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barrel_owl last won the day on May 18 2017

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  1. Besides MisterX "HD forests" and simheaven's "Forests", there are other HD trees projects for X-Plane that are currently under development and that I am aware of on good authority. Turbulent Designs is also rumored to be working on a Terraflora version for XP: If confirmed, that would be another great addition. The registered X-Camera version only costs $12 compared to Chaseplane (which costs $39 and is still a beta). XPRealistic is simply supported. There is no need to add it unless you really want. Maybe X-Camera will integrate HiFi weather effects one day, as soon as HiFi will come to X-Plane, just as Ezdok did with version 2 for FSX and P3D. As it is, though, X-Camera already offers a huge amount of features that, in all honestly, greatly surpass anything I have ever seen in many years on the ESP side. There is a wide variety of chase view, target following, tracking, auto-advance options, adjustable controls for X, Y, Z, heading and pitch, not less than 5 or 6 different fully customizable transition types, tons of external view capabilities, including AI perspective, zoom and FOV settings, walk mode, free mode etc. In terms of user friendliness, X-Camera allows to create up to 2000 cameras per airport automatically. All you need to do is clicking twice with your mouse to instantly get 5 categories of airport views (starting locations, runways, signs etc.), obviously each single view being fully customizable. The same applies to orbit and fly-by views, which can be created automatically with no more than 2 clicks and then adjusted as you like. Creating an aircraft-specific cockpit or external cinematic sequence is a breeze. One video tutorial is normally enough to learn the basics. Obviously, for people who do not make videos and do not bother with advanced camera features, the freeware version is more than enough. Not to mention that the default camera system in X-Plane is itself much more advanced and efficient than the equivalent on the ESP side (in fact, even the the most experienced X-Planers tend to use the default camera system, based on my experience on YouTube). WT3 fully supports Navigraph since version 2, supports SID/STARS and real traffic, offers a great variety of options, can be fully customized (gate assignments, amount of traffic, amount of GA aircraft etc.) and also provides a simple but efficient traffic radar feature, which includes a camera to track each single AI aircraft in the area. If an airport comes with taxi routes already compiled in WED, WT3 auto-generates flights and taxi routes with one single click in no more than 5 minutes for the bigger airport and few seconds for the smaller ones. Otherwise, you can create taxi routes yourself in WED (the logic is no different than AFCAD for the ESP counterpart). For people who are unable to make edits in WED or simply do not want to bother with this, a long list of free customized ground routes is available on the org for most major airports (created by users). Newer scenery releases like KAWO by airfoillabs already offer an install option with static aircraft and another option without static aircraft and pre-compiled ground routes for people who prefer WT3 to automatically populate gates. For the records, most of us keep WT3 traffic to 70% with a negligible impact on frames. Besides WT3, there are several other ground handling products, there is a very nice freeware for pushback, there are at least two airport navigator tools (one payware by Flight Factor for advanced users, one freeware, but extremely efficient). None of them require more time for setting than any other counterpart for ESP, at least based on my personal experience. Sorry, but I have to disagree again. X-Plane is no longer "the flight sim with freeware addons". I understand there is a kind of consensus within the community about this, I was also misled for long time as an FSX user. There is only one problem: this is simply not true anymore. Things are changing and very rapidly. A great number of 3rd party developers already came or are coming to X-Plane and the quality bar is raising dramatically. The times of Lego blocks and homemade addon aircraft created by passionate simmers "after dinner" are gone forever. Only in the last few months a long list of high quality payware aircraft have been released, from liners to GA aircraft, not to mention updates of aircraft originally developed for XP10 that now fully support XP11 features like PBR, G1000 and much more. On the scenery side the payware offer is even greater. Every day a new scenery is announced for 2018. The same will hopefully apply soon also to HiFi, REX and other developers, if we believe some rumors. There are also rumors about ATC addons under development, although, in all honestly, I am pretty skeptical about this specific kind of products based on my ESP experience. I am afraid that the PilotEdge concept is the way to go in the future for people who require an advanced ATC environment. FSUIPC is a great tool, but if you want to use it with some 3rd party products, a payware registered version is required. FlyWithLua is a scripting language that allows users and developers to add custom behavior and scripts to the sim. It's completely free. Gizmo is a commercial programming environment/SDK for payware aircraft. It is not needed for the average user, unless you buy certain aircraft, in which case it simply comes built-in. Honestly, I think there is still a lot of misinformation surrounding X-Plane. On the other side, though, it is true that the sim itself is still unpolished. Despite its great potential (the Vulkan addition sounds very promising), it still has several annoying issues that definitely spoil the user's experience. While night lighting, G1000 and more recently VR support were great additions in XP11, daytime lighting is far from being convincing and is definitely worse than XP10 (especially the backlight effect on trees in really awful). Mesh handling is still very primitive and this is a major limitation for scenery developers. Default clouds and sky textures are poor and only an expensive addon like x-Enviro makes things a little better, at least as long as HiFi will not fill this gap (hopefully). Unquestionably, there is still a lot of work ahead for Laminar and I definitely agree that a "blind eye" is still required in many cases. However, I don't think that lack of 3rd party support is a problem anymore. Quite the contrary, x-planers are now facing the serious problem of the increasing price of newer addons. After all, we can't have the cake and eat it.
  2. Short answer: no. Long answer. If you only want to try the flight dynamics with the default aircraft or the default GNS 530 and G1000 (the Cessna 172 is an excellent start, in my opinion), then probably yes. The setting process is absolutely easy and intuitive. You need no more than 10 minutes to set your joystick and keyboard settings and go (there is even an option to force key bindings to your usual FSX assignments, in order to make the process easier for people coming from any ESP platform). Now, if you are interested to know more about all the potential benefits, especially scenery setting, more advanced aircraft, libraries, plugins, sky and water textures, light settings, download and creation of orthos etc. that can make X-Plane 11 shine to its best possible capacity, then you should expect to invest some hours. And this is not feasible with the demo version, in my opinion. The good news is that most of things i mentioned above are free, so the license is the only cost you have to account for initially. There are tons of freeware addons you can start with (for example, several freeware airports by MisterX, Tony and others, not to mention the freeware 737 zibomod). Finally, bear in mind that lot of new high-quality payware aircraft (both liners and GA) and sceneries have been released in the last months and many others have been announced for 2018. Several developers like Turbulent Designs, iBlueYonder, JustFlight, in the future HiFi, REX and possibly Orbx, are already devoloping or announced incoming products for X-Plane 11 in the next future. The quality bar in X-Plane is raising dramatically. However, in order to get the most out of it, I am afraid you'll need to buy a full license and invest some hours. Hope this helps.
  3. The only "time consuming" part is the download itself, which can take up to some hours, depending on your Internet connection and the ZL you choose. I normally download my ZL18 tiles in 3 or 4 hours. If I choose ZL17, the required time is significantly lower. Ortho4XP makes the whole conversion process automatic. It is as simple and user friendly that my 8 year old daughter could do it herself. Once the process is completed, you are just 3 clicks away from using it in your scenery. Color correction is something an average user normally does not need to do. True is that not all areas in the world have the same ortho quality, unfortunately. For some areas, you only get decent orthos for a very high price, which ultimately also explains why Orbx and other scenery developers stay away from the same. Now, while this is true, in most cases the ortho quality is more than decent, not infrequently superb, if you choose the right source. Personally, I give up with a tile whenever the orthophoto quality is lower than a certain level. Unless you are a developer or have specific expectations from your scenery, though, you normally need no color correction. Mesh issues is also something I never met so far. Advanced users can even set "Min_area" and "Curv_tol" options according to their needs. For some countries mesh with high resolution is also available and can be imported in Ortho4XP (although this requires additional steps). Ortho4XP is an amazing freeware tool. As any other tool, it requires some basic information at the beginning, but the same also applies to other easy tools like FTX Central (some people have hard time using FTX Central the first time, despite all efforts made by Orbx to make it as much simple and automatic as possible). Finally, I strongly doubt there will be a 3rd party company which will cover all areas in the world by providing a "download, install and forget" solution. 3rd party developers make business. Some areas are simply not profitable, taking into account the cost for orthos, the time required for 3D object placement, mesh handling etc. and the number of potential users.
  4. Getting the notification: "jcomm posted one hour ago". I always come too late. Meanwhile there must have been at least three of four uninstall processes on his machine.
  5. XP11

    That looks familiar, Nils... !!
  6. XP11

    German heart detected! :-)
  7. XP11

    Very nice shots. Excellent lighting!
  8. While nobody has hard conclusive figures (provided they ever exist), it is safe to state that X-Plane is being all but static. Quite the contrary, if one observes the trends on YouTube, Facebook, Discord groups, number of Twitch lives etc, then he can safely conclude that the interest for X-Plane is growing dramatically in the last months. One of the Facebook groups dedicated to XP, for example, is increasing the number of subscriptions at a rate of about 500 units per month with a rejection rate of 50-75%. I observe similar trends in the number of views on YouTube channels dedicated to X-Plane. Obviously, the release of the FF A320 brought another peak of interest on this side. How this does compare to the interest rate for other simulators, like P3D for example, is hard to say, as many simmers use both platforms (and often others like FSW, AF2 and DCS). One thing is sure, though: X-Plane is definitely growing and growing fast.
  9. No. Orbx will develop for X-Plane. Or, to use JV words " the cat is out of the bag that Orbx is developing for XP". Now it's official.
  10. JV has just admitted those screenshots actually come from X-Plane and why (sorry, no link). I think this pretty much explains and closes this issue.
  11. Let's wait. Maybe Orbx will come out with a credible and plausible explanation at some point. Or maybe not. Errors happen. Sometimes they are made in good faith, sometimes not. Time will tell.
  12. FSX

    vFlyte has a 30% off discount on their own site until today (Labor Day sale) for all their products (sorry I can't post links).
  13. XP11

    Spectacular shots! I really like your light.