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Guest fourthtime

I just want something "simple"

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Ok what I mean by that is that I would like to fly with real world weather from fs2004 and use the textures from ground environment pro and flight environment. I also have active sky 6.5 but I'm not sure I need that. I am getting confused with those three. Do I need all three and if so how can I use them all together. They all can do pretty much the same thing I believe. The Ground Environment pro is already done but the problem comes from the weather. Can I use the fs2004 built in weather or do I need active sky for that. I really don't need all those features in active sky 6.5 like wind smoothing and suppression this and ceiling that. Those are nice for experts but I just want to load up fs2004 and see the real world weather with the flight environment clouds. Not too much to ask right? Thank you in advance for anyone that can help me. I am back to using fs2004 after problems with fsx.

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Well, you can continue to use FS' weather with both GEPro and FE but, I think you may be denying yourself something better. Of all the add-ons produced for FS9, ActiveSky is the one that I always use for every flight. The difference in the weather is like the difference between night and day. The integral weather engine of FS is not very good and has many shortcomings that I'm not going to get into. GEPro does have basic weather but, again, it is not as robust as AS. GEPro integrates with ActiveSky via an option in the AS program and will load appropriate textures based on the weather. And you'll have your choice of AS or GEPro cloud textures. All of the good add-ons provide alot of flexibility in configuration and that, by it's nature, can be somewhat intimidating but, I can assure you that once you learn AS, you won't know how you got by without it. Once configured, you will not have much need to change alot of settings. You really DO need the "wind smoothing and suppression this and ceiling that", as these functions correct many of the inherent problems in the FS weather engine. You also have the ability to archive your weather which comes in handy when current weather is not conducive to flying. One of the big issues with add-ons is overlapping and compatibility. ActiveSky, GEPro, and FE all overlap to some degree but, all are compatible. In general, I use AS for weather, GEPro for ground textures, and BEV for water. FE provides more cloud sets and water textures but, IMHO, is the least necessary of the three. The only thing it provides that the others don't is water. BEV textures are arguably the best textures out there but, requires the most work to configure as you have control of virtually every individual texture set, and many options. I have it configured for the water when I use GEPro textures.Bottom line is that the minimum add-ons necessary for a "world makeover" are FSGenesis mesh, ActiveSky, and GEPro. Once configured, this setup offers as close to "start it and forget it" as you're likely to find. One other addition that you should consider is the Ultimate Terrain products. These will provide accurate coastlines, roads, and enhanced landclass giving you even more "reality".Rather long winded but, I hope it helps you out.Regards,Jeff

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Thank you so much for your answer. It was very informative and I appreciate all the time it took to write it down. My active sky was uninstalled as right now I have ge pro and flight environment. I took a flight today and all seems ok with those two. I really didn't like starting active sky and then fs2004 and also it is a bit of a frame rate hog. I have kept the folder for active sky if I need to reinstall again and I may do that but I am going to see how this new configuration works out. I also thought of ultimate terrain but that really takes a lot of horsepower because I had that in fsx. with ge pro and flight environment I can set it and forget it, and don't have to open each one. I do wish I was able to see all the cloud and sky textures at different points instead of picking one set. If I did reinstall active sky now what effect would it have on the others. I mean whose clouds would I see. Ok, I'm thinking about doing to much to complicate things because flight simulator is never done. Thank you again.

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GE Pro does nothing to the games weather engine, it's just a ground and sky texture set. It has the option to work with ActiveSky (but AS is not required) in the sense that if you tell GE Pro the route, it tells AS and AS then tells GE pro the appropriate textures to load (grey, gloomy ground and sky textures on rainy days and bright ones on sunny days for example). It will use the average for the weather on the route. So you may start at a sunny aiport with bright looking textures and end up in a rain storm with the same set, it will not change on the fly so to speak. I do not use that part of GE Pro but the textures are simply amazing. I use a mosty sunny set all the time.Flight Environment does clouds sky and water. But GE Pro will match a sky set with your ground set.I own all three, GE Pro has amazing textures, as does FE, and nothing beats Active Sky for realistic weather.

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Hello altstiff,I was wondering if you just went ahead and purchased GEPRO or did you start with ground environment 2006 then just upgraded?I ask because I have GE2006 and was wondering if it would be worth it to pay the extra 20$ and upgrade to pro?Thanks

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Glad to help. My recommendations did not factor in performance as you didn't post your system specs but, yes ActiveSky can take some horsepower. If you use the 1024 cloud textures and don't limit your cloud layers on a lower end system, you can be watching a slide show in bad weather. That said, you will have many options in AS that allow you to customize it for your system and still have a great experience. Like I said, once you get it configured properly, it takes no time to be up and flying. Without exaggeration, I am up and flying in less than two minutes from a blank desktop. To your point of seeing the different texture and cloud sets, I don't have to bother with that in AS. I have it set to "Wx influenced" which means the program will load textures that are in keeping with the current conditions. I find it to be much less of a hassle than choosing individual cloud and sky texture sets. Not sure what you mean by "I do wish I was able to see all the cloud and sky textures at different points instead of picking one set". Your clouds and sky will reflect whatever the current conditions are where you're flying. Using AS and GEPro together, you can choose which cloud set to use through AS. The big difference between the two that I have seen is GEPro seems to transition more subtly than AS. For example, from overcast to blue sky, AS seems to pop while GEPro seems to blend in. If you were refering to GEPro then, no, it can't change sky, cloud, or ground texture sets on the fly. No program can do that. Texture sets are loaded at startup and won't change until you restart FS. You can select the WX and ground textures that the sets are based on however, ie. departure apt, arrival apt, etc. The best thing to do is experiment. You are absolutely right, FS is never done. I've been doing this since the very first FS some 26+ years ago and I'm still tweaking. Just for reference, I ran AS, GEPro, UTUSA, FSGenesis, BEV, and several other AC add-ons on a 3.2GHz P4 with an ATI X700pro graphics card and 1 gig of RAM and I was still in the teens or low twenties for FPS. That same setup runs in the 60's on my current rig with all sliders to the right (yes, I'm bragging now :-cool).One last thing. Try not to judge FS9 performance against FSX with these add-ons. They are completely different animals, as are the add-ons for them. There is no guarantee that because an add-on works one way on FS9, that it will work better or worse on FSX. There is just no correlation between the two sims. Fly Safe!Regards, Jeff

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