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View Full Version : How to tweak graphic settings for plane spotting



Odie1974
08-11-2010, 02:16 AM
Hi,

Recently I have been flown online - with icons off - while offline I have been flying with limited icons on.
Needless to say it is a big increase in difficulty and I am lost confused and can not see the planes.
I mean I can see them OK against the sky, but against the ground I just cannot.

Do you know of any graphic hints/tweaks that I can use to help with spotting planes?

I am looking for any advantage I can get...

Thanks

Odie1974
08-11-2010, 02:16 AM
Hi,

Recently I have been flown online - with icons off - while offline I have been flying with limited icons on.
Needless to say it is a big increase in difficulty and I am lost confused and can not see the planes.
I mean I can see them OK against the sky, but against the ground I just cannot.

Do you know of any graphic hints/tweaks that I can use to help with spotting planes?

I am looking for any advantage I can get...

Thanks

Erkki_M
08-11-2010, 03:26 AM
1024 x 960 is best resolution for "dot spotting". Really.

Also, you might want to lower anistrophic filtering and anti-aliasing a little. If you have serius difficulties seeing contacts above forests, well, so did real life pilots, but Forests=1 helps a little when they're further out. As does HardwareShaders=0 which lets you get rid of those annoying little trees everywhere. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Xiolablu3
08-11-2010, 04:23 AM
Or just pick a server with icons on http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ytareh
08-11-2010, 05:45 AM
1024x768 is the ONLY res I can fly and fight at online.I can be under 100m over an airbase and wont be able to see planes taking off...(vulcher ?moi?Never!)sure you can see them silhouetted against the sky better but its a serious compromise to have res higher than 1024x768.Some have even said the game is optimised for it .

Odie1974
08-11-2010, 06:01 AM
Well, even at 1024x768 my laptop's performance is less than stellar so higher res are out of the question really.

Thing is - I like to fly w/o icons. I am looking for ways to make it slightly easier though - if at all possible.

M2morris
08-11-2010, 11:20 AM
I am with you Odie1974 and I am watching this thread to see what they come up with because I have the same problem. I will try some of it so far. My PC is a piece of crap so I am limited but I too like to fly without any icons.
I read someplace that you can set the terrain to be totally flat and featureless and that can help you spot planes below you but that sounds like a cheat to me.

ytareh
08-11-2010, 03:25 PM
This is definitely not a pc performance issue .The higher quality your image (ie fancier hardware) the harder it is to see dot....

runyan99
08-11-2010, 05:12 PM
All they grey pixel smudges look the same to me. I can't tell friend from foe beyond 1km, let alone spot planes below me, but you can be sure the AI can. Due to the graphical limitation, I'd say it's probably harder for me to spot planes than it would have been for a real pilot with 20/20 vision in real light conditions. I can only conclude I am playing at a severe disadvatage to both reality and the AI.

And that's why I can't see turning off labels in this sim. With SoW, at higher resolutions, I will try to play without any labels.

WTE_Galway
08-11-2010, 06:01 PM
Well you could always padlock :P

Personally offline I like to fly with everything off .. no chat no speedbar and no RHS HUD.

But then again half the time I just pootle about in a biplane and look at the scenery anyway http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Shadrach52
08-11-2010, 06:06 PM
The smallest a plane can be when first see is one pixel and the higher the resolution the smaller the pixel and the smaller the plane dot. Halving the resolution makes the pixel dot four times bigger and so the distant plane seems easier to see. The down side is the overall picture quality is greatly reduced and at closer distances the plane lacks detail and is harder to identify.
Most video cards should run more efficiently when set to the monitors native resolution.
I think it is better to run at your monitors resolution and spend time and effort adjusting your colour and contrast settings to get the best picture you can and play with your config and card settings to get the best game settings with reasonable frame rates. There's loads of info you can find on this, a good item can be Googled with:
Advanced tweaks for IL2 stutter/FPS problems!
Doing this I find distant planes are as easy if not easier to see at higher resolutions.
Finally use the method of quartering that actual pilots used. Don't search about over the landscape trying to spot aircraft but rather fix your gaze at one spot say forward of the port wing and hold it for a few seconds, then move to the area forward of the starboard wing for a few seconds etc. Because your view is static any aircraft moving over the background is immediately obvious.

M_Gunz
08-11-2010, 07:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
Well you could always padlock :P </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which involves fixation though you can jump the padlock around, IIRC padlock range can be limited. Also padlock starts in front of you, doesn't get everyone, and is slower at SA than fast-panning, snap view scans and trick-IR.

M_Gunz
08-11-2010, 08:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Shadrach52:
The smallest a plane can be when first see is one pixel </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dots at least were from the start more than one pixel. However the LODs could be only one pixel. Watch and see when your dot range is far the dot gets smaller when it changes to LOD and then bigger as you close in. There was for some patches the extra big dots with black and white pixels but those got changed back.
I had particular problems with planes that would disappear (Romulan Cloaking Device) while in plain sight at about 500m against any ground. Until I got inside 400m I had no idea even with icons when that plane would bank to change course. Very frustrating esp during BnZ as I fire my ranging burst between 400m and 500m to have time to correct aim and get some damage in before I have to peel off, all in a handful of seconds.

Odie1974
08-12-2010, 01:57 AM
Well, I played with it some more.
Changed my res to 800x600 (which gave me a nice overall performance increae), lowered the terrain detail and lighting, objects detail and lighting to excellent and set gamma to 1.2 and played with brightness / contrast a little.

It's slightly easier to see the dots/planes now, although when you do not know where to look exactly - still hard to find them. As my SA is not too good - I tend to get disoriented when I do loops etc, several times I found myself searching for planes in a completely different area than there were really in.
So I guess I need to practice my SA some more.

And it is easier to notice dots now than the LODs...

Anyways - I am waiting for SOW to appear and then I will get myself a brand new rig - then we will see. Hopefully SOW will solve the visibility problems in a better way than it is done now.

Urufu_Shinjiro
08-12-2010, 11:31 AM
The 1024x768 trick, while it does work most of the time, is not the underlying cause of the dot visibility issue. You'll see a lot of people say that 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 makes dots impossible to see, but that's slightly inaccurate. Most of the time it's true, but it seems to involve a combination of resolution, AA/AF, and overall monitor quality. On my S-PVA (a higher quality LCD panel type than the average monitor, which is usually TN) monitor I can see distant dots just fine at 1920x1200 with 2-4x AA. I can see dots better now at 1920x1200 than I could at any res on my old Sony Trinitron 20" CRT. So it's not directly a result of resolution, it's a combination of factors, one of which being monitor quality.

WTE_Galway
08-12-2010, 06:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
The 1024x768 trick, while it does work most of the time, is not the underlying cause of the dot visibility issue. You'll see a lot of people say that 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 makes dots impossible to see, but that's slightly inaccurate. Most of the time it's true, but it seems to involve a combination of resolution, AA/AF, and overall monitor quality. On my S-PVA (a higher quality LCD panel type than the average monitor, which is usually TN) monitor I can see distant dots just fine at 1920x1200 with 2-4x AA. I can see dots better now at 1920x1200 than I could at any res on my old Sony Trinitron 20" CRT. So it's not directly a result of resolution, it's a combination of factors, one of which being monitor quality. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, i suspect the newer LED backlit monitors, which give contrast closer to a plasma, will be noticeably better but I haven't had a chance to test this.

megalopsuche
08-12-2010, 06:39 PM
To take a sim as beautiful as Il-2 and then run it at low res to gain an edge is a pity.

Odie1974
08-13-2010, 03:20 AM
IMO It's more of a pity to run the sim in hi res, details maxxed out when your computer does not really allow for it (mine does not) and you can not see a thing.
So from lower res I am getting two benefits:
- performance boost and
- increased visibility

If I try to have better GFX usually the only beautiful things I see are the explosion of my plane... when the unseen enemy shoots me down http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Anyways - I am waiting for SOW to come out, see its specs and then I will buy a high end computer to play it.
BTW: Does anyone know if the visibility / perspective / LODs issues have been addressed in SOW? I have not seen any info regarding that subject (but I admit I have not searched extensively).

megalopsuche
08-13-2010, 05:35 AM
Sorry, my comments were not directed at you Odie1974.

My own computer is only mediocre by today's standards, but I can still run perfect-mode, and all the nice enhancements of HSFX at native resolution, and I'm never going to drop it down! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Odie1974
08-13-2010, 06:21 AM
No offence taken, we are just discussing http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I sincerely hope that SoW will be better in that regard and we will be able to have all the eye candy + playability.

Shadrach52
08-13-2010, 06:25 AM
I think maybe there are two different effects you are seeing which makes this question a little confusing. The first is that at a distance the aircraft dot is simply 'registering' on the screen and is occupying the minimum number of pixels. The lower the resolution the larger the pixels the easier the aircraft is to see. As it moves towards you the
dot size will not change untile the aircraft is close enough that it actually begines to occupy 'space' on the screen. At that point the dot will begin to increase in size because the aircraft becomes larger than the minimum number of pixels. At this point the higher the resolution the better as you will always get better definition the higher it is.

IBM make a 24 inch 3840 x 2400 pixel monitor which would give you a true to life photographic view if only you could find a card powerful enough to give you any sort of frame rate.
As Urufu_Shinjiro says, the quality of the view and how easy it is to distinguish planes against backgrounds etc. is down to the quality of your monitor and how it is setup but a higher resolution is always better.
Having said that you need the card and drivers to run the monitor and if they are not up to speed then you have to compromise to maintain decent frame rate. Personally though I would never reduce resolution below the maximum for your screen.
I only have a 22 inch 1680x1050 screen and a 8600GTS 512mb card and have set it up so the frame rate mostly stays above the mid/high twenties with forays up to the max with vert sync on and I'm happy with that but if I could afford a 1920x1200 screen and suitable card I would get them today.
In my view I think that at longer distances an aircraft is actually easier to see on screen than it would be in real life as there is always that bit extra contrast between plane and background unless in real life light is glinting off reflective surfaces, hopefully a feature in SoW. (Note how rediculously easy it is to spot tracer fire at extreme range on bright sunny days in game). It is only at middle up to closer distances when a real life pilot would be better able to identify aircraft types and read identification markings that the desk pilot is struggling and may feel the need to enlist the help of icons.

M_Gunz
08-13-2010, 10:35 PM
It would be nice if the planes went from dot to right up close view in a clean progression but the fact with IL2 is that up to a certain size there are LODs rather than rendered 3D images and they are not all so well arranged or done. I have no idea if Team Daidalos will ever address them either. Some LODs don't show wings, some have big square wing tips, some have been shown to be in the wrong order, the shading, etc, makes different planes seem to be done to different standards. It has been years since any threads addressed LODs because the issue was closed, not to be changed.