Rembrandt Rendered Evolution
The advanced Rembrandt renderer that was introduced in the previous version, has been extended with a number of post-processing filters:
- Night vision including amplification grain and restrained field of view
- Cinema effect that includes Vignetting, Color shift with Sepia as default value, Radial distortion, Lateral chromatic aberration and Film wear simulation
The use of the renderer by the aircrafts was partial and was done by a small number of models. In 2.10, additional aircrafts have been updated to make use of Rembrandt effects. Here is a list of the Rembrandt ready aircafts
Atmospheric Light Scattering
Light scattering is something that happens in real life, and now also in FlightGear 2.10! The realism that the environment-dependent fog and light computations for clouds and terrain provide to the users of the simulator is simply amazing.
This rendering framework is able to do volumetric ground fog simulation, so fog varies in thickness both horizontally and vertically and also provide realistic ambient and diffuse light curves for sunset and sunrise conditions, making evening flights more realistic.
FlightGear’s advanced weather system can work together with the framework to create wave patterns on the water surface according to the speed and direction of the wind, and shape the clouds according to the prevailing winds, terrain slopes and stability of the lower atmosphere!
For the more powerful graphics cards there’s high resolution close-up texturing effects with up to 10 cm detail resolution and dynamically added bumpmap for low-level flight and better depth perception and environmental effects such as terrain wetness, dustiness, mossiness, and snow cover. All that is configurable and adjustable by the user.
While not exactly as wonderfully looking as commercial simulators, FlightGear has always been resource-thirsty and generally not very well performing. Thankfully, users can adjust the level of detail, or enable/disable certain effects to gain more fps.
On this version, FlightGear’s performance received some attention by the developers and the promises include startup time and memory occupancy reduction, and also higher fps when using 3D clouds.
New and updated Aircraft
There are many new and updated aircrafts on this release so here is a list that includes only some of them:
- The Boeing 777 has improved cockpit, PFD and NavDisplay.
- The Dassault Mirage 2000-5 has various instrumentation, HUD and stores added.
- The Douglas A-4F Skyhawk has an improved FDM and cockpit, including terrain-clearance radar and navigational computer.
- The Hawker Hurricane has improved FDM and cockpit.
- The Mudry Cap 10B, a classic French two-seat training aerobatic aircraft has been added by the PAF team.
The new Buccaneer S2
The regional textures is an effort to create region-specific texture-sets, for more realistic terrain that begun on the 2.8 version. On this version we had the addition of regional textures for the Caribbean, Tropical South America and Iceland.
Egypt desert and rice fields in Indonesia
Canvas System Improvements
One of FlightGear’s great powers (for the user) is the ability to create (relatively easy) new instruments, HUDs and even dialogs and custom GUI widgets using FlightGear’s built-in scripting language Nasal. The Canvas can also be used for the creation of complex glass cockpit displays like navigational displays and other MFDs.
Canvas improvements in this release include:
- Lazy updating/rendering to improve performance in situations where a texture doesn’t need to be redrawn
- Creating GUI windows, including popup menus or menubars
- Native copy/paste via 2 new Nasal extension functions
- Nested canvases, where a canvas may contain images created by another canvas texture
- Window stacking
- Raster images (vector images were already supported)
- Improved event handling GUI events using osgGA
- A new DOM-based event handling system
FlightGear 2.10 has almost landed, but testing is the most important thing for the development right now. Go grab the source code that will take you to the skies and report any problems on the mailing list or forums.
The changelog is not yet completed so expect more amazing things soon. We will fully review the simulator when version 2.10 is officially out.