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Revisiting clouds

An exciting "new" option in FlightGear, that includes reflections, lightmaps, the particle system etc.. A lot is yet to be discovered/implemented!

Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby V12 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:51 pm

Yesterday, I observed strange working cloud shader. Is this OK ?

Image

Clouds are bright with very dark border. It looks very strange. Is possible to modify shader for disable this ugly effect ?
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby Thorsten » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:48 pm

I observed strange working cloud shader. Is this OK ?


Yes, that looks perfectly fine to me - it's forward scattering darkening the cloud fringes.

It looks very strange. Is possible to modify shader for disable this ugly effect ?


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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:43 pm

V12 wrote in Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:51 pm:Is possible to modify shader for disable this ugly effect ?

it is not ugly, it is reality... reality that you may rarely see but reality nonetheless...
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"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby V12 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:30 pm

Thorsten wrote in Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:25 pm:If you don't like it, don't use it.

OK, thank You, I fixed it myself by standard FG options - I turned off Cloud shader and all is OK.
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby Icecode GL » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:12 pm

So I decided to revisit this topic. I've added native support for 3D textures in the Effects framework and generally improved the shader a ton. Here are some results:

Image

Image

Image

The results are definitely promising. A good integration with ALS should be trivial (sunlight color and hazes) as it's just a matter of copying the code from another ALS shader (as far as my understanding goes). It's kind of hard for me as I have no idea what to exactly feed the ALS "solver". That way we can get a nice fade out at the horizon and correct ambient/diffuse colors according to the time of day.
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby Thorsten » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:17 pm

We haven't lost interest, it's just that a major bug seems to haunt JSBSim planes at the moment (a few thousand hours of my development work currently only manage to crash and burn unless you go back to 2018.3...) and somehow this needs to be nailed, so that's where all my FG efforts go at the moment. :(

(the integration with the weather system might be the tricky thing...)
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby Icecode GL » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:25 pm

That's okay, I'm just playing around with the clouds. It's oddly satisfying to see them take shape. :)

(the integration with the weather system might be the tricky thing...)


I've also improved that a lot. It's kind of beautiful how you can change the entire cloud layer by modifying 4 or 5 parameters. And the even more beautiful thing is how you can add as many parameters as you want. I'll provide you with the tools whenever you want. You can even get fancy and make some kind of cellular automata to create a weather texture. Don't know, just thinking out loud. :)
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby slawekmikula » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:31 pm

Icecode GL wrote in Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:12 pm:So I decided to revisit this topic. I've added native support for 3D textures in the Effects framework and generally improved the shader a ton. Here are some results:


It looks impressive indeed ! (not that earlier work looks crappy :))
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby wlbragg » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:05 pm

Stunning! I think were staying ahead of the curve on this effect.
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby GinGin » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:37 am

@Icecode: very promising indeed
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby Necolatis » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:48 pm

Nice!
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby V12 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:28 pm

Very nice. Close to commercial ASCA or REX. Please do not forget to check rotation after long distance flight from E to W respective W to E.
What about impact on fps ? Will be possible hold 30 fps with cloud visibility limit 200 nm as in P3D v4 on reasonable power machine ?
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby Icecode GL » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:15 pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

What about impact on fps ?


Everything runs on a shader so it all depends on the GPU. Older GPUs might not even be able to handle it, but a reasonably recent discrete GPUs (< 5 years old) can run the shader in around 1.5 to 2ms. Again, this is GPU time, so the CPU can still work on the next frame meanwhile, so the performance impact can be close to 0 if the circumstances are right.
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Re: Revisiting clouds

Postby V12 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:29 pm

This should be very good. Good job !
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