UnkaBobby

Is Photoreal scenery the way to go?

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I've been an FSX'er for many years, but have always been confused about the pros and cons of photoreal scenery, and more broadly, about what the most effective kinds, or brands, of scenery are. I have purchased a handful of add-on sceneries, airports, etc., and have the photoreal scenery for my home state.

The photoreal scenery of my state seems so wonderfully realistic from the air, in terms of looking like I know things should look from knowing the place so well. But, of course, the lower to the ground the crappier things get, as its made from real satellite imagery.

But I read people crapping on photoreal when I skim forums. And I see video of people showing off non-photoreal sceneries of places that look pretty fantastic.

So I would love some opinions from FSX nerds about what kinds of scenery they prefer, even about what brands of scenery if pertinent, and whether Photoreal scenery is the best experience for any given level of hardware one might have.

Thank you very nicely,

--UB, Downeast Bush Pilot

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

I personally like both types of scenery - landclass based and photoreal.  The reason you hear people bagging photoreal is mainly due to the lack of 3D models included with some PR, as it can look more flat and lifeless the lower you go.  PR resolution can also be poor in some cases, and of course that also gets worse the lower you go.  It all depends on the type of flying you do.  Personally I have no issue whatsoever flying over bare PR at 1m or 2m resolution if I am flying airliners.  From cruise altitude you really can't see much of 3D models anyway, and if you are taking off and landing at an addon airport with surrounding models of buildings and trees included, you really are notmissing out on much by not having 3D models on the terrain for the entire length of your flight.  3D models are also the most resource intensive portion of a flight simulator scenery, so if they are not modelled, the performance increase is huge.

It really does come down to personal taste.  I really like PR because it gives me an opprtunity to explore the real world visually while flying in flight sim.  I always found it interesting just looking at places in Google Earth, so to do that while flying a complex airliner is awesome.

Now as hardware and software power is increasing we are seeing more PR sceneries with autogen and modelling included, and indeed you can even find a lot of autogen only products (freeware) that are designed to be used with payware or freeware photoreal scenery which does not have it's own autogen and modelling included.

It really just comes down to a matter of personal taste, and perhaps the size of your hard drives, because photoreal scenery does take up a lot of space compared to landclass based scenery.  Generally the greater the resolution of the scenery, the more hard drive space is required.  

There is a lot of freeware photo scenery available online, so to figure out if you like it or not I would obviously suggest trying some free stuff out first.

Cheers,

Edited by scotth6
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I love photoreal - I just accept that you have to be a couple of thousand feet above it but then, as you say, the neighbourhood starts to look rather familiar! .. OK weather's good.. there's the M6 motorway heading north out of Preston... lets just cruise up there to Carlisle and beyond.. :biggrin:

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Hi UB,

I have very little photoreal scenery in FSX apart from some Megascenery for the Hawaiian Islands which I purchased many years ago and which I must say is quite impressive. However, I understand that more recent photoreal scenery products have improved considerably and, as scotth6 says, at least one developer has enhanced it by adding autogen features (Just Flight Real scenery NexGen 3D) - I would expect that this improves the otherwise flat appearance of photoreal when flying at low level although I personally have no experience of this.

However another downside of flying with photoreal scenery is that it if you have a lot of it activated it can have a considerable VAS impact and the cumulative VAS usage during a long flight could lead to an OOM which is an important consideration in FSX. Because of the VAS implications I decided to avoid large scale use of photoreal in FSX and instead use Orbx scenery with UTX vector data and the overall sense of realism this provides is excellent, although, if you are very familiar with an area, the accuracy of ground features may not always precisely reflect the real world.

The advantage of using something like Orbx or UTX/GEX scenery is that the scenery will look very realistic and immersive irrespective of the altitude at which you are flying and if as a ‘Downeast Bush Pilot’ you spend a lot of time flying at very low levels you might be better opting for one of these products rather than going down the photoreal route.

Bill

 

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Since opinions and experiences seem to be what you are looking for, the more the merrier!

Myself, my computer is not the hot. I have tried a few photoreal sceneries for some places I know and some places I dont know. The Gand Canyon and San Francisco are places I have been to enough to recognise places and Hawaii I have never visited.

So at first I was blown away by the photoreal sceneries for all three (I have tried others that were dismal so I wont speak any more of them) but as time went on that impression faded. With the Grand Canyon the images are taken at a particular time of day so as I flew along at different times and seasons the appearance did not change to reflect that - destroyed the immersion. With San Fransisco the auto gen - well, lack of -  was the immersion killer. Hawaii (by Flight Sim Jewels) I still use as it is fantastic with very good airports to go with it - but it does hit my frame rates very hard.

To compare all of the above to UTX/GEX for the USA I would have to choose the UTX product in general for a few reasons:

-  easier on the frame rates

- one product covers the whole area for all the above mentioned locations

- UTX Vector gives very accurate road/rail/river detail for VFR flight as does photoreal so no detriment there.

Down sides for UTX/GEX are the costs (and they never go on sale so far as far as I have noticed), and if you know an area really well you will see the buildings are often generic and/or incorrect - for example a small apartment block instead of a barn on a farm next to town. Also if you fly with all the sliders pushed to the right you will start to see a lot of the same objects repeated a lot - like the blue water towers in the praries.

The autogen can be compensated for with fiddling but that is a faf...

In conclusion it is as others have said, a matter of choice. Try the free stuff first (and I really do recommend Flight Sim Jewels for a look) and see how you feel.

Hope this helps a little.

PS: If you are flying Bush Pilot stuff you may want to take a look for Turbulent Designs tree upgrade TerraFlora. I picked it up cheap in the sales a Xmas and it made a big difference as now I can turn the auto gen for trees all the way to maximum and bush flying is much better with trees, in my opinion!

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Personally, it depends on what aircraft I'm flying, and where. At airports, yes. Photorealistic scenery is a must. It is nice elsewhere, especially if I'm flying low flying, GA aircraft. In an airliner however, with its restricted view and high cruising altitude, I don't think its necessary.  A summary: airports yes, everywhere else maybe.

Will.

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I prefer photo real but not in FSX.  Only in p3dv4 as it is crisp and clear and you can load  more because of the 64 bit advantages.

You don't have to be above 2500 feet or higher most of the time as airport scenery developers have developed scenery that shows elevated levels that provide immersion when taking off and landing. 

 

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On 4/14/2019 at 8:58 AM, HighBypass said:

I love photoreal - I just accept that you have to be a couple of thousand feet above it but then, as you say, the neighbourhood starts to look rather familiar! .. OK weather's good.. there's the M6 motorway heading north out of Preston... lets just cruise up there to Carlisle and beyond.. :biggrin:

Yes! I kind of love that about PR too! I've explored most every inch of my beloved home state here, and seeing all the accurate details gives me a little thrill after all these years! Sometimes I swear I can see my own minivan tooling along route 1 past the Bar Harbor airport when I'm on approach past those little mountains I've climbed so many times! 🙂

 

 

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On 4/16/2019 at 8:32 AM, WilliamS said:

Personally, it depends on what aircraft I'm flying, and where. At airports, yes. Photorealistic scenery is a must. It is nice elsewhere, especially if I'm flying low flying, GA aircraft. In an airliner however, with its restricted view and high cruising altitude, I don't think its necessary.  A summary: airports yes, everywhere else maybe.

Will.

Thank you for the feedback, Will! That makes a lot of sense, but it brings up a question that belies the fact that I don't really understand how FSX handles the various combinations of mesh-data, 3D scenery, and photoreal scenery.

For example, if I have the MegaEarth PR scenery for my state installed, and then I buy the Orbx/FTX add-on scenery for a particular airport in my state, will the 3D add-on airport supercede, or be "painted over", the PR scenery I already have installed? Will it cause collisions of some kind?

I've been actively flying in FSX for about 10 years, but have never put my mind to tweeking scenery to be as good as possible, but now that's what I want to spend some hobby-time on, understanding how terrain mesh, 3D scenery, add-on scenery, etc., all interact within the FSX universe inside this brainbox here. 🙂

--Bobby

 

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6 hours ago, Jim Young said:

I prefer photo real but not in FSX.  Only in p3dv4 as it is crisp and clear and you can load  more because of the 64 bit advantages.

You don't have to be above 2500 feet or higher most of the time as airport scenery developers have developed scenery that shows elevated levels that provide immersion when taking off and landing. 

 

Thank you for your time. I have toyed with the idea of trying other major Flightsims like P3D or Xplane, but  just feel like I'm in too deep with FSX to start over... but I do appreciate the feedback! 🙂

 

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On 4/14/2019 at 1:40 AM, scotth6 said:

Hi,

I personally like both types of scenery - landclass based and photoreal.  The reason you hear people bagging photoreal is mainly due to the lack of 3D models included with some PR, as it can look more flat and lifeless the lower you go.  PR resolution can also be poor in some cases, and of course that also gets worse the lower you go.  It all depends on the type of flying you do.  Personally I have no issue whatsoever flying over bare PR at 1m or 2m resolution if I am flying airliners.  From cruise altitude you really can't see much of 3D models anyway, and if you are taking off and landing at an addon airport with surrounding models of buildings and trees included, you really are notmissing out on much by not having 3D models on the terrain for the entire length of your flight.  3D models are also the most resource intensive portion of a flight simulator scenery, so if they are not modelled, the performance increase is huge.

It really does come down to personal taste.  I really like PR because it gives me an opprtunity to explore the real world visually while flying in flight sim.  I always found it interesting just looking at places in Google Earth, so to do that while flying a complex airliner is awesome.

Now as hardware and software power is increasing we are seeing more PR sceneries with autogen and modelling included, and indeed you can even find a lot of autogen only products (freeware) that are designed to be used with payware or freeware photoreal scenery which does not have it's own autogen and modelling included.

It really just comes down to a matter of personal taste, and perhaps the size of your hard drives, because photoreal scenery does take up a lot of space compared to landclass based scenery.  Generally the greater the resolution of the scenery, the more hard drive space is required.  

There is a lot of freeware photo scenery available online, so to figure out if you like it or not I would obviously suggest trying some free stuff out first.

Cheers,

Thank you, good feedback! Makes a lot of sense. I guess this question demonstrates that I'm not completely clear about how terrain mesh, landclass scenery, and photoreal scenery, interact, including the several brands of them all.

Since you were so kindly thorough, could I trouble you for your feedback about these two scenerios as an example for me to learn from?

So I have MegaEarth's PR scenery for my state. Love it from altitude, lousy at low-level. I have also now purchased OrbX/FTX scenery for my home airport here. Should I leave the PR scenery installed and then also install the OrbX scenery for my home airport "over" it? Is there some conflict or disadvantage to having mixed sceneries for a single place installed? I don't really understand how FSX "parses" the various kinds of data it has from mesh-data and add-on scenery(ies) that are installed.

Likewise, I wish to understand better how add-ons work together in FSX: I have UTX 2, Rex4 Texture Direct, MegasceneryEarth PR scenery for several states, and a number of Aerosoft and OrbX add-on sceneries like "Antarctica X", "Dangerous Airports", "Monument Valley," etc.

Despire reading a lot, and being an FS enthusiast for many years, I still am not clear on what "order" those kinds of things should be installed, and which would be in conflict with (or would obviate) others. Will regional and airport sceneries, like from Aerosoft and OrbX, naturally "over-write" things like photoreal sceneries for the same area, or UTX or REX4?

If there are any good tutorials or docs about all of this I'm very willing to put the reading time in, I just have never found any decent, clear texts explaining how all these things interact within the FSX ecosystem.

 

Thanks for your time, a lot!
--Bobby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4/15/2019 at 1:40 AM, Bruce66 said:

With the Grand Canyon the images are taken at a particular time of day so as I flew along at different times and seasons the appearance did not change to reflect that - destroyed the immersion. With San Fransisco the auto gen - well, lack of -  was the immersion killer. Hawaii (by Flight Sim Jewels) I still use as it is fantastic with very good airports to go with it - but it does hit my frame rates very hard.

 

Yes, the fact that photoreal is all at one point of time in the year is a big drawback to me, too. I live in a northern state, and the Megascenery Earth PR scenery for here was taken in the Spring. Most of the year it doesn't look like that at all, and I can't get any decent snow-cover showing, which makes it feel unnatural.

I will look into Flight Sim jewels and Terraflora, thank you very much!

 

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34 minutes ago, UnkaBobby said:

Thank you for your time. I have toyed with the idea of trying other major Flightsims like P3D or Xplane, but  just feel like I'm in too deep with FSX to start over...

You don't really have to start over. Keep your FSX installation and add P3dv4 with photoreal scenery. Then you have the option to use your current scenery or photoreal.

I have FSX, P3Dv3, and P3Dv4 installed on my computer, all with different scenery. Photo Real Scenery cannot be beat for exploring the world from a high altitude on a clear day. Not so good if you want seasons and detail down low with small GA aircraft and airports.

Ted

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1 hour ago, UnkaBobby said:

....I have also now purchased OrbX/FTX scenery for my home airport here. Should I leave the PR scenery installed and then also install the OrbX scenery for my home airport "over" it?..

Yes! You would not see your pretty home airport otherwise.The PR scenery covering the enitre state should sit "below" the ORBX airport scenery. That way the nicely detailed airport and its local PR shows up.

By megascenery PR sitting "below" I mean that the ORBX airport should have a higher priority in the scenery library. By higher priority I mean it has a lower number. For example if the state PR scenery is priority 29, then the ORBX airport should be 28,27, 26 etc. anything not numerically higher than 29.

Hope this helps..

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@UnkaBobby; I was in the same boat as you are a few years ago, if I should or shouldn't. Actually everyone responses made sense and did give you a pretty good idea as to what to do.

However, I just wanted to share my decision as to why it didn't make sense for me to purchase Photo Scenery.

  1. I only fly the heavies PMDG 747-i8 and iFLY 747-i8
  2. 95% of my flights are at 380 feet and above, nothing really to see once I take off and then climb to cruising altitude
  3. The heavy birds are not too conducive to really enjoying the scenery anyway from the cockpit due to the cockpit layout and it's always at a 2 degrees nose up, which is normal.
  4. Most of my flights are long hauls NY to Europe (UK, France, Germany) and USA Midwest and West Coast
  5. All of the Airports I depart and arrive into are all add-ons. Most if not all of the airport add-ons these days provide surrounding photo scenery within a 5 mile radius of the airport which is great and good enough for me.
  6. Due to the layout of KJFK (NY) and the SID's i seldom get victor over the city for approach with the heavies, so even if I had the photo scenery of NYC I wouldn't get to enjoy it😄.
  7. Last but not least. After long haul flights (5 hours + with a PMDG or iFLY) and then descending into some photo scenery of a city until I land, is a prime recipe for OOM in FSX😅. Especially if you keep switching views (cockpit to outside) to see the scenery. Besides I am always busy preparing for my approach and landing checking over my charts. STARs etc..etc.

I only have Ground Environment X (it's much better than the default and better FPS since you can turn down the autogen settings) and Add-on Airports to the Airports i fly in and out of.

As stated before in earlier posts if you not in the same category as I am and mostly fly VFR and smaller aircraft, then photo scenery is great eye candy for enhancing your flight experience.

Hope this helps with your decision.

Cheers.

Forshaw.

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9 hours ago, HighBypass said:

Yes! You would not see your pretty home airport otherwise.The PR scenery covering the enitre state should sit "below" the ORBX airport scenery. That way the nicely detailed airport and its local PR shows up.

By megascenery PR sitting "below" I mean that the ORBX airport should have a higher priority in the scenery library. By higher priority I mean it has a lower number. For example if the state PR scenery is priority 29, then the ORBX airport should be 28,27, 26 etc. anything not numerically higher than 29.

Hope this helps..

 

Thank you! Yes, this was particularly helpful because despite a bunch of years of using and upgrading FSX, and skimming a lot of forums looking for better explanations for a lot of this, you're the first that emphasized the order of the scenery in the scenery library, prodding me to research this some more.

I have long been confused about what *order* to install different addons, like addon meshes, landclasses, textures, and "sceneries". Manuals and product pages for all these kinds of addons never have any explanatory info about these kinds of things.

So, having to reinstall FSX:SE, and so re-install all my addons, I'm taking this moment to gain some better understanding from you helpful folks.

So if I have UTX2, photoreal sets for some areas, and OrbX and Aerosoft "sceneries" for a number of places around the world, I would now think I should install them: UTX first, then photoreal sceneries, then 3D sceneries (e.g. from OrbX and Aerosoft), and then make sure in the Addon Scenery menu that the 3D sceneries float higher in the list than the photoreal sceneries?

Thanks so much for your time and expertise!

Robert

 

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10 hours ago, Ted Striker said:

You don't really have to start over. Keep your FSX installation and add P3dv4 with photoreal scenery. Then you have the option to use your current scenery or photoreal.

I have FSX, P3Dv3, and P3Dv4 installed on my computer, all with different scenery. Photo Real Scenery cannot be beat for exploring the world from a high altitude on a clear day. Not so good if you want seasons and detail down low with small GA aircraft and airports.

Ted

 

Good point! I'll have to test drive P3Dv4 for sure! Thanks! 🙂

 

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5 hours ago, forshaw said:

@UnkaBobby; I was in the same boat as you are a few years ago, if I should or shouldn't. Actually everyone responses made sense and did give you a pretty good idea as to what to do.

However, I just wanted to share my decision as to why it didn't make sense for me to purchase Photo Scenery.

  1. I only fly the heavies PMDG 747-i8 and iFLY 747-i8
  2. 95% of my flights are at 380 feet and above, nothing really to see once I take off and then climb to cruising altitude
  3. The heavy birds are not too conducive to really enjoying the scenery anyway from the cockpit due to the cockpit layout and it's always at a 2 degrees nose up, which is normal.
  4. Most of my flights are long hauls NY to Europe (UK, France, Germany) and USA Midwest and West Coast
  5. All of the Airports I depart and arrive into are all add-ons. Most if not all of the airport add-ons these days provide surrounding photo scenery within a 5 mile radius of the airport which is great and good enough for me.
  6. Due to the layout of KJFK (NY) and the SID's i seldom get victor over the city for approach with the heavies, so even if I had the photo scenery of NYC I wouldn't get to enjoy it😄.
  7. Last but not least. After long haul flights (5 hours + with a PMDG or iFLY) and then descending into some photo scenery of a city until I land, is a prime recipe for OOM in FSX😅. Especially if you keep switching views (cockpit to outside) to see the scenery. Besides I am always busy preparing for my approach and landing checking over my charts. STARs etc..etc.

I only have Ground Environment X (it's much better than the default and better FPS since you can turn down the autogen settings) and Add-on Airports to the Airports i fly in and out of.

As stated before in earlier posts if you not in the same category as I am and mostly fly VFR and smaller aircraft, then photo scenery is great eye candy for enhancing your flight experience.

Hope this helps with your decision.

Cheers.

Forshaw.

 

Thanks for the thoughtful reply! Personally my tastes vary, I appreciate the technical and detailed flying of the heavies at times, but also like to go lower and slower and feel as much as possible if I'm in a realistic depiction of that world from more up-close.

Interesting point about addon sceneries for airports including a decent radius of scenery around them. I need to perfect a middle-ground between those styles of flying, which is why I'm reaching out for info and opinion now. Thanks for offering both!

Robert

 

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Since the issue of what kinds of addon scenery-enhancemenets should be installed, in what order, grew out of my thread here, I thought I'd drop this in case someone in the future arrives here from a search. Its got quotes from scenery companies explaining some of the scenery terminology, and what the various kinds of addons actually are doing.

 

 

 

 

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As a quick & dirty rule - meshes first, then regional photoreal, then local stuff :cool: 

If you happen to obtain other mesh scenery after you have installed everything, then no big deal. Just make sure that the meshes are once again below the other types.

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Posted (edited)
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"Scenery", the world you see in flight simulator, consists of several layers, from bottom to top:
• Mesh. Terrain elevation data (DEM), basically hills! It comes in different LODs (Level of Detail, the higher the LOD the closer the elevation points are) e.g. LOD9-76m (this is what Europe is by default) LOD10-38m, LOD12-9m etc. Typical examples are FreeMeshX, FSGenesis and FSGlobal.
• Global terrain textures. Images that cover the mesh to show fields, towns, forests. Included with the simulator are several continent sized sets, each set containing up to 5 seasons. Common paid examples are FTX Global that replaces all areas, Flight1 Ground Environment X that is available as regional sets, and some free examples are by Adam Mills.
     • Autogen. 3D objects such as buildings, street lamps and trees, which are usually included lined up to terrain texture packs. The location of autogen is determined by both landclass and textures, and the amount you see depends on your settings. A specific autogen only product is FTX Global Trees HD, a free alternative is Aime Leclercq's TreeX, these both update tree textures. Another type is JustFlight Revolution X or Earthsims Treescapes which place autogen objects as per the real world to line up with aerial photography. A final type is Aurora BuildingsHD which replaces the textures on buildings and updates some of the models.
• Landclass. Tells the simulator what global textures should go where, e.g. this is a town, this is a village, this is a golf course, these are fields, this is a forest etc. ORBX OpenLC and Flight1 Ultimate Terrain X are common examples of this.
     • Orthographic/photo scenery Instead of generic textures positioned by landclass data, this is actual aerial photography loaded in to flight simulator. Sometimes this has autogen accurately placed on the top. It usually includes a high LOD terrain mesh. Vector data is required if you want to see moving cars on the photographic roads, this may be included too. Horizon VFR X Photographic, JustFlight VFR Real Scenery, MegaSceneryEarth and Orbx TrueEarth are common examples
• Vector. "Lines" such as streets, roads, rivers, coastlines and railways. ORBX Global Vector is an example of this, Ultimate Terrain is a combined product with both landclass and vector data included
• Combined packages FTX ORBX Regions are the most well known example, including a LOD11+ mesh, global terrain textures that are specific to the region with new autogen building models on them, vector data that includes less major roads, and custom scenery landmarks such as windfarms, country houses, power stations and others depicted on visual navigation charts. F1 Ultimate Terrain bundles landclass and vector for a specific region.
• Environmental textures: the sky, clouds, concrete, water/sea, tarmac/asphalt, moon, sun, railway tracks, taxiway markings and so on. (REX4TD+SC, EnvTex and FEX are the most common)
• Custom objects and airports. These items are placed in specific locations and often made especially, common examples would be custom airport scenery and landmarks (e.g. lighthouses, tall buildings, suspension bridges). These are typically bundled in to a landclass or orthographic scenery.

from http://viaintercity.com/forums/general-discussion/recommended-addons/msg3644/#msg3644

If you have a local scenery (such as an Orbx Region or photoreal package) that would go above a global scenery. Then at the top of everything you have custom airports. Custom airports should include an exclusion zone that stops other scenery trying to load underneath them.

Edited by ckyliu
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Good topic.  I for one PREFER photoreal scenery when I fly the big birds.  Why?  Immersion is one factor.  At 34,000 feet I am not seeing the repeated tiles and patterns one sees with landclass based scenery.  Plus, FPS are better as there is no 3D agn to process.  Don't get me wrong I'll still take pr with 3D agn any day.  I still have to get off the ground and back down so I don't care for "moonscapes".

Lack of seasons is not a deal killer for me.  I know that adding all seasons can quadruple the size of the add-on (which are plenty big with just summer), but if done well and adding snow where there should be snow at "snow time" I can pass up spring and fall. 

What gets my goat is lack of night time textures as that means I can miss up to 75% of fly time (think no dawn, dusk and night flying). 

Other than that, it's all good to me.  Use it when I can, other types when I can't.

Clutch

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On 4/18/2019 at 3:10 AM, UnkaBobby said:

Personally my tastes vary, I appreciate the technical and detailed flying of the heavies at times, but also like to go lower and slower and feel as much as possible if I'm in a realistic depiction of that world from more up-close.

Your signature says "Downeast Bush Pilot". If that's what you mainly fly then, in my experience, you'd probably be disappointed with photoreal scenery (FSX or P3D). Anything above 1000ft (preferably above 2000ft) looks pretty good with photoreal. Anything below 1000ft starts to look progressively worse as you descend. Most photoreal packages don't come with 3D objects and this makes the surface look particularly odd as you get closer to it. There are add-on packages and some of the latest sceneries which address this to a certain extent, but the objects need to be very carefully positioned to blend in well. Below 500ft it starts to look very blocky and more pixellated as you go down and field landings or approaches to minor airstrips are particularly unimpressive. Higher zoom levels can address this somewhat (not completely) but result in huge file sizes for the tiles. Take a look at his link to see an example of how different zoom levels affect the resolution and file size: http://simheaven.com/photo-sceneries/ - you should click on each photo for a more representative view. As has already been mentioned, there are no night textures, no seasons and differing times of day all look exactly the same with the fixed, baked-in shadows.

I fly mainly GA aircraft at lower levels and, having tried photoreal scenery, decided to stick to ORBX regions. Even though they're not as accurate, they just look so much better/more convincing at the heights I generally operate. Horses for courses, I guess.

Edited by vortex681

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On 4/18/2019 at 12:50 AM, UnkaBobby said:

Thank you, good feedback! Makes a lot of sense. I guess this question demonstrates that I'm not completely clear about how terrain mesh, landclass scenery, and photoreal scenery, interact, including the several brands of them all.

Since you were so kindly thorough, could I trouble you for your feedback about these two scenerios as an example for me to learn from?

So I have MegaEarth's PR scenery for my state. Love it from altitude, lousy at low-level. I have also now purchased OrbX/FTX scenery for my home airport here. Should I leave the PR scenery installed and then also install the OrbX scenery for my home airport "over" it? Is there some conflict or disadvantage to having mixed sceneries for a single place installed? I don't really understand how FSX "parses" the various kinds of data it has from mesh-data and add-on scenery(ies) that are installed.

Likewise, I wish to understand better how add-ons work together in FSX: I have UTX 2, Rex4 Texture Direct, MegasceneryEarth PR scenery for several states, and a number of Aerosoft and OrbX add-on sceneries like "Antarctica X", "Dangerous Airports", "Monument Valley," etc.

Despire reading a lot, and being an FS enthusiast for many years, I still am not clear on what "order" those kinds of things should be installed, and which would be in conflict with (or would obviate) others. Will regional and airport sceneries, like from Aerosoft and OrbX, naturally "over-write" things like photoreal sceneries for the same area, or UTX or REX4?

If there are any good tutorials or docs about all of this I'm very willing to put the reading time in, I just have never found any decent, clear texts explaining how all these things interact within the FSX ecosystem.

 

Thanks for your time, a lot!
--Bobby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Bobby,

Sorry for the late reply; for some reason I only just saw the notification of your post.

I will try to help if I can.

I will just explain what I do and how that works.  I always put any large photoscenery (eg megascenery states, countries etc) right above the last default P3D entry.  I suppose it should actually be below the P3D default airports and cities, so those sceneries showed above the photoreal if they happen to be in the same location.  There is no problem keeping photoscenery and a landclass product like UTX or FTX OpenLC or Global active in the same scenery.cfg.  The photoreal scenery will just override the landclass scenery as it is at a higher resolution than the landclass textures.  The simplest way I can think to explain it is with a rundown of the order I place things in my scenery,cfg, which I think abides by the recommended way.  The top of the list is the scenery with the highest priority, and the highest number when viewed in the scenery,cfg file.  When viewing the text file (scenery.cfg) the highest number is actually at the bottom of the file.  I would recommend using a program such as Scenery Config Editor for an easy way to add, remove and move scenery entries.

I will add a special note regarding ORBX scenery if you have any.  ORBX can and should be left in the order that the FTX Central application leaves it in.  The sceneries are ordered automatically to work with each other.  You can add entries above or below the ORBX entries, but the ORBX entries should be left in their set order.

Here is how the ordering in the scenery.cfg generally works

 

Airports (eg FSDT KJFK)                                                                                   <--Highest Priority

3D scenery (eg Drzewiecki Design New York City)

Landclass addons (eg FTX OpenLC, UTX)

High resolution photoscenery (eg Megascenery Ultra Res cities New York)

Lower resolution photoscenery (eg Megascenery New York (State))

Addon Mesh (eg Freemesh X)

Default FSX/P3D entries                                                                                     <--Lowest Priority

 

 

I hope this helps a bit.

Cheers,

 

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Ok, now I understand how this works. I was a little confused. I need to get my mesh first because that shapes the land (ground/mountains/etc), then add photo scenery (if that's what I want) to place a nice texture onto the mesh.

Thanks

Edited by mypupdaisy

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