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Sacramento, California - High-res scenery - first look!

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As a supplement to the Northern California scenery, high-resolution scenery packages for both Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area will also be available. I just loaded some test images for Sacramento and wanted to share these initial screenshots with you. They are pretty amazing when loaded into X-Plane!

Most of these were taken at altitudes ranging between 1,000 - 1,500 feet AGL. You can even see the painted stripes of the parking lots and tennis courts. :o The higher altitude screenshots were taken from about 4,500 feet.

This imagery is still rough and hasn't undergone full processing yet, but the source is of high quality, which makes these initial screenshots look really good with only minimal processing.

Enjoy!

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So when will we see this high res scenery, or any California photoscenery for that matter?

Mike

Hi, Mike,

We are waiting on a new special "feature" we haven't announced yet to be completed and then we'll have more info for everyone then. ;)

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Have you considered some form of night lightning to cities when flying at dusk and dawn? I know the Megascenery team for MSFS photoscenery somehow found a way to do that with photoscenery, of course it was for the MSFS simulator and not X-plane, but anyway would be a nice feature of course.

Mike

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Have you considered some form of night lightning to cities when flying at dusk and dawn? I know the Megascenery team for MSFS photoscenery somehow found a way to do that with photoscenery, of course it was for the MSFS simulator and not X-plane, but anyway would be a nice feature of course.

Mike

Hi, Mike,

It's definitely been looked into. When, if, and how it gets put in is a whole other question.

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While waiting for this scenery I have enjoyed the free Bluesky Los Angeles scenery for MSFS which I have converted to x-plane with good results using fs2xplane. However I notice that the Bluesky photoscenery areas with better resolution have a much greater negative impact on performance in x-plane i.e x-plane stutters unlike the Bluesky Los Angeles areas with lower resolution. Is this something I will notice with your high res scenery as well because of the way x-plane 9 handles photoscenery or is this perhaps related to it beeing converted (it may very well be). In other words do you see performance decrease with your high res areas as compared to your low res areas?

In progress report before we approach the weekend? :-)

Mike     

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While waiting for this scenery I have enjoyed the free Bluesky Los Angeles scenery for MSFS which I have converted to x-plane with good results using fs2xplane. However I notice that the Bluesky photoscenery areas with better resolution have a much greater negative impact on performance in x-plane i.e x-plane stutters unlike the Bluesky Los Angeles areas with lower resolution. Is this something I will notice with your high res scenery as well because of the way x-plane 9 handles photoscenery or is this perhaps related to it beeing converted (it may very well be). In other words do you see performance decrease with your high res areas as compared to your low res areas?

In progress report before we approach the weekend? :-)

Mike     

Hi, Mike,

The issue you saw was likely due to a conversion, as most FS2XPlane photo sceneries are made with .pol files. This take a toll on your system, whereas, RealScenery products perform similar to that of default scenery and the texture paging system. In short, between the two packages, you shouldn't see a real noticeable difference.

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Hi Mike,

As Cameron stated, you should get very good performance with the RealScenery files. Many conversions use a series of overlays on top of the terrain, which does not perform well. RealScenery is created by actually "baking" the imagery into the terrain mesh, similar to how many of the great aircraft designers on this site bake their textures into their 3D models.

As an example, the new Sacramento High-Res scenery will have somewhere around 8000 images! The San Francisco Bay Area will have even more, but they will be divided among several scenery directories. Even with this volume of images, the frame rates in X-Plane are silky smooth ;D. The only trade-off is that the initial time to load the scenery is longer when you start up the simulator. Other than that, you should expect very good performance.

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The imagery is great but this needs taking to the next level, something similar to ORBX for FSX would be great, including street lamps and actual 3d houses / buildings otherwise it just looks flat and lifeless ;) (this is only my opinion and in no way saying your work isnt good as it is)

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Hey Wynthorpe,

Thanks for your comments.

One of the perceptual issues with image-based photo textures is their flat appearance at low altitudes. Even if the imagery is nice and sharp with high-res textures, at low altitudes we expect to see objects with depth (i.e. a three-dimensional house). In my own opinion, imagery is most useful in the simulator only at altitudes above 2500 feet AGL or so. Obviously, this is a matter of opinion and will certainly vary in different areas. For example, flying over cities, even at high altitudes, you would expect to see 3D buildings, and X-Plane's autogen buildings fit the bill pretty nicely here. In rural or suburban areas where there are limited building structures, and those that are present are typically only one-story in height, the image-based textures are very effective.

Regardless, image-based textures are a huge improvement over default scenery for adding realism to your sim experience.

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Hey Wynthorpe,

Thanks for your comments.

One of the perceptual issues with image-based photo textures is their flat appearance at low altitudes. Even if the imagery is nice and sharp with high-res textures, at low altitudes we expect to see objects with depth (i.e. a three-dimensional house). In my own opinion, imagery is most useful in the simulator only at altitudes above 2500 feet AGL or so. Obviously, this is a matter of opinion and will certainly vary in different areas. For example, flying over cities, even at high altitudes, you would expect to see 3D buildings, and X-Plane's autogen buildings fit the bill pretty nicely here. In rural or suburban areas where there are limited building structures, and those that are present are typically only one-story in height, the image-based textures are very effective.

Regardless, image-based textures are a huge improvement over default scenery for adding realism to your sim experience.

I agree that the standard textures are pretty awful indeed and these textures by you guys make a real difference, but custom 3d objects and lamp posts like these below would be simply awesome in XP -

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Hi, Simon,

The Orbx line of products are nice, however, they are in a different line of product. Their products are similar to that of what FS World is (landclass), with added imagery, objects, revised default textures, and a revised autogen system.

As it stands right now, X-Plane is not as capable to do this with ease given the current tools. This will improve over time (I have discussed ideas with Laminar), but for now autogen isn't exactly easily customisable. As such, to produce any kind of a package like you speak of would require hand done object placement over an entire state. It would not run in an efficient manner, and revised default textures may appear out of place with scenery not covered by RealScenery.

Yes, it would be cool. No, it's not easily done and probably won't be for some time. Thanks for sharing your ideas though!

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Hi, Simon,

The Orbx line of products are nice, however, they are in a different line of product. Their products are similar to that of what FS World is (landclass), with added imagery, objects, revised default textures, and a revised autogen system.

As it stands right now, X-Plane is not as capable to do this with ease given the current tools. This will improve over time (I have discussed ideas with Laminar), but for now autogen isn't exactly easily customisable. As such, to produce any kind of a package like you speak of would require hand done object placement over an entire state. It would not run in an efficient manner, and revised default textures may appear out of place with scenery not covered by RealScenery.

Yes, it would be cool. No, it's not easily done and probably won't be for some time. Thanks for sharing your ideas though!

Hi Cameron,

No problem, I will stick to using both sims for some time still i think, FSX has some great products as does XP! So its a better autogen system rather than hand placed objects in ORBX scenery?! didnt know that! thanks for the insight ;)

Thanks Cameron

Simon

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My understanding is that Orbx uses a combination of hand annotated 3D (often custom) objects on photo textures, with seasonal colour variations for the high detail areas and hand annotated autogen on landclass tiles for the other areas to produce that amazing result.

Hopefully with the next iteration of X-Plane the ability to either match or exceed the FsX tech will be there.  As always, it the ability for the sim to deliver the highest suspension of disbelief that is the key for a great experience.

Cheers and thanks for sharing

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