1CGS reveals upcoming cloud, graphics changes

Though we’re firmly in November now, the surprises from 1CGS continue and they do not disappoint. This week builds on the changes that we’ve been seeing for the last few weeks and they change some key elements to the way that this sim looks.

New sky and cloud rendering

In the last few weeks we’ve learned about the increased rendering distance that the graphics team has been working on. Now we’re seeing further improvements to how the clouds are being rendered – necessitated by the increased draw distance. But 1CGS isn’t a team that just does the bare minimum and they have added another feature.

Clouds can now appear in two layers!

1cgs-dual-layer-clouds.jpg

I’ve said it before but I really appreciate when the weather influences how you fly. Things like rain, wind and poor visibility are all part of it but so are clouds. They are an important element to a flight sim title as they form a kind of terrain in the sky that can change tactics.

On days where thick clouds appear at multiple layers, high flying fighters may not spot mid level ground attackers flying between layers. This forces them down lower in altitude and it changes the tactics employed.

We’re also seeing some new variations on how the clouds are rendered. Rendering them with little variation is more easily noticed when the draw distance extends outwards – so now the look has to change and what we see is an even more convincing effect.

1cgs-boston-dusk-clouds.jpg

It doesn’t look like we’ll see large towering cumulus clouds I’d normally associate with a convective system but its still a big improvement to the way that weather rendering is done in the title. According to the update, clouds are now rendered three times further than before.

1cgs-yak7-undertheclouds.jpg

Underneath the weather you also see quite a bit further than before thanks to the improved render distance. More realism, a better feeling of flight, and that sense of awe that you get when you just fly around are all improved by this not to mention tactics that may be affected by this in single and multiplayer.

New metal rendering

mc202-metal1.jpg

I already thought that metal rendering was pretty decent in IL-2. I feel that DCS has definitely one-upped virtually everyone else with their new physics based light rendering system (even better than War Thunder in my humble opinion). 1CGS hasn’t gone all the way on that kind of feature just yet but we’re going at least part of the way there with some enhanced rendering features.

This kind of rendering is subtle yet important, especially if they intend to do aircraft with bare metal finishes. And that has me thinking. Might we be seeing some bare metal Mustangs and Thunderbolts before too long? In the meantime it still has an effect on aircraft like the MC.202, A-20 and P-40.

Jason dropped a whole bunch of extra images of the MC.202 featuring a bare metal finish so you can see the full extent of the effect but you should check out the Developer Update for the side by side comparison images to see how this changes things up.

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