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shaved_ape

What Does RWC Do?

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Hello, I am a new member to the X-Pilot Forums, and I joined, due to owning both SkyMaxxPro and Real Weather Connector.  In recent months, I also bought the new ActiveSkyXP add-on, since I've used it before in other simulators.  Since I have all three add-ons installed, and they seem to all work together, I am curious as to what RWC actually does, that ASXP doesn't and why the dependency between SMP and RWC?

My workflow in XP is to first start up ASXP, then start up X-Plane.  At the startup screen, I make sure that the weather is set to real world weather, and then make sure the rest of the flight parameters are set, then I start the flight.  After the cockpit shows up, I have to wait a little while for my scenery to fully load (pulling it from an external HDD), then the weather updates to whatever it is currently.  It is then that I wonder what RWC and doing and how they work together, or is it a case of redundancy?  This was an aspect of weather generation I never really thought about until now, with the exception that in general, a metar is pulled for the airport I am at and then the metar is decoded and transposed into a visual environment, which then updates at regular intervals set within a particular program.  Logic would dictate that XP is already pulling metar data, and so is ASXP, so is this also something that RWC does?

I guess what I am really trying to ask is whether or not I made a mistake in using ASXP if RWC does the same thing?  I did notice in the settings that you can either choose FSGRW (FS Global Real Weather) as a "metar source" or another add-on (like ASXP), so maybe I've answered my own question.

If anyone would be kind enough to clarify, it would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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4 hours ago, shaved_ape said:

Since I have all three add-ons installed, and they seem to all work together, I am curious as to what RWC actually does, that ASXP doesn't and why the dependency between SMP and RWC?

RWC acts as the glue to SMP that tells SMP where to place clouds in a scene based on real world METAR data. Let's use the following example to explain it:

We are going to assume RWC is NOT installed in the following example.

1. San Francisco, CA is reporting clear skies

2. Oakland, CA across the bay is reporting overcast

3. San Jose, CA on the south side of the bay is reporting scattered clouds

 

Let's say we fly from SFO-OAK-SJC for purposes of demonstration.

As we taxi and take off from SFO, there are no clouds reported in the METAR information, so SkyMaxx will draw no clouds anywhere as far as the eye can see (and OAK/SJC are within eye range). We take off from SFO and head towards OAK. X-Plane now tells SMP we are closest to OAK, so we get the METAR data from OAK showing overcast. Now the ENTIRE region as far as the eye can see is overcast...including SFO where we just took off! It's an abrupt change. We continue flying to SJC, and as we get closer, again X-Plane tells SMP to look at SJC as the nearest station for weather. All of a sudden we get an abrupt change to scattered clouds, including looking back at the OAK and SFO areas where it was overcast and clear respectively. In other words, whatever METAR station is closest will dictate what SMP draws for the ENTIRE region!

Now, if we had RWC installed, it would analyze all the METAR stations and tell SMP to draw the clouds differently in those three airport areas. Clear over SFO, overcast at OAK, and scattered clouds over SJC. You could get up in the air, look around and see each area reflecting that information accurately. RWC is key to interpreting METARs and telling SkyMaxx where to place different weather fronts rather than drawing the same type for the entire scene. There are no abrupt weather changes as you move from one METAR station to the next.

 

4 hours ago, shaved_ape said:

It is then that I wonder what RWC and doing and how they work together, or is it a case of redundancy? 

The answer is a mix of 'Yes and no'. RWC is capable of downloading real weather METAR data from the same NOAA source as X-Plane gets its default weather. ASXP claims to have better weather station reporting, so the theory is that ASXP is providing more accurate weather information to X-Plane (and thereby RWC/SMP). Whether it actually does that is up for debate. I do know it has a better wind/turbulence model than default X-Plane can do. You will want to run RWC in the External Injector mode for use with ASXP.

Our recommendation is FSGRW+RWC+SMP. This is a killer combo that will provide the most accurate and best weather across any other option. The reason for this is because FSGRW has been created to add in extra cloud types that SMP can handle and display, meaning you will get a much more accurate picture than you will with any other weather injector.

Ultimately it's going to come down to your own personal preference, but I hope this sheds a bit more light on the situation for you! :)

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21 minutes ago, Cameron said:

RWC acts as the glue to SMP that tells SMP where to place clouds in a scene based on real world METAR data. Let's use the following example to explain it:

We are going to assume RWC is NOT installed in the following example.

1. San Francisco, CA is reporting clear skies

2. Oakland, CA across the bay is reporting overcast

3. San Jose, CA on the south side of the bay is reporting scattered clouds

 

Let's say we fly from SFO-OAK-SJC for purposes of demonstration.

As we taxi and take off from SFO, there are no clouds reported in the METAR information, so SkyMaxx will draw no clouds anywhere as far as the eye can see (and OAK/SJC are within eye range). We take off from SFO and head towards OAK. X-Plane now tells SMP we are closest to OAK, so we get the METAR data from OAK showing overcast. Now the ENTIRE region as far as the eye can see is overcast...including SFO where we just took off! It's an abrupt change. We continue flying to SJC, and as we get closer, again X-Plane tells SMP to look at SJC as the nearest station for weather. All of a sudden we get an abrupt change to scattered clouds, including looking back at the OAK and SFO areas where it was overcast and clear respectively. In other words, whatever METAR station is closest will dictate what SMP draws for the ENTIRE region!

Now, if we had RWC installed, it would analyze all the METAR stations and tell SMP to draw the clouds differently in those three airport areas. Clear over SFO, overcast at OAK, and scattered clouds over SJC. You could get up in the air, look around and see each area reflecting that information accurately. RWC is key to interpreting METARs and telling SkyMaxx where to place different weather fronts rather than drawing the same type for the entire scene. There are no abrupt weather changes as you move from one METAR station to the next.

 

The answer is a mix of 'Yes and no'. RWC is capable of downloading real weather METAR data from the same NOAA source as X-Plane gets its default weather. ASXP claims to have better weather station reporting, so the theory is that ASXP is providing more accurate weather information to X-Plane (and thereby RWC/SMP). Whether it actually does that is up for debate. I do know it has a better wind/turbulence model than default X-Plane can do. You will want to run RWC in the External Injector mode for use with ASXP.

Our recommendation is FSGRW+RWC+SMP. This is a killer combo that will provide the most accurate and best weather across any other option. The reason for this is because FSGRW has been created to add in extra cloud types that SMP can handle and display, meaning you will get a much more accurate picture than you will with any other weather injector.

Ultimately it's going to come down to your own personal preference, but I hope this sheds a bit more light on the situation for you! :)

Most definitely shed a LOT more light on the subject and I thank you for that easy to understand example.  As far performance goes, I'm getting decent frame rates (~50fps) using ASXP, SMP w/RWC in the AFL C172 over custom ortho.  If I switched to FSGRW that allows for more cloud types, will that impact the frames any more than what I get?  What about "pop-in" weather, as far as the change from one metar to the next, does this "killer combo" reduce that effect or is it about the same?  For the record, I'm out to find the best combination that can accurately depict the weather, so I am open to options.

Thanks again Cameron!

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On 6/18/2019 at 5:42 PM, shaved_ape said:

If I switched to FSGRW that allows for more cloud types, will that impact the frames any more than what I get?

No, it won't. FSGRW gives me about the same FPS performance I can get with ASXP, the real performance impact SMP can have is related to cloud layers and positioning, drawing lots of broken clouds has a noticable effect but this is the same situation with ASXP or FSGRW - for me it makes no difference performance wise. 

 

On 6/18/2019 at 5:42 PM, shaved_ape said:

What about "pop-in" weather, as far as the change from one metar to the next, does this "killer combo" reduce that effect or is it about the same?

This will be reduced drastically with RWC, no matter which weather engine you want to use. In the RWC options make sure to have 'never changes visible weather' checked so you will see much less cloud redraws than without (on mesh tile loading a slight redraw effect still seems to occur, on metar change it's fine). 

Regarding the 'killer combo' I have to give some further notes for ASXP users, there are some downsides compared to ASXP:

  • ASXP draw more noticably detailled wind/turbulence effects
  • ASXP is smoother in weather injection, currently you have to inject the weather manually with FSGRW after the flight has loaded and then you will have to change settings in the RWC options to really see the current weather (I reported this to the developers and they look into the injection process)
  • On weather change you will see no cloud redraws but sky colors and haze can suddenly change (I don't remember if this also happens with ASXP or if this is smoothed there).

Aside from that FSGRW gives you better, more detailed looks, more variety in clouds, it also has a more streamlined (and simple) interface and I really enjoy using it, I clearly prefer FSGRW over ASXP but the more detailed turbulences are not that important to me.

No matter what weather engine you want to use I really recommend RWC as this is the key to plausible and great looking cloud formations with SMP. If you want to upgrade your SMP cloud representation this should be the first thing to add. 

 

Here I have some videos of what you can expect from adding RWC to your SMP, weather information comes from FSGRW. 

 

 

 

Edited by FlyAgi
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I concur that wind turbulence, as well as crosswinds and general wind groundspeed is not as prevalent with FSGRW than ASXP, but that can either be a good or bad thing, depending on the challenge level you are shooting for.  For me, being an intermediate pilot, I appreciate the winds being a bit toned down with FSGRW, and I don't know if this is by design or if it needs improvement, but nothing can be more annoying than taking off or on approach and having the winds buffet you from side to side, as it is in ASXP.  Sure, it's more realistic (though I cannot compare it to RW flying, since I'm not a RW pilot) and I know you can change that setting in ASXP, so with that said, maybe there will be an update on the horizon?  I can only assume that since FSGRW is designed for both Prepar3D and X-Plane, that they came to a middle ground for compatibility, which may or may not affect any future update.

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Regarding the FSGRW wind and trubulence injection I suggest to talk to the developers directly (there email is available on their store page). I talked to them myself regarding the injection process and they will at least look into this, they came up with a solution (yet to implement) very quickly so I think they are pretty open for suggestions.

Edited by FlyAgi

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