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This is more like it - anyone tried VFR England demo for FSX

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>Are you trying to sell something?Hehehe!If he is, well... he could do better with Horizon's effort. www.horizonsimulation.comIt's roots are in the original England & Wales VFR scenery and high definition updates are promised for major cities.I know where my money is going (and that's without mentioning colour balance!).Still, one man's meat is another man's poison.

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I was kind of hoping that since there are two rival products on offer for UK phot-realistic scenery, that a demo would be available of the same location for both, I.E. Horizon offering a demo of the same place. Tjhat way we could decide for ourselves which is the better of the two, and of course if they have confidence in their product, there'd be nothing to fear from doing so.One way or another I'll be getting one of these products, but as yet I'm undecided which one that will be. although I must say it's very nice to be spoiled for choice on UK scenery for once!

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OK, tried the demo and to be honest it didn't blow me away if you want the honest truth. And if you read on, I'll tell you why...The resolution is cool yes, but I think the contrast on the images is not too great, and this is something I know quite a bit about since one of the companies I work for is Adobe. I also know the area quite well and have piloted aircraft over much of it in real life.The demo flight included with the texture demo has weather set for a typical sunny day with fluffy cumulous clouds and bright blue skies, in short, the sort of weather in which I have done many hours flying over that very terrain. Needless to say, in such weather the visibility is very good and everything appears very bright with pin-sharp contrast, although one occasionally gets an inversion layer which can make the terrain in the distance look very pale as your slant view is receiving light from the terrain through quite a layer of murk.Now, I played around with the Catalyst Control Centre for my ATI PCI-X card quite a bit to get the appearance of such climate conditions and lighting in FSX as near to what I remember it looking like on real flights, and this is with the original VFR UK photographic scenery installed. With the demo of the upped-resolution terrain, the textures appear quite pale and lacking in contrast, so I played around with the Catalyst settings in an attempt to get things to a satisfactory appearance again, but in order to do so the brightness/gamma settings are quite a way from the defaults, and this results in the aircraft either appearing almost dirty, or far too bright and losing panel detail, depending on whether you choose to tweek things with the gamma, or the brightness and use the contrast to settle things down.I've added a screen shot to the bottom of this post (always assuming the link works) and you'll see the original lower res VFR terrain on the right of the shot, and the newer higher res VFR terrain on the left. I think it's apparent which has the more believable spread of colours from this shot and that's the lower res older stuff. It simply looks more like what you see out of the window on that kind of day at that height than the newer stuff, at least from a colour/contrast standpoint.Of course, some may disagree with me, and if one is attempting to simulate an inversion layer, then yes, the newer stuff looks more like it would in real life. But days with an inversion layer are not what I would call the ideal conditions for VFR flying, besides which, in that area, an inversion layer is generally to be found towards the more industrialised areas in the direction of Manchester and Liverpool if you're looking about. So I suspect that the newer VFR terrain would benefit from a tweek in terms of contrast and brightness. Now, this doesn't mean that all is lost of course, because if the textures are converted to a format which can be read by Photoshop, a batch process on all the files can be done automatically based on getting the brightness, curves and levels right on just one. Then it would simply be a case of converting them back to the format required for FSX. so it won't necessarily put me off buying it, but I imagine that others without the requisite software and/or minor knowledge it requires to do such a batch conversion might not be so easily persuaded.Feel free to disagree with me on this if you like, as much of it is based on perception and other unquatifiable matters, and if you like the look of the terrain, then that's good enough. But I think it needs a tweek.BTW, the image on this post in no way shows the newer stuff to its best advantage from a resolution standpoint (which as I have said, is very impressive), I simply chose this area as it is where the old VFR meets the new VFR demo.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j105/Ala...ury/VFRtest.gif

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I was impressed by the demo but very concerned about the colours.They appear to have been badly toned down, making it look as if the Lake district had suffered a severe drought (from my experience, the Lake District has lots of rain!)Then I tried the demo from Horizon Simulations and it simply blows away the Just Flight demo. The colours in the Horizon demo are strong and vibrant and probably realistic (apart from some strange purple areas). My one criticism was the water: there isn't any! The demo simply reproduces the photo imagery of lakes, which look so dark blue as to be almost black. However, Horizon say that at release or soon after there will be a free update that will convert water areas to standard FSX water (complete with reflections etc).In addition Horizon are working on an update that will add trees and buildings etc and the screen pix look excellent. Possibly Just Flight may be working on an objects update, too.On the face of it the Horizon Simulations offering looks far superior and that's the one I will probably get. Best regards, Chris

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mmm I agree Chris now I've tried the Horizon one it is better - but what about those massive "areas in the shade" - on mine they look part black / part purple ? Don't change dependant of the sun. - looks a bit bizarre to me.I also think the colours are the other way, the other one are too washy - I admit, but the Horizon one, well looks like a saturated version of Autumn, too contrasty IMO, and far too autumunal looking.Mark.

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With regard to the purple colours which appear on the photoscenery, having flown in that area a lot in real life, I can confirm that there are actually quite a few areas of that place which do appear that colour.In particular, Offerton Moor, which is near to a gliding site that I have flown from many times does look very purple for a lot of the year around. I think it's some sort of heather or scrub brush, but not being a botanist, I wouldn't know what sort. However, attached is a couple of pictures of me getting in a glider, right near there, and it does show that the colours look much more vibrant than that demo's colours.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j105/Ala...bury/AlBaby.jpg

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Mark, as I mentioned in my post, those are the lakes. They decided to keep the photo textures rather than replace with FSX water (as Just Flight did). Unfortunately, apart from being static without reflections etc, they are so dark as to be virtually black. In my opinion it looks awful. But the good news is that they will release a free update that converts the lakes to standard FSX water.Yes, I think you're right: the colours are maybe a bit too strong, while in Just Flight the colours are washed-out. Hopefully before release Horizon (and Just flight!) will be able to get it just right. Best regards, Chris

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