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Captain Kitten

1.14 development

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Hi all.

I'm also considering buying xEnviro.

Atm i'm flying with SkymaxPro + RWC and I do like it but on areas with heavy cloud coverage my FPS are falling to around 22fps.

My System is a Ryzen 3800x and RTX 2070 Super with 32gb 3600 RAM.

 

Has someone a Idea how well xEnviro will work with my System?

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Hi Funkytown,

I can't help you with answering specifically questions about your system.  But I just purchased xEnviro last week and have flown it about 1,000 miles.  Two of them were in heavy storms.  Today I parked my plane down in Antarctica and came up to chase the storm from Texas to St. Louis.  I think I have made the right decision to purchase xEnviro.  Others in here will say wait till the improved performance ver 1.14 and they have good reasons to suggest holding off.  I jumped the gun.  I'm kind of used to beta versions and I think of everything as always being a Work in Progress. 

Yes, there are some issues in it and the performance improvement I got from Vulkan (about 10-12 fps) I lost when I turned off Vulkan and went back to OpenGL.  But...  I think I gained 200% in being immersed in a new environment that totally blew me away.  I loved the rain rolling off the windshield, the rolling clouds, allowing occasionally shafts of light coming in.  Mountains that really looked covered with shadows (can't wait to see snow).  I am in the process now of trying to tweak the sliders and I gave up a lot of Anti-aliasing, but that's okay as I can live with it until version 1.14 comes out.  Eventually they will get it working with Vulkan.

I know, $60 for XPlane and $70 for xEnviro seems like a lot to fork out.  But you know if I had continued with golfing in retirement a new driver would cost a lot lot more and once you buy it, they won't improve it.  I think I had a nice $70 joy ride on the last two flights to justify the expense.  I was kind of tired of SkyMaxxPro suddenly getting a weather update and then jerking the plane around trying to get the sky updated.  It seemed very awkward.  SkyMaxxPro had a lot of good things going for them, but xEnviro seems a lot easier to configure and you can see the results as you move the sliders which you cannot do in SkyMaxxPro.

Best of luck to you in making up your decision to buy or not to buy.  All I can say is I'm glad I did.

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I see I will need to tidy up this club a bit... My Updates and announcements drown in comments. Which is a good thing. We want activity here 😃

New announcement coming shortly (no, not release or ETA - but an explenation of my absense the past weeks. And development update)

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Alright - lets update you all on what's happening.
My activity both here and on facebook has been pretty low the past weeks. Last week I also promised that I would have an update for you all that weekend - which didn't happen. So I dived under to not promise more before I actually knew that I had something substantial. Now I do.
I need to add that several of us in xE dev team have day jobs that are considered critical in the lockdown period we're in and this has slowed us down considerably as well.

So... what's happening?
We're at 1.14t81 !! Never did I think that this update would take this long. I know I say that a lot. But not only has the "world situation" been weird and hectic, we also found an issue that lead us back to code that was solidified in 1.10. And when we followed that string back through the versions we discovered several issues where we had to dive deep in to the code and correct them. Among others there was a test formula that is attatched to the whole build which stems from 1.10txx - which, when corrected, helped us a lot in finding the others. When that was done, we discovered that an X-Plane bug that had been a glaring issue this whole build, got corrected. I'm not going to elaborate on that bug, but it tied in with distance math being tied to sun position for some very odd reason resulting in several issues with drawing orders. Once that was fixed the road opened up for us again and we got our first visuals of the new and improved code. I am cautiously optimistic now that we're back on track.

Some of you who don't understand why we post development photos of the progress:
Other people are interested in seeing the progress - and these are for them. To use one persons analogy: The progress screenshots are not "a different car" than the final version... It's a view in to the production line of "the specific car". From design board to ugly wiering and the inner workings all the way up to final polish. The only reason I don't post the "ugly shots" is becasue people definitely don't understand those and use it out of context. So if you're not interested - just stay away and wait or the release. These posts are for the people who are.

Still isn't representative of the final build.
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Thanks for letting us know the situation, and i'am still waiting, you're the best man. wish n hope it clear out the problem fast and we can taste the new update.

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---> This will not be in 1.14!! <----

This is a test for the night environment build.

Probably 1.17 or later. (Hopefully sooner than much later) A taste of one of the many functions that will come with the "night environment pack". In addition to ambient lighting that is featured here, the moon (not yet implemented) and clouds will reflect light and create dynamic night ambience lighting +++. But, again, this is just the adjustment of terrain ambience. More in 1.14 development hopefully this weekend. WIth a more detailed status update. (I just have to stop promising... 😞 That seems to always jinx my plans 😛 )

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I had some questioning of our approach lately. And I feel for addressing this. So I'll just post an answer I gave in the discord earlier today:

The development has NOTHING to do with "wiggling" between directions. Most people who follow the development closely also read my announcements and understand the steps we take. I post the screenshots for them. No one else. So if you don't like 1.14 progress screenshots or tests of future items posts and so on, ignore them.

I'm not apologizing for the time we spend on each update either. Last two updates had us carve deep in to the code to manage the goals we had set for that particular version. (Unfortunate - but part of development life) This time it is performance that has main focus. But the performance paths we have taken also led us down some roads where we had to reimplement the visuals. And I certainly don't mind spending MAYBE a total of three days exploring what we can do with it. (And thus the result gets better). And yes - there is a definite reason why I constantly say "not representative of final". Because we're in midst of development. (Now returning from the setback that had us revisit core code - and hence yet again less "appealing" clouds. But the screenshots tell a story IF you actually care to read what I write along side them. And if you are genuinely interested go to the facebook group or the Threshold forums to find my announcements.(edited)

And let me clarify one more thing. We don't get "waived off" or even influenced by critique and comments like WHIPPED CREAM. We appreciate constructive critique, we're not blind. We know that the clouds have lacked detail, been too grainy and had artifacts and so on. What we have delivered so far isn't even close to where we want to end up. We're pilots (some working others hobby) and we add the functions we think are needed the most within the headroom we have to develop a tool that we actively use ourselves for training. We want the visuals. We want the features and everything that has been expressed by others as well. But it's a process to get there.

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Thank you as always for a look into the development process.  I was outside today, looked up into the real sky and saw some meh, average clouds and thought to myself, "Wow, these would get killed on Discord!" 😀 Keep pluggin'.  

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Nice progress Magnus and team. Could you say if cloud self shadowing will stay in 1.14? You showed a preview of it a while back but was that just a test of the tech? I know things have been redone so it might not be in the build  featured in subsequent screenshots. It adds an extra layer of depth to things and would be a welcomed addition to the final 1.14 build.

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4 hours ago, JordanChin said:

Nice progress Magnus and team. Could you say if cloud self shadowing will stay in 1.14? You showed a preview of it a while back but was that just a test of the tech? I know things have been redone so it might not be in the build  featured in subsequent screenshots. It adds an extra layer of depth to things and would be a welcomed addition to the final 1.14 build.

I will keep a finger on it. Can't promise that it will, but definitely would be cool, yes. If not - then it will definitely be in after we transitioned to Vulkan.

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Yes they look amazing.  But remember; they are not representative of what we will get in the final product, so don't vapour lock over them.  They are merely a "view into the production line"  of the product.   

Edited by Pageois

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I think it's all starting to look sorted out, tho pictures reveal little about the code that lays behind. Any news on that front? not that i really understand coding but I am interested in knowing how far along "the production line" these screenshots are! 😁

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"I see my last hand and raise myself with these."

1.14t85
Not representative of final product

There are some things that we managed to fix in this deep dive that made other things easier to manage. Still some issues and implementations to be done. But on our way. Definitively on our way.

Got a question if this is the final "resolution". Resolution wise it's the same. Problem with talking about resolution in noise rendered volumetrics is that it casn mean several things. Step sampling resolution won't change. That was set in the early stages and will demand a huge resource to increase. When it comes to definition and shapes, then that will be an ongoing battle while implementing everything that's going in. One by one we have to adjust for performance. So we'll see. We're not out of the trenches yet.

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