Posts by StoneChain

    So, still lots of auto-gen (like houses that are not actually there) and poor ground textures. One day these will be fixed, but for now I will live with lower FPS with XP11.

    I don't know the area, but if you look on Google Maps:

    I think you'll see the DLC has buildings in the right places. kai503 did say that he took his picture 2 years ago. A lot of buildings crop up in that time!

    Thanks for taking the time to contribute to the forum though...

    From ORBX :

    I know many people are waiting for TrueEarth GB for AFS2, so here are some very early alpha preview shots to let you know it's making progress and we hope to have GB South available in the first half of this year (but don't hold me to it, since it's a new team of developers)…comment-1497772

    Not to diminish anything that's come before, but this will be a milestone release for AFS2 and, I'm certain, a clear demonstration of the power of the AFS2 engine against the competition. As someone commented on the OrbX forum, it'll be the first time most people have been able to fly over central London at anything more than a slideshow framerate!

    The 3rd party support for AFS2 seems to be increasing by the week, and the ingenuity and determination shown by just a small group of "enthusiastic meddlers" to allow us average folks to create our own detailed scenery and even add "life" to the world means this sim is going from strength to strength. We all know there are some big ticket items still being worked on, but already this really feels like a golden age of flight simming to me.

    Better 'phone the bank and prepare them for some action on my credit card, I think!

    Yes FS2 runs very well, but it's not doing very much, is it?

    That gave me a laugh this morning! I can hear the grinding of teeth in the IPACS developers' mouths from all the way over here in New Zealand! I'm pretty sure FS2 is actually doing "quite a lot", simulating airflow and complex aircraft systems, all while chucking around the most densely cultivated scenery... and, if you're in VR, doing it all twice!

    All that being said, I, like everyone else, am keen to see it do even more. Realism is the goal and short of pretending you're flying around just after a zombie apocalypse, the world is a little quiet at the moment and the weather is somewhat static. I suppose at least that's one positive - it might be the end of the world, but I've still got my Cessna, a full tank of AVGAS and the sun is shining! 8)

    Hi Nick,

    First of all, let me add my thanks and appreciation to the list. You're doing a great job of bringing the complex world of scenery building to the masses and, until such time as Orbx releases products covering every bit of the globe in the tiniest detail, the AFS2 community will need you and your Aeroscenery tool. I'm old enough to remember the term "shareware" and though I'm sure you'll say you're doing it for the love of the challenge and the AFS2 product, it'd be great if we could make some sort of financial contribution to show our appreciation!

    In terms of what comes next - your list seems great to me! I agree with vogel69 when he mentions "overall hue" and "color matching". For me, here in New Zealand, there's a real patchwork of satellite images that make up any region. Fine when using Bing or Google Maps, but jarring when flying over them and seeing dramatic shifts from dark to light. I suspect the images are pieced together from many different "overpasses" and are due to varying light/cloud cover. New Zealand is "the land of the long white cloud" after all, so the chances of finding a day when a large region has consistent (lack of) cloud cover, is pretty remote! So, if there's anything that could be done to smooth out the variance between stitched images, by balancing contrast, hue, brightness, etc. then that could make a huge difference. I've no idea how complicated any of that is - sounds to me like we're asking you to turn Aeroscenery into a Photoshop-lite, but you obviously enjoy a challenge!!

    Water is everywhere around me. I live in the Bay of Islands, so coastline issues are a massive challenge. Anything that can be done to smooth out those transitions would be terrific.

    After that, anything that would make the process of adding buildings and trees would be fantastic. There's some OSM data for buildings in my part of the world, but it's pretty sparse. It's the 3d nature of cultivation that makes flying low and slow such a joy. We all want to fly over somewhere familiar and while it's great that it looks right from 10,000', I'd like to be able to buzz a few local landmarks in my C172! I'd happily while away some hours zooming in on individual streets and "planting" trees, drawing buildings (including the properties of those buildings) all within the same tool that generated the scenery in the first place. For me, like many others I suspect, it is the thought of having to switch between a multitude of tools, formats and interfaces that is the most daunting. Having everything "under one roof" would make this already valuable tool indispensable!

    Keep up the great work and thank you once again.


    Hi everyone,

    I'm an avid reader of this forum, soaking up all the gossip, tweaks, previews and, of course, official updates. One thing that consistently amazes me is the frequency of comments from people saying that development progress is slow, or that not enough information is being shared. All I can think is that the people posting these comments have never had any involvement in software development, let alone the complexities of multi-platform game development. I've worked in a software development environment for the last 20 years and I know the time it takes to get things done. I also understand the futility of publishing anything like a road map, as estimating how long it will take to finish a task of unknown complexity is a fool's errand... and will usually lead to disappointment - either initially, if the estimates are generous (realistic!), or later, when delays inevitably arise.

    This is a very active forum, with a lot of direct feedback from those close to, or actually working on the product. That's rare and I can't help feel that the speed of response might actually be spoiling some people and increasing their levels of expectation! In the time I've owned FS2 (since the Early Access days), we've seen new planes, new scenery, new features (front-end and behind-the-scenes), new tools in the SDK, etc. etc. Some of that has, of course, been developed by 3rd parties (Orbx, Aerosoft) but that doesn't mean the IPACS development team weren't involved.

    So, I think we need to give the team a break. I'm sure (or at least I hope) that when people in this forum say things like "progress is slow" and "don't expect any updates soon", that they don't mean to be insulting, but it makes me wince on IPACS' behalf when I read it! Those who understand a fraction of the work that goes in to making this stuff work appreciate that it all takes time and that development and testing effort is usually measured in months, not days or weeks. Look at how long it took the might of Microsoft to attempt a new flight simulator project (Microsoft Flight) and then see how long that lasted!

    We're all looking forward to exciting new toys like ATC, Weather, Helicopters, etc. but we need to be careful not to act like spoiled children at Christmas - ignoring the fantastic toys we already have in the hopes of more to come! We want FS2 to become the world-class, genre-defining product that we've all dreamed of since first taking to the virtual skies on an Apple 2, ZX Spectrum, Atari, Amiga or early PC. That's a huge weight of expectation on this team and everyone needs to be patient. Good things come to those who wait... now, go and play with the toys you already have - they're already really rather remarkable!

    Keep up the good work, IPACS... we're behind you all the way.


    X-Plane 11 VR is how!

    Though I'd still rather fly Aerofly whatever the controls.

    I've watched a couple of XP11 VR "Hands" videos on YouTube and I'm still not sure about the use of the Touch controllers. Having to hold a separate controller to represent my hand means I can't be using that hand to interact with my real-world yoke, tpm, etc.

    I'm an early adopter of the Leap Motion sensor too and have had it stuck to the front of my Oculus since day one. This I can see potentially working very well as long as the tracking is consistent. I could let go of my physical yoke, reach "up and out" into the virtual space to touch virtual controls, etc. Could be good.

    Either way, I'm looking forward to what the IPACS team brings us. I'm certain it will rival if not better the competition...

    As a PPL holder and an Oculus Rift owner, combined with a basic set of Saitek Yoke, Pedals and TPM, I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to fly virtually if I didn't do it in VR. That's partly why I'm so excited about what's happening here with Aerofly FS2 - the performance of the modern 64-bit engine means that frame rates are no longer an issue. Yes, the current range of VR headsets "suffer" from a lack of resolution, meaning it can be hard to read instruments, but when we're talking about VFR "fun" flying, the freedom and feeling of immersion more than makes up for a couple of Mr Magoo moments in the cockpit. Lining up a downwind leg in my Cessna, checking my distance to the runway is now a natural turn of the head. Checking my airspeed is in the right arc before safely adding in some flap is a glance down rather than a keyboard press or the movement of a joystick "hat" switch to adjust my virtual viewpoint. The value of that cannot be understated.

    On the subject of VR hands - I'm yet to be convinced how this can work. I own the Oculus Touch controllers, but, by their very nature, they are devices that fill my hands. The sight of "my own hands" in-game is pretty immersive, but switching between the important business of flying my plane, holding the yoke, adjusting the throttles, etc. and picking up a Touch controller in order to flick a switch or tune a radio? That sounds like it would break the immersion quite dramatically.

    An alternative I would propose is to allow me to "look" at the switch I want to control and then press a button on my joystick/yoke to enact the change. Something similar exists in other applications. Maybe a button to enable the mode for "I want to flick a switch/turn a dial" which would show a cursor (hand/appropriate icon) in the centre of my VR view. Then a button (or other mappable control) to interact with the cockpit switch/button/lever over which I'm hovering the cursor. In simple terms, allow me to use the Oculus headset as a replacement for the mouse and allow me to map buttons for "toggle" or "up/down" or whatever I need as "interaction" controls. The feeling of immersion is retained as I'm looking at the thing I'm doing and I can keep my hands on the controls. OK, I'm not reaching out into thin air and flicking imaginary switches, but without any haptic feedback so I can "feel" the switches, that's not a biggie in my books. Plus, reaching out into a virtual world, often means knocking my hand against a very real-world cluttered desk, which does more for breaking immersion than anything else!!

    Voice control could work well, too, especially in a multi-pilot, complex cockpit environment like the commercial jets. Not so relevant in my humble 172 and kinda freaky if I'm in a single-seater!!

    I'm excited for the future of VR. I'll be interested to see some comparisons of current Rift and the new Vive Pro in a few months. The computing horsepower required to drive these higher resolutions shouldn't be underestimated. I'm in the market for new hardware myself and there's never an easy time to buy - the knowledge that you're spending thousands of hard-earned dollars on something that will look like a museum piece in a matter of months is never palatable, but all you can do is get the best you can afford at the time and then enjoy what you've got.

    AFS2 is the brightest star in the flight sim world for high-quality VR flying and if forthcoming improvements like a weather engine and AI traffic/ATC are of a comparable standard to what we've seen so far and they don't have too much of a hit on frame rates, then us virtual pilots will be truly spoiled.

    This thread is intended simply as a public thank you to the team at IPACS and to user admoore63 for building FS2 in the first place, then providing the GeoConvert tool and a helper app along with a step-by-step tutorial to make it so straightforward to create our own scenery. There's nothing like flying around familiar places to make a simulation feel all the more real.

    My first attempt has been a simple "Resolution 1" grab of 38x31nm of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand and in just a few hours I've gone from a blurry default to a perfectly acceptable and recognisable slice of paradise! Sure, there are some issues and I'll need to have another crack with multiple layers at different resolutions, some alpha-blending to sort out the joins (especially with so much sea!), but what an amazing thing to be able to create even a basic chunk of scenery that's a bit rough around the edges! After that it'll be on to some 3D modelling to get Kerikeri airport looking a little less flat and then who knows... maybe a few more buildings around the area to make things look even better at low levels.

    I've only owned FS2 for a few weeks and all the activity and interest around this simulator is great to see. I love the VR experience. The range of aircraft is already wonderful. The involvement of OrbX is a hugely positive sign, too. I check the forums most days to see what other goodies are coming my way and the passion on display is inspirational. It's clear that this is a product that has a great future and I'm excited to be part of that journey.

    So, thank you again to all those involved in the creation of these wonderful toys! I wish you nothing but the greatest success.

    That's a particularly unhelpful response, Sycosys.

    I've read elsewhere in this forum that, while it is definitely technically possible to share user-generated scenery, there may be legal issues with sharing the satellite imagery. Various people have commented against other posts about the disclaimers and "public" usage rights for data from USGS, etc. but I don't think anyone here could claim to be qualified enough to comment on the legalities of sharing content from anywhere on the globe with anyone else on the globe.

    Over time, perhaps the Wiki can be extended to include guidance on text for files and the like that could be shipped with user-generated scenery based on the source of the images. For now, I suspect the best advice is not to share on public forums as this may expose IPACS to legal complications that none of us would want.