New spotting videos from IL-2’s Jason Williams

The 1CGS team continues to work hard on an issue that has bugged a great many of us in IL-2: Great Battles – aircraft spotting. Some improvements to this feature are on the way and three new videos are showing off what the revised system is looking like with the new haze features working as well. Let’s have a look!

Spotting improved!

The most frustrating part of the IL-2: Great Battles experience, particularly in multiplayer, is spotting. For whatever reason, it came up more on the radar in the last year and although it has been improved somewhat there’s still room to do better.

In some situations, having my wingman and I complete a 180 degree turn, knowing we’re close to each other, but still utterly unable to see one another until we narrowed our field of view and finally been able to spot has been troublesome. So have practically invisible aircraft that came out of nowhere. A quick check of the track later and sure enough, they were there, but I wouldn’t have likely ever seen them while scanning the sky even though they were within visual range.

The last time improvements were made, we were able to see aircraft further away but once they got in close they seemed to disappear again. Many didn’t like the system and so many servers turned it off too meaning I only ever saw it in single player. Now we’re making some progress towards a unified system that we’ll hopefully be standardized on come the next patch.

New videos out

Jason Williams has released three new videos showing off the effect of the new haze system has on clear, medium and heavy haze weather conditions. I recommend watching these at 1440p or above as that is where the YouTube compression system is least intrusive.

The higher the amount of haze, the more it seems easy to spot aircraft close up because they contrast more and are clearer than the terrain behind them. On clear days you’ll likely be able to spot aircraft further away but with slightly less contrast. It should make for some interesting scenarios and I am glad to see more weather conditions enter into IL-2: Great Battles.

Look for these improvements in the next patch.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Blue 5 says:

    After a quick watch it seems like an improvement. As you observed, there now appears more contrast which seems to me as though it mimics the eyes adjusting to the correct focal length for an object so that once you have seen it you can look away and back but pick it up again immediately.

    I was thinking this at the beach this weekend. Lots of light aircraft passing by which you generally heard before you saw. Was easy to scan back and forth but miss one. However, once seen and the eyes ‘dialled in’ to the range, you could look all around you and back but with immediate recapturing of vision as your brain knew at what range to focus

    Liked by 1 person

  2. =RS= Funkie says:

    @blue 5
    I think once an object is further than 6 meters away focal range isn’t a factor. it’s like in photography, the eye adjusting for focus is much more important for close objects.
    However, using your beach example, the brain is really good at pattern recognition, so perhaps it’s more to do with your brain not quite knowing what pattern to look for until you see it the first time. But once you see it, your brain stores the shape, size, contrast away. And can therefore more easily be found when glancing back.


    1. Blue 5 says:

      Hi Funkie,

      I may be using the wrong term. It is quite easy for eyes focussing at something in the foreground to miss something small in the background, though whether this is a physical or neurological issue (ie eyes or brain) I am not sure. It could well be the brain is looking for a pattern that it assumes will be there (aircraft certain size in certain direction) and therefore misses the reality (aircraft in slightly different direction and smaller). Certainly I know I have started right ‘past’ objects which a second later I have realised where there when I got the ‘focus’ correct, after which they stuck out.

      Jonnie Johnson used to stick a small pin in the wall of his room while his eyes were closed, walk back to the bed, face the wall and open his eyes. He then sought to find the pin as quickly as possible. Obviously he knew roughly where it was, but it takes a few seconds for your eyes / brain to ‘focus’ for want of a better word at the correct distance in order to notice small objects at a distance (a pin at 10 feet being probably similar to a 190 at 1,000 ft). Re-reading Ritichie’s 1940 account the other day, he found he had to relax his eyes and ‘de-focus’ so that he was not starting but more replying on peripheral vision to detect contrast and movement. I think this may be the other half of the same phenomenon, but as much a brain issue (looking at something definite focusses the neurons to the detriment of wider perception) as the eyes. Certainly I have read in several places that contacts were often spotted not where one was looking but 10 – 20 degrees off to one side where a small flash, colour change or movement caught the attention.

      I really look forward to the new spotting system as the video posted by Jason seem to me better reflective of reality. Using a standard RIFT, things are difficult to see and vanish as well as lacking that movement contrast which tends to alert the brain. Hopefully this will represent a step towards greater reality of situational awareness.

      Liked by 1 person

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