Prototype Cloud Model for testing

  • I wonder if it would be possible for some talented 3D modeler to build a prototype detailed cloud model that has super highres, photorealistic textures like we are used to seeing in other sims. If we could then control it's orientation, size, and lonlat position with altitude in a TSC file , we could make a sample. beautiful cloud system just for test purposes over our own select airport area - like some thunderstorm buildups over Dallas for example. Perhaps this is not possible because it needs to have special geometry features not available in a static model without a shader script.

  • I don't think this is possible. You are talking about 'super highres, photorealistic textures' which means you are (apparently) thinking about FSX/P3D-like clouds but afaik those are more or less flat sprites projected on a 3D model and they move around with your view. I don't think IPACS wants those kind of clouds in AFS2 and I also think most users don't want that. We want/need 'real' volumetric clouds. But we will have to wait for IPACS to start working on a weather engine first. And they haven't announced a weather engine yet so... the current (crappy) circle of clouds will have to keep us happy for another 5 years or so. (I personally have them disabled because I can't stand that little circle of clouds.)


    If there is ONE thing missing from this sim, it's a weather engine...

  • I wonder if it would be possible for some talented 3D modeler to build a prototype detailed cloud model that has super highres, photorealistic textures like we are used to seeing in other sims. If we could then control it's orientation, size, and lonlat position with altitude in a TSC file , we could make a sample. beautiful cloud system just for test purposes over our own select airport area - like some thunderstorm buildups over Dallas for example. Perhaps this is not possible because it needs to have special geometry features not available in a static model without a shader script.

    The clouds in other flight sims are mostly flat, billboard clouds the same as Aerofly. Some do look nicer, but the implementation is the same.

    I'm not sure if you can place billboard objects from a TSC.


    Volumetric clouds that you see in some games are a different beast. They're not something you can import as a normal 3D model and expect a good result.


    There are several approaches to volumetric clouds, but the geometry of the cloud is usually dynamically created and updated. A shader then might use raymarching to make the cloud respond to light in the correct way.

    They are typically performance intensive, which is why other sims that have performance issues at the best of times presumably haven't pushed the technology.


    FWIW, I believe IPACS use SugDog Software clouds, the same a P3D. They have info on volumetric 3D clouds on their site, so maybe we might see those one day.