About This File
January 13th, 2019 (1st Release)
>For Strike Fighters 2 games
This is my sky enhancement mod. It also combines the work of many other modders, in order to provide a realistic, better looking sky. Here below a quick summary of the changes:
-Tweaked sky colours, something in between Cellinsky's widesky and the stock SF2 colours.
-More realistic Night colours, sky and ambient are much darker.
-More atmospheric, reddish transition from Twilight to Night.
-New "dark blue" High Altitude colours (fly near space with a NF-104).
-Moon produces a yellowish light instead of the default purple.
-Sky is "wider" much like Cellinsky's widesky mod (background horizon clouds are bigger and more noticeable).
-Added beautiful cloud graphics made by Cellinsky and ShrikeHawk, tweaked for each weather type.
-Added a low number of stray clouds to Clear weather.
-Added noticeable clouds to Overcast weather and Inclement weather, "fixing" a known SF2 "bug".
-Combined various mods to produce a more interesting Rain Effect under Inclement weather.
-Added Stary's lens flare effects from the SARCASM 2 mod, in place of Cellinsky's widesky effects.
-Added Cloud Layer graphics by Stary, Fubar512 and Brain32.
-Reworked secondary atmospheric effects, such as contrails and wingtip vortexes.
In addition, the package includes alternative environment configuration files in the Alternative Weather folder; they enable different effects for the Inclement weather. You can choose between thunderstorm (default, adapt for most terrains), snowstorm (for cold, icy terrains) and sandstorm (for hot, desert terrains).
For those who wish not to change the effect globally, I highly suggest to try the included terrain-specific environment example provided for stock SF2 terrains; the default global effect is thunderstorm, while terrains with their own environment file either use sandstorm or snowstorm as appropriate. Use this as a basis to customize other terrains.
By setting the Effects to Unlimited, the game makes use of a DirectX 10 post processing effect; the stock game's post processing shader generates a pointless and horrible bloom effect which excessively blinds the player during twilight transitions.
By default, realSKY includes a reworked post processing shader (TWPOSTPROCESS.FX) which provides more contrast, more vignetting, minor color correction and a daytime-only bloom effect, so it's miles better than what the stock game offers. Alternative post processing tweaks are included in the Alternative Shaders folder; choose the one you wish to try (check the included screenshots for fast comparisons) and overwrite the default one in your mod's Flight folder.
If you don't care about the post processing effect, you may want to set the game's Effects to High in the Options menu.
>Credits (in no particular order):
-Cellinsky, for his fantastic widesky mod from which I borrowed some tweaks.
-Stary, for his Thunderstorm and Heavy Snowfall weather mods, and his SARCASM 2 beta mod from which I borrowed some effects.
-PanamaRed, for tweaks in regards to Clouds (especially the Broken weather ones).
-Fubar512 and Brain32, for their Cloud Layer Top bitmaps, which I have smoothed for a better looking effect.
-ShrikeHawk, for his CloudSkins mods, from which I took the spectacular cloud graphics.
-BearGryllis, for his Thunderstorm Pack With Enhanced Lightnings 2.0b package.
-Orsin, for his Improved Rain Effect and Heavy Rain 0.8 mods.
-luk1978, for his interesting WeatherEffect package.
-ArmedLightning, for his Special FX v2.2 mod for the GTR 2 game, from which I borrowed a lens flare effect.
-baffmeister, for the idea of recreating sandstorm weather effects.
-tiopilotos, for suggesting improvements on other subjects.
-Eagle114th, for his Improved Wingtip Vortex mod which I have reworked.
-JosefK, guuruu and Coupi, for their interest and support.
I included the original readme files from the mentioned mods, where available, to the end of giving proper credit to everyone involved directly or not.
This is a freeware; yet it can be redistributed ONLY in other CombatACE mods/mod packages.
This mod may NOT in any way, shape or form be used in any payware additions.
What's New in Version 1.7
Version 1.7 --- September 13th, 2022 (8th Release)
- Added custom cloud shaders to alter their rendering for each weather type.
- Reworked twilight colors, more purple-ish transition when night is closer.
- Included reworked contrail effect made by guuruu.
- Removed unnecessary lens flare textures for performance.