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Cruachan

RESOLVED Use of Environment Force with other Shader Utilities

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Hi REX,

I have just purchased REX 5 - Environment Force (EF) and on the point of giving it a workout. Before I do, I would like to have one point clarified please: the use of EF with other 3rd Party shader utilities. Following the thread at AVSIM only succeeds in causing much confusion as messages and advice provided are very mixed and often contradictory. This, of course, was compounded by the fact that EF was, in reality, still in the Bets testing stage of development and early adopters were encountering a variety of issues. I received an email a few days ago announcing the official release of EF so am assuming we now have a stable and reasonably bug free version.

To date I have always favoured the use of Shader Presets rather than being faced with time consuming tinkering. My current favourite is Tomato Shade R&D Preset v1.8.

My preference for EF would be to use it in Automatic Mode.

Now to my question: Am I correct in assuming that any changes made by EF in Automatic Mode are done from the position of using the default base shader settings currently in play, whether this be the Prepar3D v4.5 shader defaults (which are nice) or those previously installed by a 3rd Party Preset, as I have done? This would be convenient as it obviates the need to restore the sim’s default shaders before using EF for the first time. Also, can I assume that the previously installed shader cache (compiled from either a Shader Preset or P3D default) would remain in place, and reflected by the appearance of the sim, if EF is terminated?

Any Shader Preset, such as the one provided by R&D, depends on the recommended use of specific Sky textures. R&D base their Preset development and intended results on a Sky texture set provided by REX Sky Force 3D. When I exit EF, would this Sky Texture set be restored along with the associated Preset Shader values and Shader Cache compiled by referencing my previously installed R&D Tomato Shade Preset? On-the-fly EF shader changes (such as occurs in Automatic Mode) implies that these are indeed not permanent and such a scenario, is indeed possible.

Edit: In the meantime, pending further advances, I will continue to use AS for Prepar3Dv4 as my weather engine. That being the case, EF might be leaving non base Shader values on exit unless, and again this is pure speculation on my part, the methods employed to adjust environmental Shader values on-the-fly in Automatic Mode is executed in a way that avoids changing the default P3Dv4.5/3rd Party Preset values contained in files held in the ShadersHLSL folder. Perhaps these ‘base’ values are copied and worked on outside the running sim. That would preserve the entire set of ‘base’ Shader values as well as allowing those values controlling such things as Virtual Cockpit lighting, and not dependent on changing Sky textures, to be protected. Or, could it be that these assumptions are incorrect?

Thanks.

Kind regards,

Mike

Edited by Cruachan
Added an ‘Edit’ paragraph at end of original post.
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Keep checking and still no response. Is there a problem? Perhaps the fault is mine: my post was too convoluted and life is just too short..LOL! If so then I do apologise. However, I would still like to receive some clarification if it’s at all possible please.

Regards,

Mike

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On 5/29/2019 at 5:53 AM, Cruachan said:

Now to my question: Am I correct in assuming that any changes made by EF in Automatic Mode are done from the position of using the default base shader settings currently in play, whether this be the Prepar3D v4.5 shader defaults (which are nice) or those previously installed by a 3rd Party Preset, as I have done? This would be convenient as it obviates the need to restore the sim’s default shaders before using EF for the first time.

Yes this is correct. Think of EF as working on a different layer in addition to any other tweaking that has been done.

On 5/29/2019 at 5:53 AM, Cruachan said:

Any Shader Preset, such as the one provided by R&D, depends on the recommended use of specific Sky textures. R&D base their Preset development and intended results on a Sky texture set provided by REX Sky Force 3D. When I exit EF, would this Sky Texture set be restored along with the associated Preset Shader values and Shader Cache compiled by referencing my previously installed R&D Tomato Shade Preset? 

Correct. If you have texture sync on in EF, it doesn't replace any textures within the simulators texture directory. We have proprietary methods that work outside that in order to not muck up your own choices.

On 5/29/2019 at 5:53 AM, Cruachan said:

Edit: In the meantime, pending further advances, I will continue to use AS for Prepar3Dv4 as my weather engine. That being the case, EF might be leaving non base Shader values on exit unless, and again this is pure speculation on my part,

EF doesn't change your shader files, it does so via proprietary hooking methods that leave your shaders intact.

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Hi Tim,

That’s what I needed to know. Thanks very much for taking the time to respond when it’s all too evident just how busy you are these days.

Good to know I’m on the right track and can proceed now with confidence. The user manual is well written and pretty comprehensive but, to my mind, stuff like this needed a little more clarification if, like me, you intend to incorporate your preferred Shader Preset into REX Environment Force.

You guys are doing a great job despite having been given a rough ride over the past couple of weeks or so. I’m rarely an early adopter, preferring instead to wait until the evidence is there that a new product is achieving a state of stability and reliability. However, those early adopters do deserve some recognition for exposing stuff that has been missed during development and we should always remain grateful for that.

Well done! Bringing life-like realism to our favourite flight sim is very hard to achieve, and there can be no doubt that the huge contributions made by development teams such as REX Simulations bring us ever closer to that tantalisingly wonderful objective.

Best regards,

Mike

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Hi Mike, 

Thank you very much for your words! It gets better from here :)

Cheers sir!

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