One integration of the SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK that we’re particularly proud of is the SkyMaxx Pro add-on for the X-Plane 10 consumer flight simulator. As a mass-market product, it’s generated a lot of end users posting screenshots and videos of SilverLining’s 3D volumetric clouds in their flights, and they’re great to see.
Here are some of our favorite videos of SilverLining in action, used with permission from redpiper1:
We’ve uploaded a 5-page technical white paper: Immersive, Low-Cost Training with Environmental Effect SDK’s. In this paper, we explore the capabilities of today’s sky, cloud, ocean, and weather simulation technology, and how it is empowering the creation of high-fidelity, high-quality simulation and training applications within tight budgets.
If you’re looking for ways to enhance the realism of your flight or maritime trainer, this is essential reading to know what today’s technology has to offer in providing real-time, physically accurate simulations of the sky, weather, and ocean. Technology that was once limited to high-end, expensive visual systems is now available for use with free and low-cost game engines and scene graphs.
Check out our blog entry at GamaSutra.com: “3D Water Effects: What’s Involved“! It presents an overview of the challenges one faces when developing a 3D water system like our Triton Ocean SDK, and aims to help with evaluating in-house or third-party water solutions in games.
What’s more, this article was selected to be featured on GamaSutra’s home page!
GamaSutra is the leading website for game developers.
Working with Albino Chicken Studios, we’ve produced a new demo video showcasing the Triton Ocean SDK and SilverLining Sky & 3D Cloud SDK. It’s a game-oriented pirate battle scene, that really shows what’s possible when using Sundog Software’s technology in a game title. Here’s the one-minute version if you’re tight on time:
And, the full-length “director’s cut”:
This demo was created entirely using the Unity game engine, using our integration assets for Unity. SilverLining and Triton can integrate into any engine using OpenGL or DirectX however, including OpenSceneGraph, Ogre, Havok Vision, Torque3D, and many more.
Triton 2.63 now includes a volumetric deferred decal system – this means you can now place arbitrary textures over the moving water surface at any given location. Whether it’s beds of kelp, debris, oil slicks, or whatever else you can dream up, your texture will conform precisely to the water surface, no matter how rough the conditions.
Applying decal textures to dynamic geometry like our ocean waves is a tough problem, but after a good amount of perseverance we’ve rolled out an easy to use system with minimal performance overhead.
Using decals is easy. Just use the new Triton::Ocean::AddDecal() method to place your texture on the ocean at a given location with a given size. For simple animation effects, the Ocean::ScaleDecal() and Ocean::SetDecalAlpha() methods may be used to adjust the size and transparency of the decal at runtime. When you’re done, clean it up with Ocean::RemoveDecal().
We’re already putting this new technology to use with an improved rotor wash effect. Helicopter rotor wash over water now includes animated decal textures to provide more visual detail to the effect, in addition to the 3D waves, spray, and foam the effect used before. You’ll find a new parameter on the Triton::RotorWash constructor for “useDecals” – set this to true to enable the decal texture effect on rotor wash. It is false by default, so you will need to update your integrations to take advantage of this new effect.
Our Triton Ocean and 3D Water SDK is already known for its speed, using GPGPU technologies to accelerate the simulation of thousands of waves at once. But we’ve made it even faster. Now, you can include high-quality 3D water in your game or simulation without taking a big performance hit in the process – in our tests, an infinite ocean can be drawn in just 1-4 milliseconds depending on your graphics card.
We’ve sped up our use of CUDA for FFT acceleration, removed pipeline stalls in our OpenGL renderer, and improved the performance of intersection tests against the water.
A free evaluation of the latest Triton release is available from our download page, and licensed customers with an up to date support and maintenance plan may access the new release here. We will be rolling these improvements into our Unity asset soon as well.
We’ve closed the books on 2013, and our sales are up 90% relative to 2012. Net income before taxes is up over 100%. Those figures exclude revenue from consulting services and contract work (which is also up).
Thank you to all of our new customers in 2013, and to our old customers who helped spread the word about our products and customer service. We will continue our incessant focus on product development and customer support in 2014.
Looking back on 2013, some things that drove this and future growth were:
- Sales of the Triton Ocean SDK overtook already healthy sales of the SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK. Triton has seen a lot of maturation in the past year, and customers are taking notice.
- We’ve seen steady growth in our asset packages for the Unity Pro engine. Unity’s user base continues to grow, and word is spreading about the quality of our water and clouds. In general, Sundog Software has diversified from being mostly a simulation and training company to one that has gained acceptance in the game development world as well.
- We launched our first consumer product, SkyMaxx Pro for the X-Plane 10 flight simulator, in partnership with Maxx-XP. It has proven amazingly popular with X-Plane users and has quickly become a significant source of revenue for Sundog Software.
- We expanded into new engines and platforms, including Unity on MacOS, Torque 3D, and iOS.
We look forward to what 2014 brings!
Every year, we spot our SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK and our Triton Ocean SDK in new products – and we’ve had several sightings of our customers showing them off at the I/ITSEC conference in Orlando this week! Below are some photos we snapped (all with permission) of some customer products featuring our technology at the show.
We are delighted to announce the release of our first consumer product – SkyMaxx Pro, an add-on for the popular X-Plane 10 flight simulator! Developed in conjuction with Maxx-XP, SkyMaxx Pro replaces X-Plane’s built-in clouds with SilverLining’s 3D cumulus congestus, stratus, cumulonimbus, cirrus, and stratocumulus cloud layers. The result is more detailed, more realistic clouds you can fly through, with lightning, crepuscular rays, and a more sophisticated cloud lighting model. A video says a million words:
Initial sales have been brisk, and we’re quite proud of the results! If you’re a user of X-Plane 10, give your X-Plane clouds a boost with SkyMaxx Pro. It works with X-Plane’s weather system, and is compatible with popular weather add-ons. SkyMaxx Pro is sold exclusively by X-Aviation.
SkyMaxx Pro is intended for non-commercial use. If you’re looking to integrate SilverLining into a commercial X-Plane training application, please contact us for licensing information.
New versions of the SilverLining Sky, Cloud, and Weather SDK and the Triton Ocean SDK are now available from our download page, both including support for the newly-released Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 compiler. You’ll find Visual Studio 2013 C++ libraries in the lib/vc12 directory of each SDK, for 32 and 64 bit targets for each runtime library. They should work fine with the free Express Edition as well as the paid, professional versions of Visual Studio 2013.
Our SDK’s continue to include pre-built libraries for every version of Visual Studio going back to .NET 2003, and in the case of SilverLining even as far back as Visual C++ 6.0. And, of course, we continue to support MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux developers through our separate packages for those platforms.
Everything should work seamlessly for customers evaluating our SDK’s or using our pre-compiled libraries and DLL’s. Licensed customers building from source should note that there are some tricks involved in getting CUDA 4.2 programs to build under Visual Studio 2013. Contact email@example.com for details if you need to rebuild the Triton CUDA DLL for any reason.
We’re proud to support this latest version of Visual Studio within a week of its release, continuing our commitment to keep adapting SilverLining and Triton to new development environments as they emerge.