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ORBX OpenLC : Initial Thoughts & Screenshots [Image Heavy]

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There's been a lot of hype about ORBX OpenLC and a lot being written before people have even used the product, so I thought I'd do a quick flight, give you my initial impressions and share some screenshots from the journey, including "before and after" style comparisons between the sim WITHOUT Open LC and WITH OpenLC so that you can evaluate the difference.

 

I've been waiting for this product for quite some time. As a long time customer of ORBX, I've become so spoiled by their "full fat" regions, that I got to a point where I found myself unable to fly outside of their coverage area. The main reason for this was how poor the FSX default landclass was. With OpenLC around the corner, I wasn't going to shell out for UTX only to upgrade to OpenLC EU at a later date.

 

As a proud European, and also someone who is tight on time for simming, I love to do short hops in Europe, however due to my ORBX obsession, I've essentially been limited to flights within the UK if I wanted to stay in "ORBX land". I found that even with FTX global and the excellent textures, high altitude flying was not a visually pleasant experience due to the repetitive textures caused by the poor default FSX landclass.

 

Anyway, enough blurb, I'll let the screenshots speak for themselves. The product is excellent, and I've only begun to scratch the surface on this short flight between Budapest in Hungary, and Bergamo in Italy. Unfortunately I only got to 100nm from Bergamo before suffering a CTD (unrelated to OpenLC - a pre-existing problem I've been battling!) so sadly there are no shots from the approach.

 

The shots I chose for comparison with and without probably aren't the best in all honesty, I think the effect would be more "wow" at low levels, especially in more remote areas where the default landclass is dreadful. Either way I'm delighted with what I've seen so far and the value for money for getting a whole continent transformed is excellent!

 

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I'm confused. Maybe it's me, but I can't see much difference between the before and after shots - except that the after shots seem to have a higher contrast, which is not what LC is about. Am I missing something ?

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Seems great! Nice screenshots!

 

Thanks.

 

On reflection, it's actually not a great choice of flight to demonstrate the difference it makes. The default LC around Budapest isn't too bad anyway.

 

Looking forward to trying some VFR flights as at those low levels it will be really apparent.

I'm confused. Maybe it's me, but I can't see much difference between the before and after shots - except that the after shots seem to have a higher contrast, which is not what LC is about. Am I missing something ?

 

No, like I said in my post, not great examples of the before and after effect. The default LC is better in some areas than others. In certain areas, the area beneath you at a high altitude is a repeat of about 4 different textures as far as the eye can see, and it looks ridiculous.

I will try and find such an area....watch this space!

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I'm confused. Maybe it's me, but I can't see much difference between the before and after shots - except that the after shots seem to have a higher contrast, which is not what LC is about. Am I missing something ?

 

Exactly!!  This is my problem with these type products now.  Even UTX though I already own it but bought it before photo real spoiled my view of land class.

 

The problem with the comparison stuff for products like this is that they really are just different interpretations of how something "sees" what's there.  In OpenLC's case, it's the open community that is painting this picture of what we "see".  In UTX case, it was "professional"(or maybe proprietary is the better word) providing that data.

 

So, these screenshots just change things up a little as far as the eye candy that's placed relatively close to what you hope is there in real life.  To compare them against each other without a real image of the earth that is being flown over really is useless.

 

Which one gets closer to the actual view we'd really be seeing if we were flying over that area in real life?  That's what I want to know and to me would help to answer what is the better product or if this product is worth it.

 

As a side note, I do know that this is FS and that nothing is perfect.  There is always that compromise that we need to make.  Also, I am obviously pro photo real too hence the slight of negativity in view of land class products altogether.  But, even photo real has its downsides and I know land class can't hold a candle to it when it comes to accuracy either.  Just want the closest to real land class product there is for "filler" areas.

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I'm not a photoreal fan - too flat and blurry for the height I usually fly (1500ft). I also have UTX and ST for my LC, which seems pretty good where I fly (Northern Europe). But if OpenLC turns out to be more accurate (without breaking anything else), then I'll buy it. Yet to be convinced though.

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Before many start celebrating, you have made wrong choice of screenshots. Fly lower around cities, around fields, near coastlines. You'd better use a GA plane. The only thing you can say from such a high altitude is that there is not much of texture repetition anymore.

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Before many start celebrating, you have made wrong choice of screenshots. Fly lower around cities, around fields, near coastlines. You'd better use a GA plane. The only thing you can say from such a high altitude is that there is not much of texture repetition anymore.

Well yes, that's kind of the point I was making.

 

I don't often fly VFR, I like to simulate airline flights but didn't enjoy them previously because of the horrible texture repetition.

 

I'm sure someone will post some GA comparisons soon enough, and will find some great examples.

 

For me, the reason I stopped flying outside of ORBX full regions was the awful repeating textures as far as the eye can see, which is now eliminated. That's a big win for me.

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I totally agree with nickpap89. More differences will be easier to see on lower flight levels, a bit closer to civilization :)

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I think that $40 is a bit much for this product, as it's nearly half of what the whole world cost. Yes, it does different things, but still - $40 when they promised no more than $20!

 

I saw in the description something about new 3D night lighting, can someone post some of that?

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I like the fact that there are no corn fields or whatever it is on top of mountains anymore. Those mountain-top fields always killed immersion for me

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Before many start celebrating, you have made wrong choice of screenshots. Fly lower around cities, around fields, near coastlines. You'd better use a GA plane. The only thing you can say from such a high altitude is that there is not much of texture repetition anymore.

Higher altitudes is probably where we'll see the best whether this product is worth it or not.  Hopefully at high altitudes, there is much less repetition than there was before - like in real life.  Down low, you're just looking at Global textures.  We already know those look good.  That's not the point of the land class update.  With correct land class, from any altitude really, colors and types of vegetation or lack there of, grassland, city, etc should be clearly visible and should hopefully match what you'd see in a satellite image as much as possible.

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What I expect to see from a good LC product (from any altitude) is an accurate (but not photo-real) representation of the kind of scenery I would expect to see if I flew over that area in the RW. i.e. towns where there should be towns, forests where there should be forests etc etc.  

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