AS16+ASCA Pics: I’m (Pleasantly) Surprised

There’s been a lot of discussion in the sim forums about the new HiFi products, ActiveSky16 and Active Sky Cloud Art, and I noted this commentary earlier. Today I put commentary aside, though, and took some time to fly through convective real-time weather near KMSP and shoot screen shots along the way. (Given the need to have power and altitude, the F-22 was the ride of choice).

Primarily I took multiple screen shots of the same scene with a variety of settings, from 100% AS16+ASCA, to AS16+ASCA sky textures and cloud structures + REX cloud textures, to AS16+just REX. I will post those comparisons later. But overall, I was REALLY impressed with with AS16+ASCA can do. Yes, I thought some of the cloud textures looked cartoonish. But the cloud structures are remarkable, and were nearly unbelievable to fly through in a desktop simulator – especially considering that I had absolutely zero negative performance compared to Active Sky Next. I mean, look at these shots, all of which are unedited …




Those were both with High Dynamic Range OFF. In some of the tests I felt that the clouds were blown out and overexposed. When I realized HDR was off and turned it on, the image changed to this, which look great for bad weather …



And then I got these …






This was out the right-hand window …



And some more …







These shots are all with a particular ASCA theme, “Armageddon,” which is meant to represent turbulent, convective weather. One of the selling points is that AS16+ASCA will update cloud textures on the fly, and one would hope then with a METAR like the one at KMSP it will pull textures like these. It did not in this instance, picking a different set of textures that did not look as good (at least, not originally and not with HDR off). But if it does pick solid textures more often than not, it’s going to be a remarkable product to use.

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