No Money Mondays: Better Heat Effect

By
Keizo Ono
September 16, 2019

Sometimes people will tell you that small details don't mean much. Well they're simply wrong, as small details are everything these days. Whether in the real world or cruising the virtual skies, every detail counts.

This week's No Money Monday is small (the download is less than one kilobyte!), but very meaningful to anyone's sim experience. So without further ado, let's take a look at Better Heat Effect.

As you may know, Laminar Research introduced a new particle system back when X-Plane 11.30 was released. The updated particle system brought new fire, exhaust, smoke, as well as many other important particles into X-Plane. The by far most noticeable particle effect is the engine exhaust, which emits a heat blur, in turn creating heat distortion in areas behind it.

The default X-Plane particle system with the default heat blur effect

So with the new particle system, many were excited to see the new effects. However, many have claimed that the heat blur effects appear overdone and excessively implemented. If you're one of these people, this extremely small lua script is perfect for you! The script was created by Patrik Anděl over on the X-Plane org, and is a simple change to the heat blur effect. Below are some comparisons between the old and new effects.

You'll observe the heat blur looks significantly more refined and subtle than its default counterpart. In the old one the blur isn't very distorted like it would be in reality, whereas the new effect looks a lot more randomly shaped and distorted. In my opinion, this is a huge step up and really adds to the overall immersion of the sim.

I didn't observe any FPS (frames per second) increases or decreases with the heat blur script, which is a really nice touch as the new particle system can be frame rate intensive at times. It should also be noted that installation of the script is super easy, only requiring a simple drag and drop into your FlyWithLua scripts folder.

Take note of the distortion of the exhaust in the new heat blur effect versus the old (default) one

Patrik Anděl has really hit it out of the park with this tiny, very simple script, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants that extra bit of realism in their simulator. It's little scripts and improvements to X-Plane that can really push your simulator experience to the next level, and this is just one of many! If you'd like to download the Better Heat Effect over on X-Plane.org, click here.

To view our previous feature on No Money Mondays, click here.

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