Updates to SilverLining and Triton have been a bit infrequent lately, but that doesn’t mean we’re just resting on our laurels here at Sundog Software. We’re hard at work pushing both products forward, and making sure you get the most out of your support and maintenance plans. We’ve also got some other exciting projects going on. Here’s an overview of what we’re up to:
Thread-safe oceans. The big project going on with Triton is making it 100% thread-safe. We’ve already rolled out support for this with DirectX11, which we wrote about earlier. This is now being exposed to OpenGL as well. This is an important capability for customers who need to render multiple views concurrently.
OpenGL 4.5 support. Another reason we’re making Triton thread-safe is so it can be called within the “command buffers” used in OpenGL 4.5. We’re also making Triton bindless, with the ultimate goal of providing Vulkan support. We think the incremental path from OpenGL 3.2 to OpenGL 4.5 to Vulkan makes sense – NVidia even thinks it’s a good idea, and it will offer better performance to our customers who are sticking with OpenGL. Once we’ve got this working in Triton, our plan is to turn our attention to SilverLining.
Better storm clouds. Coming soon is a whole new suite of cumulonimbus and towering cumulus cloud models in SilverLining. This will result in more variety in stormy conditions, with more realistic cloud shapes. These new storm clouds will also make use of texture atlases to make them more visually interesting and realistic. We’re also planning to release our internal cloud editor application, so you can create your own cloud shapes if you want to. Note this only applies to storm clouds – SilverLining’s cumulus clouds will remain procedurally generated to ensure every cloud has some randomness in their shapes, as they do in nature.
Better ship wakes. We’ve already rolled out improvements to the “Kelvin wakes” in Triton, and right now our attention is on the prop wash effect. After that, we’ll move on to improving the spray particle effects.
SkyMaxx Pro 4.5. A big update to our SkyMaxx Pro add-on for the X-Plane flight simulator is currently in its second round of beta testing. This update integrates SilverLining’s procedural sky box into X-Plane, improves performance, and offers improved cloud shapes, textures, and blending. SkyMaxx Pro 4.5 will be offered free of charge to existing customers of SkyMaxx Pro 4. This project has also produced some improvements to SilverLining itself that we are also rolling out.
Online courses. Sundog Software has also seen considerable success with online courses in the fields of data science, machine learning, and big data. We’ve just wrapped up delivery on a contract with O’Reilly Media and our first courses under this contract are available now on Safari Online (they’re marketed under my name, Frank Kane.) We also launched a new comprehensive course on Hadoop at Udemy that is doing really well so far – over 4,000 students have enrolled already, who have rated it an average of 4.6 stars out of 5!
So, we’re busier than ever here, and it’s producing very strong growth for Sundog Software LLC overall. We’re planning to keep innovating on your behalf for many years to come.