Self-shadowing on FSX aircraft: the secret is revealed!

#1
Well, I couldn't resist not knowing anymore about self-shadows on aircraft, and I wrote to Adrian Woods for the answer. Here is what he wrote:

"If you’re working with aircraft, we are using a different method of self-shadowing (shadow mapping) that doesn’t require manifold objects. It’s not quite as high fidelity as the volume shadows, but it works for aircraft and doesn’t require the thousands of extra polygons that are needed to manifold the geometry. I’m not sure how you toggle between the two. I’ll have to check on that."

I remember having a conversation with Peter Zahn, also an ACES developer, about this several months back. He was hoping for shadow mapping to become a reality, as he was having a lot of trouble getting good results with manifold volume shadowing on complex aircraft such as the Goose.

Hurray!!

Owen
 
#5
Holiday my a^$..... ;)

We're busy working on the SDK update, which should be available sometime next week. It's going to include a whole bunch of new updates and all of the Gmax tools. It will also include a sample airplane and an airplane creation doc as well as full documentation with examples of the FSX Material.
 
#10
We're busy working on the SDK update, which should be available sometime next week. It's going to include a whole bunch of new updates and all of the Gmax tools. It will also include a sample airplane and an airplane creation doc as well as full documentation with examples of the FSX Material.
Wow excellent news Adrian thanks :cool: :)
 
#11
We're busy working on the SDK update, which should be available sometime next week. It's going to include a whole bunch of new updates and all of the Gmax tools. It will also include a sample airplane and an airplane creation doc as well as full documentation with examples of the FSX Material.
Holiday my a^$ - hahaha!! Thanks for the update, Adrian!

Best,

Owen
 
#14
Hello guys!

First, I'm really happy such site released, congrads to administration! - I miss such site for many years :)

About the subject - I do belive that, team used stensil shadows technology in FSX, that means that we should do geometry of the model without "open edges", mistery to me why there are no word about that in SDK :confused:
Btw, some more about stensil shadows could be found here: http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1873.asp

Still not clear to me
- what should be closed - all geometry of model or just details which will be used in produsing\showing shadows ?
- will we have self-shadows in VC ?

I'm really hope that comming FSX gmax SDK will give me the answers.

sorry for my pure English
 
#15
Hello guys!

First, I'm really happy such site released, congrads to administration! - I miss such site for many years :)

About the subject - I do belive that, team used stensil shadows technology in FSX, that means that we should do geometry of the model without "open edges", mistery to me why there are no word about that in SDK :confused:
Btw, some more about stensil shadows could be found here: http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1873.asp

Still not clear to me
- what should be closed - all geometry of model or just details which will be used in produsing\showing shadows ?
- will we have self-shadows in VC ?

I'm really hope that comming FSX gmax SDK will give me the answers.

sorry for my pure English
Hi Andrey,

ACES artists had originally wanted all aircraft objects to require volumetric shadowing, or essentially what you've described above as stensil shadows, but they found that very complex objects were not being rendered properly, so the development team incorporated shadow maps to allow the artists some relaxation with regard to polygon counts. Some default aircraft do use volumetric though - the C172 I believe exhibits this.

So, you do not have to have closed objects to have shadows. I do not believe we will see self-shadows in the VC due to it being a huge performance hit.

Best,

Owen
 
#16
Aha... okay Owen, thank you for answer, it makes situaion bit clear :) I'm looking forward for sample aircraft model :) Seems it was promised :)

Comparing with FS9 there is not much difference between polygons count in exterior and VC, so shadows in VC may be provided... would be cool thing I think :rolleyes: ... but... their choice for sure :)
 
#17
Aha... okay Owen, thank you for answer, it makes situaion bit clear :) I'm looking forward for sample aircraft model :) Seems it was promised :)

Comparing with FS9 there is not much difference between polygons count in exterior and VC, so shadows in VC may be provided... would be cool thing I think :rolleyes: ... but... their choice for sure :)
Yes, there should be an example aircraft provided.

It's not so much the polygon count within the VC that is holding back the performance hit of self shadowing objects there, as it is more the fact that you have gauges present which are quite taxing on performance. The combination of the two - you would hear much more complaints about performance that you see now.

Best,

Owen
 
#20
Actually it seems that there is no secret at all with aircraft self shadowing. :D

I am eagerly waiting for the SDK to clear things up about materials, and all these settings and options the "FSX material" has.

Today as I was experimenting importing my aircraft to FSX I realized that by just replacing the default materials in the scene with "FSX materials", self shadowing on the model works:
 

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