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John Venema

announcement UK / Ireland photoreal regions coming to XP, AFS2 and FSX/P3D!

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A more general question here regarding the Mesh. Some are suggesting using 3rd party mesh to overwrite the proposed 20m mesh. Would this not cause distortion/elevation issues?

I am not intending to "put the cart before the horse" with this question, just generally interested to hear a qualified response. I know this adverse effect can occur in the current FTX Regions and LC addons when using mesh like Pilots Ultra and this is counteracted by the use of either the Vector AEC tool (no Vector required with these new Regions) and/or the Pilots Airport Flattening Tool.

Although being a mesh nut, I would probably leave the inbuilt 20m mesh alone, but am interested to know if a 3rd party mesh of higher detail would have a negative effect.

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On ‎14‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 1:44 PM, robmw said:

 

 

One question - for P3D /FSX might it be an option to release a summer only version with the option to upgrade to full seasonal support later? The reasoning behind this is to save somewhat on potential disk space and maybe to get the scenery earlier than would otherwise be possible. After all the previous UK photo scenery was available only for one season and many users would be used to this as a starter at least.

 

 

When I think more about it, I would support this suggestion.

 

I love the different seasons in P3Dv4 and use all of them for different regions. However, I do 90% of my UK flying in springtime. This is in contrast to say PNW, SAK or Norway where I fly 50% of the time in winter.

 

One season as a starter would both reduce the cost and the HD space required. So yes, I would buy that. Especially if the other seasons came later as a follow on.

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2 hours ago, paulb said:

I love the different seasons in P3Dv4 and use all of them for different regions. However, I do 90% of my UK flying in springtime. This is in contrast to say PNW, SAK or Norway where I fly 50% of the time in winter.

 

One season as a starter would both reduce the cost and the HD space required. So yes, I would buy that. Especially if the other seasons came later as a follow on.

Add me here, too.

 

Kind regards, Michael

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On 15/03/2018 at 7:02 AM, Christopher Low said:

I assume that the photoreal Scotland package will include the Western Isles, Orkneys, and Shetland Isles?

Is there a possibility of seeing an ORBx EINN Shannon airport package at some point? It would make a lovely addon for the Republic of Ireland photoreal scenery.

 

+1 for me.

 

And EIDL too (Donegal). Beautiful scenery up there.

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Given that there are many large size products coming it might be needed to allow that OrbX content can be installed to different hard disks and independent from the Sim folder?

From mobile hence short

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Hello,

this has been raised a couple of times already and is also often asked on the forums.

The obvious answer is to install the simulator on a large drive.

The less obvious is that using a symbolic link, you can place your ORBX folder anywhere

you wish.

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57 minutes ago, gsnde said:

Given that there are many large size products coming it might be needed to allow that OrbX content can be installed to different hard disks and independent from the Sim folder?

 

For X-Plane (I'm not sure about P3D), you can symlink in scenery. I do this all the time and have my orthos and scenery on external harddrives.

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1 hour ago, gsnde said:

Given that there are many large size products coming it might be needed to allow that OrbX content can be installed to different hard disks and independent from the Sim folder?

From mobile hence short
 

 

Use symbolic links - here is a shell extension program at (  http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/hardlink_shell_extension.html  )

 

See also this post by Nick Cooper:  

Nick's post refers to ORBX and Prepar3D, but you can use the shell extension to put scenery etc on external or other drives. It's very easy to do.

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16 minutes ago, Fizzelle said:

 

Use symbolic links - here is a shell extension program at (  http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/hardlink_shell_extension.html  )

 

See also this post by Nick Cooper:  

 

Thanks for the info Fizzelle, and to Nick for the write up in the linked post

 

Thats the way I will be going when it comes around to purchasing these photoreal regions. 

 

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5 hours ago, Nick Cooper said:

Hello,

this has been raised a couple of times already and is also often asked on the forums.

The obvious answer is to install the simulator on a large drive.

The less obvious is that using a symbolic link, you can place your ORBX folder anywhere

you wish.

An even better idea is to follow LMs SDK and natively install sceneries outside of the sim installation? ;)

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14 hours ago, kevinfirth said:

An even better idea is to follow LMs SDK and natively install sceneries outside of the sim installation? ;)

 

Until you run out of disk space and need to use another drive or, in fact, split data over multiple drives! The latter I do to keep data balanced among 4 drives. There's no detriment as far as I can determine, to loading times or in flight scenery generation. Fast 7600 rpm hard disks are more than adequate, no need for expensive SSDs or M.2s etc.

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14 hours ago, kevinfirth said:

An even better idea is to follow LMs SDK and natively install sceneries outside of the sim installation? ;)

 

Possibly, at some point in the future.

In the meantime, a symbolic link not only does the job but achieves exactly the same aim as the much more

complex and less reliable xml method.

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I have never used an SSD. I currently have 2x2TB internal 7200rpm hard drives (I use the second one for scenery storage, and essential backups). When I eventually upgrade, I will probably have at least 1x3TB internal drive, and 1x3TB external drive (to replace my ten year old 300GB external backup HDD).

Edited by Christopher Low

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1 hour ago, Nick Cooper said:

 

Possibly, at some point in the future.

In the meantime, a symbolic link not only does the job but achieves exactly the same aim as the much more

complex and less reliable xml method.

I'm glad to hear that the xml method is not entirely ruled out :) In fairness the SDK is pretty opaque regarding this, but a good few people have figured it out.

I've put all of my legacy sceneries in sim through xml and manage them with the Lorby-SI Addon Organiser :)

I've never used symbolic links (although I understand the principle I'm not fully aware of the practicalities of use with Orbx sceneries), I'll do some research.

 

Sorry if a little off-topic!

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12 minutes ago, Christopher Low said:

I have never used an SSD. I currently have 2x2TB internal 7200rpm hard drives (I use the second one for scenery storage, and essential backups). When I eventually upgrade, I will probably have at least 1x3TB internal drive, and 1x3TB external drive (to replace my ten year old 300GB external backup HDD).

Chris, IMHO a reasonable SSD is a worthwhile investment for your OS and base sim install :).  Continue to use your existing HDDs and add another if you run out of space after Netherlands photoreal and then the UK/Ireland ;).

JV talked before about improvements in hardware being necessary before more demanding levels of detail get included in sceneries in a couple of years.  I'd prefer those to be built in now ahead of time so as people upgrade they can take advantage straight away... but its a balance for devs, if we dont upgrade they havent the market for more detailed sceneries, but if they dont produce more demanding products we have little incentive to upgrade! 

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Large photoreal regions will always use more VAS, purely because there is much more terrain textures to load into the GPU. I would think that FSX may have issues without a control panel that restricts the number of 3D objects. The easiest way to determine this is when Netherlands is released soon and you will be able to get a performance benchmark. 

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1 hour ago, John Venema said:

when Netherlands is released soon

 

Happy to read that;)

 

Kind regards, Michael

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I have X-Plane on my C drive and Ortho4XP Tiles on my D drive. All I do is to create shortcuts from my Ortho4XP/Tiles/-the tiles you have downloaded- in my D drive and place them in the X-Plane 11/Custom scenery folder then do the same for the overlay folder.

 

Kind regards

 

Ian S

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13 hours ago, John Venema said:

Large photoreal regions will always use more VAS, purely because there is much more terrain textures to load into the GPU. I would think that FSX may have issues without a control panel that restricts the number of 3D objects. The easiest way to determine this is when Netherlands is released soon and you will be able to get a performance benchmark. 

Thanks John! By the way (slightly off topic i know), is there a chance to get in the future  more Europe regions in the new photorealistic format?

I'm interested for Spain, Italy, Greece.

Thanks!

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This is great news for the X-plane platform! Just one thing though, with it being photo based what are the plans for night textures? X-plane is introducing "generic" far night tiles due to the draw distance restrictions on scenery. They are beta at the moment but do look OK. Do you plan to accommodate night flying with similar effects?

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It will be great when I am finally able to retire my PlayHorizon VFR photoscenery in P3D. It has served me very well for the past few years, but the colour saturation flaws and inconsistent texture quality are becoming more obvious these days. I currently have a total of 204 scenery entries above "Bathymetry" in my Scenery Library, and I worked out that I will be able to remove at least 98 of them when I have the full True Earth UK and Ireland scenery installed. I guess my next question concerns compatibility with UK2000 Xtreme and VFR Airfields packages.....

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How about (regional) autogen and textures (landclass like) combined with let's say a 30m (up to 10m) mesh for regions you can't cover due to lack of high quality images? This would also improve the default scenery greatly in X-Plane 11.

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22 hours ago, Aceone said:

How about (regional) autogen and textures (landclass like) combined with let's say a 30m (up to 10m) mesh for regions you can't cover due to lack of high quality images? This would also improve the default scenery greatly in X-Plane 11.

 

With respect, Aceone, I think you're missing the point here.

 

To explain my take on it; "landclass" is for impressions only and useless for proper low-level VFR flying. Load up EU England for Prepar3D, for example, and it's nigh on impossible to negotiate the right route by visual reference. Towns don't look like towns and roads and railways disappear into the ether.

 

My experience with Orthophotos shows that it is possible to VFR navigate. For example if I take off at my local airport (EGNM - Leeds Bradford) and turn West and Southwest, I'll fly over Otley, Baildon Moor and my golf club where, were I to be flying a small gyrocopter, it's accurate enough at ZL19 to do a flyby of every hole (a la TV). Can't do that with landclass!

 

Just my two-penn'orth.

 

Kindest regards.

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7 hours ago, John Venema said:

We have more than enough TrueEarth regions planned for XP to keep us busy for the next 5 years or more :) 

 

Sounds like I've to upgrade my available disk space...

 

4 hours ago, Fizzelle said:

 

With respect, Aceone, I think you're missing the point here.

 

To explain my take on it; "landclass" is for impressions only and useless for proper low-level VFR flying. Load up EU England for Prepar3D, for example, and it's nigh on impossible to negotiate the right route by visual reference. Towns don't look like towns and roads and railways disappear into the ether.

 

My experience with Orthophotos shows that it is possible to VFR navigate. For example if I take off at my local airport (EGNM - Leeds Bradford) and turn West and Southwest, I'll fly over Otley, Baildon Moor and my golf club where, were I to be flying a small gyrocopter, it's accurate enough at ZL19 to do a flyby of every hole (a la TV). Can't do that with landclass!

 

Just my two-penn'orth.

 

Kindest regards.

 

If we talk about FSX/P3D I fully agree with what you said, but for X-Plane 11 I can't. The main reason are the streets in X-Plane. Even in the default version the streets are very accurate. In X-Plane I was able to fly from town to town just by following the streets. With things like HD Mesh and X-Europe it's much more accurate and you will find objects that doesn't look like a special building, but the form of it let you know what kind of building it is. For example a football stadium has an autogen which matches it's form so accurate that you can be sure what building you see and where you are.

Yesterday I started a "around the world" trip with the new DA62 from Aerobask and my first stop was EGLL. I approached from the east and after landing I was able to locate everything where my route brought me over later in Google Maps.

But don't get me wrong, if I have the choice I would prefer the photoreal scenery, but if there is nothing good available...

Example: I tried to cover the swiss alps with Ortho4xp, but the images are so bad: different seasons, many clouds, contrails!, lakes cut through with different colors. All theese things broke the immersion for me so I prefered HD Mesh, UHD Mesh and X-Europe for that region.

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XP will I think, finally, triumph, with this kind of capability bolted on. I wonder if the study level a/c developers are taking note? Imagine flying a PMDG a/c into UK2000 EGCC (with slopey runways) layered over TrueEarth England, in X-Plane...

 

:D

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On 28/03/2018 at 12:05 PM, John Venema said:

We have more than enough TrueEarth regions planned for XP to keep us busy for the next 5 years or more :) 

 

Oh you tease you. 

 

In that case I better buy a few more hard drives then.  After seeing the Barton video and NL photos, I can assure you that I will purchase ANY TrueEarth Region you guys produce.  They truly are amazing products. 

 

But I do hope that 5 years doesn’t include the current EU announced regions.  I’m desperate to get flying around the UK.

 

also will I need to purchase my own elevation mesh for these or does it already come with that. 

 

Im thinking of something like HD Mesh v4

 

cowboy10uk

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On 28.3.2018 at 1:05 PM, John Venema said:

We have more than enough TrueEarth regions planned for XP to keep us busy for the next 5 years or more :) 

Is Norway planned?

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On 16/03/2018 at 5:59 PM, Nick Cooper said:

Hello,

this has been raised a couple of times already and is also often asked on the forums.

The obvious answer is to install the simulator on a large drive.

The less obvious is that using a symbolic link, you can place your ORBX folder anywhere

you wish.

Well this is the elephant in the sim...... at present all OrbX scenery has to be placed in the main P3D folder. I currently have 100 GB of OrbX scenery in a 350 GB P3D installation.

 

I have this on 200 quid 500GB m.2 drive. There is simply no room for huge photoscenery installations.

 

If I buy UK photoscenery and it comes in at say 150 GB, I will need 2 things for it to work:

 

1. The ability to install the photoscenery on a different drive.

 

2. An additional 200 quid to purchase a second m.2 drive on which to install it.

 

Once you run m.2 (or even stansard SSD)  you never go back..... so a mechanical HDD is NOT an option.... even more so when you consider the likely performance implications of what promises to be an amazing, but complex scenery.

 

Clearly, number 1 above is the most important if you want to sell a lot of these. No one is going to go out and spend 500 to 900 GBP on  1TB, 2 or 3TB m.2 (or SSD) drives just to squeeze in another 150 to 300 GB of OrbX scenery.

 

So, avoiding the current requirement to install OrbX scenery in the main P3D folder, needs to be looked at.

 

Regards, love and respect....

 

Gabe X

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Hi

Don't discount HDD's as using a symbolic link, your photoscenery can be stored on a large HDD and as long as your flightsim is on an SSD or M2 drive, the difference in speed is not noticed.

To give you an idea of speed, my UK at present is 680GB, 610GB of photoscenery on a HDD and 70GB of flightsim on an SSD and all above loaded in 46 seconds so HDD's still have a part to play

 

Kind regards

 

Ian s

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Maybe Orbx could consider somehow adding the symbolic link option to FTX Central so people have an easy to use option 'out of the box' to install Orbx addons elsewhere? Just thinking out loud here. ;)

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On 3/14/2018 at 11:56 AM, John Venema said:

 

PNW won't include BC or Canada because we cannot source affordable licensable imagery (yet). We'd love to include it but the costs are horrendous right now. The USA has access to free NAIP and USGS imagery so it's more feasible for us to do that, although it will be in smallish chunks. We could not possibly cover the entire US like this in a short space of time.

 

On 3/14/2018 at 12:12 PM, Speedbird85 said:

Thanks for the reply John,

 

It sucks that there isn't affordable imagery for Canada. Its not the first time I've heard this from a developer but hopefully one day you will be able to solve the issue. The Canadian Rockies would look outstanding in photoreal.

 

Anyway, looking forward to the new products..........

Chris

 

I aggree, Canada would look nice in photoreal, but the bright side is that at least the LC version of PNW will not go completely to waist for those who already have it.  

 

On 3/14/2018 at 6:42 PM, Ken Terry said:

John, any chance these large files could be shipped to customers on disk or a USB chip.

The DL times will be very long and may be prone to interruption requiring a restart.

Cheers

Ken

 

This would be nice...

 

On 4/8/2018 at 5:49 AM, J van E said:

Maybe Orbx could consider somehow adding the symbolic link option to FTX Central so people have an easy to use option 'out of the box' to install Orbx addons elsewhere? Just thinking out loud here. ;)

 

Might be interesting...

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On 3/14/2018 at 8:11 AM, John Venema said:

 

We will consider this. Because we are using all-new technology we see this as an entirely new product line. Orbx is investing six figure sums in source data and labour costs for each of these regions. If we do offer a cross-grade discount it won't be at the level of the airport ports of 40% we're offering now. I'll discuss that with the management team.

 

I guess the discount to the TrueEarth products for those who already own the LC version is no longer a possibility because I remember asking this somewhere else and you said no?

 

 

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2 hours ago, caleb1 said:

 

I guess the discount to the TrueEarth products for those who already own the LC version is no longer a possibility because I remember asking this somewhere else and you said no?

 

 

 

This is a new product so I wouldn’t expect discounts because you own some other Orbx product. That is like wanting a discount for FTX Norway because you own some PNW airport. (Even though of course FTX England may seem closely related to TrueEarth England.) You will only (probably) get a discount if you own TrueEarth Netherlands for P3D and also want it for Aerofly: such a discount makes sense. (Although it wouldn’t be odd if there was no discount at all.)

Edited by J van E
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This is a new product so I wouldn’t expect discounts because you own some other Orbx product. That is like wanting a discount for FTX Norway because you own some PNW airport. (Even though of course FTX England may seem closely related to TrueEarth England.) You will only (probably) get a discount if you own TrueEarth Netherlands for P3D and also want it for Aerofly: such a discount makes sense. (Although it wouldn’t be odd if there was no discount at all.)
Okay I see what you mean. I was assuming there might be because buying a true Earth region will put your LC Version to waste, but I guess not.

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