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INTRODUCTION: FreeMeshX is a global terrain mesh replacement for the stock terrain mesh and features LOD10 (38-m) coverage for almost the entire world. LOD10 is equal to the same terrain level of detail used for the USA in the stock scenery. The rest of the world varies from LOD6 to LOD9. FreeMeshX was created to bring the rest of the world up to the LOD10 standard as much as possible, although some regions of the world in the higher latitudes are still limited to LOD9 (76-m). Compiling the source data into LOD11 yields neglibible improvements and is mostly a waste of precious hard drive space. FreeMeshX features LOD10 (38-m resolution) coverage for: North America (LOD10 Canada is released in this mesh - default USA is already LOD10, so USA is not included for the base release. A separate LOD12 USA mesh is available for beta testing) Europe Asia Africa Australia and Oceania A few regions are limited to LOD9 (76-m resolution): Antarctica Greenland Russian territories north of 60 N latitude FreeMeshX was compiled using over 400 GB of raw terrain data. The final size of the product is 46 GB, making it one of the largest freeware projects ever for FS. It wouldn't be in everyone's best interests to download all 46 GB at once, so we are releasing the product the product into continental regions for a total of 7 regions total. Each continent contains a number of 10 deg x 10 deg titles, mosaiced from 1 deg x 1 deg tiles into a 2.5 GB file, and then compressed into a BGL file. Defragmentation is highly recommended for mechanical hard drives to ensure smooth and quick loading. Largest improvements are found in regions that contained mainly the default LOD6 and LOD7 meshes. These included remote regions of Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Asia. Europe and Canada sees some improvement, but it's LOD9 mesh is just a one level upgrade to LOD10. Subtle improvements for these previously LOD9 regions will be found mainly in the accuracy of the mesh and level of detail in mountain ranges. DOWNLOAD: NOTE: DUE TO THE EVERY INCREASING COSTS OF FILE HOSTING, WE HAVE SUSPENDED THE AUTOMATIC DOWNLOAD SCRIPTS. PLEASE USE THE BIT TORRENT LINK. The new installer method below does not apply to the Bit torrent downloads. Torrent option (no installers needed): http://www.mediafire.com/file/j9gyf1u8brsv5zu/FreeMeshX_Global_2.0.torrent NEW INSTALLER METHOD: FreeMeshX Global 2.0 is an update to introduce the new installation and download method that should alleviate the difficulty of installing FreeMeshX for some users. Included is a command-line based download system that uses the free and open-source wget tool to retrieve each installer and its associated parts. The entire download process is contained with a batch file that will commence automatically by simply double-clicking on it. Note, do not run the installer as administrator -- the downloader will fail. The download process is fully resumable, so those with slower download bandwidth can stop the download, and resume it at a later point. The installer will automatically detect where it left off and resume. The installers for each region are comprised by an .exe file and several .bin files if necessary. All of these files for each region must be downloaded completely into one folder before the installer .exe can be run. A downloader batch file is included for each region, and an all-in-one batch file is included for those who want to download the entire set in one go. A raw list of download links is also available who prefer to download the files through their own methods. Interior view of the extracted download folder: Example of the download tool working: A list of MD5SUMs is also included for those who want to directly verify the integrity of any or all files. A map is also included to illustrate how the world is divided up into regions. FreeMeshX Global 2.0 is cumulative. It includes all patches to each region, and an updated "FreeMeshX - Patches" folder where miscellaneous fixes belong. There is no need to download the old 7-ZIP parts from 1.0 - 1.07. They are fully incorporated into version 2.0. INSTALLATION: These installers will install each FreeMeshX Global region into a directory of your choosing. We highly recommend installing FreeMeshX Global OUTSIDE of your C:\Program Files directory. PLEASE REMEMBER TO ADD THIS FOLDER TO YOUR SIMULATOR'S SCENERY LIBRARY. This installer will not automatically add a Scenery Library entry (we don't want to accidentally corrupt your scenery.cfg). There are many tutorials online on how to add a Scenery Library entry for your simulator. We try to modify your system as little as possible. Therefore, no registries and no uninstaller are created. To uninstall FreeMeshX Global, simply delete the installed folder. We designed the installer this way so that you will have the full flexibility to do with FreeMeshX as you please e.g. such as moving it to another drive. ADDITIONAL NOTES: FreeMeshX does not update any vectors in the simulator. Vectors control the elevations of water bodies such as lakes, ponds, and rivers, and the elevations of airports. The mesh cannot alter these. Using FreeMeshX without a 3rd-party package to update the vectors within the simulator will result in the topography of the updated terrain to lie at different elevations while the vectors still remain at their inaccurate elevations. This mismatch will lead to artifcacts such as raised or sunken airports and waterbodies that will break immersion. Therefore, it is HIGHLY CRITICAL that the simulator's vectors are updated as well, such as through FTX Vectors or UTX, or the topography system of the simulator will be INCOMPLETE. We officially recommend the use of FTX Vectors because all of our testing incorporates it, and it uses elevations derived from the SRTM dataset, the same dataset we use for FreeMeshX Global. To conclude, it does not make any sense to use a global mesh without using any updated vectors. Likewise it does not make sense to use updated vectors without using an updated mesh. FreeMeshX is officially supported for FSX, FSX:SE, and all versions of P3D (including 64-bit P3D). FreeMeshX should be placed above the default terrain entries in the Scenery Library, and below any airports or FTX Regions or landclasses. Updated torrents should be released in the upcoming week (as of 07/29/2017). EDIT: All-in-one torrent available here (please seed) CHANGELOG ADDITIONS: 07/29/2017 2.0 - Incorporated new installers and an automatic downloader to easily fetch installers over HTTP - New installers are up to date with all previous patches (1.01 - 1.07) - High-resolution 50 GB USA mesh now available through sign-up beta process Hypothetical scenery library order: 1 FreeMeshX - Patches 2 FreeMeshX - Africa 3 FreeMeshX - Antarctica 4 FreeMeshX - Asia 5 FreeMeshX - Australia and oceania 6 FreeMeshX - Europe 7 FreeMeshX - North America 8 FreeMeshX - South and Central America Of course, your real load order will be different, but you must keep FreeMeshX - Patches always above the FreeMeshX regions. -- Nine-Two Productions More screenshots....
Hello folks, The open beta for FreeMeshX USA has begun. This is a 50 GB LOD12 (9.5 m pixel size) terrain mesh that enhances the topography of the continental 48 United States. Note, Hawaii and Alaska are unfinished. The source data used is from the US Geological Survey's National Elevation Database and is the highest quality data we've worked with. The USA mesh is unfinished. We have not optimized the level of detail for the plethora of terrains found in the CONUS. For example, the Great Plains are also rendered at LOD12, which is a bit of a waste of data, so we will likely cut down the LOD to LOD11 in the future and increase the compression for the flatter areas of the country. This could save quite a bit of HDD space in the end. We have also filled in gaps between the CONUS and neighboring countries with LOD11 data based on SRTM and CDED data. So the entire world should now be completely replaced with FreeMeshX Global and FreeMeshX USA. The mesh is compatible with all versions of FSX and P3D. Flight Sim World is not supported -- that's not a permanent declaration -- we just don't know enough about it and haven't tried using FreeMeshX with it. About the airport plateau problem: I have not finished my solution to the airport plateau problem, but I've made much progress in that direction. I've withheld the release for this very reason until now because it can break the immersion. As many know, the airport plateau problem is a fundamental issue that affects all meshes. Since the ESP engine forces airports to lie flat on undulating or sloped terrain, these artifacts at airports become quite significant at higher LOD. There is no thorough workaround yet. FTX Vectors can only do so much by adjusting the elevation of a small fraction of the airports. The only true way to fix this issue is by DTG or LM rewriting how airports lie on terrain, but I have not seen any inkling of motivation from them to solve it. Until then, I am working on my own solution that will adjust the mesh around each airport so that the airport blends in seamlessly with the surrounding terrain. It's not an easy task for me. It's an elusive problem that requires thorough planning and testing. I originally withheld release until I had the solution working, but time commitments to my PhD research and limitations of my own has not allowed me to solve it yet. You all have been very patient, and I have decided to release an open beta for those who understand the airport plateau problem and won't report to me every time they see an airport affected by it. Trust me, I'm working on it! New installer method: Due to popular demand, we have forgone the 'manual' method of installing for a 'less manual method' FreeMeshX has converted to automatic installers. See for yourself. As you can see, the installer basically does the job of extracting the FreeMeshX folders into a location of your choice. There is no impact on your system elsewhere. No registry entries. No BS. To uninstall, you just delete the installed folder. Done. Note, you are still required to add the folders to your Scenery Library. Trust me, you don't want us to modify your scenery.cfg, and we don't want to be the culprit if it messes up Downloading: The USA expansion is huge. Downloading it will take a long time. Usually 12-24 hours for broadband users when downloading directly without any kind of download accelerator. On top of that, the new installer method can only work with 2.0 GB chunks at a time. That means the installer uses 27 parts. To simplify the direct download, I have put together a barebones downloader based on wget -- a download manager that will automatically retrieve all parts of the installer with full stop/resume capability. All one has to do is unzip the downloader, double-click on a batch file I provide, and it will run wget to retrieve each file. A command prompt with a bunch of gibberish will come up, but at the bottom will be the name of the file you are downloading and a progress monitor. Once it has finished one file, it will automatically move onto the next until all files are downloaded. If you want to stop the download, exit out of the command prompt, or hit CTRL + C. To resume, just double click on the batch file, and the installer will resume from where it had stopped. Note, the files will be downloaded into the location where you have run the batch script, so make sure you have enough space first! We have created installers for the other regions of the world -- fully updated. They aren't uploaded yet, but will be ready soon. Bit Torrent users: NOTE: DUE TO THE EVERY INCREASING COSTS OF FILE HOSTING, WE HAVE SUSPENDED THE AUTOMATIC DOWNLOAD SCRIPTS. PLEASE USE THE BIT TORRENT LINKS. For Bit Torrent users, the USA mesh will not come with an installer. It is not needed. The entire folder structure can be downloaded intact with Bit Torrent. Download the torrent below. http://www.mediafire.com/file/2pcecgcd4s4i9n4/FreeMeshX_-_USA.torrent http://www.mediafire.com/file/pmtwijw53cy7329/FreeMeshX - USA HotFix 1.torrent FTX compatibility: The FTX regions with the USA come with their own mesh and they are also rendered at LOD12. We have not tested compatibility extensively, and we would like to see reports from the beta users on how the FTX meshes and FreeMeshX USA mesh conflict. Since they are both the same level of detail, there may be some conflict. If there is, the likely suggestion would be to uncheck FMX - USA from your Scenery Library when flying in the FTX regions. We highly encourage the use of FTX Vectors. Any good mesh needs a good vector replacement package. IMPORTANT TIPS: 1. Defragment your mechanical HDD. The rendering of the highly detailed mesh requires a fast CPU and quick access to the data on the HDD. Obviously, if the data is fragmented and scattered all over the HDD, then that can slow the rendering down, i.e. blurries. 2. Install the mesh on a fast HDD for similar reasons. 3. Do not expect your computer to keep up if you're doing Mach 1.2 over the terrain unless your computer is very quick! The HDD has to stream the data and then process it via your CPU. That takes some time! 4. Place the FreeMeshX USA folder above the other FreeMeshX folders, including the FreeMeshX Patches folder if you have one, and below any FTX regions in the Scenery Library. 5. To reduce mesh popping (where higher LOD mesh pops in -- another limitation of the ESP engine), use a higher LOD_Radius in your fsx.cfg or p3d.cfg. We recommend a minimum of 6.5. I personally use 8.5 which is a nice compromise between performance, memory, and visuals. The higher the LOD_Radius, the further out the mesh will be drawn at its maximum LOD, less mesh popping, and the better it looks! 6. Obviously, feel free to use your texture and landclass solution. We use FTX Global and openLC USA/Canada. Because it's beautiful. Hot Fix 1 (809 MB) Fixes the error in the N40W085.bgl file where some terrain was mistakenly set to sea level. http://www.mediafire.com/file/pmtwijw53cy7329/FreeMeshX - USA HotFix 1.torrent Thanks! Nine Two Productions