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Night/low vis


fudabidu
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Hi,

I've been a virtual Ka-50 vet for many years and I'm still not bored by it, as I push it more and more towards its limits.

Almost 8 years after my first flight I'm looking more closely at night operations and that's where I'm a little bit disappointed about the fact that certain things haven't been addressed since the initial release.

 

1 - Shkval A2A tracking

The Shkval is supposed to track based on contrast, but it's impossible to acquire a target from more than ~6km during sunset, even if there is a lot of contrast between the target and the sky.

In DCS the Shkval doesn't seem to care about contrast at all, instead it has a max range based on time of day, or more accurately height of the sun (so it works 'as intended' during all seasons). This is acceptable for ground units (as they can be tracked rather easily manually) but when a plane or chopper is clearly silhouetted against the sky, it's not.

This is really aggravating when the AI doesn't seem to have this kind of problem, especially when you're low to the ground, where spotting you would be really difficult.

 

2 - Cockpit illumination

I'll be linking to a dedicated imgur album here since it's easier than explaining.

http://imgur.com/a/KloAq

I looked through some LUA files and found every screen has an omni-light attached to it. If those would at least cast a shadow, it would get rid of the HUD problem when using NVGs.

 

3 - ABRIS brightness

I should have taken a screenshot of this as well, but I sadly didn't remember until now.

Adjusting the brightness will not change the brightness, but the opacity of every individual element. It simply shouldn't be like this and it can make reading the ABRIS difficult when elements start overlapping.

If the ABRIS is rendered to a texture, which is then displayed in cockpit, it shouldn't be hard to adjust the brightness of that texture instead.

Alternatively, you could put a black square on top of everything else and have the brightness knob only affect this square.

 

These are literally the only complaints I have with this module. As far as I understand it these shortcomings are the results of technical limitations back in the day. Hardware has improved since then and I think it's time to give the Black Shark the final polish it deserves.

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A computationally practical image analysis track would be really cool. I don't know how practical it is. Making dead units just as lockable as live units would be a good change.

 

NVGs would struggle to see inside cockpit clearly being manually focused units. It would be like looking at a book with low powered binoculars which are adjusted for looking far away. If it was computed without concern for performance the through-NVG view would not be focused looking near but under/around view would be.

 

Didn't notice ABRIS bright effect but if it's like you say your idea sounds like a simple improvement.

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as for the Shkval bleeding into the HUD:

open the mainpanel_init.lua

 

illumination_from_shkval = 
{
lighttype 		= "omni",
position  		= {0.5,-0.45,0},
attenuation 	= {0,1,1,0.1},
}

 

either try these values (i think they fixed it for me, did not touch the Ka50 in ages)

it does not get rid of it completely but at least the light is at a better spot and a little less bright

'controlling' the Ka50 feels like a discussion with the Autopilot and trim system about the flight direction.

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Don't think image analysis is gonna be an option for a while, if ever.

DCS just checks if there is a live object under the 'cursor' and then applies its magic visibility-formula to determine if you can lock or not. All EO and IR sights work that way as far as I can tell.

 

I'd be happy if choppers and planes would be treated slightly differently, assuming they are not landed.

If silhouetted against the sky, the target is at higher altitude than the player. When a ray is cast from the Shkval through the target, it shouldn't hit terrain for another X km (based on atmospheric conditions like fog) ...

Point is: you can come up with a set of rules to determine if a target is clearly visible or not.

 

 

Mainpanel_init.lua was the file I was thinking about.

I'm gonna test your values but it doesn't solve the problem. I've looked at that cockpit so much, little details like that jump at me and damn the HUD illumination can jump very well :P

If only there was "omni-shadow" that could be used instead (hint!). Since the illumination range is limited, it wouldn't eat into performance terribly.

Also, the new integrity check would probably block this change and I'm not planning on playing on servers where somebody could fire AIM-120s with nuclear warheads.

 

Edit: was able to log in to a server with IC. I've heard about people getting kicked off for "tainted client" late, will see if that happens as well. If not, it's an improvement, but would still like an omni-shadow.


Edited by fudabidu
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