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So AS16 had been a guaranteed buy for me, was just using the trial, waiting for PCAviator to list it since I had a coupon to use.  I figured, since I was there, I might as well buy ASCA.

 

Saying I was underwhelmed by the screenshots would have been an understatement.  However, after putting everything on automatic and going for a flight in the rainy bad weather I see out the window right now...  I'm speechless.  It's amazing.  I've flown quite a bit, including PPL lessons, and the weather experience was spot on.

 

Now, it all depends on the type of simmer you are.  I fly from the cockpit and strive for realism, not pretty pictures.  I thoroughly enjoy the talent of those who take screenshots, and have plenty as desktop backgrounds.  However, when I fire up the sim, I have a PFPX flight plan on my tablet, I fly real world routes if it's an airline flight, I use ATC and FS2Crew...  And in that case, ASCA's clouds are very good.

 

Is ASCA perfect?  Not at all.  Some clouds really need some work, and there's just a bit of popping here and there.  Is AS16 worth it?  I'd have paid full price for it anytime.  Is ASCA worth it too?  Well, it depends.  If you aim for realism, absolutely - if your goal is screenshots, I'd say wait.  Judging by the improvements HiFi has baked into ASN during its life cycle, I'm extremely confident that ASCA will be updated and made better very soon.

 

As for REX4 Texture Direct and Soft Clouds, I think I got it for like $15 in a big sale, and I have to say it's a tremendous value.  I'll keep using their ground and water textures for sure.

 

But in the end, I feel like AS16+ASCA deliver an incredibly realistic WX experience, and I'd say miles ahead of my previous ASN+REX4 combo.  It's that good.

 

Tl;dr : Based on screenshots, thought I'd be disappointed by ASCA, turns out I love it, try before you bash!

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+1

 

Really like full dynamics option in ASCA: happened to me being surprised by some combinations of sky and hi/low level clouds.

 

Cheers,

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So AS16 had been a guaranteed buy for me, was just using the trial, waiting for PCAviator to list it since I had a coupon to use.  I figured, since I was there, I might as well buy ASCA.

 

Saying I was underwhelmed by the screenshots would have been an understatement.  However, after putting everything on automatic and going for a flight in the rainy bad weather I see out the window right now...  I'm speechless.  It's amazing.  I've flown quite a bit, including PPL lessons, and the weather experience was spot on.

 

Now, it all depends on the type of simmer you are.  I fly from the cockpit and strive for realism, not pretty pictures.  I thoroughly enjoy the talent of those who take screenshots, and have plenty as desktop backgrounds.  However, when I fire up the sim, I have a PFPX flight plan on my tablet, I fly real world routes if it's an airline flight, I use ATC and FS2Crew...  And in that case, ASCA's clouds are very good.

 

Is ASCA perfect?  Not at all.  Some clouds really need some work, and there's just a bit of popping here and there.  Is AS16 worth it?  I'd have paid full price for it anytime.  Is ASCA worth it too?  Well, it depends.  If you aim for realism, absolutely - if your goal is screenshots, I'd say wait.  Judging by the improvements HiFi has baked into ASN during its life cycle, I'm extremely confident that ASCA will be updated and made better very soon.

 

As for REX4 Texture Direct and Soft Clouds, I think I got it for like $15 in a big sale, and I have to say it's a tremendous value.  I'll keep using their ground and water textures for sure.

 

But in the end, I feel like AS16+ASCA deliver an incredibly realistic WX experience, and I'd say miles ahead of my previous ASN+REX4 combo.  It's that good.

 

Tl;dr : Based on screenshots, thought I'd be disappointed by ASCA, turns out I love it, try before you bash!

 

Thanks for your opinion. This is very valuable input as I'm also that kind of simmer. Airline flying without overcast and just those nice looking puffy clouds everywhere has become quite boring to me recently. I'm really looking forward to do some real IFR flying once I have purchased AS16+ASCA.

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Agree. I've got several trips in the logbook since AS16+ASCA was installed, yesterday a marathon KDFW-VHHH trip. It looks good.  Sure hope for improvement in rendering of CB clouds, but even that has come a long ways in past couple years. What I noticed immediately was the frame rate drop I used to always get with overcast/undercast sky has been minimized. This is a much appreciated improvement.

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Here Full Dynamics ...

Just did a VFR from KEGE to KDEN using Full Dynamics. Amazing speed of sourround clouds. Placebo?

 

Thanks Michael Moe

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Here Full Dynamics ...

 

Same here only skies left off ;-)

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Agreed. Asca does need work, but I trust hifi will make it better. They back their products with great support and updates. I don't regret purchasing both as it adds a lot of immersion and realism with as2016.

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I'm going with the new REX product.  I just hope that they have a stand-alone Wx engine which is the reason I originally went with ASN.  I do like REX clouds also.

 

Cheers

jja

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Given that this is HifiSim's first venture along complete integration, I think they have done well and will improve with age. Dont forget that the provision is still there to use REX soft clouds and textures. I for one am very happy with the accurate weather depictions. This has the makings of the weather benchmark for other developrs to aspire to.

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and there's just a bit of popping here and there

 

Hi Max, great feedback.  By popping, do you mean some of the textures in the foreground, or do you mean the instant reload from a theme to one of the dynamic sets?  There is a known issue with in FSX and Prepar3D where the "Z-Order" causes slight texturing to appear on the surface of some of the clouds.

 

Robert

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The first to flights I found the Blue of the skies to blue.

But then we got fair weather and that Blue had the same color and tone.

My favorite REX Sky was not Blue enough.

 

Keep in mind that bloom settings ( I use them ) and monitor settings also have their inuence.....

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Given that this is HifiSim's first venture along complete integration

 

Well, not really. AS6 (released in 2006) combined a weather engine with textures in one package and in 2007 XGraphics was release as a seperate addon, just like ASCA, to go with ASX. HiFi ditched the graphics part with the next version, ASA. After that came ASE and ASN and now HiFi is back with another texture addon. So no, it certainly is not their first venture. I am sure there was a reason why they ditched the graphics part in the past: hopefully for all you buyers HiFi will make serious business of this graphics part now and in the future.

 

EDIT

O, wait, I checked online to see what I just said was correct and I totally forgot about AS2012 which was yet another version that came with graphics included, like AS6, so not in a seperate program. That one is even more recent than XG. I do wonder why HiFi keeps on adding and removing and adding and removing and adding and removing that graphics part. It doesn't help to build confidence for future support. But well, as long as they keep on making the best weather engine out there, I don't really care.  :wink:

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Well, not really. AS6 (released in 2006) combined a weather engine with textures in one package and in 2007 XGraphics was release as a seperate addon, just like ASCA, to go with ASX. HiFi ditched the graphics part with the next version, ASA. After that came ASE and ASN and now HiFi is back with another texture addon. So no, it certainly is not their first venture. I am sure there was a reason why they ditched the graphics part in the past: hopefully for all you buyers HiFi will make serious business of this graphics part now and in the future.

 

EDIT

O, wait, I checked online to see what I just said was correct and I totally forgot about AS2012 which was yet another version that came with graphics included, like AS6, so not in a seperate program. That one is even more recent than XG. I do wonder why HiFi keeps on adding and removing and adding and removing and adding and removing that graphics part. It doesn't help to build confidence for future support. But well, as long as they keep on making the best weather engine out there, I don't really care.  :wink:

 

Thank you for pointing out my inaccuracy, I hope other readers have taken it onboard so that I have not confused them.

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The first to flights I found the Blue of the skies to blue.

But then we got fair weather and that Blue had the same color and tone.

My favorite REX Sky was not Blue enough.

 

Keep in mind that bloom settings ( I use them ) and monitor settings also have their inuence.....

 

 

I can't say that I like ASCA's sky textures. Neither do I find REX Sky blue enough. The best I've seen were FSX HDEv2 sky textures, deep cold blue colour. I never let REX or others rewrite them. Still looking for similar ones for P3D.

 

Dirk.

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I have been using Hi-fi Simulations products since their original release and have purchased the latest 2016 version. I am a bit confused though as regards ASCA. The 2016 version has definitely made a big improvement and wondering what ASCA would add to my experience considering I'm not insterested in creating customised weather settings because all my flights are on Vatsim using real weather. I have always assumed that AS2016 on its own would be sufficient. Is there any reason for me to purchase ASCA? - Feedback appreciated.

 

Thanks

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I have been using Hi-fi Simulations products since their original release and have purchased the latest 2016 version. I am a bit confused though as regards ASCA. The 2016 version has definitely made a big improvement and wondering what ASCA would add to my experience considering I'm not insterested in creating customised weather settings because all my flights are on Vatsim using real weather. I have always assumed that AS2016 on its own would be sufficient. Is there any reason for me to purchase ASCA? - Feedback appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

You get new textures and an option to have dynamic change of textures as you fly.

 

Thats an hole new feature. Choose dynamic setting inside ASCA and AS2016 starts ASCA automatic before every flight and constant communicate between sim and ASCA.

 

Michael Moe

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That seems to be a good thing, so I'll buy it.  Thanks for clarifying that Michael.

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I'm definitely going to get AS2016 and will likely get ASCA as well.

 

In my experience, and I've owned most of HiFiSim's and REX's stuff over the years, HiFiSim has the best weather engines and REX has the best cloud textures.

 

I loved AS2012's automatic texture installation based on the weather conditions, but was never really impressed with their clouds.

 

I'll withold judgement on ASCA until I actually see the textures in my sim with my own eyes. I do hope they look good because the automatic texture injection based on weather conditions *while the sim is running* is a big leap forward in weather realism.

 

Dave

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I picked up ASCA and it didn't really blow me away. It has some nice things going for it, especially the variety and how it does full overcast, that's a sight to behold. It does look better in motion, when you get the full palette, than it does in static screenshots. With that said, it still has some problems with lots of duplicate clouds within a small area, you often see 3-4 "puffs" that are copies of each other within a single view. It also has the problem of some select clouds looking extremely bad. Like, I was flying over this cloud that look extremely stretched on one axis, so the textures couldn't keep up either. It looked absolutely horrendous.

 

One of its biggest issues is that many clouds tend to look a bit cartoony, the overall cloud cover blend leaves a bit to be desired. If they could nice that soft cloud + solid cloud structure, bit like we see in the Sky Force video, then they would be on the right track.

 

They have the basis for something good but it needs quite a bit of work, in my opinion. As for their sky colours, I had to outright disable them. They are really unnatural looking, especially when it suddenly blends yellow ground, pink sunset and purple upper layer, it looks like a child's birthday cake.

 

So it has the variety, it has some potential but it also needs a lot of work.  

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Yep, i'm in agreement with Sethos. It's a nice idea and has lots of potential, but there is simply too much obvious repetition in certain areas the the moment. I'm sure this is a bug of some sort. If they can get it looking a bit more random along with some refinements, it will work very well i think, but i'll be staying with my AS16/Soft Clouds combo for now.

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Ok.... i'm back. So, i had been running in 'global dynamic' mode - more fool me.. i had read a bit more and decided to go back and try the 'Full dynamic' mode and wow, that's more like it! Ok, if you're cloud peeping, you can still see a little repetition sometimes, but it's completely minimised compared to the other modes and i also now understand they are aware of this and will be releasing a fix.

 

Anyways, i have to say this has been the best weather depictions i've seen so far in Prepar3D. Very very cool with some beautifully realised cloudscapes and cloud structures that morph and change as you fly through and on to your destination.

 

AS16 along with ASCA is indeed well worth a closer look and has been said before by the OP, do not simply go on some of the screenshots that may have been posted elsewhere. It really does deliver and it's only early days.

 

Oh and i should mention that i have the cloud scale set to 0.55 through PTA - i've not tried using a default setting yet, but i can certainly recommend that setting should you want to try.

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As a huge enthusiast of ASN I bought and installed AS16 and ASCA without a second thought. Boy, was I disappointed.

 

So, after several hours of uninstalling and reinstalling and googling and reading and fiddling, I concluded that the products were way below the HiFi standards and the results produced with REX textures + ASN.

 

Then I looked at the weather settings in FSX and realized that AS was not selected and thought that was the problem, all was forgiven (see my post elsewhere here). Oops, no. FSX defaults to clear skies when the weather settings panel is opened, and selecting anything doesn't change a thing when AS16 is running.

 

The latest hotfix notification came up during one restart and I thought, "Hooray, they figured it out, all will be fixed. Nope.

 

Not only were the textures just as bad, but on every subsequent launch I got a pop-up saying there was a new update and when I selected it was told it couldn't be done because of some process already underway. Uninstall and reinstall, yet again.

 

So I wasted more time trying to figure out how the clouds could look so terrible, what I could be doing wrong.

 

fsx%202016-07-15%2006-34-57-06.jpg

 

fsx%202016-07-23%2013-54-20-04.jpg

 

I even dug through the CFG file, changed textures from 1024 to 2048 and then even 4096. No joy. The clouds still looked like cartoons. So I tried to go back to ASN.

 

Seems AS16 and ASN require SimConnect settings that are not compatible, so that has to be done all over again. No switching back and forth. (Yes, I quit FSX first)

 

The good news is ASN is once again producing delicious clouds, and I can create screenshots that are often mistaken for real photos. (That's the Manfred Jahn/Jan Visser C-47V3 with the exquisite vintage VC that was released yesterday at Sim-Outhouse.com  http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/local_links.php?catid=34.

 

fsx%202016-07-04%2010-06-12-91.jpg

 

Yes, I like the ASCA cirrus, yes I like the AS16 effect of clouds wooshing past when I go IMC, yes I still think I might be doing something incorrectly to get such poor results.

 

But I'm feeling ripped off right now. Can anyone offer suggestions on what I may be doing wrong?

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But I'm feeling ripped off right now. Can anyone offer suggestions on what I may be doing wrong?

 

I don't run FSX anymore, and haven't touched it in the last 2+ years, but that doesn't look at all like what AS16+ASCA give me right now.  I hope someone with more current FSX knowledge can help, because that is not what you should see.

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