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HDR and PBR development

I'm creating this discussion so that we can discuss HDR/PBR development of FG and our FGUK aicraft.

This also serves as a HDR gallery for all the awesome pics of any aircraft in its full HDR/PBR glory.



  • HDR doesnt work properly on my system. I have to change view angles and views to find an angle where the whole screen shows up and isnt partially or completely black.

  • Topic HDR

    HDR is COOL it's not a question for me. In my opinion that is the future of FG.

    If I were to criticize HDR, the screenshots have a bit too much yellow in them. So the question arises, what does FG with HDR look like when the sky is completely filled with gray clouds and what does it look like in winter mode?

    Topic PBR

    PBR is COOL it's not a question for me. In my opinion that is the future of FG.

    I can't see the power of PBR in the screenshots. That means I get the same effect if I paint the red livery with different red values and then apply a reflection shader to the fuselage.

    I also see a normal map that is far too strong for the tires. I can get this effect even without PBR!

    But PBR can do more!

    In the DCS video you can see the different metal effects on the wing and I can't do that in FG. Video 0.43 sec. Video 1.01 sec.


    There is a way to go.

  • Well, do bare in mind that some of these pics are before and after, as is the case with the normal maps on the tires, a lot of stuff is already fixed. As for the yellow hue in the SCs I can't do much about that because that's HDR's fault.

    The comparison you made to DCS is possible in FG as that's exactly what I did with the fuselage and wings of the J3Cub. You can see different scuff marks and levels of roughness, all that is possible with ORM and normal maps. ORM maps control the metalness, roughness and ambient occlusion, with that you can get cool effects like the one you showed in DCS with different levels of shininess and metalness.

    Maybe the PBR effects will be more visible on this pics of the DC-3 I converted:

    Recap: You wouldn't be able to achieve such level of detail with other shaders like model-combined-deferred, because they use different types of renedering. The PBR materials are meant to be subtle like in real life so they might not be that visible on screenshots but if you take a closer look you start to notice different details of the materials.

    The best thing would be if you tried the aircraft that I showed in the screens for yourself because only in the real live environment, where the sun always hits the materials differently and stuff like that, you can get the idea what PBR really looks like and what effects it produces.

  • YESSSS.... now I see it ! Now the power is there. : )

    Now it is a taste thing that aircraft looks more new or old...COOL

  • And HDR looks in daylight also good. A bit of a yellow tint in daylight is OK

  • Yeah, I absolutely love PBR. One could be fooled that this is MSFS or XP 12 lol.

  • Yes it looks really great and it cost nothing. 00000000000000 EURO DOLLAR or whatever... : )

  • Is this included in the Nightly Builds now?


  • yes and no. Getting to run is a pain in the arse. Getting it to run in a usable state ( for me ) is near impossible yet

  • Looks purty on Cyber's machine but I'll wait until it's baked a little longer.


  • I'm waiting for it to come to the stable release, I don't trust myself with nightly builds XD



    Callsigns: G-ORBI

  • I have got a universal glass shader working which works with both normal and HDR lighting.

    But with HDR, I need to find out why my screen randomly does this:-

  • Wow.....looking cool when it works.


  • I managed to do a video without too many glitches. A black screen just after landing...

  • Timi did you get lower FPS with HDR enable?

  • I can't run HDR with as high settings as I normally do because it crashes FG with HDR.

    But if anything causes a lower FPS, it's the photoscenery which is somewhere between

    zoom level 17 and 18. The zoom level 18 textures are slightly downsized to fit the

    maximum size of 16384 x 16384 pixels per texture my GPU can handle.

  • The black artifacts are appearing because the airport you're at has set the starting position of the camera is below ground. To fix this try holding T or changing the time so that the shader gets updated.

  • Also, it would be great if all the aircraft would have the universal glass shader so that we could fly our aircraft in HDR or ALS. And it doesn't look half bad even without PBR. If you want I could do that or you, whatever you prefer.

  • I will release it once I test it on a few different aircraft, which is difficult due to the black screen stuff popping up randomly.

  • edited November 2023

    You could try the solution I proposed and see if it'll work for you.

  • Its not that. I can be happily sitting in the cockpit or on an external view, and the blackness will suddenly pop in.

  • edited November 2023

    This looks amazing! Does one need a decent computer and graphics card to utilise thiese developments? (ie, i may have to spend some money).

    Anything to add some realism, such as photo scenery and this lovely rendering wins in my book!

    Thanks for sharing the progress!

  • Gazelle looks good with HDR, but im now looking for a way to alter the levels of reflection per livery. Currently, there all polished and new looking.

  • Maybe try the Effects/model-pbr for the fuselage. It seems to take the excessive reflectivity away.

  • @stuartc

    Yeah that'd work but the problem is that if you use that shader the aircraft does not work in ALS anymore. You can try two tags in your model-combined effect, one is pbr-roughness and the other is pbr-metallic, but those two are primarily not meant for aircraft developers instead they are used for buildings and scenery developers. Also my recomendation would be to go through this post that basically describes the whole process how I got PBR working

    I would recommend that firstly you test the model-pbr shader and see if it works in ALS and HDR if you don't apply any normal, ORM maps. For different levels of metalness and roughness you have to use the metallic-factor and roughness-factor tags with the model-pbr effect.

    Then when you have the base shader set up you have to specify different values for metalness and roughness on a per livery basis, I did this by creating two new tags inside the livery xml under the livery tag. I created a metalness and a shininess tag and set them both to type float then I could change the levels of those two values for each livery independently. I then went back to the effect file and under the pbr-roughness, pbr-metallic (for model-combined), metallic-factor and roughness-factor (for model-pbr) I added a <use>sim/model/livery/metalness</use> or a <use>sim/model/livery/shininess</use> in between the tags because that told the shader what values a specific livery has.

    I hope I steered you in the right direction, as for the lights, that I saw you ask about on the forum, I have not yet got any lights working on any of my aircraft so I cannot be of great assistance there lol.

  • That Gazelle looks so amazing, with HDR the sim look much more like something similar to MSFS or XP. Amazing work!



    Callsigns: G-ORBI

  • Test video with the gazelle.

  • Wow stuart that gazelle looks absolutely stunning. Did you find the PBR post useful?

  • Not yet I didnt.

    Basically to remain fully compatible, the aircraft will need 2 shader files. Ether one being active depending on HDR being active or not ( for fuselage, not glass which works as required ).

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