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xEnviro 1.15 release


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EDIT:

  1. This does NOT work with 11.51 beta verisions! Revert back to latest stable version of X-Plane
  2. Some antivirus programs are giving a false positive. Safe to ignore.

 

xEnviro is now on version 1.15

1.15 Goal #01: Vulkan compability - done


This is the "Vulkan update" to make xEnviro compatible with the Vulkan version of X-Plane 11.
It should be updated in your store - if not, download it here. 😃

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I'll start off with saying that many of the known issues that we had in 1.14 still persist. This is because we want to get the Vulkan conversion out as fast as we can without adding or changing too much of the core. Which could risk us having to stay in a development mode for longer than needed. I am not going to repeat why 1.14 had such a long development time, but we are trying to get away from the huge gaps between releases. We'd rather see many smaller updates than rare large ones.

So here's the list of known issues

  • Precipitation follows camera
  • Snow coverage may appear in the regions where no snowfall encountered recently
  • Default X-Plane night triggers lights artifacts
  • Cloud edge artifacts
  • In cloud artifacts
  • Cirrus clouds may affect colorization of clouds beneath
  • Low level clouds may be combined

What's new?

  • Realistic ozone level checkbox
  • Post processing tone mapping added
  • Tone mapping selector slider
  • Tone mapping mixing level slider
  • Vulkan rendering support (dynamic seasons only available in OpenGL mode)
  • Light scattering from scenery light sources at night
  • Button or key assignable command to show and hide Settings window
  • Windshield fogging effect
  • Windshield freezing effect.

Changed

  • X-Plane precipitation dataref update suspended for critical phases of flight
  • Rain and snow effect improved

Removed

  • Maximum ozone level slider

Fixed

  • Scenery light no longer disappear abruptly at night

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We are now developing on two pipelines. Why?

This release will give you two versions of xEnviro (on one install). One on OpenGL and one for Vulkan. The reason for this is that we are not able to continue to develop seasons in Vulkan because of the lacking access to needed functions in X-Plane. With Vulkan Laminar basically shut off the possibility to depict dynamic seasons in X-Plane. (This is more complicated than this and there are reasons for why Laminar have chosen to do this. Reasons we don't necessarily agree with and the discussion is far from over)

Dynamic seasons explained

Dynamic seasons has become a buzzword that is thrown around loosely by members and developers in the community. Just like volumetric clouds.. Where true volumetric clouds actually are drawn in 3d space, the "volumetric effect" many use today are enhanced effects that give the impression of volume while still using 2d textured billboards. 

True dynamic seasons has the same aspect to it. While the traditional season changes are texture replacements, which can be automated (dynamic) but demands a reload of the ground textures, true dynamic seasons alter the existing textures to give the affected ground and objects. xE servers calculate the amount of accumulated water on any given location. It is then translated to either water for wet apron, ice or snow. This allows for true visual accumulation of snow on the ground. Coloring the ground to the degree of snow present. Same principal goes for seasons. Mountain snow has a dynamic snow line based on reports for any given region.

We will be able to keep mountain snow - mountain snow has major artifacts and issues that are only seen up close in Vulkan. And thus we chose to keep it since only a few venture close to mountains. (and you can turn it off if you are one of these)

Disclaimer: Dynamic seasons has been an experimental and optional addon to xEnviro since it was introduced in xE 1.10. It has its flaws even in OpenGL and will not be completed for OpenGL. Further development on seasons is halted until we get what we need for Vulkan. Vulkan breaks dynamic seasons completely. The reason why I bring the topic of dynamic seasons up as much as I do, is that this function has so much potential. And with the right access we will be able to refine and deliver a complete package for seasons in xEnviro.

Performance

Vulkan will aid your CPU and the CPU's communications with your Graphics card. But it will not aid your GPU in rendering and with it's workloads. So... Since xEnviro is completely GPU dependent you will not see a gain in performance if your GPU is already stressed out in OpenGL. And when you go from an almost idling GPU in Vulkan XP to throwing xEnviro at it, you will see a significant drop in fps. Probably back down to the same you saw with OpenGL and xEnviro. How much impact you will get depends on your GPU, the rest of your system and everything else you throw at your computer to handle. 

A320_-_2020-12-24_01_12_15.png.2bec2ece5f2d6fd1f62396a0f8af12a1.png

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Reporting the same issue as others.
On Vulkan I got no clouds, no sun (not sure about fog, I think it was present earlier at EDDF given the crappy weather conditions)
On OpenGL, everything works normally.

I have an GTX960 on my old PC and a 2070 on my main computer (same issue on both PC).

Edited by Snax
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xEnviro does not work on X-Plane beta!
THIS IS A GENERAL RULE! IF YOU EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS, REVERT TO THE LATEST STABLE RELEASE! (UNTICK THE BETA BOX IN YOUR X-PLANE INSTALLER)

 If you're a beta jockey, you should know this so it should not have been necessary to tell you all this...
(and if you didn't know and are on beta --> stop using beta versions!)

xEnviro does not and will never be updated for X-Plane beta releases. X-Plane 11.51rc1 litterally means release candidate 1. In effect it is still in beta (but closing in on release). How many candidates we see before release, we don't know, but things may change and we're not chasing betas. 

Once Laminar have finalized the new version and it's released, we will jump on it and have a look. We are looking in to it now and have our ideas of what has happened - but seriously do not expect any hotfix for a beta! That will not come. Ever.
OpenGl has no changes so it works - beta or not. So for anyone wanting seasons: You'll be fine in any case.
(beta tester screenshot)

ANYWAY - I'll return to my holiday now so have a glorious Christmas and a fantastic new year! 🎆🌠🌄

(I'm not really mad - just using harsh words to get a point across 😃 see ya ❤️ )

 

And for any other issue - pleeeease read the known issues in this very announcement! All issues here are known issues or self inflicted. I'll shut this thread off for comments so this will be the last one standing!

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