The Koorby's 2 minute performance tweaking guide (V3)
Disclaimer: These tweaks are not solely discovered by me, but compiled into this easy-reference guide and combined with my experience with FS2004 and also Windows XP tuning. There may be tweaks in this guide which are also contained in other people's guides and posts, probably because they sourced their information from the same place I did
If you have any other tweaks you'd like us to include in this guide, please PM jaykae.
There is no reason a mid-spec PC spec running Windows XP, with 1024MB RAM and a video card like a Geforce 6600GT should have any issues whatsoever running FS9 as smooth as silk, simply none. I don't have a lot of time to get indepth, but here's my 2 minute guide, some of which you may already know:
1. Set visibility (vis) to about 30mi/48km - that's the real world and this single adjustment will a) make FS2004 textures look much nicer and realistic, and B) Give you back lots and lots of FPS 2. Avoid large amount of cumulus clouds - they eat FPS. Create a new weather theme which looks nice but avoids those. If you must use real-world weather then get Active Sky 6 and install their 128x128 DXT3 MIP cloud sets - perfect solution 3. Slide MIP down to 4 - no need for more than that (for nVidia 7 series & ATI 18xx/19xx cards, set to 8 ) 4. Slide LIGHTS down to 6 (for nVidia 7 series & ATI 18xx/19xx series cards, set to 8 ) 5. Slide 3D cloud density to 50%, will still look great (set to 100% on high end cards ) 6. Turn off lens flare (pilot's sunglasses don't have lens flare 7. Turn OFF anti-aliasing inside FS9 8. Set to Trilinear filtering always 9. Run FS9 in Full-screen mode at the same resolution as your desktop 10. Lock your FPS to 25 - seriously, you won't notice anything higher and it really does help. At the worst set it to 30FPS, but I never run it that fast, because PAL video runs at 25FPS and 3.5 billion people can't be wrong eh? Movies in the cinema run even slower. 11. When flying in *any* mode, press the "-" (minus) key to zoom out to 75%. It offers a better field of view and also has the side benefit of "crisping" up the textures. A must-do, and I save all my pre-saved flights at 75% zoom. For great screenshots, pull back to 50% or less.
Optional Disable the autogen library by renaming the fs9\Autogen\default.xml to default.xml.OFF - this will make very little visual difference to your flying but gives back FPS also. You won't see those dinky take-away food places and petrol stations, no big loss though.
Leave everything else maxed out.
YOUR VIDEO CARD
1. Set AA (Anti-Aliasing) to 4XS (anything else is overkill if running = > 1280x1024, but AAx8 will make chain wire fences appear much nicer at airports, so use that if you have a high end card) 2. Set AF (Antistropic Filtering) to 4 (On nVidia 7 series and ATI 18/19 series set to AFX16) 3. In your video card control panel applet, set the quality setting to "Quality" - avoid "High Performance" or ""Performance" settings - they will degrade the textures and mipping. Also avoid "High Quality" - the difference is not noticable to the naked eye, but takes a performance hit. 4. For nVidia cards, visit www.nhancer.com and download the nhancer tool. Create a custom profile for fs9.exe and play with the settings. Pretty soon you will know how every nVidia tweak works for FS9. 5. For ATI cards, the best tool is RivaTuner.
YOUR WINDOWS XP
1. Not running XP? -- Doh! Buy it, install it with Service Pack 2 and make sure you have automatic updates running. 2. Shutdown about 40-50 Windows XP services you don't need. Grab a program called FSautostart, which will do this for you with tips on each setting. I have 1024MB RAM and when I start FS9 I have 860MB free. Trust me, it makes a huge difference to performance. 3. Turn OFF any programs in the tray you are not using. This includes Anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-anything. Also turn off all those silly tray icons like quicktime and countless others. They are all consuming CPU cycles and the Anti-virus will most definitely interfere with FS9 performance. 4. If you can afford it, add another 1024MB of RAM for a total of 2GB. This will give FS9 all the memory it needs without the need to remove too much from memory prior to flights.
THE DREADED "BLURRIES"
The most common thing that can ruin your flight experience is a case of the "blurries". I see this in so many screenshots, and it's completely avoidable.
Here's a few rules to follow:
1. If you are flying low (below 5,000 ft) (not slewing), keep your ground speed around 140Kts
2. If you are slewing (not flying), always tap Y to go back into flying mode so the textures can be reloaded in your immediately area. So (a) slew to the position, (tap the 'Y' key and fly for a bit to let the textures catch up, tap 'Y' again and just slew back to the best position for the shot.)
3. Make sure your [TERRAIN] section of your fs9.cfg file has these last 3 entries in the section:
[TERRAIN] TERRAIN_ERROR_FACTOR=100.000000 TERRAIN_MIN_DEM_AREA=10.000000 TERRAIN_MAX_DEM_AREA=100.000000 TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=19 (20 for 38m mesh, 21 for 20m mesh) TERRAIN_TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP=8 TERRAIN_AUTOGEN_DENSITY=5 TERRAIN_USE_GRADIENT_MAP=1 TERRAIN_EXTENDED_TEXTURES=1 TERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=3.500000 TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=4.000000 TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=232
4. In the [DISPLAY] section there is this line:
TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=40 <--- this is too low for current video cards
Change it to read:
[DISPLAY] UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=25 TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=55 (try values from 50 through to 200, depending on video card speed. 55 is a good start) TextureMaxLoad=10
Another tweak that you can do is to add these lines directly after the TextureMaxLoad-entry:
This tweak change the size of the different lights around the airport and makes it look more realistic. You can change the numbers to your own needs. Larger number gives bigger lights and lower number gives, of course, smaller lights. To get the best out of this tweak I have edited the Halo.bmp. Just follow this link:
halo.rar , unpack it and drop it into your FS9\texture-folder. Make a backup of your original first...Just in case.
There's plenty more to talk about, but doing the above will help you enormously, make your visuals look much better and give you a big hike in FPS.
Hope this helps
Flying is the perfect vocation for a man who wants to feel like a boy, but not for one who still is.
I find those tips interesting and educationals They was posted sometime ago in the SimhQ forums. Hope it will be help for some of the members of this fine community. Posted by Rick.50cal
Aircraft edits you can do…
If you decide to do some edits, this can be a bit of a start point. Note: EVERY time to want to confirm whether a change “took” or not, you must save the file (don’t have to close it though) change to another aircraft, let it load, and then quickly go back to the aircraft you are editing. It will now load the fresh a/c with the new settings.
Remember: you can add notes, and backup lines or old numbers, the sim will overlook anything after “//” which makes it easy to keep reference to original values.
If you have a favorite panel, or sound set you want multiple aircraft to use, or if you need to add at least a default set for the time being (wasn’t included in the original file?), you can alias the current aircraft to a panel or sounds for another one, by inserting this line into the respective *.cfg file (be it the panel.cfg or sound.cfg):
Or for a panel using a custom panel on a third party plane, would look like this
[fltsim] alias=iFDG A319-112 USA\panel
>>>>>>>>>>>> In the Panel.cfg:
I give the panel setup a .5 zoom for all, much more realistic. Go into your panel.cfg and add this whole section, or see if something similar is there whose numbers you can edit:
Now you can tilt the panel, a value of 16 is great for every helicopter I’ve yet tested, while airliners might prefer between 1 and 6.
VIEW_FORWARD_DIR=16.0, 0.0, 0.0
Sometimes you may wish to resize a 2d panel, maybe it takes up too much real estate on your monitor, or whatever, but you need to change it’s size without doing massive editing. This also works under the GPS mini-panel value, in case it’s too large or too small.Just change the ratio, this one working very well for the MS Bell 206b (especially with the other edits here):
Mini-panels often need to be oriented in a location, for instance where your GPS shows up, you can edit this line here:
…and you choose the location you want from 0 (top left) to 8 (bottom right) in a grid like this:
012 345 678
If you want your mini-panel to show up all the time (meaning you don’t have to click an icon or pulldown menu…say to have the GPS always there, or your radio stack), you edit this line between off (0) and on(1)
Oh and lastly but not least, down at the very bottom of the Panel.cfg I may edit this line at the bottom to match the top of the 2d panel dash or at least close to it…depending on it’s shape/area, but with the panel tilt this isn’t nearly as important anymore.
In the aircraft.cfg….
I change the autopilot vertical speed default so that if I suddenly decide to change altitude, it's not going to violently pitch up or down at 1800fpm, instead being more realistic 500fpm that you can then ease into quicker rates of ascent +decent IMO. Under [autopilot] look for this line and pick 500 or 700 FPM default:
Sometimes I find I have problems with getting the plane to trim properly. This is usually due to the trim not being precise enough (not enough positions for the trim range). So you can change the number from 1.0 to 0.25 or even 0.2 under [flight_tuning] in the following line (keep in mind if the plane flies well, there may be no need for this edit):
-elevator_trim_effectiveness = 0.7 //1.0
I edit the eyepoint using //longitudinal, lateral, vertical grid (it’s in feet, in decimals). Often some freeware plane makers put this eyepoint at very strange places…like way too far in front of the real flight deck area (in my MD-83 FFX), or sometimes at the wings. To land properly using the panel, it greatly helps to have the eyepoint at the correct real world location. In planes without VC’s, the number usually correspond to the either the engines (pull prop), heli main rotor, or more commonly the wing location.
To confirm where the eyepoint is currently set, on a/c that don’t have a VC, and slew the aircraft over to a runway line for a fixed reference, and from the exterior view place the nosewheel on the line. Now take note of where the pilot sits in relation to the front nosewheel, how high, how far back or forward he sits. Now switch to the “vc view” mode and pan down, you now have a fairly good idea of where you should be looking to see the nosewheel, and can “guesstimate” if you are close.
In planes with VC’s, editing this will also often give a better forward view for landing. The below example is for the default MS Boeing 747 which you can edit for yourself (the originals are to the right of the //), however I think they use a different starting point for the grid than the a/c wing. Experiment to see where you end up.
[Views] eyepoint = -18.25, -2.15, 9.9 // -19.05, -2.15, 9.7 Longitude, Lateral and Vert
New lighting for the virtual pit at night. Again using the same longitudinal, lateral, vertical grid, in the [LIGHTS] section of the default MS Boeing 747, add the following line, and then go night flying (pushing L to turn on all lights):
light.9 = 4, -16.24, -2.00, 8.59, fx_vclighth,
I add differential braking for all planes to help with taxiing, which allows for tighter turning than normal, by adding this line to [Brakes]:
differential_braking_scale = 1.0
I might also edit the brake effectiveness/strength, as some are clearly too easily stopped, while others just can’t stop (like the default DC-3) by changing the value of
toe_brakes_scale = 0.52 //Brake scalar
If you are using a futuristic aircraft or a particularly old one, you may wish to edit the fuel efficiency, less than 1.0 is better fuel economy, while 1.1 would be worse than average, like an old jet engine:
fuel_flow_scalar = 0.8
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Weight and balances
I add or change payload/cargo settings, for default to max weight. I also prefer to have multiple points for the aircraft cargo and passenger weights because the plane handles much more realistically when decent values are used. You use 170 lbs (these values are in pounds) for the “average person”, and calculate how many people would be in a forward/center/aft area of the plane, then you figure out where the “center” of that mass would be located. You don’t need to add each and every seat, this would be too time consuming and would unnecessarily tax FlightSim. Instead, use perhaps entries 3 or 4 for the passengers, and perhaps two more for the cargo (remembering that cargo is usually physically located lower in the aircraft, so edit the vertical values accordingly). Ideally you should have between 4 and 10 “station loads” for the best experience.
Using the Antonov AN-124 as an example, on the first line, the first number (0) is the numerical order for the various loads. The second (1000) is the weight in pounds of what payload will normally appear here. The following three numbers are the axis location of this station load, this one being up near the front, in the flight deck of the upper deck. The last bit is the weight station description for the virtual pilot to see. You can see the last two loads are way heavier, much lower to the ground, and somewhat closer to the wing in the center, the last load being 43 feet behind the wing:
So the first line is about “station_load.0”, which is 1000.0 pounds heavy, 50.9 feet from the axis datum of the aircraft (often either the rotor hub or the wing root), 0.0 center of the axis not to the sides, 8.5 feet above the datum, and represents the Flight Crew (in this case two pilots, engineer, perhaps a navigator, and a cruise pilot or two, and their baggage). The “” quotes allow the Flight Crew words to appear in the sim weight and balance section, so that the end user can understand exactly what he might be about to edit.
Many people give these station loads empty values, which I think is silly: give it the maximum the aircraft can take off with: it’s easier to remove/give weight on the fly in-game than for someone to “guess” as to what a realistic amount should be when they just want to fly. Also, they handle more realistically too, even if you only give it a partial payload/partial fuel load.
With helicopters, the vertical value can be important to simulate carrying a very heavy weight on a sling 30-40 feet down…and you really can “feel” it!
Contact points…ok, this is similar in layout to the weight grid, it’s basically a more complex version
//0 Class <0=none,1=wheel, 2=scrape, 3=float/skid> //1 Longitudinal Position (feet) //2 Lateral Position (feet) //3 Vertical Position (feet) -4.70, -4.99 //4 Impact Damage Threshold (Feet Per Minute) //5 Brake Map (0=None, 1=Left, 2=Right) //6 Wheel Radius (feet) //7 Steer Angle (degrees) //8 Static Compression (feet) (0 if rigid) //9 Max/Static Compression Ratio //10 Damping Ratio (0=Undamped, 1=Critically Damped) 0.9100 //11 Extension Time (seconds) //12 Retraction Time (seconds) //13 Sound Type point.0=1, -17.40, 0.00, -4.60, 1181.1, 0, 0.6349, 60.0, 0.4000, 1.5, 0.5100, 4.0, 4.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0
so “point.0” is just the sequential number of each individual contact point
“=1” is the class or type of contact point it is, meaning 0=none,1=wheel, 2=scrape, 3=float
The next three are just the position location format you are now familiar with. The fourth tells us how hard a landing this gear will survive, in this case 1181, whatever that actually means (PSI of pressure impact? Dunno).
The fifth one is the brake map, and I recommend that the nosegear is listed as “0” for none (just like this one is), or it will interfere with the differential braking ability, while the others will need to be listed as either left or right (1 or 2). You will know which one is the left wheel by seeing it has a minus – sign on the lateral position value.
The sixth 0.6349 is the diameter of the wheel, if you have wheels. The seventh value will only likely apply to the nosegear, as this determines the degree of freedom the nosewheel will turn for taxiing, here it’s 60 degrees.
Eighth is Static Compression, meaning how much will the gear compress 0.40 when the aircraft is parked on the ground. 9th, Max/Static Compression Ratio tells us how much difference there is between the static compression position, Vs the maximum compression position (like during a very hard landing that fully compresses the shock absorbers) here 1.5 (feet? Not sure if just a ratio though). Tenth is the Damping Ratio meaning how hard are the shocks (0=Undamped, 1=Critically Damped) here it’s about half ways at 0.51.
The last three only edit the speed at which they extend/retract, and whether a sound should be associated with the event.
Great! Now you have finished the first contact point, only 2 to 15 more to go! Remember, you can add scrape points to simulate the tail of an aircraft (or the wings, a low point on the fuselage, or a low-hanging engine), so if you attempt to do a tailstrike, it will generate sparks from the impact, and may even damage the airframe if you are foolish!
Then I may make the static pitch at or close to zero, to aid with hovering precision:
static_pitch= 0.05 //0.198
These two examples are for Jordan Moore’s excellent freeware UH-60 Hawk series (Bhawk, FireHawk, JayHawk).
Posted by Jib02
Ok --here is a rough Aircraft.cfg tutorial. It should serve to allow the user to adjust an uncontrollable AC and make it fly and land smoothly. I am not attempting to suggest that any changes are more realistic or that I understand or know how to correct engineering calculations. I simply imply that if your favorite AC in MSFS is not as controllable as you would like it to be then I am listing some of the major effective variables to change.
I have changed every plane in my hanger and all of them fly great.
No longer do I have to contend with snaking down the runway on takeoff or the plane falling out from under me as I turn on to final. I also have cured any tendancy for my planes to pitch uncontrollably when I am on glideslope. They will all hold wings level but still have plenty of roll control.
I have not locked my planes on a rail, just made them responsive to my stick control. My planes are a joy for me to fly and if there had not been this easy way to adjust them I would have shelved MSFS long ago.
Now --lets get down to the major adjustment that can be used to cure most bad flight problems. Fortunately every variable does not need adjusting --just a few --so lets go -----------
---open the Aircraft.cfg file with Notepad or any text program---
(1) The first one you should encounter in any Aircraft.cfg file should normally be the [pitot static]. Set this variable to 10 if it is not already there. This will allow your VSI to more quickly and smoothly line out when you are on autopilot. If your file does not contain this variable then copy and paste it from one that does.
(2) Next to check out is the [weight and balance] section. Since you are going to most likely make changes in the stability values then go ahead and change the empty weight pitch, roll and yaw MOI values. Increase them approximately 25%. You can always come back and increase them more if necessary. I have seen some that needed as much as double the default value.
If you change the pitch, roll or yaw stability values then in some AC you will get severe shaking on the screen during flight at certain high speeds. This shaking can be stopped completely by increasing the MOI values. If you are shaking in the pitch direction then the pitch MOI needs increasing --same for roll and yaw. But to make it simple just go ahead and increase them all to start with.
(3) Next we will look at the [flight tuning] section. To start with I recommend you set the following --
These are usually pretty good settings for most AC that are not flying smoothly. After a test flight if you still have problems with pitch, roll or yaw sensitivity you can come back and increase or decrease them. Most of my planes are set pretty close to what I have listed, but I have one at 8.0, 4.0 and 4.0. I have seen some that took a pitch value of 25.
The Cruise lift scalar can sometines need changing also. If you still cannot get your AC to line out smoothly on the VSI --even with the pitot static value at 10--then raise the Cruise Lift Scalar value slightly. The problem will be that your plane does not have enough lift and it is always trying to fall out of the sky so the VSI has trouble lining out --- you will notice this mostly on automatic ILS landings. Most of the time this will not need adjusting, but I have several set at 1.5 or 2.0 and one at 4.0
The parasite and induced drag scalars may also need adjusting. Test fly your plane and take it to top speed. Then cut back sharply to idle throttle and see if your AC looses speed. There is no such thing as perpetual motion. But I have seen some planes --mostly military jets--that come pretty close. The speed should fall at least at a moderate rate to start with and it should continue to fall all the way to the stall. If it does not then increase the parasite drag to 2 or 3. Test the AC again and notice the rate the speed falls --if it is to fast to suit you then cut the number down a little --adjust as necessary. Continue to test fly and adjust until you are satisfied. You will loose some of the planes top speed capability when you increase this number but we will discuss that in another section.
You most likely will not have to adjust the induced drag value.
The next thing is the elevator, aileron and rudder effectiveness values. I seldom have to adjust these. But when I do it is usually the elevator effectiveness value that needs tweaking. I determine that by checking how quickly the nose rotates on takeoff when I pull back on the stick. If the AC jerks up to quickly I lower the elevator effectiveness number and if it is to sluggish and trys to hug the ground I increase it. An increase to 2.0 is usually to much adjustment
This sums up my recommendations in the [flight tuning] section --the most critical of all the sections in the file.
(4) The [fuel]section --this is pretty much self explanatory --add or subtract as you wish. But if your AC uses fuel at an incredable rate you will want to slow down the rate or add more fuel. I usually slow down the rate. The tank loadings are listed as gallons.
(5) The [flaps] section. The only variables in this section that I adjust are the lift scalar and the drag scalar. It is important to me that when I lower my flaps that I immediately start loosing some speed. Flaps will slow your plane down because of the inherent drag that they have. If they do not in the model you are working on then increase the drag scalar value. You may need to raise the value to 1.5 or 2.0 --test fly to see how much it needs. Also the lift scalar may need adjusting. I fully expect to see my planes nose pitch over some when I extend flaps. If that doesn't happen I increase the lift scalar. Again increase it to 1.5 or 2.0 and test fly. The lift scalar may be the only thing standing between you and falling out of the sky when you turn onto final. Some military jets are close to doing that in this sim.
(6) Next is [jet_engine] --the thrust scalar will help you to regain any speed that you have lost when you increase the parasite drag value. It does not take a lot of increase to get your lost top speed back -- from 1.0 to 1.2 or at most 1.5 usually.
But --and this is a big one ---- when you raise your top speed using this variable you will also raise your minimum speed. If your adjustment is to much you will rocket off the runway on takeoff. Speed adjustments are better made in the Airfile. But very few people know how to do that ---I am not one of them. So be carefull how much you increase or decrease this value --only slight amounts. You may have to live with a slight loss in top speed to maintain a good and reasonable overall speed profile.
Sometimes I have to increase the parasite drag so much that I loose all reasonable speed and my speed profile is so out of whack that I cannot possibly get it right. When I encounter an AC like that I junk it.
The [piston engine] power scalar is the same way.
(7) Next is [generalenginedata]. Ths only thing here to check is the fuel_flow_scalar. If your AC uses an inordinate amount of fuel you can adjust it here. I usually add a fuel gauge in all of my AC that tells me the flow rate, unused fuel remaining, amount used, TTE (time to empty) and kts and mph. This gauge is very handy and is called -- CF722RKG_FuelStat!FuelStatusSq_Turbine--
It can be found in Flightsim.com if you don't have it.
( Next is the [autopilot] section. I always set the "autopilot_available=1. If it is set to zero then the AP will not work in your AC. I then set the default_vertical_speed equal to about 1500 feet for most AC. The Cessnas like the 172 I set at 700. I always set the autothrottle_available=1. If it is at zero you will not have an autothrottle in your plane. I set the autothrottle _arming_required=0. I do not like to have to mess around with arming the AT when I am flying --just my preference. if you want it on just set it to 1.
The next thing in the [autopilot] section is the autothrottle_max_rpm. Usually this value is defaulted to 90 --or there abouts. I always change that to 110. What happens is that in most AC if the value is not set to about 110 you will notice that the autothrottle will not work well. Your speed will fall below the setting and not recover. Set this to 110 in all AC.
That pretty much is the changes I make and why I make them. In most AC I go down the line and preset some of these variables before I ever fly the plane. But usually I do that with the pitot static, MOI values and stability values only. I test fly the plane before I fool around with any of the others.
As I said --I have had to discard a few AC because they were so poorly modeled that I could not get a good response from them no matter what I did. But that has not happened a lot. The vast majority will fly well and respond to these adjustments.
However I make it a rule to not download any AC from the various web sites that are not at least 4 mb in size --and the larger they are usually the better.
I have skipped around in this tutorial. Many variables you do not have to change. But I have made note of the ones I think are important to change and important to understand why.
May aircraft.cfg files do not contain all of the variables or sections that are available in others. When I find one like that I copy the missing sections from another one that has them.
And of course remember to save any changes that you make.
Flying is the perfect vocation for a man who wants to feel like a boy, but not for one who still is.
Sunday, March 8, 2009: Site Closure The hosting bill for this site is paid up through approximately July 1 of 2009 and in light of Microsoft's recent decision to close down ACES and future development of FS, along with the realization that I simply don't have the time to turn this site into what I had envisioned it being, I have decided that I won't renew the hosting contract when it comes due in July. The site will be removed on or about that date so if there's anything here you'd like to download or save please do so in the interim. Thanks to all who've posted positive comments and feedback over the years, I appreciate it.
Vertex Level Resolution & LOD ( From Holger Sandmann )
In order to maximize the detail/sharpness of ground textures it's a good idea to use terrain extended textures. Below is a summary of what these parameters mean and what values are possible. However, if you're using photoreal scenery (such as MegaScenery) you should turn off extended textures and reduce visibility to 30 miles or so. That is because without extended textures FS needs to load about 5000 texture tiles but with extended textures the number jumps to about 20,000!
There's still a lot of debate what exactly those parameters mean and what units they have but here's what I compiled from various sources and, IMO (!), makes sense:
* that's easy: ON/OFF switch to load higher res textures beyond the initial "ring", which extends to about 40 miles
* apparently, values can range from 0 to 9.99 and higher settings will be ignored * extends the use of the highest detailed mips (sharper textures) within the inner circle; lower settings means less than 40 miles and higher settings up to the 40-mile max. * changing this value doesn't seem to make much of a visible difference
* same range of values as above * extends the use of higher maps for the outer circle(s). Supposedly, "1.5" reaches to ~70mi and "9.9" to about 100mi * careful!!! A setting higher than 3.9 can lead to "texture tearing" (blue slivers) in the mid- to far distance when high-res mesh is used. Some add-on mesh files - like some of mine - provide additional "buffer" mesh files, which prevent those blue slivers even at settings >3.9
TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=4 * range from 0 to 8 * is tied to TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS and defines the max. mip level to be used for the outer ring(s), that is the sharpness of the outer ring textures * I never noticed much difference between 0 and 4; no changes at all when >4
In summary, the TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS parameter appears to be the one with the biggest visual influence.
Oh, and TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT apparently determines the speed or priority with which ground textures are sent for processing to the graphics card.
Heres a little table displaying the relationship in TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL settings and the resolution of the mesh with LOD values.
*note* this is for Windows XP Pro. I have no idea what the folder structures are like on Vista.
1. on your backup harddrive, make 3 root folders: - Microsoft Flight Simulator 9 Backup - Needed Files - Addons (optional)
2. Copy your entire FS9 folder to the Microsoft Flight Simulator 9 Backup Folder (make sure to select all hidden files)
3. If you keep your Addon sceneries outside of FS9 (i keep them on C:\Addons for defrag/name reasons), then copy these files to the Addons folder
4. Make a folder called "Directories" under the Needed Files folder
5. Copy all the following folders along with their contents to this Directories folder:
C:\Documents and Settings\yourname\My Documents\Flight Simulator Files (this is VITAL...without this folder and content, fs9 will crash on load)
C:\Documents and Settings\yourname\Application Data\Microsoft\FS9 (this is also VITAL)
C:\Documents and Settings\yourname\Local Settings\Application Data\ESDG (only if you have eaglesoft stuff installed)
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Digital Aviation\PA31 Cheyenne (only if you have the Cheyenne installed)
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DreamFleet (only if you have dreamfleet stuff installed)
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Reality XP (only if you have Reality XP stuff installed, including the ones that comes w/ Dreamfleet planes)
6. Go to Flight1.com, and download the Registry Repair tool. Keep this file in the Needed Files folder
7. Open regedit, and export out the entire string from: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/MICROSOFT/MICROSOFT GAMES/*.* save this file as fs9_register.reg
that's all. Now, when you want to copy this FS9 to another machine, do it w/ these steps:
1. copy all the files over, including the directories (keep their directory structure exactly the same); *NOTE* you need to make the proper folder structure on your new machine @ C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator 9\
2. double click the fs9_register.reg and say yes (this will write the info to your virgin registry
3. run the Flight1 registry repair tool as a backup
4. if you have addons installed elsewhere, copy the files from Addons to the correct directory (make sure it matches w/ your older install, such as C:\Addons or D:\Addons, etc.)
5. FS9 should now load up fine. Certain things will not work, and require a re-install. They are usually Payware such as Flight1 stuff. However, do the re-install this way:
For Flight1 stuff, just re-run the installer (retrieve your key using your CC card), and then start the installer. As aoon as the installer starts, just cancel it. The key is already written to C:\windows now your flight1 stuff will work
For dreamfleet stuff, rename your current aircraft folder to Dreamfleet B36xxx re-install the planes and the reality XP stuff, delete the new folders, and rename B36xxx back to B36...etc (so this way, you don't need to re-install re-paints, etc.)
anyways, this step is only needed for certain payware...95% of all other stuff should work fine.
i know it looks crazy hard, but it really isn't. Besides, it gives you the security knowing that you have a perfect copy of FS9 backup up.
Flying is the perfect vocation for a man who wants to feel like a boy, but not for one who still is.
Speaking of backing up FS9, here's how I save mine so I don't have to reinstall all those free airplanes I've downloaded:
I burn a DVD with all the files in the Flight Simulator 9 folder, except the Scenery folder. I had to restore the files on one occasion, and Scenery caused a problem that made it necessary to restore my entire software partition from a backup image of my software partition.
If I need to restore FS9 again, I would delete FS9 and reinstall the entire program with the original four disks. I would then delete all the reinstalled FS9 files in C:\, with the exception of the Scenery folder. Then I would copy the files from the backup DVD to the FS9 folder.
If this sounds a bit convoluted, I used this same procedure to back up the program files in a railroad simulator, called Trainz (www.auran.com). After making many, many modifications to my "railroad," I wanted to avoid the need to do it all over. This method has worked very well every time I screwed up something (more often than I care to admit!).
Saving to a DVD protects your hard work in the event of a major computer disaster. I also save the software partition backup images to an external drive for the same reason. I save data and photograph partitions to DVDs and the external drive.
If you're interested in free imaging software, try Macrium Reflect at www.macrium.com, a UK software publisher. The free version does the job, but you will need your original Windows disk because the boot disk you have to make needs to copy the Windows installation files.
I hope this makes life easier for you by eliminating the need to reinstall all your software, not just FS9, after a computer disaster.