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John Venema

To Season or Not to Season - that is the Community Question

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1 hour ago, RALF9636 said:

 

That's what I also suggested. John Venema said this is not how P3D works because all seasons are baked into single bgl-files and so it probably won't happen.

I'm not sure if it really isn't possible. We could have several single season scenery entries and could activate / deactivate them at will. We would lose the automatic season change depending on date that way, but I wouldn't care for that, because the automatic scripted season change isn't appropriate anyway in many cases.

 

 

EDIT: Just saw that John Venema has deleted this statement from his post. So maybe this can be reconsidered?

 

 

 

Holger corrected me, so it is possible to have separate BGLs per season, something we can look into.

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2 hours ago, rcoultas62 said:

Are the current FTX Regions LOD15?

The region landclass tiles are LOD15 (1.2m per pix), and our addon airports are anywhere from LOD15 (1.2m per pix) to LOD19 (7cm per pix)

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When I read the announcement that TrueEarth GB would not be released without seasons for P3D4, I was dissapointed and quietly figured I would stick with the FTX regions.  I commend Orbx for listening to their customers feedback and exploring all options to meet their different demands.  I personally would purchase both a summer LOD15 and as season LOD14 if their is a discount as mentioned.

 

Thanks,

 

MRH

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It is so awesome that ORBX does consider its customers' wishes.  For me, the two proposals JV has made are very satisfactory.  I'm happy with the present setup of global base, vector, open LC and ORBX Trees.  Add TrueEarth at LOD15 at one season and LOD14 for all 5 seasons and my needs will be met.  I'd purchase both with the discount.   I understand costs and don't want to bankrupt ORBX.  Possibly, a third option, after all areas are developed, would be to offer them on a 4GB SSD at LOD15 with all 5 seasons.  A Big Spenders package.  ;-0

 

Chuck

Edited by Chuckers
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I’d go for the LOD14 with seasons. And probably purchase the LOD15 version as well for summer flights, but my primary preference is most certainly a LOD14 version with all 5 seasons.

Thanks for your constructive listening to your customers!

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Absolutely multiple seasons for me (LOD14)!  Being Canadian, I'd expect nothing less.  IMHO, single season would get boring fast.

 

Cheers!

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hi all,

 

it must be said that i have deliberately purchased many 3rd party airport add-ons where the developers have bent over backwards to ensure Orbx products compatibility (including seasons) - in fact it is an actual/advertised feature set of theirs...

 

also, TrueEarth for XP11 users is a very hot set of products (no seasons in XP11)...

 

TrueEarth Netherlands HD i can thoroughly recommend with 5 seasons at LOD 15 available right now - to test your flightsim system & a give you a glimpse into the future - with a Service Pack coming around the corner...

 

Data Delivery/ROI:-

for 1 Netherlands TrueEarth HD pack say 70+ GB at AUD$55 that equates to roughly 50 Orbx airports (give or take) for a return of - let's say AUD$1200 (the bean counters have to work this out) regions & CityScapes have another $set of numbers...

& i am sure Rob A's 1Gb/s connection will not be downloading TrueEarth Netherlands in around around 15-20 minutes (can put it to the test tho')...

 

Plus, for all the current real world Orbx sim users we will need the updated Orbx Central to natively support its own symbolic link structure/design for our crucial disk management & prepare for the Orbx 2020+ Roadmap...

 

;)

Edited by craigeaglefire

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13 hours ago, bvdboomen said:

Good point John.

For me personally I'd see one texture and then trees above it.

I don't mind at all since I mostly fly in spring and summertime.

But I must say that your fall example doesn't look too bad.

Forgot to add: The choice of LOD for me depends on flying low and slow or not, so my choice would be LOD15 since I fly that a lot.

Lower texture resolution would be annoying for me then.

Maybe a poll would be in place so that ORBX can distillate all the personal choices from the answers.

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I would personally prefer to have all seasons available at LOD15

I would also be happy paying whatever extra cost is involved

From the samples it appears the trees can give a good approximation of seasons except Hard Winter

 

I would be willing to pay for an extra winter snow package so this means 2 seasons at LOD 15 being available

Someone mentioned shading the green to white, another possibility for the future depending on tech

 

And last suggestion is that when using winter at LOD15, the sim switches back to UK Landclass based scenery

Most who will purchase UK TE already have the relevant UK, Wales & Scotland products

As I fly very low, LOD14 would not be for me as I find LOD15 to already be too grainy

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19 hours ago, srce said:

Would be good to see the same shots for different seasons based on option 2 compared to option 1.

 

I'm fine with you charging more for extra seasons at full res though!

 

However, one thing you can do to help reduce your costs is use a better compression algorithm! Currently you use distribute zip files containing zip files. You can do much better than zip. For example, I just downloaded the FTX Wales zip file, which is 2.235GB. I unzipped it and then recompressed with LMZA2 using a large dictionary size, and the resulting file size is 1.734GB. 

 

Just saved you 25% of "well in to 6 figures" :P

 

You'll probably get different results for photo imagery, but it still could be better. The best you could do would be to get LM to add an additional compression method in BGL files. E.g. something more JPEG like (ideally with GPU acceleration) rather than LZ77/LZ78 - then you'd massively reduce the amount of data needed to be stored on disk too!

 

For a minimum for the LOD15 would be adding snow to mountain peaks for winter

I think the increase in data amount would be minimal

Another option would be to work with LM and Xplane to develop new options for displaying seasons or at least some approximation via shading

OrbX appears to have significant influence with both companies.

As Xplane would have most to gain they should be keen on this idea

It would seem the same tech could then be implemented in P3D

 

Finally as data transfer was the main motivation for the 2 different LOD options I suggest the following

Make TE a pay by download product. Allow 2 downloads of a product in first year or one download per year and a fair cost per download after that

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LOD 14 with seasons....not so crucial for England and Wales...but Scotland...definitely.
(I still remember walking to school in Edinburgh, in snow, in shorts)

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1 hour ago, aero-3fsx said:

Make TE a pay by download product. Allow 2 downloads of a product in first year or one download per year and a fair cost per download after that

 

what about a genuine 'Verify Files' process - how would this be accounted for? this download size issue needs to be carefully thought through...

 

i think there is cherry-picking on this season issue...

 

P3Dv4 has seasons, standardised to 5 seasons as we know (for years, & of course the developers make sensible decisions for different climates/locales)  - XP11 does not have seasons (however, you can tweak according to suggestions made so far)...

 

LOD19 (7cm per pix) is used for instance, as a very high resolution for airports - just imagine the size of the files (LOD15+) for sizeable geographical regions & your computer would most likely be going 'low & slow' - there needs to be a pragmatic decision made (given the technology now & on the horizon)......... 

Edited by craigeaglefire

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I did a quick assessment of where & when (what season) I fly

UK 80% summer 18% Spring 0% Winter or Fall no snow 1% Winter with snow

Oz NZ PNG 99.9% Summer

Norway 50:50 Summer / Snow

PNW NRM  90% Summer

Conclusion Quality over Seasons with the exception of Norway if it ever gets TE treatment

Therefore LOD 15 for me

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14 hours ago, Christopher Low said:

Seasons are only a "requirement" if you want them. I do not. The two options of "LOD15 Summer" and "LOD14 Seasons" is fine by me. What I do not want to see is the latter as the only option.

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22 hours ago, fabs79 said:

For me it depends which area I fly in. For GB and (if it is ever made) Germany I'd choose the higher resolution summer only product. But if I want to fly in Alaska or Northern Idaho, I'd like to have seasons. On a side note, I only recently started flying in winter and bad weather conditions because the new precipitation effects in P3D V4 are just great compared to what we had before. I did a flight from Glacier Park to Bozeman at dawn with one of the ORBX bad weather  themes and it was just great to taxi along the snow covered runways with the snowflakes whirling around me and then seeing the sunrise above the clouds as I gained altitude and I wouldn't want to lose that. For the Rhine Valley area in Southern Germany where I live with the five days of snow we get each year I'd go for the higher resolution summer only product. 

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16 hours ago, John Venema said:

UPDATE-  LOD14 SEASONS SCREENSHOTS

 

Some shots from testing a LOD14 five-seasons build. Seasons are show in red top centre of each shot. I will also update my original post.

 

JV_SEASON_WI.jpg

 

JV_SEASON_SU.jpg

 

JV_SEASON_SP.jpg

 

JV_SEASON_HW.jpg

 

JV_SEASON_FA.jpg

 

Summer & Snow look very good but do you really enjoy Spring & Fall that much?

LOD15

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9 minutes ago, bruce e said:

 

Summer & Snow look very good but do you really enjoy Spring & Fall that much?

LOD15

 

No not as much, but enough to want them as a fully featured product at lod 15 please :)

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LOD 14 with seasons for me.  And let me be a little more emphatic...if seasons are not possible then I won't buy TE at all.  I will stick to the three existing GB regions.  As to size I intended to upgrade my existing P3D drive to a larger SSD, looks as if 2TB may be needed.  That I will do for the seasons option, but of course not for the one season and changing trees compromise.  After all English peasants from medieval times worked the fallow field system and that is a seasonal thing indeed, and shows in the landscape.

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10 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

Hi John,

 

Didn't mean to evoke emotion over buy or no buy based on seasons ... I want to buy, I want season, I want the option, I'll pay the premium for a premium product.  I understand the issues and there may not be enough of "us" (customers) willing to pay the premium.  But if you can structure it such you are at low risk to provide such an option that would be most appreciated.

 

Your team has done an outstanding job with seasons in the Regions and OpenLC and Global.  Thank you for taking this on for consideration.

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

Nothing more to be said from my side. Would go for the LOD15 all season option and will be ready to pay for...

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Wouldn’t it be better just to have a vote on it as before for the other thing. Forget what it was. To many people with their own ideas. As for me personally Ha Ha, I would rather have more Regions like for the East coast of America and the likes of France and Spain. Yes I love the True Earth series and if you can churn them out for all the other regions then great butfor now more regions please. So that is a No vote for me on Seasons. Derek.

Edited by Dadtom65
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Lod 14 with seasons  for me in P3d. Seems logical to keep all parts of this sim seasonal. I have now got  X-plane 11 with the currently available  UK TE products which again seems logical as it  fits the summer only sim, best of both worlds.  When I fly over the English Channel I would prefer the same season on both sides. I suppose this depends on what we all want from our sims and quite right so a big thank you to Orbx for coming up with a solution to please  us all, hopefully! 

Edited by wedge1047
correction

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14 hours ago, rcoultas62 said:

Are the current FTX Regions LOD15?

 

As per Holger's post below, LOD15 ist the resolution of all landclass ground textures.

(And there have always been complaints, that this was not "sharp" enough). And as per Tim Harris' post '#124 in this topic, some Orbx airports' resolution can even go up til LOD19

 

 

On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 12:36 AM, Holger Sandmann said:

Hi patful,

 

 

John's numbers refer to the highest compiled resolution included with the file set: LOD14 means 2.4m per pixel and LOD15 1.2m per pixel (LOD15 is also the resolution of all landclass ground textures). This has nothing to do with the "Level of Detail Radius" (LOD_RADIUS) slider setting in the display menu.

 

Cheers, Holger

Edited by wolfko

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Quote

the difference between LOD 14 and 15 are too minute....

 

I can easily tell the difference between LOD14 and LOD15, and at altitudes higher than 500 feet. LOD15 is the minimum requirement for me.

 

Quote

ORBX should follow Moore's Law and release 14 next and 15 down the road when SSD's and Bandwidth come down even more in price

 

As I stated previously, I do not want to see LOD14 Seasons as the only option. Why should I (and plenty of others) have to wait when LOD15 Summer was the target in the first place?

Edited by Christopher Low

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For 20 years I have kept upgrading my hardware to chase increased detail in flight simming.

LOD 15 is my preference - I never want to retrograde.

 

Seasons are of no importance to me if it means less detail. I'm mainly a low and slow light aircraft flyer.

Technology improves, storage keeps getting cheaper, and is usually very simple to increase.

 

ORBX bandwidth costs will have to be a factor in product pricing, as we want you guys around.

 

PS. when I buy an ORBX product, I manually download (and store on an archive drive) the .zip file and install from that. I have clean installed P3D a few times, and this has saved massive amounts of FTX Central downloading. If the file has been updated from my .zip,  FTX Central knows and just gets the required new files only.

Edited by ozboater
Addition of PS
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I for one would like to see the higher definition of LOD 15. I have just invested in  P3D (not a cheap option in itself) just for the TE England. I was expecting that to be available now. I for one do not mind not having seasons. Its all about visual quality for me flying at 2000 feet and lower.

 

Could John just clarify whether as stated both versions are to be offered.

 

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7 minutes ago, Christopher Low said:

 

I can easily tell the difference between LOD14 and LOD15, and at altitudes higher than 500 feet. LOD15 is the minimum requirement for me.

 

1 minute ago, ozboater said:

Seasons are of no importance to me if it means less detail. I'm mainly a low and slow light aircraft flyer.

Technology improves, storage keeps getting cheaper, and is usually very simple to increase.

 

ORBX bandwidth costs will have to be a factor in product pricing, as we want you guys around.

 

There absolutely has to be at the very least one product that displays LOD 15 and summer is the best time of year to fly VFR and explore.

 

I understand the rationale behind a LOD 14 seasons product (storage and download cap issues for customers, server costs for ORBX) which makes JV's options more appealing to a wider number of people.

 

That said, having just bought an additional hard drive, my preference would be to have all seasons as LOD 15 and pay extra to cover the server costs and have future re-downloads of TE products severely limited.

I'd love to have the higher quality all year round, so of course I'm very happy to pay extra for it.

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2 hours ago, bruce e said:

Summer & Snow look very good but do you really enjoy Spring & Fall that much?

 

Yes, Autumn / Fall is a very distinct season with impressive colours. Spring in the sim, not so much. You could link the spring texture calls in the .bgls to use the summer ground textures again to save hard drive space, but have trees display their spring textures.

 

Another possibility (though this might not be a popular suggestion) would be to use winter textures for hard winter, since we rarely get more than a few days every year of light snowfall in most of England, Wales or Northern Ireland except for on high ground. Parts of Scotland experience the most snowfall, but again it's rare to have blanket coverage.

We do get a lot of frosts, however.

 

With winter, what I would like to see is a dusting of snow represented on high ground throughout the season like this:

 

VE23652.jpg

 

snow-capped-mountain-peaks-and-tree-line

 

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13 hours ago, Tim Harris said:

The region landclass tiles are LOD15 (1.2m per pix), and our addon airports are anywhere from LOD15 (1.2m per pix) to LOD19 (7cm per pix)

Thank you Tim,

I was curious about that also. 

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On 1/2/2019 at 7:56 PM, tonywob said:

Maybe I've been using X-Plane too long, but even in FSX (when that was my main sim), I never bothered flying in anything but summer. One of the biggest problems I had with western Europe was that it covered everywhere with snow, which for me was just as unrealistic as having constant summer textures. Generally, the UK looks pretty much the same from the air all year round apart from when it snows (maybe just a few days a year), so this has never bothered me. Even in the PNW, I always preferred to fly in the summer because the colours were just visually more appealing (I'm the site-seer sort of simmer).

 

 

 

Given the high number of Likes for tonywob's comment above, it may not be worthwhile for orbx to create seasons other than summer.  I, for one, would only buy LOD15 summer.  In other words, are there enough customers for seasons to justify orbx doing seasons?  Either way, JV's solution looks clever.  It might just come down to a volume issue for orbx.  Cheers.

Edited by flsm (Frank)

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For me, given the two options outlined by JV above, I'd purchase the "LOD 15 Summer" version. I use non seasonal photoreal almost exclusively, so (a) I'm kind of used to seeing the world depicted in one season, and (b), even when I do use landclass scenery, I tend to use 'summer' anyway.

 

Having said that, the option to later add a 'season pack' would possibly entice me to purchase it. 

 

I'd rather see additional True Earth Regions, CityScapes, States and Island Chains given more resources initially, with the introduction of optional 'Winter', 'Fall' (etc) packs (at LOD 15)  a few years down the line to rejuvenate the excitement! Maybe that is naïve, impractical or unrealistic, but True Earth Summer EU is already more than I (personally) could have wished for, so I'd be happy to grab it, then move to one side whilst the developers stretched their wings over pastures new, (like True Earth Balearics 'Summer LOD 15' for my NGX) :).

 

 

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