The SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK version 5.064 was just released, and it includes some exciting performance improvements for customers using our OpenGL 3.2 renderer! Precipitation effects, including rain, sleet, snow, and mixed precipitation, now render over twice as fast as before.

We finally found a way to apply GPU instancing to our precipitation particles, and also to move culling of the particles to the rasterizer. This greatly frees up the CPU while precipitation is present in your scene; in our own benchmarks, a stormy scene with heavy rain went from 250 frames per second (FPS) to over 500 FPS.

These improvements require use of SilverLining’s OpenGL 3.2 renderer, specified by passing the OPENGL32CORE parameter into SilverLining::Atmosphere::Initialize(). Customers using the older OPENGL renderer may want to consider upgrading, in order to take advantage of this and future improvements that rely on more recent OpenGL capabilities.