Jump to content
dpny

Any way not to have huge cotton ball clouds all the time?

Recommended Posts

I'm not quite sure how to word this, so bear with me. While SMP 3.0 is, obviously, a huge improvement over 2.x, there's a drawing issue which is bugging me, and I'm wondering if it's something I can change in the rendering settings. Unfortunately, the manual doesn't go into much detail about what they actually do.

 

It seems to me that SMP draws, basically, three types of clouds: overcast, cirrus and variations on big, fluffy cotton balls. The problem with those cotton balls is they often don't look realistic, especially when close to the ground. I loaded up at Tromsø with SMP 3. Real weather gave scattered clouds at 1,000 feet. However, SMP had drawn this enormous, fluffy monster descending from 1,000 feet to cover half the apron, when, IRL, there should've been thin layers of light coverage at 1,000 feet. I messed around with the rendering settings as much as I could, but there wasn't any way I could get the cloud layers to look like the thin layer of clouds which should've been there. And, say what you will about X-Plane's default clouds, but the thin cloud layers look pretty good.

 

So, is this a user problem? Or is this the kind of limitation Sundog has run into because, at the moment, Laminar doesn't provide much third-party access to the parts of the sim required to change this?

 

Additionally, is it possible for the cloud rendering section in the manual to be expanded a bit? Perhaps you could put some screenshots in there which show what messing with the minimum/maximum/hi res puffs features look like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Additionally, is it possible for the cloud rendering section in the manual to be expanded a bit? Perhaps you could put some screenshots in there which show what messing with the minimum/maximum/hi res puffs features look like.

 

Surely you can adjust a slider on your own in live time and see the difference if you so desire? Screenshots aren't going to change much, and because it's a slider it's not as if you'll be able to get the slider to "exactly" where you saw it in a manuals' screenshots.

 

Anyways, I'll let Frank answer the rest here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just draw what X-Plane tells us to draw. If it tells us to draw scattered cumulus clouds at 1,000 feet, that's what we draw. I'd question the METAR data in that case, really - you would never see cumulus clouds that low. I think they really wanted to specify stratus or overcast, which we would represent differently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In real life, cumulus are formed at the dew point when moisture in the rising bubble of hot air (the the thermal) cools and forms tiny water droplets. The cu start off small and wispy and end up large with flat bottoms (actually slightly concave) before dissipating as the last of the thermal bubble reaches the dew point.

I know XP doesn't yet push out the correct data. the thermal position don't match the Cu positions. In 10.50 should. But sun dog should get ahead of the game imho by drawing Cu where XP says the thermals are.

Remember, in real life Cu's CANNOT EXIST without the moist rising hot air needed to feed them

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, you're talking to a card-carrying member of the American Meteorological Society here. I get it!

 

Right now X-Plane just says "draw this kind of cloud at this altitude". For now, that's all we can do. Of course we'll take advantage of any new data that comes our way in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sundog, had my first play with V3 last night. Awesome.

Everything you guys do is appreciated so I'm looking forward to 10.50

PM me if you want to see what I've offered A as a thermal/Cu blueprint. You might spot something I've missed

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×