In this article, we will go through all the options available to us in the Environmental settings window in order to configure the conditions related to the environment such as the weather, the orientation of the project in relation to the cardinal points, etc … according to your preferences

Summary

Opening the window

To open the Environmental Settings window, click on the button located in the top toolbar as below:

This window is also accessible in 2D and 3D mode.

Window overview

It is divided into 3 distinct frames as well as a slider and drop-down lists:

  1. Top left: Time of day,
  2. Below: Weather,
  3. Top right: A slider for visibility in the 3D view,
  4. Below, the setting of the colors of the sky,
  5. Still below, the settings of the cardinal points and the seasons,
  6. The trails of planes in the sky,
  7. At the bottom, the theme of the horizon.
Figure n° 1 - Informations du projet

We will now detail each of these parameters.

Time of day

This framework groups together three options:

  1. Day,
  2. Night,
  3. EEP time.

Each of these options allows you to view your project at different times of the day. If you choose the Day option, your network will always be lit by daylight. It is exactly the same for the night atmosphere. Only the EEP Time option will change the appearance of your network according to the passage of time. This option is not confined to switching from day to night (or vice versa) abruptly but gently as in real life and with the possibility of defining the colors yourself over a period of 24 hours.

As an example, below are some images with the same network photographed at different times of the day.

photo with Day active
Photo with active EEP Time option
Photo with active night option

You notice for example, that the shadows of the trees move according to the sunlight according to its position. This brings a dynamic atmosphere and realism to your network.

Weather

This framework groups together eight different parameters to manage any climatic condition for your network. The combinations are diverse and varied and almost endless. Here is the list:

  1. Sun,
  2. Moon,
  3. Clouds,
  4. Rain,
  5. Snow,
  6. Wind,
  7. Fog
  8. Random

We will now detail each of the parameters:

Sun

When you click on the Sun button, it accepts three positions:

  1. The grayed out button means that this setting is disabled. However, the sun has not disappeared! the scene is displayed but without sun without having clouds to mask the little light. Below is an example with this configuration:
Scene with the sun setting disabled
  1. Clicking on the button activates this feature with the most common option and the scene is displayed with the sun. We will see below when we study the Clouds, Rain, Wind and Snow parameters that these affect the sun. Below, the same scene as before with the default setting active:
Scene with the sun setting activated

Next to the button we have at our disposal a slider to set the time of day. This slider acts directly on the brightness of the scene according to the different hours of the day. In the example above, the sun was at the zenith because the time was set to 12:00 (Sun (12 **). The admissible range is between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Have fun moving the cursor to view the rendering in depending on the time chosen.

  1. Another click on the button causes the word Dominant to appear and means that the sun will never be totally obscured by clouds. This parameter is identical to the previous one and does not change the brightness of the scene.

Lune

To activate the Moon parameter, you must first select the Night parameter or the EEP time between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. otherwise this parameter will have no effect. When you click on the moon button, it accepts two positions:

  1. The grayed out button means that this setting is disabled. The night light will not be reproduced and the night will be completely dark. Below is an example with this setting:
Scene with moon setting disabled
  1. Clicking on the button activates this functionality. As for the sun parameter, a slider acts directly on the brightness of the scene according to the different hours of the night. Below is a nocturnal example at 11:00 p.m.:
Scene with moon setting enabled
La différence peut paraître parfois subtil mais pourtant bien réelle.

Cloud

When you click on the Clouds button, it accepts three positions:

  1. The grayed out button means that this setting is disabled. During the day you will be entitled to a bright sun with a beautiful blue sky. At night, a pretty starry sky will accompany your network in a nocturnal atmosphere. Below are two examples with this configuration:
Daytime scene with cloud settings disabled

The same scene at night:

Night scene with cloud settings disabled
  1. Clicking on the button activates this parameter. As for the other parameters, a slider acts directly on the amount of clouds according to a certain percentage on a scale from 10% to 100%. Below is an example with a value of 70%:
Cloud settings enabled

Important : The amount of clouds also depends on the Rain setting. In our example above, the amount of clouds is set at 70% despite the few visible clouds. As already stated above, the four parameters clouds, rain, snow and wind are linked, hence the possibility of setting meteorological conditions without almost any limit.

  1. Another click on the button brings up the mention Dark clouds. This setting will darken the sky and bring big gray clouds. An example below with a value of 50%:
Dark clouds setting enabled

Note : Contrary to the previous example and despite a lower value of 50%, many gray clouds obscure the sky. However, it is not raining because the rain parameter is not activated.

Rain

To make the Rain button accessible, the Clouds parameter must be activated. When you click on the Rain button, it accepts two positions:

  1. The grayed out button means that this setting is disabled.
  1. Clicking on the button activates this functionality. As for the other parameters, a slider acts directly on the amount of rain as a function of a certain percentage on a scale from 10% to 100%.

Please find a ‘rainy!’ Example with the following settings:

  1. Sun at 3:00 p.m.,
  2. Moon (function deactivated),
  3. Clouds at 50%,
  4. Rain at 50%.

And the corresponding scene:

Rain setting enabled

It’s raining enough to make raindrops fall on the camera lens!

Snow

To make the Snow button accessible, the Clouds parameter must be activated. When you click on the Snow button, it accepts three positions:

  1. The grayed out button means that this setting is disabled.
  1. Clicking on the button activates this functionality. As for the other parameters, a slider acts directly on the amount of snow according to a certain percentage on a scale from 10% to 100%.

Please find a winter example with the following settings:

  1. Sun at 4:00 p.m.,
  2. Moon (function deactivated),
  3. Clouds at 65%,
  4. Rain (function disabled),
  5. Snow 65%.

And the corresponding scene:

Snow setting activated

Note : You can also combine the rain and snow functions simultaneously.

  1. Another click on the button brings up the mention Sleet. This parameter will increase the amount of snow and further degrade the weather conditions. An example below with a value of 65% (the other parameters remain unchanged):
Sleet setting enabled

Wind

When you click on the Wind button, it accepts two positions:

  1. The grayed out button means that this setting is disabled. The wind will be zero at 0 km / h.
  1. Clicking on the button activates this functionality. The scale for adjusting the wind is between 1 and 10. Below is a video example with this setting:

When the weather conditions are too bad, a thunderstorm can break out. To achieve this result, the rain cursors must be at least 40% and the clouds at 60%. The other parameters have no influence in this specific case.

Fog

Fog can not be turned on or off. The default is 10% on a scale of 10 to 100%. At 10%, a very light mist will appear on the horizon exactly as in reality. Here is a first configuration:

The settings :

  1. Sun at 3:00 p.m.,
  2. Moon (function deactivated),
  3. Clouds at 15%,
  4. Rain (function disabled),
  5. Snow (function deactivated),
  6. Wind (function disabled),
  7. 10% fog (default)

And the corresponding scene:

Default fog setting

Now let’s move on to another configuration:

The settings :

  1. Sun (function deactivated),
  2. Moon (function deactivated),
  3. 70% dark clouds,
  4. Rain at 30%,
  5. Snow (function deactivated),
  6. Wind at 2,
  7. Fog at 100.

And the corresponding scene:

100% fog setting

Fog in EEP must be enabled with the clouds setting. Indeed, it would make no sense to have fog in full sun without any clouds in summer. Certain weather conditions call for a little logic.

Random

When you click on the Random button, it accepts two positions :

  1. The grayed out button means that random mode is disabled.
  1. Clicking on the button activates this functionality. The scale for setting the random mode is between 1 and 100

Random mode must be used with all other settings active otherwise nothing more will happen. This mode makes a mix between the different parameters which gives a little rain, a little wind, the rain can stop, the sun reappears, big clouds can also appear. Note, however, that the effects will never be greater than the limits set by the other parameters.

This feature is great if you want to let EEP handle the weather conditions on its own.

Note : We take this opportunity to remind you here (as elsewhere in EEP), right-clicking on a slider resets it to its default position.

After going through all of the settings in the Weather frame, let’s now take a look at the next setting.

Visibility in the 3D view

This parameter is managed by a single cursor on a scale  from 0 to 100%. Its purpose is to modify the distance of sight to the visibility of the horizon. The more the cursor is moved to the left, the more it will be restricted. By default, the value is set to the maximum which allows you to have maximum visibility on your network.

The cursor in its default position. We’ll observe the effects when the slider is moved to the left in this video example below:

This slider can very well be combined with the fog functionality and thus allow visibility to be reduced more significantly instead of the fog setting used alone.

Sky colors

We have already seen a lot of possibilities available to us to manage the weather conditions. Now let’s go even further! EEP gives us the opportunity to set the colors ourselves at different times of the day to adjust the mood according to the user’s tastes!

This feature, used with ingenuity, will help to give even more realism depending on the nature of the network used.

Eight color schemes are editable. Each corresponds to a specific time of day. Together, they form intermediate durations of three hours. If we multiply the number of color sets by the intermediate time, this gives us: 8 x 3 = 24 hours. Let’s discover the presentation of the interface:

Nous retrouvons les huit couleurs échelonnées pour une durée de 24 heures. Les heures de début et de fin seront plutôt réservées à des couleurs sombres pour la nuit. Essayez de garder une certaine cohérence dans les couleurs. A midi, le soleil est au zénith, généralement il s’agit de la couleur la plus claire à définir pour la tranche horaire 12h00 – 15h00.

To modify a color, nothing could be simpler, just click on one of the rectangles on the left (marker n ° 1) at the desired time to open a palette (marker n ° 2) in which we can choose the new color:

In this palette we already have basic colors at our disposal. If that is not enough, we can create additional colors. To do this, all you have to do is click on the Define custom colors button (reference n ° 3).

In this window you can compose a personalized color and add it to those already existing.

To perform this operation, once your new color has been created, all you have to do is click on the Add to custom colors button. When you are finished, click OK to close the window and return directly to the EEP window. The new color will appear at the place corresponding to the chosen time.

We invite you to experiment with several colors at different times of the day and watch the result in the 3D view. The number of possible combinations is immense.

If you are no longer happy with your changes, you can reset the original colors by clicking on the Default Colors button.

Cardinal points and seasons settings

Cardinal points

With this setting, you can change the orbit of the sun based on the cardinal points. It will only affect the course of the sun and moon. All other parameters remain unchanged.

The cardinal points can be oriented in steps of: 90 ° = East, 180 ° = South and 270 ° = West.

Seasons

With this setting, you can adjust the height of the sun according to the season just like in the real world.

By clicking on the drop-down list, you can choose a season based on a time of year.

Aircraft vapeur trails in the sky

Here too you can add realism to your project by displaying vapeur trails of planes in the sky. To be reserved for the periods concerned. If you are building an Epoch II network, this choice may not be relevant.

Theme for the horizon

What is a theme for the horizon? The best answer is to visualize the difference with pictures.

Let’s start with a project without any theme:

Projet sans thème d'horizon

The same project with the Rocky Mountains in the summer theme:

Thème Montagnes rocheuses dans l'été

A background corresponding to the chosen theme is now displayed. This feature brings visual depth to a network, contributes to realism and the effect is all the more important as the dimensions of the project are large.

Below is another example with the Pre-Alps in Spring theme:

Thème Préalpes au printemps

Here we are at the end of this article and we hope to have brought you answers to the questions you might have asked yourself.

As you have seen, there are many possibilities that EEP offers to define weather conditions and thus create a special atmosphere for a network.

This article is now complete. If you have any questions or suggestions, please give us your feedback in the leave a reply input box below.

Thank you for your helpful comments. Have fun reading an other article. 

eep-world.com team

This article was translated by Pierre for the English side of the EEP-World from the article written by Domi for the French side of the EEP-World.

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