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Holger Sandmann

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Holger Sandmann last won the day on January 3 2016

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About Holger Sandmann

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    Geospatial Lead
  • Birthday 02/16/1965

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    Sidney, BC, just east of CYYJ

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  1. Hi there, because the default global seasons control file tells the landclass ground textures to do so across most of Europe for the month of December. Only our FTX Regions contain custom seasons control files for their respective coverage areas given that those are pretty difficult to make. For example, see https://orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/89258-seasons-in-ftx-norway/ If the current seasonal variants in a given location bother you then try setting the date forward or backward by a month. Cheers, Holger
  2. Holger Sandmann

    Orbx and PBR

    Hi Stewart, L-M is pretty specific as to which package -- client, content, scenery -- contains what improvement: http://www.prepar3d.com/latest-news/ I realize it's an eye-watering long list with lots of jargon but it pays to read through it, IMHO. All the stuff I mentioned above is listed under "Client" and "General Platform Updates" and thus a client update is sufficient. However, their F-16 updates with the new PBR textures are contained within the content package. Possibly more interesting, the Carenado-made AC11 Commander 114 aircraft are also only available via a content update. The fixes and enhancements in the "scenery" package are pretty minimal. Cheers, Holger
  3. Holger Sandmann

    Orbx and PBR

    Hi JohnnyJohnJohn, the only item in P3D v4.4 with PBR textures is the F-16, included as a showcase. However, there are real improvements in the display of photoreal ground textures, which is probably what you're noticing. See https://orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/163967-exciting-news-from-p3d-44-update-re-photoreal-ground-textures/?do=findComment&comment=1442053 Also, as stated by L-M: "[...] scenery objects can now be drawn at further distances, [...], moon lighting and cloud appearances at night has been overhauled [...]" Thus, there are indeed several items that markedly improve on the overall display of scenery components, just not PBR, as mentioned by John. Cheers, Holger
  4. Hi there, the difference is in the displayed resolution of photoreal textures, particularly in the mid to far distance. Previously, those were displayed at lower resolution compared to the landclass textures -- regardless of the resolution they were compiled at by the developer -- and L-M have now matched the display resolution of these two types of textures. For the full effect you have to manually add the "TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP=10" to the [TERRAIN] section of the P3D.cfg file but that will increase loading times by a lot and also requires a beefy graphics card. Ticking the "Use High-Resolution Terrain Textures" checkbox in the > Options > World > Terrain submenu will increase the displayed resolution by a factor of 4, which I find a great improvement already. In short, yes, all existing photoreal scenery will benefit from this improvement in P3D v4.4. Cheers, Holger
  5. Holger Sandmann


    Hi there, Global Base and Ground Environment do the same thing, replacing the default landclass ground textures and autogen. Thus, only one of them can be installed. The HD Trees textures are meant to fit the color palette of Global Base/openLC and the Regions; not sure how they would look with GE Pro installed, which has lighter hues. GE Pro isn't compatible with the openLC series because openLC utilizes a combination of local and standard landclass (base) textures, which would create an awful mixture with either default or GE Pro textures. Thus, as mentioned on the openLC product page, Global Base is required. The Regions locally override all other components. With UTX installed there are a few items to check in the UTX configurator; see https://orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/62409-sak-compatibility-index/ Orbx 3D Lights only exists on Base, openLC, and Regions landclass meaning with GE Pro you wouldn't see any outside of SAK. Our AI traffic add-ons will work with any combination of add-ons. In short, you could use a combination of GE Pro plus UTX with SAK on top, or UTX with SAK plus Global Base/openLC NA as your default texture replacement. Cheers, Holger
  6. Holger Sandmann


    Hi there, "Orbx" consists of more than 100 products. The answer depends on which ones are you considering. Cheers, Holger
  7. Holger Sandmann

    Neil Hill is no longer with us

    Hi all, thanks for the kind words and interesting memories, all. I've since received information that there will be a memorial service for Neil on December 14th, at 6:30 PM, at the Alderwood Baptist Church in Lynnwood, WA. Please see http://www.whidbeymemorial.com/book-of-memories/3661404/Hill-Neil/obituary.php Cheers, Holger
  8. Dear all, I'm very sorry to have to let you know that our colleague and friend Neil Hill passed away on Nov 12th in Lynnwood, WA, from complications with MDS, a blood illness. According to his daughter his final days were peaceful, with his family by his side. He was 80 years old. As you may or may not know Neil was our ultimate "airport enhancement machine", tirelessly working on transforming the lifeless and often incorrect default airports into much more realistic renditions. We don't have a full tally of his work for Orbx but we're talking many thousands of airports for the FTX Regions alone. And when he wasn't working on the payware commitments he completed yet more content for the ever-growing FTX Global Airport freeware package. In short, if you're visiting any of our FTX Region or freeware airports you're looking at Neil's work. Neil first approached me in February 2009 after learning that I was working on a small FSX landscape project covering the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. In his email he wrote "... I would like to let you know I would VERY MUCH like to help in reworking the airports. [...] I am retired so I have plenty of time". I gladly accepted his offer. The Olympics project later morphed into Orbx's FTX Pacific Northwest and included more than 400 airports enhanced by Neil, not a bad start... And so it continued: with each new FTX Region I would send him a spreadsheet of all airports within the coverage area and he'd start pumping out the airfields by the dozen, usually finishing well ahead of deadlines and asking us for more ;-) Put another way, without Neil's initiative it's quite likely that the Orbx Regions would not have included greatly enhanced default airports, at least not every single one within a given Region. Neil was assisted by other Region team members but he certainly laid the foundations for this particular component and his energy never waned. Even during his last months, being in and out of hospital, he kept on working on our current project, Australia v2, and managed to complete more than 600 airfields and airstrips, with the last batch submitted at the end of October. Judging by his file's date stamps the final airport he worked on was YIFY, Iffley, a small airstrip in Queensland. We'll miss you, Neil, rest in peace. If you have stories or photos of Neil that you'd like to share with the community feel free to do so in this thread. For the entire Orbx family, Holger P.S. An online obituary has been posted at http://www.whidbeymemorial.com/book-of-memories/3661404/Hill-Neil/obituary.php There will be a memorial service for Neil on December 14th, at 6:30 PM, at the Alderwood Baptist Church in Lynnwood, WA.
  9. Holger Sandmann

    Trees HD and Terra Flora

    Hi Dieter, neither Trees HD nor TerraFlora place any trees themselves they just replace the textures and models of the default autogen trees. Trees HD does it by swapping out the default tree library and textures while TerraFlora deactivates the default library and activates the replacement library and textures in a separate scenery folder. In short, the method is different but the result to the user is the same. Some Orbx global and regional products also place tree models from custom libraries of our own, given that the default set is quite limited in terms of tree types/species. If Trees HD isn't installed then those additional trees will use their original Orbx standard-resolution textures; with Trees HD installed they display HD textures. Thus, as mentioned above, with both TerraFlora and TreesHD installed all default trees will use TerraFlora models & textures while custom Orbx models, often mixed with the default models, will show Orbx HD textures. Not sure about the "99.9% of the planet" claim of Greg's as we use those additional tree models quite a bit, especially with the more recent Orbx products, like Northern and Southern California, the European regions, New Zealand, etc. In other words, the default/custom ratio of autogen trees depends on where you're flying and which of those products are installed. Cheers, Holger
  10. Hi ironcondor, the 1-m setting for texture resolution won't have much impact during a flight. For one, the resolution of all landclass ground textures is fixed at 1.2m per pixel so you're not losing any sharpness with those. Moreover, any ground textures that actually use the higher resolutions up to 7cm - some photoreal coverage and all of the vector textures, like roads, railroads, and shorelines - will have switched to lower-resolution LODs (mipmaps) as soon as you are a few hundred feet off the ground anyway. Few people realize how quickly high-resolution textures drop to lower LODs with increasing distance from the user aircraft: at level flight, 1000ft off the ground, the highest LOD anyone will ever see out of the front windshield is 1.2m, regardless of slider settings. One has to look out of the side window, pretty much straight down, to see parts of a 60-cm LOD. Obviously, when you're on or very close to the ground the high-resolution textures will all be displayed at 1.2m, if the texture resolution slider is set to 1m, and thus quite blurry. If that's not an issue for you then it's no problem to keep the slider at that setting. I'm surprised that higher texture resolution settings seem to have such a performance impact for you because the sim is usually pretty efficient with loading and dropping texture LODs. Perhaps you have some antivirus or malware scanner active that checks all file access operations and thus causes stutters? Cheers, Holger
  11. Hi Andrew, not sure what you mean in regards to .bmp format as all the ground and vector texture.bmp files in \Tongass_Fjords_Lower_Priority\texture are in fact required to be in DXT1 or DXT5 .bmp format and also exist as such in the equivalent Orbx and default folders. It's object textures that can be in either .dds or .bmp format and those reside in \Tongass_Fjords_Higher_Priority\texture (FYI, the sim engine actually looks for .bmp first though, as Dieter points out, it has no measurable impact on performance). Since your pauses seem to be connected with the water files: what happens if, with the water files active, you turn off special effects? Perhaps you didn't install the shoreline surf effects for Tongass and thus the sim is searching for them. Or, alternatively, your sim somehow doesn't deal well with those surf effects when they get loaded (visual effects are very low on the display priority chain and thus frequently drop out and then restart when changing views). Cheers, Holger
  12. Holger Sandmann


    Hi guys, the mountain on the left is Mount Adams, about 40 miles due east of Mount Saint Helens and ~12,000ft tall: https://goo.gl/maps/9ri3eS4pg2R2 It's much less accessible than Mount Rainier and thus a great place to explore if you want to avoid the crowds. Cheers, Holger
  13. Hi there, it actually depends on the specific FTX Region. Both TerraFlora and Trees HD replace the default autogen vegetation textures with higher-resolution versions. Wherever those default tree models are used you'll then see the equivalent HD replacement textures. In some of the FTX Regions we've added custom tree types because the default set is actually quite limited in terms of different species and also somewhat biased towards North American biomes. Those custom trees come with their own HD textures and are independent of Trees HD or any other replacements. Usually, the resulting set of autogen trees will be a combination of default and custom types; it's possible that the UK FTX Regions have a pretty high proportion of custom models and thus vegetation with TerraFlora textures may no longer be common. Cheers, Holger
  14. Holger Sandmann

    Wrong Direction

    Hi there, good catch, it should actually read "Limberlost Ranch is a small ranch airstrip located near Lake Wildwood. …Just 16,750NM east of KBLU,... " Cheers, Holger P.S.: see http://www.easysurf.cc/circle.htm#cetol1, for Lat 39.275 degrees at KBLU
  15. Holger Sandmann

    Netherlands TrueEarth: The Afsluitdijk

    Hi there, here's one of those online horizon distance calculators: http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm Obviously, atmospheric conditions usually limit the actual distances that can be seen at a given location but on clear days one can definitely see farther than just 20-40km at 14000ft. It's also important to realize that the landscape at far distances becomes visually compressed into a narrow band and thus it's usually not possible to distinguish features anymore unless they have unusual shapes or dimensions (mountains, large highrises or bridges, etc.). Something to keep in mind in FSX/P3D is that the high-detail landscape scenery that moves with the user aircraft doesn't extend to the horizon. Thus, with clear weather and at higher altitude one starts to see the ugly border to the low-resolution global satellite image, which is why restricting view distance does make sense. Cheers, Holger