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NEWS! - xEnviro updates to v1.17

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NEWS! - xEnviro updates to v1.17


xEnviro v1.17 NEWS! Header.jpg


After another very long development cycle (v1.16-January 2021) Dark Space has released v1.17. Project leader Magnus Lorvik sites personal reasons, the same as in the earlier very long development cycles.


Biggest note was that xEnviro will not be compatible with X-Plane 12, Enhanced Skyskapes, SkyMaxx are also not getting access either from Laminar Research... so any future updates will be X-Plane 11 only. Dark Star note;


" We have decided to support xEnviro for X-Plane 11 for as long as it seems reasonable. We will refine the existing base we now are confident with and add features as we go along. We will update the roadmap soon.", but also say,


" We are not saying that we won’t develop for X-Plane 12! As I said we know how we can do that, but both time wise and feature wise we are in the dark. It’s an effort we will pursue when X-Plane 12 is out of beta. (As usual)". 


This v1.17 version has

  • Spherical buffer
  • Full volume rendering


"Spherical buffering is a method of generation of computer images of a three-dimensional scene constituted by a set of facets, viewed from a point of observation along a viewing axis. The facets are projected on the surface of a sphere whose center is the point of observation of the scene and wherein the surface of the sphere is divided in a special way into elementary surfaces, each corresponding to a pixel on the spherical surface, in such a manner that the orthogonal projections of the elementary surfaces on a reference plane passing through the point of observation and perpendicular to the viewing axis of the scene all have same value".


Other v1.17 features include:

  • Spherical buffer
  • Full volume rendering implemented. No more separate layer rendering
  • New cloud light scattering math
  • New cloud formation logic. Now we can create clouds of any shape
  • Smooth transition between stratus and cumulus clouds
  • Thunderstorm clouds are back
  • Incloud lightning
  • Clouds screen edge quality slider added
  • Draw high-level clouds checkbox added
  • Updrafts added below cumulus clouds with vertical development
  • Tropopause temperature control
  • Basic VR support
  • Weather search accepts Enter key
  • Added X-Plane rain sound checkbox
  • You can type several icao codes in the weather search window using virtually any separator and then hit Enter to get the list of metar report
  • Added hotkeys via X-Plane key assignment menu to open xEnviro Weather Briefing or Settings window or call for CAVOK conditions. 
  • Passive cloud sync. Clouds look the same for all the xEnviro 1.17 users at a given time and a given location. This feature is important for online flights and shared cockpit sessions. This includes thunderstorms


Other items in v1.17 include;


  • Atmosphere light scattering revised
  • Visibility maths changed
  • General scene light energy adjusted to match atmosphere conditions
  • Clouds blur level slider changed to clouds dynamic blur
  • Cloud base adjusted to better match reported values
  • The turbulence model is changed to match long-term forces better
  • Wind distribution changed to avail fake forecast reports for aircraft devs
  • Post-processing maths and application order adjusted
  • Increased distance for the city lights reflected by haze
  • Server timeout reduced to 5 seconds
  • New method to hide X-Plane DSF edge implemented
  • Full control over aircraft icing. No more random icing in snowfall


  • Banding lines on distant clouds removed
  • Clouds static quality slider removed.


Noted issues include;


"The 1:1 scale has its demands on performance. The main compromising issue in 1.17 is obvious when you load into the sim. Movement shimmer. This is not a huge problem when you fly slow and are gone when standing still. The artefacts are especially noticeable around the edges of the clouds. We have added a quality slider to reduce that shimmer - but at the cost of performance. This will be a continuous target to refine and improve for us going forward". 


At least v1.17 it should be far better than the block type clouds, and constant cloud redrawing that drove me mad at times. My heart dropped out of xEnviro for one major reason. Their so called "History" feature that never happened (so much for listening to feedback). In doing reviews to be able to recreate or manually set a certain weather condition is important for a consistent feel during the review. or to recreate a certain aspect (say snow or sunshine) to highlight the review. That feature has languished down the roadmap list for years and years (despite consistent complaints to Dark Star). It's a small thing, but in my case a deal breaker.


However, if you continue to use X-Plane 11 then xEnviro is an essential tool that I would recommend, it does at least give a lot of atmospheric feel to the simulator.


v1.17 certainly looks far better...


xEnviro v1.17 Head 2.jpgxEnviro v1.17 Head 1.jpg


The updated v1.17 xEnviro is free to current purchasers of the plugin... just go to the xEnviro site and download the updater application, serial number is required for activation.


X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! the xEnviro Environment Engine v1.17 by Dark Space FZE is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Price is US$69.90

Sorry this plugin is Windows only at this point, But Mac will come eventually!


Minimum Requirements
X-Plane 11 - (not compatible with X-Plane 12)
Windows 7/Vista/ 8/8.1/ 10 - Not Mac compatible at this time
Current version : 1.17 (October 10th 2022)
NEWS! update by Stephen Dutton 
11th October 2022
Copyright©2022: X-PlaneReviews
(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
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I was reading another article on this today and there was the quote ‘Laminar Research have turned down the idea of bringing xEnviro into their newly released simulator’ which seemed odd to me. As far as I am aware Laminar does not stop any developer from producing any add on (and without any reimbursement for riding on the coat tails of Xplane) although of course they might not have included them in the group of developers getting early access. Whether this product has a future, with XP12s focus on the new weather engine is questionable. Continuing to develop for XP11 is an interesting strategy, with apologies to everyone who isn’t planning to upgrade, but it does seem to me that XP12 is already well on the way to demonstrating that it is going to be a big step up from XP11. When I see developers releasing new XP11 sceneries it seems an odd move to me. There’s very little new XP12 content available why not focus on that market? No doubt Thandra with the Stationair have been making hay with the only GA payware aircraft for XP12 at least until the recent Aerobask Diamond update.

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Since it appears that XP12 "upgrades" are a fairly effortless source of developer revenue (excepting Thranda), buyers are a little bashful about shelling out when they already have the XP11 version.  Until 'new' and different models appear to attract sales, these cosmetically enhanced for full price efforts won't draw much attention.

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Many of the XP12 upgrades are free and some of the sceneries look better in 12 than 11. My point was why are people releasing new XP11 content? While I understand existing xEnviro users will welcome the XP11 update are there still new buyers for that at $70 a pop? Basically that’s the price of XP12.  Some developers seem to be halting releases until they have XP12 versions that they can release alongside developed, but unreleased, XP11 versions. Boundless has both Inverness and Lands End effectively ready for XP11 but now being amended for XP12 before any release. To me, if you want sales that seems backwards. Why not develop from scratch for XP12 now? Maybe I am missing it and there’s going to be a strong XP11 market for a while?

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