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Yes, it's incredibly helpful in so many situations (mostly "Fuel leak; dammit, where's the closest airfield?!" :D )

Using civilian planes for air refuel training:


I guess I won't ever be able to do that without an autopilot, let alone with keyboard controls …

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The next TFXplorer release will support flying the F-22 not only in ADF & TAW levels, but also in EF2000 v2’s Norway:


Cockpit graphics are much worse than TAW’s due to EF2000’s lack of an F-22 cockpit model, but I hope I can one day use TAW’s model directly in EF2000’s levels.

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Yes, recording was PITA – requires the correct program, display resolution, recording format. Now, finally, 1080p, 60 Hz.

It’s your version. There shouldn’t be a difference to the official build either :) I was just really careful on the throttle. Reading my text eight posts above, it only took me two years to figure it out :)

Edit: Very annoying how YouTube mis-identifies the game as EF2000. It tells me I could change that in the options, and I already did this twice after upload, but it displays EF2000 nontheless (probably because TFXplorer is no registered game title).

The culling video was identified as Minecraft, now it’s EF2000 as well :rolleyes:

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Footage of the new contrail rendering. Contrails challenging because

  1. lots of data (particles!) is generated in many places all the time
  2. contrails are visible before the actual planes enter range of sight, and that’s a conceptual problem in the LOD system
  3. Bonus: with D3D 9 and Windows XP, there is no geometry shader to exploit GPU particle magic

I plan to use the system for dust trails, smoke trails, and explosions as well. It’ll be available through the plane API.

It’s such a pretty sight! But there are other priorities right now, so it’ll take a while for the contrails to find their way into an official build …

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All sorts of awesomeness with that video. :thumbsup:

Luckily, atmospheric conditions were conducive to contrail formation at a wide range of altitudes during filming :)

Are you flying the contrail making plane, or is it AI and Smartview?




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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/12/2017 at 5:25 PM, Krycztij said:

I just broke my landing gear during aerodynamic breaking:


Finally found a tool to make a video of it:

… but I feel like the video quality dropped off noticeably. Also, the belly landing physics need a rewrite and sound effects are missing.

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry for the long pause … real life had caught up.


Small update:


Note the temperature/humidity in the bottom left corner (the display can be changed to degrees Fahrenheit, but I forgot to do it for the video; sorry!) – I had to add this to make contrail simulation to some degree realistic. So here’s dynamic contrails in action for the first time. They’re not pretty, but managing them is the greater challenge and I think I finally made it :)


The video could use "fix camera on target" and HUD reacting to other planes, but that’s for another day.

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Thanks! Some background information:


  • The contrail model takes into account temperature and humidity in the atmosphere.
  • These are based on altitude and on time of day – contrails are longer early in the morning when air is humid and shorter in the afternoon when air is dry. For testing purposes, I have even simulated ground-level contrails in very cold environment, like here. So if we one day expand the game to Siberia, we’re good to go.
  • In other aspects, the temperature/humidity are modeled uniform for the whole map – that’s why the contrails are so regular in intensity and look so boring. I’ll add local fluctuations when I get to programming clouds – it’ll look much more interesting then.
  • However, the actual amount of water amount emitted by the engine is just a guess for now. I tried to compute it from thrust, but it turned out too complicated. Maybe I’ll resume later.
  • An upcoming version will also take exhaust temperature into account (currently, fade-in is programmed by hand for each plane). This also makes it easier to add realistic infrared views because the temperature data is already in place.
  • I planned an actual fluid simulation for wake turbulence on the contrails, but it turned out so complicated I abandoned it. Now, turbulence is programmed by hand for each plane.
  • The same system will be used for smoke trails and wingtip vortex trails.
  • Logistics for that feature are incredibly complex: A plane produces several thousands of particles per second, each less than a meter in diameter. These grow to several meters in seconds. Overlaps need to be removed and several optimization passes are run over the lists to compress straight segments and to get it to renderable size. The segments need to be cut into pieces so they can be culled on rendering. There are several hundred contrails in sight (a few dozen airplanes with two or four contrails each), and the processor need adds up rapidly.
  • I had much more beautiful particles in place some years ago, but without the complex optimization system mentioned above, they quickly overloaded the computer even for a single plane. (That’s what I meant with “management is the harder challenge than beauty”.) I’ll transfer the beautiful rendering some time later; gameplay is currently more important.
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On 10/10/2017 at 8:14 PM, mikew said:

Are you flying the contrail making plane, or is it AI and Smartview?

Just repeating my earlier question...


In software development, that last 5% takes 95% of the project time. That's a fundamental rule that can't be broken. :lol:

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