Elvensmith

Grand Canyon... Oh Dear

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Having finally adjusted the settings so I can take off without spiraling into the terrain and the autopillock working so it follows the GPS track, decided it was time to check out some of the scenic wonders of the world. Where else to start but the Grand Canyon.

Took off from Page with a flight plan along the Canyon landing at Kayenta. First off launching from Page evident the scenery still looks bleached and washed out. There should be vivid desert colours - reds, browns and yellows. Approaching and then tracking the canyon, I felt I'd gone back in time to 1997 - when we bought add on scenery based on glossy pictures on the box and instead got crudely painted triangle hills. It really looks awful, meringue like crude smooth shapes painted in the same bland texture. Didn't even come over as well as some of the 3DFX based flight sims from that era.

What's the first thing many casual flyers are going to want to do in this sim - fly over locations such as the GC or other well known National Parks not just in the USA but around the world. I haven't checked out what Yosemite or Yellowstone look like but I would expect to be similarly disappointed. Now as a train simmer building routes I know how big the detailed DEM files can be and that you can't expect the whole world in high resolution landclass. But either the coders need to come up with a way of making mountains etc. look and texture better or they need to get the artists and terrain modellers sat down and creating custom scenery for iconic locations such as the GC. Not expecting every rock or gully to be exact as in real life, but by goodness a sim touting itself as the next generation needs to do better than recycling the land-class and painting system from 15 years ago. Otherwise it really is just a case of the emperor's new clothes on the front end, with the jets stripped out and under the surface same old FSX with a bit of tweaking for 64 bit.

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That's what freeware &/or payware developers will give us, detailed scenery & landclass for different areas.

DTG have never said the whole world will be perfect. All they have done is to use Orbyx ground textures, otherwise everything else, scenerywise, is as FSX was, when it first came out.

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Yes I know there is a market for detailed scenery but you miss my point that DTG are touting this as a next gen product while it looks no different to its predecessors. Easy money to just copy and paste someone else's work without thinking about how you can make it better, or in this case lo resolution bleached textures make it look worse.

Like I said not expecting the whole world in high resolution but if there is any coding or artistic talent at DTG, then for God's sake put it to work improving the appearance at iconic locations.

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erm... 64bit IS next gen, compared to 32bit. That's what they promised. 

They did not promise a whole detailed world with an early access/beta game!

What do you expect, from the guys that brought out a fishing sim? 

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55 minutes ago, Wobbie said:

What do you expect, from the guys that brought out a fishing sim? 

Something that looks a bit more lifelike than the 1995 era graphic quality on display... so far.

It could indeed be they have plans to upgrade some of the scenery areas and again why we need a roadmap to accompany this early access alpha/beta stage.

It's 2017, the surrounding world should at least appear somewhat realistic, getting away from my OP a little there should also be people walking round in the airport terminals, ground crew going about their business on the tarmac. And there should be fishermen, beside a lake...fishing! :)

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1 minute ago, Elvensmith said:

It's 2017, the surrounding world should at least appear somewhat realistic, getting away from my OP a little there should also be people walking round in the airport terminals, ground crew going about their business on the tarmac. And there should be fishermen, beside a lake...fishing! :)

I'm sure there will be, but it will be payware because that is where the additional money is to be made once the base sim is sold.

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Maybe look at DTG's Fishing game. There, I'm sure, you will find fishermen. In fact you can actually be one!

It's a flight sim, not an airport sim, so, you will see a lot of planes, most of which are 'new generation', & quite detailed.

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Nope, could not, IMHO been done with a patch to make a 32bit game into a 64bit one.  - Strike 1

DTG has done a lot more than cosmetic changes (if you have looked at all the changes they have made with their 10+ upgrades, you would know this)  - Strike 2

64bit is not a compatibility upgrade. It is a whole new ecosystem   -  Strike 3

 

San Andreas is not represented as a whole world. You should know this. FSW, as the previous games were, has detailed airports, not all, & a lot of scope for add-on developers.

Also, it is recommended that people look at forums, comments & reviews before acting blindly, then complaining! 

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It's true that programs from ten years ago can and do have people walking around and such, but they generally don't feature the entire world and have AI aeroplanes flying around, ATC and such. This probably explains why XPlane, P3D, DCS and Aerofly FS2 all don't have that either. Not that it wouldn't be cool to have.

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But you don't have all that action going on in every location. It happens in a box around the player's current location.

Anyhow all this is rather getting away from my initial assertion is that the Grand Canyon in FSW looks very disappointing compared to what I had expected. Which is my unremitting view which I hope others will respect, just as I respect those who feel it is adequate for a 2017 flying game. Would be interested to hear what others think of the GC having flown over the area.

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fsw%202017-05-29%2013-05-18-06_zpshsnqam

Well, having just checked it out, not that I'd be completely happy about flying over it in a single engined Cherokee as I did in the sim lol, I will grant you that, whilst I've never flown over it in real life, I of course know what it looks like from photos and such, and it seems a bit less grand than I should imagine it is in real life, but nevertheless, it's there. To be honest, the terrain around where I live and the scenery for it, where I have been flying in FSW a fair bit, looks not much like when I fly over it for real either and is more of a 'close-ish' representaion, but that's true in all flight sims I have and why I've bought VFR photoscenery and autogen for it in FSX etc. And I expect I'll end up doing the same for FSW.

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Hi Elvensmith.

I have to agree with the others on here. Dovetail are building the base sim. That means providing the infrastructure to make content to a better level than it was with FSX and have a platform to grow that content in future years. Look at the different releases of P3D. Out the box it doesn't look a hell of a lot different but each release is more capabable of rendering DLC to a better level.

Dovetail have never said they are updating the scenery and quite frankly nobody is expecting anything significant in this area. 3rd party developers will handle that. Dovetail might update some information from a 3rd party source but I don't think they are handcrafting anything. Not like ACES did. I think a team called Turbulent did some scenery for the Flight School missions which has been included in FSW but thats about it along with FTX Global. Interestingly in the last live stream I heard Cryss state that FTX Global is all thats added at the moment, but that seems to indicate that maybe more could come later from future partners or even Orbx themselves...

If you can prove to me that Flight Sim World looks worst than FSX then maybe you'll have a case, but you can't compare FSX with the likes of a modern sim like AeroflyFS 2.0 for example which it uses satellite textures but looks pretty awful over water and remote areas where autogen is difficult to implement.

Anyway if the community makes a fuss of the scenery, you never know, Dovetail may give it some love. Just the fact you brought it up, I'm sure somebody from Dovetail have seen this and maybe a little improvement could be won from these messages alone. We'll all have to wait and see!

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Out of interest (not having bought it) how does the Grand Canyon look in XP11 - better, worse or about the same?

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Creating a reasonably realistic GC would require high resolution mesh and landclass - none of which I would expect to be included in this very early release of FSW. That is something that will come later as DLC.

I'll be installing P3D V4 tomorrow, and I fully expect that the GC will "look like hell" there too, until after I reinstall my FS Global Ultimate terrain mesh, and Orbx Global textures, OpenLC landclass and Vector - which will make a significant difference.

Even then, it won't be perfect. The variation in terrain relief and variation in the geological strata in the GC is too extreme to be accurately emulated with digital data. The only way to get a truly realistic-looking GC is to use ortho tiles based on actual aerial or satellite photography - and that holds true for ANY flight sim in this particular area.

I believe many people have unrealistic expectations of what FSW "should be" at this very early beta stage. It's like someone who wants to move into a new home while its still under construction - before the floors are laid, windows installed, drywall hung and painted and wiring, plumbing and fixtures completed.

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3 hours ago, Elvensmith said:

Out of interest (not having bought it) how does the Grand Canyon look in XP11 - better, worse or about the same?

I don't have FSW yet, so can't compare directly. If I'm not mistaken, X-Plane uses a higher resolution terrain mesh than FSX, so that would suggest better detail, but we'd need a direct comparison.

However, there is also a free set of Ultra High Definition mesh and landclass available for interesting parts of the world like this, in 30m resolution DEM elevation data instead of 90m DEM data (which I think is default?). Places like the Grand Canyon in UHD mesh and landclass look outstanding. I like it better than orthophotos because the texture survives when you get close, instead of blurring out.

Do a search on YouTube for "X-Plane UHD Grand Canyon" for some flyover examples, many with cheesy music, unfortunately. 

Let's remember something though. This is optional scenery for XP11, for a reason. The files are humongous. As it is, even the lower-res base-level mesh for X-Plane is distributed as an 80 GB download or set of DVDs. These UHD scenery mesh files are much larger than that. Just one tile is something like a 2 GB file, and you need many of these files to cover each area. 

Another consideration is the computer horsepower required for this kind of thing. To use UHD terrain mesh like this in XP11 (or very high res orthos), you need at least 16 GB of RAM, and 32 GB is better, for overhead with other programs you may be running concurrently. A fast CPU and a GPU with lots of VRAM is also required. There is no free lunch when you get into higher-res scenery like this.

So, forgive the digression into XP11 territory, but this is what you're asking for. I wouldn't expect it in a base-level simulation like FSW. And if you do get this later on as free files or payware, you can count on needing a powerful computer to run it. That's another reason I wouldn't expect it in the base level sim. DTG needs to appeal to a user base that includes people with computers that couldn't run something like this. 

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People are expecting to get from an Early Access Game what they built for years, and sometimes spending a good deal of money, I not in add-ons in the for of hardware to run more detailed scenery like with XP10 and Ortho4XP... 

DTG's FSW offers a revised World airfield database where I can find pretty much all "legal" airfield in Portugal, and also some updated navaids! What can ask more for a base civil sim in Early Release ?

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5 hours ago, Chock said:

fsw%202017-05-29%2013-05-18-06_zpshsnqam

Well, having just checked it out, not that I'd be completely happy about flying over it in a single engined Cherokee as I did in the sim lol, I will grant you that, whilst I've never flown over it in real life, I of course know what it looks like from photos and such, and it seems a bit less grand than I should imagine it is in real life, but nevertheless, it's there. To be honest, the terrain around where I live and the scenery for it, where I have been flying in FSW a fair bit, looks not much like when I fly over it for real either and is more of a 'close-ish' representaion, but that's true in all flight sims I have and why I've bought VFR photoscenery and autogen for it in FSX etc. And I expect I'll end up doing the same for FSW.

Somebody needs to repeat the exercise in P3Dv4. Or FS9 EVO Now that will add the drama!

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9 minutes ago, vololiberista said:

Somebody needs to repeat the exercise in P3Dv4. Or FS9 EVO Now that will add the drama!

Better repeat it in Aerofly FS 2....

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Okay, here's the Grand Canyon in X-Plane 11, this is the default full Steam download of XP11 with no visual tweaks to the program at all.

X-Plane%202017-05-29%2018-50-40-94_zpsne

As you can see it is undeniably a bit better and more 'Grand' than that of FSW, but then again I'd expect it to be considering one is a finished product which cost me 60 quid and took a long time to download owing to all the terrain files, the other was free (or will cost you 20 quid if you don't qualify for the freebie Flight School upgrade), is in early access and came down the pipe in about an hour or so to end up being 45Gb in total as opposed to XP11'S 62Gb.

So it is probably worth pointing out here that, as noted on another post in the Avsim DTG forum, you could actually install similar photo terrain in FSW if you wanted to, since in the US (unlike with a lot of countries, including the penny-pinching mean-spirited UK), aerial mapping and terrain elevation data collected by the Govt, is quite rightly regarded as having been funded by the citizens from their taxes, so is freely available as DEMs, imagery and so on.

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And the winner of the default Grand Canyon terrain in a sim competition is... AeroFly FS2.

aerofly_fs_2%202017-05-29%2019-15-58-62_

Ten quid dearer than FSW (or 30 quid dearer if you got FSW as a freebie) and 30 cheaper than XP11, it might not have detailed terrain for the entire world, but AeroFly FS2 does, by default, include the Grand Canyon, which does indeed look very grand and is probably the kind of thing Elvensmith was on about in terms of appearance, although as noted, you could probably get either FSW or XP11 looking like that too with a bit of effort.

See? I told you I buy all those sims lol.

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System burp? Last few posts are repeated......

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3 hours ago, Chock said:

And the winner of the default Grand Canyon terrain in a sim competition is... AeroFly FS2.

Oh now that is most definitely the dog's dangly bits. XP11 looks pretty good too.

Both are on my shopping list as and when I can persuade SWMBO that I really want to buy another flight sim(s)! :)

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Here are my comparison screens, taken on today's date, at mid day:

X-Plane_Grand_Canyon.jpg

Above is X-Plane 11 default

FSW_Grand_Canyon.jpg

Above is FSW

Currently, FSW has some major issues with shading, besides the lower mesh and poor representation of any steep terrain.

What is not visible is that ground control (taxing) is MUCH better with FSW aircraft, X=Plane's Cessna was a major pain for me to just get to the runway with my pedals. Also note the square shadows in the X-Plane screen. So both sims still need some major work at this point.
 

 

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34 minutes ago, Arwen said:

Currently, FSW has some major issues with shading, besides the lower mesh and poor representation of any steep terrain.

Also that lavender tinge in the sky color at mid-day needs fixing, which has been there in this DTG engine since Flight School.

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Hello guys n girls,

I know this statement is a criticism but nobody seems to be stating what I think is the obvious.

I can remember reading reams of comments when DTG asked the community what WE wanted in the next generation light Simulation platform.  Lots and lots of comments and/or suggestions came out. DTG vowed and declared that they were listening and would produce a platform for the next generation.

However, I can find no suggestion or comment or even a mention that WE, or in fact,  any individual , wanted a next gen simulator  that provided 64bit oh, and rain on the windscreen, and runways which previously had detailed textures as standard but we wanted fluro white ones and oher bugs. 

I am aware that this is Early Access, but DTG have reduced a great platform (albeit ancient) to a GA simulation with bugs and includes an allegedly onerous restriction on third party developers,  

This is/has been considered by DTG as a great marketing plan but it is very hard not to compare it with the recently announced P3Dv4. 

P3Dv4 has been announced (released today?) with very little fanfare from LM ... very little input from the community and no promises.  From first looks they have done what appears to be a very good and complete 64bit version of V3 and, one assumes they will build on and improve on this. The good thing however, is that they appear to have a majority of third party developers on board and most appear ready to adopt the new platform.

My point is that I think most of the comments from the community which were requested by DTG, asked for precisely that.  Where is it???  Look at what we got. Again. early access and lots more promises and a further lack of communication. 

I STILL hold out hope for this platform and please, DTG, regard all these comments as constructive criticism. WE still want an improved version of FSX in lieu of a retrograde one. Most of us want DTG to succeed which will give us, the community and DTG, a win win situation. There is much work to be done here and I for one, wait patiently for it.  

In summary, competition is good for simmers and the world ... DTG, please give us that.

Regards to all

Tony Chilcott  

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