The Graphics Options dialog box includes the following tabs: Display, World, Lighting, and Weather. The Display tab contains options that globally affect the way Prepar3D runs.
When you installed the application, the setup program automatically chose the best overall general options for your computer's hardware. The Display tab in the Graphics Options dialog box lets you customize things to look and perform the way you want it to. You may want to display higher detail in airports and cities, or you may want greater definition in mountains and valleys. You can also choose whether to display special effects and shadows.
Depending on your computer, graphics options may affect performance. Experiment with the options to find the combination of performance and appearance that you like best.
To open the Display options
- On the Options menu, click Graphics...
- Select Display
The Display options include:
- Graphics Global Options
- Image and Texture Quality
- Hardware Tessellation
- Full Screen Options
- Frame Rate Controls
- View and Panel Options
Graphics Global Options
Use the Display Global Settings list to control the general quality. The choice you make in this list box automatically affects the options in the rest of this screen. Selecting Graphics options individually below sets the global options to Custom. You are able to save current options as a configuration file.
To reload custom graphic options
- On the Graphics Options Display tab, click Save.
- Save the configuration file with a unique name.
- Select the custom profile from the drop down menu.
Image and Texture Quality
Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA) Makes jagged edges of rendered images appear smoother by analyzing the final image and smoothing edges.
Multi-sample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) improves image quality by taking the specified number of samples to determine the coverage of rendered pixels and blend them to form the rendered image.
Filtering makes textures appear less "blocky". Anisotropic filtering provides the highest quality of texture filtering, yielding a crisper image.
The maximum allowed texture resolution. Higher resolution textures can improve graphics quality, but require more memory.
Hardware Tessellation generates terrain on GPU enabling advanced features including dynamic lighting, improved terrain paging performance, and smoother frame rates on higher end graphics cards. Changing the tessellation enabling will require a restart of Prepar3D.
Full Screen Settings
A computer screen is made up of tiny dots called pixels. The more pixels used to draw an image on screen, the higher its display resolution and the more detail visible. The numbers in the Full screen resolution list indicate the number of pixels displayed as well as the depth of color. For example, 1024 x 768 x 32 refers to 1024 pixels x 768 pixels x 32 million colors. A setting of 1280 x 720 x 32 will show more detail than a setting of 1024 x 768 x 32, and objects on the screen will also appear smaller. These options only affect the display when running in full-screen mode, not in windowed mode. Only the resolutions supported by your video card will be displayed in the list. Experiment with resolutions to find the one that works best for you.
Some computer systems are equipped with more than one video graphics card; select the card that provides the best performance.
Select the resolution that Prepar3D should display at.
Black-out Desktop, when unchecked, will have application style windows but also allows you to access the desktop as if still in windowed mode.
Auto-fill Main View will have the main view automatically fill all monitors as it spans.
Frame Rate Controls
Target frame rate
In a movie theater, the film generally runs past the projector's lens at a rate of 24 frames per second. At this speed, the human eye cannot detect the fact that the film is actually a series of rapidly changing still pictures. Like a movie, computer programs are rendered on a computer screen one frame at a time. This happens at a high frame rate so it seems like a constantly moving picture.
For some computers, it may be advantageous to limit the target frame rate. By limiting the upper end of the frame rate, the computer does not spend any more resources than necessary to render the selected frame rate. Resources not used to increase the frame rate beyond that setting can be used for other tasks like rendering clouds or drawing scenery in the distance. Experiment to find the frame rate that works best for you.
Screen tearing occurs when the video display is not in sync with the display's refresh cycle, thus displaying a "tear" in the screen image. Vertical Synchronization (VSync) prevents the graphics card from modifying the display memory until after the monitor finishes its current refresh cycle. When Triple Buffering is checked, the consistency with which the display is swapped with the next image can be improved since there are two back buffers waiting to be flipped to the front image already drawn on the monitor.
View and Panel Options
Wide-view Aspect Ratio
The wide view aspect ratio setting changes the width of the viewing angle.
Above, you can see standard to the left and wide-view to the right.
Mipmap VC Panels
Mipmap VC Panels will improve the appearance of the virtual cockpit panels by enabling mipmapping. This uses extra memory on the graphics card, but it greatly improves the distraction of the jittery cockpit while flying. The one on the top shows the VC with no mipmapping. The one on the bottom shows the VC with mipmapping turned on. Notice how all the lines on the panels have a smooth appearance with mipmapping on.
2-D panel transparency
This is the percentage that open 2-D panels will be transparent against the sim background.