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FEX 2.0 and some Themes I am working on

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NickN View Drop Down
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    Posted: April-20-2010 at 10:56am

 

 

and YES, these are 1024 clouds DXt, not 32bit

soft in places, hard and detailed in others without any digital blocky look even flying right through them up close.

They will create awesome fair/clear weather as well as scare-the-heck-outta-you storm overcast as well as 'sock you in' solid too

The sky is also dynamic and will create a lot of different looks based on time of day, weather, time of year..

I dont hop themes.. I make one set that changes dynamically and leave it installed. I am also working on a new water theme too

I will upload it all when I finish the set because for everything to work they way I designed them the sky, clouds and water must be used together. Most people do not realize that the sky design changes water color and how it responds visually in FSX even with the water slider on 2xLow

 

anyway, here is a small sample..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replacing the fog/haze layer using ASA/ASE after those clouds are installed is critcial for it to work right too. The one installed by FSX sucks (too hard edged) and the sky theme uses a haze horizon that blends with the ASA/ASE weather engine replacement for fog/haze perfectly

And you must remember to disable/re-enable the visibility features and click SAVE in the ASA/ASE weather engine when every you change/install cloud themes or the ASA/ASE version of the haze/fog will be overwritten by the FEX theme going in.

 

 

 

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NickN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-20-2010 at 12:10pm

 

 

Here is a large set so you can see the quality and the dynamic change..

 

You dont need 2048/4096 32bit textures which can damper performance in big hubs to get clouds that look and feel real in DXT 1024.. just learn how to design in the FEX 2.0 interface and the sky is the limit!

But, if you want the larger res clouds, FEX 2.0 has them to build from!

 

These are taken over GEX Europe in the Flight1 Mustang..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even up close, soft and smooth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a few with a time change for later in the day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phase View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Phase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-20-2010 at 6:45pm

NickN

Great news indeed.  I guess that if we set SHD Cloud themes only  in FEX, we won't actually be able see and choose your new clouds?

I use your "Nicks NaturalWonder water" which is excellent.  When you have finished your new clouds can we get details of a master theme you might recommend us to use in FSX to bring out the best in this new cloud theme? 
I realise that the theme might change according to season and what part of the world that you are flying in, but something like spring in N America might be a start?
For example. I use (SHD):  CLOUDS "Softs and Naturals", WATER "Nicks NaturalWonder", SKY "Naturalistic Bliss" and ANIMATION "Medium Atlantic" and that gives very nice results for flying in the N Hemisphere for most of the seasons. 
I'm now going to experiment using non-SHD clouds to see if I can get similar results to your post above!
Thanks again for these great clouds

Regards
PeterH

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-20-2010 at 10:25pm

 

Yes Peter

F1 is working on a patch that disables by default the So wHo needs framekilling Definition when 1024 works/looks better by default. LOL   SHD will still be there! but will simply require the user enable it instead of it being enabled by default


Also, if you are using the Nicks Natural Wonder water theme, you should also be using my custom water reflection shader edit the theme was made for

http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=31149&PID=178418#178418

that kills the ridiculous cloud reflections and makes 2xMED water nearly 2xHIGH without the hit

It also addresses shore reflections, kills the silly moon reflections making water pitch dark at night even with the moon, and makes water 10x more realistic even in 2xLow mode

The new water edits I am working on will also take full advantage of my water shader file posted.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Phase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-20-2010 at 11:02pm

Nick

Thanks. 

I'll have a look at your CWRShader and then send Steve an addition to the manual, incorporating its usefulness when designing new themes.

I look forward to seeing your water edits - great step forward! 
FEX is starting to rock!!Smile
Just tried it in Florida - looks very good.

Regards
PeterH

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Smith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-22-2010 at 1:04pm
Great looking shots Nick...
Keep the Blue Side UP! - Flight1 Sales / Customer Support
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul_m Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-24-2010 at 5:40am
Hey Nick! fantastic shots, looks natural, like real life

Ive reinstalled fsx last week, and i have FEX 2.0 installed but not installed any textures, im waiting for ths set and i dont want screw my fsx textures u know

But if your theme will take long, wich theme you recommend me to install and wait for this? im 4 days with default textures... and u know..ConfusedLOLBig%20smile

Thanks mate, keep it going!
Q9550@4.06GHZ 1.30V+Noctua NH-U12P, Asus P5Q Deluxe,OCZ Reaper 1066(950)5-5-5-15,eVGA GTX 275, WD Caviar BLACK 640GB 32mb Cache,Thermaltake Toughpower 750W, LG 32LF2510 32" 1080p,Cooler Master HAF 922
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-24-2010 at 10:08pm

 

 

OK guys you can try what I have made

I couldnt log into the FEX server for some reason so I will post it here first..

http://gex.flight1.net/Themes.zip

1. UNZIP - it will decompress to a folder named THEMES

2. Drop that folder INTO the main FEX directory and allow it to overwrite, it WONT remove anything, just add my themes

3. Open the FEX interface, install the following themes

Clouds = Naturally Dense

Water = Naturally Water

Sky = Realistic Blues

Waves = Medium Pacific (you can apply others if for like)

 Requires a min of 2xLow water slider in FSX

NOTES:

You can use the default UTX waterclass CLEAR/BLUE or if you want, uncheck it in the SCENERY LIBRARY temp if you prefer the less cloudy water look around some beaches, etc.. that will also make inland water a bit more greenish, it will work either way.. but if you use the UTX waterclass, use the CLEAR/BLUE selection

The water is BEST when used with my shader edits. If you use that file you are ready to go, if not, follow the directions carefully here;

This is my water shader file made FOR the FEX THEME listed above:

NOTE: This is for DX9 only and will do nothing in DX10

http://www.b3ta.cr3ation.co.uk/data/zip/nickswatershader.zip

Instructions:

Unzip file

Browse to: Flight Simulator X\ShadersHLSL\Terrain

Find the file named: Water20.fxh and BACK IT UP

Drop my custom Water20.fxh file into the  Flight Simulator X\ShadersHLSL\Terrain directory overwritting the original

THEN

 With HIDDEN FILES AND FOLDERS disabled in Windows..

Browse to:

Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\Nick\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX\Shaders\Terrain <----- OPEN this folder

Windows Vista:
C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\FSX\Shaders\Terrain <----- OPEN this folder

BACK UP the contents of that Terrain folder just in case (just a precaution)

Then DELETE everything in that Terrain folder

 

When you boot FSX it will rebuild the shader files in that folder

Reverse process to RESTORE original

 

Also, darker water is made by using the ENB Mod settings I posted

http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=32482

which I use all the time except for nights

After installation of the themes from FEX, if you use ASA/ASE open ASA/ASE and let it complete its boot cycle, then enter the settings for ASA/ASE and go to the VISIBILITY OPTIONS..   

If you already use the FOG and HAZE selections, UNCHECK the FOG and HAZE selections, click SAVE and then recheck them both and click SAVE. This will introduce the ASA/ASE corrected haze/fog layers and overwrite the one installed with FEX when you sent the textures to FSX

If you do NOT use those 2 items, select them both

For the MIN SURFACE VISIBILITY, set it to about 60mi

For the MAX UPPER VISIBILITY set it to about 75-80mi MAX

Click SAVE

I do not suggest using the ASA/ASE feature for wind shifts and visibility graduation or direct wind control features as this enables the GLOBAL Weather environment and reduces the dynamic changes by quite a bit.. at least that is what I have observed

The weather is far too static with that selected, instead I would enable CREATE ADDITIONAL STATIONS from the GENERAL SETTINGS page, click SAVE

Windshifts are really better controlled with FSUIPC and let ASA/ASE deal with the weather. Also, you CAN cut windshifts down using the FSX.cfg file, simply find the line:

[Weather]

TurbulenceScale=1.000000

reduce to about .6 or .75

But FSUIPC4 really does a good job of dealing with the wind shifts

 

OK, with ASA/ASE minimized, the launch FSX and give it a whirl

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-24-2010 at 11:09pm

 

 

as you can see this water with the shader file and the ENB mod changes very dynamically with the overcast/haze layer changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Phase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-25-2010 at 12:44am

Nick

Briliant!!  TongueTongue

Can I add the instructions as an Appendix to the Manual - properly attributed of course?

Thanks

PeterH

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-25-2010 at 6:35pm

 

 

Well..

I wasnt expecting this to be added to a manual, it was just a mod and some fun

Not sure if this is anything that should be 'officially' noted in a manual.. it does require some 'hacked' files to really work the way I intended.

Perhaps it could be used as an 'example' of what can be done with FEX and simply linked in the manual to this thread.

I mean, I dont care what ever you or the powers that be decide is fine with me. Manuals are typically about direct fact and direct use of a product.. this is more on the lines of 'the possibilities are endless' if you want to work with the product features

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Phase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-25-2010 at 8:04pm

Nick

Exactly - it's an example of what can be achieved using lower resolution cloud textures as opposed to the SHD textures and just gives a simmer a method of utilising ready made textures which require some moderate tweaking. The Appendices are really practical guides as to what you can achieve with FEX. 

It only runs to 2 pages but it gives a pointer to the posts here and where you might find the files and how you install the mod shader file, etc.Smile

Regards
PeterH

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-26-2010 at 2:09pm

 

 

I cant upload the themes for the interface.. the login isnt working, I emailed Steve about it

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-26-2010 at 5:10pm

 

 

THEMES PUBLISHED

 

Clouds = Naturally Dense  - NOT SHD

Water = Naturally Water

Sky = Realistic Blues

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-26-2010 at 9:30pm

 

 

 

a few I grabbed tonight..   totally awesome

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Smith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-27-2010 at 1:05pm
Wow!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bakern Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-09-2010 at 1:21am
Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

 

 

and YES, these are 1024 clouds DXt, not 32bit

soft in places, hard and detailed in others without any digital blocky look even flying right through them up close.

They will create awesome fair/clear weather as well as scare-the-heck-outta-you storm overcast as well as 'sock you in' solid too

The sky is also dynamic and will create a lot of different looks based on time of day, weather, time of year..

I dont hop themes.. I make one set that changes dynamically and leave it installed. I am also working on a new water theme too

I will upload it all when I finish the set because for everything to work they way I designed them the sky, clouds and water must be used together. Most people do not realize that the sky design changes water color and how it responds visually in FSX even with the water slider on 2xLow

 

anyway, here is a small sample..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replacing the fog/haze layer using ASA/ASE after those clouds are installed is critcial for it to work right too. The one installed by FSX sucks (too hard edged) and the sky theme uses a haze horizon that blends with the ASA/ASE weather engine replacement for fog/haze perfectly

And you must remember to disable/re-enable the visibility features and click SAVE in the ASA/ASE weather engine when every you change/install cloud themes or the ASA/ASE version of the haze/fog will be overwritten by the FEX theme going in.

 

 

 



Hi Nick.

One question on texture format, do you use DXT5 ot 32 bit for water textures ?

BRGDS
Stein-Ove
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keith276 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-10-2010 at 9:14pm
Nick,
 
Are the themes along the bottom of the FEX page the themes that are selected/being used?
 
If so, i can't get your clouds theme to work. I select your cloud theme, install the selected themes, but every time i open FEX again the cloud theme has changed to
"Extreme Blue Daze" (see screen shot below)....
 
 
Keith.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keith276 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-10-2010 at 9:26pm
I get this error log each time i open FEX. Whats going wrong here?.....
 
Flight Environment X Error Log: Created on 11/11/2010 02:21:45
Version: 2.0.0.1

Error was: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Source: Void (System.Object, System.EventArgs)
Stacktrace:

   at ?.?.(Object , EventArgs )
   at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnClick(EventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.ScrollableControl.WndProc(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.ContainerControl.WndProc(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.UserControl.WndProc(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
   at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

Keith.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sightseer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-15-2010 at 2:38pm
Keith - I could be wrong but I believe the clouds you are trying to install actually are being installed.
 
For some reason, "show only SHD clouds" is checked by default when you click on the 'clouds' tab.  If you uncheck that box and then select a 'low def' cloud (such as 'Naturally Dense'), then the next time you open FEX it will want to load 'Naturally Dense' but it wont see it becasue it defaults to only 'seeing' SHD cloud themes.
 
I created a low def cloud set and mine always defaults to 'extreme blue daze' as you have noted.  I havent checked for any error logs.
 
What happens if you select "extreme Blue Daze" from the clouds tab?  Does the error still occur?
 
Before the FEX2.0 makeover, I used to get random null pointer errors on a regular basis.  It never affected the operation of FEX.  They were just annoying.
Dave




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