Best P3d Weather Engine

Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby golfpilot » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:55 pm

I have Opus so I can get live weather, but it just isn't that great.
I have all my settings for the most dense clouds etc but I am seeing the runways far before the local metar is reporting. Clouds are always slightly scattered.

Does anybody have a suggestion for a good weather engine?
Andrew Roberts
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby MervA » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:36 pm

After a long period of time I ended up giving OpusFSX the boot, due to ongoing issues, and went back to Active Sky Next, my preference at the moment.

Merv
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby Donovan » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:26 pm

One thing that puzzles me:
Clouds are always slightly scattered


SOMETHING is not right here, and because I am on FSX and not P3D, I'm not genned-in on the operational differences between P3D and FSX, but it doesn't just ring true that its Opus per se.
What are you using for the weather textures? Can you manually set other weather? Do you have weather settings in FSUIPC (if you use FSUIPC) that may be conflicting with Opus Weather? If you haven't already, open Opus and double check the Configure page, the folder locations for P3D are correct, then close Opus, run P3D and then run OpusFSX. If you've changed the default P3D folder location then you must restart the FSXSERVER program. Stated in the Opus guide "If you fail to do this correctly you will be unable to select and activate any dynamic weather or weather themes." Also, double check the the Weather button on the main Opus screen and select by checkmark Dynamic Live Weather - enable by checkmark the Adjust Options Automatically and set your Destination and Max Cruise Altitude if known, no need to set anything else unless you wish to tweak the settings. (else you will have a static weather theme)

Have you tried posing in one of the Opus Support Forums:
SimForums http://www.simforums.com/forums/opus-so ... rum49.html or
VATSIM http://forum.avsim.net/forum/577-the-opusfsx-forum/

I've used Opus FSX / FSI for about 8 months as my weather engine and REX-4 Texture Direct for the cloud textures, and have found the weather depictions to be amazingly accurate and in alignment with both the METARS, and what I see out my own window. (I can look out my back window and see the KCMA airfield beacon a couple of miles from here). For example, METARs for my flight into KSMO yesterday reported visibility at 4sm in haze/mist and that is exactly what I got from Opus when approaching KSMO.

Last night , (after PE hours) flying into KSMF (NorCal) had Metars reporting overcast down to 600' agl, and that is exactly what I found, sweating it out as I descended towards decision altitude, and broke through to land just as reported. I couldn't be happier with Opus (of course the caveat is that ANY simulator rendition has its limitations -- it is a simulator) :D

I have not tried Active Sky Next, but I did find Opus FSX much better at real-time weather simulation than Active Sky Evolution which I used for over a year. Similar to Merv's opinion, I've heard very good things about ASN. I have had great experience (your mileage may vary) with Opus, so I've no reason to change to ASN at this point. I'm sure there are other pilots here that use P3D that are knowledgeable about Opus. If you'd like, I'd be happy to send you screen shots of each of the menus I've set up for FSX.

Best of Luck
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby hoser70 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:20 am

ASN all the way!
Thanks,
Lance

NDB Air
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby wmburns » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:58 am

My experience with default FSX weather was that it was rarely close to real world. In an attempt to resolve, I added REX to my FSX setup. I really liked the results weather wise. IMO a night and day improvement over default FSX weather.

However, where as before my FSX system had been ROCK solid, it would "hang" and loop from time to time. It didn't happen all the time but on a long flight it could be a real "hair puller". Which especially hurt when I was used to a very stable FSX set up.

The REX support wasn't much help. I followed all of their recommendations except disabling UAC. At that point I figured if the product couldn't play nice with the Windows7 UAC, then it wasn't really ready for production.

I still have REX installed but rarely use FSX anymore since converting to X-Plane (yes I know that you don't want a review of X-Plane weather but it's very usable :) ).

Here's the thing that I think is odd. The list price of REX is greater than the price of FSX! In my case I bought REX on sale but.......

Bottom line. I can't give a glowing positive recommendation to REX other than to say it's better than FSX default and I didn't pay full price for it. YMMV
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby golfpilot » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:51 pm

Thank you for the replies. I had my P3d on a 60GB SSD portion and it was giving my all sorts of problems especially since it was full, just wiped it clean and am putting it on its own new 120GB. I am going to give Donavan's strategy a try. Opus with Rex-4 Textures. I'll let ya'll know how it goes
Andrew Roberts
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Walnut Creek, CA
PE callsign: N56PA
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby golfpilot » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:52 pm

I am going to sound like a total idiot, but I didn't know about the "Themes"
My previous install I only installed REX mid level cloud textures and thats it.
Just an entire theme and WOW that made a difference.
Andrew Roberts
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Walnut Creek, CA
PE callsign: N56PA
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby Donovan » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:52 pm

:D :!:
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby Mark Hargrove » Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:20 am

The best weather engine is not exactly the same as the best weather textures. I was quite confused about this a couple of years ago when I got interested in having a better weather simulation. The weather 'engine' is responsible for pulling down current weather data for a given set of locations (around your airplane), and then turning this data into a bunch of values that represent the weather state/conditions around your plane. This, all by itself, is extremely complicated.

From this state data, the P3D (or FSX) rendering engine populates the world (out to the limits you set for the cloud draw distance) with clouds based on the type of clouds specified in the state data, and whatever set of cloud textures you have installed -- and the stock cloud textures for both FSX and P3D are pretty lame.

Simplified a little bit, the accuracy of the weather conditions you're flying in depends upon the weather engine; the vlsual quality of what you see out the window depends upon your cloud textures and your P3D/FSX settings for weather (Settings/Options/Display/Weather). With P3D, I recommend you try setting your "cloud draw distance" to about 80 miles, "cloud density" to maximum (or one step below that), and make sure you have 'complex clouds' checked.

Now that said, when you ask what the best "weather engine" is, it's a toss up between OpusFSI and ASN -- both are excellent. I don't think you can go wrong with either one for a non-networked simulator. If you have a networked simulator (ie., with multiple PCs driving multiple displays) then your only option is OpusFSI (well, assuming you want the weather to be replicated on all of your displays).

Separately, though, you need good weather textures. REX 4 Texture Direct provides a whole bunch of beautiful textures -- not just for clouds, but also for grass, runways, aprons, etc. Their newest add-on REX Soft Clouds provides cloud textures only (and they're gorgeous).

Does this help?

-M.
Mark Hargrove
Longmont, CO
PE: N757SL (Cessna 182T 'Skylane'), N757SM (Cessna 337 'Skymaster'), N757BD (Beech Duke Turbine)
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Re: Best P3d Weather Engine

Postby golfpilot » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:18 pm

that is helpful in helping me understand better. I have Opsus FSI and REX Textures and I set my draw distance for the furthest the settings will let me (still getting very playable fps). It looks great!
Andrew Roberts
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Walnut Creek, CA
PE callsign: N56PA
golfpilot
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:39 pm
Location: Walnut Creek, CA


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