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Active Sky Next vs OpusFSX

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Perhaps you haven't had the opportunity to see how far some of these weather products have come in depicting real world weather?

 

ASN isn't P3DV2 capable yet, so can't say I've had the opportunity and have never used it in FSX.  I'm certainly keeping my eye on ASN as many seem to like it in FSX.    It sounds like ASN will allow me to turn OFF dynamic weather updates ... do you know if it takes a global snapshot or is it limited to a radius of current location?

 

FSGRW and REX dynamic weather engine, and older versions of Active Sky (not ASN) all produced sudden weather and wind changes  (especially over oceans) because of limitations in FSX - at least that's what I experienced.  

 

FSGRW global snapshot (not dynamic) was the best I've used yet (especially around SF/BayArea) where it produced very good micro climates and localized fog (in FSX) while having nice clear skies in Colorado landing airport ... the from A to B experience felt very accurate even if only a snapshot from a moment in time.

 

No trying to generalize anything, apology if that came across ... just relaying my experience with dynamic weather in the various engines I've used over the years ... but I have not used ASN in FSX but do look forward to seeing what it can do in P3DV2 (when available).  Also looking forward to what REX can do in P3DV2 and FSGRW for that matter -- pretty sure they're all waiting for LM's patch.

 

I think I've seen one and only one video of Opus in P3DV2 and was hoping to expand that experience to get a better idea of variations in weather and how they are working for various P3DV2 users.

 

Cheers, Rob

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That wasn't aimed at you but at irocx, who quoted you and apparently by acccident wrote his own text before the quote end tag and not after it. I suppose I could've fixed that in my post. Sorry.

 

Yeah no sweat, from one Lemmy fan to another  :friends:

 

So after with mucking about with the settings in the ASN demo, I ended up with nothing but dense fog, in just about every weather situation. Of course, I found out it was the number of cloud layers (set too high) that created this.

 

Would there ever be a reason to set the cloud layers higher than "6". The default is "5". Anything higher than 6 significantly reduces visibility. But that slider goes all the way too 100? Why?

 

If this question strays too far off topic, tell me to shut up and I'll take it to an ASN forum. 

 

But overall, I found the cloud coverage to be quite accurate to what I was seeing here in Los Angeles, with perfectly clear skies right over my head in Pasadena, a lumbering front rising over the mountains to my north, and scattered mid-level clouds near the coast.

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I would not go higher than 8, well tuned high end system, sod all payware. 5 is good for most situations, and 3 if your running a Commodore 64. :lol:

Higher numbers are good for the Cecil B. DeMille's amongst us, for screen shots and videos and the like.

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...and 3 if your running a Commodore 64.

 

3 helped cure the microstutters on my Commodore 64... B)

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It sounds like ASN will allow me to turn OFF dynamic weather updates ... do you know if it takes a global snapshot or is it limited to a radius of current location?

 

ASN has three modes: Live Weather, Historical, and Manual. Running it in Historical mode would allow one to use a (very) recent, past snapshot as the prevailing weather theme within the sim. The ASN snapshot is global.

 

Here's a link to the ASN manual: http://nimbus.hifitechinc.com/ASNInfo/ASN_User_Guide.pdf

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Running it in Historical mode would allow one to use a (very) recent, past snapshot as the prevailing weather theme within the sim.

 

Thanks Wayne, exactly what I needed to know.

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Bringing this thread back up given the last time something was added was 11 months ago and there's been significant development on both ends. I'll add some pictoral evidnce here.

 

Off the top of my head one big difference I like is that in one program you have the option to disable cirrus clouds. This lil tidbit has been extremely hit or miss with me. Sometimes I know for a fact in real world there's cirrus and others I know it's a completely sky blue sky with no clouds or even above the reported clouds. I've found with cirrus disabled I'm more than happy with my depictions. Reason being is that there's pretty much just one or two cirrus sets that typically gets used and it's not a very realistic texture and how it's depicted either. From the developer side, cirrus can only be an off or on option. Hence cirrus usually showing up 9/10 flights.

 

This point goes to OPUS.

 

My next point is that this program "somehow" seemes to manipulate the IAS speed tape in a more realistic manner more in conjunction with aviation videos I've seen (

). The fluctuations are more "fluid" and the way the numbers jump around just seem to be more in line with changing variations than being more sudden or "blocked". I've been told that it isn't weather program dependent but just how the aircraft reads and responds to the weather. I'll have to definitely do some more testing as my memory of both needs to be refreshed.

 

This goes to ASN for now.

 

Next is Fog conditions. This is a big prevalent weather state current of todays weather and season. Now to my knowledge while fog can be seen as a layer of clouds it's moreso down to lowered visibility than anything. This has been a big jump trying to get smoother thansitions in FS. Haze being separate from fog I can say that if airborne having a haze layer would look pretty good. However, last night coming into Sacramento there was nothing but open ground until I got much lower and closer. As this is more visibility specific than cloud specific, you typically don't see a reduction in visibility or fog until you get well close to the airport or lower to the reporting station.

I have seen more instances of low level clouds socked into to mountains around San Diego and such with one program than the other.

 

I'd say this is tied between ASN and OPUS with the scale leaning onto the OPUS side.

 

Cloud depictions: This is the big ticket item. As a simmer I know I want things as close to real as possible in my sim as to what's out my window. This has been the driving force behind weather development for FS users.

 

1) overcast, there's lots of threads and tweaks to get a full overcast. Seems that different programs over the year have been leap frogging one another with their claims to having done this. After some user trial and error it came down to a file called cloudmask1.bmp. Apparently this little file when opened in a picture viewer shows a rectangle painted black with some white spots. This when accessed by clouds will show the cloud pattern. The black = clouds and the white = holes. Refer to thread for more reading (http://www.simforums.com/forums/cloud-mask-solved_topic48334.html). Painting this completely black in theory should give you a full overcast.  Unfortunately I think that altering this file is hit or miss with whether that fix works (I'll need to re read that thread, going from memory). Here's my experience with getting overcast with my cloud density changed to 12 and using the 7/8 force to overcast.

f4qtlFV.jpg

 

2) Cloud states and layers, this next point is one that is often debated by "loyalists from both sides. Having been a user of the earlier legacy active sky evolution for many years prior to OPUS coming to the market 2+ years ago I can say that I can accurately give a good assessment on which product offers better depiction.

 

For starters lets go with the basics. Clouds are clouds. In FS to show those clouds, we need DATA. Both products seem to pull from METARS. However, one issue I've seen which also seemes to be fairly evident is that one product will "globalize" a central metar station relative to the users aicraft so that you get weather based on METARS but there's not too much variety. Think back to our Cirrus, either an on or off option. As the user flies the weather will meld to the next central metar, which in theory, would be somewhat similar to its neighbor. Might be the reason for the claimed no cloud popping.

 

The other product uses metars as well. But from my evidence it doesn't take a central metar and memic it's conditions. Each metar is a completely different weather zone within the visible area. This leads to variety and the ability from my experience between having used both programs being able to fly into and out or clouds fronts and the like. Here's some pictoral evidence.

jmAFVal.jpghttp://imgur.com/jBssdlk.jpg}/img] 4bElXzP.jpgNo that's not cirris above me. YoaCbGM.jpg

 

Next is available data. I don't know what ASN uses. But I do know that OPUS uses NOAA GFS data. They not only use global winds but they also have incorportated lower wind data. They also pull clouds from lower mid and upper GFS data.

 

 

Overcast, splt between both programs. Evidence for me goes to OPUS.

Cloud data, states, depiction,  goes to OPUS.

 

I might add more later. But for now I hope this is fairly comprehensive to give someone an idea of how things have moved along with weather development for FS. ASN was tested using latest build. OPUS with OPUSFSI latest beta.

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+1

 

+ Buttkicker control !

 

Robert

Definitely Opus, because I cannot fly without the Buttkicker. Maybe other Weather engine producers should take note.

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I haven't a problem with Opus's product but

look back on Opus earlier initial posts and then see if they were modest.

There's always going to be some rivalry in competing markets for consumers from developers. Hifisim has had the weather engine market locked down. OPUS was the new kid on the block. What OPUS has been able to do or add in the past 1 1/2-2 years is exponentially more than hifi sim has done, IMO. Having been a user of both products I can say that if you just want weather that gives you the ability to fly comfortably with FS and have some idea of what's out there, ASN works. If you're looking for a way to further enhance you're FS flights, have weather data interact with how your aircraft responds and views, and for weekly additions to software to further that experience, OPUS works.

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I haven't a problem with Opus's product but

look back on Opus earlier initial posts and then see if they were modest.

 

Unprofessional at best. Arrogant and condescending at worst. Their flippant attitude turned me off at the exact moment I was trying to choose between ASN and Opus. I would not consider purchasing their product, even if demonstrably superior.

 

But hey, whatever works for you... enjoy!

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Unprofessional at best. Arrogant and condescending at worst. Their flippant attitude turned me off at the exact moment I was trying to choose between ASN and Opus. I would not consider purchasing their product, even if demonstrably superior.

 

But hey, whatever works for you... enjoy!

Huh? , I usually get support or info sometimes within minutes or a few hours at worst in a courteous professional manner without attitude. However all developers will lose their patience if people blame their product incorrectly for making the sim crash, the cat sick or hair loss etc  :rolleyes:

 

If I was extremely sensitive to Developers being a little arrogant I wouldnt be running FSUIPC, ORBX or FS dream team, do your self a favor and check out their support forums

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I HAVE felt that the OPUS folks were a little arrogant at times in their language used.  But they should check that because they are no longer the best product  IMO.  ASN is far superior!   

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 However all developers will lose their patience if people blame their product incorrectly for making the sim crash, the cat sick or hair loss etc  :rolleyes:

 

Simply not true in my experience. I spend hours every day at A2A and Orbx, and have never seen a developer or moderator sound-off on a belligerent forum user. They just ban them. That's what a mature professional does.

 

Furthermore, Opus developers talk trash about competitors. That is what I find to be most unprofessional. I don't think there is room for that behavior in such a small community - one where developers should be looking to competitors for inspiration and challenges, rather than conflict.

 

I'll continue to vote with my wallet.

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Furthermore, Opus developers talk trash about competitors. That is what I find to be most unprofessional

 

I see what you mean, yes they need to work on that...

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I see what you mean, yes they need to work on that...

 

I see your point also. It is probably in my best interest to educate myself further on Opus. I just don't think I will. I am very satisfied with ASN+REX4, and use Ezdok for camera. 

 

I may have come off as smug and self-righteous (I don't presume you agree ^_^), but that was not my intention. I buy plenty of products from companies that I find to be repugnant and morally bankrupt. Some could argue (with evidence) that I am repugnant and morally bankrupt <_< . But Opus indirectly offended me on a personal level, and it was easy to find a comparable product. Not much more to it than that.

 

Happy Landings!

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Furthermore, Opus developers talk trash about competitors. That is what I find to be most unprofessional. I don't think there is room for that behavior in such a small community - one where developers should be looking to competitors for inspiration and challenges, rather than conflict.

 

I remember seeing some posts by them doing that and it really turned me off from them. Then on the other hand Hifi has been in situations where they had to comment on Opus and commented professionally and courteously which was a stark contrast to how the Opus folks talk about Hifi Sim.

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I HAVE felt that the OPUS folks were a little arrogant at times in their language used.  But they should check that because they are no longer the best product  IMO.  ASN is far superior!   

What in your opinion makes ASN superior? I tried the free trial back a few weeks ago. I can say for sure that my winds at my airport were off from what the metar reported. This would be congruent with OPUS's term of 'sim friendly' winds. I.e winds that don't upset the buggy FSX code. So, if ASN is using altered data and portraying it as being authentic, well, that's not entirely true.

 

Another big plus is that the users are more involved in the development process. I've seen people bring an issue up and have a beta resolving that issue within a few hours to no more than a few days.

 

Of course you'll get band wagoners and lifers for each product. But when one has more user involvement and development, one starts to separate from the other.

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I use opus. Only issue I have are windshifts which occur when I'm flung tube liners.

 

Heard that that the new Airbus by flight sim labs will use the ASN plugin for the radar coverage.

 

Also heard it is possible to install the trial version of ASN and then use OPUS and the weather radar will still be functional?

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Also heard it is possible to install the trial version of ASN and then use OPUS and the weather radar will still be functional?

 

Huh so what your saying you want to use asn and optus weather together  this cant be done, its either one or the other

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The choice is easy if you are running a boat load of plugins (Latitude, AirHauler, FSFlightKeeper, FSPassenger) in tandem with you weather engine. One works without a problem, the other causes wind shifts (that destroy your aircraft).

 

This is why ASN and FSGRW are the ones I use.

 

I tried to debug the problem with the developer, but ... how should it put it ... I got the feeling that the developer was more interested in shouting rather than problem solving.

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No, not using ASN concurrently with opus but installing asn for the .dll so the weather radar feature on the PMDG 777 and flightsim lab a320 can be used.

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not to sure about this thought you need asn running  all the time  for updating  the weather radar could be wrong though

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I used to think that the 4 weather injectors, OpusFXI, FSGRW, REX 3 and ASN were pretty much equal. To me though, ASN produces the most realistic weather without cloud popping and wind shifts.

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Huh so what your saying you want to use asn and optus weather together  this cant be done, its either one or the other

All that is necessary to have usage of the ASN weather radar is to have the ASN.DLL installed into your sim which naturally comes with the trial version. Hence, you don't need to actually buy ASN in order to get radar capability. This was proven in usage with the B777 when ASN first released their radar package for an upgraded price.

The choice is easy if you are running a boat load of plugins (Latitude, AirHauler, FSFlightKeeper, FSPassenger) in tandem with you weather engine. One works without a problem, the other causes wind shifts (that destroy your aircraft).

 

This is why ASN and FSGRW are the ones I use.

 

I tried to debug the problem with the developer, but ... how should it put it ... I got the feeling that the developer was more interested in shouting rather than problem solving.

As stated before. About 3-4 weeks passed I got curious and decided to do some testing between ASN and OPUS again. One big defining difference could be seen just by being on the ground at my initial weather loadup. Metar was reporting winds of somewhere at 290/11. ASN gave me 275/11 and opus showed 290/11. I tried to loadup from scratch at several different airports with more or less the same results.

 

We all know that the FSX code isn't the best out there. One of its many and biggest flaws is the inability of the upper wind to back down from a previous value. Therefore, OPUS uses a terminology called " sim friendly". What this means is the program will take the raw data and limit what gets injected so as to not ###### off the coding and cause a shift. So if the real wind is 295/75 at FL330 and the next level at FL340 is 285/70, using sim friendly it'll keep the 75 over the 70. Turning off the sim friendly results in having the data AS IS. This can be prone to wind shifting.

 

My personal belief is that ASN automatically has this code friendly feature from the beginning in the background software. Would easily explain why ASN users never got the wind issues that OPUS users were getting. The difference in fact is raw data as is vs data that is altered to be sim compliant. Realism VS altered. Your choice.

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