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pontiuspilotus

Scotflight Review

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Is it just me or are the screenshots for this scenery just atrocious? I desperately want to like the product but perhaps there is not much to like. The reviewer states thus: "It should be obvious from these screenshots and my comments that what we have from Scotflight is not mere "wow factor" eye candy, but something much more pragmatic and ultimately, far more useful." Where is this "eye candy"? There are jaggies galore (no anti-aliasing), the colours look quite bland, and there are no ground shadows. :( Hardly good advertising for the product. I do commend the time and rigour the reviewer went through to give everyone a flavour of the product as a whole, but perhaps the screenshots need some redoing.

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Is it just me or are the screenshots for this scenery just atrocious? I desperately want to like the product but perhaps there is not much to like. The reviewer states thus: "It should be obvious from these screenshots and my comments that what we have from Scotflight is not mere "wow factor" eye candy, but something much more pragmatic and ultimately, far more useful." Where is this "eye candy"? There are jaggies galore (no anti-aliasing), the colours look quite bland, and there are no ground shadows. :o Hardly good advertising for the product. I do commend the time and rigour the reviewer went through to give everyone a flavour of the product as a whole, but perhaps the screenshots need some redoing.
Hmm, I don't know. I think part of it is just you, but I also think part of it is Alan Bradbury's screenshot setup and part of it may be from post-processing of images. I can't really speak for the first two, but to me the images look like they've been "sweetened" after the fact.If you look at the histograms for each picture (say, using Photoshop's "Histogram" function), there is a certain choppiness that you see when the artist fools around with the gamma setting. In other words, the brightness was adjusted and it throws off the normal distribution of pixels. That would explain what you call a "washed-out" appearance. That could be a function of the artist wanting to simulate the quality of sunlight in Scotland, or it could be a function of the .jpg compression. I also see some colour banding and texture blotches that could indicate FSX being run in 16-bit colour, more post-processing issues, and/or a high level of .JPG compression. It's good that you bring this issue to our attention, but I am unsure as to what remedies may be available. Without knowing more about Mr. Bradbury's setup, we may not be able to change the image quality - after all, Reviewers are volunteers, and we often face restrictions to the resources we have at hand. I think that Alan did a great job of showing off the flavour and layout of the product, and that there are many interesting facets of the product that he successfully illustrates. He got his detailed review published "on time and under budget", which is not an easy thing to do. Unless you're writing reviews yourself, I think that's difficult to appreciate. Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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As much as I'm "for" good screenshots with a review, I'd like to echo Jeff's comments. Screenshots merely support a review (if the review itself is well written). I don't think a reviewer should be penalised if their system isn't able to run software at an optimum level. Certainly this review of Scotflight's scenery was good enough for me to head over to their website to quickly find more information and additional images.

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Hi, despite the forum name Chock, this is actually Alan Bradbury here, the reviewer in question; for some reason I cannot log on with my Avsim ID, so I've been using this old log on to access the forums.The light screenshots on this review were a result of difficulties with FSX which I was experiencing at the time. As you probably know, FSX sometimes fails to install because of clashes with what version of the .NET framework you are running, what version of Microsoft's installer you have, and what operating system Service Pack you have installed.This is a problem which plagues reviewers, as to give software a fair review, they will invariably uninstall FS and reinstall it clean to avoid the product under review from being affected by potential clashes with other add-ons in FS. As a result of doing that constant reinstalling, I had windows stuff up on me and could not install the drivers for my ATI card, which resulted in the gamma setting being too low. Consequently, I lightened all the screenshots in Photoshop, but of course with the ATI drivers not working properly, it seems I overcooked things a little and did not spot it, obviously this is also the reason why antialiasing is not on full throttle in the shots either, although it is on. I've since completely wiped the PC which was used for the review and it now has the ATI drivers correctly installed, and of course it is now apparent to me when viewing things on that computer that the screenshots are indeed a little on the light side.With regard to ground shadows, that's a personal preference, I never have them turned on because I don't think the effect is particularly realistic in FS, being as there is no penumbra emulation for FS shadowing. I can assure you that if you want them with the Scotflight scenery, they are there if you select that option. The truth is, as should be apparent from the review text, that the Scotflight Scenery does not model every single rivet on every object, and I think that is a very wise decision by the developers, as it makes it possible to maintain very high frame rates, which is important for scenery where you will most likely be using fast jets. Nevertheless, it does model enough detail to be a vast improvement over the default terrain, which should be apparent from the comparitive shots. What you can also determine from the comparitive shots, is that since both the shots with the add-on scenery, and the shots without it are both washed out to the same degree, it is easy to deduce how things will look on your own system. Hope that helps a bit, and thanks for the feedback.

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Hi AlanAs someone who has used all of the Scotflight Scenery that has been released, I have never had any problem with the installation of any of the Scotflight Scenery including Scotflight RAF FSX, nor a problem with getting good screenshots showing off this scenery to the full advantage of colour and detail contained in the scenery.You can choose where you want the Scotflight RAF FSX scenery installed but I always leave the installer to put the scenery in the Program Files / Scotflight / RAF FSX folder. The scenery is also placed in the Setting - Scenery Library in FSX in the correct position for each of the component folders of RAF FSX.I don't see why you had a problem with this. If you wanted to place the RAF FSX in the FSX Addon Scenery folder you could have simply browsed to this folder at the start of the installation.My concern is that someone reading your review of Scotflight RAF FSX would be put off purchasing Scotflight RAF FSX scenery by the poor quality of screenshots in the review article and the notion put forward that there is a supposed problem with the installer.Hopefully, other simmers will not be put off Scotflight RAF FSX scenery by your review on AVSIM.ceebee321

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Alan Bradbury here again, still on this log in.Just pointing out that I have submitted new screenshots for this review at a much higher resolution, (I also put ground shadows on in FS when I took the new screenshots, as per a previous poster's request). These new screenshots are waiting to be put onto the page, although since Avsim currently seems to be having a few file issues, it might be some time before they go on there.The review most certainly does not put forward a notion that there is 'a problem' with the installer, it says that the installer does not always find the default path to Flight Simulator, which is true, it doesn't.You might not have experienced that problem, but I doubt that you have done numerous different installs of Flight Simulator, and numerous installs of the RAF Collection onto those numerous system installs on various computers, with and without patches to various operating systems and with different versions of .Net Framework and MSI installer applied to the systems, all over a number of days, to see how robust the installer is. That is what I do when I review things. It's a pain in the butt to be honest to have to do that sort of thing and very time consuming, but it is necessary for a proper review. People might assume that reviewers simply play with a free product and write what they like a couple of days later, and I daresay some reviewers do that, but I'm not one of them!When you do all that sort of testing, the fact is, the installer for the RAF Collection does occasionally not find the path to FSX under some configurations. I would not have written that if it were not so. However, you will note that I also point out I do not think this is as a result of any problem with the product, rather that it is far more likely to be a problem with the changes that can happen to the file structure in FSX because of the patches to it and MS operating systems.As a reviewer, if I experience something like that during the install of a product, it is my duty to point it out in the review; it is a reflection of my experience with the product and that's what people read reviews for. It did not always happen and I pointed that out too in the review, but the fact that it can happen is of interest in a review to readers who are not necessarily au fait with swapping files around. The possibility that they may have to do that has a bearing on whether that type of user will be comfortable with the product.In short, I didn't write an an advert, I wrote a review.Nevertheless, you should also note that the reason I also took the trouble to mention a solution to that possibility, including putting a screenshot of the preference screen in FSX you go to in order to activate the scenery, was because I liked the product and didn't want people to be put off. Which means it was anything but a criticism.Read carefully, and you will see that there is a criticism of a glitch with the host application in the review, not the product.Cheers for the feedback anyway. Regards, Al

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