• Review: Active Sky Cloud Art

    Integration With Active Sky 2016 (P3Dv4)

    However, the biggest selling point of this product is certainly its integration with Active Sky 2016. In fact, some have argued that ASCA should have been bundled together with Active Sky 2016. Active Sky is perhaps one of the best weather engines available for flight sim currently with its ability to recreate real-world weather. As both Active Sky and ASCA are from the same publisher, there are numerous advantages when combining the two products together.

    Perhaps most obviously is the ability to use the "Full Dynamics" and "Global Automatic" theme settings in ASCA. What these themes do can be easily inferred from their names: allow weather to become much more dynamic. Both of these themes allow ASCA to load more than one texture for each of the categories (Sky Color, Cirrus Appearance and Cloud Textures) as per the current weather. As a result, you may get to experience several cloud structures and textures throughout one flight, making the weather much more natural and less static. In fact, the effects of ASCA are said to be the most obvious when flying through constantly changing weather.

    Active Sky Cloud Art     Active Sky Cloud Art

    Active Sky Cloud Art     Active Sky Cloud Art

    Active Sky Cloud Art     Active Sky Cloud Art

    Active Sky Cloud Art     Active Sky Cloud Art

    Active Sky Cloud Art     Active Sky Cloud Art

    Secondly, when combining ASCA and Active Sky, weather themes can be changed on the fly. No longer are the days of restarting the simulator every time you wish to experience a new theme. When Active Sky is activated alongside ASCA, the selected theme will be used by Active Sky when injecting weather into the simulator, thus eliminating the need to restart the simulator when changing themes. I personally found this feature highly helpful as it allowed me to quickly cycle through various themes without restarting my simulator multiple times. For users, it will be much easier to experience all the available themes (or make your own!) to find something you like the best.

    Conclusion

    In the end, I feel that while a stand-alone product, Active Sky Cloud Art was really developed with the intention that it would be used alongside Active Sky, especially considering the myriad of features that depend on Active Sky to work. As a stand-alone product though, it is not highly appealing since most of the visuals it offers may not be fully utilized by default weather themes.

    Hence, if you're an existing owner of Active Sky and wish to improve your flight simulator experience, ASCA would certainly be the add-on for you.

    Active Sky Cloud Art

    Meng Yu

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    2 Comments
    1. P-3C SS-3 VP-16's Avatar
      P-3C SS-3 VP-16 -
      Kinda disappointed in it myself. Live and learn.
    1. DAVIDSTRAKA's Avatar
      DAVIDSTRAKA -
      I have AS16 with ASCA and really enjoy it very much! The real time global automatic is my choice. I go for the real time weather always when I fly. I did try REX also but there are issues with the real time weather injection. It comes down to ones own personal taste really.
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