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About akriesman

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    Scenery Solutions

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    Guitar, Ice Hockey and social gatherings.

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  1. akriesman

    Two-fer: Cheyenne and XpressSim DLH/SUW

    Thank you so much for posting this Ryan. We are trying to get the word out about XpressSim, as it is going to take some time to build up market credibility. Your screenshots look great and really do the product justice. P.S.-I don't have the time to follow the public forums closely these days. But, I do frequently search Google to see if XpressSim related material is getting around. This post came up immediately and made my day ;) Cheers all, Allen Kriesman Scenery Solutions
  2. akriesman

    RealAir Simulations Closure

    Sad news indeed Rob. You have an amazing talent and will be missed. The Fly!2 days don't seem that long ago. Good luck in your retirement ! Cheers, Allen Kriesman Scenery Solutions
  3. Hi, The tree placements are generated automatically from their locations in satellite images (algorithm looks for a certain color hue and brightness range). However, if I remember correctly, no 2 trees can be positioned within 5m of each other to keep the densities from being too heavy (and hurting frame rates). I believe that any grid-like look for the trees comes from the following: 1) In subdivisions, a lot of developers plant at least 1 or 2 trees per house. If you look at aerials in Dallas and filter out the houses, the grid-like roads also contribute to the grid-like tree areas. So naturally, there is a bit of a grid-like tree arrangement in reality. 2) The fact that we eliminate overlapping trees (for better performance) could be a factor. 3) The image scanning algorithm (row by column) could add something to this appearance. Before planting each tree, we also randomly offset each one by 0 to 2 meters to stagger them a just a bit more, but keep them close to their real world position. If you look at an aerial image of our coverage areas, you should see trees appearing in their accurate locations. The only exceptions at times are some building shadows that may have a green tint to them. I have seen a few trees appear in these locations. Appreciate the feedback. To Kuragiman. That is a very nice review. We will be building a reviews page on our website later on. Do you mind if we post a link to your video ? Thanks. Allen To follow up with the tree post. Here is a screenshot from our development software interface that shows the tree locations. The green + plusses show the locations and the size of the plusses represents their related sizes. Cheers
  4. Guys, Developer here again. As I mentioned at first, I rarely visit public forums, because I feel that public forums are a place where the general public should be able to give their honest opinions. And, developers can get a little sore (and biased) when information is presented in a manner that is incorrect. So, I have chosen over the last 10 years to let our customers handle the spread of information, good or bad. As a result, I probably won't be responding much here if at all. However, if anyone has any questions or comments at all, feel free to visit our Flight 1 support forums at the location below. http://www.simforums.com/forums/xtreme-cities-series_forum55.html If you guys think there is a good reason for developers to visit public forums and give their opinions, I would be interested in the feedback. In the past, I have seen a lot of developers push their own agenda and basically hurt their reputation. I want to provide the best service to the community, without overstepping boundaries. Thanks ! One more thing regarding the Apple 3D buildings: https://www.youtube....Ed1vvqiDnQ#t=27 I am pretty familiar with this technology as I was in touch with google about it about 1 year ago. I also believe this is the future for flight sims. However, it is not going to be the near future. IMO, flight simulators are going to have to change their terrain modeling to be able to do what you see from Apple right now. There are some places in Google Earth that use the same logic, only not as high resolution. Cheers.
  5. Actually, because of the technology we use when building a scene of objects, it would probably be easier to add trees to the edges and release them as a separate BGL file. I do see your point and will make a note of that.
  6. As I promised yesterday, we have updated the Scenery Solutions page for XC USA SouthCentral and posted quite a few before/after screenshots that should do a much better job of showing the enhancements. These screenshots are not yet up on the Flight 1 order page. The Scenery Solutions link is below. http://www.scenerysolutions.com/XCUSASouthCentral_P3D.html For those that have not heard about the product, it is because we have not yet made a press release. Thanks to your suggestions yesterday, we wanted to update those screenshots first. Right now our license with the data vendor allows us to release products for the USA and Europe over the next 2 years. Other areas are available to us. But, the USA and Europe are coming first. In addition to the USA and Europe, we do have future access to Asia, Russia, Mexico, South America and even 10 cities in Canada. However, the extent of the future areas will depend on how well the series goes over with the public. I am going to give you the honest truth about licensing commercial data. That is, the data providers expect a decent return on their investment. We have a very good relationship with them because Ultimate Terrain took their product in a direction that was very unique. Normally, their data is used in GPS units which is pretty boring. Ultimate Terrain, used with FSX, allowed them to demonstrate new uses of their data, because it presented it in a manner that was very visual. So, they were able to use our product for school demonstrations, etc. This added benefit to them allowed us to continue to use their data in our products, even if the sales from the Flight Simulation market do not match what they were used to. The work we do at Scenery Solutions is somewhat of a novelty to them. With Xtreme Cities,we are again headed down a new path with their product data. To ensure that they get a decent return on their investment, we are going to release areas that are going to be the most in demand first. As we know from experience, this is going to be the USA and Europe. Canada has been a real struggle when it comes to UTX because the market is very small. I apologize to our Canadian users, because Canada just has not received the attention that the other regions have. So, even though there is data for Canada, I cannot promise a Canadian Xtreme Cities product. Our current license does not include Canada, but it could be added depending on how things go in the initial rollouts. Anyway, I didn't really mean to get into that much detail. But, I hope that it will help both our Xtreme Cities and Ultimate Terrain users understand why some regions get more attention than others. As far as Florida and Georgia go, we have those areas planned in our USA SouthEast product (no release date). Some of these regions may change slightly before production, as enhancements are made to the commercial data. USA Southeast (15) Boca Raton Daytona Beach Ft Lauderdale Jacksonville Key West Miami Orlando St Petersburg Tampa West Palm Beach Atlanta Savannah Birmingham Knoxville Memphis Thanks, Allen PS-To Blaze. You are correct in that a key component regarding frame rates is to make sure that all objects in a "scene" share as few texture sheets if possible. If every building had it's own texture sheet, the sim would not be flyable. I don't see this changing soon even with the improvements in hardware. What we did is to create a very large texture sheet that provides 64 different commercial building textures per city, with an additional sheet for residential areas. However, since cities are generally not populated in the same scene, we have allowed for each city to have a separate texture sheet assigned to it. Since these separate texture sheets are not loaded at the same time in FSX/P3D, they do not hurt performance. With each city having it's own texture sheet, we can also give each city it's own local personality if needed. Cheers.
  7. Developer here. First, tomorrow we will be adding a whole new slew of screenshots before the official press release is out. These will all be before/after screenshots. So, you will really be able to see the differences. The scenery boundaries for each product are based on the commercial data that we have licensed (TomTom's 2D Maps). Generally, it appears that TomTom takes the city center and then go outwards by x number of miles/kilometers. Our software has the ability to allow us to hand-draw buildings outside of the normal boundaries. But, when some of these cities have 100,000 objects, you can imagine how long that would take to do by hand. So for now, we will just be concentrating the release areas based on the available commercial data. This initial product is just the first of 20+ planned releases over the next 2 years. 7 scenery areas will cover the entire continental USA. The rest will be in Europe. Each scenery area will have between 15-20 cities. The software that creates the scenery may have taken 2 years to develop. But, our goal is to try and release about 1 scenery product per month once we get ramped up (we are hiring additional developers and will train them on our software). I will try and post a link to the new screenshots tomorrow on this thread also. We appreciate the feedback regarding the screenshots and now have a pretty good idea of the types of comparisons user's are looking for. Cheers, Allen
  8. Back in May we made a Europe prototype and posted some screenshots for Ostrava in the Czech Republic. This was before we added a lot of additional features. http://www.simforums.com/forums/xtreme-cities-screenshots-ostrava_topic49252.html Remember, those screenshots were taken 5 months ago before the product matured. Our next Xtreme Cities product release looks like it will be Northern Italy (17 cities). It looks outstanding with custom textures appropriate for the region. Again, we use commercially licensed data. OSM does have building footprints for a lot of areas in Europe. In the USA though, there is almost nothing which is why we had to license the data. I understand the cost issue. We are hoping that by providing 15 to 20 cities per product, a lot of people find value in that. Right now most detailed FSX cities retaill as a single package (1 city in 1 product). Cheers..
  9. Hey guys. This is Allen Kriesman, the primary developer of Scenery Solutions. I was made aware of this forum thread as I typically make it a habit not to comment on public forums. A couple of comments on what has been said. First, this product is based on commercial data only. We have a license with TomTom to use their 2D Map Data Product in all Xtreme Cities releases. That data basically provides the building foundations and we use our custom software to add the building details and the optimization that makes it so efficient. There is zero autogen used in this product. We have literally been working on the software that creates these cities for the last two years. That is one reason why you have not heard too much from us at Scenery Solutions for a while. This product also does not use any vector features. We created something called "TexturePhoto". The TexturePhoto terrain images are 60cm, which is why the product is a pretty large download. There are 3 versions: Base FSX/P3D, Ground Environment X and Orbx FTX. A lot of the features like roads and lights were colored and textured to match the surrounding landclass textures that are installed (base FSX/P3D, GEX or FTX). I realize that the screenshots are not extremely flashy and there are 2 reasons for this: Personally, I just don't have a good eye for what looks flashy. I look for accuracy only and so I miss some of the artistic details. I considered hiring somebody artistic to take the screenshots, but the answer to this is explained in bullet point #2. We want to show exactly what the product looks like. What you see is exactly what you get. I think you will be more impressed with the real thing, If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the support forum below. http://www.simforums.com/forums/xtreme-cities-series_forum55.html Thanks for your support over the years. We are really excited about the long-term viability for this technology and feel it is something very unique. Cheers, Allen
  10. akriesman

    Richard Harvey

    Rich. Can't believe it has been 11 years. You taught me the right way to treat customers and were a real inspiration and role model. I probably owe a lot of business success to you buddy. The most important thing that I learned, to be open and honest with your customers and they will have patience when needed. I bet your daughter has grown up to be one fine lady ! Cheers, Allen Kriesman Scenery Solutions
  11. For those that were waiting for the tool that adds FTX lighting to UTX roads, we released this yesterday. http://www.simforums.com/forums/released-ftx-lighting-tool-for-utx_topic48423.html For questions, please visit our support forum above. We do not monitor public forums. Cheers...
  12. Hello Guys. This is Allen Kriesman from Scenery Solutions. I just wanted to let you know that we are currently working on a new, automated tool to allow UTX and ORBX/FTX users to add the ORBX Lights to the UTX roads. I don't have a release date for this. But, it should not take too long (maybe week or two more ?). John was kind enough to point me to this thread a couple of weeks ago. I don't normally read public forums. So, the best way to get in touch with me or get news on the new tool will be in the UTX support forum. I will put the link to the forum below. When the tool is released, I will try and release the information in this forum also. http://www.simforums.com/forums/support-for-all-the-ultimate-series-of-terrain-products_forum19.html Thanks everyone !
  13. akriesman

    UTX Canada - It's Out !!!!!!

    >And Canada is not unique? (LOL) Oh BTW do say hello to Allen>Kriseman for me.>>Dan MartinHello Dan. Its been a few years. Hope things are going well.I don't get a chance to stop by here much any more. But, had to say hello when I saw your reply.Cheers,Allen
  14. akriesman

    UT Europe why is it more expensive

    Hi Guys, I don't often make it outside the UT forum much anymore. But, I wanted to comment on the price, since I have not yet had a chance to explain in the UT forum.It is a valid question, which I have not had time yet to explain in the UT Forums.Tony is correct about several things. The base data set was more expensive than before. Mainly, this is because TeleAtlas knows that they have the only precise water coverage for the Europe region. So, it took some longer negotiations and a higher price to get it. However, the commercial water data was still lacking in some areas. So, for some areas, we had to hire GIS contractors to hand digitize water from hi-res images. This added another couple of months to the process at a pretty significant cost.Lastly, the product is the largest download yet. So, Flight One has to pay for the additional bandwidth. To be honest, I feel fortunate that we can release the product at the current price. There was a point last summer when it looked like we would have to break up the product in 2 pieces.As far as comparing the different UT products, the size of the area covered is really not a good measuring stick to use. A better comparison would be the overall download size. More details = more work = larger downloads. Cheers !Allen
  15. akriesman


    For those that are interested, we have updated the official version of the USA Roads Scenery Enhancement Package #1 (11/3/04). This version should fix all reported problems.See the thread below for the download location:http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...p?TID=9168&PN=1If you have already installed the package, and just want to update your executable, you can get the beta at the link below (the beta version became the official released version).http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...p?TID=9163&PN=1Either way, you can reinstall over the old version(s). Thanks !Allen KriesmanScenery Solutions