either
 
Messages
14
Country
us-california
someone had recommended it to me during a discussion on AI or enhancements - downloaded all the various packs and bits, and was absolutely blown away taking off and seeing San Francisco Bay full of ships, plus all the traffic up and down the California coast. Just adds so much to the world... and it's just one of those things you don't immediately think about - but ships are so big, you really do notice them from 20-30km away - so it really makes an impact on immersion.
 
Messages
14
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us-california
@KL791 someone pointed me to the avsim forum discussion on this, and I was kinda laughing at your "turbosquid model" dig... then I looked it up...

Product screen

$30 Turbosquid model
https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-model-cargo-container-ship-300m-1475530

( that thread also confirmed that they really do only have 5 ship models that you'll see 1000s of times )
also... floatplane wakes on a cargo ship?

Anyways - I'd much rather discuss your project - so I'll shut up about this now ;)
 
Messages
804
Country
denmark
someone had recommended it to me during a discussion on AI or enhancements - downloaded all the various packs and bits, and was absolutely blown away taking off and seeing San Francisco Bay full of ships, plus all the traffic up and down the California coast. Just adds so much to the world... and it's just one of those things you don't immediately think about - but ships are so big, you really do notice them from 20-30km away - so it really makes an impact on immersion.

@KL791 someone pointed me to the avsim forum discussion on this, and I was kinda laughing at your "turbosquid model" dig... then I looked it up...

Product screen

$30 Turbosquid model
https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-model-cargo-container-ship-300m-1475530

( that thread also confirmed that they really do only have 5 ship models that you'll see 1000s of times )
also... floatplane wakes on a cargo ship?

Anyways - I'd much rather discuss your project - so I'll shut up about this now ;)
Yes, I also saw it this morning and almost choked on my coffee... I regularly look at both Turbosquid, Sketchup, and Cgtrader, so I had recognized the models and that particular model is by the way not even a real ship but a very poor replica of Emma Maersk - it states 300 m - the real Emma Maersk was the first container ship at 400 m and it is obviously is included 400 m long in Global AI Ship Traffic :D Actually from the very first pack back when I was still young...

In all fairness, beyond the 5 models added in their Global Shipping add-on they do a favor with replacing the ugly default models with 14 upgraded models, so with both products you will actually have 19 ships... which are then repeated all over.

That has never been my aim - which is to make realistic shipping with ships like they are in that particular area and not a supertanker entering my local port which can't take ships beyond 105 metres - and I never wanted to mess with the default models - but in principle anyone can just take 14 freeware models and replace the default models and you will achieve the same effect by cranking up "ships and ferries" to 100%......... 1 minute copy and paste, rename in the right folder and it will be free...

Normally I would not take a dig at another developer, but I think it is important that ALL developers declare what is really contained in their packages - this one could be much more clearly explained. "We replace your 14 default ships with more nice looking models - crank up your settings to 100% and you will see these nice models and not ugly default models all over" and their additional product "We add 5 more models and repeat them all over so your oceans look less empty".

Okay... The sun just got up, I got my coffee and I am still on holiday and my better half doesn't mind that I relax surrounded by our dogs modelling and I just found a treasure full of drawings of New York ferries...
 
Messages
14
Country
us-california
I saw another MSFS "developer" was selling a landmark scenery for the city where I'm working right now IRL and after buying it ( after weeks of agonizing because the screens looked really hit/miss ) - I realized they'd downloaded all the free sketchup models off 3D Warehouse for that city, ran them through Blender and are charging $10 for other people's work.

I thought about reporting it, but until I finish my scenery for that area and replace all their stuff - it's still useful to have a couple of the landmark buildings in game :p

Having worked in AA/AAA game dev for 20 years now... we ( designers ) would always eye the turbosquid stuff as an easy solution - but it never is... none of the models are truly "game ready", most are built for video or portfolio pieces and super inefficient and all need a lot of rework and optimization after you buy them. All the artists I've worked with would rather create their own from scratch, than try to fix a turbosquid model.
 
Messages
804
Country
denmark
I saw another MSFS "developer" was selling a landmark scenery for the city where I'm working right now IRL and after buying it ( after weeks of agonizing because the screens looked really hit/miss ) - I realized they'd downloaded all the free sketchup models off 3D Warehouse for that city, ran them through Blender and are charging $10 for other people's work.

I thought about reporting it, but until I finish my scenery for that area and replace all their stuff - it's still useful to have a couple of the landmark buildings in game :p

Having worked in AA/AAA game dev for 20 years now... we ( designers ) would always eye the turbosquid stuff as an easy solution - but it never is... none of the models are truly "game ready", most are built for video or portfolio pieces and super inefficient and all need a lot of rework and optimization after you buy them. All the artists I've worked with would rather create their own from scratch, than try to fix a turbosquid model.
Just realized on ORBX that they state the product includes "tens of thousands of high-quality, PBR, night-lit utility, fishing and cargo ships" - a slight exageration from the 19... Actually gross misleading and illegal according to the marketing law in most places where ORBX sells.
 
Messages
14
Country
us-california
Just realized on ORBX that they state the product includes "tens of thousands of high-quality, PBR, night-lit utility, fishing and cargo ships" - a slight exageration from the 19... Actually gross misleading and illegal according to the marketing law in most places where ORBX sells.
should read "tens of PBR, night-lit utility, fishing and cargo ships, placed thousands of times"
 
Messages
577
Country
france
2012… i posted first time on Pilote-virtuel.com presenting a few screenshots and response was amazing… it was my first post on public social media and that thread is still allive with more than 700.000 visits and close to 3000 posts… the last version of The project reached now more than 40.000 downloads in 4 months… and it can’t even fly and it isn’t an airport either
I can confirm as moderator of the Pilote-Virtuel.com site since 2008 :wave:
Good hollidays, Henrik :cool:
 
Messages
229
Country
germany
someone had recommended it to me during a discussion on AI or enhancements - downloaded all the various packs and bits, and was absolutely blown away taking off and seeing San Francisco Bay full of ships, plus all the traffic up and down the California coast. Just adds so much to the world... and it's just one of those things you don't immediately think about - but ships are so big, you really do notice them from 20-30km away - so it really makes an impact on immersion.
For me it also made flying over water actually worthwhile. I love island sceneries but the flight BETWEEN the islands was always boring and I frequently skipped it by cranking up the sim rate until the next island came into view. But your package actually made flying over the oceans enjoyable and interesting! Thanks for your great work and efforts!
 
Messages
229
Country
germany
I saw another MSFS "developer" was selling a landmark scenery for the city where I'm working right now IRL and after buying it ( after weeks of agonizing because the screens looked really hit/miss ) - I realized they'd downloaded all the free sketchup models off 3D Warehouse for that city, ran them through Blender and are charging $10 for other people's work.

I thought about reporting it, but until I finish my scenery for that area and replace all their stuff - it's still useful to have a couple of the landmark buildings in game :p

Having worked in AA/AAA game dev for 20 years now... we ( designers ) would always eye the turbosquid stuff as an easy solution - but it never is... none of the models are truly "game ready", most are built for video or portfolio pieces and super inefficient and all need a lot of rework and optimization after you buy them. All the artists I've worked with would rather create their own from scratch, than try to fix a turbosquid model.
I have to admit that I sometimes use smaller CC0 assets from CG Trader or Sketchfab to add some clutter objects to the scene that make it a little more alive while I don't have to to spend hours on modeling less important side objects - that way I save some time that I can spend focusing on the main parts of the scenery. The difference to what you experienced is I only create freeware, I still do more than 90 % of the work myself AND I always include a detailed readme that states the origin of all models that I acquired from external sources along with the original author.
 
Messages
804
Country
denmark
I have to admit that I sometimes use smaller CC0 assets from CG Trader or Sketchfab to add some clutter objects to the scene that make it a little more alive while I don't have to to spend hours on modeling less important side objects - that way I save some time that I can spend focusing on the main parts of the scenery. The difference to what you experienced is I only create freeware, I still do more than 90 % of the work myself AND I always include a detailed readme that states the origin of all models that I acquired from external sources along with the original author.
I don't think there is any issue in doing that - of course as mentioned by Brent sometimes these models require so much optimization that it isn't worth the effort - but as long as rights are respected then in principle models can come from whatever source.
 
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Messages
242
Country
germany
So I use for my freeware sceneries also partly small models from the SU Warehouse (like e.g. the models of human figures). However, I get - as far as possible (email address available) a written permission from the author (e.g. from Max Grüter for his worker figures). Downloading everything from the warehouse and publishing it as payware is also very questionable.

I have had the same experience with models from Turbo Squid & Co. Basically you have to build them from scratch. You usually have to completely retexture them anyway, so that they fit your own scenery.
 
Messages
14
Country
us-california
I mean - they're ( usually ) fantastic reference and good placeholder - or for artist to use as a template. Just FYI - a lot of the good models in the Sketchup Warehouse are actually 3DMax models imported into Sketchup, then exported as skp. Most of the "real" artists I work with say sketchup exports very messy geo and needs a ton of cleanup in 3D Max or Maya. These are great for mockups and placeholders, but I wouldn't use them in a final scenery. If a model was imported from Max, then rexported as a sketchup model - it's gotta be horribly inefficient ;)

( I love Sketchup and use it all the time in my day job - but usually as a 3D concept piece or scale reference for someone to build a "real" model from - it's esp great for flight sim scenery, since you can directly grab reasonably high res ground mesh and texture data for RW, so you can quickly build exactly to scale and correct orientation )
 
Messages
229
Country
germany
Yes, sketchup creates strange geometry with long triangles, not really useful for the final scenery. But as you said sometimes you just need the model for reference or as a template to build your own. For my next scenery I needed a very rarely used Chinese made aircraft for which I only found few pictures for reference, but I found a low poly 3d model which I retextured. That alone probably saved me 3 or 4 hours of work and given that I often only have 2 hours a week of developing it speeds up development by 1 or 2 weeks.
 
Messages
705
Country
us-texas
The risk when using Turbosquid is getting objects that you really cannot even use. I found a couple modelers that did pretty good stuff for me, so I took everything they had - it was good for AI, looked nice but performance was the key. One of them even did some custom orders for me. Never did recoup the cost, but I was proud of the offering.

And to Henriks' point, the real work is the research in where the routes actually go. Not everybody appreciates that. You would notice, if at an airfield, a hangar or a warehouse was 100 meters out of place but the wrong ship in the wrong port, docking at the wrong harbor - almost nobody notices.... well, unless you are doing US Navy traffic and then everybody is a salty veteran.
 
Messages
804
Country
denmark
After a trip over the Atlantic looking down to see if there were any ships in the real world I am now back with MSFS updated to SU5 and I spent the evening and the morning testing.

Just to make clear the basic assumption for the below - I uninstalled all add-ons before updating to SU5 and then reinstalled Global AI Ship Traffic and my own native AI Ship Test package. I run a high gaming computer with high or ultra graphic settings

Below first the observations regards to the Global AI Ship Traffic with non native ships carried over from P3D/FSX

Let’s start with the positive…
  • Loading time did not seem to change after installing Global AI Ship Traffic, neither compared to without Global AI Ship Traffic, nor compared to situation before SU5
  • No CTD occurred in or after any test flights - OBSERVE - no other add-ons installed at this point, but at least Global AI Ship Traffic alone did in none of the places tested cause CTD
  • Most ships appear completely normal, radars working, night textures showing
  • Frame rates and stutters not displaying any issues in most flights - also first flight - except in one test area where a sudden drop almost to freeze was experienced during 5-6 seconds after which all returned to normal


SU5 Reefer Ship
SU5 Reefer Ship2139×1244 735 KB



Celso Furtado MSFS
Celso Furtado MSFS2009×1234 313 KB



Now the less positive but still survivable…

  • In one area with high density of ships - Rio de Janeiro - considerably less ships were displayed compared to previously and compared to what was displayed in LittleNavMap. This issue also existed before SU5, but it seems aggravated, though I need to have more time in order to confirm. For most users this wouldn’t mean anything for normal flight, but if you go hunting for specific ships it is annoying.
  • The stutters mentioned above occurred exactly in the area - Rio de Janeiro - where some ships did not display. One could think that the concentration of models to display was simply too high…Now, if some on a lower spec computer experience the same it could go worse than just stutters - if someone would help taking a flight from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont towards the South along Copacabana and Ipanema and report it would be a help. Time of the day doesn’t matter - there should always be a lot of ships. Preferably compare what you see with LittleNavMap.
Now the most annoying on my system…

  • Somewhere between 5 and 20% of the ships depending on the flight shows up with wrong textures - I think the observation from a user on forums.flightsimulator.com regards to a model file itself being corrupt is most likely an optical illusion due to the textures - I had problems recognizing one of my own ships but on further inspection it was all good except the textures coming from other ships. However I will not exclude that is can happen, but with the 100 so models observed so far I did not find any issues.


FPS60
FPS602291×1235 408 KB


On this screenshot two of three ships are perfect - the one in the background though has wrong texture.


  • From what I see the texture swapping occurs between models in the package, as I had nothing else installed, but observations from beta testers point to textures being messed up between all installed AI simobjects including airplanes. It seems like a basic issue in the way the sim engine assigns textures. I have not yet seen it happen with my Native models. Anyone can confirm if Easy Airlines is based on old FSX/P3D models or native models as there is confirmed to be texture swaps with that add-on?


image
image1685×1111 182 KB



A few comments on the folders created

  • A new CVT folder is created in Community, it does not contain models as before, just textures, where in the past there was also model files
  • Another folder is created $PC$/ache/packages/community/ however it appears just to contain empty folders
Finally, so far my Native test package displayed exactly as expected. However, I need to include more ships to be sure, that the above texture swapping is limited to the models being converted.

I will think about the plan ahead, but think I will stick to the plan presented a few days back but eventually down prioritizing in the first place some elements like lighting and instead get as many models updated as fast as possible to native format.

Ps… apart from in the North Sea I didn’t see any ships from 37.000 flying in the real world, which also why I never bothered to put routes between continents… It just takes space on your disk, performance, and doesn’t really add much for realism for most users…
 

rhumbaflappy

Administrator
Staff member
Resource contributor
Messages
4,691
Country
us-wisconsin
  • Somewhere between 5 and 20% of the ships depending on the flight shows up with wrong textures - I think the observation from a user on forums.flightsimulator.com regards to a model file itself being corrupt is most likely an optical illusion due to the textures - I had problems recognizing one of my own ships but on further inspection it was all good except the textures coming from other ships. However I will not exclude that is can happen, but with the 100 so models observed so far I did not find any issues.
I would go here to get support from Asobo: https://devsupport.flightsimulator.com/index.html

This is the developer support site and FlyingRacoon is the Asobo representative. He is quite good with his job.
 
Messages
577
Country
france
Henrik,
Your annoying problem of textures seems to (IMO) be in relation with LODs/Texture management.
On this screenshot (https://forums.flightsimulator.com/...621712f38104f70ef0c82dc4774af932f5c55fcd.jpeg)
The size of the boat is very small and therefore the mechanism of LODs must be used. There was a discussion about whether or not to reduce the textures with the extra LODs and the person was complaining that the object was turning gray instead of keeping its original textures. One of the solutions was to use the notion of vertex colors for some LODs to gain in memory and rapidity
=> https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/lod-looses-texture-when-zooming-out.449744.

If the management of LODs remains as it is today, I think it will be necessary to create at least 3 LODs for each ship

As RumbaFlappy suggests you should go and have a look at this type of discussions:
 
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