The time has come to hear from the source. I am the one to thank/blame for all the good and bad comments
concerning MSE v2. Many of you know me as Sim Savvy and recall a $300 product I sold that stopped selling. I
specifically created that product to grab some sales off the MSE frenzy occuring at the time. And I did get a few sales
but it was too few. Three years later, by a fluke, I met Robert at MSE via e-mail. By chance, he was looking for someone
to make photoreal scenery because his producers had left him.
I describe myself as a hacker, not a geek, nerd or guru. MSE required watermasking and night scenery and I managed
to deliver one of these items. There is no one website or person who can tell you how to watermask, blend and create
scenery. So I gathered all I could and hacked out a product. I am the first one to see the shortcomings of my efforts.
Being a simmer, if I'm not happy with it, no one else will be either. So please let me tell you what I would like to see done
better with MSE. Better watermasking, better coloring, better flow with Autogen, and of course night scenery.
So why can't I just do that?
Starting with the water, Microsoft used water data current when the FSX program was created. Now the data is better
and that is a problem for photoreal. Basically, the old data places land where there is water and water where there is
land. To fix this would require re-creating the entire watermask within FSX. That's that, and believe it or not I'm actually
considering doing it assuming I can learn how. But currently I just do a wide blend (Gaussian blur) in production and it
does it's best to blend the default scenery with the aerials where this problem occurs. Is it good enough? Visually No,
but with over a half million dollars in sales behind us, I guess it was good enough for someone.
Now let me address the color issue. The US aerials are produced free by the USDA NAIP program. They are not color
uniform by state due to several factors. Mostly these discrepancies come from different camera settings on different
(cloudless) days in different seasons. Myself and three helpers have just begun the ominous task of color correction in
Photoshop. This has become a necessity because the aerials we freely obtain of the world are not as good as the NAIP
aerials. If I could afford to buy commercial aerials I would but they currently go for about 10K per city on average. So
we're going to practice and master color correct for now. The world aerials are particularly challenging because they
contain Spring, Summer and Fall combined. To date we have not been able to turn a brown tree green but we come
close enough. I will do a special color correction forum posting on this soon.
And finally, there is Autogen and night scenery to deal with. MSE has contracted some programming help to write me a
program to generate night scenery with my current data to help complete such a large task. It's in the works. Autogen is
another matter that I think is best left to the Autogen professionals. To be honest, I'm a photoreal purist and I have a layer
that removes the airports and runways so I can see little airplanes all over the place. To each his/her own.
In summation, it's a matter of time and cost that dictates the product quality vs quantity. Our US product is complete
and we have plans to redo it entirely with better coloring, night scenery, and hopefully better watermasking, starting this
January. Not being able to wait for better aerials or water layers, I will continue to churn out the best I can on the world
photoreal platform. You can hold MSE accountable for selling my scenery to some extent, but the "buck stops here".
My feelings always get hurt at these forums because I'm just trying to make you guys some scenery that you like.
Anybody can do this you know. I'm just one of a few who actually does all year long. Robert and I both have some
helpers but basically, it is just two guys that gave you the whole US and are now trying to give you the world.