Sky Seasons - WIP

Its being about 14 months since Cloudscape Seasons was released and many people liked it, but even with all the flexibility the asset provides few things were lacking:

  • truly realism on clouds shapes (even thou you could improve it yourself developing your own material)
  • performance (you can have a good cloud aspect but the performance suffers quite a lot)

Sky Seasons will instead focus on:

  • Realism (you can have convincing clouds, even if you target for a film)
  • Performance (you can have good clouds for gaming)
  • No shape customization (only presets)
  • Built-in sky states and cloud types you can assign for specific times during the day and even combine them (when feasible)
  • Drive any parameter with sequencer
  • Simplicity = less parameters = easy to use
  • max 3ms rendering at Epic settings into Full HD and 5ms at 4K

It features:

  • C++ plugin
  • Simulation for clouds using voxels (4 cores)
  • Fully Volumetric (casts shadows and you can navigate inside)
  • Ability to work with any terrain (world composition, requires 1 extra core)
  • Ability to work with spherical worlds (you can use it on planets and it adapts the viewing according to the camera position, with a voxelized semi-sphere)
  • Reflections on translucency (Screen Space or Planar)
  • Weather simulation with wind, rain, lighting, snow (requires at least 1 extra CPU core)
  • God rays

It targets:

  • PC and Consoles only.

Follow some videos I have recorded and there is some more which will release prior to the launch, but we still didn’t select them. So, be prepared:

The expected release is March/April 2019, since we are developing it together with Ocean Seasons, since both have to perform well, so stay tuned for the news!

Some more features and also running it as a packaged game in Full HD to show some performance aspects, something goods and wrongs, because WIP is like this :stuck_out_tongue:

Looks great very similar to truesky are the clouds dynamic on runtime to ?

I am working on presets for cloud types and you can mix these presets at once or interpolate them during time, all at runtime.

The focus on this product is to be easy to use and since it is a Marketplace asset, it will give access to everyone to the source code without anyone needing to pay more for this, so basically a good option for studios of all sizes. The videos show the asset tweaked for game mode, the film mode will be even more realistic, but we will release the film mode later.

Yes I have truesky only cost a cool 150 pounds, you get to use the sequencer for ten months only, then after that the plugins yours but you then have to hand script the clouds after that, I think you should keep the sequencer all the time since you have already paid a lot of money already, 150 pounds even to a small studio is a lot of money I think, however the performance was very good I had a large island map, ocean plain thousands of trees, rocks and foliage of all types with no slowdowns at all when playing on the map.

It Looks fantastic!!!
Two Questions:

  1. Will there be some Clouds Shadows?
  2. Will it be easy to integrated this C++ Content into a “normal” Blueprint-Content?
    Kind regards!

Thanks for your interest on the product!

The answers:

  1. Yes, all clouds will cast shadows at the environment, the light function is just not ready yet.
  2. It is being developed to fully support blueprint only projects, as every plugin should do. In fact, the videos above were taken from a blueprint only project.

Hello NilsonLima,
thank’s a Lot for your fast Answer!
I am very intersted into your “Sky Seasons” Content!
I hope you can do this soon on marketplace! What will be the price?
Kind regards,

We don’t have yet a price defined for it. We really would like to have it cheap for everyone, but it is being in R&D for so long and we need to be realistic. We will apply to Unreal Dev Grant and if we win we will compensate on its price making it really accessible for everyone.

As for time to market, all depends on the release date of UE 4.23 and the time to make the changes to the source code to deal with the rendering module changes that will occur.

Do you come to the marketplace soon?

Depends on several things as I have mentioned earlier, UE 4.23 is definitely one of them and we are not yet at 4.22. I would like to submit the final version for Unreal Dev Grants, and use the cash do cut the value at the marketplace by at least 50% of its possible cost (preliminar guesses around $99.99). Notice that all owners of Cloudscape Seasons will receive Sky Seasons for free for all purchases until January/2019, so it is a good value while we are not sure yet about which price we will set. It might happen that once 4.22 comes out and we can take a look on the rendering module development branch at GitHub and see if it spots an issue with the product prior its release. We don’t want negative impact on engine changes to affect the user experience since it is a plugin solution.

Our guess it March/April, but that might change for one or two months later. Hopefully not.

Any new updates on this? or expected release date?

I have been given update on this at our Discord server with some frequency, but we have put this on hold until we can get more details on the upcoming changes on the engine’s rendering module (which changed quite a lot and still will), so we have placed priority on releasing the last update on Cloudscape Seasons and increasing efforts to finish our Ocean Seasons, since there is a lot (lot more) of requests on this.

We expect to have a next update as soon we can see the changes on UE4.23 and probably it will get the development resumed where it stopped after UE 4.23 launch.

When do you publish “Sky Seasons”?
I hope soon?
Kind regards!

@halobungie If we hope for the best scenario regarding the engine changes and its impact on the project, we are projecting the release for 2020 first quarter and we will incorporate several new aspects into it, coming from Cloudscape Seasons, mostly the weather, which in Sky Seasons will be simulated and not faked, and sequencer abilities.

@NilsonLima thank you very much for your Answer!!!
Have you perhaps from the current State some new Pictures or a Video?

@halobungie Nope! Since we became aware of the amount of changes to have the asset prepared for the future engine changes we completely stopped touching it, because we didn’t want to produce things that would be wasted later. So, that video is pretty much the last state.

We wrote a documentation for some techniques we developed out of any known algorithms already extensively discussed elsewhere and we are issuing patents, therefore in case once the product is submitted to the UE4 Marketplace, it will go with that document, so we will be able to quickly dismiss any copyright infringement that might occur and also sue anyone which got access to the code without the proper licensing to replicate it at will and reselling it as his own piece of work. This will add some time to the releasing process, but ultimately will benefit us since some portion of the work will be set for FREE or for a very small fee in the basic version.

This procedure was necessary because of recent case on marketplace where assets are being copied, modified and some content added, and the work which otherwise the creator could not find a way to improve or do better, was just put to sell (again, was banned on first attempt one year and half ago) as his own work. This produced prejudice to the original creator (lost in sales).

Simply put: you can paint a “Monalisa” with a better smile, but still the concept of a painting a woman with an intriguing smile will be what is known as plagiarism, which is liable to legal sue and liable to economic compensation. Outside the realm of ideas, concrete work once copyright protected in specific ways, can even forbid specific modifications/derivative work. If one can’t understand this concept, should not submit products to the Marketplace.

Hi, do you have specific release time or preview content about this tool? There seems to be no actual version available up to now.

[USER=“745197”]Leo Rakes[/USER] Hi there! Actually we don’t have an ETA or preview content besides the videos we publish with it in early stages. We are holding the development of this asset further because we are waiting on the engine to fix and complete raytracing features necessary for the tool to work on all scenarios. Since this asset is complex in terms of pixel shader, compute shader and C++ code, we decided to wait, so we don’t waste efforts that otherwise would become huge rework depending on how the rendering module at the engine will become. We are also integrating with our Ocean shader, so the reflections at the ocean will be the best physically speaking.

We are offering the asset for free for all Cloudscape Seasons purchases up to October 2019 thou. Cloudscape Seasons is where the research started and when we conclude its development it will have features and quality very close to Sky Seasons, but Cloudscape Seasons will always be more easy to control artistically than Sky Seasons, which intent is to be a simulation of real clouds and sky.