Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

sargeski

ASX+X Graphics vs. Flight Environment X

Recommended Posts

I'm currently using Genesis Mesh,Scenery Tech LC, UTX,GEX with ASX and X Graphics as my graphics enhancments for FSX and to be honest I am pretty satisfied with the results, however; I'm thinking about purchasing Flight Environment X. I would like to know from anyone who uses this product what they think of it especially if they have used the Hi-Fi software set in the form of ASX and X-graphics bundle.One of my favorite features of the Hi-Fi set is allowing X-Graphics to configure according to the current weather conditions. I realize this isn't an exacting process but I like the simplicity of clicking on a single button and having the textures configured for the sim without me having to wade through a ton of options.Does Flight Environment X offer anything similar? Right now I am only letting X-graphics do the Sky's, Airport Textures, and lighting, I let UTX handle Water, Roads, Rails How easy would it be to integrate it into my current set up? TIA,Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

To try and answer your question, here's what Nick N over at GEX development had to state in one of the AVSIM forums:"GEX [Enhanced] is ground textures... FEX is clouds, sky and waterUTX is landclass, roads shorelinesXgraphics has cloud replacements like FEX but also includes other textures too."And, of course, you're right about what Active Sky X (ASX) can do along with X Graphics. That's really a nice feature but, as I recently stated in another thread, I uninstalled X Graphics as it appeared to be confused with GEX Enhanced and UTX also installed (or I got really confused...). So many themes and beautiful textures that can be loaded with X Graphics, it's mind-boggling. I may reinstall X Graphics again soon but right now I'm thoroughly enjoying the GEX Enhanced and UTX products.So FEX does offer a similar product. You might want to check out the X-Graphics/ASX forum here on AVSIM under Commercial Products/HI FI Simulation Software Support for using XGraphics/ASX with other 3rd party cloud graphics add-ons.Have you upgraded GEX to the Enhanced version? Here's an interesting link to info about this version and some screenshots: http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...?TID=24993&PN=3. IMHO, it seems to me you have too many landclass products but I don't think it matters as whichever one is sitting on top of the scenery priority list is the one used and rendered.I hope this helps.Best regards,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I have the Nhanced version installed. I only have two lanclass products installed UTX and Scenery Tech. I have them layered properly with STLC sitting between UTX's urban and vegitation layers as per Nick N's advice.I don't know why you unistalled X Graphics? Did you know that you can go to the advanced options tab and de-select the textures you would rather have UTX display? That way you at least you would not be giving up your sky and airport textures which UTX, GEX does not model? In my case UTX is rendering everything except the clouds, airport, textures and lighting.I might be mistaken. but I think it would be fair to assume that if I installed FEX I would just relieve X graphics of the cloud texture and UTX of the water rendering chores which would now be FEX's duty?I should be able to keep ASX for the weather generation while X-graphics would simply be used the airport textures and lighting.I'm sure someone here has used both and will comment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>I should be able to keep ASX for the weather generation while>X-graphics would simply be used the airport textures and>lighting.>>I'm sure someone here has used both and will comment?I have them all and use them together like you are using them now. But I only use X-Graphics for the runway/taxiway textures. Once GEXn and FEX SHD came out, there was no comparison anymore in my opinion. The FEX SHD 4096 clouds just rock if your computer is good enough to handle them in FSX. FEX also has numerous sky themes uploaded by many users now that are better than the included X-Graphics ones in my opinion.The reason I'm not using the X-Graphics lights is because of my TH2G monitor setup. I've downloaded other freeware halo.bmp and spotlight.bmp files that work better for my monitor setup. Combined with the new(er) ability in UTX updates now to also choose different brightness levels for the UTX street lights, it works better for me than using the X-Graphics light choices. The X-Grahics ones are still good...they just don't "play nice" with my monitor setup.ASX is still my weather program, but that may change whenever the next release of FEX arrives. It will include it's own weather generator that does the same thing Active Sky does now. REX is supposed to be able to do the same thing when it is released. So, there will be choices.FalconAF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The FEX SHD 4096 clouds>just rock if your computer is good enough to handle them in>FSX." It should. My system is not bleeding edge but it's solid and capable. Did you notice a big hit when going from the X-Graphics Cloud sky themes to FEX? I realize there is no free lunch when you incease the amount texture resolution, especially dealing with clouds. In that sense even X Graphics can choke out a powerful machine if you start maxing out the number of cloud layers and such from the options menu."FEX also has numerous sky themes uploaded by many users>now that are better than the included X-Graphics ones in my>opinion."How easy is it to look at the current weather conditions being generated by ASX and then select a theme from FEX that is fitting?When you select a theme in FEX is it stagnate? In otherwords if I plan a flight from Salt Lake City to Miami the texture sets should change, does FEX model this? I would hope that the water sets would change in apperance. "REX is supposed to be able to do the same thing when it>is released. So, there will be choices."Do you mean it will choose a theme based on current weather conditions like ASX and X- Graphics?Thanks for you assistance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can run the X-Graphics clouds OK, you will be able to run the FEX SHD 4096 ones. The only minor hit I took with them on my old Core2Duo was when there were really dense Cumulus clouds with a wide altitude range between the base and tops of them. Even then, it was a very minor hit on performance. They did a good job developing them. Something to keep in mind...FSX doesn't "play nice" with 4096 texture clouds. The "max_texture_load=" setting in the FSX.CFG file defaults back to 1024 if you make any adjustments with the scenery sliders, etc while in FSX. So you will need to "save" a few scenery.cfg files with different settings for AI, etc, if you want to change those while in an FSX session. If you save then "Load" them while flying instead of using the sliders, you will keep the 4096 clouds.As for selecting "themes" in FSX after looking at the weather, it can be hit and miss sometimes. There are tons of cloud themes available for download by users already. Nothing is perfect, but if your weather indicates "overcast and rain" for instance, you can fairly quickly find the type of, color of, density of, etc cloud theme you want. It isn't as easy as letting X-Graphics do it for you, but then again when I used to use X-Graphics, it wasn't perfect either in selecting clouds all the time.Stagnate? Well, you are going to load a cloud theme, a sky theme, a water theme, and a water animation theme...4 of them make up a "Master Theme". FSX will display the clouds according to whatever ASX feeds it as far as the weather is concerned. And of course, if ASX is reporting 3000 ft thick cumulus one time, then 10,000 thick cululus the next time, even the same cloud texture will look different. So I don't think "stagnate" really applies. You won't go from a dark and grey cloud texture to a bright white one though, if that is what you mean. I don't think ASX even does that.Both REX and the next release of FEX are supposed to have weather generation engines in them that will auto-select themes for you based on the downloaded weather. How good they will be at doing that remains to be seen. There's already been enough arguing about which one will be better. I'll make my judgement when they are released. I will of course right now be leaning towards the FEX product because the new release is supposed to be a free upgrade to current users of FEX SHD. So if I like what I see when it is released, REX would really have to do something above and beyond it before I would spend more money on another weather generation program.FalconAF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much FalconAF, your reply was helpful and informative. I have decided to give FEX a try and am downloading the program now. I have a painfully slow internet connection so it might be awhile before I can start using the program on my own but, I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your willingness to share your experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use all the programs yopu have, plus FEX. They all work great together once you get everything set-up in terms of choosing one over the other to perform certain/different tasks.For instance, I use FEX for clouds and water only, and use X-Graphics for lighting, sky, mood/sun, etc as selected by the weather generated texture tool in ASX. Thus, my lighting and sky color/textures are always weather dependent, but I pre-select the clouds and water I want to use via FEX, and will change these typically per season when cloud and water 'look' changes as well. In addition, in UTX I will also create a custom texture set that creates ice covered lakes in the winter to mimic what is happening outside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Thank you very much FalconAF, your reply was helpful and>informative. >>I have decided to give FEX a try and am downloading the>program now. I have a painfully slow internet connection so>it might be awhile before I can start using the program on my>own but, I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your>willingness to share your experience.>You're welcome. Just to make sure, did you fully understand what I said about the need to make sure you use saved scenery.cfg files to change settings in FSX when using FEX SHD? If not, and you use any of the sliders once in FSX, your textures will revert back to 1024. This caused a lot of new users of FEX SHD to think the clouds were just "ho-hum" instead of seeing what they really looked like.Use the "Save" and "Load" buttons shown on the bottom of the "Settings" screen (from the initial screen when you first load FSX...where you select "Free Flight", "Settings", etc). Once you create various "saved" files (they are small and contain only the settings you would make using the sliders...they get saved to your "My DocumentsFlight Simulator X" folder where your "flights" get saved also), you can either load them again from there if you are creating a brand new flight, OR use the "LOAD" option in the drop-down menu of FSX while flying. As long as you don't go to any of the slider pages, you will keep the 4096 textures for the clouds.If you know what the setting values are for each of the slider positions used in FSX, just create one saved file, then copyduplicate it like crazy, then "edit" the values using Notepad. I created about a dozen different ones that way for various AI traffic settings, LOD settings, etc, without having to use the sliders in FSX to "make" them. Just make sure the "texture_max_load=1024" line in ALL of them say "4096" if you want to see the SHD clouds.FalconAF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FalconAF,I understand what you mean and alhough I have never done it like this before I think I'll figure it out without much of an issue. I am aware that if you set a value in the .cfg line outside of it's parameters it will revert back if you adjust any slider. I have experimented with the LOD setting in the past. Thanks again for the tip! I should be up and running later today but as I said earlier I have a painfully slow internet connection here about 12K/sec max. that I have to deal with for the next nine months. Thank goodness the download allows for resume or I doubt I would ever be able to retrieve the file ;)bkeske,It looks like we will be running almost a duplicate set up. I will probably do the same as you and allow X-Graphics to continue to render the Sky, Sun Moon and airport textures. It's easy to configure it using the advance install page. I do have a question though and that is how did you turn off the water rendering of UTX? did you turn off all the waterclass options using UTX's set-up tool or did you just de-select the entire UTwaterclass option in the Scenery Library via the FSX options menu? Thanks,Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just make the "WC Waterclass Layer" in the UT Setup Tool "Inactive" and you'll be good to go. It's under the Landclass/Waterclass group in the Feature Tree (you probably already knew that!).FalconAF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so bloody confused about these add-ons and which onesmay conflict or be duplicating...UTXASXGEXwhat else?Which ones should I run? Which does what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>I'm so bloody confused about these add-ons and which onesmay>conflict or be duplicating...>>UTX>ASX>GEX>>what else?>>Which ones should I run? Which does what?First, you need to make sure you have a thorough understanding of the difference between "scenery" and "textures" when it comes to FSX.The word "scenery" get tossed around a lot, when in fact not all of these products are "true" scenery. The word "scenery" should really only be used when you are talking about native .bgl files in FSX, or vector-type graphics. Microsoft kinda contributed to this confusion by including an "Addon Scenery" folder in FS. But that folder has TWO subfolders under it...one for "scenery files" (.bgl's) and one for "texture files" (.txt or other filename extensions). This is because a .bgl scenery file CAN call texture files to be used with it. So some "scenery addons" that you add to FS might contain both types of files...scenery AND texture files. But not ALL of them do. Note that in the default FSX installation, there are also two SEPARATE folders called "Scenery" and "Textures". Scenery files (.bgl's) placed in the Texture folder would not work...just as Texture files placed in the Scenery folder would not work.Now...for the products you mentioned above. Some are "scenery" and some are TEXTURES ONLY. UTX - Contains BOTH scenery and texture files. Also uses vector graphics for scenery in addition to regular .bgl files.ASX - Texture files ONLY. They "replace" or "substitute" FSX default cloud, runway, taxiway, etc type textures in FSX. They get copied to the appropriate folders in FSX (and make backups if you do it right) of the default textures they are replacing. Note ASX primarily deals with Cloud, Sky, and limited Ground (runway, taxiway) textures. It does some other things also (light bitmaps, or .bmp files) that can change airport and aircraft lights.GEX - PRIMARILY Texture files ONLY. Ground textures. Includes some Landclass files for Urban areas also (these landclass files ARE "scenery" .bgl files, but there aren't too many of them compared to the number of texture files in GEX, AND they replace Landclass files in UTX, not FSX. So GEX does NOT get added to the FSX Scenery Library because UTX IS in the Scenery Library. See below for more info on how that works).What else?FEX - Another TEXTURE addon. Cloud, sky, water, and wave animations. REX (not released yet) - Will be primarily TEXTUREs only somewhat like FEX and ASX (based on what I've read about it...if there are other "scenery" files in it, I'm not aware of them at this time).As for these type of addons conflicting with each other, they SHOULDN'T if you install and manage them correctly in FSX. Remember this KEY POINT...any TRUE "scenery addon" MUST be added to the FSX Scenery Library so FSX can use it. All the FSX "default" true scenery files (.bgl's) have a Scenery Library entry somewhere. They may be included in the "Base Files" or the city names entries (Las Vegas, etc) or something like the Airport Names (Berlin, Reno, etc) if you have Acceleration Pack installed. Any "scenery addons" you add to FSX are NOT true "scenery" addons UNLESS you have to make a Scenery Library entry for them. For instance, UTX will install itself to FSX, AND add UTX entries to the Scenery Library, because it includes "scenery files" AND texture files for that scenery to work. On the other hand, you would NEVER add something like GEX, ASX, FEX, or REX to the Scenery Library. These programs use an included "User Interface" to add, copy, remove, and backup TEXTURE files ONLY. The FSX Scenery Library can do NOTHING with texture files if they aren't part of a "scenery package" of some sort that uses "true" scenery files (mostly .bgl's) to "call" those textures.Hope the above helped. Yell if I confused you! ;-)FalconAF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Hi All,>>In the above post please substitute X Graphics for ASX! ASX is>our weather program for FSX and contain no textures! It is>great to see you guys discussing all of this stuff so well!!> >JimEGADS!!! Brain Dump! Case of fingers typing faster than brain was engaged. x(Sorry about the ASX vs X-Graphics mix-up. I knew what I meant to say, but, well...OOPS! *:-* I'm gonna go load Severe Thunderstorms with ASX now (yes...ASX), and then load some wicked cloud TEXTURES with X-Graphics (yes...X-Graphics).Duh!FalconAF P.S. - Went back to try and edit it, but time had expired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites