First, X-Plane 11.30 Beta 5 is live. If we find it’s not a screamapiller we’ll get the Steam version going tomorrow.

Update: it is a screamapiller.  The lighting is missing for chunks of the runway, city, etc. When b6 fixes this, we’ll cut a Steam build.

There were some questions in the comments section about whether aircraft would lose the built-in default effects as part of the particle system upgrade in 11.03. The short answer is “no” and the slightly less short answer is “no, unless you do some stuff in Plane-Maker.” Here’s the details:

  • In X-Plane 11.25 an earlier, you got default effects, and there was nothing you could do about it. Every aircraft gets every effect.
  • In X-Plane 11.30, default effects are enabled by check-boxes in Plane-Maker’s “Invisible Parts” screen. Just like you can hide rendering of the aircraft’s physics model and replace it with OBJ models, you can replace the default physics-based effects and replace them with your own OBJ-based emitters.
  • In X-Plane 11.30, most of the built-in effects are built by the new particle system, but a small number (e.g. rotor down-wash) still use the old one, to take advantage of some hard-coded effects code that the new system can’t (yet) simulate.

Note that the question of how we did the default effect (new or old code) is totally unrelated to whether you (the author) want to replace it; if you turn off our effects, that check box will turn off our effects both now and when we re-implement that category of effects with new emitters (e.g. for rotor down-wash).

I still have a pile of effects bugs open, so please don’t ship aircraft based on the beta using the new particle system. (You shouldn’t ship an aircraft based on a beta anyway, but in the particle system, as of beta 5, I definitely have bugs that, when fixed, will require re-tuning of art files, e.g. lighting levels aren’t final).

Here’s a few particle bloopers.

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.

77 comments on “Beta 5, Default and Custom Particle Effects

  1. well the over wing in the cabin is because you likely and wrongly have wing extending in to the fuse wing box where the wing in plane maker should END at the side of the fuse

    1. But this also runs contrary to how wing geometry is calculated in the real world, according to an engineer I used to work for. So you really don’t want to _not_ have the wing go to the centerline, as far as I’m aware. Please forgive the double negative. I know it’s counter intuitive, but I think it wise to yield to people with more knowledge of aircraft design than I possess. Usually. 😉

      Frankly, to me it just looks like someone is ignoring the no-smoking sign and is hiding because of same. 😀

      1. the issue here is if you make the wing go to center line in the sim is now the wing area is calculated and modeled that part of the wing now in the fuse is adding lift and drag that it doesnt in the real world and isnt count to wing area

      2. also in real life you have HUGE spar that crosses that area in the case of the 737 again the wing area is calculated for the wetted area of the wing

        the flight model in xplane is literally a bunch of parts flying in formation

        1. It is indeed. Aerodynamics by mathematical committee. Kind of like a camel ;).

          I think it would take Austin to weigh in on this to determine whether aircraft performance would be more accurate with the wing starting at the CL, or at the sides of the fuselage. We do seem to have a conflict between the simulated reality and the real world aeronautical engineering reality. Is there an aeronautical engineering genius in the house? 😛

          1. Anybody creating .acf can define the wings to start at any lateral position desired.
            100% of all Laminar .acf have them start at the outside edge of the fuselage.

          2. I think the experimental FM -might- do a bunch of subtractive calculations…Austin and I had a discussion a while ago about (in the experimental FM) subtracting out misc bodies and engine housings from wings.

            The issue is that you -have- to run the wings through the engines in a plane like the kingair where the engine is blended into the wing to get the right total win aspect ratio, but adding up the full air flow from the engine over the wing behind it is wrong. Subtracting out bodies from airfoils helps.

        2. Hi Ben,

          I think it would be great if the changes to FM would be clearly documented with online change lists for the regular and experimental flight model. That would be very much appreciated by us FM developers. What is your current thinking about when experimental features are going to be moved into the regular FM of subsequent releases?

          1. Changes to the regular FM are mostly documented in Jennifer’s update docs, e.g. if there are mandatory migrations when you re-save in the new PM, those are ALL documented.

            My guess is we ‘bake’ the experimental FM in 11.40 or 11.50 maybe.

      3. Correct, engineers consider the reference wing as running through the fuselage, but it’s because it simplify calculations, while at the same time accounting for the lift carryover over the fuselage. I think X-Plane, after the latest flight model revisions, does not calculate aero forces for hidden wings, so having the wing go through fuselage or not should be indifferent now, in theory.

        1. sadly not you can see this by turning on show flight model in the sim

          the only time you should have the wing as solid slab is upper wing of biplane or parasol wing like PBY

          1. Not necessarily. If XP underestimates the lift carryover over fuselage, a one piece wing would make sense to account for it. Also, I don’t know how XP would consider two separate wings in terms of induced drag. If it doesn’t consider them as a single wing, the induced drag calculations would be wrong. In the user manual of past XP versions, Austin explicitly recommended designers to do a one piece wing going through fuselage.

            Accprding to release notes, the latest revision of flight model should discard the part of wings that are hidden. Maybe it only works with experimental FM on?

  2. Hmm, wonder if that’s why I get a little wet in the cockpit of Zibo mod. Rain is coming in! (but not in the passenger cabin!)

  3. Wow, B737 cabin? I think I have lost something. Good to hear you are close to the final 11.30.
    Keep the good work!

  4. Nice to see the Cessna REP doesn’t explode after stopping the replay 🙂
    But still the particle system produces a lot of smoke.

    One question about RFE, how to file?
    Using the X-Plane bug reporter?

    I have finished the tweaking of my beloved KingAir B200, all “big numbers” are close to the one inside the POH.
    There is one problem left, the gear produces too much drag (it seems to be some special with the real B200, in landing configuration the gear has not much influence to the drag). The B200 needs 20% more torque as defined with gear extended.

    The drag of the gear will be computet by X-Plane automatically.

    My RFE: a factor for scale the gears drag inside of Planemaker

    Thanks

    1. Have you looked at the “additional gear flat plate area” setting in Plane Maker? Or is that already at 0? What that does is add a “flat plate” in the air flow to simulate the part of the gear door that comes out with the gear and sticks out into the airstream – it is added ontop of the drag of tires and struts.

      1. Thank you Philipp for the hint, I changed it from 0.2 to 0.0,
        but that’s not enough

        A coefficient Cd in the range of 0.0 , >1.0 would allow to finetune the drag excactly.

  5. Regarding “XPD-9637 Added static water depth data to old DSFs”;
    What stands for “old DSF”?
    Does it mean that we will see the effects of encoded per-vertex bathymetry in custom meshes again, like in XP10?

    1. If you have raster-based depth, we use it. If you have per-vertex based wave height we do not _yet_ use it – you can confirm this by driving the sea plane off land into water – you’ll see it follows the terrain slope down until it floats in default v11 scenery, but NOT for old scenery.

      Anyway, if you have a mesh that has this per-vertex data, send me a working example (per vertex but NOT bathymetry) and I’ll see if I can make our code smarter. Most useful is a .sit file to start the default sea plane near a useful test site.

      1. Thanks for your reply, I should have been more explicit:
        I was meaning the water “tint” along the shoreline we used to have in XP10 that was achieved by ST coords in water vertex (which color could be also chaged by an art control dref). Since I never found a way to do that in my own meshes using Meshtool I used a script to postprocess each vertex by using normalized values of a given bathymetry raster. This was working as intended (like in default scenery) in XP10, but was totally lost in XP11, I guess due the changes about the “water engine”.
        I’m just talking about aesthetics, hence my question, but it’s good to now that the bathymetry raster embedded into DSF have physical properties 🙂

        1. Part of the tint data might be useful – send me a mesh maybe? (I think it’s defined as wave accessibility and depth in two components but I am _not_ 100% sure).

      1. XP10 was different, but still pretty bad. In both cases the water rendering fails to represent the most important aspects of what makes water look like water.

  6. Was there a change made to the streetlights? I use world2xplane and all my streetlights are now “off”, but there still is spill lights underneath… making for a ugly view 🙁

  7. If it’s any help, the runway (not just the lighting) – seen from the approach – appears as if it has a grey shadow over it (especially at dusk/dawn) and on the approaches I’ve tested in b5 this ‘shadow’ appears to move away along the runway as the aircraft gets closer to it. Only after landing does it resolve itself into an area where runway/taxiway/apron lighting is on but very very dim and displaying no bloom etc. Beyond this ‘shadow’ area the lights are bright as normal.

  8. Hello there!
    Just want to report that this particles system is not “working”/showing on REPLAY MODE. Not sure if anyone have reported that yet.
    Just to let you know!
    Thanks for your great work on this new betas.

  9. Hello all.
    Would it be possible for Laminar to comment on different implementation of shadows and scenery objects density in 11.30? You can see clear difference in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4iV3tYNhN0 (all credits to Captain Nuts).

    I do not want to assume anything, but if this is not a bug, then visuals of 11.30 are with same setting much worse than in 11.26. Is this some kind of hack to get performance lost in 11.30betas back?

  10. Bug filed for none buoyant water for Cessna 172 Float anywhere in North America. Floats drop below and sometimes pop back up and sometime cause crash and burn

  11. Whilst talking about lights, it would be realistic to see aircraft lights, runway lights, apron etc. more intense and brighter under overcast skies or in rain – and opposite effect in clear sunny conditions. Just my little fantasy 😀

      1. Nice suggestion! Maybe a little harder to complete. As a start I would settle with seeing lights being more washed out in bright sunlight, and shine brighter/draw more halo when the skies are grey – and definitely in rainy conditions when the moist air and wet surfaces will make light stand out more prominently.
        Perhaps some solution reside within the reshader’s guild. That I have little clue of how works 🙂

  12. Hi all

    Just one question. In 11.30b3, the contrails and other condensation particle effects where all white (as i think they should be). From 11.30b4 onwards, those effects are grey, like smoke coming out of the wings.
    Is this going to be fixed?

      1. Ok, good. Can’t wait to see it fixed. I’m loving the new particle system in X-Plane

        Thanks, and keep up the great work

  13. The power of the engines and fuel consumption of many aircraft are unbalanced, the appearance it gives is that the aircraft is carrying an anvil together on the ascent and does not reach the toc at all because of lack of power in the engines. Spending so much fuel and not reaching the destination.

  14. Ben, please can we have a fix for the flickering cloud shadows? They are a real immersion breaker, especially in VR and seem even worse than on 11.26. Thanks

    1. +1

      The linked file is a Lua script:

      set( “sim/private/controls/clouds/limit_far”, 0.3)
      set( “sim/private/controls/clouds/cloud_shadow_lighten_ratio”, 0.85)
      set( “sim/private/controls/clouds/shad_radius”, 0.85)

      Will test.

        1. Correct – but this helps Ben by potentially showing what settings improve things, as long as this script still works as originally intended. I didn’t write it, but if it looks better, it’s a gain. This sort of input has been sought, actually.

  15. Ben, I’ve actually experience something that looked very similar to the condensation in the cabin over the wing. I was on a Singapore 747 from Brussels to Singapore that stopped in Zurich during a snow shower. I elected to stay on the plane during the layover, and while they were provisioning for the long leg, they had doors open on both sides, complete with snow blowing in the left side and out the right. Looked a bit like that photo.

  16. Quick update and maybe a clue on the lights issues: in 11.30b5 I’ve noticed obvious ‘polygons’ of missing lights across some of my airports. These are 3rd party airports downloaded from a prolific designer on the .org . When I open them up in WED I’ve found that what I’m seeing are the corners of rectangular exclusion zones, put there to exclude road network (some tracks on airports are marked as road in OSM and need excluding). It looks as though in 11.30b5 these excludes are picking up airport lighting as well…which hasn’t been the case up to now (I’ve been using these airports with no missing lights from the launch of XP11). I also think runway lighting is behaving oddly on sloped runways, outside of these excludes: it looks almost as if the ‘missing’ lights are angled down ‘into’ the ground as opposed to the visible ones which stick up out of the ground? Is this linked to the dodgy upside-down tris identified in an earlier bug fix?

  17. Just been dreaming about something for VR Xplane.
    What if the game starts in a pilots office, smoking coffee and everything. You can chose which plane to fly from an ipad on laying on the desk in front of you. You can pre-plan fms routes on a pc on the desk and load them into the Xplane ATC… you can check (and change) weather forcast on the pc as well. You change the hour/day by manipulating a clock and calendar on the desk. You can change the airport your going to by calling a cab service, or book a trip to an airport on the pc.
    Could be cool… I’m a sucker for immersion.

  18. Thanks for beta 6 guys, looking good apart from getting smoke in the cab when I pull some G’s

    Anyone else confirm that before doing a bug report please.

    1. Hey Dave: I have the same issue flying the default Cessna 172. I just flew the stock Beechcraft Baron with no problem.

  19. Many thanks for beta 6. Runway lights are great!!!.A question i have is rubber marks at runway turnoffs. Maybe? Smaller scale fuel trucks? I have to say wow!!! on this update.

  20. Does beta 6 fix the bug “The lighting is missing for chunks of the runway, city, etc”?
    Thanks for your info.

  21. good performance in B6. I would like to ask again, will we ever see touchdown smoke again in replay, or is that not a priority? It would be nice.

  22. Is there a reason why the XPWidgets_64.dll has a new modified file date Tue, Nov 27 2018 18:56:00 but the XPWidgets_64.so does not Thu, Apr 12 2018 00:34:14?

    Thanks Bill

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