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Active Sky for X-Plane might be released Q4 2018

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31 minutes ago, Paraffin said:

Well, then they're guilty of false advertising, because it's a listed feature on their sales page. 

It's only a white (cloud) lie since billboard sprite clouds are not planar and hence have volume. They just aren't particle-based.

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55 minutes ago, Longranger said:

Cloud shadows are painted, as well as cloud reflections.

Okay, but to paint a cloud shadow, doesn't the plugin need a 3D model of the cloud? At least internally. You can't paint a cloud shadow on the ground with an upright 2D billboard facing the pilot.

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I guess they can still detect, from a top down view, where the cloud is, where the sun is and project the shadow on the ground.

I am not saying they haven't done good things (another one i liked is how landing lights illuminated the clouds), but i think the difference between 2d textures is quite noticeable compared to noise generated clouds. Examples of this last category can be found in Outerra too, xEnviro, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Il2 Sturmovik series to name few examples.

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7 hours ago, Paraffin said:

Okay, but to paint a cloud shadow, doesn't the plugin need a 3D model of the cloud? At least internally. You can't paint a cloud shadow on the ground with an upright 2D billboard facing the pilot.

No big problem. You know the position of the sun and of the cloud and you know more or less how the cloud looks like that you wanted to draw. Simply use a top down projection and place it at the correct position on the ground. A rough estimate is sufficient. You have no idea how many errors our optical system has to cope with on the fly. If it fits into its general internal image it will be considered correct and differences will be ignored.

They have to do this anyway since for X-Plane in XEnviro and SkyMaxx Pro there are no clouds in the sky! So it can't draw cloud shadows or reflections. The weather programs have to fill the buffers by themselves.

That is also a big problem. Since for X-Plane there are no clouds it also can't try to correct some values that are hidden. It will be quite a change with a new interface. So I wouldn't look so much at todays promises. What algorithms do they have ready and how long will it take for them to modify their systems to a given situation?

We mustn't forget, the new shaders were completly rewritten so it is hard to guess how the new Weather API will look like. I am quite certain that some parts that were in the core of 11.26 will only be slightly attached in 11.30, One of the big reasons for the new shaders is the use of new tools, but what have they prepared and will the new code work as expected? 

 

Edited by Longranger
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But if I might change back to the topic.

If nothing unexpected happens Active Sky will be available for X-Plane on Monday/Tuesday.

And you will probably be interested what Active Sky has to offer under X-Plane.

In my opinion the very good control of the winds and the very good performance are the most important features.

To give you an impression I went through my video archive of the beta phase. Please remember all scenes were work in progress and the scenes were recorded in different beta versions.

The first 20 seconds show the vFlyteAir Ikarus and how the plane reacts to the winds.

Then a start from OrbX Southhampton with a Carenado Citation. Quite heavy winds and turbulences in the clouds, followed with 30 seconds of the MilViz Cessna 310 above some clouds.

At  5:33  start with a Default 737 from Vancouver . 9:36 Default C172 and new Cloud Textures.

11:45 Juneau to Sitka with Default B58 and finally Juneau Sitka Default C172 with an earlier Version of the High Quality Clouds.

The final Version has a high performance and a high quality cloud textures.

 

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Good to hear that it's been in beta for a while. I will buy it next week (assuming that's the release), just to support every effort to improve the weather in this sim.

It may or may not be what I end up using full-time in the coming year, but as I've said before, I think any true XP fanatic has to buy all these weather plugins to compare. And then pick the one that fits your flying style, because some of these work better for low-level GA than high-level airline ops, and vice-versa.

They're not THAT expensive as add-ons, and I'd rather have good weather than tons of payware scenery files.

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Will it be possible to run ASXP networked? I did read the manual, but i didn´t find something.

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Yes, it runs extremely well networked, and very simple setup too.

 

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I will buy as well if only to give my support to HiFi so that they have some impetus at least to continue developing. It's a software developer that I trust will bring many updates and improvements in the future.

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1 hour ago, HUSSAR said:

Yes, it runs extremely well networked, and very simple setup too.

Cool, many thanks!

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3 hours ago, Glenn_C said:

I will buy as well if only to give my support to HiFi so that they have some impetus at least to continue developing. It's a software developer that I trust will bring many updates and improvements in the future.

Same here

I will also get it in support of HiFi.

Bob

 

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Oh ho... this is interesting:

Quote

Q: Is a complete cloud visuals depiction replacement included?
A: No, not at this time.  HiFi is working on such technology and hopes it will be ready to debut sometime in late 2019.

Q: Will the future cloud visuals depiction replacement be provided as a free update?
A: No, future cloud visuals depiction technology specifications and how it will be packaged are yet to be determined, based on many unknown factors.  We will provide more information and development news on this as progress continues. 

We knew the non-default cloud depiction would come later next year, but they're not guaranteeing it as a free update to this first version.

Personally that doesn't bother me, because this first version is $39.99 and if the price is higher for better cloud depiction later on, then I'd pay for the upgrade. Right now, xEnviro and SkyMaxx Pro with the RWC connector are charging considerably more for custom clouds.

For any early adopters, please post if you can download real weather and then adjust the wind speed and cloud base. That's the only thing keeping me from hitting the Buy button.

Edited by Paraffin
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 given the default rendition of clouds sometimes  the default XP clouds look really good and close to real , yeah no variations.  About wind conditions like X-wind or variable i really don't find a problem. Maybe the X-wind might be a bit too strong. haven't used a fixed wing in ages only on helis now hence there does not seem to be an issue.  probably an issue during a take off with fixed wingz ?

 Would love to see an Anvil no doubt but i think even the MSFS and it's kid don't have that ?

Things might change with clouds once LR introduces the particle system for weather but when no one knows. 

Have seen some amazing rendition of weather in XE on youtube.  

think given time ASXP can get better, the main limitation is from LR. 

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Seems interesting for users looking for better winds ect. but be warned, it looks pretty horrible, as expected. 

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Doesn't really matter how it looks at the moment... It simply will not run on my system - it crashes X-Plane each time it starts. From the log, it seems to be conflicting with something X-Aviation related. I have no interest in debugging it at this point - I have already given it about 3 hours more than it is worth and removed every other plugin in the process. There is nothing unusual about my setup and I have set up and run HUNDREDS of aircraft and other plugins without difficulty on both X-Plane AND P3D. Since I am a hundred percent certain that a myriad of other users will be unable to get this running out of the box I will await a response from the developer. It seems clear to me that this was rushed and I think this was not fully baked on release.

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i have no problems at all- its amazing - maybe something wrong with your setup bud

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53 minutes ago, kurtb said:

i have no problems at all- its amazing - maybe something wrong with your setup bud

Amazing it's great to read, but Can you elaborate more Kurt? Amazing for wind conditions? Transitions? Clouds settings? Framerate?

Thanx

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1 hour ago, Jeff_Fortuna said:

Doesn't really matter how it looks at the moment... It simply will not run on my system - it crashes X-Plane each time it starts. From the log, it seems to be conflicting with something X-Aviation related. I have no interest in debugging it at this point - I have already given it about 3 hours more than it is worth and removed every other plugin in the process. There is nothing unusual about my setup and I have set up and run HUNDREDS of aircraft and other plugins without difficulty on both X-Plane AND P3D. Since I am a hundred percent certain that a myriad of other users will be unable to get this running out of the box I will await a response from the developer. It seems clear to me that this was rushed and I think this was not fully baked on release.

 

Jeff,

I understand your frustration.  Have you made a ticket yet?  I'm looking and don't see one.  

Your assumptions are not correct but again I sympathize with your frustration.

Please do realize however that out of many active users already, we have less than a handful of problem reports, most resolved already.  I can confirm your experience is extremely isolated.  I'd love to try and help you if you'll give me our the rest of our team the opportunity.  https://support.hifitechinc.com 

 

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1 hour ago, Colonel X said:

Seems interesting for users looking for better winds ect. but be warned, it looks pretty horrible, as expected. 

Great feedback, received clearly.  ASXP is not a visuals replacement, however.  It's a core weather engine simulation platform.  You can use any and all add-ons that enhance visuals, and pretty soon, we'll have our own complete visuals replacement along with full integration for other developers to take advantage of the wx engine itself.

Yes we know everyone dislikes the cloud redraws, I guarantee you that we dislike them even more.

Thanks for your support and for giving us a chance to develop further!

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6 hours ago, Paraffin said:

For any early adopters, please post if you can download real weather and then adjust the wind speed and cloud base. That's the only thing keeping me from hitting the Buy button.

I'm sure you'd like to hear it from users, but I can guarantee you this works fine, I do this all the time in testing.

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55 minutes ago, Damian Clark said:

I'm sure you'd like to hear it from users, but I can guarantee you this works fine, I do this all the time in testing.

Hi Damian,

I have been using FSGRW and a lua script to attenuate variable winds and the crosswind component (Wind Tamer). The lua scripts made the bad ground handling in windy situations in XP much better. In the release notes of ASXP it is featured: "Surface Crosswind Attenuation"

A few questions related thereto:

1. Is there a slider to gradually attenuate surface crosswinds (e.g. from 35 knots to 10 knots)?

2. At which altitude above ground level (AGL) does the attenuation kick in? My current lua script takes over control at 500 AGL, which leaves enough time to adapt the crab & slip.

3. What is with variable winds? In Xplane, the aircraft's behaviour to variable winds is exaggerated and the aircraft swings around even at small degrees variation, which makes a landing unrealistic. Does the above function also smooth out variable winds or does it only allow to attenuate surface crosswinds?

Cheers,Chris

Edited by Cargostorm

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