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HappyHaddock

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If you look at the compiled shaders in "/graphics/shaders" you'll see that there are only a few dozen. Those represent shader sets that are used, for example the billboard trees; Those trees are done by a vertex shader that sets up the geometry and then a pixel shader that draws the texture to that geometry... and maybe a third or fourth pixel shader, I can't remember exactly. 3dmigoto will dump 3-4 or whatever the number of shaders for what is really a single thing that is being done.

 

So you can think of them as individual shaders but its more like individual steps that are part of a multipass process. For some things all you need to do is modify one of the pixel/vert shaders but some of the fun things require vert+pixel edits.

 

Shaders that aren't being currently used shouldn't be loaded at all, ie no glass_canopy loaded if there is no glass. You can see the number change in migoto as things ar eloaded in and out.

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On 7/30/2019 at 8:52 AM, LizLemon said:

If you look at the compiled shaders in "/graphics/shaders" you'll see that there are only a few dozen. Those represent shader sets that are used, for example the billboard trees; Those trees are done by a vertex shader that sets up the geometry and then a pixel shader that draws the texture to that geometry... and maybe a third or fourth pixel shader, I can't remember exactly. 3dmigoto will dump 3-4 or whatever the number of shaders for what is really a single thing that is being done.

 

So you can think of them as individual shaders but its more like individual steps that are part of a multipass process. For some things all you need to do is modify one of the pixel/vert shaders but some of the fun things require vert+pixel edits.

 

Shaders that aren't being currently used shouldn't be loaded at all, ie no glass_canopy loaded if there is no glass. You can see the number change in migoto as things ar eloaded in and out.

 

Just a quick question as I may have missed something when using  unGTP to extract all the contents of the game...  you say to look in graphics/shaders,

 

are you referring to IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles/data/graphics as I don't have a shaders folder there to look in

 

there's odd bits to do with shaders showing up under IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles/bin/game but no shaders folder.

 

do you happen to know where to extract this shaders folder from, or should it be accessible without extracting it from more compressed files?

 

Cheers

 

HH

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Just extract all the gtp archives. Their names dont exactly line up with what they contain.

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Posted (edited)

I'm taking a little time away from the skies and lighting to return to the ground cover, grass  and foliage again as it is something which tends to be neglected by the developers of all flight sims. This is probably for the pragmatic reason it isn't something that they can economically justify putting the man hours into because so few people will notice it from in the air, and if modelled to the same standards as in first person shooters running through game engines like crisis or unreal it might cripple the frame rate any flight sim would run at...

 

Anyway... I've been looking at the way natural plant life tends to be modelled in these first person role-play adventure/shooter games and seeing what if anything I can lean that might be applicable or transferable to the IL-2 game engine whilst still running at sensible frame rates To date the best and most believable depiction of natural plant life and forests I've seen is in Kingdom Come Deliverance as shown below, so I'm taking this as my bench mark for what modern technology can do and seeing how close to that I can get. 

 

As I don't play this sort of game  I just wondered if anybody else could point me in the direction of any other screenshots of other games you might feel handle natural looking plant life even better?

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

Kingdom come screemshot 1.jpg

woodland.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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1 hour ago, HappyHaddock said:

As I don't play this sort of game  I just wondered if anybody else could point me in the direction of any other screenshots of other games you might feel handle natural looking plant life even better?

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

For my feeling flora like foliage, trees, bushes etc. are the best in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Their videos of just simply horse riding through the forest are breath taking.

 

The Hunter: Call of the Wild also have nicely rendered flora.

 

 

Or War of Rights.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Jade_Monkey said:

I second the Kingdom Come Deliverance suggestion. 

 

It is definitely the best foliage I've seen in any game screenshot or video  I was just wondering if I might have missed something better through not really having any interest in first person shooter type games.

 

The foliage work of Kingdom Come is definitely a high bench mark for me to aim for in terms of matching that quality of forestation but the IL-2 game engine has so far handled pretty much everything I've asked of it.

 

Cheers

 

HH 

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Just a quick note to say I've posted a quick poll about this WIP project elsewhere on this forum and to ask if folk reading this can take a second to vote and offer me some feedback.

 

 

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This is essentially a content-less post that tells you nothing but I just gotta give another shout out for what an amazing game engine this is....

 

I'd been wracking my brains trying to think of a clever way to achieve a little something I wanted to add by using things this game already does and was tying myself in ever more convoluted circles trying to get there. Given how this game engine seems to handle anything I ask of it, I thought if I had had the skills to have designed the game engine from scratch it would be a feature I'd actual deem important enough to include.  The devs. might not have utilised it to any where near its full potential but when I went looking, sure enough, what I wanted already seems to  buried in there just waiting to be exploited.

 

The "to do" list just got longer again with another series of test I'll need to run but.....

 

HH

 

 

 

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if you think the devs haven´t used the engine to its full potential, it may be a smart move to create documentation of what you did so they can maybe implement some of your changes into the main game at some point^^

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28 minutes ago, So_ein_Feuerball said:

if you think the devs haven´t used the engine to its full potential, it may be a smart move to create documentation of what you did so they can maybe implement some of your changes into the main game at some point^^

 

There's lots this game "could" do, in many cases the reasons the devs don't do them are about economics rather than technical understanding. I am increasingly convinced that with the same developmental budget as some of the major console games this sim could give  game engines like crysis or unreal a run for their money!

 

In effect what I was mentioning above was realising that that I could "re-enable" what I wanted by disabling the extra feature created to block it in the first place. I assume the reason the devs created a feature to block it was because of all the extra work needed to give a satisfactory looking end result if implemented.

 

HH

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HH, you "Keep On Chooglin" (a Credence Clearwater reference) and do those things you do.  Among your other works I am very interested in your cloud work.  It looks fantastic!  But you do what pleases you and at some time I am sure I will get those clouds.  Meanwhile your continuing delving into the game engine is sure to give us many more improvements.

Thanks for all your hard work so far.

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Well I keep pushing to see how much my PC can cope with before methaphorically throwing its arms up in the air in exasperation, then I push back the other way to see if I can improve the optimisation of my mods to drag back a slightly higher frame rate without compromising the look of what I'd previously created.

 

The image below wasn't necessarily "breaking point" but it came from a stress test which did cross my notional red line. My computer is  probably at best what most would now consider "mid-range" (most of it dates back to 2012) and I tasked it with rendering an 8 on 8 dogfight at ground level at 4k screen resolution with all graphics settings maxed out. 40-50FPS is by no means unplayable but my target is to keep things above 60FPS...

 

I did think it looked pretty though!

 

4k test.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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That's gorgeous!  It's what I'm hoping to see someday.

As for your now "mid range" computer, it's, in my opinion, exactly what you need to be making mods with.  A lot of folks don't have high end computers so getting something to render on the "average" computer at 40~50FPS is great.  It won't stutter and has a bit of headroom. Anything above 24 FPS is perceived as fluid motion to the eye anyway.  I understand that VR needs at least 45 FPS for fluid perception and 90 FPS is preferred.  So that is the optimal goal however not everyone, (yet), has VR go a solid 50~55 FPS should be more than good enough for most of us.

If you are getting that nice a render at ~45 FPS you are doing good.  Thanks again for your dedication to making this game look as perfect as possible. 

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16 minutes ago, Danziger said:

Any new eye candy?

 

Well I am continuing to move forward on this gargantuan task, but as of the moment I've nothing new I'm brave enough to show. Lots of new improvements are in the pipeline that might impress but until I know I can make everything both stable and run at sensible frame rates I don't want to build up hopes for things that are most likely to cripple other people's computers as some of my recent stress test have brought my main PC down to just 3FPS... 

 

Though as a vaguely amusing aside this project has been keeping me fit... the normally sedentary  aspects of hacking, coding and programming have seen me spend a lot of the last month madly running up and down stairs between offices several times an hour owing to having to work simultaneously across three different PCs of different vintages, each running different operating systems needed for me to try and use software of different ages and versions.  Sometimes backwards/forwards compatibility isn't what it should be, though I'll not bore you all with masses of detail about every hoop I'm having to jump through in terms of my ground foliage work.

 

I can't believe that I some what naively said towards the start of this thread that I thought I would end up having to work on at least eighty files to achieve all I wanted to do.  Technically I wasn't wrong, just somewhat wide of  the mark... Current total is nearly twelve hundred  files and well over 1.5GB and my latest guess is that I've at least another 300 files I'll want/need to create. When so many aspects of the natural world are interlinked in this game engine, you pull one little thread and so much starts to unravel.  I suppose if I were to take a conventional approach to modding of simply taking a file, tweaking its contents and putting it back where it came from I might be done by now. Increasingly I'm having to start from a metaphorically blank page to achieve some of the stuff I need to make everything work the way I want.

 

I'm not the sort to release bits-n-pieces of  problematic work in dribs and drabs only to keep correcting and changing stuff I've already released followed by  re-releasing more amendments weeks later.

 

I'll keep chipping away at this and let folk know as and when there's anything more to report.

 

Cheers

 

HH 

 

 

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I'm guessing that is probably the reason why the team haven't gone into such detail with it. Sounds like a lot of hair-pulling fun.

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11 hours ago, Danziger said:

I'm guessing that is probably the reason why the team haven't gone into such detail with it. Sounds like a lot of hair-pulling fun.

 

I do have some what of a reputation of taking things much further than most and have built my business out of proving that difficult isn't the same as impossible... hence my mantra that "Failure is merely the decision that the end result no longer warrants the effort needed to achieve it!" as you've only failed at the point you quit trying.

 

As much to prove to myself  that I could achieve it as to prove it to anybody else, I ended up on one professional project negotiating with the Bank of England to obtain a license to print money... it has since expired but I did for twelve months have a legal permit to print replica bank notes! … My sister sits on the board of  several big financial institutions and is  treasurer to a FTSE 100 company and she wants the expired license framing to hang on the wall of her downstairs toilet!

 

Cheers

 

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6 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

As much to prove to myself  that I could achieve it as to prove it to anybody else, I ended up on one professional project negotiating with the Bank of England to obtain a license to print money... it has since expired but I did for twelve months have a legal permit to print replica bank notes! … My sister sits on the board of  several big financial institutions and is  treasurer to a FTSE 100 company and she wants the expired license framing to hang on the wall of her downstairs toilet!

 

As little as that has to do with Il 2, this warrants a story.😉

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2 hours ago, So_ein_Feuerball said:

 

As little as that has to do with Il 2, this warrants a story.😉

 

It all comes down to my some what oddball self-employment; when I talk about my work people are never  quite sure if I am delusional and making it all up, but people come to me when nobody could possibly specialise in what they want and so they just need a crazy craftsman willing to have a go at something as a one of a kind. I am that crazy individual who is only truly interested in the challenge of things I haven't done before.  It has reached the point that when people ask me what I do for a living I now describe myself as a freelance polymath who is paid to teach myself new skills.

 

If you want a truly bizarre story I'd mention an interview I gave to one journalist who wanted to know what my "typical day" was like? I said I didn't have such things but by way of illustration talked through what I'd done so far that day before the interview. It started by packaging up some bespoke miniature figure sculpts for a collector in Scotland along with a replica WWI helmet I'd made  for a collector in Italy. Having dispatched this work I'd completed earlier in the week I was able to put a last coat of varnish on a miniature copy of Vermeer's girl with pearl earing I'd painted. My main task for the day was for one of the many advertising agencies that contact me.  These enquiries all start the same way "I know this is a bit weird but..."   anyway I was being employed to make miniature eight lens spectacles for tarantulas for an advertising project! By sheer fluke of coincidence I received another phone call that morning from another advertising agency wanting to know if I could make miniature sunglasses for the meerkats at London zoo for a promotional project.  That same morning I was also contacted by a museum in Ireland looking for advice about the replica early medieval textiles I produce. Finally whilst being interviewed that afternoon I had another client arrive at my workshop to drop off some old family jewellery of great sentimental value I had agreed to refashion into bespoke wedding rings for them....

 

The oddest thing about that day was that nothing about it struck me as odd or unusual; neither the work nor the fact there was another journalist interviewing me about it.

 

As for the license to print money, I needn't bore you with a lot of detail but one of the many things I do is make props and FX models with a variety of Oscar/BAFTA winners in the Film/TV/video games markets as clients. One such project needed sack-fulls of period (well 1970's)  bank notes and I figured simply printing these might put me in a very grey area legally, so I set about negotiating official permission and a license to do this where I suspect many props makers wouldn't have bothered. Given that I am now fully aware of the exact ins and outs of UK laws governing such matters I am aware that most prop makers would technically be breaking the law even if they were not intentionally forging money with the intent to gain through financial deception.

 

HH

 

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Folk do periodically ask if I've anything new to show by way of eye candy or pretty pictures, alas  a lot of what I've been up to of late has been more about number crunching and mathematics, however...

 

One of the great challenges all artists are encouraged to take on to test just how well they can paint is trying to capture shadows and reflections on the surface of gently flowing water, Whether working in oils, acrylic, pastels or binary code on a digital platform it tests your understanding both of your chosen medium and of mother nature.

 

It is far from perfect and I doubt anyone would fail to recognise this is a digital image from a video game rather than real life, nevertheless it is a small step in the right direction.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

reflections.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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This is excellent, don´t you ever dare doubt your own talent for this 😋

 

Whilst you´re constricted by the medium you have chosen,

this still carries that spark of reality that is so very difficult to capture in any depiction of life.

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5 minutes ago, So_ein_Feuerball said:

This is excellent, don´t you ever dare doubt your own talent for this 😋

 

Whilst you´re constricted by the medium you have chosen,

this still carries that spark of reality that is so very difficult to capture in any depiction of life.

 

Kind of you to say so,  having spent pretty much all my life involved in artistic endeavours, as well as having trained as a physicist with a side interest in psychology I am fascinated by the little "indefinable" things that people respond to in terms of atmospheric images and strive to recreate them.

 

I'm still not sure I could describe what it is I aim for each time I set about a new project but I do know it is never about the sort of subject matter others tend to chose as a main focal point and is always about how the light and shadow defines whatever the subject matter happens to be. I like to think over the years  I've developed enough of an eye to know when that mysterious "it" is missing and a stubborn enough streak to keep going until I get at least close.

 

HH

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Hi, just a quick shout out that I recently posted a follow up poll to my previous question about grass/ground foliage. 

 

It is not getting a lot of attention which may be an indication that people just don't view this as important, but if it is just a case you haven't noticed it could you spare a second to cast a vote.

 

 

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14 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

Hi, just a quick shout out that I recently posted a follow up poll to my previous question about grass/ground foliage. 

 

It is not getting a lot of attention which may be an indication that people just don't view this as important, but if it is just a case you haven't noticed it could you spare a second to cast a vote.

 

 

G'day. Well discovering this thread has made my day. Your work looks absolutely stunning, very impressive! 

My personal desire for a mod like this would be for foliage etc to be separate from sky and clouds. 

Base:
>Foliage

>Sky and clouds

 

Optional:
>Extreme fancy new graphics things (e.g. your reflections or other GPU hungry effects you like)

I say this because while the foliage looks nice, this being a flight sim I care most about the sky. I'd take an fps hit for skies like that, foliage? ehh not so much. 

Anyway, kudos again. Really hope I get a chance to play with this.

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On 10/5/2019 at 7:38 AM, peregrine7 said:

Anyway, kudos again. Really hope I get a chance to play with this.

 

I know lots of folk have expressed interest in my work, and whilst at the moment I haven't technically started building any "mod" I have been evaluating an awful lot of the results and data from trials that I suppose could be considered "fragments of micro-mods".

 

A good while ago I stated that if everything went to plan and there were no significant distractions from "real life" that it might be possible to have something for others to use by the end of this year, but that it might be safer to assume  it would  be into 2020 before I had downloads ready for others. 

 

If, as the saying goes "push came to shove" I do have just about  enough data and test results such that it would now be possible to  start compiling the bare essentials into a suite of functional mods so as to potentially rush something through ready for Christmas. However whilst my primary interest in terms of IL-2 is taking it apart to see how I can make it create better screenshots/still images (not flying it) it is really only WWI that holds any interest for me in terms of flying. To that end I am holding off turning all my trials and research into useable mods and will continue collecting more experimental data until such a point as the Arras map is effectively "complete" .

 

I'll not say too much more about my reasoning as I don't want to be seen to be publicly pressuring the devs. having already  privately messaged them. However the WIP nature of this map has opened up a few possibilities that I expect to be closed down again as part of "bug fixes". It may prove unfeasible to retain the benefits whilst economically correcting the problems, consequently I'll simply await whatever direction is taken and work accordingly. However, from my perspective it is very interesting to see that things I thought would be really useful additions to the game engine are, in effect, already a part of it and like so much to do with this game engine it seems to be about balancing the advantages against the disadvantages of using any particular feature for any particular purpose. Who knows perhaps it might be possible for the devs to run parallel but separate versions of the same code so as to use each only in the places it is beneficial without them conflicting with one another?

 

Anyway as soon as the final version of FC and the Arras map is released I expect to start making decisions about both how and what I will start compiling into something others may find useful. I very much doubt I'll have anything ready before Christmas and I am not committing myself to any timetable  for 2020. Life does have a habit of throwing other things at you when you least expect them. I know I've just accepted a series of extensive art/sculpting commissions from  a luxury games manufacturer (table top games not video) which will keep me busy in the run up to Christmas. Plus my main project on the drawing board for next year is finally building my own bespoke workshop/studio (where about a third of my current turnover that could otherwise  be my profit/wages goes on rent and other associated taxes/bills related to renting  business premises). I certainly imagine this project will eat into my free time as I'm no bricklayer, plasterer or electrician, where any loosely relevant skills/qualifications I may have relate more to the conservation of historic properties and experimental archaeology... perhaps I should just build myself another replica Anglo-Saxon Longhall instead of a modern studio😉

 

My "to-do" list in terms of IL-2 keeps growing as I keep moving my own self imposed goal posts and wanting to experiment with more and more of the interlinked features controlling the look of the natural world in this sim. In spite of this I am, for the time being at least, more or less still keeping to the loose timetable I set myself about a year ago where the early part of 2020 still seems a vague but feasible completion date for a first version of this planned suite of mods.

 

HH 

 

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On 4/22/2019 at 9:36 AM, HappyHaddock said:

 

I don't want to derail my own thread with discussion about a strange technical issue of dwindling FPS, but in testing my mods I have encountered an odd issue affecting both mods-on and mods-off modes which is hindering my ability to reliably test any performance hit of my mods.

 

As such I've started another thread elsewhere to see if others have encountered the same thing.

 

HH

 

Hello I get the same issue and have been looking into what could be the cause.

i do not know if this helps but it has seemed to fix my problem.

first I reinstall my game from scratch ( I know it’s a pain, proberly you need not to )

I go into my computer bios and my fan settings are set to silent mode,I change to normal mode setting and hey presto it seems to fix my dwinderling FPS issue.

i can now keep my FPS at the same level no matter how long I play ( I do know a lot PCs set fan speeds silent and I know you can set your fan speed curve in nvidia inspector but this did not seem too work for me )

it’s weird but I get this tip online somewhere and it does work for me,

I hope this maybe help a few people

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I doubt there can be anybody as interested as me to hear the devs announcement of coming improvements to the cloud rendering in this sim, but as I posted elsewhere it is amazing how somebody else's throw away comment can trigger an idea...

 

It is very rough and ready but based upon a comment just made in the diary discussion, and  in no more than about five minutes I threw together a quick experimental "mod" to tweak my favoured graphics package I use for most of my IL-2 modding  (well aside from pencil and paper which is where most of the problem solving gets done). I had a thought it might ease some of my efforts to better regulate the volume of clouds in IL-2.

 

The following is by no means a great image but was literally the first thing IL-2 spat back out at me having tested this tool, and I think it offers potential worth exploring.

 

 

cloud test.jpg

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I should be very much looking forward to any improvements in this regard. To me, in European weather, clouds are about the most important part of the scenery.

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7 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

I should be very much looking forward to any improvements in this regard. To me, in European weather, clouds are about the most important part of the scenery.

 

Every artist has an interest in lighting and as clouds influence so much about natural light they are a key influence on the look of any natural subject, so as an artist that lives on the coast  big skies and cloud watching are somewhat of a daily part of my life.

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2 minutes ago, HappyHaddock said:

Every artist has an interest in lighting and as clouds influence so much about natural light they are a key influence on the look of any natural subject, so as an artist that lives on the coast  big skies and cloud watching are somewhat of a daily part of my life.

 

Clouds and atmosphere. Often overlooked because they are a hassle to implement and simply in the way of fun in combat sims, but they make the difference between a space sim and a flight sim.

 

It is the feature that totally sparked my interest in MS FS2020... 3d clouds!!! Finally!! LOD 19 scenery (just insane) is nice, but those clouds...

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1 hour ago, ZachariasX said:

 

Clouds and atmosphere. Often overlooked because they are a hassle to implement and simply in the way of fun in combat sims, but they make the difference between a space sim and a flight sim.

 

It is the feature that totally sparked my interest in MS FS2020... 3d clouds!!! Finally!! LOD 19 scenery (just insane) is nice, but those clouds...

 

I used to be a big fan of all flight sims back in the 1980's -90's but was drawn back into Rise of Flight as I loved the way it handled light, plus it offered WWI planes which are so much more characterful...

 

However MS flight sim 2020 has really sparked my interest, again because of the atmospheric lighting. Whether it turns out to be any good as a flight sim who knows as it always used to be a button pushing experience with no real feeling of flight. I've tried to like DCS but again it just feels like endlessly pushing buttons with a screen between yourself any any feeling of flight. If I want to spend hours pushing buttons and keys to program a computer I'll do so as I don't need a simulator for that.

 

Too many sims these days have an insane amount of "content" but all of it feels a little flat and lifeless, At the moment MS flight sim 2020 looks too good be true but I'll watch with interest.

 

HH

 

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54 minutes ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

...characterful...

 

.

 

Word of the Day!

Nice clouds too!  👍

Edited by Beebop

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Ever have one of those realisations that is both a Eureka moment and simultaneously a "how could I have not seen it before!" moments.


1937907510_homersimpson.jpg.12664f0a873b67cef14517d8c0dd7519.jpg

 

Anyway whilst this project still has plenty more challenges for me to conquer, that's one more goal I've just ticked off my list that I can work into this project once I start working all my test into a finished product

 

Yeh!  Three cheers for lateral thinking!

 

And whilst I'm confessing to my own stupidity I'll just offer up a quick word of thanks for fellow cloud enthusiast, modder  and forum member rowdybot as something he mentioned yesterday prompted me to go back and re-evaluate the way I test the changes I'm making leading to a better approach. So whilst not directly impacting on the changes themselves this should enable me to more quickly establish how each change impacts on all the others in terms of fine tuning those that are useful and rejecting those that aren't.

Cheers

 

HH

 

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20 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

I should be very much looking forward to any improvements in this regard. To me, in European weather, clouds are about the most important part of the scenery.

 

20 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

Every artist has an interest in lighting and as clouds influence so much about natural light they are a key influence on the look of any natural subject, so as an artist that lives on the coast  big skies and cloud watching are somewhat of a daily part of my life.

 

Just like artists as John Constable and Jacob van Ruysdael. Both lived very close to the coast.

Clouds play a significant role in their paintings.

 

Maybe one day we will see more volumetric clouds with that typically western european silvery light due to all the water and its reflections.

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Well of all the time I've put into my tests and experiments trying to work out how to get the best out of the clouds and lighting in this sim, I think the last 48hrs have possibly been some of the most productive. However it is often the way that after banging your head against a brick wall for some time that a break to do something different (in my case going back to plants and ground foliage work for IL-2) is all it take for your own sub-conscious to resolve problems for you.

 

The following may be a bit more GPU intensive than I would have liked and may benefit from a bit of optimisations to see how far I can  reign things in again without spoiling the look, but it is the result of a test to try out a few new thoughts and was still rendering at faster frame rate than my monitor could keep up with...

 

HH

hole in the clouds.jpg

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HH,

Bloody unreal!:good:  The above frame reminds me of a War time artist oil painting,  depicting aerial combat that you would see in War Memorials.

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Is this screenshot, from IL 2 BoX ??? 

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Really looking forward to a first beta release!

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I'm getting a larger drool cup.

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