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Richard Sennett

XP vs Real life

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One of the things I didn't like about XP 10 when I tried it was that just about everywhere looked the same. Granted, I never got into add-on scenery, but I figured that the "plausible scenery" technique would be something that I just wouldn't connect with. XP11 has come a long way in changing my mind...great video.

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X-Plane wins because the fuel is free...


Duh... it's Google Earth, not real life !!! :t0117:

Pascal

 

 

That was my immediate disappointment with the video...

To me a "real life" comparison needs shots out the window of a real airplane..

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Google earth is very very close to what real life is....I doubt someone would spend $$$$$ for RL video.

 

This comparison does work for me.

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It's GE or Bing but both are close to real. It also shows that XP11 still needs color correction, easily done with MaxxXP. Add a photoreal background and then you are close to real. I am just doing a little experiment, all of the CA coastline in photoreal, but only at ZL 16 and with the default overlay OSM data from XP. So far, this is looking great. Once I'm done I'll post some screenies.

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It's GE or Bing but both are close to real. It also shows that XP11 still needs color correction, easily done with MaxxXP. Add a photoreal background and then you are close to real. I am just doing a little experiment, all of the CA coastline in photoreal, but only at ZL 16 and with the default overlay OSM data from XP. So far, this is looking great. Once I'm done I'll post some screenies.

 

Please do I'm a bit new to ortho and not sure how to do it also concerned about hard drive space even though I have more than one - just dont like to jam my hard drives 

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It's a fun job but sometimes not as easy as it seems, the sources are kind of unpredictable in terms of output. Just switched to USGS and will try a couple of tiles again overnight. I'll keep you posted. 

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It's a fun job but sometimes not as easy as it seems, the sources are kind of unpredictable in terms of output. Just switched to USGS and will try a couple of tiles again overnight. I'll keep you posted. 

 

Thank you my friend can always count on you  :wink: and my great friend Tofi  :dance:

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Guys, maybe the sat scenery itself can look close/ to real life, but what I mean with a "real life comparison" is literally how the world looks out the window, including lighting, haze, etc.

 

Just seems weird to compare sat imagery to stock scenery in XP and call one of them the "real life" view.

Whatevs' - just seems odd to me.

 

 

Something more like this (but ideally from cockpit view of course):

Edited by irrics

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Guys, maybe the sat scenery itself can look close/ to real life, but what I mean with a "real life comparison" is literally how the world looks out the window, including lighting, haze, etc.

 

Just seems weird to compare sat imagery to stock scenery in XP and call one of them the "real life" view.

Whatevs' - just seems odd to me.

 

I agree. Comparisons like this with satellite imagery are great for showing the accuracy (or not) of placement in OSM-based roads and building autogen, but they minimize the differences in actual appearance between flight sims and flying over the real world.

 

These images are always taken under ideal clear sky conditions with no cloud shadows, and close to noon so shadows are minimized. You're not seeing the effects of different lighting colors through the day/night cycle. Which would be fine if we only flew our sims at noon with clear skies. 

 

For me, one of the great things about X-Plane is how each new version gets closer to showing what the world looks like in all kinds of different weather and times of day. Flying at low level I can see OSM autgen buildings casting shadows at different times of day, and lit up with varying sunlight color. Clouds cast moving shadows on the ground and open water, just like it looks in real life. When it's rainy or foggy, everything changes drastically into a softer looking world.

 

That's where a flight sim starts to feel real to me, and you'll never see that in a simulated fly-over on a satellite photo. 

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I agree. Comparisons like this with satellite imagery are great for showing the accuracy (or not) of placement in OSM-based roads and building autogen, but they minimize the differences in actual appearance between flight sims and flying over the real world.

 

These images are always taken under ideal clear sky conditions with no cloud shadows, and close to noon so shadows are minimized. You're not seeing the effects of different lighting colors through the day/night cycle. Which would be fine if we only flew our sims at noon with clear skies. 

 

For me, one of the great things about X-Plane is how each new version gets closer to showing what the world looks like in all kinds of different weather and times of day. Flying at low level I can see OSM autgen buildings casting shadows at different times of day, and lit up with varying sunlight color. Clouds cast moving shadows on the ground and open water, just like it looks in real life. When it's rainy or foggy, everything changes drastically into a softer looking world.

 

That's where a flight sim starts to feel real to me, and you'll never see that in a simulated fly-over on a satellite photo.

 

Indeed. And that is why I am getting more and more problems with ortho's/photoreal: the baked in shadows are usually way too hard... Someone posted a screenshot last weekend looking down on mountains in the US and I've seen that in sims too: it looks nice and real on a photograph but it looks odd and weird when you fly above it. First of all there is really far too much 'detail': too much is 'happening' everywhere you look. You can sometimes hardly see the mountains or even hills through the shadows, so to speak, and it looks overdone. Looking sideways at something that has been photographed from straight above shows you a distorted view of reality. But also: it seems as if time is stuck... All day long you are seeing those same shadows. Very weird. Unrealistic. Shadows on the wrong side of hills almost all day. I am liking it less and less.

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Valid argument, Jeroen. With photoscenery shadows and view angles may be wrong but with default scenery almost everything else is looking wrong except for very small portions of the world. Which brings us back to the need of professional scenery development for XP which doesn't happen. Bummer. 

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When you look at the video closely, it really is not that accurate in many respects.  OSM data is still insufficient in most places to produce accurate looking scenery, at least as far as correct land use is depicted. There are far to many commerical and industrial areas represented as residential.  Where are the golf courses?  Usually Xplane just shows forests for them.  Vancouver, BC is not shown in the video, but in Xplane 10 and 11, the extremely dense downtown core is depicted as houses and vast areas of the city that are mostly houses are depicted with apartment buildings.

 

To suit my liking Xplane 11 would need to have entire regions brought up to a level of accuracy similar to ORBX regions, which I find provides a more convincing landscape, at least in Prepar3d. I find Xplane just looks so much the same no matter where I fly.

 

On the other hand Xplane does many things better than Prepar3d or FSX.  The interstates and traffic on them are far more convincing, and at night, there is simply no comparison.  Personally I'm dissappointed that ORBX so quickly changed their mind about developing for Xplane.  I think it is sorely needed and was really looking forward to it.

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To suit my liking Xplane 11 would need to have entire regions brought up to a level of accuracy similar to ORBX regions, which I find provides a more convincing landscape, at least in Prepar3d. I find Xplane just looks so much the same no matter where I fly.

 

Yes, we really need at LEAST regional textures. Right now it doesn't really matter where you fly, it indeed looks the same. 

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Indeed. And that is why I am getting more and more problems with ortho's/photoreal: the baked in shadows are usually way too hard... Someone posted a screenshot last weekend looking down on mountains in the US and I've seen that in sims too: it looks nice and real on a photograph but it looks odd and weird when you fly above it. First of all there is really far too much 'detail': too much is 'happening' everywhere you look. You can sometimes hardly see the mountains or even hills through the shadows, so to speak, and it looks overdone. Looking sideways at something that has been photographed from straight above shows you a distorted view of reality. But also: it seems as if time is stuck... All day long you are seeing those same shadows. Very weird. Unrealistic. Shadows on the wrong side of hills almost all day. I am liking it less and less.

 

So true. I have almost the entire US and EU as ortho-photos (close to 8TB Data). Although its stunning when OSM and ground matches exactly and its flat or hilly terrain with minimum baked shadows. It falls way short if it comes to more pronounced terrain: The Grand Canyon as an example is almost a big black hole (bing) and I switched this tiles back to  generic scenery. IMHO a clever mix would be best. Urban areas with orthos/osm and the rest generic. And as mentioned, the best scenery is not looking good when the environment is lacking. XP11 goes in the right direction in this regard. Add a weather-engine like xEnviro and even with generic textures it starts to feel "real". Great times ahead....

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When you look at the video closely, it really is not that accurate in many respects.  OSM data is still insufficient in most places to produce accurate looking scenery, at least as far as correct land use is depicted. There are far to many commerical and industrial areas represented as residential.  Where are the golf courses?  Usually Xplane just shows forests for them.  Vancouver, BC is not shown in the video, but in Xplane 10 and 11, the extremely dense downtown core is depicted as houses and vast areas of the city that are mostly houses are depicted with apartment buildings.

 

True, OSM tends to fall apart when it's an area without as much recent data as Europe/UK, and that applies to much of North America, let alone other continents like Africa and South America. X-Plane is currently limited to USA and Europe (German) street and building types for autogen too, which is a major limitation. When you know an area well, it's especially lacking. Most of my flying is into places I've never been, so that dissonance doesn't kick in very often, but it's a valid complaint.

 

The good news as I see it, is that the basic approach of X-Plane for generating scenery is on the right track, and has major advantages over the orthophoto-based approach (or at least, strictly orthos and not blending with autogen). There is a clear path forward for improvement, as long as OSM remains a popular and frequently updated database, together with improvements in landclass and autogen as the sim continues to be developed. Whether that's done by Laminar or a third party. Meanwhile, anyone who wants orthophoto scenery can easily provide their own. Best of both worlds.

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Which brings us back to the need of professional scenery development for XP which doesn't happen. Bummer

 

It almost did happen, but something scared them off.

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Laminar Research should really enlarge their (scenery) artist department. The deficiencies in art assets for the scenery (autogen, clouds) is one of the most important issues IMO. I acknowledge they made a very good job on default aircrafts, and that was needed as well. Now, the priority should be on scenery art assets.

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Vancouver, BC is not shown in the video, but in Xplane 10 and 11, the extremely dense downtown core is depicted as houses and vast areas of the city that are mostly houses are depicted with apartment buildings.

Well, getting good looking city centers / big skyscrapers has been a long standing issue in X-Plane. Simply - as almost all of the scenery is algorithmically generated - for the reason of the absence of really good landclass information (getting correct urban densities is a very complex and error prone task) AND useful "building height" information for a long time (in the US for example Laminar used old FAA obstacle data to get at least some cities right ... but that data was limited in its scope). Now for XP11 we started looking into OSM to deliver us this additional height information, as it is getting better and better in many, many regions. In the first default mesh scenery version - which is BETA by the way, never forget that! - Ben didn't include this height data, as he didn't find a way to code his "vision" on how this data should influence autogen (in a new way) ...

 

Instead, in the last weeks - it was Bens idea in the first place - I started an experiment to include the OSM building heights in the "old way" (like it was done with FAA obstacles data for a long time), where these height "data points" simply spawn facades / objects to add those bigger buildings (again, this is the same tech which was used in XP10 ... but with different source data).

 

This experiment went much better than we expected, and I think its very likely that Ben will add this data to the final version of the default mesh (which will - as far as I know - be cut sometime when XP11 goes final). Let me give you a tiny glimpse, how much better Vancouver will look (I wouldn't say its perfect - far from it - but at least you get now quite a few skyscrapers etc.).

 

(this comparison is between XP11 beta default scenery and some "beta" HD level, freshly cut mesh I used for evaluation purposes - using the OSM building height data ... but nevertheless, cities should look almost identical with a new default mesh too!):

 

Before:

Baron_58_2_1.jpg

 

After:

Baron_58_1_1.jpg

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