272: P3D Clouds Part 2 – Thickness Calls

Perhaps some of you have figured out that the remaining five (5) thresholds that decisively transform cumulus cloud appearance besides the Base Height are all related to the Cloud Thickness.


It’s true that varying cloud coverages could bring up different cloud composition results.   However, the cloud appearance under the same coverage setting still remains unchanged within the specific Base Height limits as discussed in the last post.

Similarly, the “unchanging appearance” results are applicable within the specific range of Cloud Thickness as shown in the table below:

Thickness 1 feet
Thickness 3,000 feet
Thickness 6,001 feet
Thickness 10,000 feet
Thickness 15,000 feet

Wonder how many of you have noticed that the Thickness setting used in the previous example about Base Height is only 1 feet.

Why 1 feet?    Because based on the above Thickness table, the cloud appearance will remain the same as long as its Thickness is not passing the 3,000 feet threshold.

As seen in the image below, when a cloud’s Base Height is set to 2,000 feet, the appearance of it with a Thickness of 1 feet as show in the left image is equal to the result with a Thickness of 2,999 feet as shown in the right image.


The qualitative transformation of the cloud appearance will only happen when its Thickness passes into the next range (3,000 feet), and to the next range (6,001 feet), and to the next range after (10,000 feet) and the next after (15,000 feet).

The following images show the cloud effects while Thickness changes from 1 to 3,000 to 6,001 to 15,000 feet at previously discussed Base Height thresholds of 0, 6,562 and 19,686 feet respectively.

Base Height @ 0 feet — Thickness from 1 feet to 3,000 to 6,001 and 15,000 feet
Base Height @ 6,562 feet — Thickness from 1 feet to 3,000 to 6,001 and 15,000 feet
Base Height @ 19,686 feet — Thickness from 1 feet to 3,000 to 6,001 and 15,000 feet

In other words, by simply paying attention to these eight (8) threshold values, we could quickly compose somethings of our desire while configuring cloud effects.   

That’s what the fuss of having these two posts is all about.

The Thickness of 10,000 feet that was left out in earlier testings was added back to the Thickness range after further examinations.
   This and the last post were edited accordingly.

In addition to the 6,001 feet threshold, adding an extra 1 feet to the other Thickness ranges would ensure the transformation of the cloud properly, just to play safe.


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