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John_Cillis

Using Xplane11, the fun is growing

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I used to fly over a lot of Ortho scenery in Xplane11.  But I decided to give the default scenery another try.  I have just fallen in love with it, for me, the landclass, the autogen, the moving vehicles, they all are immersive.  The Aerobask Eclipse and the Carenado PC 12 are great add-ons for me, plus I have Jason Chandler's Velocity XL single engine experimental add-on, a wonderful, niche canard aircraft that gets one there in a hurry.

Today I flew the Eclipse from Orlando to New Orleans, and even without photo scenery the landclass and roadways are spot on, and look like what I have seen as a passenger in the flight levels.  For slow flight they added the aerolite 103, recognizing the ultralight pilots, though I have only flown ultralight trikes in real life. 

I love the Cessna 172.  To sum it up, thanks to Austin for giving us a sim that we can use in tandem with P3D.  I use P3D because of the bundle of Carenado aircraft I purchased for it, so I go there from time to time to hop into those aircraft.  Yet I find myself more often using Xplane11--my photoreal scenery is there for P3D when I am in the mood, my autogen scenery is here in Xplane while I am in the mood.  Xplane11 has been rock hard stable on my system, tho I found out the other day you need to have space on your hard drive, at least 2GB, for it to run well, otherwise the graphics system complains, so I freed up space and flew happily ever after, lol....

John

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Now is the time to tell you : I told you so 😄 .
Ortho is great for regions you know very well (like every tree and backyard) otherwise I recommend to go HD Mesh v4 (and if you have enough memory, try UHD Mesh).

Another reason to go with mesh, is the improved night lighting, that is not possible with Ortho currently.

And if Laminar finally adds dynamic season then there is no going back for sure.

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2 hours ago, jh71 said:

And if Laminar finally adds dynamic season then there is no going back for sure.

Has there been any news in that area? Last I heard was that it was on the road map, but that the tech wasn't there to support it just yet.

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And dates - I desperatley need full dates ( and the end effects... you know what 🙂 )

In X-Plane 11 time stopped in 2013 - we're frozen in 2013 😕

Edited by jcomm

Flight Simulation is the Virtual Materialization of a Dream...

Uninstalling flightsims is a Temptation I can never resist...

 

 

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As often with Laminar Research, there is no date, only direction they want to go. Procedural seasons could be something for X-Plane 12 or even 13. Don't get your hopes up.

The reason why there are no seasons yet (actually there are seasons, but not visually, except some 3rd party bitmap replacements) is that Austin likes to implement procedural seasons, and not something based on swapping the bitmaps. 

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From Ireland,but I found flying in Brazil is the coolest thing. Bought a few airports during the recent xplane.org sale and delighted. There is even a freeware SBSP (Cohongas) by the same author. Of course, KPHX is a also a favorite airport of mine to fly into and out of in X-Plane. 

 


Jude Bradley
Beech Baron: Uh, Tower, verify you want me to taxi in front of the 747?
ATC: Yeah, it's OK. He's not hungry.

X-Plane 11 and P3D v5 hotfix 2  🙂

System specs: Windows 10  Pro 64-bit, i9-9900KF  Gigabyte Z390 RTX-2070, 32GB RAM  1X 1TB M2 for X-Plane 11, 1x 500GB SSD for P3Dv5, 1x256GB SSD for OS. Alpha-tester for FS2020

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It is amazing how much fun it is to fly xp11.

And now that I've become fairly good at handling Dreamfoils Bell 407, it's going to be tough going back to fixed wing aircraft. Even at low-level flight, XP is really very immersive. You can't beat tooling around Catalina Island (with MisterX6's scemery) in a chopper.

Just sayin'

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8 hours ago, jh71 said:

Now is the time to tell you : I told you so 😄 .
Ortho is great for regions you know very well (like every tree and backyard) otherwise I recommend to go HD Mesh v4 (and if you have enough memory, try UHD Mesh).

Another reason to go with mesh, is the improved night lighting, that is not possible with Ortho currently.

And if Laminar finally adds dynamic season then there is no going back for sure.

I agree with all the above, and those are some of the reasons I use default landclass + OSM scenery with the HD and UHD mesh instead of ortho scenery. Here are a few more reasons, from my personal perspective:

1) Unless you're always flying at higher altitudes, medium to lower res orthos can show immersion-breaking artifacts like "squashed" buildings and cars. I hate seeing that on the ground. This can be reduced with very high res orthos and a lot of hand-editing. But it only takes one squashed building, or one baked-in shadow that doesn't match current sun angle, or some other artifact like that to break the illusion. Custom airports that don't have a good color match to the surrounding orthos are another immersion-breaker. Landclass + OSM buildings and roads don't completely match reality either, but at least it's a consistent "look" for the scenery.

2) Landclass terrain + OSM buildings, roads, and cars respond beautifully to changes in the angle and color of sunlight, cloud shadows, and other environmental effects. I love flying low over scenery at dawn and near sunset, seeing the play of light on objects on the ground. With strong enough hardware (which I don't currently have, but will soon), it's also neat to see how tree shadows elongate on the ground. Orthos don't respond to lighting and shadows like that. They just sit there, flat on the ground, looking like it's always 12 o'clock noon on a sunny day (and not good at night).

3) Speaking of helicopters... the only way I can do a smooth landing from a hover, is by looking at the ground texture in the last 60 feet or so of the descent. There is texture on airport runways and helipads, but the fun of helicopters is that you can land anywhere. Try doing that on orthophoto scenery, and all you see is a big blur of color in the last 50 feet. No texture for judging height. I'm not going to bother with swapping out between ortho and landclass every time I fire up a helicopter in the sim, so that's another big reason I don't use ortho scenery. 

YMMV, these are just personal preferences. I do understand that the ease of do-it-yourself ortho scenery is a good thing for X-Plane, and one reason why we've had more people giving it a shot recently. The look of the ground from an airline pilot perspective is different too, where the flaws in ortho scenery (except for night lighting) aren't as apparent. It just isn't for me, with the way I fly in the sim. 

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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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23 hours ago, Paraffin said:

I agree with all the above, and those are some of the reasons I use default landclass + OSM scenery with the HD and UHD mesh instead of ortho scenery. Here are a few more reasons, from my personal perspective:

1) Unless you're always flying at higher altitudes, medium to lower res orthos can show immersion-breaking artifacts like "squashed" buildings and cars. I hate seeing that on the ground. This can be reduced with very high res orthos and a lot of hand-editing. But it only takes one squashed building, or one baked-in shadow that doesn't match current sun angle, or some other artifact like that to break the illusion. Custom airports that don't have a good color match to the surrounding orthos are another immersion-breaker. Landclass + OSM buildings and roads don't completely match reality either, but at least it's a consistent "look" for the scenery.

2) Landclass terrain + OSM buildings, roads, and cars respond beautifully to changes in the angle and color of sunlight, cloud shadows, and other environmental effects. I love flying low over scenery at dawn and near sunset, seeing the play of light on objects on the ground. With strong enough hardware (which I don't currently have, but will soon), it's also neat to see how tree shadows elongate on the ground. Orthos don't respond to lighting and shadows like that. They just sit there, flat on the ground, looking like it's always 12 o'clock noon on a sunny day (and not good at night).

3) Speaking of helicopters... the only way I can do a smooth landing from a hover, is by looking at the ground texture in the last 60 feet or so of the descent. There is texture on airport runways and helipads, but the fun of helicopters is that you can land anywhere. Try doing that on orthophoto scenery, and all you see is a big blur of color in the last 50 feet. No texture for judging height. I'm not going to bother with swapping out between ortho and landclass every time I fire up a helicopter in the sim, so that's another big reason I don't use ortho scenery. 

YMMV, these are just personal preferences. I do understand that the ease of do-it-yourself ortho scenery is a good thing for X-Plane, and one reason why we've had more people giving it a shot recently. The look of the ground from an airline pilot perspective is different too, where the flaws in ortho scenery (except for night lighting) aren't as apparent. It just isn't for me, with the way I fly in the sim. 

I love the default S76 and freeware Bell copters, they are so much fun to fly.  Since I switched back to default scenery over Ortho scenery, I find myself enjoying a wider variety of airports, and flights across the pond in Europe, or flights over the rainforests and mountains of Venezuela.  Xplane11 did a far better job with landclass and default textures than MSFS/P3D, Xplane11's textures are more muted, much more real to life I feel.  Not that I am knocking P3D, that is where I have my photo textures in case I am in the mood for that.  I agree that a skewed building or highway in Ortho scenery takes away from the realism.  I had to use ultra high def textures to be satisfied, but gone were the moving cars and ground activity, which I like alot, plus the nightime flying with the city lights and highways below.  I do not think I will get Xplane 12 when it is released, Xplane11 has satisfied all my needs and has remained bug free thru the entirety of my flying the sim.  My motto, if it ain't broke.....

John

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To be honest, my XP honeymoon has worn off rather quickly. It sometimes crashes for unfathomable reasons (no log or Windows Event Log entries given), the skies between arrival and departure airports lack any traffic whatsoever despite running World Traffic (it's "just" a current limitation), X ATC Chatter's voice samples are starting to get repetitive and I'm still looking for something to take things beyond pointlessly flying the Zibo 738 from A to B (see my other recent thread).

I thought I had the perfect, stable platform to replace FSXSE with, but now I'm not so sure anymore. Given time, I suppose all of these drawbacks can be fixed by the respective developers' or my own efforts, but none of the parties have the manpower or time to do this in a reasonably short timeframe.

 

P.S:

If you can live with the daunting and complex setup procedure and do not use orthos, here's a plugin that'll automatically manage seasonal textures.

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44351-four-seasons/

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I've just taken up XP again after some time using P3D, and I've also stopped using Ortho. The defalult landclass textures are actually quite okay, and if you don't know the area that well, it doesn't make that much of a difference anyway.

I do however miss P3D's weather and traffic/ATC. Although I have World Traffic 3 it's just not the same. When it works it is mindblowing and looks almost real. But way to often I find my self on collision course with another plane, or they taxi straight through me... And when they have done that enough times, that's when I fire up P3D for some airliner flying.

I wish we could combine the two sims and get one super sim with all features...

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The free mesh is very good as an alternative to Ortho.

Im another one who has drifted back to FSX SE that is fully loaded with all the top add ons. Playing with XP was fun and flight Dynamics are FANTASTIC!  however its still a few years away from getting all of the big devs on board. Its a shame PMDG have no further interest at this point in time

Edited by zmak

ZORAN

 

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I actually think there are some fantastic 3rd party aircraft for XP. Right now I'm flying the IXEG 737 whenever I have the time, so what PMDG decide to do doesn't really affect me. On each iteration Flight Factors quality also increase, so in a few years time they will probably be just as good as PMDG.

What really bothers me is the lack of "life" in XP. The world and airports just feels so empty, and any progress in that area by LR are painstakingly slow. 

I think LR should build on their success and publish a roadmap (without dates) stating in which order features will be added or current features fixed. If I knew that they would overhaul AI in the version 11 run, I would probably buy more addons, and if just half the users feel the same way, it would generate revenue for developers and they would be more interested in coming to the platform... Just my 2 cents :-)

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5 minutes ago, RocketDuck said:

I actually think there are some fantastic 3rd party aircraft for XP. Right now I'm flying the IXEG 737 whenever I have the time, so what PMDG decide to do doesn't really affect me. On each iteration Flight Factors quality also increase, so in a few years time they will probably be just as good as PMDG.

What really bothers me is the lack of "life" in XP. The world and airports just feels so empty, and any progress in that area by LR are painstakingly slow. 

I think LR should build on their success and publish a roadmap (without dates) stating in which order features will be added or current features fixed. If I knew that they would overhaul AI in the version 11 run, I would probably buy more addons, and if just half the users feel the same way, it would generate revenue for developers and they would be more interested in coming to the platform... Just my 2 cents 🙂

Good post a roadmap would get me building up the sim slowly whilst waiting. Just to much missing ATM however having said that if I just started simmimg and didnt have thousands spent in FSX SE and didnt know what I was missing I would jump onto xplane 100%!

 

By the way a while back FSDT replied to my post and said they would "probably " take a look at xplane in 2019


ZORAN

 

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I think you are right. If I XP11 was the first simulator I tried, I'm sure I would be satisfied. But for us that has been in the game for a long time and tried all the simulators (except AF2), they need to step it up a notch 😉

I still love XP11 though, and will most likely stay with it and end up buying way to many addons.

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