Clouds sprites linked to head angle in VR.

  • Hey all!


    Would it be possible to unlink the cloud sprites to head tilt angle? In VR its very distracting that when you tilt your head left and right or when you bank the aircraft the cloud sprites all roll with you... Very odd! I don't know if this is an issue in 2D mode but in VR its very odd...

  • I agree.


    Though the effect puts a smile on my face, because it presents itself as the most normal thing. Do clouds not tilt when you turn your head in real life...? Such a shame.

  • This has been raised with the dev team and they said to do it differently would impact performance.


    eh?:confused:


    You just align them with local gravity instead of tying them to rotation of the players 'camera'. I'm only talking specifically about the tilt axis so if you lean your head left and right..


    I don't see how this would affect performance tbh, but I don't know the ins and outs of their engine, but it wouldn't be a problem in any game engine I've worked in.

  • Quote

    Clouds are rendered as billboards. For true volumetric clouds we would require a lot more graphic resources which is currently not an option.


    Yes but I'm not talking about converting to volumetric clouds.. I'm talking about keeping billboard clouds (as they work quite well) but just disconnecting the link between Z-axis camera rotation (your head tilting side to side... or you rolling the aircraft) and the cloud "billboards" rotating. FSX also does clouds as billboards (they aren't tied to head angle like AFFS but instead just point towards the camera location at all times) but the clouds don't rotate with z-axis camera rotation and it looks much better. Just slave the cloud Z rotation to the local world normal and it should work fine.

  • I agree with you. Perhaps you should post a call to the devs with a direct description about slaving the z-axis in the subject field. They might be glancing over this current post thinking they've already covered the issue.

  • With the latest release we have fixed the issue with the cloud billboards rotating with your up-axis, so they now stay fixed if you rotate your head around the view direction. However we cannot follow the suggestions made here or clouds would look strange well looking to them from below or from above.


    If you disagree please send us detailed explanations on what you mean!

  • Only one axis fixed looks more strange than before. That does not make sense. Why must clouds generally do spinning or turning or moving? If I look the real sky I can do what I want, the clouds don´t do so exept of weather influences. Btw. cloud moving by wind is in dev pipeline?

  • Only one axis fixed looks more strange than before. That does not make sense. Why must clouds generally do spinning or turning or moving? If I look the real sky I can do what I want, the clouds don´t do so exept of weather influences. Btw. cloud moving by wind is in dev pipeline?


    The billboard technique used is the reason why the clouds have to rotate somehow to always face the camera.
    Here is a brief summary, why:
    Imagine you draw yourself a nice cloud onto a piece of paper. Now let someone hold the paper in front of him/her and tell this person not to move. Then walk by that person and you will eventually see the paper from the side, this looks very ugly if you are in a flight sim, the floud would shrink to a single flat line. Now if you tell the person to always turn towards you and turn the paper as well, then you always have your beautiful cloud facing you, and that is how billboards work.
    Now if you move above or below the paper, you'll have the same issue, now the paper has to be tilted up and down, so that you see the clouds face on and this is what we also added compared to say FSX billboard clouds.


    Our clouds already move with the wind, they also have slight rotation on their own that imitates air masses moving!

  • Seen from this angle, the billoard technique is a choice from yesterday. Necessary only for old laptops. Gaming pc can handle true 3d clouds without any problems. FS2 is imho designed as an all new way into the future of flightsims. True 3d clouds must be there at least as an option.


    Jm2c

  • Our clouds already move with the wind, they also have slight rotation on their own that imitates air masses moving!


    Yours clouds maybe. After testing, the clouds in my FS2 do not.


    Btw., why are the clouds linked with the eyes viewing axis while moving head? For the required effekt of always looking 90 degrees to the billbords, in cockpit view it is enough to link with the position of head or plane. This brings the same benefit but without the issue.

  • Yeah I think it would be better if the cloud billboards always face towards the aircraft rather than being always perpendicular to the view camera. I believe this is how FS-X does their clouds.. they always face the aircrafts position and pay no attention to the direction in which you are looking. If you're flying through the tops of clouds currently and move your head then you still get a lot of cloud movement related to changing of your head direction. Especially in VR.


    I've drawn some super quick diagrams to explain how AFFS seems to do clouds compared to FSX.


  • There is even an interesting reading by one of the msfs dev.


    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/…there_be_clouds_fast_.php


    Just for curiosity, it's old school programming. I am sure the aerofly devs know what to do.


    Very interesting article... I found the bit at the end particularly interesting.


    "We encountered a problem because the sprites rotated to face the camera, and during the in-cloud experience, the camera was so close to the sprite center that small movements in the camera position caused large rotations of the cloud sprite. This resulted in a "parting of the Red Sea" effect as sprites moved out of the way of the oncoming camera.


    We locked the facing angle of the sprite when the camera came within half of the sprite radius. This removed the Red Sea effect but caused sprites to be seen edge-on if they locked and the camera then pivoted around them. Our solution was to detect the angle between the sprite's locked orientation and the vector to the camera, and to adjust the transparency of the sprite. The negative side effect is that the section of the cloud near the camera appears less opaque."


    I agree though, It IS oldschool, but its quite effective and light on resources. As a predominantly VR user I'm not sure i would want to suffer the fps hit of real volumetric clouds tbh...