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Old 10-20-2008, 06:25 AM
0xdeadbeef 0xdeadbeef is offline
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Fixed/open issues in G4.5 (long)

Just my personal list of open issues and improvement suggestions since G3.5...

New Issues

1) Strength multipliers are much more effective compared to G4. E.g where 80% worked in G4, you now need 40% for the same result. This makes most (smaller) planes more or less indestructible.

2) Planes sink into or stand above collision objects, e.g. houses or street block elements from City Park.
Well, this existed for longer, but I'm not sure since when. Look at the first three appended pictures for an example that shows that the "collision surface" is obviously not the same as the visible surface as the plane sinks deeper as it rolls to the right (ground object is a "city block" from City Park).

3) The shadow code seems to be even more broken than before. While it was creating flickering and only partly working shadows in complex scenarios like City Park before, it more or less fails completely now (see 4th appended picture). See how the shadow of the monorail track ends where the sidewalk begins. Also the trees on the sidewalk don't cast any shadows while the tree on the grass does. Indeed, no shadows are casted on the buildings etc. as well - not even that of the plane. Tested with highest shadow settings on a Geforce 8800 GTS.

Old Issues (existing since at least G3.5)

1) Effectiveness for "native" control surfaces is much higher than that of wings (same airfoil/shape/size) on movable pods. Also e.g. rudder effectiveness seems to be influenced by size of (fixed part of) vertical tail.
-> Not fixed.

2) Some objects can be passed through in one direction, but not in the other. E.g. tested with "Car Port Double": a plane can fly though the glass windows from bottom to top, but vice versa the collision works ok (so it's obviously not the "depth" of the collision object).
Most probably this is an issue of open meshes (see #7).
-> Not fixed.

3) If a recording is started when the plane is already damaged, the plane will be reset to ground.
-> Not fixed.

4) Coax helis move diagonally instead of fwd/bwd since 3.50.044. E.g. they drift to the left when flying forward and right when flying backward. Tested with the Heli-Max Axe EZ. While real coax helis show this type of behavior to some degree, it seems to be much too pronounced in RF: with the Axe EZ, you can't even really fly forward and to the right. Indeed you need about 100% roll control to the right to fly a more or less straight forward line at full forward pitch.
-> Not fixed.

5) With metric units, wind speed and airspeed are shown in different units (one in "kph", one in "mph"). Besides I still would like to see the common abbreviation "km/h" (kilometers per hour) for both. "kph" is not commonly used and could be confused with "knots per hour", "mph" could be confused with "miles per hour".
Furthermore m/s is much less accurate then km/h (step size for page up/down is much too high for m/s).
-> Not fixed.

6) Main window is not refreshed when opening the aircraft editor in a small window and moving it around.
-> Not fixed

7) Parts of an aircraft (~CANOPY ?) disappear when you look at it through a transparent object (e.g. carport).
From similar issues with a plane I assume that translucency is only handled correctly if a translucent object is "closed".
So if you look through it, it has a front and back side (with opposed normal vectors). I assume that airport objects as the car port use just a polygon (openmesh) as glass element which would explain the behavior as well the the collision issues.
-> Not fixed

8) Shadows are cast though solid objects e.g. tables.
-> Not fixed

9) Broken off parts bug (http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18844)
-> fixed in G4.5 (hey, progress) !

10) Rigid physics bug (http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18993)
-> fixed in G4.5? Seems to be improved. At least I couldn't reproduce this (then again, due to new issue #1, this is harder to test)

11) Airport import bug (http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19184)
-> not fixed

Improvement suggestions (existing since at least G3.5)

1) Pan view with right or middle mouse button. In the aircraft editor (upper pane) there doesn't seem to be a way at all to pan, in the airport editor you have to switch to pan mode and back. Since the middle mouse button is used in Gmax/3dSMax to drag around the view, I'd like to see this in the G3 editors as well.
Another idea would be to have little pivot/pan/zoom icons like in Cinema4D: as long as the mouse button is pressed over one of the icons, any mouse movement is used for panning, rotating or zooming the view (ok, zooming is not really needed for people with a mouse wheel).
-> Not done (but at least changing pan/pivot/normal view is now possible via context menu in airport editor)

2) Copy/Paste: while the airport editor has at least the "move here"/"copy here" feature (though this is not really compliant to windows conventions), there is no way to copy or move a component in the aircraft editor. It would be nice if you could drag components from one hierarchy level to another or at least copy/move them.
In the airport editor, I would prefer a windows compliant copy/paste behaviour including group selection with shift/alt and selection by an selection rectangle (left mouse drag).
-> Partly done. Copy/Paste implemented in both editors. No drag/drop or proper group selections though.

3) Talking of the airport editor's object selection tree view: I don't see why it is empty if no object is selected. I understand this is because when just clicking on the "floor", you also lose the folder selection on the left side, but why is that? I would prefer if the folder selection on the left side was not influenced by not selecting an object. This is especially bothering since you have to switch to pan/pivot view all the time (see #1).
-> Done. (only object palette box is still empty at startup)

4) When moving objects in the airport editor, it would be great to have this little x/y/z axis thingie that you have in almost all 3D editors (Cinema4D, GMax, 3DSMax) for moving objects around. So you can click on the x-axis and then drag the object around to change the x coordinates and so on.
-> Not done

5) While I understand that implementing all the features of Reflex' very nice scenery editor would be a major effort, I think that adding some basic polygon editing would be a great thing. For a start, you could limit it to triangles where you could move all three edge points. I think the effort for this would still be acceptable compared to the benefits. This would also allow photofield airports with uneven floor. In a next step you could add stuff like friction/bumpiness coefficients and things like that to polygons.
-> Not done (only general ground setting for airport and fixed properties for runways)

6) Though this is not really needed, it would be nice if you could use the pilot spawn view also as edit view. When arranging things in photofields, it would be easier to select/move objects in the pilot spawn view than it is in the normal view. As an alternative, there could be a setting to synchronize the editor view to the pilot spawn view, so when dragging/rotating the pilot spawn view, this would be reflected in the editor view (which of course would be centered to the pilot as well). Anyway it would be helpful if the currently selected object would be visible in the pilot spawn view even if it is only a depth buffer object. Selected objects could appear in some clearly visible color like yellow or whatever.
-> Not done

7) It should be possible to scale at least basic collision objects (cube, sphere etc.) in each direction independently. Would be great though if this was possible for any object.
-> Not done

8) Importing custom 3D objects would be nice. This would also be an alternative way of creating complex collision meshes for photofields. Then again, I'd still prefer the polygon editing method (#5) for this.
-> Done.

9) It would be a first step if we could at least map custom textures to primitives like boxes. Thus it would be possible to use custom floor or wall textures in 3D fields.
-> Not done (not really mandatory since #9 was implemented, but still would be nice for users without 3D editors)

10) Not exactly an editor suggestion, but related: it would be nice if there was an additional alpha stencil for the photofields. Thus it would be possible to make the aircraft partly visible if it's behind (partly) transparent objects. E.g. glass, nets or wire netting fences. So if a pixel of the aircraft should be invisible because of z culling, it's alpha blended with the background: e.g. for an alpha value of 255, the plane pixel is completely visible, for an alpha value of 0, it's completely covered by the background graphics. Though this simple approach would fail with more than one depth player (e.g. a solid block behind a glass window and the aircraft could be either behind or before the block), it would improve visual quality in quite some scenarios (e.g. football nets and security fences). For a perfect solution, you would need to be able to map the alpha stencil to collision objects )to allow several layers).
I think that Reflex handles it similar to that (dunno how perfectly though). At least some of the photofields there have additional bitmaps which pretty much look like alpha stencils.
-> Not done

11) Introduce servo controlled Pivots without aerodynamic properties to use for servo arms etc. instead of moving pods.
This would speed up the simulation for planes/helis with lots of pods that are indeed just pivots.
-> Not done

12) Permanently record the last flight. Like when you reset the aircraft, the default recording is also reset but if you decide later on that you would have liked to record this, you can just hit a key and store this default recording to a file. Kinda like time shift on a digital video recorder (PVR) which can be converted to a recording.
-> Not done

13) Allow setting of AA/AF settings inside the sim.
-> Not done

14) Allow changing of airport/aircraft in full screen mode without (automatic) switching to windows mode.
-> Done! (and nicely!)

15) Consider size of an aircraft for auto zoom modes to improve visibility of small aircrafts.
-> Not done
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ground1.jpg (116.1 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg ground2.jpg (110.7 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg ground3.jpg (90.7 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg shadows.jpg (155.6 KB, 37 views)

Last edited by 0xdeadbeef; 10-20-2008 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:23 PM
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opjose opjose is offline
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Originally Posted by 0xdeadbeef
2) Planes sink into or stand above collision objects, e.g. houses or street block elements from City Park.
Well, this existed for longer, but I'm not sure since when. Look at the first three appended pictures for an example that shows that the "collision surface" is obviously not the same as the visible surface as the plane sinks deeper as it rolls to the right (ground object is a "city block" from City Park).
Nice listing!

Re: the above.

This has been my complaint too...

The surface level collision mesh is far too low for the default and "grass" materials types.

Try setting it to "asphalt" or "dirt" for grass fields and you'll get far more realistic levels of "sinking".
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:32 PM
0xdeadbeef 0xdeadbeef is offline
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While I agree that the grass level was lowered too much, the issue described above is different. As you can see on the screenshots, there are street blocks arranged slightly above the surface of the water. So there is no ground level and the plane should sit on the street block object. However, depending on the X-/Y-position, it sinks more or less into the object. Since AFAIK material properties can't be assigned to airport objects, I don't think the grass property has any effect on this.
The behavior was the same for G4 btw.
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