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ryanbatcund

Cloud comparison levels + fps

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Because I was bored...

 

And how was I bored with three kids to watch while mommy is out?

 

No idea

 

lol

 

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Nice comparisons Ryan. X-Plane cloud engine falls definitely short compared to FSX, regarding both performance and visuals. I used to complain about FSX clouds but I must say FSX's is by far the best cloud engine I've ever experienced in any flight simulator (including the well-known military flight sims).

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Indeed, interesting comparison.

 

I have to agree with Murmur regarding not only the quality of the clouds in XP10, even when SPM is used vs FSX/P3D.

 

Yet another aspect is how they pop in and out, as the reporting stations change.. Last time I used it, even with the NOAA plugin, it wasn't much better :-(

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I agree the default X-plane clouds are nothing to write home about. They look more like smoke than clouds. However, Sky Maxx Pro clouds look fantastic to me. In fact, I like them a little better than FSX clouds, which are also very good.

 

Another sim that does nice clouds is Rise of Flight.

 

Rob

 

4_zpsj5jejbwr.jpg

 

1_zpsyquislps.jpg

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Nice post, I always loved stock clouds in FSX, the best ones. In XP10 also prefer stock, sometimes SMP do better visuals, perhaps the next major update of SMP may bring us a more plausible clouds and more cloud types.

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I'll try it tomorrow ... Just bought XP10 again :-)

 

Digital Download - no more DVD required to run it :-)

 

Looking fwd to check how my GTX 960 4GB card behaves ...

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I'll try it tomorrow ... Just bought XP10 again :-)

 

Well jcomm, you might be interested to know that, inspired by the results of the experiments that Andy Goldstein made on the roll/yaw issue, a couple of days ago I apparently succeeded to make a leap forward by modifying the geometry of the default C172. Basically, the modified aircraft appears to fly uncoordinated at take off if controls are centered, but requires only rudder input to center the ball and stop the roll. Looks like Andy Goldstein was very accurate with his experiments, and his conclusions seem to be correct.

 

If I have the time, I hope to continue the tweaking for some days, and if I can get good results I'll upload the modified C172.

 

P.S. Sorry for the off topic.

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Nice little test.  Run it again in three days and I bet your numbers are different!  I have a heck of a time nailing down what does and doesn't cause performance issues in XP.  Sometimes it seems that what XP decides is the most taxing thing, performance wise, changes day by day.

 

In FSX (granted I have more hours in it than in XP), I can very accurately predict the effect of certain settings or sliders, making it easy to turn something down if need be.  In XP, I can turn something down one day to gain smoother framerates, and the next day I'll find that turning down what I previously did before has little effect, and that I need to turn something else down instead.  Hard to explain, but I do find it harder to balance at the edge of settings vs. acceptable performance.

 

Anyhow, I vastly prefer SMP, but I do wish there was a decent real world weather engine!

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Well jcomm, you might be interested to know that, inspired by the results of the experiments that Andy Goldstein made on the roll/yaw issue, a couple of days ago I apparently succeeded to make a leap forward by modifying the geometry of the default C172. Basically, the modified aircraft appears to fly uncoordinated at take off if controls are centered, but requires only rudder input to center the ball and stop the roll. Looks like Andy Goldstein was very accurate with his experiments, and his conclusions seem to be correct.

 

If I have the time, I hope to continue the tweaking for some days, and if I can get good results I'll upload the modified C172.

 

P.S. Sorry for the off topic.

 

Interesting ! Will this simulate the spiraling slip stream that is missing in XPX ?

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Interesting ! Will this simulate the spiraling slip stream that is missing in XPX ?

 

In X-Plane the spiraling slipstream seems to be less than it should be, but AFAIK there's no way to increase it from outside, since it's part of the X-Plane core flight model.

 

What I'm trying to do, is amplifying its effect thanks to a supplemental aerodynamic surface, tuned so that it does not interfere with the rest of the flight model.

 

Also, from Andy Goldstein's experiments, looks like the reason for the discrepancy was not only the weak spiraling slipstream, but also the fact than in the real aircrafts the dihedral effect (roll/yaw coupling) is stronger than calculated by X-Plane. So it must be compensated as well (not hard to do).

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Nice little test.  Run it again in three days and I bet your numbers are different!  I have a heck of a time nailing down what does and doesn't cause performance issues in XP.  Sometimes it seems that what XP decides is the most taxing thing, performance wise, changes day by day.

 

In FSX (granted I have more hours in it than in XP), I can very accurately predict the effect of certain settings or sliders, making it easy to turn something down if need be.  In XP, I can turn something down one day to gain smoother framerates, and the next day I'll find that turning down what I previously did before has little effect, and that I need to turn something else down instead.  Hard to explain, but I do find it harder to balance at the edge of settings vs. acceptable performance.

 

Anyhow, I vastly prefer SMP, but I do wish there was a decent real world weather engine!

 

I too have found this behavior in XP.  Not scientific in any way, but it seems to be related to other applications taking up RAM space.  I'm running on an 8GB RAM iMac and if I have multiple apps open (safari, mail, calendar, etc) before I start XP, this will limit the RAM available to XP and seems to have a significant impact on XP from day to day.  Maybe I'll do an experiment today to bring this hypothesis   more into the scientific realm.

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The clouds impact fps the more you set though

 

For a long while people said "just set puffs to 15%." As you can see there is a huge difference between 150 and (interpolated) 15%. It's like all layers are scattered instead of overcast.

 

However I can't afford to run 150 in big cities.

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As a tubeliner jockey I can afford to sacrifice shadow and water reflection levels to maintain healthy fps (which those two take big chunks out of). It means I can keep clouds at 80% with no adverse effects.

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I agree the default X-plane clouds are nothing to write home about. They look more like smoke than clouds. However, Sky Maxx Pro clouds look fantastic to me. In fact, I like them a little better than FSX clouds, which are also very good.

 

 

 

Another sim that does nice clouds is Rise of Flight.

 

 

 

Rob

 

 

 

 

 

 

1_zpsyquislps.jpg

 

 

 

Comanche, I see you have the Carenado Centurion. If you want to raise the bar a few notches, look at SimCoders REP engine for this aircraft. It's sure to bring a smile to your face.

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In X-Plane the spiraling slipstream seems to be less than it should be, but AFAIK there's no way to increase it from outside, since it's part of the X-Plane core flight model.

 

What I'm trying to do, is amplifying its effect thanks to a supplemental aerodynamic surface, tuned so that it does not interfere with the rest of the flight model.

 

Also, from Andy Goldstein's experiments, looks like the reason for the discrepancy was not only the weak spiraling slipstream, but also the fact than in the real aircrafts the dihedral effect (roll/yaw coupling) is stronger than calculated by X-Plane. So it must be compensated as well (not hard to do).

 

Awesome ! Keep us posted on your observations and test results ! And if its good please post the modified 172 !

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The clouds impact fps the more you set though

 

Depends.  On my new card, I can set crazy levels of clouds with very little effect *most* of the time.  Cloud shadows don't cause it much work either, most of the time.  However, water reflections can be a killer almost always. Same with crepuscular rays in SMP.

 

What I meant is that I find it kind of strange how the 'straw that breaks the camels back' seems to change from day to day.  One day it's the clouds, next day it's the overload of OSM buildings, next day it's the water reflections.  I'll have performance suffer one day, and I'll crank back each thing one at a time, often with only 2 - 3 fps effect, until I find the culprit... and the culprit might be different on any given day.  With FSX, it was very predictable, allowing me to pinpoint the 'best' that I could reasonably achieve very easily.

 

I suspect that if I had a more powerful CPU with a higher overclock, I may not have such issues.  I could also have an unidentified bottleneck somewhere else too, I don't know.  It doesn't cause me too much grief, since 95% of the time I can keep a nice smooth locked 30 fps no problem, as long as I don't get too crazy with all of the sliders at once.

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The default clouds for me, at any setting are an absolute killer. I'd love to be able to fly through bad weather in XPX, but it's not something I've been able to do.

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The default clouds for me, at any setting are an absolute killer.

 

I'm curious as to why certain features in XP are a framerate killer compared to their counterparts in FSX? It seems like the clouds come with a high performance penalty, as does the terrain mesh.

 

When I first started with FSX, I found that clouds and ATI cards did not get along at all; simply switching to NVidia made clouds a non-issue.

 

It feels strange to go back to demanding clouds.

 

I fear that even if / when any 3rd party developers bring a proper weather engine to XP, it won't matter much, since hardly anyone will be able to use it for anything other than accurate wind portrayal.

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But we already have very good wind, set by METAR for the lower levels, and by the NOAA plugin aloft - whole World!

 

Yesterday I spent some  time comparing the values with the GFS charts, and they were very close, in direction and intensity.

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But we already have very good wind, set by METAR for the lower levels, and by the NOAA plugin aloft - whole World!

 

Perhaps in the 10.40 betas?  I'm a Steam user, so I'm sitting with 10.36, and I've definitely hit a few instances of poor wind depiction in relation to the current closest METAR.  That, and some very sudden shifts when a new METAR is loaded.

 

Nothing that I've really cared to complain about though.

 

On a another weather related note, is there a method to get the NOAA plugin to ignore a certain weather station?  I use CYEG as a hub to fly out of 75% of the time; for whatever reason there's two weather stations located there: CYEG which offers fully detailed weather, and CXEG which does not.  Depending on where you are on the airport grounds, you'll often get the weather from CXEG, which results more often than not in clear skies.

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AFAIK the NOAA plugin doesn't mess up with station data - only GFS model data from NOAA. The METAR data comes directly from XP10 own weather D/L and management.

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There's only one thing where X-Plane default clouds have an advantage over FSX from a point of view of realism, in that during sunrise and sunset, clouds at different altitudes get different lighting and color. So at sunset low clouds are orange while hi clouds are still white (or low clouds are dark while hi clouds are still orange). Probably no one ever noticed this until now, but I like this touch of realism. :smile:

 

zvnhvLp.jpg

 

In FSX instead, clouds at different altitudes get the same color even at sunrise or sunset, and this is less realistic:

 

O6utOFH.jpg

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AFAIK the NOAA plugin doesn't mess up with station data - only GFS model data from NOAA. The METAR data comes directly from XP10 own weather D/L and management.

I think it does read metar's. I've been having an issue where I'm getting SN (snow) at airports. I searched through the forums at the org and found that in my example METAR the remarks section contains the phrase VISNO. And apparently the program is reading that phrase and extracting SN and creating precipitation in the form of snow.

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VISNO. And apparently the program is reading that phrase and extracting SN and creating precipitation in the form of snow.

 

Ooops !  REally ?  I have to check that... Thx for pointing it out.

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