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Novation

Rotating/spinning cloud - V2 render changes confirmed.

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It has been brought up a few times, but a thread on the P3Dv2 forum confirms (by dev Beau Hollis) that LM has changed the way cloud textures are handled, resulting in violent spinning textures, when moving your head, or camera position. So, this has nothing to do with ones system, or shaders, as was suggested, it is a global change to cloud rendering.

 

As can been seen in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZOYn4wIdFP8

 

Beau states in the tread that they could, very simply, put an 'option' in the GUI by adding a couple of lines of shader code, so the clouds behave as they do in FSX, which in general is far more realistic. Please note this is not anything to do with volumetric fog, but the bitmaps that make up Cumulus and Stratus textures. Also note it is suggested that this will be an 'option' so if your prefer the way v2 renders clouds that won't change.

 

It does however require others to say they would like this option to be added, so please make you voice heard if it bothers you.

 

http://www.prepar3d.com/forum-5/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=4353.1#postid-22236

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Using stock clouds i dont get any movement like in the vid but i do believe ( this could be wrong as well ) when you use addon textures they also need to be defined in a separate textures which they are not ( well they are but for stock cloud textures and the reason why when using addon cloud textures they can stretch to the ground ), making changes to the fsx way will still cause the rotating effect. and could make it worse for stock cloud users.

 

While i understand the importance of replacement cloud textures im not sure if i would want the change at this time as im really enjoying the non billboard effect with stock clouds.

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Hey Gandy :smile:

 

The way the clouds facing position now works means everyone will see this rotation [assuming the developer is correct :wink: ] regardless of whether they are using default clouds or replacements, via REX or anyone else. When you inject a REX Cumulus cloud into P3Dv2 you are simply replacing the texture (Cumulus01 bitmap image) this texture being default or not has no bearing on the way its displayed in the sim.

 

The change is P3Dv2 uses the camera orientation (where your looking) to calculate the way the cloud faces, rather that the position of the camera (where you are) which means any head/camera movement changes the angle of the cloud. In FSX and P3D1.4 the clouds will not move with the camera angle, but will rotate around your position, which does mean a cloud will slide around the aircraft, which is also not realistic, but preferable to my mind [eyes]

 

 

If you fly only in confined cockpits the new system may work better for you, as flying through a cloud looks better, but if you fly in an open or large glass cockpit [or from an external view], you will see lots of spinning, esp. if you use TrackIR.

 

Obviously, to be given an option in the GUI to select the way v2 renders clouds would be a good solution.

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Using stock clouds i dont get any movement like in the vid 

 

I do..  But.. If it's so clouds can render to be more real to fly through they can spin all they want..  I noticed it once and forgot about it two seconds later..  FSX's paper and popping weird clouds are for the birds. 

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Using stock clouds i dont get any movement like in the vid but i do believe ( this could be wrong as well ) when you use addon textures they also need to be defined in a separate textures which they are not ( well they are but for stock cloud textures and the reason why when using addon cloud textures they can stretch to the ground ), making changes to the fsx way will still cause the rotating effect. and could make it worse for stock cloud users.

 

While i understand the importance of replacement cloud textures im not sure if i would want the change at this time as im really enjoying the non billboard effect with stock clouds.

Paul, this is completely false, listen to Novation.
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I do..  But.. If it's so clouds can render to be more real to fly through they can spin all they want..  I noticed it once and forgot about it two seconds later..  FSX's paper and popping weird clouds are for the birds. 

 

Which is great, but for me its as big an issue as popping Autogen or frame-rates - bigger actually. I like to fly helos and microlights, as well as open cockpit historic aircraft, where this is very noticeable. To me P3Dv2 clouds look way-way more like paper, as their flatness is given away with every movement of the head.

 

 

 

Thanks Tim :smile: ... Out of interest, would you prefer the old system to display REX at its best in P3D? ... if you feel able to comment.

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Which is great, but for me its as big an issue as popping Autogen or frame-rates - bigger actually. I like to fly helos and microlights, as well as open cockpit historic aircraft, where this is very noticeable. To me P3Dv2 clouds look way-way more like paper, as their flatness is given away with every movement of the head.

 

 

 

Thanks Tim :smile: ... Out of interest, would you prefer the old system to display REX at its best in P3D? ... if you feel able to comment.

 

Just curious which camera system are you using for panning?

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Which is great, but for me its as big an issue as popping Autogen or frame-rates - bigger actually. I like to fly helos and microlights, as well as open cockpit historic aircraft, where this is very noticeable. To me P3Dv2 clouds look way-way more like paper, as their flatness is given away with every movement of the head.

 

 

 

Thanks Tim :smile: ... Out of interest, would you prefer the old system to display REX at its best in P3D? ... if you feel able to comment.

 

Believe me.. I can completely see how for pilots of certain aircraft or views they use how the rotating clouds could be annoying..  My post was more to tell Gandy default clouds do it also, not to invalidate your concerns. :) 

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Just curious which camera system are you using for panning?

 

Default camera... which gave me an immediate thought - and no doubt why you ask? - would a third party camera system negate this, as the sim is still using the default camera position to calculate the clouds angles, and why some people say they don't see this

 

Believe me.. I can completely see how for pilots of certain aircraft or views they use how the rotating clouds could be annoying..  My post was more to tell Gandy default clouds do it also, not to invalidate your concerns. :) 

 

That's okay :smile:  I also realise for some this is a non issue... like everything in the FS world :wink:

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As one of the first individuals to bring this up on their forum, and then proceeding to do 3 or 4 re-installs because I thought it was my issue, I'm very glad to see this is being addressed. I found this to be a 'show stopper' as well, to be honest.  Some may be able to ignore the effect, for others such as myself, it's completely distracting and severely breaks immersion.

 

I'll put in my two cents on the link given; thanks for bringing this topic to my attention!

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Beau states in the tread that they could, very simply, put an 'option' in the GUI by adding a couple of lines of shader code, so the clouds behave as they do in FSX, which in general is far more realistic.

 

Hmmm...a little confused ... are you saying P3DV2 clouds don't spin but REX clouds do spin?  I honestly didn't pay attention to the original P3DV2 clouds and had installed REX to work with P3DV2 early on.  Maybe I need to revisit this so I can understand the issue better.  But either way, I don't like rotating clouds at any view or angle ... as I understand it the clouds are polygons not just surfaces?  What appears to be happening is the polygon's surfaces (textures) are shifted based on view ... IMHO, this should not happen (by design).  Trying to remember how XP10 implements clouds, seem to recall it was a very good/realistic process.

 

 

 


Obviously, to be given an option in the GUI to select the way v2 renders clouds would be a good solution.

 

I would like an option certainly ... especially if it's easy to implement in code ... or better yet open the door for 3rd party to manage the process?

 

Please forgive any ignorance in this response.

 

Rob.

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Hmmm...a little confused ... are you saying P3DV2 clouds don't spin but REX clouds do spin?

 

Hi Rob... they all spin, default, REX or any other replacement.

 

I also think, and someone like Tim will confirm this, that the clouds are not placed on polygons, but are rendered as multiple flat sheets [billboards], that are arranged to give an impression of being 3D. Basically they attempt to face the viewpoint at all times, but the new system gives this away more often, as any head movement changes the cloud angle, making it spin.

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There's a great concise description by Beau on page two of the linked thread that explains that the current rotation is by design - it's now based on camera angle instead of position, the latter method being used in FSX.  While it sounds like there would be a trade off in going back to the old system, their idea of providing a UI option for switching between the two would be an excellend idea, and would serve to please the people who like the current method, and the people (like myself) who would prefer the original method.

 

Since the linked LM forum thread was actually mine, I have edited the title of the thread and added a short description to the starting post.

 

It's really great that this wasn't all in my head or a problem with my installation; it's also great that there may be a solution!

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Er... but er... maybe I am missing something but why did LM change this...? What is the advantage of their new system and what was the disadvantage of the FSX system? LM must have changed it for a good reason?

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Er... but er... maybe I am missing something but why did LM change this...? What is the advantage of their new system and what was the disadvantage of the FSX system? LM must have changed it for a good reason?

 

From what I gather, the new method allows for more realistic representation (less spinning) of the clouds as you pass through them - at the expense of cloud spinning when panning your view.

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From what I gather, the new method allows for more realistic representation (less spinning) of the clouds as you pass through them - at the expense of cloud spinning when panning your view.

 

Ah, ok. Well, I have to say I like the new method. I only notice spinning clouds when I take off my headphones while I have TrackIR enabled and look straight un into the sky or something. When I simply fly and look around, things look great! So I think I will stick with the new method.

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but are rendered as multiple flat sheets [billboards]

 

So basically just a 2D surface ... is this different from how FSX does it?  I thought I recall seeing FSX actually building 3D polygon clouds and then apply textures -- think I saw this when I deleted the shaders folder and started FSX at an FSDT airport ... maybe I was mistaken and it was just a bunch of 2D surfaces?

 

Assuming the 2D clouds and view angle shifting is done for performance reasons?

 

Ok, ran a quick test in P3DV2 see here: 

  (YouTube seems to be having issues making this available in HD, but think it's good enough for this purpose).

 

I'm not seeing what your saying or was I just not able to pick the right view angle?  There are some odd effects when sun tries to partially shine thru the clouds (see 1:00 min mark) but I'm not seeing the swirling?  What do I need to do to replicate this so I can get a better understanding?

 

Cheers, Rob

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Hi Novation,

 

In FSX, cloud sprites rotate around the camera (your field of view) as you pass through them, hence keeping them in view for a longer duration. In most instances the sprites actually disappear from view while in-cloud. This is the way it was designed unfortunately. The coders tried to overcome this by exposing specific angles between texture sprites and positioning them towards the field of view... while adjusting transparencies. The major drawback was in-cloud transparency issues.

 

In P3D2 the cloud system is built around the same sprite/billboard theory, and they do rotate, in a different way of course. They have coded to overcome most of the inherent issues of the previous system. It is indeed much more immersive than FSX, and actually feels like your flying through a volumetric entity rather than simply passing through a 'texture' sheet. My opinion of course!

 

All of this really depends on your style of flying. I actually spend most of my time INSIDE the cockpit, where these anomalies are at a minimum, except of course when I want to capture some outside imagery ;)

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It is very noticable. Just did a flight in mountains with low clouds/fog below me, and whenever I view to the sides the fog/clouds move over the landscape.

 

In one way I like the new cloud rendering - volumetric, and being able to fly through them in a more realistic fashion - on the other hand the old FSX way of doing things looks better when viewing from side to side.

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I see the spinning clouds too but its when you  fly over them and then look out your window and look down at them. It became very apparent when using TrackIR. The texture seems to spin about an axis. 

 

Rather strangely X-plane 10 does this too and now P3D :/ I don't care for the effect it breaks 3D perception very quickly.  

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I see the spinning clouds too but its when you  fly over them and then look out your window and look down at them. It became very apparent when using TrackIR. The texture seems to spin about an axis. 

 

 

Exactly how I discovered it!

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Rather strangely X-plane 10 does this too and now P3D

 

Hmmm ... will have to try again ... I did just ordered a TrackIR 5 Pro so I can test with that this weekend if that makes the problem more obvious.

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All of this really depends on your style of flying. I actually spend most of my time INSIDE the cockpit, where these anomalies are at a minimum, except of course when I want to capture some outside imagery ;)

 

I spend 99% of my time inside the cockpit; almost the only time I ever step outside is while I'm on the ground, and I find the effect quite annoying since I'm almost always scanning my view around, whether it be admiring scenery or looking for VFR landmarks.

 

If I only flew bigger stuff, it would probably be less of a concern.

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I don't know guys, I am really into being immersed, and the enclosed video in this topic was pretty realistic to me ...frankly as long as it doesn't hit my performance I'm happy with what P3dv2 does....sorrrrryyyyyy

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Hi Novation,

 

In FSX, cloud sprites rotate around the camera (your field of view) as you pass through them, hence keeping them in view for a longer duration. In most instances the sprites actually disappear from view while in-cloud. This is the way it was designed unfortunately. The coders tried to overcome this by exposing specific angles between texture sprites and positioning them towards the field of view... while adjusting transparencies. The major drawback was in-cloud transparency issues.

 

In P3D2 the cloud system is built around the same sprite/billboard theory, and they do rotate, in a different way of course. They have coded to overcome most of the inherent issues of the previous system. It is indeed much more immersive than FSX, and actually feels like your flying through a volumetric entity rather than simply passing through a 'texture' sheet. My opinion of course!

 

All of this really depends on your style of flying. I actually spend most of my time INSIDE the cockpit, where these anomalies are at a minimum, except of course when I want to capture some outside imagery ;)

 

Well exactly my feeling Tim thanks for explaining lol all ok at your end of the planet?

Congrats on the pending release of Rex 4 texture direct great work ;-)

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