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lapalabra avatar image
lapalabra asked FlyingRaccoon commented

Improve Projected Mesh Texture Quality

Hi, some of us really enjoy making completely custom pavement via the ground poly method and then import them using the "Projected Mesh" option via the SDK.

The obvious (huge) setback here is that texture quality is at least sliced in half, if not more, when object is inserted as "Projected Mesh". If we import the exact object as a "Scenery" object, the resolutions is perfect.

Please, we really need the "Projected Mesh" to offer full resolution textures.


(photo credit FINNI)


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FlyingRaccoon avatar image
FlyingRaccoon answered FlyingRaccoon commented


I'll give some more details on how our system works so you can better understand its limitations.
When using the Scenery Editor Taxiways, Aprons, Polygons, ProjectedMeshes, these elements are baked into the terrain textures. Among other advantages, it reduces the polycount and can be terraformed.
But, logically, It means your asset quality can't have a better resolution than what has been defined for the terrain textures.
The terrain tile system is based on this : Bing Maps Tile System - Bing Maps | Microsoft Docs

... but we increased the resolution for higher LODs so we have a better quality for airports.
In the end, the resolution you get is around 4cm/pixel at the equator.

We can't match the resolution you will have for your source asset using this rendering technique since the amount of needed VRAM is growing exponentially when we go further in the LOD tree or increasing the texture resolution.

Set your "Terrain level of detail" option to its maximum value to get the best resolution possible

We are open to discussing improvements of the system but can't simply match the very high resolution you can have with textured meshes.

If you have requests or precise ideas on how this system can be improved like defining your own detail maps for example; I suggest you create ideas about this.


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Thanks Sylvain for the answer, it is as I imagined, I think that implementing the possibility to choose a custom detail for the textures of the projected mesh would help a lot without increasing the overall resolution, sometimes the default detail does not match at all with the custom materials. The assignment of the detail could take place through a dedicated mask (perhaps in shades of gray?) to match the different details to a specific area of the projected mesh.

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lapalabra avatar image lapalabra Alessandro_Simultech ·

Hello Sylvain,

Thank you very much for taking the time to carefully explain the limitations of the system and now it does make a lot of sense to me.

I suppose, as Alessandro suggested, having the ability to import a custom "detail" layer would be wonderful as I also agree that the default "details" are not exactly what we're looking for. I will make an "IDEA" post regarding this.

Thanks again!

La Palabra

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Hello La Palabra,

Yes, creating an idea about this is the appropriate action.
Thank you for your feedback.


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@FlyingRaccoon Thank you for the explanation.
You said "...the resolution you get is around 4cm/pixel at the equator "
So the resolution is not the same on others location? I am curious to know what can be the resolution around Montreal for example?

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I don't have the details but it basically decreases with the cosinus of the latitude and the resolution is increased beyond a certain latitude. Unless your scenery is on the north pole, the quality should remain similar.
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SonantAlpaca avatar image
SonantAlpaca answered SonantAlpaca commented


Thanks for reporting this. I think it's more of an Idea than a Question, but we'll already do some digging.

Did you also post your question on the forum thread for the next live SDK Q&A?

(I'm asking because the same question was posted here a few minuts ago :) So if it wasn't by you, you can definitely vote Up for this in the forum!)

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Hello! Thank you, yes I did post it for the Q&A sesh. BTW its says it will be on the 16th, but do you know what time?

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No official confirmation yet, but it will most likely be at the same time as the previous one (which was at 8pm in France)

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lapalabra avatar image
lapalabra answered

Hello, I just watched the SDK Q and A from yesterday and noticed the devs were looking for more information regarding the issue mention above. They claim that it's for performance reasons that ground textures (specifically - PROJECTED MESHES) are not full resolution, but why is it that we are able to add the same object as a regular sim object without any performance hit yet have full texture resolution? If only we could have that regular sim object contour to mesh, we'd be VERY happy.

Please SDK Dev's, I plead you look further into this. Thanks in advance.

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tsgucci avatar image
tsgucci answered lapalabra commented

I'm joining to this Idea/Question.

My other problem with the projected mesh that it always has a kind of gravel normal map eventough the projected meshes contains completely flat normal maps. Somehow still the "ground" overwrites the projected mesh normal maps.

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Hello, have you changed the "type" of surface in the properties window? I believe "unknown" clears any gritiness.

Also, as I just posted, SDK developer Eric yesterday said on the stream that high resolution is not possible due to performance, but my question then is, why don't I see any performance impact when it imports as a standard scenery object?

I'm surprised that this has not been not been brought up more often considering many of us use ground polys to make our pavements and pavements are an absolute large part of airports, obviously.

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FlyingRaccoon avatar image
FlyingRaccoon answered lapalabra commented

Hello lapalabra,

I thought you were talking about a difference in resolution between the projected meshes and the other ground textures, which would have been surprising.
But if you're talking about scenery objects, then that's normal. We can't match and cover the whole terrain with the same pixel/meter ratio you can reach with small and localized objects in the scenery.

Nothing prevents you from putting an 8K texture on a 1cmx1cm square in your scenery and we obviously can't match this, a limit has to be found.
The terrain textures in which projected meshes are rasterized have their resolution adjusted to get the best result/performance ratio.


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Hi Sylvain I understand the choice, with a view to optimizing you could tell me the maximum resolution you have on the projected mesh in terms of pixel meters, (also indicative) so that the textures I create do not waste precious memory space if they go beyond the maximum resolution.

Thank you!


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lapalabra avatar image lapalabra Alessandro_Simultech ·

Thank you for the reply, Sylvain. I understand to some degree, but still a bit confused. A flat, 2D plane the size of all my entire airport is imported as a scenery object and displays at full resolution, yet has NO impact on performance. We'd use it, but unfortunately it doesn't contour to mesh as projected meshes do.

Would you please further explain why the projected meshes DO cause performance issues? Thank you.

Also, I too would please like to know what resolution the maximum is that projected meshes can produce so I don't waste space with higher resolution textures.

Many thanks!


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ArtAir avatar image
ArtAir answered FlyingRaccoon commented

Hi Sylvain,

The main problem to get high quality ground (apron, taxiways, markings...) is that MSFS compresses original textures resolution and makes it blurry. I don't want to use 4K for everything, just maybe 2K or 1024. Other problem is that every apron surface covered by only one detail texture - asphalt. But how about concrete? Or maybe to create apron without detail texture, for example, if we need to apply layers with winter textures with a condition for dates(after releasing the seasons feature).

To get something like that (FS9):


Actualy, it was my question for your Q and A.

I really hope you guys pay attention to this imperfection) We really need some improvements in scenery editor.


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Thank you ArtAir! The more we have showing that this indeed is a huge setback, the more we hopefully convince them to improve it. As I've said before, performance is NOT an issue here considering the SAME object is imported as standard scenery objects with 2k or 4k textures has ZERO impact on performance.

I apologize if I keep beating a dead horse here, but I will until a detailed explanation is given as to why it can't be done or an actual improvement is made as this is something that holds many developers back from delivering some amazing pavements.

With much respect and passion,

-La Palabra

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Regarding the downgrading. To be honest it does not happen always. At least sometimes the editor shows it blurry but in the sim it is okay.

On the other hand I do not understand the downgrading if it really happens. I can cover a 1 sqkm land with 4 1024x1024 textures or with 1 4096x4096 texture. Not the texture size should be the key but the pixel density. Anyway let the add-on developer decide how many textures in what density will use.

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In my experience, importing via projected mesh ALWAYS downgrades quality. The picture in my original post post above is a perfect example of how detrimental this downscaling is to the objects. It looks awful.

The mystery remains - WHY is this necessary? Performance is NOT a valid reason as I'm able to import the same size object as a standard scenery object at FULL resolution with ZERO performance hit.

Please, Asobo, we need answers here. We're living in times where we can have AMAZING pavements, but are just ONE step away ....

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"Other problem is that every apron surface covered by only one detail texture - asphalt "

The detail map can be chosen from the properties of the projected mesh layer.

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pilotfg12 avatar image
pilotfg12 answered

I appreciate Asobo's answer but the main issue with that line of reasoning (mapped to terrain) is that this more-or-less requires us to make our own mesh if we want to have sloped terrain on the airport. The problem is that the old way of making ground polys (i.e. using flat polys) means that you get terrain elevation bleed-through.

This is a very frustrating aspect of the sim for me as well; taxiway lines at my airport are between 15 to 30cm wide, which means at 4cm/pixel I have a budget of maximum 6 pixels for the line. That quality will just not work for markings. That, and the fact that a surface overlay (asphalt/concrete/paint) ruins the texture as well.

I understand that you don't need 4cm/pixel resolution for, say, a large concrete apron, and that in that case it should be more than enough. However, detail work is impossible and there is no proper workaround (unless I want to model the entire airport's terrain myself) using projected meshes.

I would second/third/etc. the request for a seperate detail layer or setting that allows for a much higher resolution, or even another category that automatically prioritizes it above the terrain but follows the contours properly.

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