We just released version 1.971 of SilverLining, featuring support for OpenGL 3.2 core contexts, new features to blend clouds into the sky better and eliminate popping, much better memory usage, visual enhancements, and bug fixes. Go get it from our download page.
The new SilverLiningOpenGL32 renderer supports “core contexts” for OpenGL 3 that do not support backward compatibility. This new renderer completely eliminates the fixed-function pipeline for OpenGL, and only uses core functions in the OpenGL 3.2 specification plus certain extensions if they are present. We continue to support the SilverLiningOpenGL renderer which runs on anything going back to OpenGL 1.4. See the new OPENGL32CORE option in Atmosphere::Initialize, as well as the new OpenGL 3.2 sample project included in the new SDK.
SilverLining 1.971 also includes new methods you can use to fade clouds out with distance, making them blend seamlessly into the sky. If you’re upgrading from an earlier version, you’ll want to pay closer attention to the value you pass into AtmosphericConditions::SetVisibility(), and clouds now fade out as they approach this distance. If SetVisibility() is set too low, your clouds may look too fuzzy and ephemeral.
We’ve also introduced two new methods on the CloudLayer object. CloudLayer::SetCloudWrapping() may now be used to create cloud layers that remain in the same position regardless of wind positions. Like infinite cloud layer types, the clouds in these layers will wrap around the layer as they reach the edge of the layer’s bounds. But unlike infinite cloud layers, these layers are localized and don’t follow the camera around.
In order to hide the popping that occurs when a cloud wraps around a layer in infinite cloud layers or in wrapping cloud layers, we’ve also introduced CloudLayer::SetFadeTowardEdges(). You can use this method to enforce fading clouds out as they approach an edge of the layer, ensuring that pops are never visible.
1.971 also includes better support for large cloud layers on round-Earth models. Cumulus and cirrocumulus cloud layer types will now conform to the curvature of the Earth, in addition to stratus and cirrus cloud layers.
You’ll also find that SilverLining uses much less memory with this revision – the overhead associated with each cloud voxel has been reduced substantially, and even more so on 64-bit builds. This reduced memory consumption can translate to better performance as well.
There are also several bug fixes and visual enhancements to be found in this new version. Grab the new evaluation SDK here, and registered users may download the full version free of charge from the same location you originally obtained it from. As always, feedback and bug reports are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.