AVSIM Commercial FSX Scenery Review

Dolomiti X
Tre Cime

Product Information

Publishers: Real Earth X

Description: A small, highly detailed scenery enhancement in the Dolomiti region of the Italian part of the Alps.

Download Size:
71 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX
Reviewed by: Daniel Martinez AVSIM Staff Reviewer - January 21, 2012

Introduction

The Alps are one of the largest mountain ranges in the world stretching from Monaco through Northern Italy, and then down through Albania to the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The Tre Cime di Lavaredo are three peaks in the Dolomite region of the Alps and are named (in Italian and German, respectively): Cima Piccola/Kleine Zinne ("little peak"), Cima Grande/Große Zinne ("big peak"), and Cima Ovest/Westliche Zinne ("western peak"). These peaks formed the border between Austria and Italy until 1919 and even though they are in Italy now, German is spoken to the north of the mountains while Italian dominates to the south.

Installation and Documentation

Installation comes in the form of downloaded executable and text files (key in the text file) from the publisher’s website. After double-clicking on the executable you are asked to enter your key while the program finds your FSX installation from the registry. There are no options to choose and you are soon finished with the install. It’s nice to see that the scenery is added to your scenery configuration file without having to manually add the area.

You will find two PDF files after install in the newly-added FSAddon folder: one is the manual and another is a flight plan. The manual contains 14 pages and covers everything from installation, history of the area, and some words about the company. The flight plan is a checklist of sorts and starts you off at Belluno (LIDB), northeast through the mountains to Tre Cime, and back again. The total flight distance is just over 70 miles.

Mountains!

Flying through the Alps is always a lot of fun and I highly recommend trying it if you have not done so yet. The Tre Cime mountain scenery was created as a very large 3D object as opposed to the usual landclass and customized mesh method. The result is breathtaking and very realistic. You could easily imagine tourists walking the trails to the top of these peaks. My wife saw one of the screenshots and asked if it was a photograph and, of course, the textures are based from photographs taken onsite! Around the peaks are custom autogen and high resolution textures and mesh that look very realistic.

Majestic peaks
Before the scenery was activated. Yuck!
The view from the top
Beautiful at dusk

Unfortunately, because the textures look so great, they clash with the default scenery in the Fall and Winter seasons. This problem, of course, exists in all products but because this scenery footprint is so small it does take away, somewhat, from the spectacular vista that is Tre Crime. It would have been nice had the developer been able to extend out the scenery boundary so that wherever you turn, you are not confronted with the ACES team’s vision of the Alps. Spring and Summer, though, blends fairly well and it’s hard to notice the difference unless you are looking. If you do not care for the texture clash in the cold weather months, turn the season to something warmer and enjoy the view.

From the top down you can see how small the area is in the scenery package. You can easily fly through Tre Cime in about thirty seconds or less in a fixed wing aircraft. I would highly recommend using a helicopter given that there is a helipad outside the Drei Zinnen and the small photo scenery area.

Noticeable texture clash
Small scenery area

Buildings

Included in the scenery is the Drei Zinnen (i.e. Three Peaks) hut, at an elevation of 2,438 meters, and containing 40 beds. The hotel model is very detailed and looks exactly like pictures posted on the internet. The only thing missing are the throngs of visitors enjoying the outdoors. I can just imagine the view of the peaks from this vantage point.

Cute little church
Great looking custom buildings
Rifugio Auronzo
Sheep!
Night in the Alps

You will also find at the foot of the mountains the Rifugio Auronzo. The hotel is at an altitude of 2,333 meters and features accommodations for over 100 beds. You will also find a number of vehicles parked at the hotel. I love the added ambiance but for me, a few of them were “underground”. I thought this might be due to an add-on terrain mesh, but even after uninstalling what I had in the area, some of my cars were still sunk. In reality, though, it’s very minor and hardly noticeable.

System Performance

Test System

i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz OC to 4.0
8 GB DDR 1600 RAM
Windows 7 64-bit
Dual GTX 460 video cards
FSX SP1 + SP2 (Gold)
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro

Flying Time:

12 hours

There really is no system hit using this product. My FPS consistently stayed pegged to the top (I set mine it at 40). I would think that given the small size of the scenery and the lack of AI in the area, even the slowest of systems could run this product without incident.

Summary / Closing Remarks

The Tre Cime scenery is very well done and I highly recommend checking it out if you fly through the Italian Alps or just like some great VFR. The modelers have really set the bar with realism by creating the peaks using a 3D object. That being said, please keep in mind that the scenery area is small.

The good news is that the developers are now offering Auronzo in combination with this package. Auronzo is a quaint Italian village located about 120 km north of Venice and 50 km northeast of Belluno. I did not have the opportunity to review Auronzo but if it is done half as well as Tre Cime, you will be in for a real treat.

The developers have many other add-ons available for their Dolomiti X series (some freeware) and are hard at work on others.

 

What I Like About Tre Cime

  • High resolution photo textures
  • Great for VFR flying
  • Beautifully modeled mountains

 

What I Don't Like About Tre Cime

  • Very small scenery area
  • Texture clash with the default scenery  in the cold weather seasons

 

Printing

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Tre Cime

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