Version 4.063 of the SilverLining Sky, Cloud, and Weather SDK includes an experimental new representation for overcast clouds – the new STRATOCUMULUS_PARTICLES cloud type. This represents an entirely new way of rendering large, dense cloud layers in SilverLining that we’re targeting for an official release in SilverLining 5. It’s a lot of code, and while we’ve tested it fairly thoroughly ourselves, we’d appreciate your extra set of eyes on it before we call it final.
To try it out, just specify STRATOCUMULUS_PARTICLES when calling CloudLayerFactory::Create(). You can use this as a direct replacement for STRATOCUMULUS clouds, or for dense CUMULUS_CONGESTUS clouds. Unlike CUMULUS_CONGESTUS however, the “thickness” parameter on STRATOCUMULUS_PARTICLES represents the actual thickness of the cloud layer. We’ve tested them under a variety of configurations, but if you encounter problems with them, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what’s new and exciting about this new choice for representing overcast clouds?
- High-resolution cloud puffs. Every individual puff is a 1024×1024 photographic texture, resulting in the most photorealistic clouds we’ve offered to date.
- Our fastest clouds ever. These higher-res, larger puffs result in less depth complexity and fewer puffs to manage for a given area. Overcast conditions tend to be the most demanding on performance, so if you need to cover a large area with a dense layer of puffy clouds, STRATOCUMULUS_PARTICLES will be your best choice.
- More realistic cloud formations. Unlike CUMULUS_CONGESTUS and STRATOCUMULUS, STRATOCUMULUS_PARTICLES uses an advective noise pattern applied over the entire layer to provide more natural looking breaks in the clouds when using coverage values below 100%.
We’re really excited about the appearance and performance of this new overcast cloud type, and to give you early access to it. Thanks for your help!