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1.15 Development

Captain Kitten

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14 hours ago, flightime56 said:

Thank the lord god for that....  probably another long excruciating 11 month wait though until I can actually use xEnviro again (and no, I can't or will use OPGL)

So uplifting to just be ignored in what I have told everyone in every release announcement and along the way for every progress update.... sigh, why do we even bother sometimes..


1.15 progress update so far

What is 1.15 all about?



No, Vulkan won't take another year. In fact we're already in Vukan - just need to adapt all the elements and get things right. How long it will take is uncertain and as usual I won't give any ETA's. But if you think that Vulkan is the savior of all fps - when Vulkan primarily is a CPU related gain and xEnviro is entirely GPU dependent. Sure, you'll be able to throw more CPU related addons to the mix without having to reduce on graphics. Just don't expect your fps to differ a lot from OpenGL to Vulkan when using xEnviro.


(xEnviro 1.15t12)

xEnviro performance in Vulkan

A forseen scenario now is that people on Vulkan with no real GPU demanding addons will go from 80fps to 30-40 fps and yell that xEnviro takes 69fps away from them. Well - yeah; volumetric atmosphere rendering will do that to your graphics card at this scale. And especially if you crank up the quality sliders and / or are on a low/mid GPU. It's just a reality we have to live with when we don't get the lifeline in to some core elements of X-Plane.

But one thing you can do is to hit your CPU with more tasks. So adding some addons might not affect you as much as it did in OpenGL. All dependent on your system and what you throw at it / expect.

Dynamic seasons are gone but kept alive in OpenGL

Vulkan breaks dynamic seasons. We're in discussions with Laminar regarding access to what we need to keep seasons going. But it's not looking good at this stage. Some key reference points and resources are no longer accessible and it is plainly not possible to keep dynamic seasons. xE will still work perfectly well with 3rd party seasonal textures and addons. However, OpenGL version will still work as usual and we are keeping two pipelines going until we shut OpenGL support off. This winter will still have seasons - but only in OpenGL.



So, bare with us as we're preparing two lines of production and have the option to go OenGl to still have the dynamic seasons.

More updates to come as I have them.

PS: A big thank you to everyone who have written to us and expressed their gratitude for the 1.14 release. I want to, again, express a sincere appollogy for the wait between 1.13 which was huge - we will from now on concentrate at one item at the time - as we intended for 1.14 but headbutted in to a dead end. A dead end we only came past by backtracking and rewriting the core of xE... Again, sorry - road ahead is bright. Season-less, but bright 😃

Magnus & the xE team

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not a critic, but a question: are you still experimenting with sky colours? i find them excellent with the exception of the horizon which seems a bit unnatural and brownish-dark. i know it's the weather conditions that lead to a look, but same applies in real world. for your inspiration please accept this comparison picture:

sunset horizon colour analyzes xenviro.png

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Way to go !

As I'm currently flying with GTX960, I'm fully content of the results of 1.14. I have between 25-30fps in every weather conditions (clear skies to thunderstorms).

I have a question tho. Will you continue to improve the performance to have more framerate or 1.15 will only be about porting xE over to Vulkan first without any improvement ?
I'm asking that so we could know if we will have more fps on Vulkan even without improvements on Vulkan (because Vulkan is doing its job) OR if we will have more fps because you've made improvements as for 1.14 on the performances + porting it to Vulkan.

As usual, keep up the good work, your screenshots are a treat to us while waiting for the next update :)

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Love whats been done so far managed to fix my FPS issue with the current opengl which was mainly incorrect nvidia control panel settings which has made it play able for me I am looking forward to the vulkan update for sure.

But the one thing I'm still wanting to see is a change to the night side of xenviro, it tends to be just black most of the time, you don't see cloud or good stars/moon, and it makes flying at night feel wrong hard to do. I'd like to see the clouds stand out more at night they tend to reflect ground reflections rather than just be black and unable to see but the sky often isn't completely 100% pitch black you do tend to get a bit of light on the horizon be more like a darker blue/grey. I'm just wondering when we will see some changes to night sky?


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I know I have been absent of late but - better late than sorry?

So, what's new?

We're in Beta

Of course Laminar managed to do some weird choices when they went for Vulkan so our transition has taken a bit longer than we expected. So nothing new there I guess 😃 
But we're over that minor hurdle now and steaming ahead in beta versions that are chewed on by our beta testers. We'll see how fast we can straighten 1.15 out but I want to remind you all of one huge item:

Seasons will be gone

The way we draw seasons in X-Plane and the way to make them dynamic is no longer available in Vulkan. This means that if you want to still have xE snow, you have to use the OpenGL version of X-Plane. Or you will have to use other 3rd party seasons. We have no interest in competing with the texture replacement options that are available. Which will be extremely time consuming, make xEnviro bloated and not dynamic. We will be continuing to support OpenGL version of xEnviro for a while so you can have seasons and snow if you want it. No other measures are necessary on your side - just turn off Vulkan rendering in X-Plane settings and you will have seasons still. This does mean that we are working on two pipelines of xEnviro simultaneously and things will take longer since everything has to be tested at least twice. How long we will be able to do this is uncertain. We will have to stop supporting OpenGL at some point. Especially when we are adding some heavy features down the line. 

If you would like to contribute to the poll regarding seasons I have created in our facebook group - go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/xenviro

FPS improved?

Scenario I expect to see: Andre Nikolajsen (13): "I went from a 30fps drop to a 50 fps drop. xE such su**"

Let me add in a wake up call right here:
You will not see any fps improvement in Vulkan over OpenGL. At least do not expect it. xEnviro is completely dependent on your GPU and Vulkan does not help your GPU. Vulkan helps your CPU in talking to your GPU (simply put) but your GPU will still have the same workload for xEnviro. So if you see a huge fps increase in Vulkan with default x-plane - you will see a huge decrease with xEnviro! That's just facts of life so be prepared. xE 1.14 and up is a LOT easier on fps but just swallow this pill now and you won't be sailing with false expectations.

GPU bound scenario:

Without xE
OpenGL: 50FPS
Vulkan: 80FPS

With xE
OpenGL: 35FPS
Vulkan: 35FPS

CPU bound Scenario:

Without xE
OpenGL: 40FPS
Vulkan: 80FPS

With xE
OpenGL: 45FPS
Vulkan: 45FPS

These numbers don't represent what you will experience. It is all too dependent on too many factors. Anyways - I'm off. Here are some beta tester screenshots:








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