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Some Skymaxx 5 observations


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Hi all,

Another great update, really like what you have done and really shows the potential :-). Just some things I noticed:

- When wind is enabled, thís is what drops the framerate from the Volumetric cloud types. No wind: Super high frames, when the wind is enabled, the frames drop hard. I see the volumetric clouds are also re-rendered and seem to change due to the wind (not only move) which is a nice detail, but if this is the reason the frames drop so hard, maybe add an option to disable this 'dynamic cloud drawing'?

- When in the volumetric clouds there appears to be some sort of line/cut-off in the cloud.

- It seems that the procedural clouds have been fixed again (haven't seen white squares anymore), which is nice as I find it good looking and having good performance for the overcast layer. Nice! Only 'thing' I noticed is that there seems to be some color difference between the procedural and cloudpuffs/volumetric. Would be nice if that would be brought a bit more together colorwise.

- Just a thought, is it an option to create a cumulus option that is based on the procedural drawing method as well or is that difficult/ugly?

Really excited what the volumetric clouds will bring and where you will take the product.

Cheers!

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Hi, thanks for this report!

15 minutes ago, KMKaine said:

- When wind is enabled, thís is what drops the framerate from the Volumetric cloud types. No wind: Super high frames, when the wind is enabled, the frames drop hard. I see the volumetric clouds are also re-rendered and seem to change due to the wind (not only move) which is a nice detail, but if this is the reason the frames drop so hard, maybe add an option to disable this 'dynamic cloud drawing'?

Now this is interesting. Are we talking about wind in the sim, or a setting for SkyMaxx?

Or, maybe you mean if there is wind that the clouds interact with, the fps tank. So, do you mean setting wind to 0 alleviates this?

15 minutes ago, KMKaine said:

- When in the volumetric clouds there appears to be some sort of line/cut-off in the cloud.

Do you mean at the top of the cloud, or through the middle? Are you using RWC?

15 minutes ago, KMKaine said:

- It seems that the procedural clouds have been fixed again (haven't seen white squares anymore), which is nice as I find it good looking and having good performance for the overcast layer. Nice! Only 'thing' I noticed is that there seems to be some color difference between the procedural and cloudpuffs/volumetric. Would be nice if that would be brought a bit more together colorwise.

Noted!

15 minutes ago, KMKaine said:

- Just a thought, is it an option to create a cumulus option that is based on the procedural drawing method as well or is that difficult/ugly?

Can you elaborate at bit? Do you mean the look of the procedural textures, or how do you mean?

 

Really appreciate you taking the time to help us make a better product! :)

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Good catch, I'm trying to manually reproduce the conditions that will tank the performance without success for now. I haven't been able to reproduce this wind effect. Maybe that's me not using the X-Plane weather setup interface properly though. If possible, I'd be curious to have a screenshot of your weather setup page.

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1 hour ago, Cameron said:

Now this is interesting. Are we talking about wind in the sim, or a setting for SkyMaxx?

Or, maybe you mean if there is wind that the clouds interact with, the fps tank. So, do you mean setting wind to 0 alleviates this?

X-plane weather menu -> Add cloud layer. Select few or scattered cumulus. Apply. Weather draws in, I get around 70/80 FPS. When go the X-plane weather panel again, add a wind layer and add some speed. The FPS drops to 40/50 FPS after applying. I think it also depends on the number of clouds and draw distance how much effect is has on the performance. If you set it back to 0 wind, you will have to force weather reload otherwise the FPS remains as is.

RWC = set to upper option (follow X-plane)

1 hour ago, Cameron said:

Do you mean at the top of the cloud, or through the middle? Are you using RWC?

Both, added a still for reference.

1 hour ago, Cameron said:

Can you elaborate at bit? Do you mean the look of the procedural textures, or how do you mean?

Well, the procedural rendering seems to be very performance efficient. It can render a complete cloud layer with minimal performance hit. A (old style cloud puff style) cumulus layer has the biggest performance hit in Skymaxx. So if it would be possible to render these loose floating puffs with the same system, performance might be higher. So basically render a 'procedural broken overcast' layer but with bigger holes (only puffs). I have no ideas how it looks, but if you can tweak the procedurally generated layer to gave it sort of a puffy individual cloudy look using the same render technique you might gain a lot of performance. Only a thought ;-)

Added some stills for clarification.

Cheers!

Legacy - 2021-01-26 00.39.30.jpg

Legacy - 2021-01-26 00.39.37.jpg

Legacy - 2021-01-26 00.39.56.jpg

Legacy - 2021-01-26 00.41.31.jpg

Legacy - 2021-01-26 00.42.12.jpg

Legacy - 2021-01-26 00.42.19.jpg

Edited by KMKaine
Added RWC setting
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That's interesting indeed. If this is true I would really appreciate a setting to switch clouds intercation with wind off to get much better performance, this is especially true for people using lower end GPUs. For me personally having moving clouds is not that important, it's a cool feature but it comes at the cost of massive FPS loss I would like to turn it off.

 

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39 minutes ago, Cameron said:

I tested this on my machine and could not reproduce. If someone else can try I would appreciate it.

 

@sundog, making sure you see this too!

Me either I'm afraid. Knowing how things work internally I don't see how wind would affect our performance. There may have been something else going on coincidentally at the same time. So far most performance issues seem tied to people using higher anti-aliasing settings and/or very high resolutions, which is expected with the per-pixel rendering volumetric clouds do.

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I did some more testing.

- Setup Sky Maxx by selecting max draw distance.
- Select Volumetric for Cumulus.
- Select broken procedural for overcast (not used here, but still, let's keep it the same).
- Close X-Plane.

Start X-plane

- New flight with C172 (default)
- Weather (set to manual, CAVOK, then add a cloud layer). Leave it at it's original height. Turn it into scattered cumulus).
- Set time to noon on this date.
- ICAO EG08 (no custom scenery for me)
- Start flight
- Zoom out until you get up into the air above the clouds, I use the Chase/Ride along view for this.
- Check FPS.

Now go back into the weather menu:
- Add wind layer, drag it to just above the cloud layer or that it intersects with the clouds. Give it a speed 100 for instance.
- Apply.
- Frames are lower...

------------------

As I was writing this, I think it's not the wind but it triggers a not so obvious redraw of the weather. This will result in lowering frames. After a while, I think when the redraw is done, the frames climb back up again.... :-)

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