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I purchased Active Sky today, honestly being very skeptical, since it is a preset based weather engine (thanks MS for not opening up the API.....)

If nothing else I wanted to support HIFI, because during FS9 days it was my reliable go-to weather engine, that I used for years with much enjoyment (remember 2D clouds?).

A bit of a background. I have a home cockpit, a A320 cockpit build to scale 80% done. Running the Fenix.

The two front views are running on two different PC, on two copies of msfs connected via network.

I did a flight from CYYC to KMSP, I picked this route, because it pretty much had cloud cover all the way.

 

That resulted in having Active Sky running on the left (main view) and default msfs live weather running on the right view. I know, not perfect, but it gave me a clear impression of the difference. And the difference is huge just looking at the clouds.

For the first time ever I saw cloud depiction, that I have never ever seen before in a sim ever! Yes, finally not always the boring, same dramatic looking cumulus clouds that I have been complaining about for years and that belong into a game, not into a simulator!

Having the comparison right in front of my eyes during the 2 hour plus flight was amazing! Even during cruise and overcast skies, things changed, sometimes there where cirrus clouds, sometimes haze 50 miles out above the overcast. Things I have seen during real flights over the years as well...

Descending into KMSP METAR called for three layers of clouds with a breakout at 6500 feet. On the Active Sky view I had those three distinct layers, all with different depictions and light, in the msfs view three layers where kind of bunched together, you guessed it, in the same boring looking cumulus clouds. What an amazing difference!

In the real world there are 16 different cloud types. MS has one, AS at least 5, but that is just after a short test.

Shame on you MS.

Clouds are one thing. But winds and turbulences are another. With AS the air feels alive. When you hit a cloud or a cloud layer, you can 'feel' the light chop or a more distinct raddle.

I did not experience any sudden wind shift, everything felt very realistic. 

I did have one frame rate drop during cruise with some haze above the overcast, but I can not say 100% it was an AS issue.

Now I have to figure out how to run AS over network, or just buy a second copy. 

Beside the Fenix, Active Sky is the best MSFS add-on I have purchased. Weather is such an important part of flying and MS ought to get their act together for 2024 or just hire HIFI.

One recommendation is to have a trial version of AS. People who will try it will buy it! Period.

 

 

 

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Most of what is said on the Internet may be the same thing they shovel on the regular basis at the local barn.

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The maker of this video has a different opinion. It is remarkable that the flights over Europe he is showing are pretty much off compared to RL weather, where in the USA ASFS is pretty accurate.
 

 

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Kind regards,
Hans van WIjhe

 

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Posted (edited)

My feeling with ASFS is that the clouds lack definition. They seem very soft and dare I say, cartoony, compared to msfs default.

However, the accuracy depicted of the metar looks pretty good.

I really do not like the look of the clouds, though. It's as if the quality has been turned down from ultra to medium.

Stu

Edited by Bunchy
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1 hour ago, hvw said:

The maker of this video has a different opinion. It is remarkable that the flights over Europe he is showing are pretty much off compared to RL weather, where in the USA ASFS is pretty accurate.
 

 

I just watched that.  I was pretty surprised that his main critique of AS wx depictions was that the clouds were too flat, and lacked vertical development compared to MSFS.  

This surprised me because the images of the real world weather at the time was of a gray stratus layer.  I can understand a person's opinion of sky aesthetic being subjective, but shouldn't it count for something that the AS depictions were actually the more accurate of the two?

I'm starting to think a lot of these reviews are being offered by people who have spent very little time looking at clouds in the real world, and perhaps none at all looking at them in flight.  It's like we've got a generation of folks who think they've learned what the sky should look like from MSFS, vs going outside every once in a while and looking at it (to say nothing of studying weather fundamentals and understanding a bit of the difference in clouds you get with a stable vs unstable atmosphere.)

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Andrew Crowley

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9 minutes ago, Stearmandriver said:

I just watched that.  I was pretty surprised that his main critique of AS wx depictions was that the clouds were too flat, and lacked vertical development compared to MSFS.  

This surprised me because the images of the real world weather at the time was of a gray stratus layer.  I can understand a person's opinion of sky aesthetic being subjective, but shouldn't it count for something that the AS depictions were actually the more accurate of the two?

I'm starting to think a lot of these reviews are being offered by people who have spent very little time looking at clouds in the real world, and perhaps none at all looking at them in flight.  It's like we've got a generation of folks who think they've learned what the sky should look like from MSFS, vs going outside every once in a while and looking at it (to say nothing of studying weather fundamentals and understanding a bit of the difference in clouds you get with a stable vs unstable atmosphere.)

What's more worrying is that he's a real pilot. I mean I understand that someone that knows clouds only from simming in MSFS might think they all look like this in real life, but a real pilot? I think someone that flies day in day out in a cockpit at 35000 feet spends a lot of time looking at clouds in the real world, as you say.

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2 minutes ago, Fiorentoni said:

What's more worrying is that he's a real pilot.

He's not a real pilot.

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1 minute ago, jonwallace said:

He's not a real pilot.

Oh really? Then he pretty much illuded me with his name 😄

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I think it's a major issue that people have got used to Asobos cumulus puffballs everywhere, which granted do look very good but *only* when they're supposed to actually be there. So with that in the back of their minds they're expecting even greater levels of definition in the clouds when in reality it's a smooth layer looking very normal which (in my short testing) AS does, therefore the "pretty looking clouds" are non-existent as they should be. Now I'm no real pilot, my weather observations throughout my life have been 99% from the ground, but already I'm seeing a marked improvement in cloud reality with AS than I have done since pre-SU7 when IMO Asobo broke the clouds.

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Posted (edited)

OMM / WMO is going to introduce yet another cloud type on their oficial classification:

CuA = Cumulus-Asobus

that experienced rw pilots see so many times on their professional MFS flights, that they had to, eventually, officially recognize...

They're also considering removing stratified clouds from their official classification 😁 because they are a myth, so shows ASOBO on msfs... 🤪

Edited by jcomm
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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Fiorentoni said:

Oh really? Then he pretty much illuded me with his name 😄

Why? His name is Simpilot. 😉

Edited by Farlis
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15 minutes ago, Farlis said:

Why? His name is Simpilot. 😉

I think many Sim Pilots think they are real pilots. obvious from some of their posts.😉

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BOBSK8             MSFS 2020 ,    ,PMDG 737-600-800 FSLTL , TrackIR ,  Avliasoft EFB2  ,  ATC  by PF3  ,

A Pilots LIfe V2 ,  CLX PC , Auto FPS, ACTIVE Sky FS,  PMDG DC6 , A2A Comanche, Fenix A320, Milviz C 310

 

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2 hours ago, hvw said:

The maker of this video has a different opinion. It is remarkable that the flights over Europe he is showing are pretty much off compared to RL weather, where in the USA ASFS is pretty accurate.

There's a big disparity between what every streamer, YouTuber and reviewer sees and what some Avsimmer sees I've found. When we actually see video comparisons, results are all over the place and not very impressive. However, some Avsimmers find it to be the most impressive thing they've ever seen apparently and lifts the sim to new heights, with lots of hyperbolic statements, which is weird. And then a lot of energy is spent putting down the people who made the actual video content, trying hard to dismiss their opinion.

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34 minutes ago, MarcG said:

I think it's a major issue that people have got used to Asobos cumulus puffballs everywhere, which granted do look very good but *only* when they're supposed to actually be there.

I hope they didn't "cumulize" the weather because the gamers would find realistic cloudscapes "dull". And while we're at it: what disturbs me in all the reviews and latest discussions pointing out "fronts" as a major advantage of Live Weather is that while it may generate CuAs (loved that one!🤣) with stunning precision compared to satellite imagery, it actually lacks every other meteorological aspect. A warmfront has different cloud formations (not present in today's Live weather, but before SU7 - see below) associated with it than a coldfront, and even those aren't convincingly depicted.

spacer.png

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1 hour ago, Bunchy said:

My feeling with ASFS is that the clouds lack definition. They seem very soft and dare I say, cartoony, compared to msfs default.

However, the accuracy depicted of the metar looks pretty good.

I really do not like the look of the clouds, though. It's as if the quality has been turned down from ultra to medium.

Stu

It was probably just that the area you were flying in had stratus clouds rather than cumulus. AS generates both whereas Live weather only generates cumulus everywhere.

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