bojote

Must-haves / essentials for P3Dv4?

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Greetings! It's been a long time since I last participated on this forums (used to be a regular). But I was wondering which 'must-haves' and/or essentials are used in Prepar3D v4 in terms of overall enhancements? Not talking about Aircraft add-ons, but more like, scenery and environment enhancement to increase realism, I remember what used to be popular around 2010 like OrbX's FTX, Active Sky, GEX, FSGenesis, FSDreamTeam sceneries. Are those still around? What would be the top 5 add-ons to use with P3Dv4 in 2018? or better yet, is there a guide for people that has been away for a long time? not looking for tweaks.. I have those covered :)

 

Thanks!  

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You gonna "hear" a lot of opinions, but some are rather consensual... my opinion:

Weather/Sky textures :Active Sky + ASCA

MiscTextures, shaders and effects: Envtex + Envshade

Camera : Chaseplane

Terrain Textures: Orbx Global

This is the mandatory base for me.

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Orbx FTX is still around and generally considered a must-have.

Active Sky is still around and is THE weather engine still. 

EZDok / Chase Plane will allow you to control your views and such. Pick one, both of them have rabid fan base so the jury is out on which one is best. I prefer EZDok

FS Genesis is still around, but folks are either going free mesh or over to Pilots (I use Pilots). 

Not sure if you use offline ATC, but there are about 4-5 out there now not including Radar Contact. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Before all the aircraft and airport add-ons, I install ORBX Global, Vector, OLC, and all available region products.  I also use ActiveSky for P3Dv4, and TrackIR.

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I have moved this topic into the appropriate forum for discussion.  No questions are to be asked in the "Tips and Tricks for P3d" forum.

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Agree with the previous posters about ActiveSky for P3Dv4. I also use Envtex. Check out PTA.

Regards scenery, Orbx is still the boss for sure.

 

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Most in this list has already been mentioned but when it comes to non-plane addons this is what I install AT LEAST before I start a flight (take note: this is NOT in random order):

1. Scenery: Orbx (I only use FTX regions for now but would love to use only TrueEarth soon). (And forget about GEX...! If you want something basic, get FTX Global.)

2. Weather: Active Sky

3. Visual enhancements: PTA (mainly for some more contrast, better colors but specially for that realistic blue haze in the distance: I use Matt's preset that comes with it)

4. Clouds: REX SkyForce

5. ATC: ProATC

6. Traffic: Ultimate Traffic Live

7. Camera's: ChasePlane

That's about it. I also use Plan-G for VFR flights (ProATC for IFR) but that's not an enhancement addon.

In addition I might add some ENVTEX sky textures but I don't have those installed right now. All the above is mandatory for me though.

While I am at it: the only planes I have installed are the Majestic Q400 and the A2A Comanche. And btw welcome back! 😉

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I was sure, J e s u s would return one day😉

ORBX agreed. Their recent TrueLandscape NL is amazing (but eats 77 GB of our HD/SSD). A new AUS is in the works. Concerning airports I would suggest FlyTampa and Flightbeam who made some real masterpieces. Drzewiecki Design contributed some nice sceneries recently, too, e.g. their Seattle City + Airports.

I am not a weather expert, but when I use real weather it's AS2016. Unfortunately their cloud-addon ASCA is not as convincing, thus I substituted it by REX Skyforce (which, on the other hand has a weak weather engine - you see, it's still the same as in the old days 😉) There are some threads here on how to merry them.

For AI traffic I can suggest UTLive, but you can also try PSXSeeecontraffic which provides RL "live" traffic (which UTLive does not, despite the name). I use both of them alternatingly.

Concerning HD Mesh I'd suggest a bit of caution. I have all of the Pilot's offers but the "better" the mesh looks the more issues it may cause. Actually there are two of them: (i) Valleys/Plateaus around airports (sometimes to be resolved using the ORBX Vector tool) (ii) terrain morphing, i.e. snapping into place when you approach hills or mountains. ORBX suggest Pilot's 2010 Mesh which I use at present, Within ORBX regions, you don't need an addon mesh anyway.

Kind regards, Michael

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Active Sky, ASCA or Sky Force3D, Chaseplane, OrbX Global + LC at least, TomatoShade (don't pay for shaders). That's a pretty solid base.

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Posted (edited)

Hi *******,

Never thought that I would be seeing you back in the Fs world.

Welcome my friend.

For you people who do not know him : several years ago he was the cfg and water specialist . Thousends of Flightsimmers asked his help for more performance and a more realistic FSX look. He even had an online cfg tweaking service...

regards

Gerard

 

Edited by GSalden
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Hi old friend,

Great, really great to see you again!

Kind regards,

Stephen

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Flightbeam KMSP

I think I fly out of this airport the most. I am usually critical about everything but it's a masterpiece. 

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1 hour ago, SpiritFlyer said:

Hi old friend,

Great, really great to see you again!

Kind regards,

Stephen

OMG! I remember using your online service so many times for FSX! Thanks so much!

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Orbx FTX Global is the first thing I would install.

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Welcome back!

Try PrecipitFX 

 

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6 hours ago, GSalden said:

For you people who do not know him : several years ago he was the cfg and water specialist . Thousends of Flightsimmers asked his help for more performance and a more realistic FSX look. He even had an online cfg tweaking service...

regards

Gerard

 

Gerard,

Thank you so much for pointing out about bojote, I still remember his tremendous help and useful guidance either person to person or as you mentioned via online service, it

was FREE and managed  to help so many people to enjoy this hobby.

Bojote we all thank you for your dedication and help! 

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wow  bojote welcome back 🙂 been awhile hope all is well. get orbx its on sale now if you can. ftx land class and orbx global.

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Indeed thank you very much for your tweak site. It was such a great help.

 

kmsp is a masterpiece 

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For night lighting I saw a great stream with Blackmarble. Gave it almost the quality of default XP11 night lighting.A little pricey and some issues I heard with orbx vector though,

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I'm humbled! thank you guys. Happy to see familiar names and faces :) Gerard, Stephen! wow guys, its been almost 7-8 years.

As for the recommendations made from everyone, I'll be checking them out, I sincerely thank you all! I know a list of 'must-haves' can be very subjective, but when everyone recommends pretty much the same ones makes it a lot easier to decide.

Thanks, I'll be around. now on to installing add-ons :)

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Welcome back.

I have nothing to add to the above except that Virtual Reality is a thing now and its awesome. Oculus Rift/HTC Vive + P3Dv4 and a good addon plane is absolutely fantastic.

 

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Must have:

1- Orbx

2 - Pilot2ATC or Plan-G and Multicrew Experience

3 - TrackIR

4 - Sim Pluggins Panel Builder (networked on 2nd computer)

5 - REX - Skyforce 3D

6 - REX - Texture Direct Enhanced

7 - Ultimate Terrain - USA, Canada, Europe, Tropical Americas

8 - GeForce GTX 1080 Video card

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Essential/desirable stuff is includes...

Active Sky/ASCA, is pretty much an essential because whilst you could sort of live with the default terrain in P3D, the default weather and clouds are awful/non existent and so AS really ramps up the sim's capabilities. some people prefer the textures of other add-ons, but I actually quite like ASCA.

Shading and haze effects in P3D are a bit cack because the dynamic lighting still needs work amongst other things. There are plenty of shaders out there, personally I use the freebie OpenShade.

Orbx stuff, whilst not photorealistic, is broadly speaking visually realistic, so it does make things look a lot better down below your aeroplane, and although there is vector stuff available from Orbx too, I prefer the Ultimate Terrain's vector function in combination with Orbx to sort everything out on the ground.

Accu-Feel, which was only recently released for P3D V4, is another must have for me, it adds a great deal to so many of your aeroplanes; it even manages to pour a bit of A2A magic on the default ones.

FRAPS is another must have for me, but if you don't bother with screenshots, then it's not essential by any means.

Something like Track-IR or EZDOK is fairly useful for a lot of aeroplanes but you can get by without these if you like.

some decent AI traffic helps of course, personally I've been using the Early Access version of Traffic Global, which still needs work but does the job for a reasonable price even in its current state.

Off line ATC is another thing you might want to consider essential. Personally I like things which interact with the base program as best as is possible and to that end, I regard Multi Crew Experience as an essential not only because it will allow you to talk with the default ATC so your aeroplane is mixing with the AI as far as movement and ATC is concerned, but also because it does so many other things as well, not the least of which is allow you to have a co-pilot whom you can interact with via voice, but who can also control loads of functions of your aeroplane and go through custom checklists with you. It's pricey, but then again it is a lot of bang for your bucks.

Flight planning and navigation wise there are a lot of choices, but the default planner is something you can get away with, although you might want to check out Little Nav Map and also look out for some other payware solutions which are on the way soon, or there is of course the good old Aivlasoft EFB.

 

 

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