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Weekly updates

Captain Kitten

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Allrigh folks, we have a very short update this week. A lot of other "life" stuff has happened and there isn't much to tell. There is work being done though. As I said in the previous update there won't be much activity of interest before mid August. Then I hope we will have some more progress videos and screenshots for you. 1f642.png?_nc_eui2=AeEuWIdZgpWoDyjIr6SUY? So, here is what has been done so far this week:

Server code is undergoing a deep revision. New procedures for the ALOFT data processing are still not ready for the test run but we are getting closer.


Do check out the forum, it will get more activity soon. And some screenshots might only end up there as well since that will be my workplace the next couple of weeks.

(pictures are xEnviro1.09)


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ISP is currently experiencing severe power outage. Having very limited backup power generator capability our old server will be offline for some time. Our new server network is not operational as we require to run quite a few tests yet before we can start using our new servers. We are very sorry for the inconvenience.

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We have just entered the testing phase for our new server network which will take a couple of days before we can declare them operational. Apparently we need to issue additional updates for some of the previous versions of xEnviro in order to make them able to connect to our new servers. We have also received a very important information from the Laminar Research team that will help xEnviro to become fully compatible with 3D cockpit views in the next update.

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IMPORTANT Announcement!!
(And weekly update)
Three new xEnviro weather servers are currently online. We have tested and published updated plugin versions named 1.06s, 1.07s and 1.09s in the update section. Please note these are the only versions that work with new servers and the old server will be put offline in the very soon. The old versions WILL NOT WORK ANYMORE! You need to download the new ones.
These are NOT hotfixes or bugfixed for the respective versions and there never will be. They are just adapted to work on the new servers!
We are working hard on 1.10 and that is our only focus at the moment. We believe that 1.10 will make all previous versions obsolete. We are also ironing out plans for when we should implement the new features as seasons and some other bonuses that may or may not come in the 1.XX run.
Sorry for the inconvenience of having to download an old (new old) version - but the new servers should be a lot better and much more stable
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Weekly Update: (WORK IN PROGRESS!)
Today we have closed two most important items in our roadmap, both related to the cockpit camera and both responsible for numerous visual artifacts. Finally we are moving over to our new cloud system, volume rendering, final atmosphere tuning and testing.

Yup, were on the home stretch. Its a long home stretch but the mountains of two steps forward and two steps back then falling, getting hurt and stand up marginally further than where we fell.... is over. The largest hurdle in our journey to the noise rendered volumetric clouds is behind us.

Say goodbye to the horizon shift slider height limitations of 60k feet and a couple of other things, say hello to zoom, volumetric clouds and an atmosphere that calculates the sky color correctly 1f642.png=)

Thank you Ben Supnik for the answers we needed. So... here are some more shots from the latest progress.

I'm excited!
Back to work!


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Discovered by mistake, turned out to be easy to implement, dynamic snow for the mountain areas will be featured in the 1.10 xEnviro release. Mountain dynamic snow is based on the regional average snow line altitudes and works on ortho, custom textures and custom sceneries. This feature is to be expanded to display seasonal changes in X-Plane based on the server seasonal data in the subsequent xEnviro updates.


For the entire week we have been working on the aerial perspective applied to the terrain and our new clouds as well as direct sunlight that needs to be matched with the native x-plane light levels. As in all the previous versions xEnviro still keeps the ability to change the atmosphere parameters and the resulting visual representation by using scattering and phase equations producing various effects like glory, fogbow and even rainbow.


SEP 25 2018 : SHADOWS
We got clouds so we need shadows. We need shadows to be fast. Also to be realistic and fast. We need shadows to cover ground objects and other clouds and yet to be fast. After running some experiments we have found a very fast way to draw cloud shadows still maintaining an acceptable level of detail. Unfortunately, this requires us to reformat cloud rendering procedures so our clouds can drop nice shadows and still be fast.


This week we are adjusting xEnviro's sun illumination model to better match X-Plane internal illumination. Not a trivial task, with somehow limited control over X-Plane light, we are to find a good balance between two worlds.

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After all the unsuccessful attempts to apply ray traced lighting to the X-Plane world we have decided to use simplified light model, although not physically correct this provides far better visual results when applied within X-Plane rendering frame. While we keep fine tuning the light model we do adjustment of the cloud forming rules in parallel trying to keep the best balance between performance and visual quality.

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  Basic haze procedures have been set and we are moving to the testing stage where we must ensure the haze looks natural and inline with x-plane environment, lighting and terrain in as many weather situations as possible. We still have a decent list of items ahead of us, mostly visual effects and artificial adjustments to increase the overall quality of the environment and we are going to address all of them in parallel with the testing.
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