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GHarrall

Desert Textures

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What is the best payware program to minimize or get rid of the world wide desert problem? Does GEX work or is there something better?Thanks for your help

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GEX 100% fixes the desert colour textures and airport polygons.If you also use UTX then it supplies textures to change the colour of the road and rail encasements as well.Glenn

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I was leaning toward GEX, but wanted other opinions. I downloaded it last night, but was unable to install it because it said the file size was incorrect. I'll try it agian tonight.Thanks for your recommendations.

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>GEX only cover USA and Canada at the moment though, doesn't>it..?>>SteveRoger that. Europe and Oceania/Asia are planned but not released. $30 for each of those (unless the dollar keeps falling.)

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I have both GEX and UTX, and all of my roads are encased in desert during the winter. edit: nevermind, found the patch and plug-in. Neat.

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For Freeware correction, search for Adam Mills in FSX Scenery library.He produced a series of revised texture sets for both Europe and USA.Did it for me.Cheers,Stuart

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Are the developers of GEX from the US ? If so the dollar really should have nothing to do with it...except make the product cheaper for the rest of the world. I don't see GM raising the price to its US customers of cars due to the dollar (cars may be a bad example, as other components have increased in price due to the dollar such as plastics and steel but that does not affect software development).Mark.

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Perhaps because it is not an issue. Believe it or not, this was not some heinous mistake perpetrated by the FS Team in order to deliberately aggravate the majority of users.Unfortunately, almost nobody understands the basic technical aspects of Flight Simulator. So, in hopes that at least some people will understand what is going on, here goes.The land class system in FS is a highly technical method of determining the type of ground in use. (That is land (space) classification or land (space) class, not "landclass". Does nobody care about the English language anymore?)Anyway, the FS land class system is based on the standard Olson land classification. It is a series of land use types that attempt to categorize the various types of land use in the world, an excessively ambitious plan!Land class values in FS call specific ground textures that are displayed in game.However, there is no difference between the FS X land class and the FS 9 land class! None at all!So, why are people suddenly seeing the so-called "sand desert" everywhere? In short, they are not!What they are seeing is rather the effect of completely new ground textures for FS X.For example, this is the land class depiction for a representative area:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/182135.jpgThe largest part of the terrain has a land class value of 51 - Semi-desert shrubs.This is how that texture looked in FS 9:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/182136.jpgNotice the MIPMaps - as the viewer increases distance from the ground, the game displays the lower resolution MIPMaps, and for this texture they are rather dark.FS X increases the ground resolution from the default FS 9 4.77 meters/pixel to 1.2 meters per pixel. This means that the ground textures that were only 256 x 256 pixels large (43 kB) in FS 9 are no longer good enough - the new ground textures for FS X are 1024 x 1024 pixels (683 kB, much larger as you can see, and given the large number of ground textures, probably the reason why so many people are seeing the dread Blurries, as they are now saturating their computer's memory as they never did before with the much smaller FS 9 textures.)The FS Team found this a good occasion to renew all the ground textures and create totally new, more realistic textures (about 8 000 separate and unique ground textures! No easy task.) And here is the same 51 - Semi-desert shrubs in FS X:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/182137.jpgThe largest highest resolution texture is certainly better looking and more realistic than the FS 9 version. But, take a look at the MIPMaps that are displayed as distance increases. Because of the interpolation (or filter, or however they are created, I am not an expert), the predominant color in each is augmented, and with this texture, it all becomes "sandy" in appearance from a distance.The generous souls among us might reply that the FS Team only had to create better and darker MIPMaps for all the ground textures. Perhaps so. But, please consider that there are about 8 000 ground textures, each of which has 8 MIPMaps, making a grand total of about 64 000 textures to create and verify. An impossible task, and probably the reason why they preferred an automatic method of creating MIPMaps, and that method makes these particular MIPMaps excessively light in color.So, we see that there is no bug, or error, or fault. Rather, the guys in Redmond put a lot of work into their new textures, they are almost all stunning and give great pleasure when flying (preferably at low altitudes for many!)And they have no reason to fix this or release some sort of patch, particularly when it is so easy to fix ourselves.Possible fixes:1. Take the problematic ground textures and remove the MIPMaps, darken them, and replace. I think that this would only have to be done with two or three ground texture types (semi-desert shrub, semi-desert sage). It is a lot of work, since there are a few dozen textures, but anybody can do it. I recommend Martin Wright's MIPEdit, found on his web site. Thank you, Martin, very easy tool to use.2. But, why bother with that? The root of the problem is that the land class is not accurate. That semi-desert shrub should not be so prevalent, it is not an accurate representation of the diverse land use in that area. Why? Because there are no accurate sources of land class with world-wide coverage, so the guys in Redmond take what they can get, the commercial sources that they can find. But, we can do better and in a few minutes rectify land class for large areas with little effort.Here, the tool to use is Luis de S

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Try SceneryTec Landclass, together with GEX it makes a significant difference; much more diverse landclass than that offered by FSX.Regards,Chris

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Luis:I fully understand your explanation and thank you for doing so. You say that the land class for FS9 and FSX are the same. What is still a mystery even after reading your post is why in FSX do we see more use of the sandy/desert textures? Your screenshot and example using the Southwestern U.S./Northern Mexico would explain the use of the semi-desert textures. No problem in that area as desert textures are appropriate. But why do we see desert textures in FSX Alaska for example when we did not see those types of textures in FS9 in the same area? There are many other locations in the FSX world where you see patches of the desert textures stuck on the sides of mountains or mixed in with other normally green areas/textures. This was not the case in FS9 and the semi-desert texture shown above (FS9) was not used in identical areas.Seems to me this isn't a one-for-one texture comparison explaining the differences in resolution and MipMapping. Although the land class may be the same between the two sims, it seems to me that the desert textures are being applied to more land class types!Todd

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There is an apparent problem with some of the winter texture variants for seasonal landclass. I think the intent of MS was to show areas of grass or fields as dormant, but these (at least to me) seem too yellow and should have been more brown. Especially more towards the south even in dead of winter there is some shade of green (assuming no snow cover -- hard winter).scott s..

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Hello Todd,Thanks for your comments. In fact, in spite of what you mentioned, this is pretty much a one-for-one texture difference.If you see "sand desert" in other parts of the FS X world where you did not see any in FS 9, it is only because there are new textures that are lighter in color. There is no other reason.The mountains also show light patches for the same reason. FS 9 rock textures were dark, and now they are much lighter in FS X. And the result is patches of "sand" on mountain slopes - really, it is just the light-colored rock MIPMaps.So, if you see more "sand" throughout the world, it is only because the new semi-desert ground textures are lighter in color in FS X than in FS 9. Light-colored textures are always more glaringly visible than dark-colored textures - they reflect more light and stand out more from the rest of the terrain.But, the land class assignments themselves have not changed at all from FS 9.Best regards.Luis

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Be careful with the 'commercial' landclass products.Cloud9 for instance simply changes the 'seasons.bgl' to remain summer all year long so that you don't see the sand textures. Doesn't look very good having the trees in full leaf during autumn/early winter!Glenn

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