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SkyMaxx Pro not drawing clouds?


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Finally built a new machine for X-Plane, which means I can install SkyMaxx, as my new machine has the grunt to use it. However, I'm running into an issue where SkyMaxx doesn't draw any clouds. I think the issue arises when I switch airports and the weather changes when X-Plane is set to download real world weather.

 

This is the weather when viewed in X-Plane.

post-295-0-87741100-1419995435_thumb.png

 

This is what I see onscreen. The sky is completely clear for 360 degrees.

post-295-0-96783700-1419995483_thumb.png

 

And these are my SkyMaxx settings.

post-295-0-12712100-1419995505_thumb.png

 

If I change the weather settings to manual and put in some cloud layers, then the clouds will appear. But, if I'm downloading real weather, this seems to happen when switching airports.

 

Running the latest X-Plane under Windows 8.1.

 

As I haven't been able to run SkyMaxx for most of the year, I haven't kept up on bugs, so forgive me if this has been asked and answered before.

Edited by dpny
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The weather conditions that X-Plane sends to SkyMaxx Pro are only based on the current location of your aircraft. So, if there are no clouds over your plane, SkyMaxx Pro is told to represent clear skies. If you fly into the clouds on your radar, you should see them appear.

 

X-Plane has no means of representing weather systems in the distance to plugins, and I think that's what you're experiencing here.

 

If I'm wrong, send us a log.txt after replicating the problem and it will tell us exactly what's going on.

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X-Plane has no means of representing weather systems in the distance to plugins, and I think that's what you're experiencing here.

 

So maybe the issue is I'm misunderstanding how X-Plane renders weather. I look at the screenshot of the weather above and think, "hey, I should look to my left and see clouds." 

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Right. Weather radar data doesn't get to SkyMaxx Pro, so the weather conditions you see are uniform and based on the weather at the plane's current location only. As the plane flies into different conditions, we blend the weather from one uniform state to another.

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Right. Weather radar data doesn't get to SkyMaxx Pro, so the weather conditions you see are uniform and based on the weather at the plane's current location only. As the plane flies into different conditions, we blend the weather from one uniform state to another.

 

Well, that sucks. I assume there isn't anything which can be done about it?

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Apart from bribing someone at Laminar to extend their weather data API... no. We just do what we can with the data we're given.

Hi,

 

I understand the difficulty but can I suggest a waorkaround? As you weel know there is a weather plugin out there that uses publicly available NOAA data to generate the weather for xplane; could you not use NOAA data directly, not via the referred plugin and x-plane? Just a Thought...

 

Cheers.

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Hi,

I understand the difficulty but can I suggest a waorkaround? As you weel know there is a weather plugin out there that uses publicly available NOAA data to generate the weather for xplane; could you not use NOAA data directly, not via the referred plugin and x-plane? Just a Thought...

Cheers.

Building a system around a plugin that has many issues and is no longer in active development by its author is not a sound solution. "No" is an easy answer to this.

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Hi,

 

Come on, guys, read what I wrote. I suggested using NOAA data downloaded directly, without making use of any plugin or even xplane! This is the deal:

 

NOAA data is updated every 6 hours, so a forthcoming version of SMP could check whether current data was already in the disk, if not if it could be downloaded; that means checking that there is internet connection. SMP would default to xplane data if NOAA data could not be obtained. Furthermore, SMP would opt for xplane data bt user's choice or at low altitude. The latter is important because when interacting with the ground the pilot must see clouds that match what the simulator is using.

 

I use that plugin often; although I agree that it has its problems and it is no longer maintained, it is unparallelled when it comes to high athmosphere winds. When flying on line I also use IVAO whether, whose data I am not sure that it can be accessed outside xplane; if it could, that could be another source of weather for cloud drawing.

 

I am just feeding in thoughts but please don't misread me; I am sure my English is not that bad  :rolleyes:

 

Cheers, José

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Hey Jose, I do get what you're saying. But you're really describing an entirely new product that's every bit as complicated as something like Active Sky Next for FSX for example. It sounds simple but it really isn't.

 

First of all, NOAA weather data would need to be somehow interpolated between weather stations, and then translated into thousands of individual clouds surrounding the plane that keep themselves updated as the plane moves. That's the hard part.

 

Beyond that, there is no way for any plugin to communicate high-resolution weather data like that back to X-Plane - so X-Plane's weather radar would no longer agree with the conditions being represented.

 

Also, a lot of people complain that METAR's hourly updates aren't frequent enough, so a six hour update for NOAA would just create complaints from people who will settle for nothing less than a photographic match of what they see out their window right now. We'd probably need to blend METAR data into the NOAA data, and also interpolate the resulting data over time, to make people happy.

 

I'm not saying it can't be done, just that the level of effort is similar to that behind Skymaxx Pro itself. If it happens, it will probably be in the form of a new weather engine product that interfaces with SkyMaxx Pro if it's available for realistic visual depiction of the weather. 

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Hi Sundog,

 

Glad you understood  :) I am sure it is difficult but it may not be AS DIFFICULT as you put it. I haven't looked closely at NOAA's weather files but I believe there's no need for geographical interpolation. As for the update time lapse it's not really a problem because the data is forecast and each release incorporates a much finer time interval then 6 hours. The reason for using the most current release is the higher likelyhood that the forecasts coincide with the actual weather.

 

I wouldn't send data to x-plane and, of course, the weather radar would not be entirely correct but, if the user is using real weather from some source, there could be a close match, certainly better than now. Anyway, this is why I say that at low altitude SMP should always opt for xplane data, so that clouds match the weather the simulator is using when interacting with the ground.

 

I am only talking about drawing clouds, not feeding weather to xplane, and I can try to parse NOAA's files to have an idea of how much interpolation would be needed. For instance, when I look at Skyvector, I see that wind data is shown on a 0.5 degree mesh and cloud data has a much finer mesh; one has to look at it in detail to find how much work would be needed.

 

Cheers, José

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Hello!

 

Still I couldn't try this magnificent product.. but how about the EFASS program to rule the weather? does it do correctly or is the same? I mean.. does it interpolate cloud position or just makes the same as the situation described by Dpny?

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Well I hope you guys sort something out because I've started to get a bit disillusioned with SMP. Yes, it certainly does produce some very pretty cumulus clouds but I get the feeling that's all it really does. I understand it might be limitations which are outside your control at the moment, but the endless 'pretty cumulus clouds everywhere or nothing at all' nature of the SMP experience has become quite wearing.

 

So do please consider a solution which gets a weather engine to place clouds properly, and not just cumulus clouds. What SMP does show it shows brilliantly, but it does seem to be essentially a pretty cumulus injector and it should be so much more...

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Scotch thats a bit off kilter SMP does offer more than just clouds, its a more accurate representation of certain conditions ie stratus, overcast, scattered so on and so on.......Oh lets not forget how the move and morph with the wind....

 

You have been happy with SMP for awhile but now all of a sudden you chime in because it doesnt do something it never did? 

 

I don't ever remember promising a weather engine to the community, and we have had a series of important updates to further improve the product.    SMP has advanced greatly since its initial offering and is continuing to grow.  The Silverlining clouds which are the backbone of the product are very sophisticated and can integrate more into the weather system for X-Plane.

 

Thing is nothing of this scope has ever been done in X-Plane and we are dependent on LR to provide us with hooks so we can better integrate with the default engine.   Our roadmap for the future is to integrate fully but as of today we do not have that ability.  Our history dictates we are very motivated to continue offering updates to SMP for stability and full integration into X-Plane.

 

Scotch we do consider solutions but sometimes the magic fairy dust doesn't work,  I really don't like the implication that we are ignoring things.  For instance people should consider sending over the Swedish Bikini Team to my home for a party and I am a bit upset that people have ignored my requests....... But being of sound mind I realize the people I know do not have access to the Swedish Bikini Team,  a few of my friends are in negotiations with their agent and I am hopeful it will happen one day.....   But I am fully at the mercy of the agent at the moment.......

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Hello!

Still I couldn't try this magnificent product.. but how about the EFASS program to rule the weather? does it do correctly or is the same? I mean.. does it interpolate cloud position or just makes the same as the situation described by Dpny?

It's still standard METAR data. So, no, it doesn't change.

To be VERY clear here...SkyMaxx Pro shows you the real weather just as the METAR tells X-Plane to. What it doesn't do is show far away weather until you get to it (but it WILL eventually show it). It's similar to how X-Plane magically loads new weather in an area after a METAR refresh.

SkyMaxx Pro is fully capable and ready to accept showing far away weather and where to place clouds that are around your current aircraft location. Someone just needs to make the weather engine to do so...not an easy task, but doable for the right person willing to capitalize. As is now, Laminars way simply doesn't allow for anything more than what we offer. Go complain to the powers that be, Scotch. We already have.

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