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Colonel X

Coming soon: Ventura Sky for X-Plane 10.50

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INTRODUCTION

 

Ventura Sky is a free Fly With Lua script for X-Plane 10.50 which has the potential to transform your X-Plane experience. Requiring SkyMaxx Pro v3, Real Weather Connector, [XPGFS] NOAA Weather plug-in 2.2.2 and Maxx FX (optional), Ventura Sky creates a dynamic atmosphere that combines the variety of real weather with an optimized, dynamic visibility limit which will seamlessly interpolate between live visibilities and increase as you climb out of the weather. By synchronizing visibility, raleigh scattering („haze“) and colors (the Ventura Sky sky color set comes included), Ventura Sky enables a calibrated, vibrant environment for X-Plane that takes full advantage of what X-Plane’s HDR mode parameters have to offer.

 

 

FEATURES

 

  • Get rid of X-Plane’s standard dull, washed out day colors - Ventura Sky offers a vivid, realistic look at all times of the day, at all altitudes.
 

  • Solid visibility limit at 16nm (25700m) below 10000 feet (all values editable in the script), independent from cloud layers. The sky colors have been adjusted to give you a pristine, clear blue sky at 16nm (if the weather allows it). The result is a sophisticated balance of realism and performance.
 

  • Along with the improved visuals (less aliasing) comes the performance benefit of a visibility limit. Enjoy X-Plane scenery flying low without having to pay for visibility you don’t need. 
 

  • Realtime visibility data from the [XPGFS] NOAA Weather plug-in will be deployed seamlessly - any visibility change will be smooth (10m per frame), never again will you suffer a sudden, immersion killing switch. Visibilities higher than 16nm will always be cut to 16nm (or your desired value) prior to being deployed.
 

  • Above 10000 feet, visibility will increase / decrease dynamically based on your altitude. By the time you reach say FL 320, X-Plane will flex it’s long range visibility muscles. Descend below 10000ft and the nearest live visibility will be deployed (limit applied if necessary).
 

  • No more fade-in of scenery - no more „ghost“ buildings at the horizon. Buildings will be drawn fully once they are visible. Increases „pop-in“ effect a little, but that’s arguably better than having transparent buildings on the horizon.
 

  • Enjoy 6X boosted atmospheric scattering at low altitudes and 4x at high altitudes for improved depth perception - all settings have been synchronized with the Ventura Sky sky color set for maximum realism and seamlessness - at all positions of the sun.
 

  • A simple status report will be available in your X-Plane dev console. Check the current conditions and the state of the script as you fly, easily understand what it does.
 

  • Ventura Sky is configuration free - drop the script in the Fly With Lua scripts folder and it will just work next time you start your sim. However, many values may be edited when you open the script (explanations inside).
 

 

TECHNICAL DETAILS

 

Ventura Sky uses X-Plane datarefs to build the atmosphere and this prohibits X-Plane’s own clouds to be drawn (we need a single, clear cloud layer that goes up to 46000 feet). The [XPGFS] NOAA Weather plug-in hands temperature, pressure and winds directly to X-Plane, however we make it skip cloud levels and have it hand its calculated visibility to the Ventura Sky script (via a dummy variable) instead of X-Plane itself. The Ventura Sky script then calculates visibility and sky condition and writes these to X-Plane. SkyMaxx Pro v3 and Real Weather Connector, then inject METAR data based clouds via the „Always“ function. As of now, we recommend to turn off cloud shadows of SkyMaxx, as these are currently not working well with X-Plane’s own haze.

 

 


IMPORTANT NOTE

 

Ventura Sky ONLY works with real weather provided by the [XPGFS] NOAA Weather plug-in 2.2.2 (.py file needs to be edited, instructions below). SkyMaxx Pro v3 and Real Weather Connector (set to „Always“) is required to inject clouds. It has only been tested in X-Plane’s HDR rendering mode. Maxx FX is optional, settings are included to achieve exactly the look shown.

 

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Could be interesting. But FSGRW and NOAA I will never use, especially the last one that is a frame killer delux on my machine.

Real connector is also something I could not care less about and skycolors I have my own.

 

So basically it will be int. to see what the code is about and check to see if it is not any reproduction of my code within RTH

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Tom,  Why do always sit on the fence about stuff ?   :smile:

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Could be interesting. But FSGRW and NOAA I will never use, especially the last one that is a frame killer delux on my machine.

Real connector is also something I could not care less about and skycolors I have my own.

 

So basically it will be int. to see what the code is about and check to see if it is not any reproduction of my code within RTH

 

FSGRW is not required or supported by Ventura Sky. The NOAA plug-in itself has no impact on frames whatsoever, don't know what you're seeing there. And don't get excited, it has nothing from RTH in it, it uses a different approach. 

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Tom,  Why do always sit on the fence about stuff ?   :smile:

 

Sit on the fence? Dont get that..

 

 

FSGRW is not required or supported by Ventura Sky. The NOAA plug-in itself has no impact on frames whatsoever, don't know what you're seeing there. And don't get excited, it has nothing from RTH in it, it uses a different approach. 

 

Then I am interigued for sure, going to dive into the code and see when it comes. I beg to differ on the NOAA frame issue, if not fixed in 2.2.2 there are frames issue and it was addressed the developer some time ago. I will try it again to check, but in any case where you double on cloud layers there bound to be more of a performance hit in game, thats basic logic. Lets just hope I am wrong..

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I will try it again to check, but in any case where you double on cloud layers there bound to be more of a performance hit in game, thats basic logic.

 

That is of course true. But Ventura Sky doesn't allow the NOAA plug-in to mess with clouds, as stated in the technical details above. Clouds get injected independently by SMP + RWC, based on their own interpretation of the (seperately downloaded) METAR file. We only read visibility, temperature, pressure and winds from the NOAA plug-in.

 

As far as my testing goes, performance of Ventura Sky equipped X-Plane is the best you can get in terms of real weather. But it lies in the nature of real weather that you may come across formations that are too heavy for your system / settings.

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Interesting!

 

But why only 16nm bellow 10,000' ?  Heck, in my glider, I can easily see at least as far as 60nm under most soaring weather conditions...

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Interesting!

 

But why only 16nm bellow 10,000' ?  Heck, in my glider, I do see at least as far as 60nm sometimes....

 

 

You may change that value. I chose 16nm for these reasons:

 

  • You will gain a serious performance boost compared to say, 30nm, and yet it's enough for a clear sky feeling (with the included sky colors) - a sweet spot - best you see for yourself, screens are incoming.

 

  • The autogen at "Very High" LOD setting will blend right into the haze.

 

  • At dusk / night, the night lighting will blend right into the haze, thus eliminating (at least aesthetically) one of X-Plane's most discussed weak spots.

 

  • Aliasing of distant water bodies (especially at dusk/dawn) will be reduced or eliminated.

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Ok,

 

thx for the answer. Looking fwd for the shots :-)

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That is of course true. But Ventura Sky doesn't allow the NOAA plug-in to mess with clouds, as stated in the technical details above. Clouds get injected independently by SMP + RWC, based on their own interpretation of the (seperately downloaded) METAR file. We only read visibility, temperature, pressure and winds from the NOAA plug-in.

 

As far as my testing goes, performance of Ventura Sky equipped X-Plane is the best you can get in terms of real weather. But it lies in the nature of real weather that you may come across formations that are too heavy for your system / settings.

 

Well lets see how it goes, if the performance hit is on the downside, this would be a valued package.

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I know that one could simply adjust the lua script to their liking, but for some, it might be worthwhile to provide some sort of easily changed configuration settings, re: visibility distance and 'ghost' buildings.

 

More choices are always good; it will be interesting to go through the script and see what's happening.

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Here are some preliminary shots of what Ventura Sky v1.0 can do with a vanilla X-Plane 10.50 + HD mesh installation.

 

 

LAX_1.png?raw=1

 

LAX_2.png?raw=1

 

LAX_3.png?raw=1

 

KATL_1.png?raw=1

 

KATL_2.png?raw=1

 

KATL_3.png?raw=1

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Looking good!  Thanks for showing off your work. When you are able upload some video's to see it in action. I just bought RWC especially for Ventura.

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So, correct me if I'm wrong, but this script is primarily about manipulating the visibility limit based on user altitude, correct?  Why? Is an increase in performance the primary goal?

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So, correct me if I'm wrong, but this script is primarily about manipulating the visibility limit based on user altitude, correct?  Why? Is an increase in performance the primary goal?

 

Well I'd say the primary feature is the visibility interpolation between METAR stations. When you fly an approach that goes through say 3 different METAR station perimeters, visibility change will be smooth instead of abrupt. You will notice changing conditions, subtly, it's not a slap in the face as it is when using vanilla X-Plane and NOAA plug-in.

 

The limit itself, while it does help performance, is supposed to fix X-Plane's own handling of visibility. This is automatically set to unlimited once you're above the first cloud layer. Which is not really realistic, nor aesthetically pleasing. Ventura Sky will give you a consistent atmosphere below 10000 feet (you may lower this threshold). Above 10000, the script increases visibility - because that's - IMO - more immersive than just switching to unlimited.

 

X-Plane does feature long range visibilities, but I believe it's simply not very good at it. Performance, aliasing, cut-off DSF's, weird colors - things go wrong easily once X-Plane switches to unlimited visibility. Ventura Sky cures this by settling with rather modest values and the result is therefore more inline with what you see in other modern "open world games". 

 

Limiting visibility has been a "thing" since X-Plane was released. There are various scripts, but none of them work consistently with real weather. Ventura Sky does.

 

On top of that, if you consider the aligned sky colors that come with the script, plus the Maxx FX settings, Ventura Sky quickly polishes your X-Plane's look compared to the rather raw state it comes in - in terms of colors (it's a myth why X-Plane's standard day sky looks so bad).  

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Well I'd say the primary feature is the visibility interpolation between METAR stations. When you fly an approach that goes through say 3 different METAR station perimeters, visibility change will be smooth instead of abrupt. You will notice changing conditions, subtly, it's not a slap in the face as it is when using vanilla X-Plane and NOAA plug-in.

 

The limit itself, while it does help performance, is supposed to fix X-Plane's own handling of visibility. This is automatically set to unlimited once you're above the first cloud layer. Which is not really realistic, nor aesthetically pleasing. Ventura Sky will give you a consistent atmosphere below 10000 feet (you may lower this threshold). Above 10000, the script increases visibility - because that's - IMO - more immersive than just switching to unlimited.

 

X-Plane does feature long range visibilities, but I believe it's simply not very good at it. Performance, aliasing, cut-off DSF's, weird colors - things go wrong easily once X-Plane switches to unlimited visibility. Ventura Sky cures this by settling with rather modest values and the result is therefore more inline with what you see in other modern "open world games". 

 

Limiting visibility has been a "thing" since X-Plane was released. There are various scripts, but none of them work consistently with real weather. Ventura Sky does.

 

On top of that, if you consider the aligned sky colors that come with the script, plus the Maxx FX settings, Ventura Sky quickly polishes your X-Plane's look compared to the rather raw state it comes in - in terms of colors (it's a myth why X-Plane's standard day sky looks so bad).  

 

All of these items can really make a true game changer for xp10.50, and actually make part of a list of items I have long been waiting for to be implemented in X-Plane 10...

 

Looking fwd for it, although I uninstalled xp10 again :-/  ( because I was using it just for PSX, and... well you can guess :-) )  but Zulfi will probably report to me his findings :-)

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Looking fwd for it, although I uninstalled xp10 again

 

Haha, you're keepin' it real UNINSTALLER.

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  but Zulfi will probably report to me his findings :-)

 

I doubt it because his script is meant to be used with SMP and HDR and I don't have SMP and HDR not usable in most locations on my laptop.

 

But I have some amazing lua scripts which I got from some site don't remember which , but I am looking forward to  Ventura sky.

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I doubt it because his script is meant to be used with SMP and HDR and I don't have SMP and HDR not usable in most locations on my laptop.

 

But I have some amazing lua scripts which I got from some site don't remember which , but I am looking forward to  Ventura sky.

 

You need a new rig!

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