Jump to content
HappyHaddock

Work in Progress

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

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.

When I was referring to humidity, then (in the real world), it is not only a metric on how transparent "air" is, but also the determining factor for cloud formation once you start moving air (atmosphere is an object with a certain mass of uneven distribution). Once you start simulating the movement of the air masses, transparency (and how far you can see in given directions) as well as cloud formations are a function of that. Air is not uniformly transparent (or just in a gradient).

 

In our sim, we most certainly have static weather and as such, and same as in FSX/P3D, air is in fact a void with some overlays to make it more or less transparent or depict a cloud. The atmosphere as such is static and a uniform gradient. Wind is a function of just moving aircraft in space; same as "turbulences" is an arbitrary function of just rocking your aircraft, not an actual moving of air masses that move your aircraft along with it. Our current turbulences, the constant exagerated stupid rocking you have as you would be flying in the prop wash of a leading aircraft will be a thing of the past once you simulate the air masses.

 

In this sense, I was talking about a fundamental change in modelling flight that will certainly have further processing needs. MS FS2020 will indeed serve as a first try on such. We shall see what current systems can do.

 

The pure optical qualities are nice in our sim and I see no reason why in terms of looks the current system will still be somewhat competitive. However, in terms of simulating flight, you do require a dynamic atmosphere as if we have it in this world. Flight is a dialogue between airfoil and said atmosphere. Having the new things mentioned in the last FS2020 updates will benefit primarily flight. Looks you can get by many other means as you say.

 

I am sure that at some point by “faking” the volume of air we are flying in, at some point we will reach a limit where it is just too much work to get even better looks. Having this volume of air properly simulated will enable far more possibilities for generating looks.

 

How much coding it would require I don't know. I would just assume it would require a complete rewrite. It is goot to have MS doing the first shot at such an undertaking. They can afford it. So, let's see how it turns out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ZachariasX said:

When I was referring to humidity, then (in the real world), it is not only a metric on how transparent "air" is, but also the determining factor for cloud formation once you start moving air (atmosphere is an object with a certain mass of uneven distribution). Once you start simulating the movement of the air masses, transparency (and how far you can see in given directions) as well as cloud formations are a function of that. Air is not uniformly transparent (or just in a gradient).

 

 

I don't profess to remember much of it, but many years ago one of the many topics I was required to study as part of my first degree at University was the basics of meteorology, so I do understand the points you are making, and whilst nothing to do with actually working in meteorology I did for a while have a job which entailed having to routinely monitor changes in atmospheric humidity.

 

I doubt any simulator will ever "properly" replicate the true behaviour of atmospheric humidity, but there's a big difference in not attempting something and having something that attempts to approximate some of the more prominent affects. So as you say there are plenty of ways of generating a "look" for the purposes of improving graphics, but an entirely different ball game modelling all the associated factors from the point of view of their impact on aerodynamics and flights handling.

 

Il-2 FC feels great in away I've never really got any "feel" from other so called simulators (except ROF) , but if MS flight sim 2020 lives up to its hype then it could be something very special, alternatively it could end up like all the other early versions of MS flight sim; a soulless button pushing exercise good only for learning how to program a computer to control  a modern fly-by-wire aircraft for you. I know many folk like the big passenger jets but Ms flight sim 2020 won't be worth considering for me until it has some sort of nervous twitchy and unstable wood and canvas bi-plane whose total number of cockpit instruments can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The behaviour of these primitive aircraft are what really show if a simulator is worth the title "simulator"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wondering if anybody else has noticed the following problem?

 

802504485_cloudproblem.thumb.jpg.3346aed118a7e7bbb0d30fd77dfcdc32.jpg

 

I thought I'd upset something with my work on the clouds and have spent a fair while trying to identify the cause without any luck. However after more extensive testing, whilst I still  can't identify what the cause is I have found it is also present in "mods-off" mode as illustrated above, as such I don't believe it can be related to my own changes.  I have no recollection of seeing this before the devs most recent changes to the clouds used to improve the pixelated/aliasing problems with aircraft rendered infront of clouds.

 

It has proved very difficult to catch/illustrate in a screenshot as it fleetingly pops into and out of view as the camera angle changes, but it is best described as sections of the edges of the clouds periodically getting clipped with random  straight edges as if some sort of fuzzy cloud picture applied to the particles forming the basis of the clouds is misaligned in terms of how an alpha channel or UV unwrap mask is selecting the appropriate portion of a texture file such that it is cutting straight through the densest part of the image rather than around the softened/transparent edges.

 

I suppose it is possiblethat it could be more prevalent but simply not noticed in the main body of the clouds if it is cutting white against another white part of the cloud, but at the edges a sliced straight white edge looks far more prominent against green landscape or blue sky.

 

EDIT: attached is another screenshot I've just taken in mods-off that more clearly shows the problem

cloud problem 2.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rowdyb00t said:

@HappyHaddock

   I haven’t noticed this. 

 

It is not that apparent from within the cockpit when your attention is held by enemy aircraft but given the amount of time I've spent with the F11 free camera panning around to check the shapes and lighting on the new clouds I'm modelling there are certain instances it can't be missed, and plenty of times I can't find the problem even when I go looking.

 

Presumably there is/are specific  trigger(s) that causes this but without knowing what it/they are, the problem so far appears fleetingly and intermittently making diagnostic work impossible.

 

I'm wondering if it might be related to Nvida control panel settings as I'm struggling to relate it to anything with IL-2, but so far I simply don't know why this occasionally happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, LizLemon said:

Its related to the noise distortion offsetting the cloud volume.

 

Cheers, that gives me a definite area to target in terms of making changes to correct this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, LizLemon said:

Its related to the noise distortion offsetting the cloud volume.


 Good to know. I was wondering if it had something to do with the cloud map sector size and where the sides meet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LizLemon said:

Its related to the noise distortion offsetting the cloud volume.

 

Well having had a play around with some "more extreme" values for the noise settings it is a little more obvious now what is going on so thanks for the pointer.

 

Sadly to completely eradicate this seems to involve reducing the noise to such low levels that the clouds end up looking pitifully featureless,  bland and homogonised; a problem further enhanced by having to apply a lot of extra smoothing to balance the excessive and somewhat ugly edge sharpening of the new extreme cloud setting.

 

There is an awful lot to like about the clouds in IL-2 but the more I play with them the more I feel that in some respects they are a step backwards from those of ROF where I felt I had more control over what they looked like... but hey the devs. have no reason to program their sim solely to please a cloud modder like myself, so for the 99.999% of their customers that don't go unpicking every last thread to examine things in fine detail  the stock clouds in IL-2 do in most respects look better than those of ROF.

 

HH

Edited by HappyHaddock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well having said above that playing with noise settings in the clouds made it a little more obvious what was going on I am now not so sure as it may just have been the intermittent/sporadic nature of the problem that stopped it showing up in my most recent tests ?

 

Several more tests have shown that If you turn the noise settings to zero you get very "cubist" flat sided clouds with no "features" or character but the problem of clipped edges still occurs, alternatively if you turn the noise way up it distorts the basic starting models into weird contorted shapes where it is not so obvious as to whether the clipped edges actually become more frequent or simply that any pre-existing  clipped edges simply become more noticeable among an increasing abundance of curves.

 

Either way if this is related to the way the game engine uses noise to shape the clouds it is not a problem that can be cured by turning down noise so I may have to chase another culprit if I am to find a solution.

 

HH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the spirit of a bit of festive silly fun, and partly to help me along the way with improving  my work on the sky and clouds I've put together the following little, for want of a better word, "quiz" for folks to try their hand at.

 

There are seven pictures of overcast cloudy skies. Some are photos from real life produced by mother nature herself, some are screenshots of  flat 2D texture  clouds rendered within IL-2 and some are screenshots of 3D particle based cloud models, again rendered within IL-2.

 

I wondered how many people can work out which are which and if they are willing to risk putting forward reasons for their answers/decisions; the things others identify as weak points are what will really help me with fine tuning and improving my cloud work now I'm finally trying to turn all my test data into some sort of mod others might actually want to download.

 

I know from my own perspective, both being very familiar with my own work, and as an artist that spends a lot of time cloud watching the failings of my digital clouds give themselves away too easily. However  what is obvious to one person may not be to another and folk here may notice a whole host of different failings to the ones I see as the biggest issues in need of further work.

 

 

 

 

cloud quiz 1.jpg

cloud quiz 2.jpg

cloud quiz 3.jpg

cloud quiz 4.jpg

cloud quiz 5.jpg

cloud quiz 6.jpg

cloud quiz 7.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I suppose I’ll have a go. 
 

1. Real

2. 3D 

3. 2D

4. Real

5. 3D

6. 2D

7. 3D 


Picture 2 was a tough one. Still not sure

:salute:
EDIT: Looking on the PC instead of a smartphone, I’ve determined that 2 is real and 4 is 3D 

Edited by rowdyb00t
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bet (knowing nothing about cloud modding, just feelings):

1. IL2 3D

2. Real 

3. IL2 3D

4. IL2 2D

5. IL2 3D

6. IL2 3D

7. IL2 2D

 

Cheers, 

Edited by PA-Sniv
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. 3D (tho this one could be real - honestly the hardest to tell for certain, tbh)

2. Real - absolutely has to be

3. 3D

4. 2D

5. 3D

6. 2D

7. 3D

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Real

2. Real

3. 2D

4. 3D

5. 3D

6. 2D

7. 3D

Not simple ..!☁️⛈️🌩️:mda:

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, PA-Sniv said:

My bet (knowing nothing about cloud modding, just feelings):

1. IL2 3D

2. Real 

3. IL2 3D

4. IL2 2D

5. IL2 3D

6. IL2 3D

7. IL2 2D

 

Cheers, 

Agree

👍 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 and 2 = Real

3 and 6 = 2D

4,5 and 7 = 3D

 

Ok I've rechecked my test paper.... Can I go now?

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to those who have so far put forward their answers, where  given that it was only about half a day ago that I posted this I'll give it a little longer before revealing who is right or wrong.

 

Given that those of the above images taken from IL-2 are based upon some of the work I've struggled with most, rendered under the harshest and least flattering of graphical settings I thought it would be more obvious what was real and what wasn't. Consequently  I'll take a little comfort from the fact that although there's more correct answers than incorrect there have been cases both of folk identifying real life as my digital work, and of my digital work being mistaken for real life which suggests I'm heading in the right direction.

 

Perhaps a little later when I am feeling brave enough I'll try this exercise again with some more images of the work I am feeling more pleased with rendered under the most flattering of graphical settings.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

… Well perhaps my  comment above has put others off from answering the above little quiz, but the few responses  so far received have been enough to show that the limitations/failings of my work when trying to fight against un-flattering graphics settings are as obvious to most others as myself (even if not to everyone).... Where for refence the answers to the previous quiz were;

Pic.1-real, 

Pic.2-real, 

Pic.3-2D, 

Pic.4-3D, 

Pic.5-3D, 

Pic.6-2D, 

Pic.7-3D.

 

Hopefully this next "quiz" may be a bit more challenging where the following is essentially the same as the previous "quiz" to work out which are photos from real life, which are screenshots of my 2D cloud textures  in IL-2 and which are screenshots of my 3D particle models in IL-2,  the only difference being this time I'm showing my  modding work to its best advantage when rendered under the most flattering and optimal of graphical settings.

 

Cheers for playing along and Merry Christmas

 

HH

 

cloud quiz A.jpg

cloud quiz B.jpg

cloud quiz C.jpg

cloud quiz D.jpg

cloud quiz E.jpg

cloud quiz F.jpg

cloud quiz G.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok let’s try again. 
 

A. 3D

B. 2D

C. Real

D. 3D

E. Real

F.  3D

G. 2D

 

Merry Christmas!!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ehh! I had just the first !!
For the second:

A. 3D

B. 2D

C. Reel

D. 2D

E. 2D

F. 2D

G. Reel

 

Merry Christmas!🎁

Edited by Serdalf
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must be blind or my smartphone must be crap, but to me all of them are real 😂

 

I envy the eyes you have, people

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They all look quite real for me and I couldn't decide what is a photo and what is rendered or a texture. The rain in the first set (pi. 6) seems a bit off and could be a hint for a game picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Well thanks to the few of you who took the trouble to respond: It seems that this last set of images was a little more challenging so for refence the correct answers were

Pic.A-3D, 

Pic.B-3D, 

Pic.C-2D, 

Pic.D-Real, 

Pic.E-Real, 

Pic.F-2D, 

Pic.G-2D.

 

Anyway I'm continuing to plug away with my work. Over the last year or so I've tried creating numerous tools for my graphics editing software to help create more believable cloud shapes/structure and whilst I have been able to individually model believable clouds one by one it was slow going and I knew I'd need a faster approach if creating a full mod others would want to use...Consequently I've changed tack somewhat and I've begun drafting simple scripts for a procedural approach to derive clouds for IL-2 from high res. satellite images of real life clouds. (for the moment it is proving semi-procedural as I am having to manually judge when to stop each phase of the multi step process) It is however showing real promise both in terms of delivering more believable  height/volume for cumulonimbus clouds and is definitely orders of magnitude faster than hand sculpting/painting each new cloud shape.  The image below isn't that impressive but I feel it looks no worse than the stock game which is encouraging given I'm still refining this scripting process.

 

1867466882_newclouds.thumb.jpg.39bc8fa4951b5fcc64ef6318470e6e92.jpg

 

Also as an aside could I ask if others have noticed any change in the stock/vanilla (mods-off) clouds following  recent updates? - the ugly concentric rings that used to appear in the shadows on the base of the clouds early/late in the day when the sun was low  have been noticeable absent for me over the Christmas/New year period when testing my mods?  I'm not saying I've found a fix for this as technically none of the changes I've been playing with over the last two or three weeks should impact upon this (and they may reappear again later?) However it dawned on me that they used to be really irritating but I've not seen them for a while which makes me wonder if the devs have changed/fixed something I've not picked up on.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And folks complain that it takes so long to get content yet they expect super high quality and fidelity, sheesh!.......😠

HH your work is astounding and I am one of the many that will patiently wait for the process to complete knowing that we will get a high quality, high fidelity mod out of it.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Pic.1-real, 

Pic.2-real, 

Pic.3-2D, 

Pic.4-3D, 

Pic.5-3D, 

Pic.6-2D, 

Pic.7-3D.

Edited by III/JG52_Lothar29

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

 Also as an aside could I ask if others have noticed any change in the stock/vanilla (mods-off) clouds following  recent updates? - the ugly concentric rings that used to appear in the shadows on the base of the clouds early/late in the day when the sun was low  have been noticeable absent for me over the Christmas/New year period when testing my mods?  I'm not saying I've found a fix for this as technically none of the changes I've been playing with over the last two or three weeks should impact upon this (and they may reappear again later?) However it dawned on me that they used to be really irritating but I've not seen them for a while which makes me wonder if the devs have changed/fixed something I've not picked up on.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

@HappyHaddock

I've notice this also, how, I could never really see the difference in rowdyboots realistic cloud mod (Yes my sub folder path are correct- so it must be me then) so I used to turn the mod on/off (via JSGME) to get a comparison between vanilla and the mod, to see if the rings appeared/ disappeared.

That's when I noticed the difference as the stock/vanilla clouds seem more realistic than previous vanilla versions.

 

Anyway that's what I see.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2020 at 1:01 PM, HappyHaddock said:

 Well thanks to the few of you who took the trouble to respond: It seems that this last set of images was a little more challenging so for refence the correct answers were

Pic.A-3D, 

Pic.B-3D, 

Pic.C-2D, 

Pic.D-Real, 

Pic.E-Real, 

Pic.F-2D, 

Pic.G-2D.

 

Anyway I'm continuing to plug away with my work. Over the last year or so I've tried creating numerous tools for my graphics editing software to help create more believable cloud shapes/structure and whilst I have been able to individually model believable clouds one by one it was slow going and I knew I'd need a faster approach if creating a full mod others would want to use...Consequently I've changed tack somewhat and I've begun drafting simple scripts for a procedural approach to derive clouds for IL-2 from high res. satellite images of real life clouds. (for the moment it is proving semi-procedural as I am having to manually judge when to stop each phase of the multi step process) It is however showing real promise both in terms of delivering more believable  height/volume for cumulonimbus clouds and is definitely orders of magnitude faster than hand sculpting/painting each new cloud shape.  The image below isn't that impressive but I feel it looks no worse than the stock game which is encouraging given I'm still refining this scripting process.

 

1867466882_newclouds.thumb.jpg.39bc8fa4951b5fcc64ef6318470e6e92.jpg

 

Also as an aside could I ask if others have noticed any change in the stock/vanilla (mods-off) clouds following  recent updates? - the ugly concentric rings that used to appear in the shadows on the base of the clouds early/late in the day when the sun was low  have been noticeable absent for me over the Christmas/New year period when testing my mods?  I'm not saying I've found a fix for this as technically none of the changes I've been playing with over the last two or three weeks should impact upon this (and they may reappear again later?) However it dawned on me that they used to be really irritating but I've not seen them for a while which makes me wonder if the devs have changed/fixed something I've not picked up on.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

I saw your tests too late to answer, but frankly I would have mixed it up. Your work is just excellent. To make it more challenging for you, try to create multilayered clouds with light play in between with different cloud densities, and then compare with real pictures taken from a plane. 

We must be careful not to do overkill here. The reason is that except the pilots that have flown in various daylight conditions in, between, near, above, below clouds of different types,  the vast majority of the community very probably are used to see the clouds from below and at a certain distance. When clouds are at ground level then we are in it and basically it is like fog. Those who travel by plane often but who are seated on the window seat and that care looking outside may have a little more training. 

Sure IL2 can improve the present stock clouds and I hope Jason will take notice about your work.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, IckyATLAS said:

I saw your tests too late to answer, but frankly I would have mixed it up. Your work is just excellent. To make it more challenging for you, try to create multilayered clouds with light play in between with different cloud densities, and then compare with real pictures taken from a plane. 

 

There's an awful lot I've been playing with that I've not mentioned here or posted pictures of before as I told myself when I started my tests that I'd only show experiments that I was totally confident I could eventually translate into a playable mod....

 

Well as I'm starting to compile a lot of what I've done into something slowly nudging towards a finished product I'm finding that some of the stuff I'd not previously shown is going to be possible..  so just for you here's another screen shot of something I was playing with a while ago. I can't promise that things will appear in exactly this form once complete, but if you wanted to see light playing between layers of clouds then I'm hoping you'll find the final product to be at least as good, if not better than this moody shot.

 

HH

between the clouds 3.jpg

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O M G! 

That's beautiful!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to getting the word on this Mod!

Enemy ace.jpg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@HappyHaddock

 

 hello HH haven’t heard from you in a while, so I thought I’d check in for a progress update:biggrin:

  I’ve not worked on my mod in quite a while as I believe it is a sufficient enough appetizer while we all wait for your main course. 

 

I posted these pics on the screenshot posts. 
 

2020_2_3__2_48_46.thumb.jpg.656e12c95bff24e0079a1da229584695.jpg

2020_2_3__2_50_54.thumb.jpg.3397705c2384cb7c4ec7e955e19d7915.jpg

2020_2_3__2_56_31.thumb.jpg.b1427c2a32d62347f160d23f7819a504.jpg

2020_2_3__2_59_6.thumb.jpg.313ec962a19aa3fda69955efbfb717de.jpg

 

and now I’ll wait for maybe some of yours ;)

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@rowdyb00t

 

Nice looking images.  As mentioned previously there's a variety of stuff I've been working on which I've not mentioned here, and one of the reasons my work on the sky/clouds/lighting is taking so long is that it is only a small part of all I've been playing with by way of reworking aspects of IL-2. It is both amazing and frustrating how I somehow seem to be able to address most problems that bother me, but can't solve them in isolation meaning I then have to change the "next thing" upset by my last lot of changes. The more I dig the more unused potential I find in this game engine, yet the more I realise that development hasn't been limited by technology but the man hours of labour that can be economically afforded to any single aspect of this sim.

 

Plus real life has me pretty busy at the moment with a variety of sculpting commissions for various clients, meaning I probably shouldn't stop to see what has been shared every time my PC "bleeps" to notify me of some post or other on this forum.

Cheers

 

HH

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...