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Video: Behind Microsoft Flight Simulator’s clouds

written by Adam Thorn | August 13, 2020

The creative director of the new edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator, David Dedeine, has revealed how the development team created the sim’s super-realistic clouds in this video.

“To us they are the star of the show,” Dedeine said. “They are generated based on 32 levels from sea level to high altitude. Each of those layers are informed by fuzziness, density, cloud shape. They are not only visible from any angle, they are informed by the wind … and real-life weather.

“We can display any type of cloud and we simulated this all around the world with a view distance of 600 kilometres. Even inside a cloud the density of the cloud can evolve. Clouds can cast shadows on themselves.”

The title, due for release worldwide on 18 August, had been shrouded in secrecy with many of those chosen to test the game signing non-disclosure agreements.

The game is a significant moment for the industry because it’s believed to be the first title to recreate the entire planet in detail, allowing users to pick any spot on the globe and then begin flying.

Already, Microsoft has confirmed to World of Aviation that the game will allow players to take off and land at 37,000 airports globally.


Players will be able to fly around this world in up to 30 aircraft ranging from the A320neo to a Cessna 152 and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. All feature accurate cockpits with realistic controls and instrumentation.


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