Lockheed Martin has announced Prepar3D version 4.4 is now available.
According to the developer, the new update is the largest and most comprehensive point release to date. As well as adding several new features to the platform, it also includes multiple fixes and further expansion of Prepar3D’s open development architecture.
A focal point of this release is the core rendering engine has been updated to fully support Physically Based Rendering (PBR). New content created using PBR will allow all different types of materials, including metals, plastics, concrete, and glass, to be rendered and lit based on their unique physical properties. Photoreal textures can now be rendered at a resolution of 512×512 and 1024×1024, providing up to 16 times the detail in previous versions.
In addition, scenery objects can now be drawn at further distances, most add-ons will no longer require a restart when enabling or disabling them inside the application, moon lighting and cloud appearances at night has been overhauled, and to showcase the new PBR pipeline, the native F-16 aircraft materials have been updated to PBR. Various updates to Virtual Reality (have also been implemented such as added Augmented Reality (AR) support using pass-through cameras on standard Vive headsets.
Some of the main fixes and improvements include:
- Optimizations to water rendering.
- Fixed flight planner issues
- Improved SpeedTree rendering performance.
- Fixed scenery library sorting issues.
- Fixed issue that could cause minor visual artefacts in some aircraft models.
- Fixed issues with certain taxiway and apron path intersections.
- Various avatar movement improvements.
- Increased max frame rate limit from 60 to 120.
- Added finer resolution to Helicopter autopilot altitude hold.
- Changed default HDR Brightness, Bloom, and Saturation levels back to 1.0.
- Updated beacon lights to use dynamic lighting and removed cone geometry.
- Fixed crash that could occur during startup if error conditions were present.
- Various improvements to the camera
Prepar3D Scenery Improvements
A trench running through large areas in Iran has been fixed and several military jets have been added to the AI traffic. New scenery objects have been introduced, including warehouses, wooden shipping crates, wooden pallets, and military tents.
Finally, the Prepar3D SDK has also received several updates including new modelling tools to support creating PBR content.
To read the full release notes, click here for the Prepar3D website.
The following images are comparison shots, showcasing the default F-16 with PBR textures on and off. (All images: Robert McCarthy, Lockheed Martin)