Improved Volumetric Cloud Rendering

The Prepar3D v5.3 update is packed with numerous performance, visual, and usability improvements. Updates to weather systems including optimized cloud and terrain blending, dynamic lighting on precipitation, improved sun and moon lighting, and better fog visuals make training in difficult conditions and locations even more immersive. Performance has been improved across the whole platform including areas with dense content, traffic, and weather rendering. Additionally a vast amount of default content including buildings, landmarks, and airport vehicles have been updated to PBR textures.

Atmospherics and PBR Improvements

New development features including clear coat support, additive PBR materials, PBR support for autogen annotation, and multiple improvements to sloped airport creation give developers even more tools to create high quality content. Additionally the in-application Development menu has been expanded adding additional tools and features designed to streamline content development and testing including access to the Visual FX and Traffic Toolbox tools within the application and real-time HTML5 content debugging with webkit inspector views.

Please be aware that unlike previous version updates both content and scenery are required to be updated with version 5.3. Completely uninstalling the previous verions and running the full installer is recommended.

The following list of updates has been categorized based on the installer required. The Client, Content, and Scenery installers are required for Prepar3D v5.3, however the SDK installer is optional. You must first have Prepar3D v5 installed to utilize the Client only installer.

To install the Prepar3D v5.3 Client, you must first uninstall the previous Prepar3D v5.0/v5.1/v5.2 Client through Programs and Features in Windows Control Panel. Do not deactivate your license when prompted. If you selected to deactivate your license during uninstallation of your current Client, your will be prompted to reactivate Prepar3D. Please view the Prepar3D v5 Download and Installation Instructions for more information.

Prepar3D Client

New Features

  • Added motion blur option.
  • Added option to adjust font size.
  • Road traffic can now be applied to all roads.
  • Added support for clear coat PBR textures.
  • Precipitation now supports dynamic lighting.
  • Program threads including the main and rendering thread can now be specified to run on a different logical processor.
  • Added webkit inspector support for HTML5 panels.

Fixes and Improvements

  • Improved rendering and program performance.
  • Improved cloud appearance when intersecting terrain.
  • Improved application load times and load times with add-on scenery content.
  • Improved fog appearance.
  • Fog layers now account for earth curvature.
  • Fixed issue preventing bathymetry from rendering correctly when Enhanced Atmospherics is disabled.
  • Fixed issue where COM TRANSMIT state would not be serialized for remote multiplayer objects.
  • Added “Enable Independent Radio Control” multiplayer option allowing pilot and copilot to communicate on separate frequencies.
  • Fixed issue where radios would not correctly update when switching vehicles with the avatar.
  • Fixed issue where externally set radio frequencies would not be clear and not displayed correctly in multiplayer chat window.
  • Fixed issues when changing multiplayer roles in structured scenarios.
  • Improved multiplayer voice latency and improved voice transmission performance.
  • Multiplayer voice playback buffers can now be configured.
  • Improved road traffic performance.
  • Updated Enhanced Atmospheric celestial object rendering.
  • Material scripting units are no longer required to match the property’s documented units.
  • LLA and wind/direction information are now displayed on separate lines in the information text overlay. Slew information text is now defaulted to LLA.
  • Improved road traffic handling of overpasses and lane count changes.
  • Fixed issue where moving the host on the map while in multiplayer would change the time of day.
  • Adjusted Enhanced Atmospherics storm radius and lightning frequency.
  • Fixed issue where information text would still open in position below menu bar when menu bar was hidden.
  • Fixed issue where multiplayer menu options would not always update when entering a multiplayer session.
  • Improved depth handling of volumetric clouds.
  • Fixed issue with model-based portals preventing them from drawing in sync with user aircraft position updates.
  • Fixed issue causing number of taxiway signs to be limited.
  • Runway demarcation lines are now yellow.
  • Improved weather rendering performance.
  • Improved platform hit detection and loading performance.
  • Fixed issue where mobile scenery objects could float over platforms.
  • Fixed issue causing errors in mixture control when loading scenarios in some cases.
  • Updated procedure transitions to connect last arrival waypoint to initial approach waypoint in GPS when applicable.
  • Added support for visual runway extension approaches.
  • Panel system now supports the setting of string variables for SimObjects.
  • Fixed multiplayer issue where views would reset when changing positions on the map.
  • Reduced waypoint hit distance for approaches on final.
  • Fixed issue where particles would not display on multiple video cards.
  • Fixed various issues with the Weather UI preventing specific weather station setting from applying correctly.
  • Fixed crash that could occur when having the map open while changing locations.
  • GPS broadcasting state is now shown in Information text.
  • Fixed issue preventing arrivals and departures from drawing in the GPS when selected.
  • Fixed issue preventing GPS operations from syncing correctly in shared cockpit.
  • Fixed issue where lightning could spawn above the cloud layer in some cases.
  • Fixed crash that could occur when assigning an attached world object to a waypoint list in SimDirector.
  • Updated sun size and brightness.
  • Virtual Cockpit translucency effect now support PBR aircraft.
  • Fixed cases where saving a new flight plan would not cause it to activate.
  • Improved waypoint hit behavior for points on final.
  • Fixed issues preventing all panels from being accessible in SimDirector through panel window actions.
  • The Visual FX Tool and Traffic Toolbox are now available through the Tools->Development menu.
  • Fixed issue preventing VR help text setting from respecting user settings.
  • Improved SimDirector catalog load times when add-on content is installed. Removed load friendly name setting, this is now always enabled.
  • Added VR settings to disable floating VR UI panels.
  • Improved vsync handling.
  • Vehicle state is now preserved by default when joining multiplayer.
  • Added developer menu option to clear the container configuration cache.
  • Improved lens flare visibility.
  • Added current time to information text.
  • Road lights now turn on during dawn/dusk instead of only at night.
  • PBR combiner glass material can now be used as a HUD stencil.
  • Fixed cases where the crash dialog would stay open after scenario reset.
  • Fixed issue preventing GPS approach loaded state from syncing in shared cockpit.
  • Improved middle mouse drag camera movement behavior.
  • Fixed issue preventing vehicle custom cameras from showing in the menu on initial load.
  • Fixed issue causing objects to be thrown offscreen when using the translation gizmo in SimDirector near window bounds.
  • Fixed issue where right clicking would sometimes snap cursor to a different position.
  • Fixed issue where taxiway intersections would render the wrong surface type in some cases.
  • Fixed issue where sun and moon reflections would be misaligned in some cases.
  • Fixed issue where weather visibility would be invalid in observer views with Enhanced Atmospherics disabled.
  • Fixed issue where graphics settings menu option would be disabled after a recording playback finished.
  • Fixed issue causing distorted sounds when loading scenarios in some cases.
  • Fixed crash that could occur in map view when changing locations or airports with map open.
  • Fixed issue preventing generic buildings from correctly positioning on the ground in some cases.
  • Added depth support to orthographic views.
  • Added Simvars and gps support for querying approach procedure Final Approach Fix and Missed Approach Point waypoint index, as well as queries to get LLAs of approach waypoints.
  • Added cfg option that will regenerate display list at startup.
  • Fixed issue preventing missed approach segments from rendering as dashed lines in flight plan map.

Fixes and Improvements (Professional Plus Only)

  • DIS voice playback buffers can now be configured.
  • Fixed issue where DIS entities could not use TriggerProperty.
  • Fixed issue where velocities would not be set on DIS entities when dead reckoning was disabled.
  • Fixed issue where DIS entity angular velocity would clamp while moving.

Prepar3D Content

Fixes and Improvements

  • Updated additional content to PBR textures including:

    • Generic and auto generated buildings
    • Airport hangars and parking spaces
    • Animals and landmarks
    • Ground, water, and airport vehicles
    • Mission objects
    • City textures
  • Contrail and vapor effects are now correctly shaded at night.
  • Updated runway and taxiway marking textures.
  • Scrolling text now displays in the HTML5 information text overlay.
  • Information text now displays in VR when using HTML5.
  • Updated lightning effects.
  • Updated milky way texture.
  • Updated panel instance names in missionpanels.cfg.
  • Added default weapon loadouts to the F-35 and F-22.
  • Texture improvements to the CUASE.

Prepar3D Scenery

Fixes and Improvements

  • Updated additional content to PBR textures including:

    • Generic and auto generated buildings
    • Airport hangars and parking spaces
    • Animals and landmarks
    • Ground, water, and airport vehicles
    • Mission objects
    • City textures
  • Updated milky way texture.
  • Fixed water issues near Unalakleet, AK.
  • Various airport updates including EGGD, KAFF, KIND, LNFB, NZMF, and UUEE.
  • Fixed typos in dialog text in the Introduction to Mountain Flying scenario.

Prepar3D SDK

New Features

  • Improvements to sloped airport creation including exportable shape files from 3dsMax files allowing for terrain modification, projection polygons for sloped aprons, and improved taxiway and apron intersections.
  • Added support for clear coat PBR materials.
  • Adding alpha to coverage support for PDK quad draws.
  • Updated Annotator tool to allow for PBR material support for autogen placement files. This requires corresponding object textures to be PBR.
  • Added HUD stencil rendering support via PDK.
  • 3ds Max 2022 is now supported.
  • Added additive render mode to 3ds Max and material scripts.
  • Added multiplayer custom packet support to the PDK and sample.

Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed texture paths and filenames in Oil Rig sample.
  • Thickness of rope visual effect can now be adjusted.
  • Flight plan approaches, arrivals, and departures can now be unloaded.
  • Font and font size can now be set for GPS map gauges.
  • Added camera frustum getter to PDK.

The Lockheed Martin Prepar3D team loves hearing about your experiences with Prepar3D at our Forums. The forums also give us an opportunity to listen to your feedback as we continue Prepar3D development. We’ve partnered with our forum users and with several featured developers to continue to bring added features, enhancements, and optimizations all while enabling additional backwards compatibility, making bug fixes, and improving stability.

Thank you for your continued support for Prepar3D.