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haldir

Flashing clouds?

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Especially cumulus. Sometimes I have them and at other times, I don't.BTW - I have SP1 installed (I did have SP2 installed, but got rid of it because it seemed to be causing problems to my system) I realise that there has been some discussion of a "fix" for this problem - but then there was further discussion as to whether it worked for SP1 or only SP2. What is your experience?Thanks Barry

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I've always had flashing clouds off and on. Seems to be part and parcel of FS.

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There is a long thread somewhere on a fix for flashing clouds which is a common enough FSX issue, but I won't link to it because the fix ends up breaking some other things, sadly. If you search, I am confident you will find it. Me, I time my eyeblinks to co-incide with when I think the cumulus will flash. Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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As the person who came up with the fix (after days and days of trial and error) I figure I should weigh in here. The cloud flashing in SP2 occurs whenever certain high polygon unique scenery objects come into view, either during a turn or when flying towards them (or when panning your view around). Specifically it's only when they are in one of their middle or low LOD states, meaning you're a fair distance from them (2 to 10nm away), that they cause the clouds near them to blink out momentarily. These objects include things like the animated jetways at airports, marinas, and quite a few unique high poly buildings such as you'd find in any major city.Having used this fix on my system now for several months I can state that I see no side effects from it, and my system is loaded to the gills with scenery addons, FSG mesh, UTX Europe, landclass addons, Flight Environment etc. Early on when I started flying around with the fix I saw what I thought were some LOD problems on various buildings, such as port cranes etc, but that turned out to be caused by the insane thrashing I had given my FSX install in an effort to find the fix. Essentially I had pretty much destroyed my scenery and terrain cfg files and shaders in the effort to cure it. :) I did a complete reinstall of FSX up to SP2, applied the fix, then reinstalled all my addons. Not a single problem since. I'll also add that all of the friends I fly online with have also applied the fix and none have reported any problems.Some people were quick to blame all sorts of things on my workaround unfortunately, such as floating houses etc, but these things can happen with or without it, and I think in several cases people didn't follow my directions to the letter, or had some problems understanding them. Granted in retrospect my instructions could have been better written. :)Given that one of the mods here isn't keen on providing a link to it, I won't rock the boat by doing so. If flashing clouds drive you insane (or like me you spend a lot of your time in FSX making videos, where flashing clouds are simply a non-starter) then send me a PM and I'll email you a more concise version of the instructions. If you're not comfortable with some basic file editing though I don't advise it.Cheers,-mike

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Hi MikeYour initial "fix" is easily found by the search function here. My problem is that I have this problem when using SP1 - I don't think your fix is for SP1. is it?RegardsBarry

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Just to say that I applied the fix and am very happy with it.Running FSX + Acceleration.Thanks !:-)

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Hi Barry. No, the fix is most definitely *not* meant for SP1. I've never seen a cloud blink out once in SP1, so yours must be caused by something else I think, though I have no idea what. The cloud shader file for RTM/SP1 was completely different than that used in SP2/Accel and I have no idea what would happen if you tried my fix in that situation. My bet is that distant clouds would disappear completely though, leaving you only with some erratic ones directly over your airplane.Cheers,-mike

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I de-bunked just about all the 'issues' that were posted around it, including the flying houseshowever there is one issue it does cause and that is thinner or less volume of clouds. One does not notice it as much as the flashing however I did confirm there was less volume and more 'holes' in overcast and other heavy weather scenarios with the edit

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@ Haldir: I'm not a mod. I just write stuff. I am not a forum wizard, so I hope it's okay that sometimes I feel too lazy to link to every thread on AVSIM. If you want to link to it, please do so, unless, of course, the mods don't want you to do that. As for all the instructions, there was a lot of stuff in that thread. I don't recall making it to the happy ending where the clouds were fixed. I think I made it as far as FSX getting broken, and then decided to go do something else. Usually, I don't feel the need to explain myself as I feel that in practise I am in my writing quite thorough. Today, I've been banging away on another review, so please be assured that if I am not spending thoroughness points on the AVSIM forum, I am definitely expending them in my reviews. Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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I keep a log of just about everything worth working with... here is a copy of a post I made in the FEX forum:*****************************************************This fix is courtesy of Mike (haldir) over at AVSIM. It gets rid of the issue of clouds popping in and out of scenes...Here are the instructions from him and my notes below=================================================Quote:The ultimate culprit lies in the material handling of the cloud shader.Go to this folder:FSXShadersHLSLmiscThere you will find a file called SwarmCloud.fx. Make a backup copy of this file somewhere. (as always no crying if you don't do this step) Open the original SwarmCloud.fx in notepad or wordpad and then look down about 20 lines down from the top. You will see this entry:bool NewMaterialUsage = true;Change its value from true to false. Make sure to keep the semi-colon.Save and close the file.Now, go to C:documents & settingsLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftFSX(If you can't get to this folder make sure that "show hidden & system files/folders" is turned on in your windows folder options.)(This is the XP path by the way, Vista users will have to hunt for their equivlalent in the users folder.)You will see a folder there called: Shaders.Either move that folder out of there or delete it. Don't worry, FSX will build a new one the next time you run it. It contains a cache of the compiled shaders. This folder must be removed to ensure that the change you made to the cloud shader file above will be compiled and used on FSX's next run.==============================================Note: This fix can be undone by simply editing TRUE into the line as noted above. Also, I suggest you not delete the entire SHADER folder from C:documents & settingsLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftFSXas suggested and instead simply empty the contents of: C:documents & settingsLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftFSXShadersMiscOf course be sure to backup the MISC folder I noted above before trying this so it can be restored -and- backup the original SwarmCloud.fx file in the Flight Simulator XShadersHLSLmisc directory.====================================enjoy

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Jeff, haha, fair enough. I misread your post a bit I think, that's what I get for living on 4 hours sleep a night. :)Nick, that's an interesting observation about the lowered cloud density, can't say I noticed that one. I'll have to do some tests and check that out, cheers for the heads up. Thanks also for your help on other various forums regarding feedback on the fix, you saved me a lot of typing.-mike

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