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VFR Photo Scenery and the Layer Dance

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So as I've been getting more into this, and learning about all the different elements that make up our sim world, I've reached a pretty good understanding of the different elements, products and addons that make up scenery in FSX.


Enter photoreal.


I've looked at a several products, among them "MegaSceneryEarth" which I am sure you're all familiar with, and read through numerous posts about the good and bad, its lovers and detractors...


As I will be starting out with GA planes, I've been told photoscenery is great for it, until you hit certain heights (different for different folks and products) and go below that, where it's blurry flatland...


Staying focused on the MSE product line, I see you can have the whole state, and on top of it one of their "Hi Res" cities, which gives you some more detail for that particular city/area, letting you go a bit further down. (Oh by the way one thing I DON'T know about MSE is regarding night, as I read a lot of posts saying you only get day but on the website it says you get the two sets, day AND night, so which is it..?)

And also see some competitor products that not only give you higer res scenery for the particular city, but also add some autogen/3D elements/buildings/etc.


So I have a few questions for the experts, some specific to MSE (and similar I'd guess) and others about the combination. Here goes...


1) As I've read, you can install a city over a state. I guess you can also install not just one of theirs but a competitor's too, like Aerosoft cities X series for example?


2) Could you also install an airport over that? And in that case, wouldn't it *almost* solve the detail/flatness/low altitude problem as you'd have the detail and 3D objects in the vicinity of the airport?


3) I assume the same is true for the other line of products, and say I can have an airport on top of FTX Global+Vector+Landclass, and I can have the 3D beauty of them all throughout the whole flight at any altitude (even if it doesn't match reality) and the added realism of the airport addon's immediate vicnity?


4) MSE sits on top of everything (except addons like airports) so what happens if you have them all? And whether you have them or not what happens to autogen if you leave it on? Does it "stick out"? (With varying results).


5) Trying to understand why people complain so much taking sides... Isn't there a *practical and easy* way to have all the types of addons, and yet depending on your mood that day toggle one type of flying vs the other? (i.e. Today I just want VFR + airports, flip a switch/select a profile/whatever, and have MSE and airports on, all other stuff like ORBX product line off. Another day, viceversa. )


6) In case the answer to 5 is "no" or not practical or only with much tweaking before starting,.. Is it possible to have two separate installations of FSX in the same computer? I know "regular" FSX and FSX:SE can co-exist, but can you have two regular versions installed to different folders? (And in that case, what happens with the config files?? And also wondering what happens to them with the SE as well, or does Steam put them somewhere else?)


7) The following addons I am assuming are independent of the type of world addons (vfr / orbx like) you have and work with both: REX4 TD, ASN, Soft Clouds, AccuFeel, Shockwave 3D lights, Mesh addons, Zinnek HD airports, some others I can't remember now).


Whew, that's a lot... And one final one un-related, for comparisson, I have only (for now) a vanilla FSX installation:


8) Is there a simple guide that can tell me how to tweak FSX to get it as "prettiest" as it can be, to see what my system can take? Not talking about traffic, cars, etc for now, I just care to get the default scenery as beautiful as it can to see what my system can do, since I thinkI currently probably have stuff very low as I'm getting usually over the 100 fps, and know from reading that's not the norm... (Well it can be if you want a butt-ugly flight sim :) ).



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1)  Yes.  Just make sure the one you want displayed is on top in the scenery library.  For example, I use MSE v2 Colorado, but also have their ultra-res Denver.  I just make sure Denver sits atop Colorado in the scenery library and all is well.


2)  Yes.  And it certainly helps to have an airport, but how much it helps depends on the size of the airport in question.


3)  Yes, though keep in mind for all of these products, how well an airport blends with other sceneries will vary.  Some airport offerings have multiple options for blending with specific packages.  Others, like Orbx airports, are specifically designed to blend with only one.


4)  Landclass autogen will never "stick out" of photoscenery.  For photo to have autogen requires that photo product to have its own annotation for autogen.  Most large scale photo does not, but there are some (very nice) exceptions.  What will stick out are scenery objects.  So, for example, if you have photo for the state of Washington, you'll still see the major downtown Seattle buildings because those are scenery objects, not autogen.  You'll also get some airport buildings even with default airports as most have at least a few scenery objects place around them.


5)  Sure, you can turn various sceneries on and off prior to flight to suit your tastes if you like and it's really not difficult.  And BTW, not everyone is so polarized - I use a mix of photo, UTX/GEX and Orbx regions for example, because they each have strengths and weaknesses in some areas or flight regimes.  But it's still one or the other - landclass or photo - in any given area.


6) There's really no reason to do this.


7) Yes, that's essentially correct, though there are some exceptions - for example airport addons will (in most cases) override REX runway textures and so-on


8) I think I'll let others tackle this one.  Suffice to say that there's no one-size-fits-all answer here.




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Hey Scott, thanks for taking time to answer not one, not some,but ALL the questions :D


Knew about addons overriding Rex for runways, though I also saw for example from the dev of zinnek that you can re-install rex again afterwards, and it's textures will be used again (if that's what you want).


Regarding 6, would a vali reason be that some addons mess with your fsx files, and maybe you don't want that for the other "type"? Or would it not really be a problem?



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I really can't think of a scenario that would require 6, but that aside, I don't know if you could make a double install work.  Never tried it,so perhaps someone else can chime in on this one for ya.



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