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RobWhightNZ

P3D V3 and weather/textures - confused

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HI,

 

So, I'm confused. My set up is as follows:

Main PC:

P3D V3.2 (I haven't yet moved to V3.3 because I don't fancy the whole reinstall just yet - will make the move at some point)

FSGRW Network

 

Secondary PC

FWGRW

EFB

VAS Monitor

 

I've been running with FSGRW for some time and rather like it. It is simple to use on the network set up and gives me a reasonable representation of real world weather into the sim.

 

Things advance though and get better and better. So I'm wondering about RES and/or Active Sky 2016.

 

As I understand it there are two basic 'components':

1. The weather injection engine

2. Enhanced textures that just whatever weather is in the sim and make it look better

 

I know that FSGRW is just item (1).

 

So views:

1. Should I add REX 4 ? (That is just enhanced textures right ?)

2. If I went to Active Sky 2016, that would replace FSGRW wouldn't it (I'm thinking it is a weather engine as opposed to textures - see next line)

3. If I went with AS16, would I then consider Active Sky Cloud Art ? (That is textures right ? If so, would that work with FSGRW as it currently stands ?)

 

There are so many products, I can't seem t understand which is what !! (Guess that is a good place to be rather than no products at all !)

 

Any help for the simple of mind much appreciated :-)

 

R

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Hi R,

 

You're not the only one confused by the sudden and huge lineup of REX products.   You may want to try their dedicated forum for the best answer.  A couple of months ago I did purchase ASN (Active Sky Next) quickly followed by REX 4 Texture Direct w/ Soft Clouds.  Seems to be a good combo in my opinion. 

 

So....if you were to only update to ASN, it would "inject" weather (either live or historical) into Prepar3D.  But Prepar3D doesn't seem to have the huge variety of clouds types needed for real weather injection.

 

Hence, I found it necessary to also include a "Texture" package for ASN to properly drive the weather (REX 4).   The REX 4 textures include cloud types that don't come with the standard Prepar3D- making, in my opinion, buying both a real necessity. 

 

Now- I've been reading about AS2016, Active Sky Art, etc....and feel they have somewhat diluted their product line but if you watch the videos on their site you can get a feel for what you're really paying for.

 

For what it is worth, as someone who started on Bruce Artwick's Sublogic Flight Simulator II for the C64 in 1984, I have flown simulations non-stop since then (Amiga 2000, every MS product sold, X-Plane, others, including the Singer Link KC-10 System at Barksdale AFB Louisiana).  I have purchased lots of add-ons over the years that were a waste of money but I am enjoying REX4+ASN and it seems to be one of my better add-on purchases.

 

Good luck with your decision.

 

Mark Trainer


Mark Trainer

 

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I highly recommend the new ActiveSky 2016 + ActiveSky Cloud Art combo. AS16 injects the weather and ASCA adds the textures. It is the only program (I believe) that will dynamically update the textures to match the weather so you will see significant changes to clouds and colors over the course of the flight. It's really cool to take off in bright clear skies and end up landing in gloomy overcast conditions. I've used REX and the textures are amazing but they will look the same over the course of the entire flight regardless of how the weather changes.

 

-Noah

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I am new to P3D, have used X-Plane for years, still do but that is another story.

 

I have AS16 and REX4.  Since I am new that was more of a fluke than an educated decision.  I just saw what everyone was talking about and got the latest version of both.

 

With that, I am seeing amazing weather generation and clouds, etc with the combination.  I did not go back and reread prior to this post so this is memory only.  I think there was something that about the only thing you loose using Rex over ASCA is cloud movement in the clouds.  But not so sure on that so do not hold me to it.

 

My point is, I am VERY impressed with the combination and I flew a KPHX to KATL last week and the weather was clear as could be in KPHX and thunderstorms over Texas and overcast to 200 ft above minimums in KATL so the clouds/ art is changing and it looked fantastic.  

 

It is also very smooth transitions into and out of the weather.  X-plane does a drop in weather update that will slap you off course (about the only bad thing I will say about X-Plane so that one was free :))).


Oh and @mtrainer, right there with you on Sublogic, Your Avatar brought back so many memories.  I would love to get a copy of that screen shot.  I bet I have a couple of thousand hours logged on that sim....  Maybe I should not have admitted that......


Neil Garner

RW- ASEL

X-Plane and P3D

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You are correct - AS16 is the weather program. ASCA is the weather texture program. One of the main benefits of AS16/ASCA combination is the ability to inject new weather determined textures into the sim on the fly. You can use other textures like REX and get beautiful results but you will not get the dynamic weather injection. You can also use ASCA with other weather programs but you will not get the dynamic weather. Of the currently available weather combinations, AS16/ASCA is the only one that will provide the dynamic changes.

 

 

Vic


 

P3D#1 - 7700K 5.0g ROG X270F 3600 15-15-15 - EVGA RTX 2080ti 1000W PSU 1- 850G EVO SSD, 2-256G OCZ SSD, 1TB,HAF942-H100 Water W1064Pro
40" 4K Monitor 3840x2160 - AS16, ASCA, GEP3D, UTX, Toposim, ORBX Regions, TrackIR
P3D#2 - 3770K 4.7g Asus Z77 1600 7-8-7 GTX1080ti DH14 850W 2-1TB WD HDD,1tb VRap, Armor+ W10 Pro 2 - HannsG 28" Monitors
 

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Thanks folks.

 

Think I have it now. Looks like I'll be heading towards AS16 and ASCA.

 

A few points:

1. Can AS16 run on a network ? (It just helps me run things as I can leave P3D fullcreen yet still access the injection programme if I want during the flight)

2. Any views on what the ASCA textures do to your VAS ? (I'm general short/long haul airlines with Aerosoft Airbus and PMDG)

 

Thanks again for the help.

 

Rob

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If you do not like the look of ASCA textures, you may wait until REX brings out Skyforce3D, which works with every weather engine and does also dynamically change the textures.

 

I hope we will get it in August/September of this year.

  • Upvote 2

Regards,

Chris Keller

--

i7-4790K@4.3 GHz, 32GB DDR3 RAM, GTX1080TI 11GB VRAM, SSD, G-SYNC 1440p monitor

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Hi Rob

 

I got the AS16 ASCA combination recently and am delighted with it. Both AS16 and ASCA run over the network and that is how I have it set up. In fact they were both very easy to set up that way. I don't have any figures on the VAS they consume but I haven't noticed any increase since moving to this programme and I have done some decent length flights of about 4 hours or so in the NGX.

 

Cheers

Stu.


Stuart Furley

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Awesome - thanks to all.

 

Always astounds me how much help you can get so quickly from around the world - probably a sign I'm getting older :sad:

 

Cheers - might need to go shopping for AS16 and ASCA now :Money Eyes:

 

R

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You're not the only one confused by the sudden and huge lineup of REX products.

 

Just to be sure and to prevent confusion: you seem to think or say AS16 and ASCA are also REX products. They aren't. AS16 and ASCA are made by HiFi Simulations Technologies.

 

 

 

so the clouds/ art is changing and it looked fantastic.

 

Well, actually, the weather is changing. The art is the same since you are using REX and not ASCA. P3D (just as FSX) only works (and CAN only work) with ONE texture set for clouds and skies. That one set is capable of displaying ALL kinds of weather and that is why P3D/FSX only comes with ONE set by default. The fact that the weather is changing and looking fantastic is due to the weather engine.

 

In come texture addons like REX: they offer various texture sets of clouds and skies and you can load the ones you like and use them in P3D. You can only load ONE set, which has to be done before you start the flightsim, and that one set will again be capable of displaying all kinds of weather. Clouds will look a bit different depending on the set you chose, more solid or more fluffy, but still, every texture set is capable of showing all kinds of weather and the set is used for the entire flying session and as longs as you don't replace it with another set.

 

In comes ASCA: it is a texture addon like REX but only comes with cloud and sky textures (REX also has for instance water and runway textures). The new thing ASCA brings (only in combination with AS16) is the possibility to load other textures for clouds and skies while the sim is still running. In other words: it will load another texture (one at a time) of for instance clouds while you are flying and it does so depending on the weather (or at least that's the idea). You will still have only ONE active texture set which is still capable of displaying all kinds of weather but it will be more suited to the specific kind of weather and it will load another texture set if the weather changes. In the past you had to quit the sim to load new textures but now you can do it on the fly.

 

Although a single set of textures is more than capable of displaying all kinds of weather, being able to use various kinds of textures sets on the fly will obviously give you more variation during a single session and things will be better suited for the current weather.

 

 

 

You can use other textures like REX and get beautiful results but you will not get the dynamic weather injection. You can also use ASCA with other weather programs but you will not get the dynamic weather.

 

To prevent even more confusion: where this quote says 'dynamic weather' it should have read 'dynamic weather determined textures'. 'Dynamic weather' has been available in sims for ages already: it is what weather engines like AS16 do, but 'dynamic weather determined textures' is a new thing that so far only the combination of AS16 and ASCA brings.

 

 

 

It just helps me run things as I can leave P3D fullcreen yet still access the injection programme if I want during the flight

 

If that is the only reason you want to use the weather engine over a network it might be interesting for you to know that P3D runs in a window all the time: the fullscreen is a semi-fullscreen and you can easily switch to other programs due to this. In P3D there are options to let the sim fly on and produce sound when it is not the active program! (Those options are both off by default.) By doing this I can reach ANY program I want, ProATC, AS16, Firefox, whatever, as if I am opening an extra window from within P3D! No need for network here! P3D still keeps on flying in the background, audible and all.

 

Besides, a lot of people run weather engines over the network to get better performance on the sim PC but they forget the networking in the background consumes 'performance' too. I remember reading that even HiFi, the creator of ASN, once said the network options are ONLY there because people want them, not because they offer a real benefit. Not nowadays anymore, at least.

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@ J van E thanks for the clarification. That makes a great deal of since. Out of curiosity could one still use REX for all none cloud textures and ASCA for just the clouds? Or are you asking for trouble?

 

I am assuming based on this that even when REX releases Skyforce 3D that you would still have the same limitation.


Neil Garner

RW- ASEL

X-Plane and P3D

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@ J van E thanks for the clarification. That makes a great deal of since. Out of curiosity could one still use REX for all none cloud textures and ASCA for just the clouds? Or are you asking for trouble?

 

I am assuming based on this that even when REX releases Skyforce 3D that you would still have the same limitation.

 

In ASCA you can enable or disable Sky Colors, Cirrus, Cloud Textures and Cloud Structures. So yes, if you disable all option apart from Cloud Textures in ASCA you can keep on using REX none cloud textures. If you have already installed various ASCA textures, disable the options you want to disable, let ASCA install the textures, and then run REX to install the other textures, making sure (!!!) you have disables the use of clouds within REX!

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In ASCA you can enable or disable Sky Colors, Cirrus, Cloud Textures and Cloud Structures. So yes, if you disable all option apart from Cloud Textures in ASCA you can keep on using REX none cloud textures. If you have already installed various ASCA textures, disable the options you want to disable, let ASCA install the textures, and then run REX to install the other textures, making sure (!!!) you have disables the use of clouds within REX!

Perfect, thanks!!!


Neil Garner

RW- ASEL

X-Plane and P3D

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Just to add to the "network" thing, I usually run ASN over the network, but every time I change stuff around I have to go back thru the folders with simconnect setups. (I'm always having to find notes on where all this is).

 

This time when installing AS16 and ASCA I simply installed it on the P3D machine. I see absolutely no difference in performance while running everything on the same machine, and I don't think I will go to the hassle of running thru network setup again.

 

Just sayin'....... 


i7 7700K @4.2, GTX 1060 6 Gig, Windows 10, P3D v 5, and MSFS 2020 and a couple of SSD's

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