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Richard Sennett

Blue Sky Star making entire US Orthos

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The issues with Orthos are why I ultimately still prefer XP's default scenery and would like to simply see that improved, varied with more textures, and made better.

 

My main beef with orthos I've mentioned before: the burriness and squashed buildings that kills immersion at low altitude. But I realized last night when I tried some bush flying in Papua that consistency is another reason. The overall look and feel of the scenery is consistent anywhere you fly in the world in X-Plane, even remote areas like this. The autogen buildings and roads aren't right, but that will improve over time, and it's already improving in Europe.

 

What impressed me about Papua New Guinea last night is that the trees are pretty good in the default XP11 landclass. No longer a mix of conifers that shouldn't be there, like there was (IIRC) in XP10, but some actual rainforest-looking trees mixed in with more generic deciduous types. You're probably not going to get good orthophoto resources for this area anyway, so I'm happy with what I'm seeing. I need to get over to areas I've overflown at low level in real life in Costa Rica and Brazil, to see what the new XP11 landclass looks like over there. 

 

I know there is still a market for ortho scenery and I'm not knocking it except for the way I fly, where it just doesn't work for me. If I only flew scheduled airlines and never saw anything but the area around big airports, and then the ground from the flight levels, I might prefer orthos too. But I'm a low-flying GA and helicopter guy, so I know what I prefer.

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X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator on Windows 10 
i7 6700 4.0 GHz, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1660 ti, 1920x1200 monitor

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I'm out on this Ortho train - will wait to see if there will be a nice seasonal terrain product if not so be it takes long enough to start sim with all the current addons as it is - not worth it to me - need an excellent base texture payware product


Rich Sennett

               

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I have to echo the dissatisfaction with Ortho in this day and age..

 

It's just tough, as I'm here in Idaho, and the default XP look is just wrong for the color of the mountains and it ruins totally for me, right away.

Very frustrating.

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They should have a download option too. Sure bandwidth isn't free, but neither are external hard drives. You'd pay for the download service as well, just as you would for the HDD, but hopefully less. Downloading 3 TB would take about 28 hours for me, faster than shipping a drive from the USA to Sweden...

 

 


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I was never into photo-real scenery in P3D. It just looked odd down low and my recollection was that you pretty much lost all auto-gen.

 

After trying Ortho tiles for XP, I've become a huge fan. With the mesh built into the tiles, you can make some really stunning mountains that have sharp peaks instead of rounded edges. The overlay/auto gen pretty much covers most of the home/buildings that would otherwise look strange down low. I probably have half the USA done so far...good stuff.

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Yes, I suppose they are doing exactly that (why shouldn't they ... its the obvious way to go). And knowing (or to be correct : suspecting) this tells me, that they won't be able to deliver a "super perfect" continental scale orthophoto mesh ... but just a "cool" orthophoto mesh, which will shine in some areas and less so in others (and will show some "nasty" transition seems here and there ... etc. etc. ...). Depending on the price point and expectations this might be "just right" to some or an "insult" or a "rip off" for others.

 

I rather doubt they're going to tune the entire US "by hand" since that would be an enormous time commitment, or if they do then this thing will cost like $1000 per region.

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same here, was skeptical because photoscenery looks pretty bad in fsx/p3d. ortho4xp has taken things to a new level for me, especially for those that fly high :)

I was never into photo-real scenery in P3D. It just looked odd down low and my recollection was that you pretty much lost all auto-gen.

 

After trying Ortho tiles for XP, I've become a huge fan. With the mesh built into the tiles, you can make some really stunning mountains that have sharp peaks instead of rounded edges. The overlay/auto gen pretty much covers most of the home/buildings that would otherwise look strange down low. I probably have half the USA done so far...good stuff.

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If it's a good well made airport that you will use more than once then 30 bucks is a good price (When you realise how much work making a high-quality one is).

 

The same logic applies.  Someone could say, "Why would you spend $30 on airport scenery when you can download WED and make it yourself for free?"

 

It's just a simple fact that there will always be a market for anything that takes time and effort to produce, even if someone else comes along and insists that it's cheap and easy to do it yourself.

 

----------

 

To show you all some perspective (P3D)...

 

The rural scenery looks fine.  The city scenery looks terrible with all of those buildings "baked" into the planet's surface.  I realize that's a limitation of ortho scenery and has nothing to do with P3D.

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The rural scenery looks fine. The city scenery looks terrible with all of those buildings "baked" into the planet's surface. I realize that's a limitation of ortho scenery and has nothing to do with P3D.

 

But you don't have to live with that (like I'm pretty certain that you do with P3D...although I could be wrong). Just build ortho tiles with overlay. See below:

 

Ortho of Chicago with HD Mesh overlay (lots of auto gen):

Baron_58_2_zpsnjrlnql2.jpg

 

F-4_27_zpsk0bcu0py.jpg

 

....and well, I just like this pic (Cascade Mountains)

B733_13_zpsrq3md6bq.jpg

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The rural scenery looks fine.  The city scenery looks terrible with all of those buildings "baked" into the planet's surface.  I realize that's a limitation of ortho scenery and has nothing to do with P3D.

 

Yeah, that's where orthos lose it for me too. Here's what I need to see -- 3D buildings at low altitude, reflecting the ambient sunlight (and throwing shadows if you have the hardware, which I have turned off here). Not blurry low res ground textures and squashed buildings. This is a view south of Seattle in XP11 beta.

 

KingAirC90B_5.jpg

 

The beauty of landclass + autogen is the way it responds to ambient lighting like this, at all hours of the day, and also looks great at night when all those streets light up with lamp posts and car headlights.

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X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator on Windows 10 
i7 6700 4.0 GHz, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1660 ti, 1920x1200 monitor

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I started working on something similar, but with a few differences.

 

1) Using ZL 16 for fly-over areas and ZL-17 within 3 km of airports.

2) Trying to distribute via bit torrent.

3) Includes autogen (HD Mesh V3 by alpilotx)

4) User must run a simple bat file after they download the file to convert the textures from JPG to DXT.

5) Free

 

Starting with California to see if distribution via bit torrent will work.  Still a bit of an unknown.

 

May not finish entire US, but will be focusing on coasts and urban areas.

 

More info below.

 

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/36327-us-orthophotos/

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This guy has a pretty interesting project using a world2xlpane to add just some basic scenery enhancements to the default landclass based scenery. Things like churches, piers with boats, chimneys, and some of the OSM forests seem to go a long way to improving the look of x-plane.

 

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This guy has a pretty interesting project using a world2xlpane to add just some basic scenery enhancements to the default landclass based scenery. Things like churches, piers with boats, chimneys, and some of the OSM forests seem to go a long way to improving the look of x-plane.

 

 

THIS is super great.

I am always stunned and surprised to see what is possible in X-Plane scenerywise - i'd really wish that rather sooner than later all these many superb add-ons could lead to the release of some kind of "global" scenery standard(s) within X- Plane.

:smile:


Enjoy flying and happy landings.

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