A new developer diary released today for 1CGS’ IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles series details some significant changes to the technology that the team is using for their sky technology. It has the potential to change the look of the sim in a big way. Let’s have a look!
One of IL-2’s problems with its current sky implementation was most visible in the early morning or late evening with the sky low on the horizon. Banding would appear and the contrast of the sky to the surrounding scenery just didn’t quite look right. Other sims have solved this problem by using a physics based calculation for light that changed the look of the sky and the IL-2 team is working to implement their own version of that technology.
Jason Williams, the Executive Producer for the series, had this to say in the update today:
The new sky is meant to simulate the sky on a round globe and we have adapted it to our engine. The results are pretty nice. The end result should be no banding, including the glow around the moon. This should give you a more realistic picture. Our new sky also allows us to change how we do dust and haze in the atmosphere which we will look at in the not too-distant future as well.Jason Williams
So, this is not only a step forward for the sim in terms of its sky visuals but it also unlocks the potential for some updates on how the sim handles dust and haze in the atmosphere. Other sims have really been able to boost their visual appeal with low light imagery and impressive dust and haze rendering and so seeing IL-2 catch them up will be great to see.
The new technology will bump IL-2’s minimum requirements as it will need slightly more video RAM to achieve. The bump appears to be going from 1GB of VRAM up to 2GB. Given most other sims have long been asking for 2GB of VRAM already, this seems like a reasonable update. If the GPU poll that Jason is currently running is any indication, the vast majority have much more than that.
Now, feast your eyes on just some of the screenshots released today.
Check out the full update and more screenshots here!