Sign in to follow this  
RobWhightNZ

P3D V3 and weather/textures - confused

Recommended Posts

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

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

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

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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......

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

@ 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.

Share this post


Link to post

@ 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!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

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!!!

Share this post


Link to post

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'....... 

Share this post


Link to post

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.

 

Well done Jeroen   :wink:

Share this post


Link to post

 

 


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.

 

I came to the same conclusion with my new build. Weather and P3D on same machine, AS2016 rarely consumes more than a few percentage points of CPU time. Even played with setting affinity on the fly with Process Explorer to knock off cores used by P3D but saw no difference in performance.

Share this post


Link to post

In all the testing that I have done with ASE, ASs2012, ASN and AS16 - I have seen no appreciable difference when running in networked mode vs local install. Some will argue that the cpu has less processing but that's really not the case. Taking into account that it has to maintain a network connection, data transfer, etc - it's a wash.

 

Vic

Share this post


Link to post

True, I don't think there's any difference in performance with running AS16 on a networked computer. My only reason for doing so is so I can access the moving weather map at all times on my laptop. I have a number of programmes running on it like plan g, PFPX, Pro ATC and Topcat. All of these things are quite useful during a flight so it's nice to have them easily accessible while not having to switch away from P3D on my main computer.

Share this post


Link to post

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'....... 

 

 

I came to the same conclusion with my new build. Weather and P3D on same machine, AS2016 rarely consumes more than a few percentage points of CPU time. Even played with setting affinity on the fly with Process Explorer to knock off cores used by P3D but saw no difference in performance.

 

 

In all the testing that I have done with ASE, ASs2012, ASN and AS16 - I have seen no appreciable difference when running in networked mode vs local install. Some will argue that the cpu has less processing but that's really not the case. Taking into account that it has to maintain a network connection, data transfer, etc - it's a wash.

 

Vic

 

I rest my case. :hi: 

 

It's funny how some people keep on using or wanting or requesting features that might have been of use years ago but have become useless in the meantime. Specially flightsimmers seem to have a tendency to hold on to old truths as if their lives depend on it without checking every now and then if what they think is true still is true or not. :wink:

True, I don't think there's any difference in performance with running AS16 on a networked computer. My only reason for doing so is so I can access the moving weather map at all times on my laptop. I have a number of programmes running on it like plan g, PFPX, Pro ATC and Topcat. All of these things are quite useful during a flight so it's nice to have them easily accessible while not having to switch away from P3D on my main computer.

 

That is a good reason to use various addons on a networked computer but as I said earlier, with P3D I never really have the idea I am switching away from P3D because I can open everything program or addon in a window while P3D keeps on running full screen: it's as if I am opening a GPS popup or any other P3D popup window. Depending on how often you do this and how big the windows are it may of course spoil the immersion a bit. :wink:

Share this post


Link to post

True, I don't think there's any difference in performance with running AS16 on a networked computer. My only reason for doing so is so I can access the moving weather map at all times on my laptop. I have a number of programmes running on it like plan g, PFPX, Pro ATC and Topcat. All of these things are quite useful during a flight so it's nice to have them easily accessible while not having to switch away from P3D on my main computer.

+1 Stuart..Once am in the cockpit I stay there. No changing setting or outside views. May popup GTN750 a couple of times but with a 40 inch screen I can see it very well with out a popup. Guess its all about the immersion. Network apps allow me to explore their features while am flying. Just don't hit the wrong button and crash the flight. :fool: 

Share this post


Link to post

. My only reason for doing so is so I can access the moving weather map at all times on my laptop.

Look at the Weather companion which is a function of AS16 - You can have AS16 on local system and get the map on the laptop.

 

Vic

Share this post


Link to post

... or tablet or phone. Basically, any device on your local network. It works great.

Share this post


Link to post

Vic Am going to try AS16 on same pc as p3d. Wish the runway candidate info from the briefing was  included in the weather report. One can fire up AS16 and not touch it again doing the flight. So I have to uninstall from my server pc before install to my client? 1 pc 1 person use right?

Share this post


Link to post

Yes but if you are just testing, you can leave it on the server. When you run it on the PC it will deactivate on the server. Ultimately you will have to delete one though.

 

You can't do this with the trial though. Need to get a new trial license.

 

Vic

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this