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SkyMaxx Pro v4.9.6 Update Released!


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15 hours ago, danhenri said:

Thank you very much for your investigations. I just had a crash after one hour of flight. You're right, SMP is just a contributing factor.  Hope rc2 will solve this issue.

Try removing XJet from your active plugins list.

You can also try using the Gizmo beta...

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Hello All, This will serve as a formal forum announcement that we have released the version 4.9.6 update for SkyMaxx Pro. All customers who have purchased SkyMaxx Pro v4 up till now have been sent

OK - so it turns out this update crashes if you have an AMD/ATI card. But, I at least know why, and I'm building a fix for it now. Stay tuned for a patch release.

We have now released a silent patch update as 4.9.6.2 which resolves the ATI issue. If you had this problem, please go to your account to download the new installer and re-install!

Posted Images

I've just discovered a strange anomaly with SMP v4.9.6.2. Compare the lighting on the prop blades in the two attached screenshots; the first is with SMP enabled, and the second with SMP disabled (no other changes). The second image is how the props should look.

I only now just noticed this issue because I haven't flown the Dash 8 for quite awhile, and it took me quite awhile to narrow down the culprit to SMP -- or so I believe, and who'd have guessed??? (at first I had no idea what could be causing this issue, and tried lots of other things before realizing that the last SMP update was the last change I'd made to my XP installation in quite some time).

I am running SMP with XP v10.51 (with HDR enabled) on a Windows 10 machine (Intel Core i7 7700HQ) and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card.

 

Dash8Q400_1.jpg

Dash8Q400_2.jpg

Edited by kentwerickson
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2 hours ago, kentwerickson said:

I've just discovered a strange anomaly with SMP v4.9.6.2. Compare the lighting on the prop blades in the two attached screenshots; the first is with SMP enabled, and the second with SMP disabled (no other changes). The second image is how the props should look.

I only now just noticed this issue because I haven't flown the Dash 8 for quite awhile, and it took me quite awhile to narrow down the culprit to SMP -- or so I believe, and who'd have guessed??? (at first I had no idea what could be causing this issue, and tried lots of other things before realizing that the last SMP update was the last change I'd made to my XP installation in quite some time).

I am running SMP with XP v10.51 (with HDR enabled) on a Windows 10 machine (Intel Core i7 7700HQ) and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card.

Does it make a difference if your landing lights are on or off?

And out of curiosity, why are you still on X-Plane 10.51? This may have more to do with a bug in X-Plane itself that has long since been fixed. X-Plane 11 doesn't come with a Dash 8, but I tried the King Air which also has dual props, and couldn't get this to happen with it using X-Plane 11.50r2.

Edited by sundog
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On 8/31/2020 at 6:03 AM, sundog said:

Does it make a difference if your landing lights are on or off?

No. This is among the first things I checked -- turned off all external aircraft lights (they are turned on in the images here because in order to save time while testing I had XP set to load the plane with the engines already running and ready for takeoff). Also tested to see if time of day matters -- e.g., day/dusk/night. No difference.

On 8/31/2020 at 6:03 AM, sundog said:

And out of curiosity, why are you still on X-Plane 10.51?

Variety of reasons, including that I could not afford to repurchase all of my payware for XP11 (plus, I was not initially all that impressed with what I considered to be mostly incremental improvements in XP11). The Dash 8 is payware by FlyJSim, and from what I understand was eventually updated for XP11 (but not in early versions). The problem I am experiencing appears related, maybe, to the normal maps of the prop objects. Not sure that this has changed from XP10 to XP11, but perhaps someone else out there knows...

I should add that the props on the Dash 8 with SMP v4.9.6.2 look normal when not wound up -- it's only when the engines are running and the props are spinning. I just now tested with my LES Saab 340A and the weird effect occurs with this plane as well.

Follow-on question: I still have the installer for SMP v4.9.4. If I run this installer, will I get the older version or does X-Aviation always push the latest version? This way I can test to verify whether or not the problem is related to something that has changed between these two versions.

UPDATE: I just tested my Dash 8 in the latest XP11 Demo version with SMP v4.9.6.2 installed, and as the image below shows the weird effect does not occur here. So it seems that you are right that this appears to be an XP10-specific problem.

Dash8Q400_XP11 - 2020-08-31 1.41.59 PM.jpg


UPDATE 2: I re-ran the SMP v4.9.4 installer (in my XP10 installation), and the problem disappears in this version as depicted below (I've lost the v4.9.5 installer). So it appears that this problem was introduced by changes either in SMP v4.9.5 or 4.9.6.

Dash8Q400_3.jpg

Edited by kentwerickson
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I just reviewed all the changes between 4.9.4 and 4.9.6 and I don't see anything that might explain a change in how propellers appear in X-Plane 10. Most of the changes involved support for X-Plane 11.50, so if 4.9.4 is working well for you you're probably best advised to stick with it for now.

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8 hours ago, sundog said:

I just reviewed all the changes between 4.9.4 and 4.9.6 and I don't see anything that might explain a change in how propellers appear in X-Plane 10. Most of the changes involved support for X-Plane 11.50, so if 4.9.4 is working well for you you're probably best advised to stick with it for now.

Can you then post a link here, or send to me by PM, the v4.9.5 installer so I can try that?

Thanks.

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13 hours ago, sundog said:

I actually don't receive any of the installers myself, but if you contact X-Aviation support they may be able to help.

In other words I'm SOL. Well, I certainly don't blame Sundog -- you guys have been among the few notable exceptions over the years of standing by your products and offering timely fixes/updates, and I applaud you for that (as for the others, just one more reason I am still on XP10). 

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3 hours ago, dima436393 said:

Hello! "Castom precipitation unavailable in Vulkan". This is annoying ... Are there any plans to restore "castom precipitation" in Vulkan?

We always strive to keep things 100% but we are currently limited. Who knows what will happen in the future....

As annoyed as you are, enjoy the increased performance under Vulcan...

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Are there any plans to get SMP working in Metal on the Mac?  Just disabling it in rc2 seemed OK, but I think it is now preventing me loading up anything in 11.50 final - although it might well be another plugin, and nothing to do with SMP at all.  I see you mentioned Xjet above.  Is that a known issue?

To run metal, I've moved a load of plugins out, but working out which one is the culprit is so tedious, because XP takes forever to load each time :(

So, for metal,  I run with minimal plugins, which is a bit annoying but, as life is now in the Covid world, perhaps the least of my worries!

UPDATE

P.S.  I realised that I had not updated 4.9.6 to 4.9.6.2, so installed that (knowing it was still incompatible with metal, anyway, but thought it worth doing for the OpenGL use), and the flight would not load in metal.  Moved RWC and SMP out, and all worked - so it is SMP, sadly......... I'm sure I could load and just disable in earlier 11.50 betas.....

Edited by diamonddriller
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I am able to load X-Plane on Catalina in Metal no problem (of course SMP does not work, but the sim loads fine).

We have no plans to bring SMP to Metal because it is simply not possible. Apple does not provide access to OpenGL when Metal is in use, unlike Vulkan. This is what is needed in order for us to bring SMP to Metal. Laminar also has their hands tied on this one.

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OK Cameron.  I'm really mystified by this, because I had no problem either till rc3, but no matter.  What is a pity is that my SMP will only be used by me in OpenGL.   Unfortunately, other weather plugins seem to be Windows only.   I may eventually see what is happening, but we all have such a mixture of plugins and scenery, etc. that it's a minefield!   I will have a go to see if it's RW, or maybe XPNOAA weather interacting badly with SMP in Metal.  No problem in OpenGL.  I'll mess about tomorrow.

For most of the time, I get good performance in OpenGL, but there are times when the frame rate dips to a slideshow, and it is going to be interesting to how metal copes in similar situations.  I have already seen some great improvement here and there, but (for example, with the SR22) on my current rig, OpenGL is actually often faster.  New iMac on its way, and I am very hopeful that it will make a huge difference.

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Hello 

Recently I bought Skymaxx pro v496 and I think it is excellent.
Great work!

But I also have problems with it
I have put together a set of clouds and placed them at
- Export Settings - saved

If I want to call it later on, via
- Import Settings - can I select it
then I click on - Load -
The Load button turns green for a short time, but the selected set is
not loaded.

Also with - Sky Colors - I can select any, but only
Default Sky Colors and SkyMaxx Hosek-Wilie Sky Model - loaded.
All other Sky Models are not taken over

still use XP 11.41


What am I doing wrong, or what does not work here?
Thanks for the answer and greetings ... Udo Mueller

DE / Magdeburg

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Edited by Udo EDBM
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"Export settings" only saves your setting for SkyMaxx Pro that you see in the configuration screen. It does not save your clouds in the scene or the weather itself.

You need to restart X-Plane for sky color set changes to take effect. This is noted in the configuration screen.

 

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Sorry, my english is not so good. I use a translator.

I expressed myself wrong or they misunderstood me.

You can change cloud textures without interrupting the XP11. They will be adopted immediately.
Also sky colors are taken over without interruption of the XP11.
... but only 2 pieces- Default Sky Colors and SkyMaxx Hosek-Wilie Sky Model, all others are not taken over.

I also don't want to restore the weather event.
I can change cloud textures and they are displayed immediately.
I can save this selection.
But the saved cloudset will be displayed after the selection with the button 
 is not taken over.
Not immediately and also not after restarting the XP11.
Only the last set of clouds will be loaded, but never the saved set via the - Load - button

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You still need to restart X-Plane for sky color changes to take effect. Although it may look like you can switch between Hosek-Wilkie and Default immediately, it won't be right until you restart. This is explained right above the settings, although in English!

I think I have found a bug in how cloud texture configuration changes are applied; we will fix that in our next release. Thank you for letting me know.

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Thanks, 50% discount seems reasonable.  I decided to purchase SkyMaxx and the Real Weather Connector today and spent several hours trying it out.  I fly in VR and I was having a heck of a time finding a good cloud configuration that didn't destroy FPS.  I had tried basically everything else out there, including ASXP + Cloud Art.

I read some discussions online previously where some people said Cloud Art looked better and worked better than SkyMaxx in VR.  Having tried Cloud Art already with and without ASXP, and after trying SkyMaxx out for myself today, I have absolutely no idea what the heck they were talking about.  SkyMaxx looks way way better than Cloud Art.  The performance is also much better than anything else I've tried.

Running with SkyMaxx with the Fast clouds (which I find look the best in VR out of all of the available textures anyways) with 9155 sq. km coverage area is like running with a clear sky for me in terms of performance.  It seems to cause virtually no FPS loss or stuttering at all despite a full sky of beautiful looking clouds and the amazing Hosek-Wilkie Sky Model which finally gets me the sky blue that I've been trying to get for ages now.

The other thing that blew me away is that that level of performance is maintained even when enabling SSAA x2 anti-aliasing, which in my opinion is an absolute must have in VR (it makes everything look so much better).  With that enabled with any other cloud package, I end up getting incredibly bad stuttering and FPS drops any time I'm anywhere near a cloud, even when there are only 1 or 2 clouds around.  Being able to have that enabled with a full sky of clouds is incredible, it's a total game changer for me and has saved my VR experience.  I'm guessing the performance issue with SSAA is specific to the X-Plane cloud system which SkyMaxx appears to replace with it's own system.

I'm running the beta version which mentioned fixes for stuttering so maybe that's why the performance is so great.  I'm not really sure since this is my first time using it and I don't have any baseline from previous versions to go on.  The lack of cloud flashing is also amazing too.  I've found every other half decent looking cloud pack I tried had terrible flashing in the clouds in VR, but this doesn't have that problem.  The way the clouds fade in as well instead of popping in is amazing too, it really creates the illusion of just having endless clouds in the sky as I fly.  I also really like that any changes I make on the config screen are instantly loaded in which was a huge time saver while testing this to figure out the best settings for me.

For anyone wondering, I'm running an i9 9900K with a 2080 ti.  I use OVR Settings (which is an X-Plane plugin) to set my supersampling rate for my Oculus to 1.6 and I use VMI Twick (which is also an X-Plane plugin) to set the LOD for objects to 80% and I also tweak various other settings in there, though the LOD is the big one in terms of performance.  VMI Twick has a "VR Mode" that I enable which I find makes everything look nicer in VR.

I'm currently running with Vulkan though I also tested with OpenGL earlier and it was buttery smooth with SkyMaxx as well, though I found I needed to drop my LOD to 75 and even to 70 at some points with OpenGL instead of Vulkan.  In SkyMaxx I have cloud area set to 9155 sq. km and cloud shadows set to 0.65 which I find is what looks and runs best in VR for me. I also turn Cloud / Terrain Blend Softness to 0 because it just looks better in VR.  I run with HDR at High, Textures at High, World Objects at Maximum and Reflections at Low, Anti-Aliasing at FXAA+SSAA x2.

I was testing with Orbx TrueEarth Washington HD, so the terrain / scenery from that is more intensive to work with than the standard stuff too, but it was no problem running with it at all with SkyMaxx.

The one thing that I noticed that kind of sucks is that there were no ground shadows when using SkyMaxx.  Maybe they are there but just really faint or something. I'll have to do some more testing but I couldn't see any at all. 

Another thing I noticed that breaks immersion for me is that when I'm flying through a cloud I get these flickers of light towards the bottom of each of my eyes that happen in one eye then the other and kind of alternate until I'm out of the cloud.  It's really strange and distracting.  It's too bad because the actual transition through the cloud looks soooo good compared to stock.  If those flickers could be fixed it would be epic.

I'm glad to finally have an X-Plane cloud related purchase that I can actually say was totally worth the money for me.  It's also amazing to see that ASXP has built in integration with SkyMaxx, so I can't wait to try that out too and see how well it works in stormy conditions and such.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Edited by rawdmon
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