Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Stearmandriver

Realistic-looking thunderstorm in FSX?

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I originally posted this in the FSX Forum, but it didn't get any views, and since it partially involves ASN I thought I'd try it here as well.

 

I'm wondering if anyone has found a combination of settings that will generate a realistic thunderstorm in FSX? I'm currently using Rex4 + Soft Clouds with ASN for weather... previously used REX Essentials for textures.

 

Now, I'm greatly impressed with all these add-ons. Every one is well worth the money spent, I don't want to sound like I'm knocking them. This is just as likely to be user error or an FSX limitation than a software issue, and even if it is, they're still superb overall at what they do.

 

That being said, no matter what combination of settings I try, rendered thunderstorms just don't look anything like a real storm. They just look like loose collections of small cumulus clouds, with open areas you can see through like Swiss cheese, that somehow inexplicably generate lightning. They also seem not to extend above about 30,000 ft.

 

A real thunderstorm is a solid mass, a wall in the sky with an overshooting top and a cirrus anvil and precip blowing off downwind. The exterior of the storm will be lumpy where you can see individual updrafts (and downdrafts like mammatus under the anvil), but the mass itself is a solid roadblock in the sky, and can easily extend vertically into the 50s.

 

An example:

http://s.imwx.com/dr...fa4_650x366.jpg

 

My simming is usually in the form of bush flying up north, where REX textures + ASN play beautifully with the mountains, but occasionally I do some high altitude stuff as well, and it would be great to get some realistic storms rendered.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

  • Upvote 1

Andrew Crowley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive only got ASN and I have to say I thought the thunderstorms would be a bit more realistic for the cash I paid out, Like Stearmandriver says, I too cannot get the storms clouds to have that dark critical mass effect you expect when lightning bolts are coming down all over the place., .... however its definately a much better visual than what generic FSX gives us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That being said, no matter what combination of settings I try, rendered thunderstorms just don't look anything like a real storm. They just look like loose collections of small cumulus clouds, with open areas you can see through like Swiss cheese, that somehow inexplicably generate lightning. They also seem not to extend above about 30,000 ft.

 

A real thunderstorm is a solid mass, a wall in the sky with an overshooting top and a cirrus anvil and precip blowing off downwind. The exterior of the storm will be lumpy where you can see individual updrafts (and downdrafts like mammatus under the anvil), but the mass itself is a solid roadblock in the sky, and can easily extend vertically into the 50s.

 

 

Fully agree.  I brought up a historic hurricane once and flew through it just to see what it would be like...you'd never have thought it was a hurricane.  I don't know if it's a limitation of the sim or not but I suspect it is...at least in some ways.  I do think ASN is doing a great job working with what it has but weather flying...in terms of clouds is just poor in the sim.  In 2.x of P3D I couldn't even get a solid overcast to work even if I manually created a massive layer from 1,000-10,000...with and without ASN...holes all over the place, sometimes I'd be at three thousand and break into a huge open area.  I don't know if it's fixed in 3.x or not.  This is something I think LM should give some real attention to. In the real world, weather matters a lot!  In the sim world, at least so far, not so much.  BTW, solid overcast worked far better in FSX than P3D.  Still, thunderstorms were of no significance there either.


Gregg Seipp

"A good landing is when you can walk away from the airplane.  A great landing is when you can reuse it."
i7-8700 32GB Ram, GTX-1070 8 Gig RAM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


Just in case others want to see the storm picture:

 

Woh. 


Gregg Seipp

"A good landing is when you can walk away from the airplane.  A great landing is when you can reuse it."
i7-8700 32GB Ram, GTX-1070 8 Gig RAM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you on this! Wish LM would "up the weather" game a bit. Difficult- as simulating lots of suspended and moving water molecules is hard. But you're right: WX is the biggest part of moving through the sky- and not enough attention is paid to creating the threats.


Brendan R, KDXR PHNL KJFK

Type rated: SF34 / DH8 (Q400) / DC9 717 MD-88/ B767 (CFI/II/MEI/ATP)

Majestic Software Q400 Beta Team / Pilot Consultant / Twitter @violinvelocity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one thing i would suggest is checking your ASN settings under cloud options:

enhance overcast conditions->enabled

high detail thunderstorm clouds->enabled

and maybe try upping your max cloud layers to 6 or 7 if your video card can handle it

 

unfortunately i don't think there is a good method for displaying storms like in the pic using FSX. the core problem is that it represents clouds by a concentric ring of 2d billboards around the player instead of creating actual 3d cloud objects. as near as i can tell ASN simulates what these cloud objects might be like and then attempts to massage FSX's clouds to match that structure but i'm not sure they can really make it look much better without some fundamental changes to sim.

 

that being said, i do agree that with ASN some off my storms are not as 'solid' as i would expect.. it does seem to get a good solid overcast sometimes that i would think that could be used along with the storms to make it look more dense..  and i also rarely see ones that top 30,000 although i can't say i have really investigated this by deliberately looking for storms with 40-50k tops.

 

cheers

-andy crosby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FSX is great at T Storms, this is just a simple injection of a metar at a WS created just off the coast, so i'm sure ASN does it:

cl_if_sky5_b.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ that's just some towering cumulus with high cirrus in the background. Not a thunderstorm. I mean, it may well be FSX's representation of a storm, but it doesn't resemble real life.

 

Thanks for the explanation, Andy. I figured it was something along those lines. I have tried the "high detail thunderstorm clouds" option and it does make the coverage denser, but it still just strikes me as layers of alto-cumulus and cirrus; it doesn't create any more vertical development. It's typically nothing I'd even consider deviating around in real life lol.

 

Anyway, I love ASN and I'm certain they're doing the best with what they have to work with, so I'm not complaining. I was hoping maybe I was just missing some settings, but thanks for the input...


Andrew Crowley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing is that FSX/P3D doesn't simulate precipitation from a distance. If you look underneath a precip producing cloud, it's see-through. During microbursts and downpours- you can see them coming. 


Brendan R, KDXR PHNL KJFK

Type rated: SF34 / DH8 (Q400) / DC9 717 MD-88/ B767 (CFI/II/MEI/ATP)

Majestic Software Q400 Beta Team / Pilot Consultant / Twitter @violinvelocity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ that's just some towering cumulus with high cirrus in the background. Not a thunderstorm.

It's 27000ft high CB anvil, thunder, lightning and raining, you can tell you're getting close to it too.


Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


Just in case others want to see the storm picture:

 

Now that's a serious Anvil!


Gary, CIMEL, retired FAA Controller & all around good guy!
Faa.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I get that that's what it is, it's just that FSX isn't rendering it to look anything like what a 27k cell would look in real life... it just looks anemic, like towering cu. Now granted 27k isn't all that strong, but it would look different than that. I actually loaded up ASN's historical weather for the El Reno storm that generated the tornado that killed Tim Samaras a few years ago - I flew around that storm twice IRL, doing a Tulsa turn out of Denver. One of the meanest storms I've ever seen... but in the sim, it looked like your screenshot, some towering cu and cirrus. But oh well, if that's the best we can do, so be it.


Andrew Crowley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it's not bad considering, although I remember being slightly disappointed with FSX weather when it came out, I think there's 4 different towering CBs in the stock FSX.


Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...