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Geofa

Clouds

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When will the clouds in Flight Simulator be like that in the real world? For instance, when you fly through FSX clouds, they are just 2D "sheets" rolling aside like curtains.When do you think that the clouds will be such that when you fly through them, there will be variable fogging, such as part or all of the wing cant be seen, and you can see mist around them?Also, when do you think vapour trails between the fuselage and engines like in real life will be seen in future FS versions?

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For the cloud question, it's called FEX. Get it. The new Super High Definition cloud textures with it will do what you want.

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Yes, FEX all the way! Very realistic. FEX also allows you to change water and wave animation. It is one of the must have add ons.

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The problem with the couds is they are only 3d textirs, to do waht you ans i would like they would need to probablu use particles to make them up. Just fly through a cloud in FB1946 and you will see how the clouds actually pass over the wings. I hope they do that in fs11

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I can only imagine the difficulty trying to simulate something as complex as clouds.The visibility issue overall needs to be solved.One thing I hate even when using ASX is this.You look up and see a solid cloud layer,say 3000 ft.Vis is marginal vfr or IFR but you cannot see blue skies through the solid layer.You climb through it and BAM, 100 mile vis,scattered clouds and you can see the ground.Descend through the back and BAM, back to solid layer and you cannot see blue sky above.

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Funny though that 3rd party people manage to do it?

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I hope they do eventually release FS with a version of particle clouds, that way we can fly through them, just like in real life....Problem is guys, the hardware... probably need a octal-core system with a few GPUs SLI'd together...Its like you guys say: Particles.FEX looks good for 3D clouds, but it doesnt appear to remove the curtain/2D cloud effect. It would be great if it was super imposed over particles.Any estimates when FS could have particles?I remember Falcon 3.0 had a very simple 'inside clouds misty' effect, and FS 5.0 had that as well.

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If these clouds drop shadows in the future FS i'm quite happy with the current system. They could indeed improve them by adding particles and visibility drops. Another thing to improve the current system is to add more texture variation to them. Then the need for rotation of the 2d planes becomes unnecessary. Which means, the beautifull FEX hd clouds will be shown to their full potention. I don't use them now because it looks awfull to see those very nice cumulus cloud tops at the bottom or side of a cloud.Regards, Gerrit Kranenbarg


http://www.oncourse-software.co.uk/forum_i...e_supporter.jpg

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>For the cloud question, it's called FEX. Get it. The new>Super High Definition cloud textures with it will do what you>want.No they won't, as others have pointed out the whole cloud system just isn't capable of doing what the OP would like it to do (as would I). No replacement textures are ever going to fix it.As to when the engine will be able to do clouds properly, good question. It's an incredibly difficult problem. Think of the variety of different types of cloudscapes you see in real life. Sometimes you see clouds a bit like the FS ones, i.e. scattered, small-ish clouds at varying density. Other times you see a solid overcast. Other times you see vast great slabs of cloud with small breaks in between. If you travel by air and look at a solid overcast layer from above you often see a beautiful, chaotic, 3 dimensional pattern of ridges and swirls.One of the biggest challenges for the programmers of the current flight simulator is the accurate and detailed rendering of complex terrain across vast distances. Imagine if they had to do that for a scene that is not only different for every flight, but changes constantly within a flight! And on top of that it's entirely 3 dimensional, not just 2d textures stretched over an array of elevation points. And on top of THAT it's got to make sense given the current weather conditions. And so on.The size of the job boggles the mind. But I do hope they're working on it. :)Colin

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Now you know one of the reasons I have no need for possible "waving hands" in the next version of MSFS. There are just too many components of real flight that need addressing first.Richard

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The clouds "flat sheets" have to be superceded soon, its been like that since fs2000 - dont you find that remarkable?Im sure it cant be too hard to have volumetric clouds, even if the patterns of the clouds are preset to a given range of types and subtypes. Now with AEGIS' particle accelerator card, 3D particle/volumetric clouds should not be a problem. I kind of miss the FS5.0 clouds, as they were although blocky, you could actually go deep inside those clouds.Also, when it comes to flying through the clouds, the depth of the mist changes, such as being able to see the wing, then partially, then not at all. Not only that, the lighting levels need to change as you go into a thick overcast layer from a bright blue world into a gloomy underlying landscape beneath the cloud layer. Any ideas guys on when something like this will become available in the world of FS?

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I am happy someone brought it up again finally. For years I have put the request out as well. Fly had some fantastic clouds, although they were very limited in scope/feature they were pretty realistic and flying through them was like really flying through them.Anyhow, there are things like having strobes on and flying through a cloud at night (you would just see a blinding bright white flash outside the cockpit everytime the strobes flash) would be nice (I saw this way back in something like FS95? then it went away.Or how about the thunderstorms "lighting up" the whole top part of the cloud even though you can't see the lightning bolt?

(okay a real geek filming but you get the drift...)This may just be cosmetic but it really adds to the sense of immersion - something FS IMO still lacks, but is getting better at.We need more clues to our surroundings to make us feel there. How about the Puffs of vapor smoke out of a piston engine exaust on cold days?And if ACES are really revamping the engine as they say they are, why not implement something like dedicating all or most resources to the clouds as you get close to them and drop out (or hide/i.e. do not simulate or spend resources on) AI that are miles away or even close because you won't see them anyway, drop out simulating scenery below except some generic textures (since the clouds would mask the scenery anyway?)A random cloud generator that uses some real world values. Okay we know if the temp. at the ground is 95 degrees F, and the temp at 30,000 feet is -20, humidity is up, time of day is afternoon there are likely going to be some cumulonimbus around and possibly thunderstorms.Let's see clouds that are different every time, we would not likely see the same cloud "scene" in real life two times, let's let the computer randomly make the scene too!?***One of the biggest challenges in flying isn't so much flying the aircraft itself, but challenging the ENVIRONMENT for which surrounds the aircraft at any one time***Thanks for listening!

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As some folks here have already mentioned, FEX does what you are looking for. I have been flying 'rw' for 35 years and the clouds with FEX look and act as real as it can get in FS.XP Pro SP2-FSX SP2AMD FX60-8800GTS-2 Gigs RAMFEX-GEX-UTUSA-FSGenesis-and a bunch of other stuffComputer optomized by www.fs-gs.com

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FEX/ASX are just 3D textures imposed on some 2D "sheets" (as the OP calls it) grouped together. But they do not give you true 3d volumetric clouds. Viewed from a distant, FEX sure looks fantastic and very realistic. But flying through them, IMO isn't. They are just that - textures.Do you ever notice that the cloud textures themselves seem to have fixed orientation relative to your position? Try flying directly below or above a cumulus cloud and watch it closely. You will notice the textures "rotate" (as in a swirl) as it passes directly under or overhead, because they "switch" orientation to face the player so as to maintain the "artwork" orientation... in other words, if the texture were the letter "E", it will remain "E" no matter where you are becaue they will always "face" you - the player point of view. This means the texture artworks don't "mirror" their image as you move to the other side. What I think is (correct me if i'm wrong), when you pass through them , it's not the clouds themselves that give you the haze/low vis. Instead, the program "calls up" a routine to simulate this as you pass through the cloud. I am not a RW pilot, but having been spending much time playing IL-2,FB a few years back, I find flying through clouds gives a more realistic feeling of really being deep inside a volume of clouds - random partial visibility on the wings, you actually see the wings cut through the puffs, turbulence, shudders, varying visibility (try that as you chase a BF-109 :( ) - not perfect, but IMO way better than FS. And mind you, IL-2/FB clouds DO project shadows on land and water! :) If such can be done, I am sure FS can do it.Having said that, I hope this is one area ACES will revamp in future versions of FS.Cheers!

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This is something that ACES REALLY needs to address. How about being able to see cloud shadows on the ground and also being able to see the walls of precipitation falling from a thunderstorm at a distance?To me, this is more important than having people waving goodbye at you or giving you the birdie if you arrive late to the gate.______________Efrain RuizLiveDISPATCHhttp://www.livedispatch.orgCooler Master cosmos SDFI LP UT P35 T2R (3-17-2008 BIOS) | E8400 @ 4GHz (500MHz x 8) | 2 x 2GB OCZ Flex II PC9200EVGA Nvidia GTX280Two (2) WD3200AAKS 320GB (Operating System RAID-0) | Two (2) WD3200AAKS 320GB (Flight Simulator RAID-0)Corsair CM PSU-750TX | Asus 20X DVD

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I think one must keep in mind that the clouds as presently implemented are one of the greatest performance takers.(Try setting their slider to the max and doing a rw download).I'd love to see everything and more requested above on clouds-but there always has to be a balance between what can be done and performance. Since the biggest complaint about fsx has been performance, and Aces has promised that performance will be high priority in the next version, I would expect that many features such as the above which take a huge amount of computing power and would severly reduce performance will be left out accordingly in an effort to follow the communities strongest wishes.imho with fex the clouds are very good. Much better than the look of autogen which looks to me artificial, along with realistic looking and working aircraft instrumentation which are sorely needed.GeofMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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This is the way I see it... If I need to BUY 3rd party addons such as:FEX - for better clouds and waterFSGenesis - for better mesh terrainUTX - for better terrain texturesGEX - for better ground and road texturesASX - for better weather generationMyTrafficX - for better AI trafficRC4 - for better ATC serviceLD767 - for better airliner simulationin order to make my flight simming more realistically, then it's obvious that MS is failing tremendously. Why do they market a FLIGHT SIMULATOR where out of the box, it fails miserably. I mean, I only listed 8 addons which I personally use and I bet that many users would have longer lists.This only shows that ACES should simply devote all THEIR TIME AND EFFORT into making the CORE of it's flight simulator a more SOLID platform for 3rd party developers to make their magic, and stop wasting time on adding "eye candy" features such as waving hands and what not. Give us a STRONG CORE application and the community will do the rest.______________Efrain RuizLiveDISPATCHhttp://www.livedispatch.orgCooler Master cosmos SDFI LP UT P35 T2R (3-17-2008 BIOS) | E8400 @ 4GHz (500MHz x 8) | 2 x 2GB OCZ Flex II PC9200EVGA Nvidia GTX280Two (2) WD3200AAKS 320GB (Operating System RAID-0) | Two (2) WD3200AAKS 320GB (Flight Simulator RAID-0)Corsair CM PSU-750TX | Asus 20X DVD

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>I can only imagine the difficulty trying to simulate>something as complex as clouds.>The visibility issue overall needs to be solved.>One thing I hate even when using ASX is this.>You look up and see a solid cloud layer,say 3000 ft.>Vis is marginal vfr or IFR but you cannot see blue skies>through the solid layer.>You climb through it and BAM, 100 mile vis,scattered clouds>and you can see the ground.>Descend through the back and BAM, back to solid layer and you>cannot see blue sky above.No we dont need that, remember this is a flight simulator. What we need is people that can walk, talk and wiggle. ;)Sorry, but this is exactly the point that some where trying to make in the "real people" thread, Lets see some of the core issues fixed and then shows us the added eye candy ...fix the weather, fix the bad terrain texture issues (Low rez masks. mismatched textures desert etc., fix the AG and ATC, and the like...show-off that first, would love all the extra eye candy...After fixing the above.but this forum seems to becoming the "police Aces from any possible critique" forum or the "Mods opinion rules the day".Too bad, this once was the place to find honest open pationate discussion.Hopfuly Aces can pull something off...but who knows.

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Funny you should show up then eh?Rest my case.

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>Yeah-I do happen to frequent these boards-both as a mod and a>simmer.>>Take another read of your post in the hangar chat and I rest>my case.>It was left also.>>Geofa>My blog:>http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/Show me.I think you may want to re-read. I said nothing personal about anyone, I made comments specific to the topic and the sim. You are the one that made it personal, you made a specific comment about me, how my specific comment was this and that, some what akin to what set Phil T. off.Its feels like your riding me and others like your a troll looking for trouble (Geof, I know thats not the case but thats how it feels.

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>and stop wasting time on adding "eye candy" featureswhich is probably the reason it didn't ship with features you get from FEX, GEX, UTX, FSG as they are, IMHO, "eye candy" enhancers :). Of course they could have had those features built in too, but it could have taken more time before release, shipped in 4-6 DVDs, priced higher, etc. ;)I do agree with "making the CORE of it's flight simulator a more SOLID platform", which is hopefully what they will achieve in the next release :( (if they are indeed re-writing the core from the ground up?)

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As far as I'm concerned 3rd party developers are the key to a great flight simulator. ACES should focus on better performance and an open and easily editable platform with all the documentation and tools 3rd party developers need to produce a product quickly, with as few limitations as possible. And give us sliders, lots of sliders.Whatever time and money they have left over, then unleash the artist.

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>>in order to make my flight simming more realistically, then>it's obvious that MS is failing tremendously. Why do they>market a FLIGHT SIMULATOR where out of the box, it fails>miserably. I mean, I only listed 8 addons which I personally>use and I bet that many users would have longer lists.>>This only shows that ACES should simply devote all THEIR TIME>AND EFFORT into making the CORE of it's flight simulator a>more SOLID platform for 3rd party developers to make their>magic, and stop wasting time on adding "eye candy" features>such as waving hands and what not. Give us a STRONG CORE>application and the community will do the rest.It wouldn't fly..............so to speak.The majority of sales go to people who haven't a clue of all these Internet related addons. Should the MSFS program just be a "core", then an awful lot of people would surely be dissatisfied and never look at the product again.Without a massive set of additional disks and extra cost, the base program is far from "miserable". It's actually quite impressive considering what it does! However, like most others who have been doing this for all these years, I certainly have my own list of 3rd party addons.L.Adamson

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