WebMaximus

Best photo scenery options for P3D

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About a month ago I played around with XP11 a bit and I discovered a freeware tool called Ortho4xp which allows you to create photo scenery for free by downloading the required data from providers such as Google and Bing.

After being used to FSX and later on P3D in combination with the global Orbx stuff the experience of flying over true and detailed photo scenery in XP11 was nothing short of amazing and took the sensation of actually flying to a new level!

Now I'm back in the P3D corner again since there were a number of other things I missed in XP such as great weather simulation, detailed study level aircraft such as those from PMDG, a good and well polished Vatsim client such as vPilot to mention a few.

However as for the scenery it simply isn't any fun flying over generated Orbx scenery any longer now that I've experienced the amazing photo scenery produced by Ortho4XP.

I'm now in a situation where I have all the add-ons I need for the type of flying I'm doing (airlines OPs as close to real life as possible) but without the joy I experienced in XP flying over Ortho4XP scenery that made the flying feel real.

So with all this said I've now started to think of what could give me a similar experience in P3D.

If you ask me, the combination of P3D with all its mature add-ons and its overall stability in combination with the photo scenery available in XP using Ortho4XP would be really close to flightsim heaven.

I just started to read about TileProxy but I'm still not even sure exactly what it is or even less so how to use it so thought I would ask in here as well for tips.

Of course it would be awesome being able to build your own photo scenery for free in the same way you can with Ortho4xp but I would be fine going with payware options as well.

Thanks in advance for any input!

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I have made Belgium 2011 with FsEarthtiles , FsxKML and Google Earth.

Officially you do not have permission to dl Tiles from map servers but lots of people do so and share their result as freeware.

The maker from TileProxy made a newer version and even opened a subforum here , but Jim closed it as it was payware and he wanted to make money dl Tiles from mapservers..

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2 minutes ago, GSalden said:

Officially you do not have permission to dl Tiles from map servers

Not entirely true. It depends on the server and many of the licenses do allow personal usage.

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As for the legal aspect I read quite a bit about that when using Ortho4XP and the conclusion seemed to be that as long as you're using the data for personal usage there's no difference if you watch the data on your mobile phone or in your flight simulator.

Building photo scenery to sell to other people of course is a totally different matter.

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19 minutes ago, GSalden said:

I have made Belgium 2011 with FsEarthtiles , FsxKML and Google Earth.

Officially you do not have permission to dl Tiles from map servers but lots of people do so and share their result as freeware.

The maker from TileProxy made a newer version and even opened a subforum here , but Jim closed it as it was payware and he wanted to make money dl Tiles from mapservers..

Do you have any advice what would be a good place starting to learn how to do what you already did?

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11 minutes ago, WebMaximus said:

Do you have any advice what would be a good place starting to learn how to do what you already did?

FsEarthtiles

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28 minutes ago, Sethos1988 said:

Not entirely true. It depends on the server and many of the licenses do allow personal usage.

None of the known mapservers allow downloading.

Gxxgle even has a built in security system , but some developers already have cracks for that...

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8 minutes ago, GSalden said:

None of the known mapservers allow downloading.

Gxxgle even has a built in security system , but some developers already have cracks for that...

Of course they do. That's what you do when you view the data. You can even specifically download from the USGS, as much as you want, all their available data. Some of the providers have restrictive copyrights of what you can do with the data, some also have systems in place to make sure you aren't hogging a metric ton of bandwidth -- That has nothing to do with not being allowed to download specifically. 

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I guess what makes this a bit more "sensitive" in the P3D corner is the number of developers making money on selling products that include photo scenery using data they paid for themselves.

Clearly these guys wouldn't appreciate if there was a tool similar to Ortho4XP for P3D people could use to build their own photo scenery for free.

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Just came across this series of tutorials on Youtube:

 

He uses SBuilderX, among other things, so it may be of use to you.

 

Russ

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38 minutes ago, b1bmsgt said:

Just came across this series of tutorials on Youtube:

 

He uses SBuilderX, among other things, so it may be of use to you.

 

Russ

Didn't look through the complete clip but seemed to be about creating an airport scenery where I'm more interested in creating nice photo scenery en route between my already existing payware airports.

Thanks anyway for the tip!

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3 hours ago, WebMaximus said:

Ok, will do some searching for that.

FSEarthTiles is not as easy as Ortho4XP due to the tedious work to get the water mask right.  MegaSceneryEarth is a better option for the states that you like to fly.  Even with Ortho4XP one has to pick and choose due to the time to generate and disk space.  I plan to use P3D strictly for Airliners where the scenery at high Altitude is pretty good with the generated stuffs.  When doing GA, XP11 and Ortho4XP wins hands down.

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Makes sense what you say.

Personally I only do airliner flying online on Vatsim in Europe but despite spending most of the time at FL300+ I really can't take the generated scenery anymore when I know how good it can look with photo scenery.

Will give FSEarthTiles a go. Checked some videos on YouTube and even if it's lots more work for me it will be worth it to get away from generated scenery.

I wonder if the absence of a Ortho4FSX/P3D is for technical reasons or simply because no one tried to develop such a tool?

If it's technically possible here's me wishing a developer with the right skills reads this thread and decides to do it. I'm pretty sure this guy or girl would become a true hero within the FSX/P3D community!

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I have a similar experience, from FSX to XP to P3D.

Ortho4XP is good, but the combination with World2XP makes it truely great. This combination of photo real ground texture with 3D objects from OSM data is unmatched in other sims.

I have used FsEarthtile, but to creat shore line and water mask is too challenge for me. For Ortho4XP, this is all automated.

And it's extremely difficult to add accurate 3D objects on top of the photo scenery created by FsEarthtile. Any suggestions how to overcome this difficulty?

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1 hour ago, GSalden said:

Beside MS Earth packages , which I use for Europe .

Really...? I only have the MS Earth Germany package, but with its extended cloud fields and hard color transitions at tiles boundaries I considered this the worst investment I ever made for flight simulation. I even bought some autogen addon which, however, was equally poor. I uninstalled it the same day and never touched it again.

Currently, I use FTX Germany (North for now) which may be evil landclass-based but overall looks 500 % better when flying VFR.

Unfortunately, all approaches making really premium photo scenery for FSX/ESP-based simulators like Earthsimulations or Ultimate VFR failed. Maybe not without a reason.

Kind regards, Michael

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MSE Germany I have improved by remaking some "bad areas " again with FSET.

I did not like some places where there was snow, while the rest was spring/summer.

Also I have improved color transitions in this way .

And I remade the complete Ammersee as half of it was covered with clouds.

It took me 2 weeks but I am satisfied now.

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I checked MSE out but when I saw the price where you'll have to pay about $100 for a single country and apparently still not get a perfect result I'm not that tempted. Also I read about people who tried to get in touch with the developers where they reported not even getting an answer...that made me even less interested in that product line.

As for WorldTerrain now that seems to be a very interesting product but since the forum was closed by Avsim waiting for the developer to show proof all the legal parts are in place I'm not sure if I dare to invest my money there at this point. Also with this product I read about people not very happy about not getting any replies when trying to get in touch with the developer. On top of this I noticed how people was talking about a price of $49 but checking the developer's site the price is now almost the double at $95 with an additional $10 per year subscription. The combination of a hugely increased price and silence from the developer when people try to get in touch with him certainly won't ring any good bells in my ears.

Looking at FSEarthTile that seems to be quite close to what Ortho4XP is for XP but in a less sophisticated form where you'll have to invest quite an amount of time adjusting things like the water stuff on your own making it a rather daunting task if you plan to have photo scenery for huge areas.

Haven't had the time to read up on this Blue Marble thing but will do.

Now when we're in 2017 and decades after the first versions of flight simulators were released and with all amazing data and technology available I find it a bit sad we need to have these kind of discussions going on rather than literally enjoy flying over our own houses down there. IMHO the evolution in this regard has been far to slow within our hobby.

The guy behind World Terrain to me seems to be one of those people that really tried to change all this and do something about it. Too bad though if he didn't make sure to have the legal aspects in place before doing so crippling the project.

So...maybe I'll just have to carry on flying over the rather dull and computer generated scenery just like I did for the last 20+ years although it looks a bit more real today of course compared to what it looked like 20 years ago.

The single one question I'm still most interested in is why there isn't a Ortho4FSX/P3D available and again if that is because of technical limitations on this platform or if it's for other reasons. I which I was a developer myself with the right skills. Then I would have been happy to develop an Ortho4FSX/XP myself and share with all you guys.

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The maker of World Terrain seems to be the same as the one who made TileProxy , Christian Buchner....

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