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Lately I've been working on an environment package, which combines various mods (cellinsky's widesky, Stary's SARCASM, ShrikeHawk's Cloudscape v3, etc.) into one. The idea is to produce a realistic sky, with better colours, lens flare effects and numerous clouds. The Overcast and Inclement weather have always lacked 3d clouds, now they are present as it always should have been. I tweaked Night and High Altitude colours as well, among other little things. The authors of the various mods I've been tweaking are going to be properly credited, of course! I am still not 100% convinced about some details, but I plan to release it early 2019, together with my SF1 GUI mod I showed at another thread. Enough talking, here's some WIP shots;

Clear weather



Scattered weather



Broken weather



Overcast weather



Inclement weather



Night colours



Space colours


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I am still tweaking colours, trying to find better balances. They are something in between Cellinsky's widesky and the stock SF2 colours. Fog colours are a real PITA to get right. My huge thanks to Cellinsky, Stary, PanamaRed, Fubar512, Brain32, ShrikeHawk, BearGryllis, Orsin, luk1978, for their respective mod works! Following screenshots are just a work in progress, not the final quality; for some reason the new night colour seems very dark on screenshot, but in-game the environment is reasonably visible.


















Edited by Menrva
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After more than a year from its first release, the much appreciated realSKY mod has received a major update. This is a glimpse of what to expect;

  • Added different cloud textures for each weather type.
  • Rebalanced sky colours; twilights have been reworked to be more dramatic and atmospheric, whilst keeping realism as the main aim.

Here below, screenshots taken during Scattered weather (plus two suggestive shots with Broken weather). Notice the different cloud texture between the two, and the complete twilight transition.











Following a suggestion by baffmeister, the realSKY mod will now include alternative files which provide different weather effects for Inclement; you can choose between thunderstorm (default), sandstorm (for hot, desert terrains) and snowstorm (for cold, icy terrains).

  • Reworked rain effects; lightnings are now rare, added new rain drops as a camera view effect.
  • Added alternative environment files for snowstorm and sandstorm effects.

Screenshots show the new effects (especially the ones that look best when the camera is fixed). Sandstorm weather features darker, brownish fog. Snowstorm features a brighter fog than thunderstorm.





Suggested by tiopilotos, the mod now will feature additional tweaks for some stock game effects, namely contrails, wingtip vortexes and exhaust emitters.

  • Added better contrail effect (thanks to EMCON360 for an old comment on the subject).
  • Added improved wingtip vortex effect (credits to Eagle114th).
  • Added new exhaust emitter effects (credits to viper63a and NeverEnough).

Contrails are no longer flat; they are volumetric and expand as much as possible, within the limitations of the game engine. Wingtip vortexes are brighter, more varied and longer. Those effects now use their own textures, instead of using the same texture for different purposes as in the stock SF2 game.




Edited by Menrva
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I'm absolutely amazed by what @Menrva keeps coming up with.  Frankly this new realSKY will be the SF2 equivalent of what Real Environment Xtreme textures do for FSX/P3D.


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The sky is a beautiful place, and who says otherwise is wrong...


Edited by Menrva
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Warning! If you suffer from epilepsy, avoid the following animated GIFs.














Further images available at the following album: https://combatace.com/gallery/album/1343-realsky-environment/

This one is definitely coming next weekend. Keep your eyes open in the Dark Blue skies.

Edited by Menrva
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A new update for realSKY is in the works; fixed night ambient colour being too dark, slightly tweaked cloud textures from Cellinsky's Widesky mod, brand new sun flare, different space sun flare, smoother rainbow ring flare and newly recoloured Stary's original lens flare drops. Last but not least, a new experimental shader providing a minor bloom at daytime with Effects set to Unlimited, in place of the original blinding effect at dawn/dusk by TW.

New horizon glow, fog and ambient colours, with reworked bloom shader.




New sun and reworked lens flares, bloom effect being visible only with exterior views (thank your cockpit glass for not blinding you).




Extra shots at high altitude, with new space sun flare textures.



Edited by Menrva
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Oh my god, that looks amazing!!! I am really looking forward to downloading the new version of this mod!  You are literally turning SF2 into a whole new sim.

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Users complained about the vignetting effect and I could agree with them (though I even received a comment describing it as a bug, bah!), so I decided to rework it a little. Here below some comparison shots.

realSKY 1.5 w/ No Post Processing (Effects=High)




realSKY 1.5 w/ Stock Post Processing (Effects=Unlimited)




realSKY 1.5 Post Processing (Effects=Unlimited); color correction (darker colors and brownish filter), stronger vignetting, bloom effect.




Proposed Post Processing (Effects=Unlimited); color correction (slight brownish filter), minor vignetting, bloom effect.




Feedback is appreciated. I could keep the post processing in realSKY 1.5 as is, if only end users would know that it's only available with Effects set to Unlimited (thus it can be disabled by setting them to High), but I've explained this 8492 times at least.

Edited by Menrva
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You post processing looks very nice, apart from excessive vignette effect. To my taste it is still somewhat excessive in the last screenshots. Perhaps you could advise the users on what parameters to change, so they could set up the vignetting degree themselves, the way they like it, rather that switching it off completely by Effects setting? 

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6 hours ago, Dornil said:

Perhaps you could advise the users on what parameters to change, so they could set up the vignetting degree themselves, the way they like it, rather that switching it off completely by Effects setting? 

Given that most users are not knowledgeable in HLSL, I'd rather provide alternatives myself. You can edit the shader by opening TWPOSTPROCESS.FX with Notepad yourself, but it's not easy for everyone.

Does this light vignetting suit you?


Edited by Menrva
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I spent the entire day on creating different presets of shaders. This weekend a new version of the realSKY mod will be released!

By default, realSKY includes my personal version of the post processing effect, compare it with the stock game.

No Post Processing (Effects=High)



Menrva's Preset (Effects=Unlimited)




In case you don't like it, don't be afraid! The package will include 15 different shaders for you to try! Here below a collage of them all.


Edited by Menrva
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