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[11MAR19] Shader Mods- If you are having trouble with artifacts after our 747 PBR update- you need to read this...

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    [11MAR19] Shader Mods- If you are having trouble with artifacts after our 747 PBR update- you need to read this...

    Captains,

    The Prepar3D user community has a fixation with shader modification packages. This has been going on for some time, and as a user who does NOT use shader mods, I find it to be rather amusing watching some folks spend their entire time tweaking shader mods with almost no time dedicated to enjoying the sim itself.

    To each his own, as they say.

    The problem is that many users are installing things that make fundamental changes to the way Prepar3D renders the objects in a scene, and they simultaneously haven't a clue what that modification is doing, or how to unwind it when it goes bad.

    Now comes along Lockheed Martin with changes to the rendering engine that creates visual effects in direct conflict with the methods used by various shader mods, and some users are coming to us at our tech support complaining that "The 747 is broken" when in fact the issue is that they have a shader mod manipulating Prepar3D in such a way that it cannot run correctly when developers implement some of the new features being offered by P3D v4.4.

    Many of these users are blithely unaware of the modifications being made, and many of the shader modification packages do a horrendous job of giving the user an exit strategy that will return them to stasis in the event something undesirable happens. In some cases this appears simply to be function-centric development without regard to the potential for negative impact on other products in the ecosystem, and in some cases it simply indicates that the developer didn't conceive of a situation in which the user might need to remove/undo/reset the modification- which is really unfortunate.

    Many of these users wind up in our tech support stream asking for help... And as much as we would like to- the bottom line is that PMDG simply cannot provide technical support to users who have modified their Prepar3D installation with modifications created by some other entity who is essentially providing a modification to core functionality of the Prepar3D platform.

    This leaves us with basically two recommendations for you. If you install our latest update and have visual quality problems and/or artifact issues you have two avenues to fix the issue:

    1) Revert the shader modification back to the normal Prepar3D state. Once you have reached normalcy, try reapplying your shader mod. If it breaks again, then you know it is not compatible.
    2) If that doesn't work, or if your shader mod doesn't offer you a way to roll back to a valid pre-modification state, then you should reinstall your Prepar3D v4.4 CLIENT and your Prepar3D v4.4 CONTENT.

    Follow these two steps, and you will find that everything magically begins to work again as it should.

    I want to be very very specific about this: Shader mods are altering the core sim's rendering functionality. You install them at your own risk/peril. PMDG cannot support you through this if it causes breakage elsewhere in the sim, and the only guidance we will give you is to follow the two steps above. If you then succeed in reapplying your shader mod, good for you. If you do not, then this is up to you to sort out also.

    We have had good luck helping users get their sim back to normal with the recommendations above. We have no idea if the users saw success by then reinstalling their shader mod of choice. We will leave that to all of you to speculate...
    Robert S. Randazzo
    PMDG Simulations
    http://www.pmdg.com



    #2
    Thankyou for the information Robert and team makes absolute sense if you tinker with shaders with other party then don’t go crying to us if it doesn’t work properly.
    Best Regards.
    Danny Z.Cebis

    Comment


      #3
      That does make perfect sense to me. I did a 10 hour flight yesterday (KDEN-EDDF -post update) with Envshade installed. I didn't note any issues. Has anyone else seen any?
      Ryan Syferd
      KSEA

      Comment


        #4
        Gents,

        Yeah- we have had a number of folks in support with shader issues- and we are tracking a number of discussions on various sites.

        We don't want anyone pointing fingers at the shader mod creators, per se- but it is a shame that users install stuff and have no easy way to get back to normal in some cases. I hope this information helps them.
        Robert S. Randazzo
        PMDG Simulations
        http://www.pmdg.com


        Comment


          #5
          Well to be safe I just deleted and let P3D rebuild the shader file.
          Ryan Syferd
          KSEA

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Ryan,
            Just a word of caution here. What you did might not do it. 3rd party shaders tend (not sure which ones do) to make changes to the HLSL folder that is located in the root P3d folder (Prepar3dv4\ShadersHLSL). You cannot recover the original file unless you have made a back-up copy before installing your 3rd party shader or the 3rd party shader made a back-up copy for you. If you want to be safe follow Robert's advise and if you want to reinstall a shader make a back-up copy of the aforementioned folder before installing the shader. In that way you can recover more easily if anything goes wrong. The file you deleted will rebuild every time P3d starts if it is missing and is located in the user's folder. I delete mine frequently, i.e. after scenery changes, new aircraft etc.
            Hope that helps. Good luck.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by CJSCHCargo View Post
              Hi Ryan,
              Just a word of caution here. What you did might not do it. 3rd party shaders tend (not sure which ones do) to make changes to the HLSL folder that is located in the root P3d folder (Prepar3dv4\ShadersHLSL). You cannot recover the original file unless you have made a back-up copy before installing your 3rd party shader or the 3rd party shader made a back-up copy for you. If you want to be safe follow Robert's advise and if you want to reinstall a shader make a back-up copy of the aforementioned folder before installing the shader. In that way you can recover more easily if anything goes wrong. The file you deleted will rebuild every time P3d starts if it is missing and is located in the user's folder. I delete mine frequently, i.e. after scenery changes, new aircraft etc.
              Hope that helps. Good luck.
              Agree, that is a good practice to frequently delete P3D shaders! I don't have problem with tomato shade so far
              Alexis Nguyen

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry im a simmer who really doesn't understand the graphics side too much. When you talk about shaders, are you talking about 3rd party addons such as
                airport scenerys ?


                Andy Beaumont
                Andy Beaumont...
                PMDG Pilot

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Andy Beaumont View Post
                  Sorry im a simmer who really doesn't understand the graphics side too much. When you talk about shaders, are you talking about 3rd party addons such as
                  airport scenerys ?
                  You’d know if you ran across one. They’re literally called shader mods, or will refer to them as such. Aircraft and sceneries are completely different.
                  Kyle Rodgers
                  PMDG Developer Emeritus

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I always thought shader mods were a bad idea, every time P3D is updated they seem to break or cause instability. And apparently many load a different shader and/or settings depending on the time of day of flight, and even the season. That's after they've spent hours deciding which shader and set of accompanying settings they like for that specific time of day and year.

                    All-in-all shader mods seem a lot of hassle for the resultant graphic improvement, but each to their own I guess, so long as they don't expect incompatibility support from other developers. I would suggest shaders are only messed with by experienced users who can identify when a problem is likely caused by shader mods and can reverse said mods. But personally I moved to P3D specifically to get away from all the tweaking time and instability of FSX, I just want something that works nicely out the box without requiring a myriad of options configuring.
                    Last edited by ckyliu; 11Mar2019, 16:57.
                    Chris Liu, proud supporter of Intercity Airways, visit www.ViaIntercity.com

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Andy Beaumont View Post
                      Sorry im a simmer who really doesn't understand the graphics side too much. When you talk about shaders, are you talking about 3rd party addons such as
                      airport scenerys ?


                      Andy Beaumont
                      Hello Andy here is a brief explanation about shaders.
                      In computer graphics, a shader is a type of computer program that was originally used for shading (the production of appropriate levels of light, darkness, and color within an image) but which now performs a variety of specialized functions in various fields of computer graphics special effects.

                      Regards.
                      Danny Z.Cebis

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Chris - yeah. To be honest, given how far behind the sims have been, graphically, I don't necessarily blame people for wanting to make things look better - I used the old ENB mod way back in the day.

                        It's all in how you manage them. It seems as if a number of people don't back up their data, or don't understand that the programs that install these shaders have a backup/restore function, and many more still don't ever stop to think that shaders - which fundamentally alter how the sim displays things - could be the culprit when things look odd in the sim. These shaders alter how the sim displays things. If you use them, then that's fine, but this should be the first place you look when things look odd.
                        Kyle Rodgers
                        PMDG Developer Emeritus

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ckyliu View Post
                          I always thought shader mods were a bad idea, every time P3D is updated they seem to break or cause instability. And apparently many load a different shader and/or settings depending on the time of day of flight, and even the season. That's after they've spent hours deciding which shader and set of accompanying settings they like for that specific time of day and year.

                          All-in-all shader mods seem a lot of hassle for the resultant graphic improvement, but each to their own I guess, so long as they don't expect incompatibility support from other developers. I would suggest you shaders are only messed with by experienced users who know when you've got problems caused by shader mods and can reverse said mods. But personally I moved to P3D specifically to get away from all the tweaking time and instability of FSX, I just want something that works nicely out the box without requiring a myriad of options configuring.

                          ​​​​Same here Chris...maybe I'm just a peasant, but after dealing with the headaches and eye-bleeding of FSX for so long, P3D (updated with Active Sky and some Rex and Orbx textures) just looks phenomenal to me, with no struggle at all.

                          Shadows on the flight deck, HDR and dynamic lighting...no need to mess with shaders IMO. Maybe in a couple years when I get spoiled by what we have now LOL.
                          Matt Smith

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I used ENBSerie with FSX many moons ago and I did like the looks but it's also what put me off shader mods; I was getting occasional instability and odd graphic artefacts like flickering and huge black or white walls appearing out of nowhere, and eventually diagnosed ENBSerie as the cause. But I could reverse that and didn't ask others for support with it, although the troubleshooting process was frustrating as the issues didn't immediately present so took me a while to find the link.

                            I still use ENBSerie with other legacy software, so perhaps I was a bit harsh in saying the resultant graphic improvement from shader mods isn't worth the effort (although there's still no way in hell I'm spending 3 hours comparing 15 different presets at various times of day!). But anyone using shader mods should know to revert to default shaders at the first sign of any graphical oddities or sim instability. Hopefully the P3D core will catch up with these mods fairly soon, without the associated headaches.
                            Last edited by ckyliu; 11Mar2019, 17:19.
                            Chris Liu, proud supporter of Intercity Airways, visit www.ViaIntercity.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ausflight View Post

                              Hello Andy here is a brief explanation about shaders.
                              In computer graphics, a shader is a type of computer program that was originally used for shading (the production of appropriate levels of light, darkness, and color within an image) but which now performs a variety of specialized functions in various fields of computer graphics special effects.

                              Regards.
                              Thank you for your explanation


                              Andy Beaumont
                              Andy Beaumont...
                              PMDG Pilot

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by krodgers View Post

                                You’d know if you ran across one. They’re literally called shader mods, or will refer to them as such. Aircraft and sceneries are completely different.
                                Thanks Kyle

                                Andy Beaumont
                                Andy Beaumont...
                                PMDG Pilot

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Do we have to consider Active Sky and/or Active Sky Cloud Art as Shader Mod's?
                                  Sorry but i'm also a simmer who really doesn't understand the graphics side too much
                                  William Vrielynck

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    No. As has been said, if you have a shader mod you would know as they are labelled as such, and they tend to have a somewhat involved installation process. The common ones are PTA (P3D tweak assistant), Tomatoshade and Envshade.

                                    Active Sky cloudart is just textures. Ultimately users only need concern themselves if they're having issues with the PBR after having done the P3D content update.
                                    Last edited by ckyliu; 11Mar2019, 21:21.
                                    Chris Liu, proud supporter of Intercity Airways, visit www.ViaIntercity.com

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      So would you be so kind as to mention which ones are causing problems? I used to use PTA but now use ENVTEX, as well as ASCA for sky colors. I read that Tomato can cause some issues that's why I have never used it.
                                      Jack Sawyer
                                      25GA

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I use PTA and noticed gave me problems..... im going to try the Client&Content reinstall advice and see what happens... Txs
                                        Raphael Chacón

                                        PMDG #431793 #371950 #333135 #332876 #292207 #280217 #247845 #206809 #178218 #171813

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by JackSwyr View Post
                                          So would you be so kind as to mention which ones are causing problems? I used to use PTA but now use ENVTEX, as well as ASCA for sky colors. I read that Tomato can cause some issues that's why I have never used it.
                                          Depends entirely on what you have installed, and how you have some of them installed.

                                          To be honest, we're getting to the point where shader hacks really aren't necessary. That's quite a lot of the point of PBR.
                                          Kyle Rodgers
                                          PMDG Developer Emeritus

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            There are also shaders available in REX SkyForce. I've never used them, but I'd be surprised if they only affect the sky. They appear to only work through PTA, so if anyone's used them, it's another source of non-stock stuff to figure out how to clear out.
                                            Herman Ross
                                            ATP-ASMEL, G-1159; Comm-ASES; CFI-ASMEI

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              Is updating P3D content like the client where you don’t need to save any sceneries or planes, you just simply uninstall client, then reinstall the new version?
                                              Brian McCumiskey

                                              Specs: i9-9900K, RTX 2070, 16GB of RAM, P3D V4.5 Hotfix 1

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by BrianThePilot View Post
                                                Is updating P3D content like the client where you don’t need to save any sceneries or planes, you just simply uninstall client, then reinstall the new version?
                                                Affirmative, sir.
                                                Captain Kevin

                                                Kevin Yang

                                                Comment


                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by 559AS View Post
                                                  That does make perfect sense to me. I did a 10 hour flight yesterday (KDEN-EDDF -post update) with Envshade installed. I didn't note any issues. Has anyone else seen any?
                                                  I have done 3, 7+ hour NAT flights since this new PBR update. I use Envtex/Envshade and I have not seen any issues. The new "anti-matter age" wax brings out an everlasting shine.
                                                  Paul Racines
                                                  737-6 thru 9 772LR + 773ER 744 + -8 I LOVE THE MANUALS
                                                  Win 10 64bit | Z97 Pro | i7 4790 4.6GHz | Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT Liquid Cooling | 16GB RAM | GTX 980 | Oculus Rift | 1TB Samsung EVO 850 SSD | 2TB WD Black 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s

                                                  Comment


                                                    #26
                                                    Originally posted by pracines View Post

                                                    I have done 3, 7+ hour NAT flights since this new PBR update. I use Envtex/Envshade and I have not seen any issues. The new "anti-matter age" wax brings out an everlasting shine.
                                                    Right. Managed correctly, things can be a non-issue. The problem is that a lot of these tools aren't the easiest to work with, and not everyone can manage them effectively. The larger issue is that those who aren't quite able to manage them effectively also tend to immediately assume it's a problem with the plane, instead of logically looking to the very thing that is altering the sim's rendering.
                                                    Kyle Rodgers
                                                    PMDG Developer Emeritus

                                                    Comment


                                                      #27
                                                      Someone might have problems with these addons yet someone might not with hundreds of different computer configurations out there in regards to software especially.Like Robert posted above if you have problems then you have those options.
                                                      Regards.
                                                      Danny Z.Cebis

                                                      Comment


                                                        #28
                                                        So I've logged around 22 hours in the 747-8i with the PBR update and Envshade without any issues. That all being said and just for clarification, if I uninstall and reinstall both the P3D Content and Client, will that return the shaders to the original files?
                                                        Ryan Syferd
                                                        KSEA

                                                        Comment


                                                          #29
                                                          I think you have to flush the shader caché too
                                                          Chris Liu, proud supporter of Intercity Airways, visit www.ViaIntercity.com

                                                          Comment


                                                            #30
                                                            as Chris said, you'd have to delete the content of this folder manually:

                                                            C:\Users\your name\AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\Shaders
                                                            i7-6700k, GTX 1080TI, 32GB DDR4 RAM @2666MHz, 4k
                                                            Marc Ehnle

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