X-Plane 11.01: Lighting the Fog

X-Plane 11.01 release candidate two is now available - on Steam too! We hope this is the one.

Here's one more before-and-after view - the new fog applied correctly to lighting spill and billboards.

11.01 should go final too and then we'll move on to 11.02 - we have more bug fixes to get out and a performance improvement for NVidia Windows hardware.

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About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.
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54 Responses to X-Plane 11.01: Lighting the Fog

  1. Miasmus says:

    "a performance improvement for NVidia Windows hardware"

    What does it mean? Is nVidia hardwares have a bug which decreases performance and performs less than equivalent AMD hardwares? (Is RX 480 > GTX 1060 in X-plane 11)

    Or is it just the first step for performance improvements which is started with nVidia hardwares and AMD improvements will come next?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      It means we found code that we can make faster, and the biggest perf win is on NVidia hardware.

      You can't really call "this code is slow" a bug ... there's no contract that says the driver is required to run your code fast. They make their best effort, and if something is slow, we can choose to not do it.

      This is the one of many performance improvements we are working on over the next several months.

      • Jackie says:

        Any estimate release date for 11.02? I am really looking forward to see the performance gains for NVidia cards, but is that a dramatic improvement or just a little gain overall? Hope you guys doing well with Vulkan:) I know it is not fun for doing things like that but thanks for you and your team's hard work!

      • Saar says:

        Thanks Ben for the info.

        I wonder - when you will publish the "performance" improvements code, is it possible that you will add on the change log page the driver built you used, think of it as a regression information for users against future drivers.

        Just a thought.
        Thanks for your hard work and time.

      • RD says:

        Is this code something that affects the simulation anytime or only at specific conditions, like with a lot of clouds, near big cities or something like that?

      • Elios says:

        speaking of nVidea have you contacted them about getting driver tweaks on their end? if they will do it for inde dev im sure they would help you

      • Steve.Wilson says:

        I can attest to the speed. While I admit I've got a Titan X, on X-Plane 10 with SMP it was in the 30's and 40's in rural areas. Worse with default clouds. Without SMP, and X-Plane 11 clouds, last night I was able to fly among mountains of the fluffy white stuff, flying in and out of 'em, and the frame counter in my cockpit was rarely below 50 fps. I don't have a framerate sucking virtual cockpit, but the comparison between the two sims in render-challenged conditions is pretty substantial.

  2. João Alfredo de Campos Pinto says:

    I keep insisting on a fog where it should not be.
    Very similar to what happens if on a very clear day we have a big forest fire, and the smoke disrupts your vision, from 1 or 2 kilometers everything takes a whitish tone.
    It will be my AMD hardware, I think not, in XP-10.52 I do not have it.

  3. Heiko says:

    To be honest I can't see any difference in the pics...

  4. Nathan says:

    Ben, any chance of removing the website fade between viewing images? It would be great to more easily compare them!

    Also, ok, only because you've bated us with performance improvements... What's you're gut feel for potential improvements of CPU time and GPU time. Do you reckon LR could halve the time on each? I'm guessing if you want to go from 30 to 60, or rather a solid-45 to 90, that'll be the rough aim. I guess you'd never know for sure, but you may have a gut feel?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      I couldn't figure out how to turn that off. You can right-click-open-in-new-tab the thumbnails and then jump thumbnails and A/B that way.

      • vonhinx says:

        Or you can click with a modifier key that’ll open each image in separate tabs. The after pictures show the lights shining through the fog more than they do in the before pictures.

      • Bruno says:

        Had to do that trick to spot the differences... and the funny thing is... the difference is huge.

        So I guess lights weren't really propagating through fog properly. Looks very realistic now. This sim is only getting better.

        There's also the up and coming "Flight Sim World" from dovetails, but as far as I'm concerned, if they don't have slopped runways, I won't even consider it.

      • Hector Lee says:

        I dont' think PrettyPhoto, the image plugin you're using allows turning it off totally. But you can change the animation speed.


        Its line 13 of the js script. animation_speed should accept either a string or number (milliseconds). I glanced through the code and it seems to be using standard jQuery animations.


  5. Peter Allen says:

    I have updated to RC2 but the flashing clouds are still present. nVidia 1080Ti and i7-7700 CPU. Should I file a bug?

  6. Saar says:

    Just want to notify that during the update I received file corruption (it happned on a clean installation too)

    I opened a bug and added the Log.txt and a screenshot.

    In the log I could see a 3D object dump:
    OBJECT DUMP: Resources/default scenery/1000 autogen/US/industrial/power/objects/WindTbn2m5_100.obj

    Sim did started (I ignored the message during the update).

    Ben, Sorry if this is not the place to publish this.

  7. Joe says:

    Regarding NVidia, what driver have you had the best results with? I've been simming long enough that newer isn't always better when it comes to video drivers.

    • Max says:

      I know what you mean, especially some drivers in late 2016/early 2017 were really a gamble, unreliable as hell (some render engines even crashed straight away).
      My 980 currently runs on 378.66, because that appeared stable to me (comparing it to the versions before, haven't tested the more recent drivers) and performance with X-Plane is acceptable for me. I will stay on this version for now.

  8. Chaps says:

    Just curious, why just 'Win' Nvidia hardware? Will 'Mac' Nvidia hardware see improvements also?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      The driver stacks on Mac and Windows are completely different, so CPU-side changes based on how we talk to the driver don't apply across OSes. The fix that matters on Windows may apply to Linux though - we haven't tested.

  9. Dong says:

    Does 11.1 r2 forces nvidia card thread optimized off again

  10. xplanefan says:

    On the loaded topic of GPU performance. You've stated in the past that the frame time values next to FPS are a good indicator of CPU vs. GPU bottleneck. Does this mean that if, for example, the GPU draw time is solidly less than the CPU that a GPU upgrade would result in zero performance increase? A different way of asking might be: are those GPU/CPU frame draw functions running in parallel with each other or serial or some of both?

  11. SL9 says:

    I must be getting old - what are we looking at? I can't see any difference in the pics.

    • Max says:

      Compare the lights on the horizon, you will see a difference in terms of lighting.

  12. Gustavo says:

    Any plans to expand the SDK and develop an EngineMaker?

  13. Harold Cushman says:

    In future updates, will separate left right brake key assignments be implemented like in X-Plane 10? This should make ground handling of tail draggers easier, especially in windy conditions.
    It should also be noted that on new MacBook computers, the “Force click and haptic feedback” in Trackpad Preferences needs to be shut off for the trackpad clicking to work properly. This also applies to X-Plane 10.

  14. Average FPS gain observed: 5 to 10 - great improvement!
    CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K (OC @ 4.2GHz)
    CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100i
    Main Board: MSI X99S GAMING 7
    Graphics Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 1080 FE
    RAM: 64GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance LPX
    OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit


  15. Rudy says:

    "a performance improvement for NVidia Windows hardware"

    does that mean the infamous 'texture flickering' that happens in different anti aliasing modes will get fixed too?

  16. John Fuqua says:

    As the above poster said, "I don't see any difference"

  17. Omar says:

    Hi Ben,

    I just realized that X-Plane 11's AI traffic doesn't land at/takeoff from/spawn at airports that have all their runways marked as 'Transparent' in WED. Is this a bug or is it intentional?

  18. Alexander John says:

    Update is all very good and well. Out of interest, are you aware of shading on the aircraft when ABOVE clouds? For some reason, X-Plane 11 reduces the light on aircraft when flying above thick cloud. Remove the clouds, the light reflecting off the wings becomes incredibly bright.

    Also, will you be changing the shaders during sunrise and sunset? It really bugs me that the entire aircraft is lit up inside, as well as the wing that should be in the shade.

    Nonetheless, you are doing a great job, which is why I'll keep on flying with X-Plane!

  19. Andreas Enbacka says:


    I just updated to XPlane 11.01 on Windows 10 (Nvidia GPU), however, it has introduced some black pixel noise in the sky which was not present in 11.00 release. Any ideas what could be the cause of this?

  20. Artur says:

    Hi Ben,

    Shadows are still bugged inside the cockpit when "draw shadows on scenery" is activated. And when i disable that option and then enable it again sometimes it doesn't enable and i get no shadows from trees or houses. Thought this had been fixed in 11.01.


  21. John says:

    Hi Ben,

    The rig works now fine.Linux. But some 3rd party planes only on 980/1080 flyable. Stock Planes FPS very good.

    Are there some news about Vulkan support on X-Plane11 ?
    Maybe double FPS ?

    And at least: Some news about the Laminar G1000 ?


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