Cloud Layers


#65

Ok now you got to admit that visual looks so realistic however I’m not sure if our devices can cope with such detail. It could be possible


#66

Hey if X-plane 10 on iPad can do it, why cant IF?


#67

Because it only has region not global.


#68

Yes going on from what @Gabe_Z said:

Unlike X-Plane 11 on PC (which has clouds but that’s on PC which is much more powerful than a mobile device) and Infinite Flight on Mobile and both X-Plane 11 and Infinite Flight have global flight, X-Plane 10 only has a 5 small regions and therefore they are able to put in things like clouds and weather because the scenery is limited. Also, X-Plane 10’s scenery, unlike Infinite Flight, is not streamed but downloaded onto your device, which is why X-Plane 10 is such a data eater (it used up 1GB in 20 minutes when I first downloaded it for a try-out before I got X-Plane 11 and subsequently P3D on PC)

I am sure that cloud layers will come to Infinite Flight in the future but a likely reason why they are not currently in the game is because the current strength of most mobile devices is not enough to support much more than the global scenery in terms of scenery and weather, etc…!


#69

Best I’ve seen on infinite flight for a while now (I took the screenshot)


#70

An it is NOT edited! :D


#71

Thats fog, not clouds


#72

Version 1: For devices that can’t run clouds well there can be a setting to disable it.

Version 2 Clouds can load during the flight. The maximum visibility in IF now is 50 kilometers, when you will fly under clouds it will be lower => rendering distance will be less than now. But if you will fly over it, your device will work hard, because it will load clouds for all 50 kilometers around your plane. That’s the most eating-device-memory moment.

Version 3: While you are flying above clouds, you can’t see the earth (in mostly ways). So in IF auto settings can disable scinery loading. This method can save some FPS by the way.

Global clouds: No one will not see all clouds at one time. Even using LiveFlight or any weather radar.
Why? Because loading all clouds around all world will be too hard. It will enough too see clouds around your plane.

Clouds generator: Well, I don’t know what will be easier to do: to let your device generate all clouds around your plane or server will generate it around you. But both versions have disadvantages. If your device will do it, it will take pretty big amount of its memory. If IF server - it will generate clouds not only around you, but around all players, so it will be too heavy. (Device generator won)

How clouds will move: It will move just using wind power (speed). When one part of clouds will be away from you at 50 km, it will disappear and the next part of clounds will spawn in front of you.

Who can see clouds if only my device will generate it? Only you. And another player’s device will generate clouds for another player. It’s not big problem if clouds won’t be the same for 2 players. (I mean exact location…± 100 meters).

Clouds type: Well, I hope somehow METAR or meteo-towers will help to define clouds type.
Example: If there a storm at 1 airport/location, storm will be for every player there who has enabled clouds.

Rain, snow and stuff weather conditions
Hard to predict what FDS will add. They already added working wipers for CRJ, so who knows 🤷🏻‍♀️.


#73

This is a great idea! The only thing I’m unsure of is how our devices would handle multiple fog layers sometimes over a great distance (IF renders 100 square nm’s at any one time, in varying quality, and that may sometimes all be covered by 2-3 fog layers). My $1800 PC sometimes drops a few frames rendering cloud within a 100nm draw distance, and while fog layers are simpler, our mobile devices are a lot less powerful…

Regardless, that’s something for the devs to figure out, I’ll see if I can clear up a vote…

EDIT: Voted! Decided we don’t need the soon-to-be-retired WestJet 767…


#74

Here is my wild guess and view on where things are with clouds development in IF:

I think IT IS possible to have clouds with the current devices, BUT, not the best looking clouds…(like the ones on the mobile version of X-Plane, which dont look great to be honest). And this is why the Devs, in my opinion, dont include clouds in the sim yet. Because they just dont look good. Full stop.
We all know the quality of Infinite Flight regarding aesthetics, gameplay, flight models, etc…and they dont want anything on the sim which might degrade the overall quality.
If you take the currently included Fog, for example, it looks awesome! plus is not too taxing on the device. But good looking clouds are heavy to handle even for Mid range PCs, so, we might have to wait until there is a feasible way of being able to display good looking clouds on mobile devices…maybe for ever? :)

In my personal opinion I wouldnt mind having not-so-good-looking clouds, if that is the only chance to have clouds in the sim, and give the option for who doesnt want clouds to just switch them off via ´Settings´. It would be interesting to know what everybody else thinks…maybe through a poll?

Happy flying!


#75

To be seriously honest, I don’t think there will be a difference in how clouds look whether they are good or bad, because clouds don’t have an exact form and are the same colors.


#76

Except it will be certain altitude away from the ground unlike fog it not away from the ground


#77

Unfortunately OP’s request is not possible with how fog is currently rendered in Infinite Flight. Our fog is not “volumetric” meaning that it is not something we can render in “layers” to make it feel like cloud coverage.

We simply modulate the color of the terrain and sky based on the camera position and fog density which gives you the illusion that it is an actual layer of fog. This is how most games do this type of fog.

We do intend to add volumetric effects down the road but as you can probably guess, it is quite complicated to do in an efficient manner on mobile devices.


#78

At least I got part of it right :)

Thanks for the info on this! I guess this should be closed up now. Thanks for the votes, all.


#79

This. This is the most accurate comment about why some things are not there yet. Obviously time is another big factor but in general if something is not yet in IF, it is because whatever solution we found so far is not good enough.


#80

So what you are saying is that as of right now, it is not possible, so we can’t be expecting it anytime in the near future.


#81

Hi Philippe,

The fact that ultra care is taken regarding quality on the development of Infinite Flight is something that you can tell just by playing the sim.
As per your technical explanation on Clouds, I think ´Volumetric Clouds´should not be the way forward, as mobiles are not ready for it and will not be ready in many years to come (hopefully I am wrong). So a more creative solution has to be found somehow…

Not so long ago I was developing my own VR Flight sim for the GearVR platform (Which never got to be completed as it was a side project and life got in the way…), and regarding clouds, I used a technique (a mixture of a few techniques actually) which gave decent results in my opinion. It was based on a sprite approach centered on the camera in conjuction with a ‘dome approach’. So depending on the user camera position in relation to the cloud mass, (under, inside, above), a set of combinations between sprites and dome where triggered. End result was that not a lot of sprites where needed to represent the clouds with good enough volumetric cheateffect (in combination with LOD settings). Bare in mind this was rendered in VR, so more demanding than IF, and my Samsung S7 was coping without issues (plus terrain, textures, other geo, etc)

Sorry for the long talk, this is just an idea I am throwing here, in case it triggers some other dev ideas in your heads or this approach is of any use for you guys…and we can all enjoy clouds in IF sooner rather than later!

Happy deving! (and Flying!)


#82

What a great feature, you have my vote. Would probably take FDS some time to create, test and implement this and also optimize it for phone. But love it!


#83

I am saying that OP’s intuition was not accurate and that things are often way more complex that it seems.


#84

Yes, this is called impostors and every single implementation I know about looks bad if you do it at our scale. Many cloud solution look decent when seen from below and a fairly static position but in our case we have to consider that the viewer might be below, above and inside the clouds; we also have to consider dynamic time of day with proper cloud lighting in all cases.