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Why I'm not holding my breath for cloud shadows

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I was thinking about this while driving home today. The clouds this evening were fairly dramatic, as were the shadows they were casting on the ground. There were great swathes of solid cloud interspersed with areas of blue sky. (The large areas of solid cloud are fairly common here in Scotland, the blue sky less so...)I reckon the reason why cloud shadows were dropped for FSX, and why they probably weren't even considered for SP2, is that in order to have realistic cloud shadows you first have to have realistic clouds. While FSX is fairly good at rendering clouds of the relatively small puffy type and the high wispy type, it's not much good at the other kinds, for example genuine overcast or clouds that cover large areas of the sky like the ones I was looking at today.FSX simulates overcast by bunching a lot of small clouds close together. This is passably convincing if you're looking at them from the side, but if you look from above or below you can see the large gaps between them. If the clouds cast shadows this would be impossible to ignore. If you selected "overcast" from the weather options you'd still find that most of the ground was bathed in sunlight.So the way I see it, the major challenge for FS11 and beyond is to solve the cloud problem (and I suspect it's a _really_ hard problem), and once that's done shadows will surely follow.Colin

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Yep, the cloud rendering in FSX really doesn't do much convincing. Especially when you're flying a chopper like me. As long as you're fairly high AGL the clouds work just fine as is, but if you spend time close to the ground, it's rather disappointing passing through the cloud "drapes" and having full visibility until the next one.I'd love to practice flying under IFR in a real pea soup where you can hardly make out the runway lights in the fog, but I suspect that'll have to wait until we have FSXV running on quad-SLI rigs with at least dual quad-core CPUs and have our physics processing boards hooked up...

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