We are stoked to announce the release of SilverLining 4.0!
SilverLining 3 brought you much-improved cumulus clouds, and in SilverLining 4 we’ve turned our attention to vastly improving our stratus cloud layers. No longer are stratus clouds just flat planes with fog sandwiched in between them – they are now fully 3D, featuring a simulation of atmospheric scattering never before seen in real-time. Check out these features of our new stratiform clouds:
- Simulation of first-order, second-order, and multiple scattering
- Real simulation of Mie scattering down to 0.1 degree resolution
- Fogbows, glories, and anti-solar points that just fall out of the math naturally
- Scattered or solid stratus cloud layers with adjustable scud range
- Ambient occlusion on cloud tops
- Silver linings on backlit clouds
- Fast performance
- Curved-Earth and geocentric/ECEF coordinate system support
- Infinite and localized areas of clouds
- Variable cloud coverage
One of my favorite things is how optical effects like fogbows just happen naturally as a result of the math, as seen in this screenshot. Every part of these clouds are driven by a real physical simulation, from the convective noise that forms the basis of the cloud shapes, to every nuance of their lighting. A thin, 400 meter thick stratus cloud will look very different from a 1000 meter stratus cloud for example – just as it would in real life. (The thinner one will look more visually interesting, by the way – 400 meters is actually a good choice for best results.)
You can also create stratiform clouds that aren’t solid, as seen here. This can create a lot more depth and visual interest to the cloud, although we recommend using high coverage values like 80-90% with stratus clouds. While you can go lower, you’ll get a better representation of lower cloud coverage with SilverLining’s existing cumulus congestus clouds – especially the high-resolution version of them.
Even though this is a major version bump, SilverLining 4’s API is unchanged. So, updating is a cinch. Your stratus clouds will just start looking a lot better. They’re still fast too – we get hundreds of frames per second, even when drawing a 200km-wide stratus cloud layer.
We’re very excited by the visual quality and performance of these new clouds in SilverLining 4.0. As always, we’ll continue to iterate on them given your feedback as well. SilverLining 4 is available now from our SDK evaluation page, and licensed users have access to its source code as well.