warbirds

Beware the Monster Clouds !

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Click on video to go to YouTube for HD full screen version. 

 

 

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Note to Flight Sim World devs: I do like the new clouds and think they would look much better if the edge animation was slowed way down. As it is, it is much too fast and causes the creepy look my video portrays. 

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Even if you look at clouds forming from the ground, you will notice a lot of movement on their edges, and you have to bear in mind that from the ground, if you take into account slant range as you look at for example, a cumulous cloud forming at maybe 2,500 feet AGL, you are probably looking at it from at least 6,000 feet away unless looking straight up, yet you can still see that movement, so imagine how much that movement will be when you are fifty feet away from it. Yup, it's pretty fast when you are up close. That said...

Whilst I agree that from close up it does look a bit like ectoplasm from some kind of horror film when the clouds are forming, I suspect that it's not an 'animation which could be slowed down' but more a function of how the clouds actually generate with trueSkies in the first place, so it's probably not as simple as just 'dropping the frame rate on an animation' or whatever. Which I know a few people have suggested, perhaps without thinking about how the thing actually works and not realising that it almost certainly isn't quite a simple as that if you want to have clouds generate at a realistic rate.

As far as I'm aware, how trueSkies does its thing is akin to stuff such as how the particle generators in After Effects work, and the way around those looking odd sometimes if you are happy with the particle birth rate but don't want them popping into existence so obviously, is to have things fade in by keyframing the opacity, so it'd be my suggestion that DTG perhaps try having the clouds which are being born be a bit more translucent initially, with a keyframed alpha channel kicking up their opacity level or some such.

So as far as people suggesting that the cloud formation movement and rate is too fast, it really isn't, not if you take the trouble to get up close to some clouds and observe them and see how much movement there is and how fast that movement actually is at the edges of clouds which are forming. Thus it's the not the speed which is the issue, it's the not very visually pleasing look of the swirling particles upon formation which is the issue, and as I've suggested, dropping the opacity of that at the birth of the particles would go a long way toward making that look better.

The other thing I've seen people saying about the clouds, is that they look a bit low res and out of focus at close range, but again, I would suggest to anyone who thinks that, that they get in an aeroplane and get up close to some clouds and really look at the things. They will see that when up close, clouds are not hard edged, they only look like that when very distant; when you are up close to them, they are very soft edged and nebulous in appearance, more like when you walk or drive into a fog bank, which is exactly what they look like in FSW with trueSkies.

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Interesting, and again, I am not saying I hate True Sky, and, in fact, love it and wish it was in Xplane and P3d as well.

Also I have flown a light plane into clouds and have never seen action as depicted in my video.

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15 minutes ago, Chock said:

So as far as people suggesting that the cloud formation movement and rate is too fast, it really isn't, not if you take the trouble to get up close to some clouds and observe them and see how much movement there is and how fast that movement actually is at the edges of clouds which are forming. Thus it's the not the speed which is the issue

The above video is nothing like any of the hundreds of real life cockpit videos I've seen. Are you really suggesting that the speed at which the clouds edge change in the video above is remotely realistic? Seriously?

 

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Yes, seriously I am, it's the way they are depicted forming in trueSkies that is the issue, the speed at which they are being born is not the issue, clouds really can and do form at that rate. If you don't believe me, recall the times when you've been out and about on a nice day lay on your back in a field with your partner and you are both pointing out clouds which look like various animals etc - you must have done that right? - so you say 'that one looks like a rabbit' or whatever, and your GF says 'which one?' you point to it, but it's changed shape a bit and you say 'aah you missed it, it looked great a second ago'. Those things are massive and they are thousands of feet away from you, so think about how fast they are changing shape to have that be observable from well over a couple of miles above you.

Being a glider pilot, I'm someone who has studied clouds to an obsessive level, because their formation and movement is the engine which makes my engineless aeroplane fly, so the more I observe their behaviour, the better I will do. Talk to any glider pilot and I promise you they will bore the arse off you about clouds lol, we're all obsessed with knowing them intimately and could fill your head with all kinds of useless facts about them, for example, did you know that the average cumulous cloud you see on a nice sunny day weighs about 100,000lbs because of all the water and dust content in it? - that's more than the MTOW of a Boeing 747-400!

The energy required to get a 747-400 off the deck comes from the combined thrust of four engines, each of which is putting out 63,000lbs of thrust, so think about how much energy it took to get all those water particles 6,000 feet into the air and the additional heat energy they generate when condensing to form the cloud. That is why those things are moving about at a really fast rate, boiling and rolling about, there is bucketloads of energy up there in those beautiful fluffy things.

When in a glider, since I generally start off searching for height immediately after pulling off the aerotow cable or back releasing the winch cable, by heading upwind of the underside of a cumulous cloud until the variometer detects the thermal, then circle in that thermal until I end up right under the cloud since I will be moving downwind with the air mass, I am very used to being right underneath cumulous clouds, literally a few feet away from them, and I can assure you that they really do form up that fast and move that quickly. Granted, the way trueSkies particle 'fingers' swirling about is depicting that formation is not visually like what you see in the real world, but the speed at which it is doing it is damn well pretty spot on in terms of the rate it is going at.

Get some binoculars, go outside and look at a nearby cumulous cloud street, look at the edge of a cloud and I promise you, you will see the thing boiling and moving at quite a surprising rate. Or, if you prefer and don't have any binoculars to hand, look downwind from a cloud street to where the line is forming and observe your watch's second hand, then wait a minute and look again, now divide that shape change by sixty, from what it did look like a minute ago and what it looks like now, that will give you some idea of how fast those things move around and change shape.

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 When True Sky first appeared, lot of people begin saying it was pretty much the best thing they'd ever seen. I was a bit more reticent because on my machine especially with a 1080ti I was seeing the cloud edges moving very very fast, and if anything it reminded me very much of being below the tentacles of a jellyfish.

I found this a bit off-putting, and so I've kind of remained a bit quiet about true sky. I think it's probably best to withhold final judgment until we see what they can do with it.

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