Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest FSX5150

Scenery/Landclass for Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Florida

Recommended Posts

Guest FSX5150

Hello all,Just wondering if anybody has developed some quality scenery for Sanibel Island and/or Captiva Islands for FSX. I'm currently using UTX and US Xclass from Cloud9 which does a respectable job with the beaches and coastlines for these islands and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, much of the mainland area (the neighborhoods consisting of timeshares, condos, yacht clubs, etc) are not well represented at all (at least not compared to the accuracy and beauty found in Google Earth). The overall geographical/terrain layout of the islands is accurate but the "paint" from the textures/landclass is not very realistic (this is especially true of the Sanibel "Causeway" which has beautifully defined sandy beaches among the two smaller islands that connect Sanibel Island to the mainland (Ft Myers area) - in the Sim it's mostly green with trees).Given this, I was hoping somebody has developed some custom scenery for these areas and if so, where I might find it.Please jump in and share your thoughts on this and as always, thank you very much in advance for your help! :( - Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello all,Just wondering if anybody has developed some quality scenery for Sanibel Island and/or Captiva Islands for FSX. I'm currently using UTX and US Xclass from Cloud9 which does a respectable job with the beaches and coastlines for these islands and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, much of the mainland area (the neighborhoods consisting of timeshares, condos, yacht clubs, etc) are not well represented at all (at least not compared to the accuracy and beauty found in Google Earth). The overall geographical/terrain layout of the islands is accurate but the "paint" from the textures/landclass is not very realistic (this is especially true of the Sanibel "Causeway" which has beautifully defined sandy beaches among the two smaller islands that connect Sanibel Island to the mainland (Ft Myers area) - in the Sim it's mostly green with trees).Given this, I was hoping somebody has developed some custom scenery for these areas and if so, where I might find it.Please jump in and share your thoughts on this and as always, thank you very much in advance for your help! :( - Rob
Yes, I'd like this area represented better as well. Love Sanibel....phenomenal place to relax without a lot of hassles. Great beaches.Stan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest FSX5150
Since I do not have it I can not comment on how good it is, but MegaSceney Earth has Sanibel and Captiva Islands.http://www.megasceneryearth.com/store/cart...;category_id=68
Idahosurge,Thank you very,very much for mentioning the MegaScenery Earth product! I went ahead and downloaded their "Florida Tile #16" which covers Sanibel and Captiva, including the Causeway to the mainland (Ft. Myers area) and overall was *very* impressed with the accuracy of the scenery! Yes, it does have its inheritant limitations as a "photoreal" scenery product such as being able to fly only one seasonal timeframe (spring/summer and no fall or winter), a few color matching issues (with some "washed out" or overly bright ground textures), and being limited to the scenery being "frozen" at one particular point in time (e.g., it's how Sanibel looked when the aerial photos were taken and certain sections may have changed a bit since then). BUT! Given these limitations, it is a HUGE leap over default FSX and also significantly better than professional terrain/landclass enhancements such as UTX, GEX, Cloud9 Xclass landclass (all three which I love and routinely use). Those products do a terrific job of "guessing" how to paint the terrain and in more average, common areas of the world, they hit the mark pretty close. But when rendering a very specific and unique region like Sanibel/Captiva, you MUST have either completely hand-crafted terrain textures and custom autogen which is based on the real-world features or simply, the actual aerial photography itself. Nobody has undertaken the former as of yet and so at this point, the aerial photo scenery is absolutely the way to go. It makes all the difference in the accuracy of the way the islands are depicted in the simulator - it's about as close to actually being UP there in a real-world airplane as you'll get. You get to see the islands from the air as they are in real life. Just do a quick compare of the way the islands look in Google Earth and how they appear and "feel" in the simulator during virtual flight - they're nearly identical. Autogen and generic terrain texture products simply can't recreate this environment to this level of accuracy.A few issues to keep in mind when considering purchasing this product:1) While I have not yet tested this fully, I suspect for the very best effect and utmost realism, it would be advisable to completely turn off all "Autogen" in FSX as it will continue to paint "fake" buildings and roads over the photo-realistic terrain used by MegaSceneryEarth. By default, I believe the installer leaves the autogen ON. In essence, you'll have a handful of fake terrain blended in with the REAL terrain. I know this is generally the case whenever you use any photoreal scenery product - usually best to turn autogen OFF in the sim. The only issue becomes if you start to fly outside the photoreal coverage area (and fall back to default FSX or some other terrain/landclass products like UTX) - if autogen is completely off, you won't see any buildings placed at all on the non-photoreal coverage area and will likely want to turn autogen back on while in flight.2) Generally, the LOWER you fly altitude-wise, the more BLURRY and less detailed the ground features become in the simulator with photoreal scenery. So don't expect to check out a good portion of the islands at say, cruising altitude of 4,500 MSL with decent detail, and then swoop down to around 1,500 MSL and see even greater clarity on the ground - it doesn't work that way - features will become less crisp and defined the more you descend. There is also NO 3-dimensional aspect to any of the buildings or objects on the ground, everything is basically flat with no depth or elevation change. But at higher cruising altitudes it doesn't matter because when you're that high up in the air (both virtually and in real-world flight) everything looks flat anyway! At lower altitudes hand-crafted textures and autogen really outshine photoreal scenery products as the better, more expertly they are developed, the more detailed and life-like they become the more you descend and their true 3D nature is readily apparent.3) I noticed a bit more "stutter" in the display of the photoreal textures while they were being loaded into the sim during flight. It was like the ground features were skipping or hopping a bit. This was generally noticeable for only a few seconds after new sections of terrain were loaded and is likely something I can tweak a bit in the FSX.cfg settings to help eliminate this. I noticed the installer offered to make CHANGES to the FSX.cfg file and I think (in my case anyway) the changes were NOT optimal for my configuration. I reverted back to my previous system configuration and will re-install the MegaSceneryEarth product again but choose to NOT have the installer make these settings changes. You should experiment with your own config to see what effects it has for you.4) Finally, there was a noticeable and unsightly "seam" that gets displayed whenever the default/non-photoreal coverage area meets up with the MegaSceneryEarth terrain. For instance, in Tile #16 for Sanibel/Captiva, once you fly past the Causeway and head toward Ft. Myers, you can see a distinct line that separates your default FSX environment with MegaScenery's coverage area. It's like looking at a seam in your carpet where the carpet layers patched two pieces together. Obviously, this won't be an issue at all if you only fly directly within the photoreal scenery area itself.Regardless of these points, the photoreal approach for gorgeous, uniquely developed islands like Sanibel or Captiva is truly the way to go. For some areas of the world, especially those more "generic", common, highly-urbanized areas where there is less uniqueness or distinction within the area, then a quality autogen/hand-built terrain package like UTX, Xclass, Orbx, etc., is a better fit. A computer algorithm can hit pretty close to the mark to accurately render such areas. In this case, though, you truly need to see the area as it truly is. Despite its limitations discussed above, I still like the MegaSceneryEarth product enough that I'm going to purchase the complete set of Florida tiles (at present, they have 22 tiles developed which gives about 60% of the entire state in photoreal detail - they're working to finish the entire state over time). Florida has amazing unique surface features from the air and photoreal scenery captures it best at this point in time, IMHO.In closing, if anybody else has any experiences with this product (both good and bad), please jump in and share your thoughts. Also, if anybody knows of any competing products to this for the Florida area (especially Sanibel/Captiva), please let us know. :( Cheers,Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot of MegaSceneryEarth, the complete states of WA, AZ, CA and NJ plus all of Long Island, other parts of NY and some of RI and MA.I really like flying over this, at altitude you can not beat it. My only gripe is they do not do a very good job of blending. Flying the length of CA there are a lot of different shades between tiles, but it is still great looking. I did not know about FL since I do not have it, but I did see a post one time that some part of FL is covered by clouds and you can not see much of the ground, so you have to be careful what you buy.The bottom line is that none of this stuff is going to be perfect, but in the case of CA and AZ I do think that they could have done a lot better job of color blending from tile to tile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For non Photo real scenery there is always UTUSAX , if you don't have that check out this scenery. It's a freeware version of UT like scenery, that covers the southern US (Including Florida) The Caribbean, All of Central and South America. Oh and did I say it's free???? If you have UTUSA already put this scenery below it in the database, so this don't interfere. As good as this is (At least better than default) it's not as good as UT (Just in detail, not texture quality, which is good). Now though you have accurate major roads, coastlines all the way down to the Antarctic! Be warned this is huge, filesize that is (2.7GB all free) . They are broken up though about 200MB each, but must be install together, so you can't leave any out. If you have the space and a high bandwidth connection, this one is a no brainer!!! Check out this post!This is all thanks to Wellington Leal, who I publicly thank again for his hard work to produce this, and selflessly shares with this community.http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=287479&hl


Thanks

Tom

My Youtube Videos!

http://www.youtube.com/user/tf51d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Tom Allensworth,
    Founder of AVSIM Online


  • Flight Simulation's Premier Resource!

    AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!

    Click here for more information and to see all donations year to date.
  • Donation Goals

    AVSIM's 2020 Fundraising Goal

    Donate to our annual general fundraising goal. This donation keeps our doors open and providing you service 24 x 7 x 365. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. We reset this goal every new year for the following year's goal.


    53%
    $13,405.00 of $25,000.00 Donate Now
×
×
  • Create New...