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Guest PaulL01

UK Photographic Scenery

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If anyone here is interested in UK terrain scenery, then I suggest that you pay a visit to the following website:-www.visualflight.co.uk/photosceneryThis is looking REALLY good.Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Very nice indeed!If only MS would inlcude this in FS2K5 and then for the entire planet... :-lolIndeed very nice vor VFR, but very expensive and no night usage.O well, always something to nag about :)Will keep an eye out for their final release.Gideon.EHAM/EHSE

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ChrisThis sounds amazing my concerns are that there are four units covering England alone and each unit is three CDS thats 12 CDS to cover England before we even look at adding Scotland and Ireland.Anyone know what sort of disc space is needed for 12 CDS?The airports appear to be photographs which will look great from say 2-3 thousand feet but ???? at 50 feet I would be interested in seeing screens of the scenery shot at different levels say starting at 200 feet.Yes I will have to buy this as we have been looking for good UK scenery for a long timePeter

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"If only MS would inlcude this in FS2K5 and then for the entire planet..."I did a 20x20 mile section of Phoenix for my own personal pleasure--it ended up around 60 megs or so at 5M coverage. Just the U.S., we're talking a factor of 7500...I still believe worldwide photoreal coverage is a long way off, until we speed storage devices. Personalized coverage is easy--you can simply use Terrabuilder and the FS2000 Terrain SDK to "roll your own." For the states, I slice mapquest pics to use as my source... They cover major cities fairly well...-John

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I know, that's why I put a smiley behind the statement.Final goal will probably be 100% VR, but indeed, you will need a quantum-computer to deal with that and a totally new kind of storage media for the low-end market.We will get it someday in our lifetimes. The final mark will be reached. What next?The ultimate FS IMHO will be a full human sensory input (vision, sound, feel, smell, taste, 360 all the way) with real live images.MS will probably come up with something that can tap directly into your brain and while you have that nice approach with that beautifull stewardess rubbing your neck, they will send subliminal messages straight into your cortex convincing you to lease their new Windows NGX-2042 for just $12,658/year or quit flying.That'll be the day :)Gideon

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I'll be buying this!Looks like John's been very busy indeed!!

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There was a movie that came out in the 80's--Natalie Wood's last movie, along with Christopher Walken, called "Brainstorm". Seemed kind of far fetched then, but your post reminded me of it. With today's technology already able to plug raw images into the visual cortex, perhaps Brainstorm wouldn't seem so far fetched.... If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching--it wasn't well received, but I liked it and I believe most simmers would...-John

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I live in the UK and would love to have it... but at that price, I'm simply not prepared to fork out for it. It's over-priced, in my opinion. Talk about taking advantage! woooo!Simon.

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Most of the cost will probably be the licensing for getmapping.comMy only question is, when were the photographs taken???.

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We're going way off topic now, but now you mentioned it:I like to recommend a book I recentley read:"The Light Of Other Days" by Arthur C. Clarke.About wormholes they use for information transmission.Quite interesting reading material...Cheers.

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The photographs will have been taken quite recently, because they were prepared for the Millenium Mapping project. As for the photographic scenery quality at low level, I can't imagine that this will be any different to that in Flight Unlimited 3...........and we all know how good that is !Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Having grown up there I shall probably have to buy the SE England installment...then I can beat up Biggin Hill, and Kenley too. And "land" on Box Hill.Actually the colors looked a bit muted to me in the screenshots. I wonder if it's technically feasible for the producer to turn up the color and vividness in later versions.Recently I tried out something similar with the EarthViewer software. At a certain height it seemed to work well and produce decent visuals. But when I went in low over San Francisco I couldn't identify any of the tall buildings. At one point I was looking around and finally recognized that this distorted shape I was looking at was actually a tall building as seen from the perspective of a steep angle and projected onto a flat plane. So I'd agree with the UK Scenery site that the only practical way to use this scenery would be to maintain a certain minimum altitude.

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PaulI can remeber when the Times magazine demo disc came out showing the aerial shots of the UK they had a new way they showed on one section of displaying cities.It was obviously created by taking very accurate point fixes of every buildings corner and making a "mesh" scenery. The result was stunning as every building was located with all the streets in 3D.This would be the ultimate way to create FS cities in the future rather than place boxes on the scenery as we do now.The way they displayed a preview of these cities showed the city growing out of the scenery.Cant remember what the technique was calledPeter

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Paul,>>It was obviously created by taking very accurate point fixes of >>every buildings corner and making a "mesh" scenery. The result was >>stunning as every building was located with all the streets in 3D.It sounds like a displacement mapping on the scenery mesh... which would be quite a cool feature for FSim cities & towns... but quite processor/graphics card intensive, I would imagine.! If MS were to decide to dump the crappy bitmap format of its mapping, it could squeeze ALOT more diversity and better quality into the discspace.Si.

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WOW! What a fantastic project. There will be quite a few gigabytes of textures for this lot - but if they are using DXT format (which uses compression), it might be "only" be of the order of, say, 10-20GB? I don't see the price as being too expensive for such a fabulous resource. I already use the Visual Flight mesh, which is the most accurate I have ever seen.The description on the web site of the issues surrounding Autogen are a bit off the mark, though. It is theoretically feasible to produce accurate Autogen that would put every building in its correct position and size (within the limits of the maximum number of objects that Autogen will display in a given area) and a reasonable representation of the trees too, although the texturing of these objects would still have to be 'generic', as would the building heights. But the amount of work involved in creating individual Autogen pattern files for each texture for the whole country would be horrendously expensive in time/cost, and not a practical proposition. So, although the reasoning presented is partially wrong, the net outcome is correct for all practical purposes - i.e. Autogen cover is just not a practical proposition.However, once the scenery is released, then individual users might be interested in creating Autogen pattern files for their own particular locality ....RegardsGerrish

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I'll certainly be getting that! It's certainly quite pricey for an FS add-on, but on the other hand it's pretty unique in the relatively large area it covers and the quality looks good too. As already mentioned, hopefully we'll see extra autogen files for the tiles, even if they only cover bits and pieces of the terrain. I can certainly see why they aren't there in the release version though - it'd be an absolutely huge undertaking!On the colours, I'm fairly familiar with the GetMapping products and it seems that Visual Flight have licensed the same JPEGs that are used at places like http://www.multimap.com and as a result the colours show all the signs of JPEG compression (which apart from other things chucks away a lot of colour information). Compare what you see in the JustFlight screenshots with this from the getmapping site:http://www1.getmapping.com/images/durham.jpgBy the time the images have been converted to 16bit FS formats the effect gets worse of course. I could be wrong but this is why I think the colours aren't terribly hot. Also the shots seem to have been taken with a polarising filter which allows you to see right down into rivers a little more than you would in reality.Outstanding stuff though even taking those things into consideration. Hopefully when NASA release higher detail DEMs of the rest of the world we can really see some amazing scenery!Have funFinn

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Great Stuff Chris, thanks for posting the link!Just a few comments in reply to some of the other post here...If you want to see what this will look like as you fly close to the ground or land on it just simply take a look around Chicago, it's Miegs Field or O'Hare as they are all done in Photoreal and FS2k2 uses a fixed resolution of 4.8 meters, the neat thing is if you have "detail textures" enabled in the settings/display menu, FS does a pretty good job of "faking" it.I'm sure that these folks used the new methods that replace the underlying textures so that it simply cnforms to what ever mesh you are using as the old method was very very difficult but would allow for unlimitted resolution.(see my other post in this thread) :) It does unfortunatly look like they used the SDK tools to proccess the DXT1 textures as the pixelating and aliasing is the poor result you will get unless you use somthing like Martin Wright's graphic tools, But that aside, this is one heck of a great project no matter how many CD's!!!I just hope there is enough 3D objects to make it complete. :)

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>>We'd be back to playing disc-jockey along with flying the >plane, on long flights certainly, even when using DVDs. With todays Hard drives there would be plenty of room to install the whole set on one partition.>That is why the system currently used by FS is so brilliant. >Although it does use generic textures and buildings >(autogen), it still gives a reasonable impression of the >world 'down-there', day or night, high or low and all over >the world-actually the current system looks at it worst at >high altitudes! Good point, but photoreal looks its best at most any flying altitude. >Sure, some parts of the world have more detail than others, >still the FS 2002 scenery is a whole lot better overall than >the old FS 2000. I remember the days when you only had >scenery of any kind in the vicinity of San Fransisco, Los >Angeles, Chicago and New York. >>Another problem is the fact that photographic scenery has >ground shadows 'built in'. Look at the reflection of the sun >in the river the last picture in the Visualflight series. My >guess is that it's fixed in place, not depedent on your own >position or that of the sun. Because of this, photographic >scenery usually defeats the 'suspension of disbelief' just >because at first glance it is looking so very real, at >second glance it so obviously remains a flattened-out image. >Having seen photographic scenery in other add-ons or other >sims, I have to say I still prefer the FS 2002 way. >>Personally, I prefer flying across generic terrain with >autogen over flying across a giant photograph with flattened >buildings and trees every time, and I think the current FS >scenery is the best solution within the current (and >near-future!) hardware and cost limitations. It would >probably be possible for Visualflight to add autogen to >their scenery with the Annotator tool from the FS SDK, but >the time expended would make the cost prohibitive, and you >would still have those built-in ground shadows making things >look odd-even clashing with the way the buildings are being >lit. All great points, thats why great care must be given to how the data is coerrected. I can't agree though on the preference as I'm a bit biased towards photoreal ;)http://www.frontiernet.net/~pleatzaw/images/roc025.jpg

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granted, 12x600mb or so would be just 7.2 Gb, maybe a bit more-plenty of space on tdyas harddrives, but that's just England (not even the whole of the UK). I must admit I wasn't thinking of this set alone, but more like all of Europe or the US done in this way...fair enough, a lot of what I said is strictly personal. Looking at the picture you posted, I like the grass, taxiways and the freeway, it does look better than the stock airports, but it irritates me to see many large buildings completely flattened out-I'd rather not see those at all than to see them like that-it spoils the illusion for me instead of enhancing it. This is why don't agree photoreal looks good at low altitudes-true, there's more detail, but usually a lot of that detail doesn't look right-certainly in a situaton like this where you see 'photographic' hangars right next to 3d-rendered ones-but again, a personal thing I suppose. Of course, it would be possible to add all those large buildings in the shape of Autogen or specific scenery, but the cost would soon become prohibitive unless done for smaller areas such as single airports.My main point is that the FS scenery is world-wide, and as such the present solution, although a compromise, is a great achievement.

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I see photoreal scenery as kind-of the ultimate landclass file. Away from built-up areas and airfields I don't think you could get any better - except maybe with photoreal scenery with custom autogen files on top. Nearer airfields I still like photoreal scenery, but as you get lower/closer it starts to look a little silly - especially things like hangars and so on as already mentioned. In these cases I think you *really* need 3D objects sitting on top of the textures that appear when you get close enough.Maybe with broadband becoming more and more popular and widely available a future version of FS will have some equivalent to 'download real weather' where if you have a flight plan it will download the scenery textures under where you'll be likely to be flying. If you chose not to download then you'd get the standard tiles generated via the Landclass files. I think this would solve the distribution problems of having to put the whole world on a CD, and also add a new edge when flying over new areas using VFR as everything will look unique. I don't see this happening in the next couple of years...but I can dream!Have funFinn

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hi paul what airport is that you illustrated in the reply re uk scenery thanks

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