The snow effect is fantastic in the sim! However, there is a lack for its customization by 3rd party developers. The first and foremost issue is that the snow cover intensity’s visual representation depends on overall brightness of the underlying terrain. If the textures below the snow are dark enough (such as asphalt runways), the effect is brilliant. However, if the surface is light in color, then the whole surface gets covered by snow layer including the markings which looks very unrealistic especially when we are talking about airports where they get rid of snow as soon as they possibly can. I suggest to use the metal channel of the texture for snow intensity indication. This channel is not used for the ground materials anyway and it would efficiently solve the problem of winter’s visual representation in the simulator.
Or greyscale “snow-coverage texture” could be interesting, both for 3d objects and aerial textures…
Where brightness value is used as threshold for what should be covered in snow. “Everything brighter than X will get snow”. Could give some interesting possibilites with wheel-tracks exposing asphalt and plowed snow in the edges of aprons / rwy / twy / roads.
(I’ve sometimes used metal-channel for standing water puddles in ground materials, therefore proposing leaving the metal alone )
Did that make any effect on the result? Because my observation is that metal in the projected meshes and in the apron materials with the diferrent type of the comp texture just gets omitted
I haven’t tried converting those to MSFS yet, this goes for other sims and PBR workflow in software like Substance Designer/Painter & Blender.
I had no idea this wouldn’t work in MSFS.
Whichever method, you’re absolutely right in just using underlying ground brightness will limit an otherwise awesome snow effect, so being able to have more control over this would give 3p-devs the ability for groundbraking results. Coming from a snowy part of the world, I’d love to see more of this.
Yup, it wouldn’t. It would work only in case you make a separate 3d object (a puddle) and export it into the sim as a 3d scenery object. That could be done for smaller ground details, but not for large ones due to earth irregularity and your mesh diving into the ground/Z-fighting. For truly ground materials such as projected mesh and aprons/runways metal channel is not taken into account at all and is effectively wasted. I hope they will take a look at this at some time, pity that SDK stuff both in bugs and wishlist sections does not get any significant number of votes and attention.
Got pointed to this thread by FSimStudios since I asked them why their otherwise superb airport looks pretty weird when covered in snow.
Really hope that Asobo figures this out even if this thread doesn’t gain many votes.
Here are some screenshots how it looks like - darker tarmac textures are standing out while the rest is covered by the white layer:
Here’s another one you guys might want to vote for. Definitely agree that it would be great if developers could tweak things for their needs.
For default scenery, it would be nice to see this:
Yeah, voted months ago, but there’s just too many more critical issues right now.
I feel like Asobo rushed the snow feature in December to satisfy the major customer base in NA and EU and now will not focus on that since most of the regions get less and less snow these days.
Masking dark areas from snow just seems to me like a bad hack to not cover the tire marks on runways…
There could be some settings for this in the airport editor/SDK so that each airport has it’s own settings with seperate options for Runway, Taxiway and Apron/Ramp snow clearances e.g. Something like this:
- No clearance (as it is now, and is correct for unmaintained small aerodromes/strips)
- Light clearance (less snow thickness/opacity(darker tarmac is visible through the snow, but only slightly) like for small aerodromes that are only occasionally plowed)
- Moderate clearance/streaky effect (like a large airport where it is plowed often but it often snows heavily)
- Good clearance (like at a large international airport where it doesn’t often snow heavily)
That way it could be set to mimic how that specific airport is cleared of snow in real life!
Discovered this SDK request, after posting in this other one: