It’s been awhile since we’ve posted here, but that doesn’t mean we’re not busy! We did lose a couple of weeks from the impact of Hurricane Irma on our office here in Orlando, but we’re back in business now. Let’s do a quick overview of recent updates to both the SilverLining 3D Cloud, Sky, and Weather SDK and the Triton Ocean SDK:
A ton of work has been happening in an internal branch of Triton to make it fully thread-safe, and compatible with OpenGL 4.5. A side effect of this work is eliminating more stalls and making Triton even faster and fully bindless – but most importantly, it will allow you to integrate Triton into applications that must render multiple views in parallel without blocking. This work has been merged into our mainline at this point, and is getting some final polish before we roll it out as “Triton 4.0.”
The current release of Triton, 3.83, includes a few bug fixes we uncovered related to Uniform Buffer Objects (UBO’s) and wakes and decals. UBO’s are not enabled by default in 3.83, but they will be the default option in Triton 4.0. We also recently fixed a crash that could happen with tidal stream objects. The Triton 3.81 update in July was a larger update, which included tweaks to the wake and spray effects, and the beginnings of our support of OpenGL 4.5 features such as a fully bindless pipeline option.
At a high level, we rolled out some visual improvements in Triton 3.81, and are now focusing on performance improvements and modernizing Triton to take advantage of today’s GPU’s and drivers. Longer term, this work also positions us for Vulkan support – and should make it easier to integrate Triton into Vulkan applications that expose an OpenGL context in the short term.
Our plan is to give SilverLining the same treatment once Triton 4.0 is out the door.
We just released SilverLining 5.003, which fixes some resource leaks that popped up, and introduces a new “always-apply-state” setting in the SilverLining.config file. This option allows you to disable SilverLining’s lazy application of GL state, which can be useful if you’re not using SilverLining’s DrawObjects() function to draw the clouds, and instead drawing individual objects from SilverLining yourself. If SilverLining’s assumptions about the order you’re drawing things are wrong, it can result in visual anomalies that this new setting will correct.
In August, SilverLining 5.0 was an exciting release that introduced all-new storm cloud representations (cumulonimbus and towering cumulus.) We believe we’ve worked out the few kinks in that initial major release at this point, so if you were holding off on updating – it’s no longer on the bleeding edge.
SilverLining 5.0 also made it into our popular X-Plane add-on, SkyMaxx Pro, in its 4.6 update. This brings SilverLining’s new storm clouds and other improvements to X-Plane users.
We’re also getting ready for the I/ITSEC conference later this year here in Orlando – watch for an advertising blitz from us, and I’m happy to meet up with folks at the show too!