1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Time To Ditch The 2d ‘ms Paint Looking’ Clouds?

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by londonmidland, Dec 2, 2020.

?
  1. Yes

    59 vote(s)
    89.4%
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
    10.6%
  1. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    As the title suggests, is it time we’re due a new cloud system?

    On the newer TSW 2 routes, we have a lovely ‘wavy’ like cloud effect when selecting clear weather. This type of cloud is called cirrus cloud. An example of this can be seen below:
    upload_2020-12-2_17-55-33.jpeg


    However as soon as we select cloud, or want to play on a preserved content route, we get this very ugly and flat looking ‘Microsoft Paint’ cloud. Nicknamed MS Paint cloud because of how flat and basic it looks. See below:
    upload_2020-12-2_17-54-27.jpeg


    Would it be such a bad idea to ditch the older cloud system and expand on the newer TSW 2 cloud system, to add more cloud types and/or layers? As soon as you select cloud, the beauty of the TSW 2 cloud system soon gets spoilt and covered up by the ugly looking, older TSW 1 cloud system.
     
    • Like Like x 14
  2. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    I was under the impression that the preserved collection still carried the original skies and I agree, they’re awful by comparison.

    I remain hopeful that switching them out for the TSW2 skies is an easy win for the preserved team and will be one of the first things they do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    • Like Like x 2
  3. JGRudnick

    JGRudnick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2019
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,790
    Although it isn't on the top of my list, It would be nice to see more realistic clouds.
     
  4. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    They still carry the same, awful clouds that they've had in TSW 1. TSW 2 hasn't changed anything in this regard. New clouds are for new TSW 2 routes ONLY.

    However this only applies for clear weather. If you select cloudy weather, even on a newer TSW 2 route, you still get the same old, flat looking TSW 1 clouds.

    DTG still haven't added all the cloud layers, which is why we don't have better looking clouds in TSW 2. Although a mix of new and old cloud layers and it'll look a right mess. This is why I suggest they ditch the old TSW 1 clouds altogether and start again.

    "You can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter…" In this case, this is what's happening with TSW 2's clouds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    837
    While the newer cloud system is not fantastic, it would be disingenuous to call it the same. The TSW2 cloud system is two layers vs just one from the previous game iteration, and sunlight interacts with the clouds more realistically, shining through them and changing colours. That said, they still look very flat and clouds are one of the most important visual tricks to make a game look good in my opinion, because you are always looking at them. The photoshop team did a very nice job with the MP36PH-3C promotional image:
    [​IMG]

    But then of course you load into the game and the clouds actually look like:
    [​IMG]

    Hugely misleading and disappointing in my opinion. I am a sucker for good clouds, but I tend to leave the cloudiness as clear as possible. However there are a few exceptions where the TSW2 cloud system look decent.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    • Like Like x 6
  6. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    Rule one. Never believe what you see in promotional images :D
     
    • Like Like x 4
  7. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    837
    Of course. At least it tells me that the art team knows what clouds are supposed to look like. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. skyMutt

    skyMutt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2019
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    475
    What baffles me is that they introduced these new high-altitude cirrus clouds in TSW2, but left the usual normal clouds almost untouched since the last game. Frankly, the cirrus clouds look great...actually, I'm quite happy with them. But if I'm loading up a session, I either pick any of the clear presets, or set the clouds to overcast. No in-between.
    The scattered and broken cloud patterns in TSW...leaves a lot to be desired.
    [​IMG]
    I've studied a bit of meteorology a while back, and I can easily tell you that clouds definitely do not form that way :D

    The issue is that there's no depth to them. No fluffiness. The colors feel off too, and it doesn't seem like it reflects any ambient lighting. Oh, and why does it look like the clouds curve inward, like a concave shape? Its as though it wraps around a world that's only a fraction of the size of earth!

    Weather in TSW could use a nice makeover. Give clouds some more volume, more depth. Volumetric lighting would make for a nice touch too! Little additions like these would go a long way.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  9. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    I’ve not used the new routes outside of journey mode yet so hadn’t noticed this issue.

    That really is pretty poor & yet another thing to add to the list.

    Also, genuine question, who the hell has voted ‘no’ to this poll?!! Really?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    In this day and age, and especially with UE4, I’m surprised volumetric lighting hasn’t been used. Everywhere looks the ‘same’ and so flat. Particularly hilly and mountainous areas. Let’s not mention the abysmal shadow render distance...

    Though as per usual, they’ll probably blame the lack of features on performance...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    972
    Like the correct catenary on LGV artwork? :D
     
  12. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Am I not right in saying that when GWE was released it had Dynamic Lighting (which looked awesome) then they canned it for baked lighting using the performance reasoning. It’s stayed like that ever since across the whole game.

    Tell me that’s not because of consoles.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  13. LeadCatcher

    LeadCatcher Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    1,539
    Not the biggest problem to tackle at this point in time
    Could be someone who thinks this is a tempest in a teapot and that there are much larger fish to fry than worrying about the aesthetics of the clouds that are just “eye-candy”. The weather affects the operation through less adhesion on wet and icy rails, rain and fog reduce visibility of signals.

    I would guess if everything else in the simulation was spot on and perfect, then yes they should move some of their limited resources and task them with looking into making the eye-candy of the clouds better. But wouldn’t it be better to put those resources to improving the sounds, lighting and myriad of other things that most people like to discuss in these forums. I voted no because I felt this was just beyond trivial compared other items that need attention.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Personally, I think the clouds, skies and lighting are all intrinsically linked by definition.

    Many of these systems for UE4 are plug-ins. For whatever reason DTG have chosen this one (which hardly looks the cream of the crop), then chosen to limit how much of it they enable and utilise.

    Only they can tell us why.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  15. olikas.g

    olikas.g Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    50
    For me all the images other than the promotional one look bad. Though that said I am quite satisfied with how TSW looks for a train simulator. As hightower said all aspects link together. I would also add that the building assets look out of place everywhere outside of stations.
    The problem is that the different parts of the game use very different amount of detail. The more realistic the train looks we expect more realism from the world outside. When you pass through the scenery 300 km/h it doesn't matter much, but when you look at screenshots or take a more scenic approach it is very noticeable. The edge cases of the lighting makes it even worse in some cases. Take e.g. TS as an example, it looks unrealistic everywhere. It would be very difficult to mistake a screenshot from TS with a real photo of the scene. With TSW it is not the case. The trains look photorealistic, but the rest isn't. What looks good or acceptable in TS looks awful in TSW.
    E.g. take a look at Red Dead Redemption. It looks consistently good wherever you look, your brain gets used to the level of detail. What is further away is hidden by atmospheric perspective (aka fog) that is missing from most routes in TS. Those clouds in the screenshots look way-way worse because there is no fading in the distance. It would be so less noticeable even if they are not 3D. The same applies to shadow draw distance in the distance (especially during sunset/sunrise) if the contrast of those shadows were lower, again the lack of atmosphere (aka fog).

    In landscape art it is well known how to apply atmospheric perspective to convey depth. In my opinion that is the biggest thing missing from TSW. It is there in the promo image and the ECW screenshot. But with the low details in the buildings in the foreground it is nowhere enough. As things are closer we see much more detail, but the LOD is way too low for assets compared to the rolling stock.

    I guess it is very costly and difficult to achieve technically. you need very detailed 4K texture for every asset and a very optimised engine to pick the right level of detail based on distance, speed, screen-shot mode, etc. E.g. fences popping in constantly is very annoying and I could live without detailed fences when I drive pass them, but I need very detailed fences when I walk around. And one would want all the details possible for a screenshot (or when you stop with the camera) in the foreground no matter the speed. And here lies the problem, this is very difficult to specify let alone put into code.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  16. rabid

    rabid Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    120
    I can only imagine the reason the flat clouds are still used is to keep performance smooth for consoles.
     
  17. Dinosbacsi

    Dinosbacsi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2017
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    746
    There are many many games that run well on consoles that have much better skies. This is simply badly made, nothing regarding performance.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    837
    I would generally agree with the caveat that volumetric clouds definitely do impact performance. However there are many ways to significantly improve the look of TSW's clouds without designing a volumetric lighting system and that wouldn't hurt performance much, if at all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    606
    IMO, the way whole weather system looks needs a massive overhaul.
     
  20. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    A rather sneaky move but I see DTG have removed any mention of improved skies in the TSW 2 Q&A.

    Initially upon the launch of TSW 2 it was said it’d have dynamic weather, to be corrected to better looking skies and clouds. This, it seems, has now been removed and there’s no mention of it at all.
     
  21. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    No way. Really?

    To be fair, I don’t think they ever said ‘dynamic weather’. They said ‘dynamic skies’ which is the sort of spin your average estate agent would be proud of.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    • Like Like x 3
  22. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    606
    In the same way that when it was said we're never getting an editor, they removed the YouTube VOD of Matt P showing off an early version of the TSW Editor?
     
  23. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    DTG Protagonist

    As you’re the only place to go for a no BS answer, has the reference to dynamic skies been removed from the Q&A, and if so why?

    Please don’t say we’re stepping backwards into the bad old ways of doing things!
     
  24. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    Yes. When the Q&A first came out, one of TSW 2’s selling points was dynamic weather, however this was quickly corrected to better looking sky visuals. However looking at the Q&A today, I see no mention of this at all..?
     
  25. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    433
    Was gonna ask the same thing lol. The clouds are horrendous- frankly, there's no debate. As others posted, clear or fully overcast are the only viable choices.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  26. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    londonmidland Are you absolutely certain it said dynamic weather? I remember reading it the first time and seeing dynamic weather (what I wanted to see) rather than what was actually written, ‘dynamic skies’ and saying to myself RTFQ.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  27. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    ps As an aside I’d just updated my driver to the latest nvidia release and something must have happened to Steam, as the -DX12 launch option had gone and reverted back to DX11 without me realising.

    Passing Tees Yard I suddenly went from 80 odd fps in 4K Ultra with .ini settings to somewhere in the 20’s, whereas it normally sits happily at my capped 60 at that point.

    This game is an absolute DOG on DX11....why on earth would DTG not officially support DX12?!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  28. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    I’m almost certain this being mentioned in the first TSW 2 Q&A livestream, as someone asked about dynamic weather, but it was said that it was incorrectly listed and replaced with better looking sky visuals.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  29. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Fair enough. Either way, the whole thing is very disappointing. I’ve still yet to see what the point of the move to 4.23 was if nothing is going to be done to improve any aspect of the game, particularly the visuals and sound.
     
  30. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    837
    Pardon?
    upload_2020-12-3_11-59-18.png

    As for the FAQ section, you will see by checking the Wayback Machine that there was no mention of skies back in June.
    https://web.archive.org/web/2020060....com/live/train-sim-world/about-trainsimworld

    IIRC, they did not say that it was listed incorrectly but that what they had written, "dynamic skies", is not equivalent to "dynamic weather", however misleading it may sound. They never revised anything.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    • Like Like x 2
  31. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    Yes. I really don’t understand why they’ve not took advantage of the upgraded engine? This applies to both lighting, visuals and of course sounds.
     
  32. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
  33. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    837
    I suppose it sounds more fantastic than just "simulated time cycle and moving clouds". It's technically not inaccurate, but it's certainly leading on a bit.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  34. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Absolutely. ‘Spin’ in other words.
     
  35. 5alex.j.c

    5alex.j.c Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2020
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    234
    DTG Natster TrainSim-Matt
     
  36. Quentin

    Quentin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    57
    FWIW, I've just updated to 457.51 and the -DX12 option is still present. I never say 'never', but I find it hard to imagine how a driver install could change a Steam configuration.
     
  37. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    I think something happened with Steam at the same time as I had to sign back into it. It coincided with a Windows update and some Intel changes too. Whatever it was, the upshot was it reverted to DX11. And it sucked.
     
  38. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    4,371
    On a slightly unrelated note, the lack of any distant shadows makes the world look so flat and unrealistically plain. Specifically hilly and mountainous areas.

    Shadows also don’t have any varying levels of depth to them.
     
  39. DTG Natster

    DTG Natster Community Manager Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2020
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    2,489
    We are aware improved weather is something the community want to see, this is something that we would like to see improved too. When that will happen however I can't tell you. It might feel cliché by now, but as ever, if it's not on the Roadmap it's not being worked on.
     
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  40. Scorpion71

    Scorpion71 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    535
    Not wanting to go off topic here but it may run like a dog on DX11 for some but not for others. I run in DX11 with many added settings in the .ini file to make it a more pleasant experience, i.e. shadows, view/draw distance etc. However, if I try it in DX12 it becomes unplayable as the stuttering just becomes far too irritating and that's with texturestreaming (I think is the name) switched on or off. I also notice a drop in framerates on DX12.

    DTG would need to do a hell of a lot of testing on different specs and machines to move to DX12 and would take some time.

    My specs:
    I7-8700k
    Geforce 1080ti
    32 GB memory
    SSD (2 TB) - TSW2 only drive
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  41. martschuffing

    martschuffing Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2020
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    139
    Probably the "professor" he loves em.
     

Share This Page