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Amirello

How to get an solid overcast for IFR?

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Hi,

I recently bought the product & whatever I do I can't set a solid overcast for IFR training?

If I set a solid cumulus or stratus overcast at 300' AGL & 3000' thickness with 2km visibility. And I'm shooting an ILS, I expect to  fly in clouds without any visibility all the way to 300' AGL & then the rwy pops up.

Instead I see the rwy lights from 2500' AGL, through the clouds? & the visibility only gets right when close to the ground.

I've experimented with many different settings & read the manual, but I just can't get it right...?

So what settings do I need to brake out from clouds at a given altitude like IRL?

/Thanx

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for raising this Amirello.  This is not a high priority for me, but it has bugged me for some time. Lots of settings experiments and I cannot seem to get the conditions I am looking for.  Probably my ignorance, but can anyone help Amirello and I get a solid overcast for an instrument landing?

 

Edited by okernel
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It's an issue with X-Plane itself that you can see runway lights through the clouds. This happens with SkyMaxx Pro, default clouds, X-Enviro, and every other cloud package. All we can do is wait for Laminar to address it in a future update.

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I've been noticing the same thing.  For the IFR experience in general, If I turn off skymaxx, the default xplane weather does a better job at simulating lower clouds and visibility.  I don't know if it makes a difference, but i'm letting xsquawkbox/vatsim drive the weather.

If I want nice looking clouds enroute, I turn on skymaxx, if I want challenging weather during an instrument approach, i use default x-plane weather.

I'd love to know if i'm doing something wrong.  I've tried all of the settings I could think of within skymaxx.

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carthorse, you'll want to experiment with the overcast representation setting in SkyMaxx Pro. If you're using real weather and Real Weather Connector, "HD Cloud Puffs" is probably best. Otherwise "solid stratiform" is probably the one you want.

Make sure you're using the latest release (SkyMaxx Pro 4.6) as it has evolved quite a bit over time.

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Here are my settings.  I've also tried HD Cloud Puffs and Dense Particles.
If nothing else, i'd love to see the visibility accurately depicted:  If the METAR says "1/2SM visibility", i'd love to not see anything till i'm close to half a mile.  The standard x-plane weather does pretty well at this.  

I do not have real weather connector.  Maybe this is part of my problem?

settings.gif

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So, If I load up at an airport showing 1/4 mile visibility, it seems pretty realistic both with and without skymaxx.  However, the default weather definately is less transparent than Skymaxx.  The two screenshots below show 1/4sm Fog.  What I've noticed is that when flying into an airport the weather doesn't appear realistic with Skymaxx, but during departure it is usually representative, as in this case.  Maybe it takes a while for weather to be updated when flying enroute?  Or it is updating from a location other than my destination?

Current Weaher:  PAKN 162054Z 00000KT 1/2SM FG VV003 01/01 A2970 RMK AO2 SLP058 I3001 T00060006 51012 RVRNO

 

Cessna_172SP_3.png

Cessna_172SP_4.png

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SkyMaxx Pro doesn't actually affect X-Plane's visibility effects in any way. All it does is draw the sky and clouds. So yes, I would guess there was some sort of update in the visibility in the underlying weather data there.

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New Skymaxx user here...I have the same problem where I can see the runway approach lights though a solid overcast. I noted that this was reported above to be an x-plane issue, but I don't experience the same thing with default clouds on 11.10. Perhaps this was fixed in plane 11.10? Is there an update or setting change I should try for Skymaxx? Other Thoughts? 

I like the Skymaxx + RWC combo but really need a solid overcast.

Thanks!

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Looks like I'm on 11.11r2...these shots are 3 miles out on approach to 02L at KSNA, weather is set for overcast to 100ft AGL. With Skymaxx enabled you can see the runway lights, PAPI, and terminal lights. I had to shrink the size of the screenshots for the forum to accept them, let me know if you can't see what I'm talking about.

Thanks!

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-12-23 at 7.02.40 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-23 at 7.02.53 PM.png

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After experimenting with SMP settings and default weather with limited success, I thought it might be more effective to dim the runway lights so they’re harder to see. I think they’re mostly too bright anyway, but i made a very very short lua script that edits the dataref responsible for runway light brightness at all airports. I can post it later if anybody cares.

Also i like it because at night the airports don’t stand out quite so much from the other city lights (makes you look at your instruments!)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I ran into another interesting issue today with Skymaxx.  I set a stratus layer manually over New York, and selected "solid stratiform" but I could see through the layer when I was above it.  When I descended into it, it was legit IFR, though, and everything looked good underneath the layer as well.  Why/how can you see through stratus clouds and is there any way to fix it?

Thanks,

Dirt

c400_8.jpg

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@michael.mcgregory here the super-simple script (it's my first one incidentally -- it only dims the airport lights, no other surrounding lights.  That made them dark enough for me, but you can dim them anywhere down to 0.000001 if you want in the script.   Enjoy.

Dirt

airport_lights_jgc.lua

Edited by dirt_mcgirt

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On 1/24/2018 at 0:52 AM, dirt_mcgirt said:

I ran into another interesting issue today with Skymaxx.  I set a stratus layer manually over New York, and selected "solid stratiform" but I could see through the layer when I was above it.  When I descended into it, it was legit IFR, though, and everything looked good underneath the layer as well.  Why/how can you see through stratus clouds and is there any way to fix it?

Thanks,

My guess is that the stratus layer you set up was very thin - if you make it thicker, say at least 1000 meters, it would probably look more realistic. 

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Ok, I’ll try it and let you know. Based on the other post regarding weird geometric clouds, it seems like there a “goldilocks” zone for solid stratus — too thin and you can see through the layer and “unnaturally thick” and you get hexagons in your clouds. Does that seem accurate?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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18 hours ago, dirt_mcgirt said:

Ok, I’ll try it and let you know. Based on the other post regarding weird geometric clouds, it seems like there a “goldilocks” zone for solid stratus — too thin and you can see through the layer and “unnaturally thick” and you get hexagons in your clouds. Does that seem accurate?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Well, that's my theory. I think it's a little more complicated than that and there may be certain video drivers out there - specifically on Macs - that have more trouble than others with this particular cloud type. But any thickness that's consistent with nature - say, between 1000 and 5000 meters - should work fine.

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The problem isn't just a cloud layer thickness.  It is also with visibility.  See my post above with images.  SMP fails to limit forward visibility.  This is a problem if you are simulating instrument conditions.  You shouldn't be able to see something a mile away when the visibility is reporting 1/4sm. 

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8 hours ago, carthorse said:

The problem isn't just a cloud layer thickness.  It is also with visibility.  See my post above with images.  SMP fails to limit forward visibility.  This is a problem if you are simulating instrument conditions.  You shouldn't be able to see something a mile away when the visibility is reporting 1/4sm. 

We don't claim to do anything with visibility. SMP just draws clouds and the sky; visibility effects remain managed by X-Plane itself or whatever other weather add-ons you might be using.

 

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I spent some time looking into these issues more deeply this morning.

The transparency of solid overcast layers is indeed too much when viewing them from above. I've fixed this for our next release, as well as a fix for the weird effects on very thick overcast clouds.

Apologies for misunderstanding what was being said here.

 

Edited by sundog

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5 hours ago, sundog said:

I spent some time looking into these issues more deeply this morning.

The transparency of solid overcast layers is indeed too much when viewing them from above. I've fixed this for our next release, as well as a fix for the weird effects on very thick overcast clouds.

Apologies for misunderstanding what was being said here.

 

Thank you very much!  I look forward to seeing the results in the next release!  

I did experiment with stratus cloud thickness per your suggestions and if I get a layer with hexagons, I just change the "thickness" and it's fixed!  I wish x-plane weather would only let you build stratus layers that are actually realistic.  

Thanks again for your prompt and professional response!  I love SMP!

--Dirt

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18 hours ago, sundog said:

I spent some time looking into these issues more deeply this morning.

The transparency of solid overcast layers is indeed too much when viewing them from above. I've fixed this for our next release, as well as a fix for the weird effects on very thick overcast clouds.

Apologies for misunderstanding what was being said here.

 

Thanks for looking at this!

Edited by carthorse

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