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Customer suggestions for new version of UTX

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akriesman View Drop Down
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    Posted: April-21-2017 at 12:00pm

Dear customers,

2017 is going to be a year for a new version of UTX.    This is driven by several things, including the release of new simulator platforms that are coming as you know.

I wanted to start a thread to allow our customers to have a voice regarding features that they would like to see improved or implemented in UTX. 

We have some pretty innovative ideas ourselves that we are looking in to.  However, I don’t want to share these ideas just yet as they are our intellectual property right now and UTX has been copied to the letter by competitors over the years.

There are some things that I can share regarding the new UTX interface that will drive the products.  Before that, here are some features that will not be changing and why:

Features that will not change:

  • Road and water data will not be completely replaced.   We refreshed all the road data in V2 a couple years ago.  Whenever you completely replace the road or water data, it leads to a lot of anomalies that have to be ironed out over the coming years.   It is much more stable to perform spot treatment where necessary.   While the road data will not be refreshed, we will be implementing some extensive texture modifications with different layering mechanisms to achieve a better effect.
  • X-Plane 11 will not be supported this year.   The focus will be on enhancing the ever growing number of platforms based on FSX and FSX ESP.

Planned interface changes.

  • A single interface will be used to configure all XpressSim products and platforms (yay).
  • We are working on a new client-server mechanism to handle all patches through the UTX interface.   I realize this is long overdue and having to apply manual patches is cumbersome to both our users and ourselves.
  • Of course, all existing anomaly/ bug reports will be implemented (there are not many).

Many thanks to all for remaining dedicated UTX customers over the years.  UTX is your baby, just as much as it is ours.   We will continue to strive to offer the best vector-based terrain scenery in the industry, based on the best commercial data available.

That is about all I can say at this point.   Now it is your turn to make any comments, constructive criticisms or suggestions that you would like to see implemented.   I will respond back as to why it is a good idea or not really feasible.

Cheers,

Allen

Allen

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jhaley101 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jhaley101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-21-2017 at 5:02pm
Well, I've brought my broken record to the discussion.    

Would love to see some type of frozen lakes/rivers in the winter for the many, many parts of the world that have it, often for more than 6 months of the year.   Changing all the lakes and rivers in the winter is easy enough through the UTX interface, but isn't at all realistic when flying to the toasty warmth of the Caribbean and still having frozen lakes there on arrival.  

Any possibility of this in your plans?

JH


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quantumleap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote quantumleap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-21-2017 at 11:12pm
It would be nice but as has been noted in previous replies on this it would only really be possible if there is a change in the core scenery engine which powers products based on FSX and FSX ESP. If something changes in the engine to allow this then it would get my vote as well.

Jeff


Check out my aviation photography and digital art at Photisify
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akriesman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-22-2017 at 7:51pm
Originally posted by jhaley101 jhaley101 wrote:

Well, I've brought my broken record to the discussion.    

Would love to see some type of frozen lakes/rivers in the winter for the many, many parts of the world that have it, often for more than 6 months of the year.   Changing all the lakes and rivers in the winter is easy enough through the UTX interface, but isn't at all realistic when flying to the toasty warmth of the Caribbean and still having frozen lakes there on arrival.  

Any possibility of this in your plans?

JH
While there is no way to have FSX do this automatically with seasonal changes, I can think of some ways to improve this so that the user could flip a switch in the UTX Config tool and most of the lakes that are "freezable" would freeze.  It would take a decent amount of work to implement because lakes that are freezable would have to be tagged as such in the water source data.

I am certainly willing to look into that feature if enough people see it as important John.   The freezing would not happen automatically.  But, at least you wouldn't get frozen lakes in the tropics or places where they don't freeze.    

I will at least see what we can do here.  Thanks for bringing it up again.

Allen

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Sagoland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sagoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-23-2017 at 6:30am
Improved landclass. Landclass for Stockholm aint good. Central parts like City, Vasastaden, Kungsholmen, Södermalm, Östermalm look in big parts more like some village. Default FSX landclass have more buildings and is more correct although its also far from reality. I have scenery complexity on max and Autogen density one step below max. Or do the Xpressim stuff for Stockholm. To see Stockholms central parts start from Bromma rwy12 and go eastsoutheast.
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akriesman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-23-2017 at 6:43pm
Originally posted by Sagoland Sagoland wrote:

Improved landclass. Landclass for Stockholm aint good. Central parts like City, Vasastaden, Kungsholmen, Södermalm, Östermalm look in big parts more like some village. Default FSX landclass have more buildings and is more correct although its also far from reality. I have scenery complexity on max and Autogen density one step below max. Or do the Xpressim stuff for Stockholm. To see Stockholms central parts start from Bromma rwy12 and go eastsoutheast.

Yes.  We plan on hand-editing more of the large European cities like we did in V2.
Allen

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Sagoland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sagoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-24-2017 at 7:18am
Originally posted by akriesman akriesman wrote:

Originally posted by Sagoland Sagoland wrote:

Improved landclass. Landclass for Stockholm aint good. Central parts like City, Vasastaden, Kungsholmen, Södermalm, Östermalm look in big parts more like some village. Default FSX landclass have more buildings and is more correct although its also far from reality. I have scenery complexity on max and Autogen density one step below max. Or do the Xpressim stuff for Stockholm. To see Stockholms central parts start from Bromma rwy12 and go eastsoutheast.

Yes.  We plan on hand-editing more of the large European cities like we did in V2.

Great. When I said FSX default is more correct I meant in numbers of citytype buildings. For the rest like roads, bridges, railways, parks and more UTX is of course better.
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oldfunflyer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldfunflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-26-2017 at 11:11am
Their is this problem with the border area between Texas and Mexico namely the Rio Grande River if this USA - Mexico border could be made more realistic that would be a good thing.
Regards
OFF 
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akriesman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-26-2017 at 2:15pm
Originally posted by oldfunflyer oldfunflyer wrote:

Their is this problem with the border area between Texas and Mexico namely the Rio Grande River if this USA - Mexico border could be made more realistic that would be a good thing.
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OFF 

We did work this area very extensively in V2 (or one of the patches, can't remember).   The problem with the RioGrande is that it is literally split down the middle between the USA and Mexico.   So, half the river is in the USA and half is in Mexico.   The USA side of the river is provided by 1 data vendor and the Mexico side by another.   For best results, having UTX USA V2 and UTX TAC V2 installed should make things most accurate.  The Rio Grande was probably the most heavily tested change in V2, because of the difficulty we had with it.
Allen

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Christos View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Christos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-30-2017 at 5:46pm
Are there any plans for an UTX south America?

Thanks,
Christos

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akriesman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-01-2017 at 5:06pm
Originally posted by Christos Christos wrote:

Are there any plans for an UTX south America?

Thanks,
Christos


Not any time soon Christos.  At one point in the past we were planning a UTX South America product.   But, the TomTom commercial data only covered about 1/2 of the South American countries in great detail.

As the OSM data gets better, we might be able to use the OSM data to fill in the parts where the commercial data is weak.   But, it is not quite there yet IMO.


Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote N918JC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-11-2017 at 8:36pm
I have been thinking about this for a while now. You have introduced some innovative technology with your Xpressim product. Great visuals and little or no performance hit.

I think it may be time for a wholesale autogen upgrade using your new modeling techniques. Whether stand alone or as a part of each of the UTX regions I think it could possibly allow us all to see a more complete world scene without the huge FSX autogen performance hits. It would surely draw many buyers who like myself have settled for "flat" visuals for the sake of performance.

I know nothing about how all of this works, or whether my idea is feasible so please take it for what it is worth. Just a thought/wish. :-)

Jesse

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akriesman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2017 at 11:08am
Originally posted by N918JC N918JC wrote:

I have been thinking about this for a while now. You have introduced some innovative technology with your Xpressim product. Great visuals and little or no performance hit.

I think it may be time for a wholesale autogen upgrade using your new modeling techniques. Whether stand alone or as a part of each of the UTX regions I think it could possibly allow us all to see a more complete world scene without the huge FSX autogen performance hits. It would surely draw many buyers who like myself have settled for "flat" visuals for the sake of performance.

I know nothing about how all of this works, or whether my idea is feasible so please take it for what it is worth. Just a thought/wish. :-)

Jesse

I appreciate the comment Jesse.   I will try and give you a good answer to this question, but it is a little tough.

A large coverage area product like UTX could not use all the XpressSim features.   The product would be too large to distribute due to the custom textures and custom building objects.  However, we are constantly playing around with ideas for UTX that at least takes things to the next level.   I would love to be able to have UTX place autogen buildings along the roads, instead of tied to the urban landclass textures "fake" road locations.   This is possible now with the technology that we have developed creating XpressSim.   But,  there are outside factors that don't make it feasible.......yet.   

As far as a specific answer to your question though, XpressSim does not use autogen buildings, only autogen vegetation.     All of those densely packed buildngs you see in XpressSim are custom objects, with each object being unique and placed at a unique place in the world.   Custom objects are normally very hard on performance, in contrast to autogen which is usually more efficient.  However, it is the way we group the custom objects prior to compiling them that gives XpressSim such good performance.

Autogen buildings are not unique.  They are predefined in a library of objects and then placed relative to the "fake" roads in the generic urban landclass tiles.   The technology we use for the custom buildings will not work as autogen.     Everything in a XpressSim "scene" works together:  Custom terrain textures, custom buildings, DEM/Mesh, etc.

It's tough to explain without writing an essay.   But, I hope this at least answers some questions.





Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote N918JC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2017 at 2:01pm
Thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed answer, Allen. That really helps to clarify the subject and provide a great perspective on the challenges of scenery development.

Good luck with continued XpressSim development and the future UTX projects as well as any other endeavors. Looking forward to every new release.

Jesse 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beachdog2001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-04-2017 at 7:45pm
Any chance there will be a UTX Asia in the future or does this area suffer from the same problems as you discussed regarding South America; namely, no good data?

Bill
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akriesman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-05-2017 at 10:59am
Originally posted by beachdog2001 beachdog2001 wrote:

Any chance there will be a UTX Asia in the future or does this area suffer from the same problems as you discussed regarding South America; namely, no good data?

Bill

Hi Bill,

It's a combination of the commercial data being incompletely and also uncertainty about the popularity of such a product.    So yes, it is very similar to the South America situation.
Allen

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