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Flight Unlimited vs Megascenery

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So, Jimmi....what do you think ? Which one looks best ?Perhaps more importantly, can the images be extracted and used for FU3 ? Since the Megascenery covers a much larger area, it would be nice to utilise the textures to expand the San Francisco scenery in FU3. If this was possible, then I would get to work building a few of the large airports in the Central Valley area (Sacramento International, Modesto City, Stockton Metropolitan, Merced Municipal, and Castle AFB to name just five) :-)Chris Low.

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-The biggest difference between MegaScenery and FU is the colours. The images were probably taken at different times of the year. I think the Megascenery images were taken in the middle of summer when the hills are dry and brown/yellow, while the photos for FU probably were taken during spring as there are more greens in the scenery. This makes it a bit hard to make a direct comparison. FU automatically looks more pleasing because of this :)-Flight Unlimited reveals a little more detail in most cases but they are quite similar. The resolution of Megascenery is 4.8m/pixel and FU is 4.0m/pixel. The quality of the source images is also important and FU wins here as well. The Megascenery images appear slightly out of focus even at higher altitudes, and there are some artifacts like ghosting and pixels that don't blend well, almost like if someone used the Sharpen filter in Photoshop on all scenery textures.-The elevation model appears similar. What's the resolution of the default SFO mesh? The one for Megascenery is 38m.-FU3 has a nasty habbit of reducing the sharpness of distant scenery even with Anisotropic filtering enabled - this gives the impression that Megascenery is sharper and makes for a more realistic view from the standard view looking forward.Overall I have to say I prefer Megascenery, especially considering it covers 38,000 sq. miles while FU is only something like 11,000 sq. miles. Still, they are very similar. This is quite impressive considering the SFO scenery originally came with Flight Unlimited II back in 1997 and Megascenery was only released now.The textures can be extracted to normal BMP files easily using Microsoft Image Tool. Each texture is 256x256 pixels and covers about 1200x1200 meters. Of course one would have to talk to PC Aviator (publisher) before taking their scenery apart. As long as all FU users who want to use the scenery in their sim buy the FS2004 addon I don't think they'd have anything against it.

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Jimmi,That's very interesting. I certainly would be interested in buying a copy of this scenery if the images could be used to update the SanFran area in FU3. In addition, the Megascenery package apparently comes with lots of detailed airport diagrams and approach charts. Can you confirm this ? Also, is there a detailed map ?Chris Low.

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Yes, it comes with a 1:500,000 sectional chart, airport diagrams and approach plates for virtually all airports included in the region, and a 1:250,000 Terminal Area chart of the San Francisco bay.

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If this works - and the publisher's OK, this would be a great upgrade for FU3. Maybe we need to ask Andre what he thinks?:-waveRegards,**************Jonathan Point**************"I'd rather be down here wishing I was up there than up there wishing I was down here"

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How many cdroms takes this scenery ( or is it on dvd rom ) ?B.Adamski

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Jimmy,I have or rather had the Southern California MegaScenery... I gave it to a friend that lives in the area. I am curious about how you find the performance of the SF version. I didn't like the settings that they put in for SoCal. But with the sliders set up to max the FPS is fairly good but the load times are terrible. It was taking me 10 to 15 minutes to load a flight. I now use RealScene 2004 mesh & landclass along with USA Roads and have the whole US in very good detail if not photo real it is at least realistic looking... plus my load times are quick and I normally have FPS in the 40 to 80 range.Also... does the SF area cover all the seasons? The LA MegaScenery only had textures for Summer (Or was it Spring?). If I loaded any other season the load times were much quicker but it looked like a nucular wasteland.

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Tom.I'm also using RealScene 2004 mesh and landclass, For some reason that takes away the Valcano in Hawaii,Have you had this same problem? or maybe you don't go flying in that area.http://forums.avsim.com/user_files/84145.jpgFor some reason Avsim told me this was my limit for pics and asked me if I'd like to delete some of your's . I declined so I'll try another post in a second Have Fun :-vuurAllan and PuppyBush Flying Unlimitedhttp://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Tom. Actually it was not your pictures they asked me to abort, I was given the choice of deleting some pics before I could add more?I was going to add a picture of a person that got to close that Valcano, to show that it didn't matter if you've ever seen it anyway, This looks dangerous.http://forums.avsim.com/user_files/84149.jpgIs your USA Roads the file in this library by Frank Bergson?We need to all keep our fences repaired, don't let your Heifer loosehttp://forums.avsim.com/user_files/84150.jpgHave Fun :-vuurAllan and PuppyBush Flying Unlimitedhttp://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Allen,"I'm also using RealScene 2004 mesh and landclass, For some reason that takes away the Valcano in Hawaii,Have you had this same problem? or maybe you don't go flying in that area."I haven't seen any volcanos... most of my Hawaiian flying is around Oahu. I do have that plane in my stable if that helps. ;)"For some reason Avsim told me this was my limit for pics and asked me if I'd like to delete some of your's . I declined so I'll try another post in a second."I had that happen to me too... sometimes after 3... sometimes after 1... supposed to be 5... but you knew that. :) I don't know enough about the forum software to know why it happens but I've always restarted the post and had no problems.The last I heard from Eddie Denney was that there was supposed to be a patch out within a few days for a better Grand Canyon. That has been several months ago but I can find no such patch. Have you heard anything about it?

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Tom.Nope I haven't heard of any patches, and I have flew the full length of the grand canyon, His mesh makes the depth and the sides look better but there are a couple of walls of water that souldn't be there.Most of the MT area's all over USA look better but I lost all of the neat effects, Valcano, Old Faithful, and some other things.Actually I think FS2 had better MTS. then Cof stock,and also better bridges and dams, etc. but Cof has much better weather and lots of other great stuff so it's my favourite at the moment.You didn't answer if your USA Roads was by "Frank Bergson" ? yes? no?LaterHave Fun :-vuurAllan and PuppyBush Flying Unlimitedhttp://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Allan,"Nope I haven't heard of any patches"I figured it was worth a try. Thanks! :)"Actually I think FS2 had better MTS. then Cof stock,and also better bridges and dams, etc. but Cof has much better weather and lots of other great stuff so it's my favourite at the moment."FS04 is really bad with bridges and dams with the exception of Boulder Dam... that has been good for years. The Narrows Bridge is about a mile North of where it should be...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/84513.jpgActually they are currently building a 2nd bridge to handle all the cars... but the new one is South of the current one.The Grand Coulee Dam is also messed up... well the dam itself is pretty good... but the stuff around it is all wrong. :("You didn't answer if your USA Roads was by "Frank Bergson" ? yes? no?"I'm not actually sure who the author is but I doubt it. Mine is payware available here:http://www.flight1.com/products.asp?product=roads001I like it a lot... here is Tacoma...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/84514.jpgI can easily see where my mom's house is... :)... but not the house itself of course. :(In this Colorado shot Jeffco Airport is circled in blue...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/84515.jpg... my house is marked in red.

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Tom.Thank You, them are really great looking shots, Looks like the real world from above :-lolI went to that site and low and behold they are only selling this product to folks that have them fast connects.1/2 a CD worth I can not download that much, I don't have a problem paying for there product but there's no way I could get it.LaterHave Fun :-vuurAllan and PuppyBush Flying Unlimitedhttp://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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The colours are great, but why don't the roads match to the underlying scenery? I haven't got MSFS so don't know how they do this. I would have thought if its photographic scenery the roads would match, and in places you seem to have two road systems! - one photographic and the other a sort of misplaced floating overlay.

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1. It is not photographic scenery.2. It is much quicker than photographic scenery.3. It doesn't always match because all lot of FS is not accurate to the real world... the mesh & roads are.(Hopefully you were talking about the RealScene 2004 & USA Roads... MegaScenery is photoreal... but it is also very slow to load... at least the LA stuff. :))

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Allan,"I went to that site and low and behold they are only selling this product to folks that have them fast connects.1/2 a CD worth I can not download that much..."My understanding is that it is supposed to be available soon on a CD. I just didn't want to wait that long.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/84745.jpgEven though you don't get all the rooftops that photo-real would get you seeing a town laid out properly makes it a lot more real... especially a town you know personally. ;)But it is the combination of RealScene & USA Roads that really makes it.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/84746.jpgRealScene puts the ridge next to Boeing Field... USA Roads puts Interstate 5 onto that ridge where it belongs. That is a tricky section of I-5... I always get stuck driving and there is so much traffic that you have to pay attention to the road... but the view over KBFI is awesome... the last thing you want to do is look at the road. :-eekOf course lets not forget that RealScene 2004 includes landclass too.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/84747.jpgThe landclass is where you get those realistic colors. :)In the end you already have the most important piece...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/84748.jpg... without good mesh you just don't get hills that look like hills! :-lolI think you will like USA Roads though when it comes out on CD. The CD should include the new upgrade which I have yet to download & install.

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Thanks again Tom.Some more nice shots, Looks like a must have add on, when they put it on CD I'll have it.Another question if I may ask.This question should be in the Racing forums but here goes anyway What is your favourite road racing sim? and if I wish to multiplay on my Lan do I need a copy of the game for each Computer or does it fully load into each so the play disk isn't needed?ThanksHave Fun :-vuurAllan and PuppyBush Flying Unlimitedhttp://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Allan,I'm sure you will be happy with USA Roads when you are able to get it. You need to get into this century... get some broad band! :)I put a copy of your post into Racing Fools... you need to go down there to see my answer. :-blaActually I'm not trying to be a stickler for forum protocol... this time... :-lol... I wanted the other folks there to have a chance at giving you some input. :)

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Tom,I have just ordered the 1Mbps BT Yahoo Broadband service. This will be a major upgrade from my current 64kbps ISDN connection, so I am really looking forward to the huge increase in download speed. Assuming that my telephone line passes the test, I should be getting it installed on Wednesday, July 28.Another bonus is that it appears to be cheaper than my existing connection :-eek

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I've seen some shots of USA Roads and it looks promising. Since I do a lot of mountain flying I'd have liked a "USA Rivers" as well of course. In fact, I'd also like a "USA Lakes" addon. All those combined should create some really realistic scenes.Also the inaccurate landclass-based scenery of FS2004 really shows its limits when using this addon as you get "spilled spagetti"-type roads with no underlying city textures. I don't like some of your shots at all. It may be more "accurate" but I still think it would look more "real" with just major roads shown, as long as you don't know what it's supposed to look like in real life anyway :) I've never seen a place that looked like that in real life - farmland and forests with a meshwork of roads ontop of it??I may still get the addon once they make it available on CD.Photographic scenery is still the way to go for 100% realism but it has limitations of its own - even with DVD's and huge harddrives it's hard to cover larger areas in great detail. I'd love to have 0.5m/pixel scenery for tens of thousands of square miles but I don't think that will happen anytime soon :)

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Chris,Good luck. I kept getting ads for DSL over the phone line or broadband via the TV cable. I would sign up and then be told that the service wasn't available on my street... that it would be 2 years. I got that 2 years line for 6 years. I've been on my current setup for 2 or 3 years now and they still don't have those other (more common) services on this street.What I have is a microwave antenna on my roof that points at a mountain West of here. (There are lots of mountains West of here... they are called The Rockies. :-lol) Works great. It is supposed to be 10 to 15 percent quicker than DSL and 10 to 15 percent slower than a cable modem. All I know is it beats the he... err... heck... out of dialup! :):-wave I hope you get it all sorted out! :-jumpy

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Jimmi,"I don't like some of your shots at all. It may be more "accurate" but I still think it would look more "real" with just major roads shown, as long as you don't know what it's supposed to look like in real life anyway :)"I understand your point and agree with you some. I fly mosly in areas that I am familiar with to one degree or another. But I have to say I find it a good compromise."Photographic scenery is still the way to go for 100% realismIf the technology was up to it I would agree with you. I have no doubt that within the next few years it will be. You never did answer my question about what kind of performance you were getting with the SF MegaScenery? I told you what my load times were like with the LA one. RealScene 2004 & USA Roads don't seem to affect my performance at all. With the LA MegaScenery my fps wasn't too bad... not as good as without it... but the load times were totally beyond what I was willing to put up with.

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Hi!About the Photographic scenery filesize problem:A possible Solution for the big file sizes could be that kind of image compression: ECW from www.ermapper.comLook around that site and also google for ecw.It should be able to use that also in 3d software. I have a pack of satellite images for complete Germany in that format and there's also an opengl 3d mode where you can "fly" over Germany, not flat but with the images laid over height maps.

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