Simul Support ExchangeCategory: CloudstrueSKY 4.3 Release
Chris_Simul Staff asked 3 years ago

TrueSKY 4.3 Release
Today marks the release date of the initial beta version of trueSKY 4.3! Get it now via the download page on our website! We are excited to see how you will use and integrate trueSKY into your project.
Here is the list of new features, addition and known issues.


10th December Update: Unreal Engine 4.24 Support has now been released alongside the Unity Versions! With 4.26 support coming in the near future!


Features that are releasing with trueSKY 4.3:


Performance –
This has been greatly improved along with the visual clarity of clouds using a new rendering method. This is enabled by default with the integration scheme set to “variable grid”.

Cloud tints –
Control the colour of the clouds without requiring changes to scattering settings or other complex values.

Aurorae –
TrueSKY will generate aurorae automatically. There are nuances to this, which are covered in the documentation, and we will have a tutorial released soon!

Water meshes –
This new system allows for much more performant bounded water with more extensive customisation.

TrueSKY 4.1a: Cloud rendering scheme –
After discussions with members of our community on what keeps them using our legacy trueSKY 4.1a version, we have decided to port the rendering scheme into trueSKY 4.3. This will allow you to generate clouds the exact same way as in trueSKY 4.1a, whilst utilising the quality of life upgrades that we have made in years since 4.1a was released.

Documentation updates –
We have worked to update our previous documentation to ensure that the information is correct, as well as ensuring any new features are released with full documentation. Additionally, we are aiming to release video tutorials covering the main topics of the documentation and new features.


Smaller features and additions:


Water colour pickers to allow for easier colour choices when selecting absorption and scattering settings.

Moon lighting updates and improvements – This allows further control and functionality in conjunction with our new moon system.

Improvements to multi layer precipitation.

Wind speed now affects precipitation.

Rotation of keyframes- This is done by holding down Ctrl and clicking with the mouse within the cloud window. And yes, this works with map textures too!

Creating and deleting keyframes and cloud layers via blueprints in UE4 for better integration into the blueprint pipeline.

Assigning map textures to cloud layers via blueprints. In addition to this, we have added referencing within the engine to remove the need for use of the external “resource” file structure.

Naming of cloud layers to help organise your sequences and know what each layer is currently doing

Water reflection improvements and additional controls.

Water can now be used without using the sky if you so wish.

On top of this, the update comes with numerous and wide ranging bug fixes and general improvements across the board. This ranges from crashes and visual artefacts to smaller issues. There are more fixes here than can be reasonably documented in this post, however as always if you encounter an issue that is not on the known issues thread, please create a new Q&A post to raise it to our attention or send in a bug report.

In addition to the large amount of features, performance improvement and fixes, the changes we have made within trueSKY 4.3 will allow us to push updates more frequently. This is to address newly raised issues and to add incremental feature updates more frequently; we have an ongoing plan to release more incremental builds and updates with greater regularly.


Unity 4.3 Beta Release Information


Unity 4.3 Beta Release Video

The Unity 4.3 Release comes with all the 4.3 changes made within the Unreal update – as outlined above in this post. Here I will outline some of the additional features and updates to systems that were brought over specifically to the Unity versions.

Packages for Unity 2019 and 2020 have been released – these also come with HDRP functionality build in so require no additional packages but a small amount of setup which will be documented.

Port of the time system from Unreal Engine, meaning by default the settings are at a 24 hour setup, however have controls for progression scale, looping and interval sizes. This has been documented in-depth in the doc and via a YouTube video for unreal engine (found here), and this information is now applicable for the Unity version!

Multi-Moon support has been brought over from Unreal too, allowing for more than one moon to be present within a scene, as well as a higher level of control using the moon array setup – This was briefly shown being setup in the Unity 4.3 Beta Announcement video – the Docs also go more in-depth on this and what each setting does.

Water has gained new features, such as mesh support and reflection distance controls.

A general reshuffle and alignment of settings as well as a slight visual overhaul – allowing for easier tracking of issues on our end, but also to help break down the divide between engines, and hopefully let tutorials be applicable across both engines as they are now in line with each other.

Note about Unity and its future – Now we have brought Unity back in line with its Unreal counterpart we intend to keep it this way as it has taken a mammoth effort from the team to get 4.3 to where it is today! Updates will hopefully be coming out at a much quicker pace for both engines. As mentioned in the Unity 4.3 Beta release, we intend to port the Blueprint system functionality from Unreal into Unity’s Bolt systems once that is released, which will most likely be the next big Unity specific change, and im excited for what this will open up to our Unity developer community.


Known issues with the trueSKY 4.3 release:


Precipitation remains once set. This is an issue with clearing our translucency texture. You can force it off by accessing the keyframe that is causing it and setting the precipitation amount to 0.1, or a similar low value, and then moving it to 1.

Cloud movement issues – We are aware of the issue with cloud movement; it is an artefact with the new interpolation system implemented with the variable grid system. If cloud movement is critical to your project, you can still use the legacy grid integration to allow for smooth cloud movement. However, future updates will work on alleviating this problem extensively and it is one of our highest priorities.


Black Pixelated Clouds when updating from 4.2a -> 4.3, This does not appear to be seen by everyone. However if you experiencing this altering your Window Grid Width or similar setting within your trueSKY actor (you can return the value to it previous value once done) should fix your scene. This issue has been found, patched and will be fixed in all future releases.

Slevin Su replied 3 years ago

Hi Chris, “Water can now be used without using the sky if you so wish.”

I just want use the water without sky,but I can’t find anything to do it,can you help me for this?

Chris_Simul Staff replied 3 years ago

Hi Slevin,
The setting can be found within the trueSKY Actor, within the “trueSKY” section (which has settings such as the active sequence, metres per unit ect). There will be an arrow at the bottom of that section which will expand to reveal advanced options. Unticking the “render sky” setting will allow water to be rendered, without having any of the sky render within the scene!

Hope this helps and of you have any further questions don’t hesitate to reach out.


3 Answers
volkan.ozdemir answered 3 years ago

Could you please confirm 3D Mesh moon feature will be removed from now on? It was available on 4.23a but it looks like 4.3 is missing it.

Chris_Simul Staff replied 3 years ago

Hi volkan,
3D Moon Mesh’s have been removed for now. They had a lot of issues and were not implemented in a way we were satisfied with, so have been disabled. The code and such still exists however, and will be revisited in the future.
Almost all the functionality of the Moon Mesh will be present using the 2d texture version, but if there’s anything you need assistance with or this has disrupted what your working on let me know and I’ll try do my best to find a solution for you.

volkan.ozdemir replied 3 years ago

Hi Chris,

Thank you very much for quick answer.

2D Moon is acceptable for the indie game I’m designing now but a major improvement would be enabling custom materials on the moon so that at least we can create scenarios where we can rotate the moon itself but it is not a huge deal. Basically it would be great if moon was a material instead of a 2D texture.

Chris_Simul Staff replied 3 years ago

This is a good suggestion! Currently the 2d texture gets passed internally however, not through the engine, and as such doesn’t reach through the engines material system. I will however note it as a suggestion and small feature request for a potentially togglable setting.

ClaudioPiccinni answered 3 years ago

Could you confirm this is a known issue? I’ve been trying the beta and seems I can’t alter keyframe values via blueprint (cloudiness values). Though I can read the current value and seems to be setting it correctly too, just the sky isn’t updating accordingly.

ClaudioPiccinni replied 3 years ago

Also any estimate on when the fix for cloud movement and rain will be out?

ClaudioPiccinni replied 3 years ago

A workaround I just found to force the clouds to refresh (first issue above) is to change any value in the TrueSkySequenceActor like for example ‘Visible’ or ‘Share Buffers for VR’, and doing that triggers the clouds to refresh using the new keyframe value passed via blueprint.

Chris_Simul Staff replied 3 years ago

Hi Claudio,
You seem to have found a workaround yourself, however I’ll also throw in that progressing time also will push the update! as for estimate on the fix for cloud movement and precipitation we are hoping as soon as possible. Currently we are gearing the Unity build, which when released will also have an unreal update released in tandem, however that update will be mainly tailored to large fixes that arose from the release, as most our efforts are on the unity overhaul and 4.3 compatibility with consoles. However once that release it out, we will be moving to fixes and future updates!

Jason LaMar answered 3 years ago

Just tried to use 4.3 in Unity 2019.4.13f1, and when I go to register/activate it, I keep getting a “Connection Error. Can’t connect to Simul server. Please try again” message.