SilverLining 1.5 3D Clouds & Sky

sundogsoft 101 Jul 08, 2008 at 14:00


Sundog Software announces version 1.5 of its real-time 3D cloud and sky library, SilverLining. In addition to providing physically-based clouds of various types and an accurate simulation of the sky and tone-mapped natural lighting, version 1.5 adds rain and snow effects, 64-bit support, sample code for OpenSceneGraph integration, and significant improvements to the visual quality of clouds in the cumulus family.

The new precipitation effects are based on academic research in meteorology surrounding the distribution of particle sizes and their terminal velocities, as well as visual simulation research in how to accurately render the precipitation particles, taking into account the oscillations of the particles as they fall. SilverLining will also adjust the visibility of your scene based on the precipitation type and precipitation rate you specify. Precipitation is attached to individual clouds, so as you pass underneath a rain cloud, rain will start and stop realistically.

Version 1.5 marks the 30th release of SilverLining in its two-year history of providing the leading library for real-time visual simulation of the sky and clouds for C++ developers using OpenGL and DirectX. SilverLining maintains real-time frame rates on a wide variety of Windows-based systems, ranging from laptops to specialized image generators, and integrates easily into most 3D engines; it has also been successfully ported to Linux and the Xbox. It is highly configurable, and full source is provided with license purchases.

SilverLining has been turning up in some surprising places lately. Scores of professional licensees have integrated SilverLining successfully into many visual simulation, architectural, broadcast video, and video game applications. Recently, SilverLining was even displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art as part of the exhibition I Want You To Want Me.

SilverLining supports multiple cloud types, including cumulus congestus, cumulus mediocris, cumulonimbus, nimbostratus, broken stratus, cirrus, and cirrocumulus. The clouds are lit by a real-time visual simulation of the sky, sun, moon, stars, planets, and nighttime light sources. Also new is an optionally enabled, faster cloud lighting system, which permits time-lapse effects, and visual simulation of the atmospheric limb viewed from space.

Visit SilverLining’s website at for more information, a downloadable interactive demo application, videos, screenshots, and free evaluation downloads of the SDK. Registration is not required.

6 Replies

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rouncer 103 Jul 11, 2008 at 08:36

looks good in the thumbnail… looks shit up close.
didnt you know we wanted our ultimate fantasy?!?!?!?

starstutter 101 Jul 11, 2008 at 15:50


looks good in the thumbnail… looks shit up close.
didnt you know we wanted our ultimate fantasy?!?!?!?

I think you’re missing the point. Yes the terrain is unremarkable but the clouds look good and that’s the key focal point.

vrnunes 102 Jul 13, 2008 at 14:17

Yes, the guy was showing the clouds simulation, and *that* is quite interesting as shown by the image.

I guess the simple terrain was rendered just as a placeholder.

rouncer 103 Jul 14, 2008 at 10:13

sorry i shouldnt have said that, im just disrgruntled how everybody hates everything i make.

vcolborn 101 Apr 03, 2009 at 21:17

So is anyone using it yet? What do you think? Is there a gathering place for SilverLining users? Some place where ideas, code snippets, etc. can be exchanged?


JulietteKlonk 101 Jan 05, 2010 at 11:14

thanks. very helpful post. I read a few of your other posts and they all helped me.