Sunday, July 12, 2009

Grand Canyon

To answer the most basic questions:
  • This is a base mesh orthophoto scenery I made with MeshTool, as a test.
  • The source DEM is 10m NED, the source imagery is 1mpp DOQQ, down-scaled to 3mpp. I gave MeshTool a point budget of 500,000 mesh points per DSF tile, and it used them all.
  • This version of MeshTool (2.0 beta 2) should be out in the next 3 days.
  • That's X-Plane 930RC4. The framerate really is around 100 fps.
  • There are no dynamic real-time shadows. Rather, the orthophotos have the shadows "baked" in because they're photos.
  • There are artifacts at the joins of the orthophotos because I spent time fixing projection errors.

Clearly we need more than 25 nm visibility in some cases!


Dan said...

It would be interesting to see a comparison shot of the default textures with that mesh too!

Personally I'm not a fan of large orthophoto sceneries due to its limitations such as shadows not being dynamic and that the ground changes with weather and seasons. Another pretty annoying fact is that orthophoto's highlights tend to be either blown out or simply too dark, or the temperature and color balance are way off and not looking realistic.

Therefore my hopes for future version of the sim is that we'll see a better and more intelligent ground texture algorithm along with better mesh resolution that together will give new and needed realism to the global scenery. When I first learned of a planetary engine called Outerra my jaw dropped, and since my experience in X-Plane has been rather underwhelming I'm afraid.

Hopefully you guys have some cool new ideas on how to enhance the scenery besides a better mesh!?

Anonymous said...

Yes please give XP more than 25nm visibility.

How about 50nm or even 75nm. Maybe make it an option so that the user can decide!

Also, in FSX there is the ability to turn off the "autogen" scenery objects but still have the airport objects visible. In XP if you turn off the scenery objects then both the "autogen" and airport scenery disappears.

Can you give us the ability to turn off the "autogen" objects but still keep the airport scenery.

Why? Custom airport scenery in XP is great, but the XP autogen is really "cartoony" and spoils the "immersion".

Congrats on 9.30, I now fly XP much more than FSX. I'm really looking forward to the progress the XP platform will make over the coming years.


Anonymous said...


I think too it would be nice to see this Mesh with the default textures : Grand canyon should have "warmer'" colours and the default colours looked quite nice : I made a comparison with a photorealistic scenery made for FS and the result was good for X-Plane except for the Mesh ( for FS Scenery ).

I think this is a general comment : most important rendering problems with the Global scenery are the Mesh and the unrealistic rivers and coastlines. Default generic texures do not look so bad. An accurate detailed Mesh alone is a great improvement. Another very important step should be made making realistic rivers and coastlines. Have a look at : ).


Anonymous said...

I did quite a lot of real flying in Melbourne Australia a few years ago and it was common to have 60+nm of real visibility upstairs. Europe and USA are pretty smoggy by comparison, but Oz is a great place to fly because you can see so far!
Would be nice to have "realistic" visibility settings in XP as well...

Anonymous said...

I also feel XP's visibility range should be greatly extended. Here in Tucson, AZ, I can drive to the top of Mt. Lemon (9400 feet) and easily see the Huachuca Mtns (9500) feet 110+ miles to the southeast. This is true at least 300 days out the year.

Anonymous said...

The 25 mile visibility limit is massive let down.

Biggest immersion killer of them all. I'll wait for XP10.