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Gregdpw

MES Colorado or Denver?

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i mainly fly the Pmdg 737. And when I fly to Denver or fly out of Denver I use flightbeams kden.

 

Would it be more benifitful for me to buy the megasceneryearth Denver or Colorado? What do ya think? Thanks guys

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MSE Colorado should be version 2.0 of MSE, covering the whole state.

Denver is either the older MSE v1.0 or the high-resolution city in v2.0; neither one will cover the whole state of CO.

 

I'd like to suggest Ultimate VFR Colorado:

http://store.ultimatevfr.com/products/ultimate-vfr-colorado-2-0

 

Whole-state coverage, currently on sale, slightly lower resolution of 1.2m/pixel, but with some interesting features not offered by MSEv2. Colour correction should also be better than in MSEv2:

 

Features:

  • Latest 2013 Imagery
  • 1.2m High Resolution Aerial Imagery
  • High Definition Water Mapping
  • High Definition Autogen Vegetation
  • High Definition Autogen Buildings*
  • Street Night Lighting FX

 

* Autogen Buildings are subject to source data availability for the United States

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I haven't noticed a framerate drop with their (U-VFR) Arizona. They seem to use some "tight" mip-mapping, so autogen trees will only appear when flying at low altitudes. (Takeoff and early climbout, for example.)

 

Since you fly into and out of an addon airport, which supresses autogen (or replaces it by its own custom autogen), I can hardly imagine a fps impact there.

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This does look really nice.

 

 

Would this be harder on fps than MSE?

 

Yes, because it is re-introducing Autogen objects and night lighting objects back into the mix.   If optimized correctly, the impact should be small.   This scenery does look very good and at 10 bucks that is hard to pass up for a complete package with night lighting and autogen overlays.     You get none of that with MSE.    I own 40 of the 50 states and a few Ultra-Res Cities and I love the product.    

 

I would honestly recommend, if you are just interested in the scenery on your approach or departure out of the KDEN, getting the Ultra-Res City.   It's image quality is superior to the whole state product and the edges blend just fine into the landclass scenery.      If you can afford it, do both but as stated here above it's hard not to go with the VFR package @ 10 bucks.  That is a steal.   It's a shame they don't have all the states up and running yet.   I might even give this a try.   I miss my night lighting which I can get back with other add-ons like Night Environment but after you add that cost and the cost of the MSE scenery together it's the same price as VFR when not on sale.   Might as well get this and kill two birds with one stone.

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Night Environment unfortunately does have a noticeable impact on VAS and on fps.

 

While I am rather happy with MSEv2 New Mexico, I wish I would have become aware of U-VFR earlier for Colorado: Mainly for watermasks and colour balancing ... (Autogen and night lighting are nice includes, though. The Grand Canyon in U-VFR Arizona is a treat with the added vegetation.)

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(...)   If optimized correctly, the impact should be small.  (...)

 

 

 

For a quick and dirty comparison I paused the sim and changed the autogen slider from full left to full right. With fps fluctuating by about ten frames I saw little difference; in both screens the average rate would have been in the high 40-ies, I reckon. Note that the autogen rendering is limited to the "immediate surroundings" of the aircraft, which may have been part of the scenery optimization.

 

autogenon.jpg

autogenoff.jpg

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A couple of thoughts - First, I agree with Brian that if what you're mainly after is to improve the experience as you get into Denver, the Hi-Res Denver product may be the best for you.  It really is well above the resolution of any of the available state products and covers a very large area along the Front Range, from Fort Collins on the north all the way down to Pueblo in the south.  It also covers west well into the foothills.

 

BTW, I also have the MSE v2 state, which is just OK.  The transition from their Hi-Res Denver coverage to the state coverage doesn't always color match particularly well - one of MS's biggest shortcomings - but otherwise the two work together just fine. 

 

I also picked up the Ultimate VFR CO product - at the prices currently asked it's a no-brainer to try.  I wanted badly to fall in love with it, but I was a bit underwhelmed on my first flight.  I probably need to give it a a few more tries, however.

 

Note that f you watch for sales, VERY common with the MegaScenery products, you can get both CO state and Hi-Res Denver pretty cheaply, and the Ultimate VFR product is, as mentioned, already worth a try at the price.

 

Scott

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Here's my biggest problem with U-VFR as I've done some research this morning.  This is my first time to hear about them.   Their product is pretty old, according to the very few YouTube videos I could find and those were for their Guam product, which I assume is their first.     Based on the few videos out there it looks like U-VFR has been around for at least 3 years but all they have are 5 products?   They have Kickstarters setup for all the other states but I fail to believe they have only been able to produce 4 or 5 products in 3 years?    They claim they can put together an entire state in just a few hours once they have funded a state project through their Kickstarter efforts.   Surely they aren't so obscure that no one has heard of them for 3 years?   Have only 30 people bought their product ever?

 

Part of me wants to buy one of their StarShip VIP passes which run $250 bucks and are limited to 50 users only.   This is a heck of a deal to have a pass to the ENTIRE 50 states with full autogen and night lighting overlay.   So... why have they only sold a dozen VIP passes?   This should have been snapped up like candy at a birthday party.   I really want to see better video demonstrations for their product before I commit funds to their cause.   I guess I can just shut up, buy Colorado or Arizona for $10 bucks and do my own review on my flight sim channel.   I can be the guinea pig.  It's only ten bucks right?

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Ten bucks is correct for the current sale - and I would stay away from paying up front, buying prologues, WIP and Starships.

 

U-VFR AZ and CO are 2013 imagery (supposedly).

 

I own their AZ and purchase, download, installation all went smoothly. No complaints.

 

I'm tempted to get their CO for the better colours and the added "tree immersion", despite the fact I paid for MSE CO already. MSE NM is too good to be skipped, IMO, and Utah I have covered with BlueSkyScenery for free (including colour balancing and watermasks, but no autogen).

 

 

 

EDIT:

 

The developer had announced the sale himself here on AVSIM a couple of months ago; no bad words about him since:

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/460642-ultimate-vfr-photoscenery-crazy-75-off/

Edited by olli4740

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I guess I can just shut up, buy Colorado or Arizona for $10 bucks and do my own review on my flight sim channel. I can be the guinea pig. It's only ten bucks right?

 

As noted, at the current price it's silly not to try if you're interested.  The non-Guam products are actually fairly recent efforts.

 

No need to be the guinea pig however, as a number of us have tried them.  My biggest beef?  Well, first some bonafides...

 

I live in CO (the state I purchased), and I'm a pilot (not currently active) and former aircraft owner who's flown 100's of hours as PIC in and around the state of CO.  I know intimately what it looks like from the air.  That said:

 

When I fly MSE v2, I recognize everything and most areas are generally OK to very good but almost always feel familiar.  Oh, I have gripes like color inconsistencies in some areas and some areas being a bit washed out, while others are too high-contrast, a few areas have some cloud obscuration and so-on.  But by and large the net feel is that I'm flying in familiar territory.  My first flight with UVFR was one I've done many times IRL and in the sim, from my former home airport (KGXY) to Canyonlands airport (KCNY) outside of Moab, UT.  This is basically up and over Rocky Mountain NP and then IFR (I Follow Rivers :lol: ) down the Colorado River from its headwaters to Canyonlands. 

 

And the conclusion... for most of the flight I felt like I was flying in unfamiliar territory as things just didn't look like they should.  While UVFR have obviously worked very hard to make their colors consistent across the entire state (something MSE is not very good at), my impression was that this made them consistently wrong pretty much everywhere.  The problem was particularly obvious when I transitioned from CO into Utah where I use Blue Sky Scenery's donation-ware.  From the Grand Junction area where things just looked completely off, past the canyons of CO National Monument and into the start of Canyon country in UT, things suddenly snapped back into that sense of - "yeah, this is what it looks like".

 

Anyway, for what that's worth.  I haven't tried any of the other states yet and I'm not sure I will.  While the price is "try-it" friendly, large areas of PhotoScenery do require a lot of time to download, unpack and install, as well as large amounts of space, so I'm not sure I have the patience to trial another state.

 

Just one guy's opinion, but over country I know intimately on the ground and in the air.  In fairness, I still do recommend you give at least one state a trial at the current prices and see for yourself.

 

Scott

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As noted earlier, I like it.  Great coverage area roughly Fort Collins to Pueblo, east of Greeley and west well into the foothills.  And now I see they've also done the Rocky Mountain National Park area in ultra res.  The usual color changes in some areas, and the transition colors to their state product are pretty abrupt, but worth the modest cost to my mind, especially if you're going to do some VFR flights along the front range cities.

 

That extra resolution does help maintain the 3D illusion at lower altitudes.

 

Scott

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I have examined most of the imagery around the Western US put out by NAIP, and I can tell you that the GOVT did do some updates in certain areas to where the color is MUCH more accurate, but it is only in partial areas, the imagery hasn't changed much since 2008 or so (most of it is the same for the Western US, in the East they have updated more). Even when the color came out good in their newer imagery sets, the contrast was still bad, a lot of the problems with this imagery we are seeing is purely the gamma and contrast (hence the exposure levels).

 

You can tell the resolution is the same for MSE 2 vs. U-VFR (state vs. state) by looking at the disk space, they both take up equally the same amount of disk space (maybe very slight variations due to compression settings used with the compiler, but most people compile with a setting of 85%).

 

Hence, go with the less costly one.

I compile these images myself and I know how the compiler works. If they would have used Gdal tools to output the image at 50cm and compiled with LOD=Auto, the compiler would have compiled it as 30cm, which would have been a complete waste of disk space. You are either going to compile it at 30cm, 60cm, or 1.2m, etc...

 

The ultra-res cities are indeed compiled from much higher res source imagery, though IMHO the color still leaves a lot to be desired. Boston Ultra-res had almost acceptable color I guess, but some of the other cities were pretty washed out looking.

 

The ultra-res cities appear to be 60cm native in the compiler, but the source imagery comes from less than 30cm generally, it varies on the state, but once you get to 30cm or better on the native imagery, there is very little benefit to going higher even from as low as 500 feet, unless you are talking about airport runway textures or grass or something.

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I have examined most of the imagery around the Western US put out by NAIP, and I can tell you that the GOVT did do some updates in certain areas to where the color is MUCH more accurate, but it is only in partial areas, the imagery hasn't changed much since 2008 or so (most of it is the same for the Western US, in the East they have updated more). Even when the color came out good in their newer imagery sets, the contrast was still bad, a lot of the problems with this imagery we are seeing is purely the gamma and contrast (hence the exposure levels).

 

One other thing I've noted is that, as with landscape photography, time of day has a large impact on the desirability of the source imagery.  Morning and evening shots tend to have more contrast and be a bit more pleasingly warm, and the shadows help bring out more detail helping with the 3D illusion.  Of course, the tradeoff is that in places where large shadows are cast (such as in the mountains), it can be a bit off-putting to have obvious shadows on the wrong side when the time of day doesn't match your time of flight.

 

 

 


You can tell the resolution is the same for MSE 2 vs. U-VFR (state vs. state) by looking at the disk space, they both take up equally the same amount of disk space (maybe very slight variations due to compression settings used with the compiler, but most people compile with a setting of 85%).


Hence, go with the less costly one.

 

Perhaps, but...  U-VFR does claim that they've spent a great deal of time and effort color correcting to try to get areas matched better and, of course, they're adding in autogen.  Based on the flights I've made so far, I'm not sure I don't prefer just leaving the color of the source imagery mostly intact.  Yes, the transitions can be jarring in places, but the net result of what I'm seeing in U-VFR CO is that rather than the color being off in some areas, it's feels wrong pretty much everywhere.  But it does blend better.

 

As for the imagery size itself, in CO the U-VFR imagery (just the imagery, not the autogen etc.) is actually a fair bit larger in file size than the MSE V2 imagery, but I don't see the difference in the mountains I've flow so far.  The differences may be more on the eastern plains where MSE V2 is mostly pretty mediocre.  Haven't done any flights in the east yet with U-VFR so I can't say for sure.

 

BTW, I couldn't resist.  Right now I'm downloading the new Hi-Res release of Rocky Mountain NP.  The coverage area seems to extend as far SW as Dillon Reservoir so the coverage is good, and the screenshots looked excellent.  Between Ultra-res Denver and Ultra-res RMNP, I've got some pretty nice coverage of areas I've flown extensively.  I'll be doing a bunch of VFR (relatively) low and slow over the next few flights.  OK, maybe not so slow as I think my first flights will be in the RealAir Legacy, which is no slug when it comes to speed.  Now if I could just find some time to fly!

 

Scott

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