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dph314

Question About Best X-Plane Scenery Mods

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(I hope I'm in the right sub-forum, sorry if I'm not)

 

I may have found what I'm looking for right before I was about to post my original question. But I figured I would still make a post just for some clarification, if you would. Also, this is my first post, hello everyone! Looks like a great community and I'm grateful to have found it.

 

I had FSX for a while, recently made the switch to X-Plane, and I'm really liking it so far. For FSX, the only modding I really did was getting REX and the REX4 Textures. I'm kind of a graphics junky, and really want to get into turning X-Plane into more of a treat for the eyes. I have a 3930k+780Ti, so hardware isn't an issue. I just want the most realistic scenery possible, and after looking around the past few days, I was kind of overwhelmed at first but I think I might be getting the hang of a few things. Still have some questions though and would like some tips on getting some heavy-duty graphics modding done. I know there's cloud/plane/airport mods, but wanted to focus on the terrain first.

 

The first thing I found and downloaded was the HD Mesh V2 packages. While an improvement, they didn't seem to be exactly what I was hoping for. Like I said, I was a bit overwhelmed at first and this mod seemed quick and easy to install. In my quest to find more, I've come across all of the quite popular ones- PhotoSceneryX, SimHeaven.com, osm2xp, RealScenery... Now from what I can gather, RealScenery looks like it's easy, just a download. But they don't cover many states (I'm in the US). SimHeaven also looks like one of the quicker options, but I'm not sure which one is better to go with, the 'N. America' OSM package or get a ton of US cities from the Photo Scenery section? I guess what I'm asking is if taking the time to get a bunch of the Photo Scenery section will be worth it over the single OSM N. America package. Also, are the files in the Photo Scenery section what would be produced by tools such as osm2xp and PhotoSceneryX/ImageToolX?

 

Which brings me to my next question. If the files in SimHeaven.com's Photo Scenery section aren't as good as what can be done with those tools, then is there anywhere I would be able to download that scenery, or do I have to use the tools? osm2xp doesn't seem too difficult, judging from the Quick Start section- http://osm2xp.com/?q=quickstart, as long as that's really all it takes. PhotoSceneryX's guide seems a bit more complicated. osm2xp is what I meant by that first sentence- it seems to be what I'm looking for but I'm still wondering if there's easier/better scenery to be had.

 

I've just seen some amazing and accurate X-Plane videos and don't quite know what direction to head in yet. I mean...if someone came out and said "The only way to get the most realistic graphics is to use osm2xp and make them yourself", then at least I'll know where to focus my time and energy. I'm intrigued by all the real-world scenery that can be added to the game, just kind of looking for some insight on my options. Hope it wasn't too long of a question  :unsure: but thanks in advance for any and all advice.

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(I hope I'm in the right sub-forum, sorry if I'm not)

 

I may have found what I'm looking for right before I was about to post my original question. But I figured I would still make a post just for some clarification, if you would. Also, this is my first post, hello everyone! Looks like a great community and I'm grateful to have found it.

 

I had FSX for a while, recently made the switch to X-Plane, and I'm really liking it so far. For FSX, the only modding I really did was getting REX and the REX4 Textures. I'm kind of a graphics junky, and really want to get into turning X-Plane into more of a treat for the eyes. I have a 3930k+780Ti, so hardware isn't an issue. I just want the most realistic scenery possible, and after looking around the past few days, I was kind of overwhelmed at first but I think I might be getting the hang of a few things. Still have some questions though and would like some tips on getting some heavy-duty graphics modding done. I know there's cloud/plane/airport mods, but wanted to focus on the terrain first.

 

The first thing I found and downloaded was the HD Mesh V2 packages. While an improvement, they didn't seem to be exactly what I was hoping for. Like I said, I was a bit overwhelmed at first and this mod seemed quick and easy to install. In my quest to find more, I've come across all of the quite popular ones- PhotoSceneryX, SimHeaven.com, osm2xp, RealScenery... Now from what I can gather, RealScenery looks like it's easy, just a download. But they don't cover many states (I'm in the US). SimHeaven also looks like one of the quicker options, but I'm not sure which one is better to go with, the 'N. America' OSM package or get a ton of US cities from the Photo Scenery section? I guess what I'm asking is if taking the time to get a bunch of the Photo Scenery section will be worth it over the single OSM N. America package. Also, are the files in the Photo Scenery section what would be produced by tools such as osm2xp and PhotoSceneryX/ImageToolX?

 

Which brings me to my next question. If the files in SimHeaven.com's Photo Scenery section aren't as good as what can be done with those tools, then is there anywhere I would be able to download that scenery, or do I have to use the tools? osm2xp doesn't seem too difficult, judging from the Quick Start section- http://osm2xp.com/?q=quickstart, as long as that's really all it takes. PhotoSceneryX's guide seems a bit more complicated. osm2xp is what I meant by that first sentence- it seems to be what I'm looking for but I'm still wondering if there's easier/better scenery to be had.

 

I've just seen some amazing and accurate X-Plane videos and don't quite know what direction to head in yet. I mean...if someone came out and said "The only way to get the most realistic graphics is to use osm2xp and make them yourself", then at least I'll know where to focus my time and energy. I'm intrigued by all the real-world scenery that can be added to the game, just kind of looking for some insight on my options. Hope it wasn't too long of a question  :unsure: but thanks in advance for any and all advice.

 

 

The Island of Oahu by Real Scenery is really good but it's only one Island, which gets boring in about 10 minutes. I bought the state of Florida and its garbage, It's not even good enough to be freeware. It's really dated ! I'm not sure about the other states since I lost interest after Florida !

 

Simhaven has Europe covered ! But the download speeds are horrific. I think North America is spotty and dated last time I checked.

 

Check out World2Xplane ! That looks really promising !

 

Take a look at Real Terra Haze on the org. It's awesome ! I think I am using 1.2.

 

Anything by Maxx-XP is awesome ! And Aerosoft sky tool !

 


AMD Ryzen 7 1800x, 1080GTX, Ram - 32GB, 32" 4K Monitor, WIN 10, XP-11 !

Eric Escobar

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The Island of Oahu by Real Scenery is really good but it's only one Island, which gets boring in about 10 minutes. I bought the state of Florida and its garbage, It's not even good enough to be freeware. It's really dated ! I'm not sure about the other states since I lost interest after Florida !

 

Simhaven has Europe covered ! But the download speeds are horrific. I think North America is spotty and dated last time I checked.

 

Check out World2Xplane ! That looks really promising !

 

Take a look at Real Terra Haze on the org. It's awesome ! I think I am using 1.2.

 

Anything by Maxx-XP is awesome ! And Aerosoft sky tool !

 

 

 

Thanks for the response. That sky tool does look pretty good, I'll definitely get that.

 

So...World2Xplane is pretty much the same thing as osm2xp? Reading the Quick Start Guide here -http://world2xplane.com/2014/03/12/quick-start-guide/- looks along the lines of osm2xp. I'm still in the process of reading through the site, but I noticed it mentions SimHeaven. Is the 'Photo Scenery' section at SimHeaven the same as what the World2Xplane tool would produce? Or the OSM section? I'm in the middle of reinstalling X-Plane, going to take a bit, but when I'm done I'm going to give those files from SimHeaven another go. Just wondering if it would be worth getting to know World2Xplane or osm2xp, or if SimHeaven already has the exact same textures that those tools produce.

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World2Xplane is definitely the way to go for OSM scenery at this point, no doubt. As has been suggested though I don't think coverage is great in the U.S. If you want scenery at better resolutions than that from Simheaven you'll need to get G2XPL from Robert2 at the .org. Requires a small donation but very much worth whatever you donate. Simheavens sceneries are at Zoom Level 17 and as far as I know G2XPL is used in their creation whereas using G2XPL yourself allows you to choose a higher zoom level. I use 18 which I find excellent though it produces very big sceneries as you might imagine so you'll need a lot of drivespace should you decide to go that way. To give you an idea of how big, my custom scenery folder is near 300gigs at the moment and I still haven't finished doing Ireland. I think it produces the very best results though. I think the latest SimHeaven stuff incorporates World2XPlane generated autogen but I don't use their stuff so not 100% on that. If you want to preserve the HD Mesh to be used in scenery generation with G2XPL you'll need to actually replace the default mesh though I haven't tried it as I live in a country with no real mountainous terrain.

I highly recommend SkyMaxxPro also! Enjoy the journey! XPX is an exciting sim to run at the moment with so many great tools coming into being and really top class aircraft appearing.

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World2Xplane is definitely the way to go for OSM scenery at this point, no doubt. As has been suggested though I don't think coverage is great in the U.S. If you want scenery at better resolutions than that from Simheaven you'll need to get G2XPL from Robert2 at the .org. Requires a small donation but very much worth whatever you donate. Simheavens sceneries are at Zoom Level 17 and as far as I know G2XPL is used in their creation whereas using G2XPL yourself allows you to choose a higher zoom level. I use 18 which I find excellent though it produces very big sceneries as you might imagine so you'll need a lot of drivespace should you decide to go that way. To give you an idea of how big, my custom scenery folder is near 300gigs at the moment and I still haven't finished doing Ireland. I think it produces the very best results though. I think the latest SimHeaven stuff incorporates World2XPlane generated autogen but I don't use their stuff so not 100% on that. If you want to preserve the HD Mesh to be used in scenery generation with G2XPL you'll need to actually replace the default mesh though I haven't tried it as I live in a country with no real mountainous terrain.

I highly recommend SkyMaxxPro also! Enjoy the journey! XPX is an exciting sim to run at the moment with so many great tools coming into being and really top class aircraft appearing.

 

Thanks for the info  :good:

 

I have a 3TB drive at the moment, so space won't be an issue. So the Photo Scenery at SimHeaven is basically what I could produce with G2XPL but just not as high-res, and obviously not as comprehensive since using the tool would allow me to do whatever area I want? I might look into making my own then, just not sure which tool to use yet.

 

I checked out the thread about G2XPL, downloaded the readme. Looks a bit more complicated than what I read about World2Xplane or osm2xp. It looks like the readme describes all the parameters as opposed to offering an actual step-by-step guide, and Google didn't show any good results for a guide on using it. Is it easy to use? On par with World2Xplane and osm2xp? Now I have 3 tools to choose from instead of 2, ha. I'll go with G2XPL if you think it's the best one, just wondering how long it'll take to get the hang of it  :unsure:

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Thanks for the info  :good:

 

I have a 3TB drive at the moment, so space won't be an issue. So the Photo Scenery at SimHeaven is basically what I could produce with G2XPL but just not as high-res, and obviously not as comprehensive since using the tool would allow me to do whatever area I want? I might look into making my own then, just not sure which tool to use yet.

 

I checked out the thread about G2XPL, downloaded the readme. Looks a bit more complicated than what I read about World2Xplane or osm2xp. It looks like the readme describes all the parameters as opposed to offering an actual step-by-step guide, and Google didn't show any good results for a guide on using it. Is it easy to use? On par with World2Xplane and osm2xp? Now I have 3 tools to choose from instead of 2, ha. I'll go with G2XPL if you think it's the best one, just wondering how long it'll take to get the hang of it  :unsure:

 

You have the right idea, G2XPL gives you the area and resolution you want. You are also right about the readme, it took me quite a while to figure out, I had even given up on it a few times but now I have it set up such that I only ever have to change the coordinates in the .ini file and run to download a tile or tiles. It really is worth the effort though!!

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You have the right idea, G2XPL gives you the area and resolution you want. You are also right about the readme, it took me quite a while to figure out, I had even given up on it a few times but now I have it set up such that I only ever have to change the coordinates in the .ini file and run to download a tile or tiles. It really is worth the effort though!!

 

I'll go with G2XPL then. What does the paid/donated version do over the free one?

 

Also, are there any steps you might be able to outline to get the hang of using it for the first time? I see the many parameters are pretty well defined, but just the basics of getting my first image done would be a huge help. I'm going to get some sleep now but I'll be diving into it tomorrow. I'll check back here first though for any guidance you might be able to provide  :Hug:

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OSM + autogen, HD Mesh V2, Treelines and Farms V2, UrbanMAXX 3D and some tweaking of the "art controls" (done with a plugin) make a whole new sim without too much work and "deep knowledge"! ;-)

The fact that everything mentioned above is free-(donation-)ware, except UrbanMAXX (7,95$), is a very nice fact too! Bare in mind, that the outcome will vary, depending on the quality of OSM data that is not the same on all continents and countries.

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I'll go with G2XPL then. What does the paid/donated version do over the free one?

 

Also, are there any steps you might be able to outline to get the hang of using it for the first time? I see the many parameters are pretty well defined, but just the basics of getting my first image done would be a huge help. I'm going to get some sleep now but I'll be diving into it tomorrow. I'll check back here first though for any guidance you might be able to provide  :Hug:

 

As far as I recall, the free is limited to a resolution of 16, you really need 18.

 

hi_res_textures_threshold_radius_m=0 is essential so that the whole tile is filled with hi-res. Use [service1] only with only_one_service_per_texture=yes.

When you fire up XP after installing the plugin you can use the plugin to get your coordinates and copy/paste to the .ini. Don't use any of the Save/Apply options just close it out and run the program from its .exe. Don't forget, all other services active=no. That should get you motoring. Btw, it can take several hours to do a single 1x1 degree tile.

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As far as I recall, the free is limited to a resolution of 16, you really need 18.

 

hi_res_textures_threshold_radius_m=0 is essential so that the whole tile is filled with hi-res. Use [service1] only with only_one_service_per_texture=yes.

When you fire up XP after installing the plugin you can use the plugin to get your coordinates and copy/paste to the .ini. Don't use any of the Save/Apply options just close it out and run the program from its .exe. Don't forget, all other services active=no. That should get you motoring. Btw, it can take several hours to do a single 1x1 degree tile.

 

Several hours because of the processing time? Well I have a 3930k in this machine, so if that's what you mean will take so long then I should be in pretty decent shape. I haven't donated-downloaded-installed it yet, so I'm not sure if I'll have any more questions about those directions yet, but I'm going to be soon so I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the advice.

 

 

OSM + autogen, HD Mesh V2, Treelines and Farms V2, UrbanMAXX 3D and some tweaking of the "art controls" (done with a plugin) make a whole new sim without too much work and "deep knowledge"! ;-)

The fact that everything mentioned above is free-(donation-)ware, except UrbanMAXX (7,95$), is a very nice fact too! Bare in mind, that the outcome will vary, depending on the quality of OSM data that is not the same on all continents and countries.

 

I thought about that. Never got UrbanMAXX, but I picked up a few others and I may give them one more shot before I go with some of the tools that have been mentioned. They just didn't seem to be the improvement I was looking for, and that I had seen in some of the better-looking videos of X-Plane. I know a lot more now than I did when I first got X-Plane, so maybe I'll give them another shot. 

 

First thing I got was HD Mesh V2, thought I installed it wrong until Googling finally brought me to a great set of side-by-side screenshots, which made me realize that it was working after all, I was just expecting too much out of it, and it was also right when I got X-Plane so I wasn't even familiar enough with the default scenery to know much of a difference. I also got the N. America OSM Continent from SimHeaven, but I may have been looking in a city that wasn't too much affected by it, or because I installed it wrong, because I didn't see much improvement with that one either (I'm in Buffalo, so I installed it and took off from KBUF, either installed/set-it-up wrong or Buffalo isn't changed much in it). Also had OpenSceneryX, but I don't think I even had anything that took advantage of it yet, and didn't get a chance to because I decided to do a reinstall of X-Plane and start looking at tools like osm2xp and World2Xplane instead. And that's when I made this thread  :wink:

 

So, that's the jist of it. In the past couple days that I've been looking to this thread for direction, I've gotten to read a bit more. I may give the mods I've already downloaded another shot, and make sure they're set up properly. It just seemed like the tools and real-world scenery might be more fun than these mods I have, so I started looking in other directions. I do see your point though, might be easier than getting into complicated tools. I figure that if they really look a lot better though, then once I get the hang of using them then it'll pay off bigtime.

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Guest Mik75

Several hours because of the processing time? Well I have a 3930k in this machine, so if that's what you mean will take so long then I should be in pretty decent shape. I haven't donated-downloaded-installed it yet, so I'm not sure if I'll have any more questions about those directions yet, but I'm going to be soon so I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the advice.

 

 

 

I thought about that. Never got UrbanMAXX, but I picked up a few others and I may give them one more shot before I go with some of the tools that have been mentioned. They just didn't seem to be the improvement I was looking for, and that I had seen in some of the better-looking videos of X-Plane. I know a lot more now than I did when I first got X-Plane, so maybe I'll give them another shot.

 

First thing I got was HD Mesh V2, thought I installed it wrong until Googling finally brought me to a great set of side-by-side screenshots, which made me realize that it was working after all, I was just expecting too much out of it, and it was also right when I got X-Plane so I wasn't even familiar enough with the default scenery to know much of a difference. I also got the N. America OSM Continent from SimHeaven, but I may have been looking in a city that wasn't too much affected by it, or because I installed it wrong, because I didn't see much improvement with that one either (I'm in Buffalo, so I installed it and took off from KBUF, either installed/set-it-up wrong or Buffalo isn't changed much in it). Also had OpenSceneryX, but I don't think I even had anything that took advantage of it yet, and didn't get a chance to because I decided to do a reinstall of X-Plane and start looking at tools like osm2xp and World2Xplane instead. And that's when I made this thread :wink:

 

So, that's the jist of it. In the past couple days that I've been looking to this thread for direction, I've gotten to read a bit more. I may give the mods I've already downloaded another shot, and make sure they're set up properly. It just seemed like the tools and real-world scenery might be more fun than these mods I have, so I started looking in other directions. I do see your point though, might be easier than getting into complicated tools. I figure that if they really look a lot better though, then once I get the hang of using them then it'll pay off bigtime.

You may want to have a look here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/schmeichel75

There you can see, how the combination, I mentioned above, looks in the sim!

I even compared the OSM scenery to a satellite image (over the alps), and the result is really impressive!

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You may want to have a look here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/schmeichel75

There you can see, how the combination, I mentioned above, looks in the sim!

I even compared the OSM scenery to a satellite image (over the alps), and the result is really impressive!

 

That does look pretty good. This comparison video on there shows what can be gotten from simply using the N. America OSM from SimHeaven? (not the Alps though, obviously  :P )

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Guest Mik75

That does look pretty good. This comparison video on there shows what can be gotten from simply using the N. America OSM from SimHeaven? (not the Alps though, obviously :P )

As stated above, it's OSM Europe + autogen (simheaven), HD Mesh V2, treelines and farms V2 (both alpilotx), UrbanMAXX 3D (payware 7,95$) and a few tweaks concerning cloud shadows and the atmospheric scattering of XPX (done with a plugin called dataref editor, freeware). The results vary with the OSM data, Europe is generally very good. From the tests I've done in North America (mainly California and Massachusetts), it looks very good there too.

If you have a fast internet connection (some of the HD mesh V2 tiles are quite big), just give it a try. It's easy to install!

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As stated above, it's OSM Europe + autogen (simheaven), HD Mesh V2, treelines and farms V2 (both alpilotx), UrbanMAXX 3D (payware 7,95$) and a few tweaks concerning cloud shadows and the atmospheric scattering of XPX (done with a plugin called dataref editor, freeware). The results vary with the OSM data, Europe is generally very good. From the tests I've done in North America (mainly California and Massachusetts), it looks very good there too.

If you have a fast internet connection (some of the HD mesh V2 tiles are quite big), just give it a try. It's easy to install!

 

Ah, I see. Yep, have all of the HD Mesh V2 tiles, paid for the un-capped speeds from the site and also have a fast internet connection. I'll give everything I have another shot. I tried the N. America OSM from SimHeaven because I wanted to primarily fly in the US, even though I did head Europe has better scenery for the most part. I might not have installed HD Mesh V2 and OSM N. America correctly, so I'll give them another shot and have to make sure the .ini is set up the right way.

 

Having the real scenery produced from tools like we've discussed just really seemed to intrigue me. All the similar downloadable options available just add a bit of confusion- all the similarities and differences with everything are just taking a while to figure out. I know more options is always a good thing, but sometimes I feel like  :Hypnotized:

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Yeah it takes time alright but half the fun of simming is learning how to place one piece atop the other until you have your ideal simming platform whichever one fits the bill for you. When you have scenery sorted, if you are anything like me, you'll be using WED to build your local field which is highly enjoyable too. X-Plane is coming along fast in many respects. Keep us posted! Shout if you need help.

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