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FlyBaby

SkyMaxx Pro v3 - cloud draw distance

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Can someone confirm that the latest and greatest SMP v3 draws clouds out to the horizon?

 

I had an earlier version of SMP that basically showed (like the default clouds) a ring of clouds around my plane.

 

I am not looking to depict real weather (or even heavy cloud coverage), i just want some convincing light clouds that does not look like a ring around my plane.

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The highest setting is 40.000 square kilometers. That equals a drawing distance of 200 kilometers or 108 nautical miles. In terms of "to the horizon", it depends on your altitude and visibility. Not at all times, obviously, but it's a good value and a convincing presentation.

 

Keep in mind that for this high setting, you should let a GTX 1080 do the work if you want good results. Unless of course you're in fact satisfied with sparse coverage.

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This is draw distance 9.610 square kilometers (or roughly 1/4th of the scale) at 10.000ft over Big Sur with live weather of this hour. Good enough for me at locked 30 fps.

 

Please note that I have edited the plug-in to deactivate bitmap imposter clouds that extend the coverage. Your mileage may vary.

747-400%20United_26.png?raw=1

747-400%20United_28.png?raw=1

747-400%20United_31.png?raw=1

 

 

Heres what you can expect with this setting at cruising alt (Alps heading north)...

747-400%20United_11.png?raw=1

 

 

Under certain conditions (low alt. and low visibility), it's more than enough (EDDF approach)...

 

747-400%20United_19.png?raw=1


 

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The highest setting is 40.000 square kilometers. That equals a drawing distance of 200 kilometers or 108 nautical miles. In terms of "to the horizon", it depends on your altitude and visibility. Not at all times, obviously, but it's a good value and a convincing presentation.

 

Keep in mind that for this high setting, you should let a GTX 1080 do the work if you want good results. Unless of course you're in fact satisfied with sparse coverage.

 

Thanks for your response and the pics.

 

I do have a GTX 1080 and sparse coverage will work for now. I just want something different than the default blue sky I have now. After overclocking my CPU (4.7Ghz), i have a little more headroom and wanted to get a more realistic looking sky.

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Thanks for your response and the pics.

 

I do have a GTX 1080 and sparse coverage will work for now. I just want something different than the default blue sky I have now. After overclocking my CPU (4.7Ghz), i have a little more headroom and wanted to get a more realistic looking sky.

 

The CPU clock won't influence SMP significantly, it is GPU bound. SMP performance is sensible to resolution and AA (fillrate after all). Your card should be fine for what you are trying to do with SMP. Load your CPU with scenery features and keep an eye on CPU and GPU frametimes within the X-Plane FPS display (neither should be higher than 0.033 to achieve 30 fps) to see if either scenery (CPU) or clouds (GPU) limit your FPS.

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As noted, at the max setting of 40,000 sq kilometers, the edge of the cloud 'circle' is going to be 100 km away from your aircraft (since you're in the middle of the circle). Which isn't bad, of course.

 

However, with my current rig, I found that I could rarely achieve that sort of distance without seriously compromising performance, unless of course conditions were quite clear already. This means that I usually had the slider set around 1/3 to 1/2, which gives a much more pronounced visible edge.

 

The other issue I found is that for me, SMP clouds seem to form a very distinct edge at the limit of coverage - they never seemed to blend into the visibility limit. I kind of found my happy place through experimenting, but it's still not (and likely will never be) perfect.  I did get to where the edge of cloud coverage is very indistinct and merged with the visibility limit, at least for low and slow flying.

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As noted, at the max setting of 40,000 sq kilometers, the edge of the cloud 'circle' is going to be 100 km away from your aircraft (since you're in the middle of the circle). Which isn't bad, of course.

 

You are right, it's 100 km since you're in the middle. I actually meant 200 ...

 

 

 

However, with my current rig, I found that I could rarely achieve that sort of distance without seriously compromising performance, unless of course conditions were quite clear already.

 

Yeah, it's too heavy on a 980ti as soon as there's high coverage.

 

I think SkyMaxx 4.0 will win you back  :wink: .

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