rgoff03

Help me clear up some questions about WX gen and Environment Softwares

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Hi all,

I am considering making the jump from FSX to P3d v4 and to make a very long explanation short, one of the things that has always confused me regarding addons is weather and environment texture addons. I find this to be exponentially true with taking the dive into prepar3d, so I'm looking to the community at large to clear some things up for me.

Activesky 16 (AS4 for p3d v4) is JUST a weather generation engine correct? As in, it is simply in charge of injecting weather into the simulator, whether it be updated live weather or some static weather or your choosing? AS4 does not include any texture sets?

For texture sets (i.e. clouds and sky textures) there is Activesky Cloud Art, REX texture direct and soft clouds, soon (supposedly)  Skyforce 3D, and Envtex which I am JUST now hearing about as I look into P3d. Some (but not all?) of these options include additional textures such as runways, taxiways, sky, sun, water, etc. textures?

I am not looking to start a debate on what's better, I just would like to finally really grasp what all is needed for the immersive environment we all look for, without spending money on software I didn't need or that steps on top of other software that's doing the same job. I see many references to "I'm using AS4+SC+Envtex" or something similar. Truthfully, I find it very confusing. If you were looking to have a reliable and smooth weather engine, I'm reading that AS4 is the only real option as other options aren't up to snuff.

Beyond that, for great cloud, sky, etc textures, there's what? A choice between REX, Envtex, ASCA, and/or soft clouds? Do they each do something different and unique that you want to have multiple items in this category or what? Sorry if my question on this seems n00bish.  Thanks for the help.

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You pretty well have the idea. As far as ASCA, REX, FEX, Envtex, PTA - you don't NEED any of them, just like you don't NEED and extra aircraft. The weather engine will work just fine with default clouds.

NOW, that said - all the products mentioned above add visual quality to your sim. The thing with visuals is that it s YOUR eyes that determine what is good. I can tell you what *I* prefer and someone else will chime in with their exact opposite preferences and we are both right.

The combo of ASP4, ASCA & Envtex/PTA is very popular as it allows for dynamic updating of the cloud sets while the sim is running - some consider this a big plus. Using ASP4 with REX etc is extremely popular - currently this doesn't allow dynamic updating but if this is of no importance to you then is is a very good option.

Envtex and PTA are extra frosting on the cake - while Envtex has it's own textures which also work in dynamic mode with ASP4, they are mainly what I would call shader tweak programs - they make little adjustments to the visuals that add that extra something

So bottom line - you really have to try the various textures and see which you like on your system - you are the only one who will be looking at them.

Vic

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Thanks a bunch for taking the time to get back to me. I do like the idea of dynamic updating, and I believe I'm beginning to develop an idea of which way I'll ultimately end up going with this.

The main point though is, I appreciate that you took the time to validate my suspicions about what programs do what. It can be difficult when each program does some of the same stuff, but they do it differently, while some also do what others don't, etc. Lots of blurred lines you know?  Thanks for the feedback.

R-

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13 minutes ago, vgbaron said:

You pretty well have the idea. As far as ASCA, REX, FEX, Envtex, PTA - you don't NEED any of them, just like you don't NEED and extra aircraft. The weather engine will work just fine with default clouds.

NOW, that said - all the products mentioned above add visual quality to your sim. The thing with visuals is that it s YOUR eyes that determine what is good. I can tell you what *I* prefer and someone else will chime in with their exact opposite preferences and we are both right.

The combo of ASP4, ASCA & Envtex/PTA is very popular as it allows for dynamic updating of the cloud sets while the sim is running - some consider this a big plus. Using ASP4 with REX etc is extremely popular - currently this doesn't allow dynamic updating but if this is of no importance to you then is is a very good option.

Envtex and PTA are extra frosting on the cake - while Envtex has it's own textures which also work in dynamic mode with ASP4, they are mainly what I would call shader tweak programs - they make little adjustments to the visuals that add that extra something

So bottom line - you really have to try the various textures and see which you like on your system - you are the only one who will be looking at them.

Vic

+1 Vic. This is Gold. It should be a sticky.I own all these apps because I saw John Doe post pics of what one or a combo of these apps did for his sim. Well 80% of the time it did not work for me. I had to find my own combo. And am glad I bought all these apps so I can have fun changing things up sometimes.

Vic this is some good wisdom for new simmers out there.

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The best way to fully understand what each addon does is to take a look at the product page of each addon.

This thread should be pinned. There's a new one of these popping up every week.

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