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JLSeagull

Any verdicts in yet on Orbx NA?

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After the flurry of 'frustrated downloader' posts yesterday it would now seem that the forums have gone rather quiet?  I have seen Rob's excellent video (but he doesn't really count because he is an ex-Brit :wink: ). Before melting the card (yet again), It would be really interesting to get a proper perspective and thoughts from some of you veteran/native US fliers as to what Orbx have managed to achieve with this remarkably ambitious package?  

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David,

 

I'll share my initial thoughts....I spent about two hours last night flying around Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado.  First impressions are that it's pretty accurate.  I'm at work right now so I can post any comparison shots but when I was flying around western Colorado, I did a pan down view to compare the LC of Colorado with Utah MSE 2.0 and I was really surprised at how close it blended with the MSE scenery in Utah.  I'll have to get a screenshot later to illustrate my point.

 

Flying around the area where I live is very accurate.  I wanted to compare NA LC with satellite maps so I used the Foreflight satellite moving map app on my iPad as I was flying around.  I must say that I am impressed by how closely the land class matches satellite imagery.  There are redundant tiles every now and then, however I felt very immersed overall.

 

For my first test flight, I went from Omaha, Nebraska north to Sioux City, Iowa then west to Rapid City, South Dakota.  Once again, I was happy to see the LC change on my screen just as it did on the moving map. The only slightly disappointing area I found on my way to Rapid City was the Badlands in South Dakota, it wasn't very close to the real scene at all.  

 

The only minor issue for me is the textures of the farmlands during this time of season.  Most fields are still green right now (at least I assume so since I drive through a bunch of them every day), but the scenery is depicting more brownish/tan faded textures that you find near the end of summer/early fall.  I can't really say it's an issue, just an observation.   I'll have to back up the date to see what spring/early summer looks like.

 

I did find one anomaly in the mountains of Colorado, it was a small strip of land that looked like a town that was sitting on the side of a mountain somewhere northwest of Aspen.  

 

I also posted some quick shots of the Orbx street lighting around Omaha and Offutt AFB in the screenshot forum.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Brian 

 

 

 

 

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David,

 

I'll share my initial thoughts....I spent about two hours last night flying around Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado.  First impressions are that it's pretty accurate.  I'm at work right now so I can post any comparison shots but when I was flying around western Colorado, I did a pan down view to compare the LC of Colorado with Utah MSE 2.0 and I was really surprised at how close it blended with the MSE scenery in Utah.  I'll have to get a screenshot later to illustrate my point.

 

Flying around the area where I live is very accurate.  I wanted to compare NA LC with satellite maps so I used the Foreflight satellite moving map app on my iPad as I was flying around.  I must say that I am impressed by how closely the land class matches satellite imagery.  There are redundant tiles every now and then, however I felt very immersed overall.

 

For my first test flight, I went from Omaha, Nebraska north to Sioux City, Iowa then west to Rapid City, South Dakota.  Once again, I was happy to see the LC change on my screen just as it did on the moving map. The only slightly disappointing area I found on my way to Rapid City was the Badlands in South Dakota, it wasn't very close to the real scene at all.  

 

The only minor issue for me is the textures of the farmlands during this time of season.  Most fields are still green right now (at least I assume so since I drive through a bunch of them every day), but the scenery is depicting more brownish/tan faded textures that you find near the end of summer/early fall.  I can't really say it's an issue, just an observation.   I'll have to back up the date to see what spring/early summer looks like.

 

I did find one anomaly in the mountains of Colorado, it was a small strip of land that looked like a town that was sitting on the side of a mountain somewhere northwest of Aspen.  

 

I also posted some quick shots of the Orbx street lighting around Omaha and Offutt AFB in the screenshot forum.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Brian 

 

Many thanks for that Brian. That is exactly the type (and depth), of feedback that I was hoping for. Orbx did quite a remarkable job with the UK inasmuch as I can fly vfr with no geographical ident problems whatsoever (and even my own tiny field at egnl is instantly recognisable). My main concerns were that, as a Brit who is unfamiliar with the wider USA, and with Orbx having such huge rural areas to replicate in NA, could I be sure that what I was seeing below me was a fairly accurate 'representation' of what is actually there? Obviously, from your description, it is and I feel another credit card purchase coming on.

 

p.s.  Should you receive any 'hate-mail' from a certain Mrs J.L.Seagull about the escalation of my credit card bill then I shall deny all knowledge of this conversation ever having taken place!! :Party:

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David, John Venema from ORBX mentioned that they have tried to be as close as possible to match Google Earth, as close at least as landclass technology allowed them. I did a few quick flights around Telluride/Durango and Tucson, AZ and it was fantastic. What I didn't like what the missing of the aircraft boneyard in Tucson, which is the biggest in the US, possibly even the biggest in the world. And what I also didn't like was the way the keys looked in Florida. There will be more such issues I guess and from past experience I know that they will fix most of them. Overall though I think, it is an excellent product.

 

There is one thing you should know, I am from Germany  :wink:  :wink:  That is why I concentrated on areas, where I have been to a couple of times

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Here's a comparison of the default landclass in P3d for Northern CA:

Default%20LC%20NCA.jpg

 

Here's the OpenLC NA version which is far more detailed and has additional landclass textures:

Open%20LC%20NCA.jpg

 

Of course, if one already has  the ORBX full fat region that covers the same area, there won't be too much improvement. Anyone that wants to explore the differences further can use the tmfviewer tool that's included in the P3d SDK. In case anyone is wondering, the BGL files with the term "vulcun" in them are the photoreal volcanoes that were kindly added  by ORBX. The OpenLC NA addon has more spatial detail, is based on more recent GIS data/orthoimagery, has additional landclass categories and new landclass textures, when compared to the P3d default LC.

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David, John Venema from ORBX mentioned that they have tried to be as close as possible to match Google Earth, as close at least as landclass technology allowed them. I did a few quick flights around Telluride/Durango and Tucson, AZ and it was fantastic. What I didn't like what the missing of the aircraft boneyard in Tucson, which is the biggest in the US, possibly even the biggest in the world. And what I also didn't like was the way the keys looked in Florida. There will be more such issues I guess and from past experience I know that they will fix most of them. Overall though I think, it is an excellent product.

 

There is one thing you should know, I am from Germany  :wink:  :wink:  That is why I concentrated on areas, where I have been to a couple of times

 

Guten abend Bernd,

 

I lived and worked in Frechen ( Köln), for three years and Deutschland is my favourite holiday and P3D flying area!  Thanks for the info and tips about the NA scenery.

 

Regards,

 

David.

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I quite like it so far. It's a huge upgrade over default + FTX Global textures alone. In terms of landclass accuracy, I would say it's very similar to Ultimate Terrain X, but it has the advantage of including a complete set of textures that look great. There are a few textures here and there that aren't the greatest (mostly because the color palette doesn't quite match the other textures) and as always with landclass-based products as opposed to photoreal textures, you can never expect accuracy for highly unique terrain features like the "painted desert" in the southwest. I don't consider that a mark against the product, but it's something to be aware of - I often see posts from people who are upset that certain highly specific terrain features or points of interest aren't modeled; those are not the type of thing that landclass and texture products address.

 

One awesome feature is the new nightlighting for major cities. It's similar to products like Night Environment where you can see major street lights all the way out to the horizon. It makes a *dramatic* improvement when night flying over populated areas.

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I might be seeing another issue, but I've noticed that there *may* be memory leaks introduced. I did a SFO-EWR flight today and noticed my VAS with the 737NGX and usual settings went down to 340mb free at EWR, which is lower than the 700 I usually see in the NYC area. A fresh start in EWR is fine however.

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p.s. Should you receive any 'hate-mail' from a certain Mrs J.L.Seagull about the escalation of my credit card bill then I shall deny all knowledge of this conversation ever having taken place!!

 

I'll be glad to take the hit!  Over the years I've become very proficient at securing finance department approval to spend $$$ on this crazy hobby.  The only other option is to buy a real plane!  Not gonna happen...haha.

 

Spend first, answer questions later...that's what I do.  And hide the credit card too...ha!

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Here's the top down view of Utah MSE 2.0 and Orbx LC NA (Colorado) I mentioned, I circled a few areas where I thought the sceneries mesh very well at their borders:

 

LC%20NA_zpsxvaiok1z.png

 

 

 

Heading out of Montrose CO for Telluride.....How in the world did that Hawk get all the way to Colorado???

 

T-1_zpszyhtlbal.png

 

T-1-1_zpsii0bosnn.png

 

Orbx LC NA with Orbx Telluride

T-1-2_zpseehgfx8o.png

 

 Utah MSE on the left, Orbx LC NA (Colorado border) on the right.

T-1-3_zpsgzp8mogz.png

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So...those who have UTX 2.0 + GEP3D should't bother, should they?

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So...those who have UTX 2.0 + GEP3D should't bother, should they?

 

You could, but getting the two to work together might be tricky. You'd have to at minimum turn off all of the landclass data in UTX, and I have no idea how the new night lighting would work with the UTX road vectors. You might have to disable to the UTX roads too, and I'm forgetting right now if that is even possible. Basically you would only be using UTX for coast/beach vector data, at which point it's not really worth using IMO since OpenLC includes a lot of new vector data (only roads though.) Even though I much prefer UTX's vector implementations, I stick with OrbX Vector now just because the OpenLC stuff is designed to work with it and it can all be configured from within FTX Central.

 

In short, buy at your own risk, but I think it's doable with some experimentation.

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I'll be glad to take the hit!  Over the years I've become very proficient at securing finance department approval to spend $$$ on this crazy hobby.  The only other option is to buy a real plane!  Not gonna happen...haha.

 

Spend first, answer questions later...that's what I do.  And hide the credit card too...ha!

 

I like your style Brian!!  :drinks:

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The only problem I've noticed is that some of my autogen houses now have black sides (the roofs are colored as they should be). They stick out, but it doesn't detract from how detailed and realistic everything looks now. I posted the issue on their forums, so hopefully they'll look into it. Also, some people (me included) have had problems with the installer only adding one OpenLC file out of two to the scenery library, but this is easily fixed by adding it manually. 

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I can't wait to try this.  OpenLC Europe was a fantastic product imo, and this looks to be even better.  

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It does look better because the landclass source data used for the US and Canada are consistent, whereas in Europe, the various governments have not produce a unified GIS database that is readily available. Thus, the other OpenLC products have to rely somewhat on open source GIS databases.

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At least from an aesthetic standpoint, I think OpenLC Europe looks a bit better than NA. Of course we're talking totally different landscapes, but I mean the artwork that goes into the textures and how they mesh together with different types just doesn't seem as good in NA. It's definitely good, don't get me wrong, but EU just looks extremely pretty to my eyes. There are lots of areas in NA that just seems to use oddball textures that stand out from the other ones in that particular area.

 

That being said I'm sure it will get updates over time to correct a lot of that stuff.

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My only real complaint is that the depicted summer farmlands often have unplanted fields in the Midwest. The ratio is almost 50/50 when it comes to planted/unplanted. Those fields don't make money being empty. I should be seeing more green in the Midwest.

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I know what you mean. I live in WI so I know my farmlands, lol. I think to really get farmlands right, it would require some highly specific landclass with detailed seasons data. I don't think we'll get that until/if/when OrbX does a Midwest region.

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So...those who have UTX 2.0 + GEP3D should't bother, should they?

 

Well, I just went through this as I have been using UTX & GEP3D for a while.  I used to have FTXG & Vector over a year ago and uninstalled them and switched to UTX/GEp3D.  I recently went back to FTXG for a couple reasons.  One is that I just did not like the GEP3D daytime textures.  Everything looked too arid to me, especially the east coast of the US where I fly a lot. FTXG gets the coloring right IMO. What I loved about GEP3D was the night textures. That and UTX street lighting made the night flying very nice...but....  The new OpenLC night lighting along with FTXG lighting is fantastic.  I have now added back in ORBX Vector as well and things look as realistic both day and night as I've ever seen. I have had some stunning approaches in the last few days (using AS16,ASCA & PTA as well).

 

That being said...I would not bother with Open LC with your current setup.  It pulls certain textures from FTXG along with some new textures so you would at least need that.  You can still use UTX for the vector data but the road lights would no longer be needed with their new lighting tech. Coming from someone who threw ORBX to the side for a while, it might be worth investing in FTX Global along with OpenLC!!

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Also, some people (me included) have had problems with the installer only adding one OpenLC file out of two to the scenery library, but this is easily fixed by adding it manually. 

 

could you tell me what the entry names are in your scenery library? I'd like to double check mine to see as well. That way I can manually add it if it's missing also.

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could you tell me what the entry names are in your scenery library? I'd like to double check mine to see as well. That way I can manually add it if it's missing also.

 

[Area.118]

Title=ORBX!OPENLC_BASE

Local=ORBX\FTX_OLC\OLC_AA

Layer=118

Active=TRUE

Required=FALSE

 

[Area.119]

Title=ORBX!OPENLC_NAMERICA2

Local=ORBX\FTX_OLC\OLC_NA2

Layer=119

Active=TRUE

Required=FALSE

 

[Area.120]

Title=ORBX!OPENLC_NAMERICA1

Local=ORBX\FTX_OLC\OLC_NA1

Layer=120

Active=TRUE

Required=FALSE

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