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Quality of lighting in P3D


Luke Hall

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Luke Hall

I recently been tinkering with EA and am amazed by the difference in the quality of lighting. Both Internal and external lighting is utterly superior with EA turned on, to the point where I can’t stand the look of the sim without it now. Without EA, HDR is non-existent and lighting is flat and unrealistic. The problem though is that EA clouds are hideous and the whole world is cloaked in a perpetual layer of poor viz.

What I don’t understand is why the cockpit lighting is fundamentally affected by whether EA is on or off? 

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Stu Antonio

Tbh, cockpit lighting is my main reason why I still stay away from EA. The cockpit is way too dark for my taste with EA on. I mean, look at some of the screenshots here in the forum, it‘s almost black on mid day cruising altitude...

Prepar3D Screenshot 2021.04.01 - 19.41.09.86.png
 

But I‘m sure the will keep inproving this technology and maybe we‘ll even see some shader tweaking possibilities for cockpit lighting some day... 

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J0hannes Butz

I think this is due to getting a more realistic representation of what the real world is like. Most pilots wear sunglasses because of the high brightness outside (which should theoretically be counteracted by "auto exposure").

I've found this video explaining how to calibrate a HDR monitor/TV for proper EA depiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Iw-B37KZys&t=638s

Since I'm not running a HDR monitor, I'm using EnvShade (which is pretty cheap) with cloud brightness and HDR contrast turned all the way down. With this I'm pretty happy and must agree to all of your points. I also really like EA.

 

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Luke Hall

There is clearly something very fundamentally different about the whole lighting system with EA enabled. It brings a much deeper range of contrasts and colour depth to both internal and external scenes. Look at the difference in PBR materials behaviour for instance. With EA enabled, reflections on the aircraft's external surfaces and the way light interacts with them is really dynamic. The depth of the colours and reflections really pops compared to when EA is turned off. It looks much more like the lighting quality of MSFS. Whith it turned off, surfaces look bland, flat and comparatively washed out. They have very little depth to them.

I agree that if you switch from non EA to EA turned on, the cockpit will at first appear to be too dark. However, if you then calibrate your settings correctly for EA, the realism and dynamic nature of the lighting becomes far more natural and realistic, as does the scenery lighting and just about everything else. It's a pity that the vol fog is way too thick in the current build, along with poor cloud models but I'm hoping this will improve with time.

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