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wthomas33065

Photogrammetry or No Photogrammetry, that is the question.,

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Is anyone else "on the fence" regarding Photogrammetry?  

On the one hand, the amount of detail you can get using Photogrammetry is astonishing.  I was able to pickout a WalMart and Home Depot near my girlfriends house 1000 miles a way, such that she knew exactly where I was just by describing what I was seeing on my screen.  Yet on the other hand the Photogrammetry areas tend to look "pasted in", they are rendered "darker" than surrounding autogen.  The buildings are often fuzzy and of course photogrammetric bushes and trees are awful.

By turning off Photogrammetry, the entire area looks more natural and organic, we don't have to deal with weird lumps on the ground and trees shaped like pyramids.  But it is astonishing how much detail is lost.  Turning off Photogrammetry in Seattle nets you ONE POI.  The Space Needle.  Smith Tower, The Columbia Tower, Safeco Field and Seahawk Stadium.  All gone.  Even the basic shape of the Skyline is changed.  Same for New York as it appears that the only skyscraper of note in Manhattan is the Empire State Building.  

It ALMOST makes me wish for some of the FSX cities where there were was just enough recognizable hand drawn scenery objects to let your imagination fill in the gaps.   This provides a great opportunity for Scenery Designers.  But the future might be bleak.  Orbx tried to add some character to London and got roundly blasted for their release.  Of course, London doesn't have Photogrammetry and has about 4 hand drawn POI's (Houses of Parliament/Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The Spire, and the O2.  Their "sin" was to replace the nicely rendered versions of some of those POI's with inferior versions that they had.  People complained that it was a cheap cash in primarily using elements that are from FSX.  Point taken, but I think I prefer hand drawn sceneries because even at their worst, they look better than the textures on the Photogrammetric areas. 

The lack of photogrammetry highlights just how little "hand drawn" details are included in major cities, Usually less than 5.

So the debate.  To use Photogrammetry or not?  Turning it on definitely makes those areas that have photogrammetric data more detailed.  But then we have to deal with Bridges that look like Walls, Blocky Cranes, and Vegetation that looks like it was drawn by Picasso.  Turning it off gives us a more natural looking world to fly in, but one definitely lacking in character, and without most of the unique landmarks we associate to some of our favorite cities/hometowns.

I'm interested in other's thoughts on this.  

Edited by wthomas33065
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Use it or not, a matter of taste.

i use it, it just looks more realistic but dont land close to one! 😅

 

EDIT: forgot to say, i prefer streaming data instead tons of GB on my drive.

Edited by Nedo68

100% VR flyer - Valve Index powered by RTX 3090 & i9-9900k with 32GB (my MSFS 2020 Videos)

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4 minutes ago, wthomas33065 said:

But then we have to deal with Bridges that look like Walls, Blocky Cranes, and Vegetation that looks like it was drawn by Picasso.  Turning it off gives us a more natural looking world to fly in, but one definitely lacking in character, and without some of the unique landmarks we associate to some of our favorite cities/hometowns.

I'm critical of certain aspects of MSFS. That said, photogrammetry is one of the better points - once its all loaded in to your view.

I think that within the next year, problems such as solid bridges, blocky cranes and half-melted trees will be resolved / made a lot more bearable. In the meantime, for anyone who doesn't like photogrammetry, Drzewiecki Design has released Moscow city scenery and has Washington D.C. on short final for release. I would expect Warsaw to appear at some point and Tokyo may make an appearance from them.

There are other cityscape add-on developers who will be very keen to entice you with their offerings. Prealsoft, Samscene are two who might make the leap into the MSFS market.
Orbx may even take stock of the reaction to their London landmarks product and update the models to what people consider MSFS standards.
They have a lot of models to bring from their TrueEarth series that would make a noticeable difference where photogrammetry isn't available.


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5 minutes ago, F737NG said:

I'm critical of certain aspects of MSFS. That said, photogrammetry is one of the better points - once its all loaded in to your view.

I think that within the next year, problems such as solid bridges, blocky cranes and half-melted trees will be resolved / made a lot more bearable. In the meantime, for anyone who doesn't like photogrammetry, Drzewiecki Design has released Moscow city scenery and has Washington D.C. on short final for release. I would expect Warsaw to appear at some point and Tokyo may make an appearance from them.

There are other cityscape add-on developers who will be very keen to entice you with their offerings. Prealsoft, Samscene are two who might make the leap into the MSFS market.
Orbx may even take stock of the reaction to their London landmarks product and update the models to what people consider MSFS standards.
They have a lot of models to bring from their TrueEarth series that would make a noticeable difference where photogrammetry isn't available.

YEah, The entherlands needs some nice models as well.. there are almost none. Who knows


Victor Roos

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5 minutes ago, F737NG said:

I'm critical of certain aspects of MSFS. That said, photogrammetry is one of the better points - once its all loaded in to your view.

I know.  That's why I'm on the fence. On one hand, it provides a level of immersion that I have not had outside of actually viewing my neighborhood from altitude.  But then I hit a border where one side of the street looks nice an bright, and the other side looks like it's dark and distressed and it just throws me out of the immersion.    I change my opinion almost on a minute to minute basis.  Seattle just is so bland without it, and Safeco Field becomes nothing more than a decal on the satellite image, with a Generic Stadium being placed where Seahawks stadium is.  But with it it looks so distressed, dark, and almost "burnt out".

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I finally turned it off as the strange blobs rising from the ground, which I think are supposed to be trees, just make the scenery near ground level look awful.

The generic buildings and trees need a lot of work as well.  I have come across many buildings in the U.S. that should be flat-roofed structures but are rendered in the sim as hotels or apartment buildings.  In Florida many of the trees that should be palms are instead some other variety of deciduous tree (I submitted a ticket for this issue).

The algorithm that determines what type of 3D building and vegetation to place clearly needs some work.  This will hopefully improve over time as corrections are applied to the AI process such that it learns what building to place based on the roof type.  In Bing Maps many of the structures are labeled with the name of the establishment, e.g. Walmart, and I wonder if there is also a building classification contained in that metadata that the AI could use to help determine the type of structure.  There's also the location to consider which could also be helpful if the AI knows that the area is industrial, urban, suburban, residential, rural, etc.

Anyhow, I've no doubt that the scenery will get better with time.

Dave

 

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I went to Dresden/Germany, one of the photogrammetry cities with some famous sights. Apart from the sights (churches etc.) I had real dificulties telling where the autogen/photogrammetry transition is. Normal houses and other things that are just normal stuff are actually quite well done. I sometimes think that autogen house look 'naked'. But then when I looked at houses at the photogrammtry transition, the actual photogrammetry houses do look naked sometimes. 

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It really depends on where you fly... Some Canadian cities are pretty good..

Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver (kind of)..

If you turn it off, you lose an awful lot of buildings..

For all it's warts, I am leaving it on.


Bert

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