IMPORTANT: I’ve now upgraded to P3Dv5 but, sadly, did not have room on my system to retain my old P3Dv4.5. This means I can no longer develop or test PTA or Tomatoshade presets, as neither have been updated for P3Dv5. Anyone that has updated to P3Dv4.5 Hotfix3 should try using the latest/last presets available here (for Hotfix2) and use them as a starting point. P3D lighting/shading doesn’t change that much between versions, so you should be roughly in the same ball park.

I often get asked what settings I use for P3D – but there are simply too many variables and what works on my system can look terrible on others. Even identical setups with near as identical hardware can produce different results. It’s a black art and, to be honest, not fully understood by yours truly!

Here’s a rough idea as to how/why my settings end up the way they are:

  • I’ve beta-tested for various people so I need to keep my system as “standard” as possible – not to “mix and match” too much. However – I use a combination of products to arrive at a fairly standard set of textures which I then rarely change.
  • For similar reasons, I don’t use any other shader mods: PTA or Tomatoshade and that’s it.
  • I have a very mediochre (I mean OLD) system*, that runs like a slide-show when maxed out for the visuals required to test presets. It’s difficult to sustain these settings for general simming – so hardly worth passing on. In a nutshell, though, it’s more or less a case of all the sliders to the right!!!
  • I have nVidia profiles (Inspector and Control Panel) that I use and rarely change – but again, that’s likely to be *very* hardware-dependent and not much use to others with different hardware.
  • I don’t use 10-day presets, as that would introduce too much randomness whilst tweaking new presets. I just stick with the basic themes etc.
  • After a clean client reinstall, clouds are usually added by REX (either TextureDirect or Environment/Sky Force). Skies are sometimes part of my default REX theme or one I’ve ported over from FEX days. I generally stick with that, but occasionally use ActiveSky/ASCA to test presets out.
  • For the odd occasion when I’m actually NOT tweaking (ie. hardly ever!), I let ActiveSky do some live stuff, just for fun.

To sum up: be warned – choice of sky palette is absolutely crucial, as it seems to affect everything – brightness, contrast, saturation and colouring of the terrain – so find a good combination of sky/cloud/water textures that work well for you and stick to it. Time of day/season and maybe some live WX can still give you plenty of variation.

I’m too old to train to be an airline pilot, so my simming tends to stray more towards “eye candy” than systems and procedures. As a result, many of my presets may not be the very best if pure performance is what you’re after. Me – I’ve always like slide shows anyway!

So … it’s unlikely that I’ll get suckered into posting my detailed settings here: themes, NVI profiles, P3D.cfg edits etc. … it’s a minefield and I’d rather be simming or working on the next preset … sorry!

* System specs (for what it’s worth) – nothing overclocked:
P3Dv4.5 HF2 | XP11.35
Intel i7 2600K @ 3.40-4.69GHz | 16GB DDR3 @665Mhz | nVidia GTX970 4GB | Win10x64 Pro | Combination of HD and SSD