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Chris341

Realistic Sky Textures

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Well I've experimented quite a lot while I was working on my sky textures for Ultimate Realism Pack, and I think I've found a sweetspot, at least for midday textures. Also I've found out that only first 4 pixels in the top left define shadow/light coloring in P3D. Top right pixel doesn't have any effect after my tests, and the line at the top between the pixels is doing something to the clouds, I've found one color there that will work the best (dark blue).

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Well I've experimented quite a lot while I was working on my sky textures for Ultimate Realism Pack, and I think I've found a sweetspot, at least for midday textures. Also I've found out that only first 4 pixels in the top left define shadow/light coloring in P3D. Top right pixel doesn't have any effect after my tests, and the line at the top between the pixels is doing something to the clouds, I've found one color there that will work the best (dark blue).

top right pixel is responsible for the fog color ;)


UKPZTGY.png sig_FSL-By-Wire.jpg

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top right pixel is responsible for the fog color ;)

 

Well it didn't altered the color of the haze. If you mean about low visibility fox (visibility lower than 8km) then blimey, I didn't tested that scenario lol. Thanks!

 

EDIT: just tested it with 3km visibility, the fog is bright white, and in my sky texture that pixel is the same color as the haze (bottom two rows of pixels), so back to square one. :) Now I must find out why the fog is so bright, literally washed out white. It is probably one of the lighting pixels in the top left.


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I can make you sky textures using the photos you posted here. Your sky will look extremely similar to the one on the photos. Are you interested?

 

Also have you tried my sky pack. It's based on photos as well:

http://vrcreations.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=15994072

Wow those look great in your albums. I'm going to try those in FSX and see how they look.

 

I've been a long time HDEv2 sky set user as REX, FEX and ASCA sky textures have never looked very good to me, but these sunsets and sunrises you made look pretty good. I might keep my night and afternoon HDE set and mix in your sunset and sunrise to see how I get on.

 

Thanks for posting the link.


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just an FYI - if anyone is interested... what I did to learn about how FSX handled the sky texture as far as altitude is concerned (and I also made variants of this idea to learn about haze and lighting pixel effects) -- what I did was to create a set of textures that used red, green , blue and yellow alternating lines starting at the bottom row and working up to the top (just below the lighting row). you can then slew up to altitude and see that the sim doesn't compress the lower half of the sky...it simply adds a line on top of it. it would be so much better if it compressed it and Ive suggested it many times but I get nowhere.

 

Gabriel - nice explanation there. I notice you are using six lighting pixels. Im only aware of the first 5 (top left). Would you mind sharing what the sixth one does?

 

I think what I wrote in those images will need a better explanation. When I began to work on my textures, I did pretty much the same test as you in order to understand how FSX renders the sky. You are right, and we don't disagree. FSX doesn't load the whole texture compressed; rather, it loads portions of the texture -- more of it as you climb. So let's see what I wrote: "(...) while you climb in FSX environment, the sim "loads" a bigger portion of the sky texture and compresses that texture in those "walls", while the zenith is enlarged and receives only one color (...)".

 

What do I mean with "compresses that texture in those 'walls' (...)"? In order to explain this, I'll show a quick test that hopefully will be very illustrative.

 

 

Here are two different noon sky textures (magnified). The first one is a generic texture that I just made for this test -- a simple gradient of blue. The second one is from my pack -- pretty much the same one I showed in my previous explanation.

 

 

 

1.

 

WjcDlcT.png

 

 

 

2.

 

iWp6RWV.png

 

 

 

They look very similar, but the way they are designed will affect the sim more than one may think. Let's see.

All following screenshots were made using the same graphic settings, same zoom level, same angle, same time of day, without any post-processing.

 

This is how sky looks like with texture nº1, at ground level:

 

 

X8tkWTK.jpg

 

 

With my previous explanation in mind, take a close look at how the zenith is being depicted.

 

 

rGAwhMB.jpg

 

 

At ground level, the zenith seems somewhat smaller than at high altitudes, so the effects of a simple gradient texture are less pronounced. But one can get the idea: zenith is flat, and a solid color. Horizon isn't solid -- its aspect is given by the shades of blue as seem in the texture. A simple gradient of blues will cause some "not-so-beautiful" effects in high altitudes. Let's see...

 

 

This is texture nº1, at FL390:

 

 

KA6p6qI.jpg

 

 

mJ1Hs9w.jpg

 

 

So you can see more of the texture but in less space. This is what I had in mind when I talked about "compression". The visual aspect of the sky is, in my opinion, harmed in these conditions.

 

 

eC8CQxe.jpg

 

 

I'm pretty sure a lot of simmers don't care about this, but well... when I designed my textures, I wanted to diminish this "issue". Now, with my previous explanation in mind -- about the lack of variation in a certain portion of my texture -- you can see how the "issue" is... "solved":

 

 

This is how sky looks with texture nº2, at ground level:

 

 

8ASybn1.jpg

 

 

...and at FL390.

 

 

YcJjOgQ.jpg

 

 

 

 

Naturally, by making the textures the way I made, depicting the deep blues you can see at high altitudes in real life is a difficult task. When you keep the same blue tones for a certain range on your textures -- as I did --, you'll be effectively decreasing the shade variation...

 

Sky texture design is all about compromises... and personal tastes, I guess. One may prefer texture nº 1, with its problems. One may prefer my version, with its problems. This is one example to show how we have to make choices in a very limited design environment...

 

 

Oh, about your question on that pixel: I have no idea. :P

Did a lot of tests, nothing conclusive. But I colored that pixel because I thought it could be something that FS9 used... or something, haha.

Great information Gabriel ... thank you, I may just tackle this.  Your sky textures work very well at certain times of dusk/dawn, but during mid day they tend to make everything darker (ground, aircraft, etc.) ... P3D HDR system is now somewhat adjustable with two major light sources (sun and moon) -- this adds to possible permutations.

 

Time to experiment ... 

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

Yep. My set uses some concepts from "Shade for FSX". I adjusted shadows and lighting in order to improve contrast in terrain. I was also concerned with lighting at dusk / dawn. Knowing that lighting of morning and afternoon could affect dawn and dusk lighting, the morning / afternon lighting in my set are a bit less brighter than at midday, for instance. 

 

With my ENB settings, things actually get even darker. It suits my tastes, but my tastes are very... controversial...

Again, I could never antecipate that so many people would download my sky textures -- or I'd be more careful in my choices, lol...

P3D seems to give new exciting possibilities... Unfortunately, I'm far from getting my hands on that sim.

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Gabriel J. T. Rodrigues

My mods in the library

My photography (site updated!)

English isn't my native language. Sometimes, I'm going to make mistakes or sound strange and for this I'm sorry. Please feel free to correct me at anytime. Thanks for your comprehension!

Boeing777_Banner_Pilot.jpg

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Gabriel - I wasn't disagreeing with you. not intentionally anyways. I was just giving my input to try and help.

 

When I said the sky doesn't compress, what I guess I meant was that the sky texture doesn't compress in a way that I think would be best. You are right that the sky does compress to some degree and, as far as I can tell, the zenith is just the next higher line mixed with the line currently being used. The mix changes with altitude and this can be seen clearly with a test texture made up of colorful lines.

 

But what I think would be best is if the portion of the texture you see from the ground would compress down to about the height of three or maybe four rows and there wouldn't be any hard changeover lines. The sim would just stretch and compress different portions of the texture so you could have both a bright sky when flying low and a dark sky with bright horizon for flying high.


|   Dave   |    

I've been around for most of my life.

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Gabriel - I wasn't disagreeing with you. not intentionally anyways. I was just giving my input to try and help.

 

When I said the sky doesn't compress, what I guess I meant was that the sky texture doesn't compress in a way that I think would be best. You are right that the sky does compress to some degree and, as far as I can tell, the zenith is just the next higher line mixed with the line currently being used. The mix changes with altitude and this can be seen clearly with a test texture made up of colorful lines.

 

But what I think would be best is if the portion of the texture you see from the ground would compress down to about the height of three or maybe four rows and there wouldn't be any hard changeover lines. The sim would just stretch and compress different portions of the texture so you could have both a bright sky when flying low and a dark sky with bright horizon for flying high.

 

Hi Dave, don't worry. I just felt my previous explanation was incomplete and dubious. It was an opportunity to show some tricks of texture "design" for everyone. :smile:

Your post was great and taught me some things I didn't know.

 

And this is one of the few opportunities I had to explain a bit some choices I did in my set that always caused questions from users (which are totally legit, by the way). It's cool to talk about these things sometimes.

 

As for the way FSX handles sky, I think it's just... outdated. We needed something like Outerra, but I don't see this happening in FSX-based sims in the near future. Until then, we just do what we can. :smile:

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Gabriel J. T. Rodrigues

My mods in the library

My photography (site updated!)

English isn't my native language. Sometimes, I'm going to make mistakes or sound strange and for this I'm sorry. Please feel free to correct me at anytime. Thanks for your comprehension!

Boeing777_Banner_Pilot.jpg

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Have you tried Navid's sky textures?

http://navidh.se/mis...et_2016_v3.html


How would I install them for P3D? Looks like they are made for FSX - does it still work?

System: i7-2600K, 4x 3.40GHz | ASUS P8P67 Deluxe B3 | 8GB Kingston HyperX T1 DDR3-1600 CL9 | HD 6950 2GB | 750W BeQuiet! Dark Power Pro P9 - 80Plus GOLD | 2x SSD SATA 3

FSX: SP1+Acceleration+REX

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How would I install them for P3D? Looks like they are made for FSX - does it still work?

 

Indeed they work fine in Prepar3D.

Same folders as for FSX.

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What's your latest and greatest Eddie?


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

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23 hours ago, vdae said:

Hi @leghorn! Your sky textures look incredible! May you share the link again?

Regards!

Viggo

+1

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