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VR - Cumulus Clouds


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Hi

I have seen others posted about the strange almost double vision effects of clouds in VR (especially cumulus or overcast conditions) they sort of come into the cockpit.  Is there any workaround or perhaps a fix likely soon? I see its a known issue but was not addressed in previous two updates. I understand lots to do and maybe not many use VR - but it makes skymax pro unusable for VR - and once you fly xplane in VR it is difficult to go back! Other than that I have to switch to another weather generator which I don't really want to do if it is likely to be fixed? R. Jon (issue is not just limited to Vulkan) 

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Hmm... while I tested flying through overcast conditions, I don't think I explicitly tested low visibility in VR. Maybe that's the piece I've been missing. Under low visibility, the far clip plane of

No, I don't look at reviews. I'm aware that there are situations where things don't look perfect in VR. I've been working to improve it all along and continue to do so.

These are the settings I use.

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I actually have not been able to reproduce this issue in my own rig using our latest SkyMaxx Pro 4.9.2 release. There is a known issue with the drivers in AMD that can be resolved by changing your anti-aliasing settings, but I believe that is an issue specific to Vulkan.

I'm using a Vive Pro here and I suspect the problem may be specific to Oculus. We're waiting for the Oculus S to become available again so we can test it here.

I assume you've already tried setting SMP to the recommended settings for VR. Disabling cloud shadows and cloud/terrain blending can sometimes work around weird issues like this.

 

Edited by sundog
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Pimax 5K XR / Nivida / RTX 2080Ti but also I see it with the vive as well headset. I did a lot of testing to try and get rid of it (different settings) 

I see there is a new release today which I’ll test, good point about different aircraft- i know of at least three that I’ve seen it on. I’ll try also default aircraft as well tomorrow when I try new version. 

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It might help to avoid large billboards in your cloud settings - the "fast" or "soft" setting for cumulus might work best, as would solid or broken overcast.

If you get it to happen, it would be helpful if you could grab a screenshot to help me understand the sort of view you're seeing it from.

 

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I have tried various things, including the latest version now, and selecting fast / soft clouds. And solid overcast. The issue is *only* really evident when you are just about or flying through the clouds. Screen shot is difficult being VR, but I could send a small video I've taken of the VR output. Can this system accept a video? It is as if the clouds suddenly change, like they are projected or imposed onto the windscreen of aircraft (even if reflections are off)  into like up streaked squashed and slightly stretched up, overlapping as you get near them, its a really strange thing to see in VR, prior they look fine. I've tried various a/c and with and without glass reflections, the result is the same. And also I've tried changing GFX settings - nothing makes any difference. Normal XP clouds are 100% fine, it is only when using skymax clouds (although I've not tested every different texture set) I doubt it would make a difference. I should state this was all fine and working in VR prior to either Vulkan or just before the Vulkan update. I should actually test without Vulkan - 

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Important to remember that Vulkan is still in beta. Please let me know if it is in fact Vulkan-specific; I have a hunch of what it might be if so.

No need for a video, I think your description is enough to go on.

Edited by sundog
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It does it with or without Vulkan I'm afraid. It is almost like something to do with the loading of the clouds as you get closer, changing perhaps from one type to another(?), for example as I was taking off, they were all fine, even the ones ahead (I was some way off them) then I looked to my left and just noticed one cloud starting to go funny, I moved my head from side to side slightly and it was changing in kind of layers, then as I went along a bit more, it sort of loaded and sorted itself out, then the ones in front started to do the same thing etc. I don't know how this is done technically or that helps shed further clues on it. Of course if you can't see this at all, there are many factors with VR / many backend settings it could also be. As I think I first mentioned, I never had this issue for a long time prior and I've been progressing with VR for must be a year now. So certainly a earlier version of SkyMax did not have this issue with VR - I'm just not sure at what point it happened, was probably near the Vulkan release which confused things a bit. 

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Really weird. We don't change how clouds are drawn as a function of distance so what you're describing is really bizarre.

It's certainly possible I just didn't do a lot of testing while flying through a cloud layer and missed it here. I'll spend some time in the headset today and see if I can figure it out.

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I guess if you can actually recreate it that would be half the battle.

VR really changed everything for me, as it is so real, with such good all round vision, I can practice real world exercises that normally are just not possible on a single monitor / like bad weather circuits etc or even just normal circuit flying. With your weather facilities and setting cloud bases to break cloud cover exactly at the minima - it becomes such a good practice environment. I can honestly say sometimes I almost forget I'm not in the real aircraft. 

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OK, just did a test in my Vive Pro with the X-Plane 11.50b6 and SkyMaxx Pro 4.9.3. Set up broken and scattered clouds in Seattle and flew through them.

The only weirdness I saw while flying through the cloud layer is that you could sense some of the cloud billboards near the camera rotating to face you if you moved your head around while flying. But I don't think that's the same thing you're describing; I wouldn't describe that as unflyable.

So... the mystery persists. It's not just you, we occasionally get reports of odd rendering anomalies in VR and I can never reproduce any of them, which makes it hard for me know what might be causing it. I'm hoping that once we get an Oculus here it will change things up enough that I'll start to be able to track these things down better.

 

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maybe this is what I am also seeing re the billboards but it sounds like a worse version of it, depending on how much weather / type of weather.  Perhaps due to rendering settings / resolution etc. Also, I think visability is a factor, I think it makes it worse if it is low vis. It also might not be a clear cut thing, so many other factors with VR which are making it worse. Id say it is worse with real weather enabled and more cloud layers / worse conditions. With just a few cumulus and good visabilty it is not as bad.

In the meantime I'll sadly switch skymaxx off - be great if and when you do find a fix. I appreciate not an easy one to track down and it is frustrating if you can't recreate it. 

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this is easy to test on ground. you don't even have to wear headset but just look at the desktop VR view, gently rotate headset from left to right (or vice versa) the cloud will pass through cockpit. You must do it very slowly as it is a very fast thing when moving headset. Obviously in the air flying every move in lower vis will generate the problem, its actually the same effect if you get near a cloud. Its like the clouds are becoming see through sheets of visability and you pass through them as you move the headset from left to right. 

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I definitely remember seeing that prior to SMP 4.9 but I thought we fixed it (and that it was specific to cloud shadows and/or cloud/terrain blending being on). I'll keep trying to repro.

Do you think maybe this only started happening with the X-Plane 11.50 betas for you? There do seem to be some odd occasional errors in the frame buffers we receive from X-Plane in 11.50 and this might be related.

 

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maybe when you have time try a lower visibility- (5NM) From the image you showed I think it would have been fine on my system because it looked like almost cavok with some high cumulus. I think I mainly see the effect of the line sweep of white cloud coming into cockpit with lower visibility. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Did you manage to get any further with this? I noticed recently it is like a kind of "trigger" when it happens, as you approach the clouds at a certain distance, it is like when they change from one type of cloud to another ? if they do that?. I was thinking perhaps there is some kind of technique you use. Perhaps from a lower resolution image to a higher as you get closer? From a certain distance they all look fine, then as you get close suddenly they change into a strange form almost projected inside the cockpit or over the windows - and sometimes they do come in, its a really wired thing in VR and very disorientating. It might also be something to do with how the VR headsets are handling reprojections or something, i.e. they are getting confused by the change/reload of the cloud bitmaps?? Afraid I have no idea how this is working technically, but it is such a shame as your visualisations are absolutely the best! Just not for VR at the moment. 

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We don't make any sudden changes in how clouds are drawn based on their distance. Although I still haven't been able to replicate these issues myself, I did code up a few tweaks to our VR support that *might* help. When 4.94 goes out (soon, I think) we can see if it makes a difference for you.

 

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it might be down to specific VR software / I've just tried numerous settings and it seems to only be happening with the most recently. It was certainly not an issue a few months back, perhaps changes in the way xplane is working (even before vulkan) it may have started happening around 1.40ish I think but obviously only in VR. Will wait for next version, although it sounds like if you cant reproduce it this is going to be tricky. Fingers crossed! 

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Sadly with latest version the issue is still there. At a initial test I'd say it is better than before, less disturbing, but that might have been down to the cloud types - not sure. To truly see this, you have to do a flight where you have a layer of CU clouds, climbing up towards them, at a certain point, just before you get really near them, (infront) they will suddenly change and almost look like they are being reprojected double or something, you can look to your side, clouds are still normal, but as you get closer still, the clouds to the side start to do the same thing. I did not notice them coming into the cockpit, but that might be to do with visibility settings. Really odd that you can't see this - it must be something like the way things are being handled or rendered. There is definitely a version of skymax pro that this was not an issue - I'd have to go back several versions to find it though. 

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Agreed.  Latest version still has this.  It's basically any overcast conditions including overcast cumulus.  It really causes me to go cross-eyed on my Index.

An easy way to see this is to fly up under some overcast cumulus clouds and pause the simulator.  Now move your head back and forth.  What I see happening is that the clouds will rotate in place.  In fact if I'm in the right place and turn my head back and forth, the clouds on my left will rotate clockwise and the ones on the right counterclockwise, pretty much making it impossible to have anything for two eyes to converge on.  Currently, it continues to make the product unusable in VR for me, though I am extremely hopeful this can be addressed since between this release and XP b10, the performance went way, way up.  It's just a shame I have to uninstall it again, :-( 

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What VR headset do you use? I’m wondering if it is / could be a setting elsewhere as the developer can’t see the issue. I have a Pimax 5k headset, be interesting to know other types users see the problem to rule out VR settings - having said that, on an earlier version of xplane and skymax i did not have the issue. But it was a while ago now. 

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