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Glynn

Developers - PLEASE make a weather program for FSX that WORKS

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Ok,I think we can all agree that the default FSX weather system is a horrendous trainwreck in terms of usability. Think winds changing direction instantly and wrecking your airplane at 30,000 ft, the goofy visibility layer everywhere, etc. It plain sucks.Granted, there are a couple of commercially available weather generation programs for FSX, and I own them both. Each makes different promises about reasonably realistic weather, etc, and if they actually performed as prescribed either would be very cool.The sad truth is that they don't work, period. Hardcore sim users who fly at airliners altitudes and conditions know what I'm talking about: wrong winds and the destination airport, goofy winds aloft, inaccurate depiction of cloud cover, cumbersome menu. You get the picture. There are a lot of folks who fly puddle-jumpers all day and a all night and are more than satisfied with these aforementioned ( to remain nameless) weather program(s), but for those of us that really demand some form of reasonable realism, these add-ons provide mostly empty promises and endless frustration.In light of all of this, can some talented programmers and/or commercial developers out there not actually devise a add-on weather program that actually does that it's supposed to within reason. I think there is a HUGE demand for such, and frankly I would be willing to pay serious bucks for something like this to end the weather nightmare I experience with each and every high-altitude FSX flight.FSX Developers: Please do a market survey to see how big the demand is for a reliable weather program for FSX. Something like this would carry over to a user's overall enjoyment of FSX and as an added benefit for a large add-on developer would create a larger demand for FSX add-ons in general.I for one will not buy anymore add-ons for FSX simply because I don't feel I can use them with the current state of the FSX weather engine. If I can't fly in reasonably accurate atmospheric conditions on flights, frankly 50 percent of the total enjoyment I get from simming goes down the drain. I'd rather stick with FS9 and use a (working) weather interface that is at least reliable and enjoyable.I'd love to make a complete switchover to FSX and be able to enjoy it, but until the weather engine can be addressed properly, all my money stays with FS9. Does anyone else feel the same way?

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Well, sort of.From what I know, the weather engine in FSX was taken as far as it can go. It depends on older "cell" technology, where the weather comes in rectangular cells that fill the map. If the cells are really different, then you get those wierd wind shears.Of course, developers want to improve the weather. Maybe the best all-around utility may be the registered FSUIPC. But even that is just putting icing on an old and rather stale cake.To get rid of cells, the whole weather system has to be re-designed from scratch. I think that will eventually happen, but not for FSX. ACES is certainly aware of the work that would be involved in doing that, just like they are aware of how much work it would be to re-engineer ATC. Until that time comes, the best solutions are in the sim: turn off the damage by turbulence and don't use weather that changes over time. That way you will still get those crazy wind shears, but it won't rip your jetliner into pieces. On a long flight, the shears seem to even out, so that your fuel calculations probably won't be far off. And if you don't allow the weather to change, then you can look at the map and see what the weather will be like where you are landing, and plan accordingly. Likewise, you can just change the wind direction yourself in-flight to suit your needs. Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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I really dislike the FSX visibility layer. I hope that isn't the best ACES can do.scott s..

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Hi Jeff,Wow, I hadn't realized that things were this bad off with FSX weather-wise, yikes. It may very be impossible to fix in light of this. I have a registered version of FSUIPC for FSX, and it will actually reign in the default FSX wind shifts aloft, but visibility layer management is currently beyond it's control in practical terms. There is only an 'experimental' visibility control menu supplied with FSUPIC, and Pete Dowson is so frustrated with trying to reconcile the visibility layer demon in FSX that he disables this menu in FSUPIC by default. I will agree with you Jeff in that I also believe the best all-around combination of weather managment in FSX is the default weather system augmented by a registered copy of FSUIPC. What I don't understand is why Microsoft re-introduced a buggy weather system in FSX to begin with. Dowson's FSUIPC can very effectively control both the visibility layer and facilitate wind smoothing in FS9 (in which the weather engine was originally just as bad as FSX before FSUIPC finally fixed everything.) FSX really took two steps forward and one step back..... :(

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Scott,It's horrible, but apparently it IS the best ACES can do, or at least is willing to do at this point.The haze/visibility layer in FSX is rendered by a simple cirrus overcast texture. It's really pretty easy to bring this texture up in Photoshop and augment it's hue and transparency to that of a much more realistic effect in FSX. I think I will give this a go and release it to the community. It won't fix the visibility issues, but it will help prevent the whiteout pops you get frequently with the default FSX weather. I'll work on it this evening.

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"The haze/visibility layer in FSX is rendered by a simple cirrus overcast texture. It's really pretty easy to bring this texture up in Photoshop and augment it's hue and transparency to that of a much more realistic effect in FSX. I think I will give this a go and release it to the community."The guys at FEX have already tried this. Apparently it causes other issues when the texture is called for in 'normal' situations.I believe they are still working on it as part of their own weather engine addon for FEX and the 'Environment' simulator addon.

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I see it more as one step foreward, one step sideways, and then feet together. In a one-two-three tempo, that's a waltz. What you perceive as shortcomings in FSX can largely be attributed to the business of creating video games. There's only so much time, talent, and resources to go around. At some point, the producer will look at the money spent versus the money to be gained, and that's the budget. We as consumers don't really get a voice in how that works, we just have to trust that the game makers know what they are doing. If you ever get the chance to work in the gaming industry, then you will see how this works. Otherwise, it's difficult to explain. I find it a remarkably cruel business, and there's a number of facets of the industry that I have seen that I now wish I could un-see. However, there are people who thrive in gaming, so more power to them. On a more technical level, I too am also peeved by the way visibility works in FSX. My understanding was that ACES had bigger plans for the weather visuals based on how DX10 would shake things up, and so the visibility layer got somehow tied into that. That's my own personal estimation, I could be way off base here. In any case, I spend a fair amount of time setting up exact camera angles in my review screen shots so that visibility looks decent. If I could magically tweak three things in FSX, it would be how bloom is treated, how shadows are rendered, and how atmospheric perspective (visibility) works. To my mind, its the reflection, refraction, and shadowing of light that makes a game look realistic, after basic textures and models are applied. FSX is like a jig-saw puzzle, though: if you mess around with one piece, a whole bunch of others might be affected as well. You jigger with one variable, and all of a sudden ten others might go wonky. Fun!Jeff Shyluk Assistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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> Does anyone else feel the same way?I don't!Next question please!

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Im not sure if you guys seen this site before but this stuff should be released very very shortly. :)www.realenvironmentxtreme.com

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wow those shots look amazing. does anyone know what ground environment textures would blend in well with this rex? i am new to fsx and have no addons yet except fsgenesis mesh

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I was hearing that FTX was a good match or Ultimate Terrain X maybe but you should ask in the forums on that site :). Also read up on the features and other links on that site.... it should give you a good amount of info :)

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Ultimate Terrain X does NOT provide a ground texture replacement set.FTX is very good, however it currently only covers parts of Australia.Flight Environment X (already available at Flight 1) has Super High Definition clouds and water and is adding a weather engine and airport textures soon.http://www.flight1.com/products.asp?product=flt1fex

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As far as having the best weather engine system for clients and servers... nothing will come close to REX. But the ones that are out now seem pretty good for the time being. I sure hope this addon has runway patches for DX10 mode... I never bothered to ask in the forums.

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FEX provides the most amazing clouds available, hands down, and when they get their weather engine out, Im sure it will be the best available as well.XP Pro SP2-FSX SP2AMD FX60-8800GTS-2 Gigs RAMFEX-GEX-UTUSA-FSGenesis-and a bunch of other stuffComputer optimized by www.fs-gs.com

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