SilverLining Sky and Weather SDK Powers Realistic Skies and 3D Clouds for Games and Visual Simulation

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New release of Sundog Software's SilverLining improves the realism of virtual skies, clouds, and weather in games, visualization, and training systems.

Sundog Software today released a new version of its popular "SilverLining" software, used for creating realistic skies, clouds, and weather effects in games, training systems, and visual simulation applications around the world. This latest release introduces much greater precision in its physical simulation of the sky, resulting in photo-realistic virtual environments for any simulated time, location, and weather conditions.

In addition to increased precision and visual quality, SilverLining version 1.95 adds lens flare effects, support for legacy compilers, and better compatibility with next-generation video cards currently hitting the market.

"We've taken real-time rendering of the sky to a new level, by moving from 32 bits of color information to 128 bits," said Frank Kane, owner of Sundog Software. "This added precision lets us support 'high-dynamic range' applications, which accurately render scenes that contain a wide range of luminance information. There are ten orders of magnitude between the brightness of a sunny day at noon and a moonless sky at night; SilverLining now lets you accurately capture that wide range of light."

SilverLining also renders 3D volumetric clouds using this same lighting scheme, as well as weather effects such as snow, sleet, rain, and fog, and must perform this rendering fast enough for the needs of customers producing games, flight simulators for the military, and television weather broadcasts. For training applications, every frame of animation must be drawn within 16 milliseconds, and drawing the sky may only take a portion of that time. "Maintaining high visual quality while meeting some very demanding performance requirements is what makes this job interesting," says Kane.

SilverLining is available for C++ developers on the Windows, Linux, and MacOS platforms, and provides a plug-in architecture to support rendering on other systems. More information, including screenshots, a trial software development kit, a demo application, and licensing details may be found at http://www.sundog-soft.com/

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