The big news in the sim world yesterday was the release by HiFi SimTech of ActiveSky16 and Active Sky Cloud Art. The release met mixed reactions by the community, with some simmers thinking the weather engine (AS16) may not have been enough of an upgrade over ActiveSkyNext to be worth the cost, and others thinking ASCA cloud textures were unrealistic or unattractive.
Having seen many of the screen shots and videos online, and having downloaded AS16 yesterday, I would disagree with the former statement but be inclined to agree with the latter. The AS16 weather engine seems much more realistic that ASN, especially around convective conditions, which in the sim yesterday tossed my little Piper Cherokee around like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz. Before you could really just fly through a lot of that stuff. Not anymore.
As for the textures, I’m a big fan of REX and not eager to change. So I was excited today to see that someone (OMGEDSON over at The Sky Lounge) has found a very straightforward way to combine all three. The solution is simple: run AS16, then run ASCA,] and configure ASCA for sky textures only (or sky textures and cloud structure if you like), then run REX and install a theme LAST. Now AS16 works dynamically with the weather transitions and sky textures, but uses the REX textures in the process. I think it looks great, as you will see via the link above, and some of these shots by OGMEDSON: