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WebMaximus

"Cartoonish" look using ASA with REX textures

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Hi,I first bought REX and then also ASA since I always used and liked your products but now when I try to use ASA together with REX textures I get (at least to me) very cartoonish looking clouds, below is a screenshot showing what I mean. The REX texture theme used is 'Reality' and the resolution is 4096 and the compression DXT5.REXReality.jpgI turned to the REX forum and asked what textures others were using to get some tips on what textures would give a more realistic look but instead they hinted this look in the pic above might actually be caused by using ASA's weather engine. Since I mainly read good things about the combination ASA-REX I was surprised but decided to give it a try comparing the results using first ASA's weather engine and then REX's weather engine and I must admit in my taste what REX gives is more realistic to me than what I get with ASA in the exact same situation. The first picture shows ASA and the second REX in the very same situationasa.jpgrex.jpgBeeing a loyal and happy HiFi customer since many years back I would like to continue using your product, both because I read lots of good stuff about ASA and also that it's a far superior weather engine compared to the built-in weather engine in REX but also because I don't want to feel I wasted my money buying ASA so are there any settings or similar I missed in ASA that could help me get a more (to me) realistic look also in ASA similar to what I now get with the REX weather engine as seen in the screenshots above?TIA for your advice,

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Richard,I think if you are going to bring down the visability settings in ASA you will get the same depiction as with REX. Try it and let us know.Regards,Gerhard

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Hi Web,Was the weather data the same that was being used in REX weather engine and ASA?Thanks,

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Coops - In the second shot it's the REX weather engineGerhard - Thanks, I'll try that but would decreasing the visibility really change the look of the clouds?Jim - I was using the 'Real World Weather' in both ASA and REX so guess that could of course play a part in the difference between the shots but fact is I've seen these cartoonish looking clouds using ASA in many different situations so it must be something in ASA producing this "look" that to me honestly doesn't look very realistic but I'll try what Gerhard suggests and see what that will give

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OK, just did another test after reducing the visibility from 60->10 SM and this time I think it's a little bit better in ASA than in the previous comparison but I still think the clouds when using ASA don't look 100% realistic. Maybe I'm picky but I guess it's the "sharp edges" and the grey tone in the clouds I don't like where REX produces a more "soft" and natural look but of course this is also down to each and everyones different taste. I have also tried playing a bit with the different cloud settings in ASA but still with no luck producing more natural looking clouds.Here is the first shot using ASA's weather engine and in this shot I think the clouds in the upper left of the shot look very good but the clouds in the middle just above the a/c sort of speak in the picture look far to "sharp" to be realistic to me...don't know what you guys think...?ASA10SMvisibility.jpgAnd here the same shot but with REX's weather engineREX-1.jpg

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You did it again the only difference between those 2 shots is the second shot has haze in it which is hiding the hard edges of the very cartoon looking REX clouds, I think the REX WX engine may have a programmed limited maximum visibility to help hide the cartoon clouds with haze. It doesn't help that REX makes the edges of the clouds much too defined.This is how FEX and ASA looks for me on my system with real weather.2008-12-26_21-12-3-21.jpg2008-12-22_15-3-14-842.jpg2008-12-26_21-9-56-990.jpgJim feel free to use the shots if you want them.

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Richard,Here's some testing I've done to show you how visibility influences cloud depiction:Test location: RW 30 HobartTextures: REX Reality Theme These are the results:Rex: Real world weather used:On the groundREXATI00009.jpgAt about 2170 (just above the REX "Ground Haze")REXATI00010.jpgAt about 14590REXATI00012.jpgThis is how the weather was reported in FSX weather:Clouds: ScatteredPrecipitation: NoneVisibility: 10mi / 16kmWindspeed: light 8 knotsAfter closing REX, FSX and rebooted to clear all things up, I've started FSX and fired up ASA. All settings are default.These are the results:ASA: Real world weather and default settings used:On the groundASADEFATI00013.jpgAt about 2170ASADEFATI00014.jpgAt about 14590ASADEFATI00016.jpgThis is how the weather was reported in FSX weather:Clouds: BrokenPrecipitation: NoneVisibility: 40mi / 64kmWindspeed: moderate 16 knotsNext step was setting the ASA settings to the ones reported in FSX when the REX weather engine was running. Thus setting the maximum Surface Visibility to 16. (When I typed this post, I saw that this should have been set to 10 as I've mixed up the 10mi / 16km setting . This means my screenshots below have a visibility setting of 16 miles. As it still shows the influence visibility has on cloud depiction I've decided not to take new screenshots with a setting of 10mi set in ASA.) I have furthermore unticked "Disable Haze Layer" To make sure this setting was used, I've restarted FSX again.ASA: Real world weather, 16mi visibility and unticked "Disabled Haze Layer" settings used:On the groundASAVIS16RBHZATI00021.jpgAt about 2170ASAVIS16RBHZATI00022.jpgAt about 14590ASAVIS16RBHZATI00024.jpgThis is how the weather was reported in FSX weather:Clouds: BrokenPrecipitation: NoneVisibility: 20mi / 32kmWindspeed: light 8 knotsI hope the above helps to illustrate how visibility influences cloud depiction.Regards,Gerhard

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You did it again the only difference between those 2 shots is the second shot has haze in it which is hiding the hard edges of the very cartoon looking REX clouds, I think the REX WX engine may have a programmed limited maximum visibility to help hide the cartoon clouds with haze. It doesn't help that REX makes the edges of the clouds much too defined.This is how FEX and ASA looks for me on my system with real weather.2008-12-26_21-12-3-21.jpg2008-12-22_15-3-14-842.jpg2008-12-26_21-9-56-990.jpgJim feel free to use the shots if you want them.
Not sure what you mean by "You did it again" but what I did was to post another set of screenshots after trying to lower the visibility value in ASA as per recommendation. When it comes to the sharp cloud textures and the haze layer you might be correct in what makes the clouds look not as shart in REX is the fact that there always seem to be a haze layer at low altitudes. After reading in the REX forum this is a well known issue that they will look at and hopefully be able to fix/adjust in the upcoming SP.I will do some more experimenting during the weekend and once REX releases their SP I will hopefully be able to decide which weather engine I will use.

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Richard:Have you made any changes to the cloud options? If so, I would recommend setting them to their default values...it almost looks as though your "stratus cloud occurence" slider might be set to zero. Just set the sliders to the same settings shown in the Options section of the user manual.I have extensively tested REX textures with ASA and have yet to see anything like your screenshots posted above. See my attached screenshot below using REX Cumulus 14.One other thing you might try is to install a different, softer looking set of REX clouds, maybe even changing the install resolution back to 1024 and see if that doesn't affect your look...can't hurt and your performance will be better.Regards, TimBTW: Key settings for me in ASA are DWC enabled, Enhanced Route Coverage enabled, Fog Layer Generation enabled, Haze Layer disabled, Visibility smoothing enabled, max surface vis 50 mi, max upper vis 100 mi

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Gerhard - Thanks for your thorough and interesting test, much appreciated! As I said in a another reply above I'll do some more testing myself during the weekendTim - Thanks for your tips, I'll try the settings you suggest and make sure they are the same you use. As for modification of cloud settings I did try both the default settings but also others to try to get rid of the look I don't find realistic

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Gerhard - Thanks for your thorough and interesting test, much appreciated! As I said in a another reply above I'll do some more testing myself during the weekend
You're welcome Richard!As every system is different, please inform us of your findings.Regards,Gerhard

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You'd be surprised how many things influence the cloud appearance. While testing to see how high I could set my AA and AF settings in FS9, everytime I increased the setting the clouds became harder and more defined. Using 32x AA made it look really harsh with FE clouds. 32x killed my frames, but I never knew the clouds would look so different. I'm happy with 8xS now.Just something else to keep in mind.

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After receiving a new download link from Jim for the full install ASA I completely uninstalled everything that had to do with HiFi and then re-installed ASA from the full setup file and below is what it looks like now letting ASA use the REX Realistic theme, to me this looks REALLY good and not sure if it's because there is another type of weather or if the re-installation did something good. Anyways I'm more than happy when it looks like this :( ASAwithreallookingclouds.jpg

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That's more like it!I have to believe that there was something off in the initial ASA installation that caused the original issue. Glad to see you are now seeing what I am with ASA and REX.Regards,Tim

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