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Ray Proudfoot

Is ORBX FTX Global needed with P3D v5?

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With all the recent discussion about the relevance of some ORBX products in P3D v5 no-one so far has mentioned FTX Global. It was first released for FSX and then made compatible for all versions of P3D.

But has the product ever been improved since its first release?  The blurb refers to 3D night lighting and textures for all four seasons. But hasn’t LM given us seasonal textures?

You would need to uninstall I think because it merges with default textures rather than having its own scenery layer.

Thoughts?


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2 & v3.4, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” monitor, Fulcrum One yoke.
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That depends whether the default UK textures are the same appalling light brown colour that they are in P3Dv4. To be honest, I only remembered just how bad the default UK scenery is in P3D when I had that 60 minute session in a full motion flight simulator in Manchester. How anyone could live with that on their home PC is quite beyond my ability to understand.

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Christopher Low

UK2000 Beta Tester

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I have it since the very beginning of this product line. As far as I remember its main purpose was to bring more variety to the default texture layers by replacing them. But I agree, there were only technical updates but no quality updates for the product since quite a while. I have abandoned FTX Vector since P3D 4.x and do not miss it, maybe removing FTX Global would be the same.


- Harry 

i9-12900K (12 Cores, 16+8 Threads, max 5.2 GHz, Aorus X 360 AIO H20, ASUS Z690 ROG Strix F), 32 GB RAM (DDR5 5200, CAS 38), RTX 3090 (Alpacool Eiswolf 360 AIO H2O).  Windows 11 Pro (1TB M.2 SSD C drive).  MSFS 2020 (MS Store, installed on C, MSFS Content on seperate 2TB M.2 SSD).   P3Dv5.3 (1TB M.2 SSD).

 

 

 

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@Christopher Low yes, I remember those in the brief window between installing v4 and FTX Global. So I didn’t bother checking with v5.

The trouble is LM are so generic with their features in v5 all the work they’ve obviously done just goes under the radar.

Hopefully someone will come back with the answer. It’s not just the UK of course. The Far East has been shamefully neglected for a long time.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2 & v3.4, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” monitor, Fulcrum One yoke.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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2 minutes ago, Nemo said:

I have it since the very beginning of this product line. As far as I remember its main purpose was to bring more variety to the default texture layers by replacing them.

You sound like me. We’ve just assumed it’s a mandatory install because the default textures have been so bad since P3D started. England looked like a desert, not the green and pleasant land it is.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2 & v3.4, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” monitor, Fulcrum One yoke.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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Posted (edited)

Ray I answer would be yes and no. In some parts of the globe you still would see an improvement with Global lets say the non european areas - but then again I have ORBX LC for everywhere but Asia anyway. I did uninstall Global at one stage and the change was qualitative so I put it pack just seemed to improve stuff more generally! But again hard to qualify as I have ORBX coverage extensively elsewhere - NA, EU, Africa, SA etc. 

I find there is no penalty with performance for me and I have all my scenery on a separate drive linked via the lP3D manager so not an issue.

Edited by coastaldriver

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@coastaldriver, I’m unsure how much of the world LM have improved the default textures. I think we can assume North America and Europe have benefited. But how about Africa, South America and Asia?

I flew from Addis Ababa to Djibouti last weekend which clearly benefitted from UTX Global so it might be worth trying that flight again after uninstalling FTX Global. It’s easy enough to reinstall. If they’ve improved Africa the chances are the other continents have been improved.

You wouldn’t be able to tell if there was an improvement unless you deactivated your LC would you?

There’s never been a performance hit with textures just as there aren’t with improved mesh.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2 & v3.4, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” monitor, Fulcrum One yoke.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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Posted (edited)

Ray I get your point. My issue is that over time I have accumulated ORBX AU, NA, Alaska, PNW, EU, UK, Scotland, Africa, South America (Mesh and LC) on top of that over time I have also accumulated LC done by others for places (such as Aerosoft Antartica)  I like to fly especially the Pacific area (and there are lots of bits and pieces where country by country various people have reworked LC and mesh or both in bits and pieces) so I have probably so well covered the globe (even Russia and good parts of Asia - Japan, etc ) that I can no longer properly assess whether Global does anything worthwhile. 

My problem with Global like Vector is that was a great product to overcome the serious lack of texture detail world wide. I got rid of Vector because LM fixed up the cartography of the sim world and so upgraded it generally (the way autogen is distributed etc) that Vector was superflous and I removed it completely. I probably now have so many addiitonal layers of custom created LC and mesh that I can not assess whether Global is worth keeping. 

My educated guess is that if I removed Global I probably would not notice any difference at all in the sim with all the scenery add ons I have accumulated together over time and in a way I have answered your question indirectly - if Global was so necessary or did any real improvement I would not have bothered with all the additional packages and scenery enhancements and changes. So I am going to take a punt and remove it completely. I do have a hunch that it merely adds in a layering and texture load sort process that is probably a performance degradation - I do notice the odd texture or tile inconsistency here and there with global now!

Let you know what the outcome is with a few tests but as I said the only way I think I would see any difference is if I went back to a vanilla P3DV5 scenery install with nothing else added in. 

Footnote - I came across a fix for everyone's traffic display issues at a German sim site but the fix means I have to reinsatll Vector borrow some files from it and then remove it and use the fix setup. I am sure that will work but it is a lot of work. I am borrowing other stuff from ORBX past work like the oceans waves fix as well so it does have its uses!

Edited by coastaldriver

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@coastaldriver, it would be difficult for you to test as you would need to remove all your addon packages to get down to the default stuff.

I have AUS so will avoid Australia for testing. I’ll probably uninstall over the weekend once I’ve chosen a few locations and taken screenshots first.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2 & v3.4, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” monitor, Fulcrum One yoke.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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Ray I have just uninstalled Global. If nothing changes significantly or noticeably then I will not need it anyway! I so have a test scenery config set up to go back to vanilla P3D (the advantages of having all your scenery as either addons or in a separate drive/directory from P3D.  

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11 minutes ago, coastaldriver said:

Ray I have just uninstalled Global. If nothing changes significantly or noticeably then I will not need it anyway! I so have a test scenery config set up to go back to vanilla P3D (the advantages of having all your scenery as either addons or in a separate drive/directory from P3D.  

Good man. Did you take any screenshots beforehand for comparison?


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2 & v3.4, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” monitor, Fulcrum One yoke.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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Posted (edited)

Ray alas I should have. Verbal description here - results are mixed. Overall in locations selected where I know I had no LC or other scenery addon to change the default P3D scenery some looked better some a little washed out that is not as green in the landscape. In some pacific islands P3D gave me a lot more vegetation than ORBX did but for those locations excessive vegetation (trees) on low lying coral atolls has always been an issue with everyone!. There is definitely a change in the building autogen showing so Global is adding in its own buildings as autogen. I was able to bump my veg autogen to very dense now no issues and that fixed up a lot of areas - some areas Asia for example looked a lot better and a lot less European in the landscape (Cambodia and Pakistan were two examples) I now got dirt roads in some areas whereas before I was being given sealed roads with Global. 

Light Road traffic was now evident in all areas not just around airports but again it disappears once you get above about 2000 ft now matter where you are - I think that must be a P3D thing. 

I am just going to leave it uninstalled - the scenery looks fine, the autogen mix is ok and the tree mix more balanced for some areas and less European in others. The balance seems fine to me and there is not a noticeable or significantly discernible loss of scenery detail or look!. 

Sim performance - hard to say mine is good anyway but it does seem a little smoother and I see no texture issues anywhere. I did get the odd join tear or white line now and then between some scenery areas with Global. 

I have now reinstalled all the other addons to reconfigure my scenery world with quality detail LC etc in most areas anyway so overall - cannot see a reason to keep ORBX Global!

Edited by coastaldriver
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Ray and anyone else. Removing Global has had two unexpected benefits.

First my road traffic (set at a minimal level anyway) has returned and visible at numerous different locations.

Second I had a lot of addon scenery that I made years ago for FSX all to do with flying boat operations - so a lot of extensive modelling and scenery creation to recreate any number of former flying boat bases and locations across the world (about 50 from memory).Now it seems Global in P3DV5 was overwriting or suppressing these sceneries from loading (displaying) a variety of objects, without Global these places are once again as they were in FSX that is as I made them with wharves, static ships and numerous other little touches around the area. So I am very pleased about that because I had assumed it was a bgl incompatibility issue with P3D as a lot of these objects were quite dated even though they had proper bgls. A  quick check of some other airport addon scenery also revealed a similar pattern, that is a whole variety of library objects that were being suppressed or ignored because of the way Global operated. 

I have retained ORBX's HD building and ORBX trees only because they are still more aesthetically pleasing to my eye than a lot of default stuff was even with PBR enhancements. I guess overall I find my world, especially in Asia and the Pacific regions is a lot less european looking now  ( town layouts, farm field style and distribution etc) and I can now see no reason for Global or Vector at all. 

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ORBX FTX Global should only affect textures worldwide and landclass in some areas.  It also updates the autogen and night lighting.

I can't see how it would affect scenery objects or the road traffic.  Are you sure you're not confusing ORBX Global with ORBX Vector?

Personally, I find the ORBX Global textures to be much better than the stock textures, but that's subjective.

Dave

 

 

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Simulator: P3Dv5.3

System Specs: Intel i7 9700K 4.7GHz CPU, MSI Z390 Gaming Edge AC MB, 32GB DDR4 3600MHz RAM, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super video card, 2x 1TB Samsung 970 EVO SSDs, Windows 10 Home OS

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Posted (edited)

Dave2013  - no I do not have Vector installed. When I uninstalled Global the road traffic returned. I agree it is subjective. Now my caveat about not having Global - when P3D was first released there were a couple of out of the way places (airports in the Pacific) where I got some strange texture anomalies (textures not showing but a few large black squares). Installing Global into P3D fixed that issue. My impressions of no Global are mixed there is no doubt it does make some parts of Asia look like Europe but overall it was not bad. So despite my thinking that this would be acceptable some more testing revealed the return of the black square problem at the same locations - which suggests that there are and always have been some corruptions or errors in a couple of spots in P3D scenery which have been carried over with the various fixes (to other stuff). 

So I reinstalled Global and the texture problem again was fixed. So after much stuffing about - it was worth testing by the way - I have reinstalled Global again. 

Others may have a different outcome but the couple of areas where I had the problem, in the Pacific on small islands, are places I sim to regularly so thats that Global stays.

As for the traffic thing well I am not that keen to have road traffic so if its there its there if it is not that's ok too. I only have it set at 2% now anyway.

The world of our scenery is not perfect alas (MSFS included actually). I am still not sure how various cartography errors have been carried forward from FSX to P3D (and ignored by specialist developers). How do I  know that well I predominantly prefer flying boats for my fun, this of course means your not going to lovely developer scenery etc but actually out of the way places etc etc. Now even now there is a major island missing completely from everybody's sim in the PNG area to the east of Milne Bay (and few others in the Pacific as well). Is that a problem well no except this island used to be the capital of PNG from the mid 1800s up until about 1960. It has several thousand people living on it and many buildings wharves etc (now dilapidated churches admin buildings etc) it is completely absent from the sim - go figure! So perfection, no, an approximation, yes. Not even Global fixed that problem!!

Edited by coastaldriver

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