Stutters when loading cultivation: is IPACS investigating this?

  • It's a known problem that whenever lots of cultivation is being loaded you can get an obvious stutter in AFS2. Is IPACS looking at other ways to load cultivation so we won't get any stutters anymore?


    I currently only play two games (and have nothing else installed): AFS2 and ATS and I notice that ATS is totally stutter free and smooth from start to finish. I know you can't compare the sims, they are totally different, but ATS does load quite a lot of scenery/objects around you (yes, in a smaller circle but with a LOT more detail) and it does so without any stutters. I am just curious if IPACS is investigating other options to load cultivation? Like loading it in smaller batches, bit by bit, instead of loading entire cities in one go? There MUST be a way to do this that eliminates the stutters!


    At this moment those stutters (which can be quite big) are spoiling the immersion for me (specially because I only like to fly over scenery with a lot of cultivation).

  • We use very specific ways to create cultivation, and this is by load balancing larger cultivation ecosystems. Meaning that we spread it all out throughout the entire scenery location. There is always going to be a balance between the total amount of cultivation that you can have vs. performance.


    If you have too much cultivation, not only will you see longer load times and performance issues, but you will also see floating objects because Aerofly can only manage so much mostly based upon your PC configuration.


    So, to directly answer your question, no there isn't much for us to investigate here. Our only suggestion is that whomever is making cultivations files be mindful that others might not have the same PC specs as yours

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • If you have too much cultivation, not only will you see longer load times and performance issues

    Loading times aren't a problem for me and performance is superb, it's those stutters that are spoiling it. And I am not talking about 'performance stutters' that are happening all the time (like in FSX/P3D) but the stutter you get every now and then whenever cultivation is being loaded.


    So, to directly answer your question, no there isn't much for us to investigate here.

    Well, what about a different system? It appears (as far as I can tell) that cultivation is being loaded in large batches: why not load them in smaller batches? There MUST be a (perhaps completely different) way to load cultivation WITHOUT stutters? If ATS can load everything without a single stutter, AFS2 should be able to do that too.

    Our only suggestion is that whomever is making cultivations files be mindful that others might not have the same PC specs as yours

    Does that mean that some PC's do NOT have those loading stutters? Afaik EVERYONE sees those stutters. Again, performance in general, in between the loading stutters, aren't the problem.

  • As part of the development team I am tasked with deep testing of each and every build before they make their way to public view. I have 4 testing pc's each with different system configurations. 1) I use for VR testing both an i9 with 32GB memory W10 and 2080ti GPU with Oculus, an i7 with a 1080ti GPU with Vive, and for 2D (standard monitor) testing I use a i7 32GB memory 1080 laptop and an i7 with AMD GPU laptop. Each testing phase I go from maxed Aerofly settings down to low settings. In each and every test that I performed I make reports for each version, and not one single test showed any stuttering that would be worth further investigation. We changed things a bit internally which added to the load time you see at startup that loaded more objects into memory to reduce any stuttering that users noticed. Now we are at a balance to virtually eliminate any stuttering. Those small micro stutters you see will always be there but unless you are looking for them directly they are pretty much unnoticeable. We have no way to get rid of how scenery loads while you are flying as we can only load so much into memory at a time. How we do this is mostly why you see such good performance .

    So, no, this can not be changed as its our way of loading scenery, which is different than other sims.

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • Ok, thanks for the additional information! I have an i7 4790K (@4.5 GHz), 16 MG RAM and a GTX 1080. I play at 1920x1080 and only have SSD's (around 4 years old, not NVMe). The stutters I get when cultivation is being loaded is very noticeable: it really looks like a short pause, as if someone is tapping the Pause button twice. They certainly aren't small micro stutters like the ones I always have in P3D. It also doesn't happen constantly (like in P3D) but something like once or twice a minute (depending on where I am flying). In between the stutters the performance is totally smooth. I reinstalled my system (Windows 10 Home) from scratch two weeks ago and it didn't make a difference (these stutters weren't the reason for my reinstall btw). So... could it be a memory issue? Do I need more RAM? Is my RAM too slow (can't remember the timing it has right now)? Do I need NVMe SSD's?

  • Like drhotwing said, we do extensive testing before publishing our stuff.

    Before we look into this in detail, we need to make sure no user created cultivation or sceneries are interfering here. Unfortunately some user sceneries don't have proper settings so each time a cultivation is loaded we might get a performance hit.

    Also keep in mind the actual loading of the cultivation is not the issue, the main cause of stuttering happens when the actual textures and 3d models that have been loaded are uploaded to the GPU. If you like, you can do a test flight and send us the complete tm.log file for further evaluation.

  • Okay, I think one cause of my stutters may be that I fly a lot over Orbx scenery (TrueEarth Netherlands but also the recently released Swiss cultivation). I will check and see/compare how performance is over for instance Miami, Southern Florida, the latest IPACS scenery.

  • I too have noticed the "bulk cultivation load stutter" as I would call it and I rarely use any user made scenery. If I have time I too will try and see if it is more or less prominent in different DLC's. But from experience, and following the thread here, some hardware load timing like GPU upload of 3d objects, as described by admin , just sounds right given my hardware is pretty solid as well.

  • Like drhotwing said, we do extensive testing before publishing our stuff.

    Before we look into this in detail, we need to make sure no user created cultivation or sceneries are interfering here. Unfortunately some user sceneries don't have proper settings so each time a cultivation is loaded we might get a performance hit.

    Also keep in mind the actual loading of the cultivation is not the issue, the main cause of stuttering happens when the actual textures and 3d models that have been loaded are uploaded to the GPU. If you like, you can do a test flight and send us the complete tm.log file for further evaluation.

    What would be the typical IPACS recommendations for:

    1) optimal cultivation tiles size ?

    2) max number of buildings ?

    3) max number of trees ?

    4) max number of lights ?


    Thanks in advance


    Best regards

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 4.00GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

  • If you notice both the South Florida DLC and ORBX True Earth NE there is a lot of cultivation in these packages. There is really no 'max' but the key here is how that cultivation is distributed and balanced throughout your scenery coverage area. So these are double edged questions where a lot of different factors come into play. How large is the area that you are trying to cover with cultivation? How much total cultivation is available? What is included in your cultivation, trees, buildings, lights, etc.? Is this scenery for your own use or do you plan on sharing it (this is important if you have a great PC and the shared user base may have older PC's)?

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • For 1) there is a maximum. It should be not bigger than your highest elevation tile. So if you use Level 11 for elevation, you should use maximum Level 11 sized cultivation areas. Or even better go to level 12 size cultivations. If you do bigger areas of cultivation, you get flying cultivation because it will be loaded before the detailed mesh gets loaded.

    One thing I had to learn and thanks IPACS for this hint.

    Wish for Aerofly FS 2:

    - Flightpath recording on hard drive and replay in sim from different view points

    - Smoke for aerobatic planes

    - Multiplayer or at least watching other people flying sitting on ground or inside tower

    Edited 2 times, last by flightxtreme ().

  • How large is the area that you are trying to cover with cultivation? How much total cultivation is available? What is included in your cultivation, trees, buildings, lights, etc.? Is this scenery for your own use or do you plan on sharing it (this is important if you have a great PC and the shared user base may have older PC's)?

    The typical context of the question is covering European countries with shareable regional secenries, i.e. wide areas with rather dense coverage of buildings and trees.


    I'm usually working with 0.1° x 0.1° tiles with extra distance parameter 5'000, but I notice Orbx used 0.4°x0.2° tiles with 500 distance for similar places.

    Some other sceneries seem to use Level 10 tiles (approx 0.35°)


    What is then IPACS optimal tile size recommendation for best balance between load times and access times?

    I know this is user-dependent, but I assume you already came to a best compromise for most users.


    Thanks in advance

    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 4.00GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

  • let me attach this pic from a different thread for reference.



    Wish for Aerofly FS 2:

    - Flightpath recording on hard drive and replay in sim from different view points

    - Smoke for aerobatic planes

    - Multiplayer or at least watching other people flying sitting on ground or inside tower

  • Yes, that’s my table. Good thinking. As long as the mesh isn’t compiled higher than Level 11, my 0.1°x0.1° seem to make sense.

    Maybe the tiles are already too big for a 5m mesh compiled up to Level 12.


    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 4.00GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

  • Yes, that’s my table. Good thinking. As long as the mesh isn’t compiled higher than Level 11, my 0.1°x0.1° seem to make sense.

    Maybe the tiles are already too big for a 5m mesh compiled up to Level 12.


    Cheers

    Antoine

    yes, for my Comoros Islands with level 11 elevation I choose now level 12 cultivation size. Now I can fly from one island to the other without flying objects at the destination. The other question about the number of objects... I decided to go first for buildings to make sure they are there. For vegetation I can play with the density. Compiling the toc files should do something as well.

    I had micro stutters in my scenery. But this was because I had my cultivation in two places installed. XD



    By the way... How does a tsc file for cultivation looks like that include only the minimum information? Currently I have too much unnecessary parameters inside.

    Wish for Aerofly FS 2:

    - Flightpath recording on hard drive and replay in sim from different view points

    - Smoke for aerobatic planes

    - Multiplayer or at least watching other people flying sitting on ground or inside tower

    Edited once, last by flightxtreme ().

  • By the way... How does a tsc file for cultivation looks like that include only the minimum information? Currently I have too much unnecessary parameters inside.


    Below is an example for my Courchevel area.

    You may also add 1 line for buildings textures folder path...


    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 4.00GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

  • Below is an example for my Courchevel area.

    You may also add 1 line for buildings textures folder path...


    Cheers

    Antoine

    In my Flying Objects Thread IPACS developer Wünsch wrote his:


    "each cultivation needs its own tsc file. the file can be relatiovlz blank, just the center point and the Size is needed."


    I will test this, looks like much less information is beeren.

    Wish for Aerofly FS 2:

    - Flightpath recording on hard drive and replay in sim from different view points

    - Smoke for aerobatic planes

    - Multiplayer or at least watching other people flying sitting on ground or inside tower

  • "each cultivation needs its own tsc file. the file can be relatiovlz blank, just the center point and the Size is needed."

    If you look at my tsc example I call 2 toc files because I like to separate building layers from vegetation, but they're both covering the same tile and must be called simultaneously. In other words, there is 1 TSC file per cultivation Tile.


    Code
    1. <[tmsimulator_scenery_cultivation][element][0]
    2. <[string8][filename][osm_bldg_cultivation_N4512_E00618_N4518_E00624]>
    3. <[bool][auto_height][true]>
    4. >
    5. <[tmsimulator_scenery_cultivation][element][1]
    6. <[string8][filename][osm_vegetation_cultivation_N4512_E00618_N4518_E00624]>
    7. <[bool][auto_height][true]>
    8. >

    @IPACS: does it make sense merging both toc files above (buildings and vegetation) into 1 single toc file and have only 1 call per tsc file?


    Regarding the minimal input in the tsc, since it isn't documented, all I figured out is per trial and error.

    I noticed for instance that the sname/lname/icao inputs could cause the cultivation to be ignored by AFS2 if the name is not unique. In the earlier release, a dummy object was needed to attach cultivation, so I coded my tools to automatically generate an unique name here while generating the tsc files.


    Our friend Vogel69 advised once a brilliant trial and error method by deliberately setting bad inputs and looking at the tm.log for clues.


    e.g. in the TMC, if you repalce <[string8][type][place]> with <[string8][type][toto]>, the tm.log gives you the following input :

    "ERROR: (type field must be 'default','place' or 'xref' -> 'toto' found)"

    This gives us a clue how to set the TMC for compiling XREF libraries.


    Unfortuantely, the tm.log is not always as explicit, but it's worth it having a deeper look.


    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 4.00GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

    Edited once, last by Trespassers ().