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Active Sky for X-Plane

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Hifi has released their first explanations and comments about the upcoming Active Sky for X-Plane:

http://hifisimtech.com/asxp/

We are still in beta but it works quite good. Especially the complete control about the wind and fog. But I have to mention:

This version is called by HiFi a hybrid solution since they use the default weather engine to place the clouds.

This has some advantages and some problems. The reason for this solution is the current state of X-Plane. We are on the move to

Vulkan/Metal and no one knows how to control the new engine. Since they don't use their own cloud engine everything will work under

Vulkan and VR. 

In about one year we hope for the finished visual cloud replacement. Till then Active Sky places it clouds (with a limited number of bitmaps and effects), where it wants to place clouds through X-Planes default weather engine.

 

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Karsten Schubert

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Absolute good news, at least a good wind and turbulence depiction is mostly welcome.


Alexander Colka

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Interesting info! I'm not surprised at the one year delay before they can use their own cloud depiction, due to the changing API, but I wonder how much of a sales handicap that will be? Many people seem to think of cloud depiction first, when evaluating a weather app. If I understand this right, it won't look much different from default XP clouds.

I'm trying to decipher this bit from the link above: "multiple weather depiction modes including theme cell “real weather” mode and global static mode."

I hope this means the ability to download real current weather data, and then adjust wind velocity and cloud base like we can do now in default weather and SkyMaxx Pro. In other words, not being stuck with real weather only, like xEnviro?

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Primary sim is X-Plane 11 on Windows 10
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56 minutes ago, Paraffin said:

Interesting info! I'm not surprised at the one year delay before they can use their own cloud depiction, due to the changing API, but I wonder how much of a sales handicap that will be? Many people seem to think of cloud depiction first, when evaluating a weather app. If I understand this right, it won't look much different from default XP clouds.

Yes and no. The big difference is that Hifi has a much better idea, where what kind of clouds are and they add their own textures but due to the weather engine they don't look totally different. You see some images of their page. The weather prediction behind it is the same as in P3D or FSX.

And as usual they don't only offer real weather, but also historical weather (enter a date time and location and you get the historical weather data) and you can customize the weather, this means you take the current weather and change  clouds winds and so on and fly in your own weather.

But what they wrote means a different thing. They can talk to the engine in different ways, with different results.

 


Karsten Schubert

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I agee with the Colonel.  The whole problem is XP weather textures and, not changing them, seems an exercise in nothing.

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Not at all underwhelming.  The biggest advantage that AS brought to FSX/P3D was realistic wind effects, including thermals, ridge lift, and turbulence.  Those alone are worth the price of admission.  And those appear to be what they bring to the table right off the bat in XP.

So, count me in.  I really don't care about cloud depictions.  None have ever been very good in any sim I've flown, and I've flown them all.  

Plus, given the current wackiness in XP around crosswind forces, that part of the package (surface crosswind attenuation) sounds pretty promising as well.

Edited by Griphos
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I'm really excited for this.  Active Sky is one of the things I really miss in X-Plane 11 coming from P3D.  Even if it's not perfect/full function at first, the fact that the HiFi team is investing time in X-Plane is certainly a good thing.

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Dave

Current System (Running at 1440p): GIGABYTE Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0), i7 7700k @ 4.2Ghz, RTX2080ti, 16GB DDR4 3200 RAM

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There will be cloud texture replacement too which is good news. What will be missing are new clouds types/models...


too much, too soon....

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Guys and girls this will be a first iteration of hopefully many. Let's rejoice in the fact that HiFi are coming to XP. This is a company I at least trust will come with many enhancements in the future. Definite buy for me.

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I was looking forward more to the cloud textures or type replacement to be honest. And what is unclear to me at this time is: will i have to pay again once, in a year (if we are lucky), the texture replacement pack gets released?

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37 minutes ago, france89 said:

I, in a year (if we are lucky), the texture replacement pack gets released?

We are talking about much more than a texture replacement pack. What they mean by technology is really a new engine. It is really hard to say, how much this development will cost, so it is nearly impossible to calculate what the upgrade will cost at this time. We don't know what Laminar will do in the mean time.

It is simply a weird time for weather programs at this moment.  I expect that Sky Maxx Pro and XEnviro will have to restart their developments also, since they used the possibilities to draw directly into OpenGL and simply shut down Laminars own weather engine. But this will not be supported by Laminar in the future. This is the whole problem. And nobody would want to release a program into X-Plane, if it might stop working in half a year. 

 


Karsten Schubert

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Quote

Uses internal X-Plane 11.2x/11.3x cloud depiction for maximum performance and smoothness, with multiple weather depiction modes including theme cell “real weather” mode and global static mode – VR compatible and optimized!

 

If they are not replacing any clouds, but just depicting weather, what is the point of saying that it is VR compatible/optimized??

Edited by GCBraun

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