Heathrow to Dublin

Best scenery for Swiss/Austrian Alps for v3?

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Ho guys,

 

I have the full Orbx stack (global, vector, openlc) for Europe, but as I do a lot of flying into Austria (LOWI) and Switzerland airports, I am wondering what is the best scenery for there?  I especially want the alps to look amazing and some of the towns.

 

Nothing recent seems available for P3D, so I am looking at older products:

 

Approaching Innsbruck, Swiss Pro, and Austria Pro. 

 

1) Do they work with P3D v3 easily?

 

2) Are they still good enough or are they dated looking by now?  I would only be buying if they were a decent step up from the ORBX stuff right now.

 

Thank you all,

 

Heathrow.

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So, will Switzerland Pro X work with P3D and FTX products?  I have FTX Global/OpenLC, and I want better Swiss scenery. 

 

Thanks

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Hi,

 

I have swiss Pro working in P3D.

Had it installed outside FSX and just added it in the P3D scenery.cfg file.

 

Quote :

Inside the CHPROX\CHPROX_scen\scenery folder try removing all the BGL files with "PointLights" and "RestPointLights". Put them somewhere else just to have them as backup.

As far as I know these are all the files that make 3D night lighting for the scenery, but it doesn't seem to work in P3D... so I tried removing them and it fixed the issue

 

I use Night Environment Alps for nightlighting.

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I too am looking for scenery for the alpine region. Would like photoscenery. My understanding is Taburet is only mesh, no scenery.

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Heathrow, products such as Switzerland Pro are quite different from Orbx. FTX Global looks prettier for low level flying, but like any landclass product it's not an accurate representation of reality.

 

Swiss Pro is photoscenery based, and good photoscenery will give the alps their real appearance. The problem seems to be that quality European photoscenery is very expensive for developers to acquire. I don't own the Switzerland Professional product, but from th screenshots/reviews I've seen the quality of the photoscenery is quite low.

 

I spend a great deal of time flying P3D v3 in the Alps (Austria/Switzerland/Germany/Italy). Here's my solution:

 

I've made my own Alps photoscenery using FS Earth Tiles, with interesting areas (such as around Sion) at 25cm per pixel. This takes up a lot of disk space! I have the whole Alps in 50cm per pixel, with watermasking done via Google Earth - makes for some great glacial lakes to land the Beaver in. :)

 

Photoscenery ideally has autogen-like objects - trees and buildings - placed in their real positions, available as an option. If flying low-and-slow, this is really important. Tubeliner flying is often better without this, as long as you've got airoports with surrounding objects to stop the 'flat' appearance. My solution to this is to use the "autogen" by Open VFR - I own this product for all four of the countries listed above and it works well, though it's not as high quality as the ES Treescapes that I use for the UK.

 

To make the 'autogen' trees look better, I use the Orbx HD Trees product, which I feel adds a lot.

 

For Germany, I sometimes use the autogen from the Aerosoft germany photoscenery on top of my photoscenery, but it's a little bit sparse.

 

The next step is to find a decent terrain mesh. There's lot's available, and you should consider downloading the Freemesh X product, which I've just done myself. Having said that, I currently use the FS Genesis mesh products that are based on the Nextmap data for this region. Check out a mountain like the Matterhorn if you're wanting to copare meshes.

 

For nightlighting, I use the Aerosoft Night Enviroment products (as mentioned above) - for this region, I've installed Germany, 'Alps' (swiss/Austria) and Italy.

 

FInally, you'll want some airports. FSDT make decent versions of Geneva and Zurich, which I have. I've collected a bunch of other freeware - including from the Avsim file library - which helps in the other areas. Airports with trees and buildings help a lot to decrease the flat sensation that photoscenery sometimes gives you. Mountainous terrain - such as around LOWI, for example - also helps a lot in this regard.

 

The combination of this - with a good weather program such as ASN - makes for a truly great experience. I have all the FTX global stuff and it looks very artifical by comparison (because it is). DIfferent product for a different purpose - it does, after all, give a decent impression of the whole world!

 

FInally, if you want to use off-the-shelf photoscenery, you could consider the Megasceney earth range. I have their photoscenery for Switzerland and Italy and it's OK, but not great. I don't usually choose to fly over it.

 

That may sound a little bit complicated, but if you're willing to to a bit (or maybe a lot) of effort, this area of the world is one of the best simulated aviation experiences available.

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I always thought the Swiss Pro Scenery was the best on the market, until I MegaSceneryEarth released their version.

 

http://www.megasceneryearth.com/store/cart.php?target=product&product_id=815&category_id=175

 

It looks pretty good, if you ask me, and they offer a better price in contrast to the Swiss Pro edition. I haven't tried this but Flugwerk has some very nice scenery for Austria, which is right next to Switzerland.

 

http://www.flugwerk.at/?product=austria-professional-hd-east

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Megascenery earth Switzerland is pretty low quality photoscenery (I do not enjoy flying over it very much.) If it's better than Switzerland Pro - which is plausible - then Switzerland Pro must be awful!

 

I think of buying Switzerland pro every once in a while for the autogen (I wouldn't plan on using the photoscenery component) - but its not exactly cheap and i dont know how much better the autogen would be than the far cheaper Open VFR product.

 

I came back here to post about the Austria East HD product (which you've linked to above) - as I've just checked the aerosoft site and it's stated to be P3D v3 compatible.

 

The older Austria product from this developer can't be made to work in P3D (the autogen shows up as black objects). Note that there is not yet a new product covering the west - and more mountainous and interesting - half of the country, and no one seems to know when it will arrive.

 

One last suggestion for perfect alpine scenery - the water bodies in the alps are incomplete in P3D v3/any other version of FSX. I notice this as some of the lakes I've watermasked show up as solid ground. The solution is to use Ultimate Terrain Europe for the water.

 

I will aspire to upload a P3D v2/3 picture or two of the alps when I get home.

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Here's a photo from over the Swiss Alps taken in P3D v2. 50cm per pixel homebrew photoscenery, shot during an NGX flight. Compare this to screenshots of the commercial products such as MSE and/or Swiss Pro - or a landclass product such as FTX global. There's really no comparison, IMHO. 

 

http://imgur.com/ucLqF3m

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I was looking at Swiss pro until i looked at the price,then I some how lost interest,i just wish Orbx would produce a version of Switzerland  and also Austria would be very good if you are listening Mr Orbx ,I do have Aerosofts Approaching Innsbruck running in P3dv3 and Absolutely love it

peter

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Here's a photo from over the Swiss Alps taken in P3D v2. 50cm per pixel homebrew photoscenery, shot during an NGX flight. Compare this to screenshots of the commercial products such as MSE and/or Swiss Pro - or a landclass product such as FTX global. There's really no comparison, IMHO. 

 

http://imgur.com/ucLqF3m

 

 

WOW, amazing! Do you share your scenery, or?

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As OzWhitey mentioned, its fairly easy to make your own, with trees and every building in Switz accurately placed.  All data is OSM based.  I'll post some screens when I get a chance of my 60cm creation with buildings and trees to boot.   It's only a matter of time for some company to create a Switzerland Pro X 2.0

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Making photoscenery takes a lot of time.

I made the freeware Belgium 2012 and it took me 4 months.

 

It was not only dl the tiles but some area were summer, others were autumn...

Manually I modified lots of tiles to match the others.

Then applying watermask to the entire coastline and also cut out all harbours.

At the end with another flightsimmer we made custom ag for the whole country.

 

I have Swiss Pro and when flying at 2500 ft + it looks good enough for me.

MSE Switzerland is 50cm based and resampled to 1m .

It has lots of color differences...

Some people who had Swiss Pro too tried MSE Switzerland with Swiss Pro ag.

 

@Ozwhitey

Why do you not upload what you have made like I did ?

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Making photoscenery takes a lot of time.

I made the freeware Belgium 2012 and it took me 4 months.

 

It was not only dl the tiles but some area were summer, others were autumn...

Manually I modified lots of tiles to match the others.

Then applying watermask to the entire coastline and also cut out all harbours.

At the end with another flightsimmer we made custom ag for the whole country.

 

I have Swiss Pro and when flying at 2500 ft + it looks good enough for me.

MSE Switzerland is 50cm based and resampled to 1m .

It has lots of color differences...

Some people who had Swiss Pro too tried MSE Switzerland with Swiss Pro ag.

 

@Ozwhitey

Why do you not upload what you have made like I did ?

 

I'd really like to share it, but whether you can depends on the source data. To make it publicly available, I'd need to make sure that all the source imagery is licenced for general distribution - which is not necessarily the case.

 

Therefore, I'd suggest that anyone who like this sort of scenery considers getting a copy of FS Earth Tiles and generating their own versions.

 

I can provide a few tips:

 

  • FS Earth Tiles is freeware, you should be able to find a copy by Googling the name. It comes with documentation.
  • Choose a country that has no ocean border to start with - this avoids the need for the time-consuming watermasking step. Switzerland is a great choice! For this country, I initially brewed it without water masks. When I got a bit more serious, I recompiled some sections after drawing paths around the inland water bodies using Google Earth's tools - but you can worry about that later.
  • I organise my tiles in 1 degree by 1 degree sections (by latitude and longitude).
  • This line may sound confusing and you can ignore it: I set FSPreResampleingAllowShrinkTexture = No in the ini file, and use download resolution 1. This generates 0.5m per pixel files.
  • To generate a 1 degree by 1 degree tile takes me about 24 hours to download and compile (on a decent-speed computer). FS Earthtiles automates this, so all you need really do is 'set and forget'. By the way, that's 207,389 tiles (approximately!)
  • I much prefer 25cm per pixel resolution (download resolution 0 in the program) - but that takes quite a bit longer to make. A 1 degree by 1 degree section requires around 831417 tiles. I did some calculations a while back to work out how long it was going to take to cover the world at this resolution. Answer = a while. So I alternate between 0.25m and 0.5m depending on my mood and the area in question.
  • The program saves the downloaded tiles in a cache. I always keep this so I can go back later if needed and recompile with different contrast, water masking etc wihtout having to re-download everything.

If you've never tried this, the above may not make a lot of sense. My advice - if this sounds like your cup of tea - would be to download FS Earth Tiles and give it a go for yourself.

 

The most important thing with photoscenery is not the absolute resolution, by the way. It's the quality of the source imagery. The megascenery earth products, for example, often have good resolution - but fake-looking colours and blurry imagery (I have a 60 megapixel camera - trust me, you can still take blurry pictures with it!)

 

For the custom autogen, as I mentioned earlier the Open VFR product is very cheap and saves the time of having to try and do this yourself (I haven't mastered this process yet).

 

I do add some auotgen to specific areas, using Instant Scenery for Flight 1. Unfortunately the P3D updates broke compatibility with this some time ago, so I haven't been doing much autogen placing in 2015. ADE is another great tool for fixing airports and I've done a little bit of that in Switzerland.

 

Here's a final thought - what would be great would be a collaborative process to fix all the Swiss airports and add autogen to the Open VFR base. I've often thought that LM should provide some tools - similar to those I've listed above - to enable crowd-sourced autogen to be collected.

 

Oh, and by the way. I've been making some scenery of Belgium and - when hunting for autogen to go with it I came across yours, Gerard. Downloaded it last week but haven't tried it out yet - look forward to doing so! :)

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One thing that does take a while - and requires manual input - is drawing paths around the water bodies.

 

I've done this for some of the lakes in the Alps - such as around Sion and Grindelwald.

 

You can do this in Google Earth, using the path tool and drawing two lines. The outer one is labelled 'Coast1' in the inner one is labelled 'DeepWater1' (though you'll use a different number of each water body, I've just used '1' as an example)

 

You save a .kml file from google earth, and place it in FS Earth tiles working folder (this is a folder you set from within the program when making scenery).

 

Here's my current KML file if you're interested in giving this a go and don't want to bother about drawing paths etc.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3gv7xo34ds0zifa/Swiss.kml?dl=0

 

(as noted, just drop it into whichever folder you decide to select as your 'working' folder).

 

If anyone wants to add some more paths in the Alpine region and re-upload, feel free!

 

By the way, this method doesn't work for me for larger water bodies such as Lake Geneva. Not sure why this is the case.

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If using Bing as your source, I wouldn't imagine any issues making the scenery available, freely.  Afterall, it technically violates the rules simply downloading the tiles for your own use.  Bing would likely be happy as a lark to see you're using their service rather than Google.

 

In addition, for custom models, 3D Warehouse has an assortment available for free.


Ah, found the pics I posted of my swiss scenery.

 

http://imgur.com/Lrdru1m
http://imgur.com/rcrzy0Z
http://imgur.com/ozdBg4R
http://imgur.com/XauwhgR
http://imgur.com/GaSWMKS
http://imgur.com/q47K7bb
http://imgur.com/kSbL7oP
http://imgur.com/DNOUUYQ
http://imgur.com/G2ofElP
http://imgur.com/tokNd9w
http://imgur.com/epUVMoD
http://imgur.com/oSoaQxS
http://imgur.com/mhI2Ojx
http://imgur.com/O5KAsLj
http://imgur.com/fhnTAIV
http://imgur.com/yZrdAmT
http://imgur.com/Hk1MKB6
http://imgur.com/FY199vN
http://imgur.com/PS8lj3k
http://imgur.com/TnEsI4B
http://imgur.com/MKCeEmm
http://imgur.com/ri4TXGq

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Nice pics, FS Cottee.

 

re: 'Bing would be happy as a lark' - I'm sure you're right, but perhaps you'd just check that out with their legal team for me? I'm sure the 'but at least someone will be using Bing' argument will go down a treat. :)

 

Have you tried tried the 3D Warehouse models in P3D? Any issues?

P3D comes with plenty of tree models but I find the other autogen rather underwhelming.

 

I'd dearly love an extensive library of models - similar to what Orbx has - for placing in P3D over photoscenery. You can build a small town in not too long with the right tools, and with a group of flightsimmers working on it you could make Switzerland look great reasonably quickly. As I mentioned above, if Lockheed Martin could organise something like this then I and many other simmers would likely be willing to add a lot more detail to their world.

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3D warehouse has lots of models but you have to combine the textures so you don't have 99 drawcalls for one building.  It's spotty at best, but some places like Lowell, Massachusetts are awesome.  Check my screenies in screenshot forum.

 

As far as Bing, simply using them in fset is just as much against their use policy as distributing them.  And I know of one commercial scenery pack (east of Switz) that is using Bing maps for their products.  So, I wouldn't worry too much about it...

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Thanks, but unfortunately I don't have 4 months (daily work) of time to dedicate to this.  I guess I'll have to just suffer what ever is on the market.  

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Naw it doesn't take that long.  You can create a nice size region to enjoy in a few days.  Here's a shot of photoscenery + autogen trees and buildings +  256 custom buildings in downtown Lowell, Mass.   You're looking at 3d buildings there and lots of tree coverage.  Every house right where it's supposed to be.  I left out the large buildings because the autogen counterparts look awful.

 

This is all based on GIS data which is easy to find for Swiss.  You could create any place in Swiss within 4 hours just like this.

 

 

 

6kX9QkK.jpg

  • Upvote 1

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BTW, here's a couple videos I posted a couple years ago after finishing my Swiss scenery.

 

 

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Great posts Rob and Fscotte.  Interesting stuff, a lot of work went into this 


My head was sore even reading Robs post  :smile:   So much detail.  Interesting 

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Do you guys know of any good, up to date, tutorials on how to achieve something like what fscottee did?

 

Every time I tried making photoscenery I ended up getting frustrated because I would find a lot of different information on how to set up FSET, usually outdated information too.

The process of adding autogen using Simproc seems even more complicated to be honest, I couldn't even manage to get OSM data to work...

 

I'm sure once you're a pro at it you can make great stuff quite quickly but getting there seems (at least for me) too painful...

.. or maybe I'm just a lazy idiot ^_^

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