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HappyHaddock

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3 hours ago, Semor76 said:

Really looking forward to a first beta release!

 

Well at some point I am going to have to draw a line under all my tests and experiments and start turning everything I've learned into a useful mod, but as mentioned before it is really only WWI that interests me so I'd set my self a nominal red line for testing of up until the release of the complete IL-2 FC, and then at that point I'd look at all my test data and work out what I'd incorporate/amalgamate based upon how best I could get everything to work with the Arras map.

 

So whilst there will always be room for further improvements and there's always the possibility of bugs and faults to be fixed, my somewhat unconventional ways of working mean that it is doubtful that this will go through anything resembling true alpha and/or beta stages. Given that I am effectively testing and refining values and settings before building the mod, I'd expect my first attempt at a useable download to be pretty close to what others might view as a final release.

 

I know others I have spoken seemed to find it hard to believe I could be generating screenshots like this without first building some sort of mod in order to produce them, but I'll not bore others with the details of my unconventional ways of working.

 

HH

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10 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

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

 

Holy Shit that looks amazing!

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1 hour ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

...but I'll not bore others with the details of my unconventional ways of working.

 

HH

Well I for one would be fascinated by hearing about your "unconventional ways of working" but then that would take away from your testing.

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12 hours ago, keeno said:

 

Holy Shit that looks amazing!

 

Kind of you to say so, but given the drop in frame rate I've a lot to do to produce a mod that could deliver results like that for the majority of players....

 

Most folk already reckon they have to turn down graphics settings just to run IL-2, whereas with everything maxed out the stock game will render "heavy" clouds for me at about 130FPS effectively meaning that with a 60Hz monitor  I'm  needlessly wasting about half the processing power of the old/second hand GPU I was recently donated as an upgrade. That last image dropped the frame rate down to about 75FPs by using a lot more GPU.... 

 

I've been running various test to optimise things with my previous experiments, that last image was just a first "raw" "what happens if?" test of a few new ideas that pleasantly surprised me with how visually pleasing it was. The real challenge will be keeping that quality whilst making it run faster.

 

HH

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............. it still looks incredible! :biggrin:

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Well having just downloaded the latest update with the new cloud settings my first impressions are not that great. That said they are just first impressions but I'm just not sure any gain in performance is worth the loss of visual quality as the sharpened edges have given the clouds somewhat of a harsh look.

 

I dare say a bit of work modding various settings and values can bring things back around to the way I like them but I am finding that the tweaks and amendments I had previously got to deliver pleasing skies and clouds no longer give quite the same look so there may have to be a bit more testing to find out how to get the best out of the new clouds. 

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I was honestly dreading this update thinking that they'd make big changes to the cloud shaders. I spent quite a bit of time figuring things out and was about to release a mod when they announced the rework. Thankfully very little has changed on the shader side - not really anything I care about after glancing it over.

 

This is about 10mins of changing things, just going off of memory. All in all about 5 new lines of shader code only changing some lighting values, everything else is still the same including the awful noise texture this game uses. Time to fire up houdini......

338687674_cloudYAAAAAAAAAANOBIGCHANGES.thumb.jpg.b0b0b1925d01c9376e61f78aea5e9c11.jpg 

398976088_CLOUDYAAAAAAAAAAA2.thumb.jpg.2f5c933a0fa923201c9b4f1e5a3d347a.jpg

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We never announced any big re-work of clouds. You guys assume way too much sometimes.

 

Jason

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That's what we are best at Jason. 😁

 

We have our head in the clouds most of the time. 

Edited by Thad
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1 hour ago, LizLemon said:

I was honestly dreading this update thinking that they'd make big changes to the cloud shaders. I spent quite a bit of time figuring things out and was about to release a mod when they announced the rework. Thankfully very little has changed on the shader side - not really anything I care about after glancing it over.

 

having had a quick poke about its not taken too much to bring things largely back to where I wanted them, I had previously added in a bit of sharpening, which now the devs have done this I've simply taken it all back out again. If truth be told I'd still like to take a fraction more out but nothing major.

 

Edited by HappyHaddock

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Hi Haddock,

 

I can't play without your wildflowers mod for RoF. That one is a keeper and it looks like that mod was only the tip of the iceberg going by this thread. One question for you, can your adjustments do anything to improve the jaggy appearance of aircraft when flying "against" the clouds? 

 

(As seen by the distant Camels here)

 

cloud test.jpg

 

 

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55 minutes ago, Ace_Pilto said:

Hi Haddock,

 

I can't play without your wildflowers mod for RoF. That one is a keeper and it looks like that mod was only the tip of the iceberg going by this thread. One question for you, can your adjustments do anything to improve the jaggy appearance of aircraft when flying "against" the clouds? 

 

 

 

 

I've not been able to address the root cause of this and I'm told that these aliasing issues would require a rewrite of much of the shaders and tone mapper. However if your GPU can handle it then running a high level of DSR and downscaling higher resolution images works around it to some extent by forcing the game engine to use a higher resolution outline around the aircraft.

 

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock
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The jaggy cloud appearance is caused by the clouds being rendered at half resolution and the mask used for drawing the planes on the clouds being the same. There was a 3dmigoto fix but it probably doesnt work now.

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Well they say life is full of surprises and this sim has just thrown up another new surprise regarding an "old problem"... I'm not sure I've learned anything from it, if anything it has knocked back what little understanding I thought I had of this problem. I previously thought the concentric rings that would occasionally appear in the clouds were centered around the apex of the sky dome and caused by looking up at the clouds when illuminated by a low angle of incident light typical of early morning or late evening;

 

This was taken from above the clouds at mid-day which not only blows out of the water the notion that it is cause by a low angle of incident light, but it shows intersecting series of these concentric rings centred around different points, not just the one set of rings at the apex of the skydome!

 

EDIT: I can't be sure but my impression is that these concentric rings have become much more pronounced and noticed more often since that last update and I'm wondering if the changes the devs made to the clouds may have unintentionally exaggerated this problem?... yet without knowing the cause it is impossible to say for sure.

 

cloud rings.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock

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The "Ripple Effect" of Global Warming? 😁

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3 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

Well they say life is full of surprises and this sim has just thrown up another new surprise regarding an "old problem"... I'm not sure I've learned anything from it, if anything it has knocked back what little understanding I thought I had of this problem. I previously thought the concentric rings that would occasionally appear in the clouds were centered around the apex of the sky dome and caused by looking up at the clouds when illuminated by a low angle of incident light typical of early morning or late evening;

 

This was taken from above the clouds at mid-day which not only blows out of the water the notion that it is cause by a low angle of incident light, but it shows intersecting series of these concentric rings centred around different points, not just the one set of rings at the apex of the skydome!

 

EDIT: I can't be sure but my impression is that these concentric rings have become much more pronounced and noticed more often since that last update and I'm wondering if the changes the devs made to the clouds may have unintentionally exaggerated this problem?... yet without knowing the cause it is impossible to say for sure.

 

 

 

What you are seeing is alliasing, its just an optical illusion/low sampling issue. Nothing more.

zone.gif.f19a6f30dedc13de2206e9abf19c0ab2.gif

 

The rings arent centered around the skydome, its "centered" at the camera location.

1635949730_CLOUDSAMPLING.thumb.png.7bbcc97b719c50b095ba3f5002aa39bc.pngiterations.thumb.png.fa6978e28b9b31a2086c43d066f196b1.png

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4 minutes ago, LizLemon said:

 

What you are seeing is alliasing, its just an optical illusion/low sampling issue. Nothing more.

 

4 minutes ago, LizLemon said:

The rings arent centered around the skydome, its "centered" at the camera location.

 

Cheers for the info, I've seen aliasing cause various problems but I wouldn't have thought there was anything uniform or regular enough about clouds to set up such a clear effect, I tend to associate aliasing problems (optical or audio) with some sort of regularly repeating input being sampled and output at a frequency that is somehow mismatched with the original input leading to pseudo-interference patterns.

 

Perhaps I'll have to play around a lot more with the cloud sample rates and see what impact this has on these ripple effects as by default I run a sample rate of 1024 which is much higher than the devs standard which I believe got lowered further to just 64 in the latest update.

 

As for the distinction between the centre of the sky dome and the camera location they are more or less synonymous as the sky dome pretty much centres around the camera/player such that however much you "chase" it you never actually get closer to the edge of the skydome as it moves with you.

 

 

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On 11/12/2019 at 8:54 AM, HappyHaddock said:

Well they say life is full of surprises and this sim has just thrown up another new surprise regarding an "old problem"... I'm not sure I've learned anything from it, if anything it has knocked back what little understanding I thought I had of this problem. I previously thought the concentric rings that would occasionally appear in the clouds were centered around the apex of the sky dome and caused by looking up at the clouds when illuminated by a low angle of incident light typical of early morning or late evening;

 

This was taken from above the clouds at mid-day which not only blows out of the water the notion that it is cause by a low angle of incident light, but it shows intersecting series of these concentric rings centred around different points, not just the one set of rings at the apex of the skydome!

 

EDIT: I can't be sure but my impression is that these concentric rings have become much more pronounced and noticed more often since that last update and I'm wondering if the changes the devs made to the clouds may have unintentionally exaggerated this problem?... yet without knowing the cause it is impossible to say for sure.

 

cloud rings.jpg

 

I am happy but sad to see this. The reason I am happy is I am seeing this horrendous effect and it makes the game so ugly that I just can't play with clouds on but at least I am not the only one seeing it..... Sad though as I love the fact that the clouds look so good in your mod but this issue is really doing my head in! 

 

Here’s what I see when I play, it has to be a bug, if not why are so few seeing itt? 

 

 

Edited by Mysticpuma

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37 minutes ago, Mysticpuma said:

 

I am happy but sad to see this. The reason I am happy is I am seeing this horrendous effect and it makes the game so ugly that I just can't play with clouds on but at least I am not the only one seeing it..... Sad though as I love the fact that the clouds look so good in your mod but this issue is really doing my head in! 

 

... it has to be a bug, if not why are so few seeing it? 

 

 

@LizLemon seems convinced that this is an aliasing issue, and he seems far more technically aware of what is going on behind the scenes within the coding of this simulator, so in the absence of a better theory I have no reason to doubt him. However I cannot imagine what it is within the cloud structure that has such a regular repeating structure that the rate at which the clouds are sampled would lead to these problems. However as changing the sample rate changes the look of the problem it implies the two are in some way linked.

 

It is also mostly strange how this can be so pronounced on some occasions yet absent on others as I have yet to find a single common cause that can reliably trigger this problem so as to "get a handle" on what is causing it.

 

As for why so few are seeing it, well you do have to allow for psychological factors; If your attention is held by one specific task, you can miss so much that would otherwise be obvious if you were consciously looking out for it. So if there is an intermittent affect that you are not looking for whilst intently focussing on the behaviour of enemy aircraft this could easily be happening to everyone without most picking up on the few time something weird happened with the background scenery

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1 hour ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

@LizLemon seems convinced that this is an aliasing issue, and he seems far more technically aware of what is going on behind the scenes within the coding of this simulator, so in the absence of a better theory I have no reason to doubt him. However I cannot imagine what it is within the cloud structure that has such a regular repeating structure that the rate at which the clouds are sampled would lead to these problems. However as changing the sample rate changes the look of the problem it implies the two are in some way linked.

 

It is also mostly strange how this can be so pronounced on some occasions yet absent on others as I have yet to find a single common cause that can reliably trigger this problem so as to "get a handle" on what is causing it.

 

As for why so few are seeing it, well you do have to allow for psychological factors; If your attention is held by one specific task, you can miss so much that would otherwise be obvious if you were consciously looking out for it. So if there is an intermittent affect that you are not looking for whilst intently focussing on the behaviour of enemy aircraft this could easily be happening to everyone without most picking up on the few time something weird happened with the background scenery

 

I never said this was an aliasing issue, I said it was a sampling issue. The other "sets" of rings you saw is an aliasing issue.

 

Literally all the clouds are is a series of rings drawn around the camera, like this;

1247362766_bosclouds.thumb.png.fdb9308f1ef60e6b18644fe6bcf71098.png

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Thanks for the reply both of you. Can I ask therefore, is there a sampling/aliasing setting that I can play with to try and smooth or eradicate this issue, because as you can see from my screenshots, the effects are horrendous and really killing any chance of making any films in the Sim? :(

Cheers, Mysticpuma

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2 hours ago, LizLemon said:

 

I never said this was an aliasing issue, I said it was a sampling issue. The other "sets" of rings you saw is an aliasing issue.

 

Literally all the clouds are is a series of rings drawn around the camera, like this;

 

 

I'm now a little confused about the point you are making, but thankyou nevertheless for responding.

 

Previously you stated, and I quote   "What you are seeing is aliasing", are you suggesting there are actually  two different problems interacting with one another; firstly a sampling issue that generates a single set of concentric rings based upon how the game engine reads the cloud maps, and that a second aliasing  problem then turns this first set of rings into the intersecting interference pattern of several sets of rings?

 

I'm not sure quite what your  orange image showing all the concentric rings actually represents in terms of the cloud modelling or how you have derived this but it seems logical to speculate it depicts some part of the internal game mechanic by which the two dimensional cloud maps are translated  into 3D models of clouds. So is it that this orange image of concentric rings is a pictorial depiction of how the game engine samples the two dimensional cloud maps to build the clouds seen in game, or are you actually implying there is something inherent in the rendered cloud models themselves that is actually based around polar coordinates.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

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On 11/12/2019 at 9:54 AM, HappyHaddock said:

Well they say life is full of surprises and this sim has just thrown up another new surprise regarding an "old problem"... I'm not sure I've learned anything from it, if anything it has knocked back what little understanding I thought I had of this problem. I previously thought the concentric rings that would occasionally appear in the clouds were centered around the apex of the sky dome and caused by looking up at the clouds when illuminated by a low angle of incident light typical of early morning or late evening;

 

This was taken from above the clouds at mid-day which not only blows out of the water the notion that it is cause by a low angle of incident light, but it shows intersecting series of these concentric rings centred around different points, not just the one set of rings at the apex of the skydome!

 

EDIT: I can't be sure but my impression is that these concentric rings have become much more pronounced and noticed more often since that last update and I'm wondering if the changes the devs made to the clouds may have unintentionally exaggerated this problem?... yet without knowing the cause it is impossible to say for sure.

 

 

 

It is all way to technical for me what you guys are talking about ( I just wait patiently until the cloud/sky/lighting mod is ready for release) but the 'cloud circles' seen from above has been mentioned before.

Just to let you know it is not something new...

 

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8 minutes ago, Uufflakke said:

 

It is all way to technical for me what you guys are talking about ( I just wait patiently until the cloud/sky/lighting mod is ready for release) but the 'cloud circles' seen from above has been mentioned before.

Just to let you know it is not something new...

 

 

Thanks for the reference.......damn it looks bad :(

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1 hour ago, Uufflakke said:

 

It is all way to technical for me what you guys are talking about ( I just wait patiently until the cloud/sky/lighting mod is ready for release) but the 'cloud circles' seen from above has been mentioned before.

 

 

In many respects it is all too technical for me  as well, it's been several decades since I last spent any time in a lab study optics, and a quarter of a century since I last earned a salary working in IT. I'm basically just a sculptor and painter learning on the job so far as modern games coding goes, though I like to think I know a thing or two about how people respond to colour and light in terms of how a pleasing image can differ from an accurate one.

 

I just work on the principle that in any walk of life or endeavour the most useful thing anybody can ever know is the true extent of their own ignorance, that level of education  is what enables you to work out what you need to learn next in order to make progress. The people who are unaware of what they don't understand are the ones who rarely learn anything as they can't make the first step forward.

 

I'm confident I can build upon what the devs have so far done without needing to do anything technical where, I've finally begun plodding through all my test data to start amalgamating it into a useful mod.

 

All the complex stuff to do with modern HLSL coding that forms a key part of any game engine  is something that intrigues me, for at whatever point I'm brave enough to start learning to read, and ultimately write my own shaders then it will open up a whole other world of possibilities, but that might have to wait.

Edited by HappyHaddock

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10 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

I'm now a little confused about the point you are making, but thankyou nevertheless for responding.

 

Previously you stated, and I quote   "What you are seeing is aliasing", are you suggesting there are actually  two different problems interacting with one another; firstly a sampling issue that generates a single set of concentric rings based upon how the game engine reads the cloud maps, and that a second aliasing  problem then turns this first set of rings into the intersecting interference pattern of several sets of rings?

 

I'm not sure quite what your  orange image showing all the concentric rings actually represents in terms of the cloud modelling or how you have derived this but it seems logical to speculate it depicts some part of the internal game mechanic by which the two dimensional cloud maps are translated  into 3D models of clouds. So is it that this orange image of concentric rings is a pictorial depiction of how the game engine samples the two dimensional cloud maps to build the clouds seen in game, or are you actually implying there is something inherent in the rendered cloud models themselves that is actually based around polar coordinates.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

 

The "other" sets of rings you were seeing is just aliasing. 

 

The orange image is literally the actual geometry of clouds. Its raymarching.

 

11 hours ago, Mysticpuma said:

Thanks for the reply both of you. Can I ask therefore, is there a sampling/aliasing setting that I can play with to try and smooth or eradicate this issue, because as you can see from my screenshots, the effects are horrendous and really killing any chance of making any films in the Sim? :(

Cheers, Mysticpuma

 

Change the cloud sample value in gpresets - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/39550-gpreset-tweaks-better-ssao-increased-saturation-ect/?tab=comments#comment-666106

 

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I really don't like current clouds - they alias planes , make them invisible sometimes yet  they are mostly flat pancakes, would like to see more height and volume in theirs shapes and more variety of colours. Imagine fly around big massive cloud and meet enemies waiting to ambush you , something it was possible in ROF but not practical in Il2 GB. Flying down through canyons made of clouds... Imagine 😄

BTW I have issue with sky too , how to get rid of sky colours banding and sky dome image posterization , I miss ROF sky and clouds they do not have those issues despite old tech...

Edited by 1PL-Husar-1Esk

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2 hours ago, 1PL-Husar-1Esk said:

I really don't like current clouds - they alias planes , make them invisible sometimes yet  they are mostly flat pancakes, would like to see more height and volume in theirs shapes and more variety of colours. Imagine fly around big massive cloud and meet enemies waiting to ambush you , something it was possible in ROF but not practical in Il2 GB. Flying down through canyons made of clouds... Imagine 😄

BTW I have issue with sky too , how to get rid of sky colours banding and sky dome image posterization , I miss ROF sky and clouds they do not have those issues despite old tech...

 

There are two issues with the skydome (well major ones that is).

 

The first is that the skydome.dds file has some banding in it, even though it's 16bit...... the second is the dither pass the game does which really doesnt do a good job of hiding the banding. There are some other problems too but those are the big causes of sky banding.

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It seems a fair while since I last posted any kind of progress update here so I thought I should mention that now FC is officially released I have begun the slow process of amalgamating all the test data I've been collecting over the last year so as to start selectively compiling it into some sort of useful mod, or suite of mods.

 

As such I thought folk might like to see another WIP screenshot of what is currently occupying me; that is trying to balance a variety of effects so that they work all round as a winter sunrise when viewed from any angle or altitude. With a largely white landscape it is amazing how readily the most subtle of changes to colouring and lighting  files is reflected  and exaggerated on the ground in a way that is just not problematic with the darker and richer spring/summer/autumn maps. The great thing about this is that when everything works and is in balance it can look great, it's just that some of the bolder lighting effects that look good on the clouds can really look out of place  and over done on the ground.

 

Anyway as promised another screenshot.

 

HH

 

 

winter sunrise.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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2 hours ago, 1PL-Husar-1Esk said:

I would like to see more height and volume in theirs shapes and more variety of colours. Imagine fly around big massive cloud and meet enemies waiting to ambush you , something it was possible in ROF but not practical in Il2 GB. Flying down through canyons made of clouds... Imagine 😄

 

 

I too share that dream; in a somewhat crude and simplistic way I started putting out a few mods to enhance what was possible in ROF but soon realised that you could spend forever and a day tweaking little bits here and there putting out new mods on an almost weekly basis endlessly  correcting and changing stuff from your own earlier mods.

 

This time around I tried to be far more methodical about building a lot more understanding before finally starting to piece together something far more ambitious, and most important of all, (to me at least) something balanced -  Every change you make to one thing impacts upon so many others such that you can't realistically mod "one thing" to make an improvement to the look of the sky and clouds, you have to mod everything en-masse.

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock
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I notice the conversation about volume and height. Cliffs of Dover has just started using TrueSKY, I wonder if the BoX team may consider it after seeing the tech demos? 

This one is 8-years-old:

 

 

This one is 2018:

 

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THAT looks n i c e !!!

(is the Foo Fighter around 2'30" available?  as a mod?🤣

 

Seriously,, this would be a great addition but is it compatible with the BoX game engine?

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1 hour ago, Beebop said:

THAT looks n i c e !!!

(is the Foo Fighter around 2'30" available?  as a mod?🤣

 

Seriously,, this would be a great addition but is it compatible with the BoX game engine?

 

Well TFS decided to use it on an 8 year old game engine, programming it into their software. No reason it couldn't work for BoX. 

I have posted about this in this in the link below , rather than detract from this thread but it does show, possibilities are there for new weather engines to work in established software. 

 

 

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Holy smokes, that is really nice!!!!! - please incorporate this BoX developers!

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14 hours ago, Mysticpuma said:

I notice the conversation about volume and height. Cliffs of Dover has just started using TrueSKY, I wonder if the BoX team may consider it after seeing the tech demos? 

This one is 8-years-old:

 

I first came across Truesky when I started modding the clouds and sky for ROF several years ago. At the time I was impressed and I still am, but having spent a lot of time poking around within the IL-2 game engine I 'd say much of what truesky has to offer in terms of end results is already possible with what we have. 

 

I'd imagine switching to a new technology would be a major workload and  very much doubt the devs would consider it, so it would only be worthwhile if it then became massively easier to maximise the potential, otherwise I'd see it as more beneficial to put the effort into getting more out of what we already have. To be honest I feel that major improvement to the look of IL-2 are still to be had by fine tuning, and most importantly "balancing" the various data and textures fed into the existing system, more than actually needing to change the system that information is processed by.

 

In terms of "volume and height" if modelling a single cloud within IL-2 it is not too difficult to create almost any shape /size you want, the real challenge is the sheer amount of work involved in filling multiple skies with a great variety of different looking clouds to create stunning formations.   I've gone through several iterations and variations of mods and tools for my preferred graphics packages trying to find a way to speed up production of better cloud formations. I've definitely made some progress but I'm far from being able to achieve the look I  really want across every part of a full suite of mods.

 

There are certain effects that I could achieve much more easily with real paint on paper than I can digitally, such that I am now seriously considering hand painting some of the textures I want and then digitally scanning these to see what impact this has when fed back into IL-2.

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15 minutes ago, HappyHaddock said:

I 'd say much of what truesky has to offer in terms of end results is already possible with what we have. 

I see the real "big step" in having dynamically generated volumes that are based on the athmospheric system used for a sim. As weather is static in our combat sims, there is probably mostly the benefit of not really having to do any athmospheric work at all. Just use plugin and make the scene look neat by pulling sliders. For CloD+, I find this a reasonable approach as it reduces work. But all it probably will do, is finally make weather look somewhat decent. As we expect it to do.

 

But it appears that the next generation of sims is coming to us in the form of MS FS2020, where finally air is a dynamic volume (that has a mass), along with couds, haze and dust. Clouds are appearing where they should as humidity reaches 100% and do so in the volumes of air where this is the case. This will be the game changer.

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39 minutes ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

...I am now seriously considering hand painting some of the textures I want and then digitally scanning these to see what impact this has when fed back into IL-2.

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49 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

I see the real "big step" in having dynamically generated volumes that are based on the athmospheric system used for a sim. As weather is static in our combat sims, there is probably mostly the benefit of not really having to do any athmospheric work at all. Just use plugin and make the scene look neat by pulling sliders. For CloD+, I find this a reasonable approach as it reduces work. But all it probably will do, is finally make weather look somewhat decent. As we expect it to do.

 

But it appears that the next generation of sims is coming to us in the form of MS FS2020, where finally air is a dynamic volume (that has a mass), along with couds, haze and dust. Clouds are appearing where they should as humidity reaches 100% and do so in the volumes of air where this is the case. This will be the game changer.

 

Dynamic weather systems and cloud formations that change and evolve over time  with rain forming where relative humidity exceeds a cloud's capacity to carry the water vapour, only for a cloud to then rain itself back out of existence would be a real bonus, and like many I have been following news of MS Flight sim 2020.

 

I don't profess to fully understand all the technicalities behind the coding, nor am I pretending it would be a simple "fix" to implement. However the clouds in IL-2 are already 3D particle based models "grown" from initially programmed starting conditions for "humidity" whilst the ROF and IL-2 game engines have both been long been capable of moving around and disturbing the shapes of 3D particle clouds based upon wind, prop wash etc. 

 

My gut instinct is that it wouldn't require starting entirely from scratch but "simply" (or possibly not so simply?) creating some additional  new code to tie together various existing functions already within the game engine so as to keep freshly "re-growing" cloud shapes frame by frame based upon their current humidity level, rather than growing their shape only once upon loading a mission and then treating the cloud shapes as static remaining uninfluenced either by their own rain fall or other external factors.

 

It would certainly increase the processing power required and much would depend upon the extent to which the "humidity" values used to grow the existing clouds are actually a useful measure of humidity in the real world, and how much new coding would be needed to allow these values to fluctuate with external factors. Computers are very good at carrying out lots of numerical calculations and this sim already numerically defines wind speeds at different altitudes, has different values for levels of rain fall etc. etc. so I feel all the values needed for modelling evolving humidity values for growing dynamic clouds are , to some degree, already within this sim.  However, If the term "humidity" is simply a name given to an abstract and isolated value used to generate the boundary of a cloud volume then without any influence from other factors it would endlessly "re-grow" exactly the same shape of cloud each time.

 

As everyone knows, computers are mindless machines without free will, they just follow the instructions they are given. With sufficient understanding and the time to give them adequate instructions they can and will do whatever you want. The more time I spend "under the hood" of this sim the more I am impressed by the understanding and complexity that went into its creation... and I'm just an old school artist.  I am sure  there are others who are far more technically capable than me in terms of both appreciating more of what this sim can do, and also understanding how to extract more of it's potential.

 

 

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The technique this game is using is fundamentally sound. The problems with clouds in game are three fold

 

1. wrong type of noise used for deforming cloud volumes (and the wrong way of applying it)

2. lots of bad cloud maps probably

3. very simple lighting pass

 

This is what a very similar approach can yield when done right (this is also like sub 2ms on ~rx 570 aka faster than bos clouds)

NBR.thumb.jpg.964ce755bed469ea8ecf20125b609da5.jpg

 

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