Dynamic Skies Are Getting Cloudy

Hey developers,

We’ve been working up quite a storm! As promised earlier this year, Clouds are beginning to roll in for developers over multiple releases and into the next year as part of a multi-phase series of features to enable more Dynamic Skies.

The initial release has a very simple, minimalist API that we’re calling Phase 1a. Don’t let that rain on your parade, we have lots planned for Clouds and Dynamic Skies! Here’s a look at what’s in store:

  • Phase 1a has Clouds integrate with the Sky object, and optionally act in composition with the Atmosphere object.

  • Phase 1b is in progress now and aims to gather performance stats, bugs reports, and feature requests from developers, iterating based on that feedback.

  • Phase 1c will offer an alternative for completely physically based Clouds and Atmosphere without a need for the Sky object’s skybox cubemap textures, aiming towards better ultimate realism. Current Sky controls will remain for various skybox use cases.

In all stages of Phase 1, wind has a suitable fixed default motion and a preset animated cloud motion is released for this early ‘open beta’ phase.

Phases 2 and 3 will extend features to allow flying through and above clouds, with further lighting improvements and controls for cloud types and shapes.

With that mini-roadmap out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s included in Phase 1a, which will launch next week as a beta feature!

The Clouds object appears in Studio under the Workspace service. The Clouds object contains a collection of clouds across the sky. Initially, only one Clouds object is rendered to cover the whole sky.

Here are the properties of the Clouds object:

  • Cover [0-1] is the fraction of cloud cover over the space occupied by clouds. This is a scaled version of the meteorological cloud cover measurement using oktas, ranging from 0 to 1 instead of 0 to 8.

  • Density [0-1] is the intensity of the particles making up each cloud. This mainly affects the transparency of the clouds’ medium. Lower values give light appearance and high values bring darker, more stormy appearance.

The volume of Clouds extends to the horizon and includes a visual curvature to extend down to the horizon. This is a default behavior in Phase 1a. Later on, further controls will be developed and released.

We’re excited to get this feature out just as forecasted! We would appreciate your feedback in this thread (whether it’s thunderous applause or cirrus criticism).

Thank you!

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The one time I’m happy to say there’s nothing but clouds in sight and the skies are not clear at all! Can’t wait to see the creative uses developers come up with for clouds :slight_smile: :cloud:

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This topic was automatically opened after 16 minutes.

Interestingly, I’ve been waiting for this day to happen ever since the roadmap was introduced this year, glad I can customize and work with clouds for current and future projects to come.

Will this feature be live in-game for users to explore and see the clouds, or will this just be a normal Beta Feature for only developers to experiment and customize next week?

Although, performance-wise, how will performance hit on low-end and high-end devices as I’m thinking this uses meshes heavily and scattered across the whole workspace-game? I would like to know so I wouldn’t have to get questions on games on how “it’s laggy”. :slight_smile:

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This looks really interesting.

Will either this or any of the future updates on this affect anything to do with the Fog properties in Lighting? A system i’m working on relies quite heavily on fog and I’d like to be ready for any change to it or anything else in Lighting.

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I gotta say, this is definitely going to help my game look more realistic. Thank you for this amazing feature! :smiley:

I do have one question though. Will there be a documentation for these in the Dev Hub and are there going to be more “Properties” of it in the future (such as Color, etc)?

Thanks again for clouds!

@R0bl0x10501050

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I’d love if you could add rain falling from those clouds… Maybe even a huge storm…

(Or even better, a rainbow!)

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All of that time waiting with excitement now ends with (nearly) exactly as what we hoped for.
I’m so interested in seing the clouds interact with the sky properties in the future. And I hope we will have an option to disable it and enable it. Are there going to be any setting for us to costumize like the amount of clouds, the color of them, hight they appear at, weather systems and the movement speed etc.? Hyped to test it!

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Will we be able to change the texture of the clouds? And also, will we be able to disable these & will we be able to set the Transparency of these clouds? And also, can we change the color of these clouds or not? Overall, great update coming from Roblox. I’ve been waiting for this update for a while and I’m glad it’s finally here.

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LOOKS STUNNING! thank you Roblox staff, now this is a lovely announcement to hear :smiley:

How will the clouds work with the Roblox graphics settings?

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I really think Roblox is doing a great job this year. Atmosphere, FIB3, Skinned Meshes, Surface Apparence, better under water lights and now this! Thanks for all this hard work! How will this exactly work? And how can scripters use them? What are all properties do they haves and when do you think they will be relased? I really can‘t wait that we can actually use them in-game! Still, I have a lot of questions and the only reponse to them is to use them myself. Are they calculated based on physics or on math, if on maths then what kind of programm are you using? If I am right, then Roblox should work on PC and on mobile very good, so the clouds should works on mobile. Now I am impatient to see the results (and FPS drops, if you, Roblox Staff, make that clouds dosen‘t have any FPS drops, then you will reinvent the wheel (wich, is now impossible…))! If we now want to create realistic weather, then the last update you should make (for me actually) is the ability to create winds that blows the grass of the terrain, but again, this is already good. If we combine this with this lighting module, then (ok, I said “then” 10 times, I need to take a break XD)… I can‘t imagine what we could do.

you have 1000% of my support!

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Is there any synergy with sun rays and other lighting effects?

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Wow! This is amazing! Kudos to everyone on the team. I do have a question, what are performance implications as of now, and for now, would you recommend this for a production level game? Thanks!

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No more dull looking clouds integrated into low-res skyboxes. Now I’ll be finally able to make my sky look dynamic without weird workarounds.

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I love the fact that I can now use clouds that aren’t just meshes in the sky! Keep up the great work on ths! I just have one question: When is this expected to fully release?

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Can’t wait for the volumetric clouds in Phase 1c! I’m thinking ground fog.

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This is absolutely amazing, this is probably the best update this yeah after FiB, i’m looking forward to make scenes using this feature. 3D clouds could be used for a very wide range of environments, and even for ground fog- but i have some questions:

Will we be able to adjust the height at which the cloud cover is located? how about the density of clouds on one layer of the atmosphere?

Will the shape of the clouds be customizable enough to make- let’s say a low cover of cumulus and stratus clouds, as well as high, towering storm clouds, like in this picture?

And will we be able to concentrate the density of the clouds in one side of the sky (which happens naturally when a cold or warm front is moving in, or when a thunderstorm system is developing), or is the placement of the clouds based solely on randomly generated perlin noise?

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Looks amazing, I’m so excited for this. What is the performance impact looking like with these? Is there one?

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I don’t know; I think California could use a bit of moisture right now more than ever…

Speaking of which, is rain anywhere on the roadmap for this feature? And if so, what form would it take? Particle emitters? Screen GUI? Some new, performance-friendly effect we haven’t seen before?

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Wow, the clouds have certainly parted letting the sunshine through! (The opposite actually, but still).

Geez the cloud puns are getting out of hand!

I’m glad that things like this can be made possible:

This is Dubai.

I love above-cloud scenery, especially for cities as it shows the towering heights of the buildings. Speaking of heights, we should be able to adjust the height of the clouds, i.e. where they are in terms of altitude. This way, we can set it a bit lower and allow the buildings to really soar!

Although, I hope that the answer to the above isn’t a performance-related restriction of not being able to have the clouds too close to the camera.

I’ve tried to create clouds with particle emitters and smoke and fog before, but let’s not talk about the end result (disastrous). Although I’m not the keenest at post-processing effects, I definitely know that this will be a great assistance. Accurate 3D cloud-generation is much more difficult than you’d think at first.

This is certainly amazing!
Let this be a cousin of Future is Bright.

Keep it up, Roblox! :roblox: :roblox_light:

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