threegreen

Is REX Sky Force 3D worth it (for me, personally)?

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I use ASP4 and REX4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds and am generally happy with it. Back when Sky Force was initially released I got the notion from reviews and the like that it wasn't really what it was promised to be in terms of revolutionizing the weather and atmosphere within the sim so I held off on buying it because I couldn't spot anything I didn't already have. Now that updates have been released I'm back to considering buying it but I'm still not sure. Mainly that's because I wouldn't even be using the weather engine as I'd definitely stick to ASP4 to do that part and that doesn't warrant the price for me, personally. The 30% sale over the holidays comes in handy though.

Are the 3D clouds really so much 3D? Do you actually see the difference and does it make it more realistic compared to REX4 2D textures?

Are the new clouds a noticeable improvement over REX4 clouds in general?

Does the 10-hour-cycle thingy add a substantial improvement to the simming experience?

Are the new textures and dawn/dusk skies noticeably better than what you get from REX4?

Thanks in advance to anyone bothering to read and answer!

(No idea if this is the right place to post this, feel free to move it elsewhere.)

 

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Hi Niklas and Season's Greetings,

only you can answer whether SF3D is worth it for you. As far as personal opinions go, my own experience with SF3D has been very positive. I also use AS as a Wx engine (disabling the built-in REX one - I am waiting for their next Wx engine iteration which is promised to be a separate product and much improved) and use the SF3D textures for my sky/clouds needs. Having used a similar combination in the past (AS + REX4HD + Soft Clouds) I can unequivocally say that, for me, the newer AS + SF3D combo is a winner.

Cheers!

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Hello all and seasons greetings to all who celebrate Christmas,

Do we really need Rex4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds + Rex  Skyforce3D + ham and eggs for breakfast + + + in order to get really good cloud/weather coverage. I have just the REX Skyforce 3D and very little experience with P3Dv4 so I do not know if I am missing out on something which could be better.

Is having all three of these programmes  a somewhat overkill situation (read Great REX Marketing Skills) or does the Skyforce product replace everythiing. 

I also have to admit that I use REX for my WX engine as well but will replace that with Active Sky as soon as finances/War Office permit. I know it is Christmas but she is not that flexible LOL 

So, if someone could enlighten me I would be grateful.

Regards

Tony

 

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I only use REX Sky Force for the cloud textures. You also get lightning textures and sunrise/sunset textures with it.

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I only use ASP4 & ASCA - no REX clouds at all.

My point is, what we are talking about is a purely VISUAL experience - what I like vs what you like vs what someone else likes may be totally different but for each of us it is fine.

1 If you are not satisifed with what you have, try something else, at worst you'll waste a few dollars, at best you'll find something you like..........until the next release  - then go to 1  and repeat.

Vic

 

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Thanks all!

1 hour ago, himmelhorse said:

Hello all and seasons greetings to all who celebrate Christmas,

Do we really need Rex4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds + Rex  Skyforce3D + ham and eggs for breakfast + + + in order to get really good cloud/weather coverage. I have just the REX Skyforce 3D and very little experience with P3Dv4 so I do not know if I am missing out on something which could be better.

Is having all three of these programmes  a somewhat overkill situation (read Great REX Marketing Skills) or does the Skyforce product replace everythiing. 

I also have to admit that I use REX for my WX engine as well but will replace that with Active Sky as soon as finances/War Office permit. I know it is Christmas but she is not that flexible LOL 

So, if someone could enlighten me I would be grateful.

Regards

Tony

 

As I said, I use ASP4 as weather engine along with REX4 textures. Just two products. Now I'm wondering if it's worth to buy Sky Force to replace REX4, still only two products. These definitely suffice to be well covered in terms of weather.

 

45 minutes ago, vgbaron said:

I only use ASP4 & ASCA - no REX clouds at all.

My point is, what we are talking about is a purely VISUAL experience - what I like vs what you like vs what someone else likes may be totally different but for each of us it is fine.

1 If you are not satisifed with what you have, try something else, at worst you'll waste a few dollars, at best you'll find something you like..........until the next release  - then go to 1  and repeat.

Vic

 

I agree on the subjectivity that inevitably comes with a matter like this. I'm not only talking about the purely visual experience though but also about whether the 3D clouds from Sky Force are actually more complex and advanced than 2D textures from REX4 - and actual 3D clouds. Overall, I'm hoping someone using Sky Force can tell me if there's more 'substance' to it technically to improve the weather system rather than just new, different looking textures.

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Technically rex sf says its a weather generator too and you PAY for it. But its funny how nobody (well, maybe a couple people who don't know how good they could have it with Active Sky) seems to like/use that portion of the package - so there is a waste of money. When the price comes down to 5-10 dollars - then it may be worth it.👨‍⚖️

It should have just been a texture package, with a simple UI, and no invasive registration, then the price could have been cut to half or even a quarter of what it is. Maybe then there would not be so many questions about the value (worth it?) of sf. 👨‍🎓

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Niklas,

Now heres the thing (Linda in "Becker") you stated that you have " ASP4 and REX4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds" 

What I am querying is the need for TEX4 Texture + soft clouds. (two products to my knowledge)  and I do not know if those two are replaced by Skyforce3d or not. If they are not .... why?. Why can't we have a programme that incorporates all of that in a single product. If REX gets the REX4 Textures correct why do we need "soft clouds" and, what is the difference between normal, hard or soft clouds anyway?

Reading through the various topics created on this subject reveals very little for me.  Nearly all are in agreement that the REX product is the best textures for clouds but not for WX generation for which Active Sky take the crown for the time being.

AND, I say again, I have the Skyforce product with intentions of buying the Active Sky WX engine, but, I do not know whether this combination can be improved by the inclusion of Soft Clouds and/or REX4 Textures.  It just seems to me, that having to buy all three or more products make WX acquisition and display an expensive part of P3D realism.

Any answers would be apreciated

Regards to all

Tony

 

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4 hours ago, himmelhorse said:

Do we really need Rex4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds + Rex  Skyforce3D + ham and eggs for breakfast + + + in order to get really good cloud/weather coverage. I have just the REX Skyforce 3D and very little experience with P3Dv4 so I do not know if I am missing out on something which could be better.

Is having all three of these programmes  a somewhat overkill situation (read Great REX Marketing Skills) or does the Skyforce product replace everythiing. 

You will want REX4 Texture Direct for water & wave animations, runways/taxiways and airports (if you don't already have WorldWide Airports for the latter two).  You can uncheck the other categories in the settings.

You no longer need Soft Clouds since Sky Force replaces all cloud, sky, sun, and sound effects.

So to cover all your bases before Environment Force comes out, you need TD4 and SF.  WorldWide Airports is highly recommended to upgrade the default airports.  It is a pity they never updated the Enhanced Add-On Airports beyond the initial KSLC.  If you are getting SF you can ignore SC permanently.

The SF weather engine still stinks a year after release, but the clouds and environment are definitely improvements over TD4+SC.  I still use Active Sky Next for Steam (FSX:SE user here) and its weather engine is still better than Sky Force's.  I may get AS16 eventually to replace it if I don't change over to P3D v.4 instead.

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5 hours ago, himmelhorse said:

Hello all and seasons greetings to all who celebrate Christmas,

Hello to you as well! And Merry Christmas from one who does celebrate the season in character!

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I run these three: SF3D, AS, and ASCA. I find the AS weather engine is more stable, and my performance is much better using ASCA and AS along with SF3D, rather than letting SF3D do it all. 🙂

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If you read my footnote profile you may understand why accurate weather is important to me.  The most superior results I have had with FSX have been with REX Essentials + Overdrive textures, and live weather from FS Global Real Weather.  With that combination I had accurate live weather and accurate cloud types at appropriate altitudes.  and I never recalled experiencing pauses as weather refreshed with that combination. A common complaint from users of other combinations.

Recently I began to experience unusually slow initial weather load times from FSGRW and decided to finally jump on the Active Sky 16 wagon.  I also found myself enticed by a promotional offer and updated my REX to Skyforce.  Both of my updates came about the same time.  I first tried the REX SF textures and weather engine and was not satisfied.  Honestly, I dd not log my experiences so I could later accurately review.  Just I was not satisfied. 

My recollection is that it was more due to the accuracy of winds aloft speed and direction, an issue I also had two or three years ago when trying out the weather engine in REX Essentials Plus OD.  So I selected my choice of seasonal REX SF textures and picked up AS16 as my new WX engine.  I am now experiencing what I will characterize as a performance issue and then "issues observed by a trained meteorologist".

Unlike with FSGRW, I am now experiencing short interruptions as AS16 updates my weather.  Not particularly bad, and more evident if I am in an external camera view, but it rings my bell about all the posts I have seen here by other users asking for weather engine advice by users wanting to avoid such pauses.

Then, in regard to cloud types and textures, I am finding unusual cloud types and textures at out of character altitudes.   There is just no way I should be seeing 5,000 ft level puffy cumulus clouds at 20,000 ft.  Or towering cumulus (TCU) with bases at 12.000 ft and tops at 20,000 plus.  TCU base levels are consistent with cumulus base levels.  Cloud bases at 12,000 or above are predominantly stratus or stratified clouds.

I am very disappointed at my recent updates and honestly do not know which to point the finger at.  Is it the textures from REX SF, or the weather generation from AS16?  Do not know.  Just not satisfied!

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Thanks to you all for your replies.

Frank, I like your photo better than your name and having got all my sexist remarks out of the way, I shall proceed.

Like you, I am also ex military ... Royal Australian Air Force ... Telegraphist and Signals Operator ... 21 years The only WX experience I had was getting hot, cold, wet or dry and in passing WX info to Military aircraft on the HF band.

As a direct result of my inexperience with WX Clouds being in the right place and in proper company etc mean little to me. What I have found annoying with SF3D is instances like this morning.  I fired up SF3D, noted YBCS had rain and then fired up P3Dv4 selected my beloved iFly 737 BBJ3 at Cairns gate 13 ... waited emmm, waited some more and eventually everything came up but YBCS had no rain. This sort of thing really annoys me as one part is correct but the next is not.  This is also my main reason for my decision to eventually go to Active SKY as it is happening constantly.

BFBullpup mentions Environment force which I have never heard of. Is this a future release of REX or some other developer. I have to say it would be nice for REX to come out with a fully, and I mean, fully functional product and one that works seamlessly. Any idea of the time frame for Env Force release???

For now though it will only be applicable to me if I have not yet purchased the Active Sky product.

Thanks again to all .. it really has been illuminating.

Regards

Tony

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6 hours ago, himmelhorse said:

BFBullpup mentions Environment force which I have never heard of. Is this a future release of REX or some other developer. I have to say it would be nice for REX to come out with a fully, and I mean, fully functional product and one that works seamlessly. Any idea of the time frame for Env Force release???

http://www.rexenvironmentforce.com/

It is supposed to replace Texture Direct's surface textures and apparently it has a new weather engine as well.  So you wouldn't need Texture Direct anymore.  I wouldn't hold my breath for an Active Sky-quality weather engine from REX.  The latter's textures are great, though.

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My philosophy is that if I own an addon that does a particular thing in the Sim to my satisfaction and another addons comes along that does more or leas the same thing. Perhaps slightly better or perhaps not. I'll stick to the addon I already have because that costs me nothing.

I have REX4, Soft Clouds and ASP4. I also have REX World Wide Airports HD. If I get board I'll just load a new random texture theme.

Edited by Guest

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10 hours ago, himmelhorse said:

As a direct result of my inexperience with WX Clouds being in the right place and in proper company etc mean little to me. What I have found annoying with SF3D is instances like this morning.  I fired up SF3D, noted YBCS had rain and then fired up P3Dv4 selected my beloved iFly 737 BBJ3 at Cairns gate 13 ... waited emmm, waited some more and eventually everything came up but YBCS had no rain. This sort of thing really annoys me as one part is correct but the next is not.  This is also my main reason for my decision to eventually go to Active SKY as it is happening constantly.

I'd say you made the right choice to go for AS. REX have never really had a good weather engine. That's why I wouldn't use Sky Force's weather engine anyway. Also, I think you're right about their business model. It's sort of releasing products that all compliment one another but they're not going to release on that does it all for good. I'm curious about Environment Force but hearing that it's partly supposed to be yet another weather engine makes me roll my eyes a bit. I don't even spend any time within ASP4, I just fire it up before my flight and it does its thing flawlessly. The 3D clouds got me curious about SF but with Environment Force in the pipeline it seems like a waste of money.

Thanks all!

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Well after having lashed out yesterday, today I completed an 800+NM flight from Nassau,Bahamas, to Huntsville, AL, USA, in my RA Turbine Duke v2 at 16,000 and the weather, winds aloft, and textures were spot on.  Caveat is that it was pretty much a fair weather day.  Winds aloft are most important to me as they directly affect flight performance and thus fuel consumption, and thus need to be judged versus the real world flight planning site that I use, Fltplan.com.

Today was a real plus in that regard. 

Fltplan.com flight plan
AS16 weather engine
Rex SF textures
and the wonderful TDv2

😎

Edited by fppilot

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On 12/24/2018 at 11:29 AM, threegreen said:

The 3D clouds got me curious about SF but with Environment Force in the pipeline it seems like a waste of money.

I am 99% sure Environment Force will have nothing to do with any cloud textures.  That is only for Sky Force.  Environment Force is supposed to replace all non-cloud and non-airport textures of Texture Direct 4.  So for the "new generation" of REX add-ons you will only need Sky Force, Environment Force, and Worldwide Airports.  No more Texture Direct and Soft Clouds.

I am not holding my breath for a better weather engine in EF, either.  Textures seem to be REX's strength and weather engine seems to be HiFi's strength, and not the other way around.

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I think that this has been explained several times before but Weather Force and Environment Force will be included as a free update to Sky Force. As someone who owns RSF and uses ASP4, I have to disagree that there is a major gap in the abilities of the two weather engines. ASP4 is better, but RSF is still in its initial phase, whereas ASP4 is a mature product. Even some of the older weather engines like Opus and FSGRW are still good enough for most users. The weather injector add-on field overall is high quality and the differences often amount to personal preference. For example, I prefer ASP4 for its smooth weather transitions and its in-cloud 3D particle effect. But I also think RSF has a cleaner and more  intuitive interface. And if one wants a weather add-on that works in both P3d4 and XP11 (for one price) , FSGRW is the best choice.

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2 hours ago, jabloomf1230 said:

Weather Force and Environment Force will be included as a free update to Sky Force.

Seems I completely missed that. This changes things a lot.

Do you think the clouds, especially 3D clouds, and the other textures in SF are a substantial improvement over REX4?

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No weather add-on has true 3D clouds...yet. ASCA and RSF combine both vertical and horizontal layering of the 2D texture sprites for certain cloud types (for example CB). To me, RSF has the most realistic looking clouds.

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Hello all,

A quickie and just wanting clarification.

Jay you said "RSF is still in its initial phase, whereas ASP4 is a mature product." ASP is very much a mature and alledgedly, brilliant product. However I have been using REX since FS2004 days(and still do albeit with ActiveSky as the WX engine) and they claimed to be a WX engine then. I would venture to say that it may not be quite as mature as I am but it has been around for a long time and as such, I would suggest that it should, repeat should, be a better WX engine. It is NOT a slouch by any manner of means, but it has some odd problems which have existed since way back when. Please note that this is only my experience and I am quite happy to be proven wrong if applicable.

Anyway, I hope all had a great Xmas and I wish everyone a great and better New Year than the last one, however good or bad it was.

Regards

Tony

 

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Posted (edited)

AS16 is by far the best WX program for weather... I've tried all the REX stuff, and the only combo that was any good was Overdrive. I've dumped all REX and use AS16 with their ASCA (cloud art), paired with Envtex. I think this combo achieves what RSF3D was trying to get at, without the performance hit that REX has. With Global Dynamic weather selected in AS16, everything is completely automatic, and is pretty darn close to actual weather and sky colors. The clouds that ASN and Envtex produce are as good, or better then what I've seen from REX.

Edited by HawkDsl
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Posted (edited)
On 12/27/2018 at 6:30 PM, jabloomf1230 said:

To me, RSF has the most realistic looking clouds.

How do they look in the higher latitudes w/o AS?

Edited by pracines

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FYI: I have Skyforce and yes the textures are great, but at altitude your right about bad cloud formations.  My solution to this was to set the clouds at minimum (FSX+ACCEL) this makes all the clouds look as they should, and you even get the flattening that a person would see in real world (usually above 2,000).  And truth if you don't want to fork out more money for a good weather engine.  Just use the default FSX engine still works albeit not accurate but close enough.

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