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- Article number: AS14679
- Manufact./Publisher: HiFi Technologies
- Language: English
- Current version: Build 7884
Active Sky Cloud Art (ASCA) is a new kind of graphics add-on for Flight Simulator X and Prepar3D that incorporates brand new technologies and content types to transform your skies and significantly increase realism, variation and dynamics.
The technology behind ASCA includes optional tight integration with Active Sky 2016, ASP4 and ASP3D (in non-EA mode) to enable features such as Real-Time Texture Dynamics, which allow you to manually change or have your textures automatically changed multiple times throughout a flight without the need to shut-down and restart your simulator! The variation experienced throughout a flight with AS16/ASP4/ASP3D + ASCA is unprecedented, especially when flying through areas of varying weather conditions and severity. In addition, in ASCA’s Full Dynamics theme, simultaneous variation of up to 8 different texture sets (128 cloud textures total) are provided including simultaneous texture resolution to provide increased performance for certain cloud types that don’t require high resolution (such as overcast layers).
ASCA’s graphical content includes replacements/enhancements for everything above the horizon: Cirrus clouds, Cumulus clouds, Stratus clouds, Thunderstorm clouds, Sky colors and Lighting. But in addition to the graphical textures, ASCA also includes something very different: Brand New 3D Cloud Structures, which replace and/or enhance nearly every aspect of the cloud scene within the simulator! Thunderstorms are bigger, overcast is more full, light “few” humilis-type clouds are more visually appealing, and all cloud scenes are specifically tuned to match the ASCA texture content and provide maximum realism.
A primary design focus for ASCA was performance. From solid overcast, to towering cumulonimbus, everything was designed for the best visuals with minimal performance sacrifice. Careful 3D modeling of cloud structures and textures enables this, while creating realistic and unique variants of the real-world cloud types including stratus, nimbostratus, altocumulus, altostratus, cumulus humilis, cumulus mediocris, cumulus congestus, towering cumulus, stratocumulus, cirrostratus, cirrocumulus, cumulonimbus incus, cumulonimbus calvus and more.
SP3 brings P3D v5 and ASP3D integration in non-EA mode. Also included is SP1 and SP2 which brings brand new softer cloud textures, a new cirrus set, revamped original cloud and sky textures, new natural sky color sets, new integration and API capability, improved overall resolution, improved overcast depiction, new geographic wx-influence profiles, and several new UI features including new options, plus more!
ASCA works with FSX, FSX:SE and P3D v3.2+ with a single license. Upon purchase and download, you’ll be offered a base download and an optional HD resolution pack download. Without the HD resolution pack, your cirrus/cloud resolution settings are limited to 2048×2048. With the HD resolution pack, 4096×4096 resolution becomes available.
FULL INTEGRATION WITH AS16/ASP4/ASP3D
- ASCA has several game-changing features and fully integrates with AS16, ASP4 or ASP3D (non-EA mode) for the ultimate in weather + visuals
- ASCA can work with any weather engine (or default weather) but is designed for tight AS16/ASP4/ASP3D integration – Dynamic texture loading requires AS16/ASP4/ASP3D (non-EA mode)
NEW CLOUD TEXTURES, CIRRUS CLOUDS, AND SKY COLORS
You asked, we listened! In addition now ASCA SP1 includes additional newly improved overcast models, 6 new soft-style cloud texture sets, 7 new hyper-natural sky color sets with improved high-altitude saturation, vibrance and brightness graduation, a new cirrus cloud set, reworked and improved original cloud sets and sky color textures, remapping of all associations and definitions, new UI-based weather influenced configuration, and a new Art Tools API are just a few things that have been added in ASCA SP1. Improved overall resolution, better dynamics, new geographic selection influence, and more user options are also included.
You can now create your own custom content and make it ASCA and AS16/ASP4 compatible with full dynamics capability, with just a few clicks of the mouse – enjoying full weather and geographic profile selection influence. Currently, Sky Color textures are supported, and more categories are planned to be added soon.
We hope you’ll agree that ASCA SP1 is a major step forward in the ongoing effort to provide the most realistic and dynamic weather visual experience possible.
REAL-TIME DYNAMIC TEXTURE LOADING
No need to shut down the sim: Clouds and sky can change instantly (user-initiated) or smoothly (automatic) and fully weather-influenced as desired in real-time for the ultimate in variation and realism (requires AS16/ASP4/ASP3D).
NEW 3D CLOUD STRUCTURES
A large assortment of new cloud models for all varieties and types of clouds are included!
SET IT AND FORGET IT
Choose a dynamic theme, activate it, and let AS16/ASP4/ASP3D + ASCA do the rest.
ADJUSTABLE FULL DYNAMICS OVERCAST RESOLUTION SETTING
You can now customize overcast to the resolution of your choosing.
ART TOOLS API
One of our newest additions to features is our Art Tools API which allows users to create and share their own ASCA/AS16/ASP4/ASP3D content – Currently enabled for Sky Textures only.
WX INFLUENCE CONFIGURATION!
Get only the looks you want! The new Wx Influence Configuration utility (available via the Settings Screen) allows user to adjust Wx selection profiles and geographic profiles for all content.
HOW IT WORKS
While ASCA and AS16/ASP4/ASP3D work great together, they are also fully compatible (either alone or together) with any other graphics add-on and weather add-on. You have full flexibility to mix and match any aspect and selectable feature set within these add-ons.
Requires an online internet connection for normal usage. Online activation is mandatory!
- Microsoft Flight Simulator X (with SP2 or Acceleration), FSX: Steam Edition or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D V3/V4/V5 (non-EA mode)*
- ASCA works with both FSX and P3D platforms on a single license
- Windows Vista or later (64-bit recommended)
- 2 GHz processor or better (3.0 GHz recommended)
- 2 GB RAM or better (4 GB recommended)
- 1 GB available hard drive space for standard resolution content
- 2 GB available hard drive space for optional HD resolution content (5 GB recommended)
- Broadband high-speed internet connection recommended
- Minimum monitor resolution to access all user interface features: 1280×800 (1440×900 or better resolution recommended)
Requires an online internet connection for normal usage. Online activation is mandatory!
*Notice: ASCA content is NOT compatible with Prepar3D v5’s EA mode (Enhanced Atmospherics) and will not be visible when this mode is enabled, as visuals will be replaced by trueSKY clouds and skies. ASCA content for P3Dv5 is limited to non-EA mode only, where it will operate normally as expected in the traditional “FSX-style” cloud representation.
License is valid for one computer/installation only. Moving software to another computer will deactivate the previous computer. 10 automatic reactivations are permitted. Multiple-computer installations will require an individual ASCA license for each computer that it is installed on.
- Updated documentation, revision log and readme regarding new P3D 5.2 HF1 EA Mode considerations and ASCA compatibility
SP3 | Build 7471:
- Added compatibility with ASP3D and P3Dv5. Must use the ADD ON FOLDER path for ASP3D (i.e. [documents]\Prepar3D v5 add-on files\ActiveSkyP5 and not the actual sim folder when using ASP3D. If using ASCA stand-alone without ASP3D or with a previous version of ActiveSky, you may select the simulation install folder itself.
- Updated auto simulator/path name handling when ASP3D client overrides path (a normal behavior when ASP3D is running) - previously the path name text prefix was shown, now it should properly show "ASP3D+P3Dv4" or "ASP3D+P3Dv5" accordingly.
- Updated theme definition text in Global Automatic and Full Dynamics so that AS16/ASP4/ASP3D required is shown instead of AS16 required
-  Adjusted handling of texture files in attempt to avoid interference by other add-ons
-  Changed handling for restoral and category de-selection in options screen, when using ASP3D, for proper deactivation of ASCA content using the P3D add-on folder specification
-  Updated documentation for ASP3D use
-  Fixed problem with structures re-enabling properly in some potential uses of options screen structure checkbox enabling
-  Added compulsory warning/notice about restarting the full session if cloud structions option is changed (to prevent depiction/cache error/cld not found errors if user changes this during a session)