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akriesman View Drop Down
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    Posted: December-07-2016 at 6:55pm
It's finally here after 2 years of development.   Today we are releasing XpressSim as a limited release to our forum users.

XpressSim currently has an inventory of 25 products available, with 2 of them available as free demos.
  • Please check out the free "A Coruna Spain" scenery for a great look at our new CityScapes.
  • Also check out the free "Middle Bass Island" scenery as referenced in the QuickStart guide which includes island scenery and airport.
Remember, from this point on we should be releasing 1 to 2 new products every week, with potential for a more rapid release as time goes on.

If you are uncomfortable about running new software products, please the "Quick Start" guide mentioned in the lnks below before starting the install:

 

Click Here To get The XpressSim Software

 

View The Current XpessSim Offerings In Menu Form (updated 3/17/17)

XpressSim Entertainment Menu


View The XpressSim FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

XpressSim FAQ


View The Quick Start Guide To Prepare For the Software Download

Prior to downloading and installing free XpressSim interface, just follow instructions in the Quick Start guide below, which includes the installation of a free demo product.

Quick Start


View The Short Document About The XpressSim Design Philosoph

To find out more about more about the idea behind XpressSim, click the link below:

What Is XpressSim


For support issues and other questions, please post your comments in this forum.    Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy these products.   Please spread the word if you find them valuable !


Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jhaley101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-07-2016 at 8:39pm
Great stuff, I'll be checking things out a bit later tonight!

JH


Made my first few purchases.   Program installed very easily, love the interface and ease of use when it comes to choice, purchase, installation.   

Now off to check out the airport and areas.   The scenery library places the sceneries at the top of the library.  Can they be moved between custom airports and UT sceneries?  No biggy

Love the ability to choose between texture resolutions.   

Let me say it now, would love to see Thunder Bay, Ontario modelled.   

JH
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-07-2016 at 9:53pm
This is something special
 
I don't endorse high end scenery very often since its all made pretty much the same. Allen found a way to render more on the screen than I have ever seen without the killer performance hit and excessive VAS loss
 
Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

I can report that during the testing phase I have seen nothing but cities that are significantly detailed with matching airports and frame rates that are incredibly high flying over them. It works seamlessly with UTX regional products and blends perfectly with GEX/GEP3D. As an example, I never dropped below 58FPS flying over ExpressSim's Coruna Spain shown below (click links) GEP3D is rendered in the background with UTX Europe:
 
 
 
The same performance is seen over Florence Italy with incredible detail and GEP3D rendered in the background with UTX Europe:
 
 
 
Every scenery package I tested for XpressSim was just flat out awesome
 
 
 
When I read the technical and how he pulled it off and then evaluated the proof of concept in real world sim render, there was nothing, absolutely nothing in this I found to be detrimental to performance and the visual quality/impact is exceptional. I kept everything at 1024x. The 2048 setting can be used as a tradeoff.
 
I understand why it took nearly 2 years to put it together.
 
Sometimes you have to think outside the box and that is exactly what the inner workings of this product does.
 
Bravo    Thumbs Up
 
 
 
 
 
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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: December-08-2016 at 7:39am
Just because I am somewhat persistent, is there anyway to add frozen lakes and rivers into these new scenery areas, for those areas where freezing occurs?

No harm in asking..... 

Peterborough looks awesome, and no loading time or performance issues.   Well done!! 

JH
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-08-2016 at 10:02am
Originally posted by jhaley101 jhaley101 wrote:

Just because I am somewhat persistent, is there anyway to add frozen lakes and rivers into these new scenery areas, for those areas where freezing occurs?

No harm in asking..... 

Peterborough looks awesome, and no loading time or performance issues.   Well done!! 

JH

Unfortunately, there is not a way to do this without freezing the default FSX water features.

Whenever you have a vector-based products, like UTX, you of course have all those modifications that have to be done to TERRAIN.CFG to support all the new entries.   With the XpressSim scenery areas, I wanted to take vectors and vector configurations completely out of the picture, which simplifies a lot of things.    

Water polygons are the only vector features used at all.   Because water all looks the same, I went with the default water polygon definitions to keep things simple.    Of course, I didn't think about freezing the lakes.
Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-08-2016 at 10:49am
Originally posted by jhaley101 jhaley101 wrote:

Great stuff, I'll be checking things out a bit later tonight!

JH

Made my first few purchases.   Program installed very easily, love the interface and ease of use when it comes to choice, purchase, installation.   

Now off to check out the airport and areas.   The scenery library places the sceneries at the top of the library.  Can they be moved between custom airports and UT sceneries?  No biggy

Love the ability to choose between texture resolutions.   

Let me say it now, would love to see Thunder Bay, Ontario modelled.   

JH

After the product has settled in a bit, I am going to be asking for feedback on how to go about developing future products.   Nick mentioned adding something to the Scenery Solutions website that allows customers to make requests.    Then, we could see which requested ares are most desired.   Something like this will be coming down the road.

As far as the scenery library layering goes, the XpressSim layers should almost always be at the top because the products are generally going to be of the highest detail.    So, you would normally want the XpressSim products to overlay any others.

With that said, there might be a few exceptions.   Let's take the Florence, Italy area as an example.    We broke the Florence area into 2 large products.   One product covers the Florence Cityscape only.   The other product covers the LIRQ airport region which is some distance from the city center.   

Now, lets a situation where a user already has a version of the LIRQ airport that they purchased from another developer.    Keep in mind, that even higher cost 3rd party airports normally focus on the airport details, not the surrounding terrain.    There are 2 ways I can see a user wanting to go.

Option #1
The user purchases the XpressSim Florence Cityscape to go along with their 3rd party version of LIRQ.   There should be no conflict between the 2 products and you don't need to layer the 3rd party LIRQ above the XpressSim layers.

Option #2
With this option, the user purchases the Florence Cityscape also to go along with their 3rd party LIRQ.   However, they decide they want the XpressSim LIRQ product also to get the expanded coverage around the airport.    This is the one situation where you would need to layer the 3rd party product above the XpressSim layers.   And, the actual results will depend on how the 3rd party airport handles exclusions to take out the XpressSim version of LIRQ beneath it.    So, the end results may or may not be what is desired.

The XpressSim CityScapes are unique and won't have much competition or conflict, even though there are a few other CityScape products.

The XpressSim airport products will differ from the existing high-end airport products in the following ways:

Typical 3rd Party Commercial Airport
  • Higher detailed airport buildings with custom textures to exactly match the building in reality.
  • Detailed surface markings.
  • Can be expensive due to extensive labor involved.

XpressSim Airports
  • Much larger region coverage around airport.
  • Better performance
  • Much lower cost per airport.
  • Detailed markings for important surface areas.
  • Airport buildings are sized, shaped and positioned in their real-world locations.  But, with the exception of some terminal buildings that may have custom textures, the closest shared texture is selected for most of the airport buildings.
Hope this helps.   This all goes back to what I mentioned over a year ago when talking about XpressSim airports.   These airports are designed according to the Pareto principle (80/20 rule).    That is, we provide 80% of the airport details at 20% of the cost.    But in addition to that, we provide an extended area around the airport with great performance.



Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-08-2016 at 3:10pm
I didn't notice anything in the QuickStart or FAQ, but I have XpressSim v1 installed. Can I install v2 directly over it or do I first need to uninstall v1? I also noticed v1 doesn't have its own uninstaller, so would I just delete the v1 XpressSim folder and delete the scenery.cfg entry?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-08-2016 at 3:23pm
Originally posted by gpost gpost wrote:

I didn't notice anything in the QuickStart or FAQ, but I have XpressSim v1 installed. Can I install v2 directly over it or do I first need to uninstall v1? I also noticed v1 doesn't have its own uninstaller, so would I just delete the v1 XpressSim folder and delete the scenery.cfg entry?

Oh my gosh.  This is a great question !   I need to add this to the FAQ.

Do not delete XpressSimV1 !

XpressSimV2 is completely different from XpressSimV1.  You don't have to worry at all about XpressSimV1 and do not uninstall it.

XpressSimV1 is installed to a scenery folder named XpressSimTropics.   So, if/when we create V2 versions of places in the tropics, it will go into a different folder.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psybear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-09-2016 at 1:01am
Thanks for answering that, I had the same question.

This is truly amazing. Possibly genius. Just flew around the A Coruna demo and still can't believe what I'm looking at. It's beautiful. The detail in...railroads, the port, roads, etc. As Nick noted regarding performance, I can't feel any hit worth noting.

Short reply because I have to go buy the airport now and fly one of my favorite areas. ClapClapClap

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-09-2016 at 7:26am
Originally posted by akriesman akriesman wrote:


Do not delete XpressSimV1 !

XpressSimV2 is completely different from XpressSimV1.  You don't have to worry at all about XpressSimV1 and do not uninstall it.


Thanks for the quick response! I'm sure this new product will be a great hit and am looking forward to enjoying it immensely.


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Originally posted by Psybear Psybear wrote:

Thanks for answering that, I had the same question.

This is truly amazing. Possibly genius. Just flew around the A Coruna demo and still can't believe what I'm looking at. It's beautiful. The detail in...railroads, the port, roads, etc. As Nick noted regarding performance, I can't feel any hit worth noting.

Short reply because I have to go buy the airport now and fly one of my favorite areas. ClapClapClap

Clayton

Clayton.  That comment has completely energized me this morning and it is exactly what I have been dying to hear.

Thanks for passing that on !

We had a small group of very dedicated testers.   But, you never really know how things are going to be perceived, until it gets to the general public.    And, we don't expect to make any big public announcements until some time next week.

BTW-The LECO airport product was extremely challenging and is going to probably confuse some people.   I didn't understand just how much that airport plateau stood out, until I viewed a lot of videos and also dropped down to the street view level on the roads around the airport in Google Earth.   The XpressSim version is a little bit exaggerated still.  But, this was necessary because the actual runways/plateau slope pretty heavily and FSX does not allow sloping runways (of course).  So, the airport elevation was set at a mid point between the sloped ends.

I chose A Coruna and LECO as some of the first regions partially because of the elevation issues that had to be dealt with. It was a great area to test and tweak the system.   And, we ended up creating the 5m mesh logic (upsampled) to make sure the sharp elevation changes could be dealt with better.

Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vince carlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-09-2016 at 12:40pm
Allen,
 
Just saw the  release announcement during my periodic check of your forum.  As always, I shall support Scenery Solutions via purchase and praise.  Your improvements to my flight simulation during the past decade have always put a smile on my face and your dedication to my support issues have always removed my frowns. 
 
Thank you for your devotion and dedication to this fantastic hobby !
 
I sincerely wish you much SUCCESS on the future of XPRESS SIM Thumbs Up
 
Vince Carlo
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vince carlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-09-2016 at 12:54pm
One question prior to installation.  I recently installed REX Worldwide Airports HD which replaces DEFAULT TEXTURES of airport buildings, jetways, etc.  Do you anticipate any type of issues involving compatability with your Xpress Sim airports ?
Thanks
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Originally posted by vince carlo vince carlo wrote:

One question prior to installation.  I recently installed REX Worldwide Airports HD which replaces DEFAULT TEXTURES of airport buildings, jetways, etc.  Do you anticipate any type of issues involving compatability with your Xpress Sim airports ?
Thanks

First, thanks for the kind words Vince.  You are also very much appreciated.

There should not be any visual issues with the REX textures and XpressSim.   All XpressSim buildings and objects use custom textures.   XpressSim does make use of library objects for things like cars, boats, etc.    So, any improvements REX makes to these objects will show in XpressSim.

This is probably a good time to talk about VAS, since REX was brought up.    This is for those that don't already know much about VAS usage.

I love REX products and they make a huge improvement.    However, users that are concerned about VAS (memory) usage need to just be aware of some things due to the 4gb memory limits in FSX.   The REX business model is based on taking smaller textures and making them into larger, more crisp textures. They do a great job and their products are gorgeous.   But, those larger textures can come at a cost (VAS).     I don't know what that cost is exactly, because I have not tested it.   But, larger textures = larger memory use.   A 2048x2048 textures uses 4x the memory of a 1024x1024 texture.   A 4096x4096 texture users 16x the memory of a 1024x1024 texture.

This is a good time to post this link for any newbies on VAS usage:

From day 1, one of the goals of XpressSim was to model and texture things to limit draw calls and resources as much as possible.    All the houses in a region use a single 1024x1024 texture.   Every other XpressSim object (commercial buildings, hangars and more) use a 4096x4096 texture.   That 4096 sized texture is large.   But, there is a lot packed in this texture and every XpressSim model except the houses are crammed into the same texture sheet.  With the object clustering strategy we use,  plus the efficient textrures, FSX can render up to a few hundred XpressSim models at once with a single draw call.

Because of the efficiency, XpressSim scenery is VAS friendly compared to comparable scenery packages.   You can save a little additional VAS usage overall by running your simulator in 2048 resolution mode or even 1024.

Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vince carlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-09-2016 at 2:27pm
Allen,
 
Thanks for the prompt response.  Excellent explanation regarding Xpress Sim, REX textures and VAS.  I have been a very fortunate Prepar3D user since 2.0 (now v3.4).  I run my sim with moderately high settings (2048 resolution) on a fairly high end PC and have not experienced OOM CTDs since install of v3.0.  
 
I am looking forward to spending this weekend exploring my "NEW" Xpress Sim Airports !
 
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Hi Allen,

Talk about energized...I installed the LECO airport and ended up flying around A Coruña till 3am. TGIF.Sleepy

I had mentioned that elevation issue in a previous post somewhere and was skeptical because nothing I've seen could do it... not ATAPs, not Vector, not nuttin'. But you have done it as well as could possibly be expected given the nature of that promontory.

XpressSim has gone way way way beyond my modest expectations. No BS, you got a winner here.

Wow
and Thanks,

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Originally posted by akriesman akriesman wrote:

Originally posted by vince carlo vince carlo wrote:

One question prior to installation.  I recently installed REX Worldwide Airports HD which replaces DEFAULT TEXTURES of airport buildings, jetways, etc.  Do you anticipate any type of issues involving compatability with your Xpress Sim airports ?
Thanks

First, thanks for the kind words Vince.  You are also very much appreciated.

There should not be any visual issues with the REX textures and XpressSim.   All XpressSim buildings and objects use custom textures.   XpressSim does make use of library objects for things like cars, boats, etc.    So, any improvements REX makes to these objects will show in XpressSim.

This is probably a good time to talk about VAS, since REX was brought up.    This is for those that don't already know much about VAS usage.

I love REX products and they make a huge improvement.    However, users that are concerned about VAS (memory) usage need to just be aware of some things due to the 4gb memory limits in FSX.   The REX business model is based on taking smaller textures and making them into larger, more crisp textures. They do a great job and their products are gorgeous.   But, those larger textures can come at a cost (VAS).     I don't know what that cost is exactly, because I have not tested it.   But, larger textures = larger memory use.   A 2048x2048 textures uses 4x the memory of a 1024x1024 texture.   A 4096x4096 texture users 16x the memory of a 1024x1024 texture.

This is a good time to post this link for any newbies on VAS usage:

From day 1, one of the goals of XpressSim was to model and texture things to limit draw calls and resources as much as possible.    All the houses in a region use a single 1024x1024 texture.   Every other XpressSim object (commercial buildings, hangars and more) use a 4096x4096 texture.   That 4096 sized texture is large.   But, there is a lot packed in this texture and every XpressSim model except the houses are crammed into the same texture sheet.  With the object clustering strategy we use,  plus the efficient textrures, FSX can render up to a few hundred XpressSim models at once with a single draw call.

Because of the efficiency, XpressSim scenery is VAS friendly compared to comparable scenery packages.   You can save a little additional VAS usage overall by running your simulator in 2048 resolution mode or even 1024.


I don't want to get off topic from this awesome new product, but at a glance I thought this looked great because of the tons of options, not just in textures, but rendering.   
Wondered if that syncs up with this discussion.

http://togapjcts.wixsite.com/toga/envtex
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote quantumleap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-09-2016 at 7:36pm
As Envtex looks to be an environment texture replacement in the same vein as REX then what Allen noted about VAS usage would apply to it or any other such texture replacement product.

Jeff


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Originally posted by jhaley101 jhaley101 wrote:

I don't want to get off topic from this awesome new product, but at a glance I thought this looked great because of the tons of options, not just in textures, but rendering.   
Wondered if that syncs up with this discussion.

http://togapjcts.wixsite.com/toga/envtex

Sometimes a developer can improve the textures without increasing the resolution. If that were the case, there would be no VAS increase.   It's the much larger textures that can cause additional VAS usage.   If a texture looks a lot more crisp, then most likely a higher resolution texture sheet is being used.   

There is a big difference in XpressSim building texture crispness if you are running your simulator at 4096 instead of 1024 (2048 is also possible).   But, XpressSim only uses a single 4096x4096 texture sheet for all the buildings and roofs (except houses).    Some of the texture replacement packages have lots of textures that are this size.

I am certainly not critical of any packages that use high res textures which increase VAS usage.   But, with the 4gb FSX/P3D barrier, it's just a question of what is important to a user.   For example, I tend to forego the really detailed aircraft packages and I do use REX because visuals are more important to me.    Those hobbyists that want the really VAS hungry aircraft, will have to forego other VAS hungry addons.    From what I have heard, some aircraft can be the biggest VAS users.

Of course, this would all be a non issue if someone could create a 64-bit version of FSX (or P3D) which would break the 4gb barrier.  
Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vince carlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-14-2016 at 8:12am
Consumer Report:  Purchased, installed and tested on my system.  Results >>> LOVE IT ! Thumbs Up
 
Upon realizing the Great Lake airfields had also been previously released by ORBX (NA Freeware Airports), I decided to do a little comparison.  Took some screenshots of the ORBX airfields, then disabled them and installed the XpressSim versions. 
 
I have always been very appreciative to ORBX for their freeware airport releases, but the XpressSim versions are  superior and well worth the small price !
 
I highly recommend this series.  I feel the key to its success will lie in the choices of future locations released.  I expect it will be difficult to develop XpressSim airports for EVERYONE because EVERYONE will want their "home" airport (no matter how remote) Cry
 
I am hoping Allen can focus on the larger airports that even though they serve several major airlines, they seem to be shunned by the payware developers. Of course this still applies to HUNDREDS of worldwide locations, so Allen you have your work cut out for you.  Wacko
 
Maybe we could have a thread devoted to suggestions from registered purchasers of Xpress Sim .   I am very excited about future releases from XpressSim !!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-14-2016 at 1:22pm
Thanks for that feedback Vince.  Greatly appreciated.  And, I agree with everything you said.

I do believe that XpressSim can nicely fit a niche in this industry, even for the airfields.   The urban portions (like CityScapes) really don't have much competition in the way of other products.   

The Lake Erie island airports are probably a little more atypical of what you can expect in the future.   These areas were chosen by me more as a personal favorite.  After one of the islands was completed, I needed to have the others done.

Also, I think a regional approach might be a good option.   This is similar to the Lake Erie islands somewhat.      If the airports and cities are spread out all over the place, it is more difficult for point-to-point VFR flights using XpressSim.

There will be something coming down the pipe regarding user requests.   There is some debate right now on exactly how that will be accomplished.  We have options.   There will need to be some technology put in place to do what we want to do to track requests.

In order for XpressSim to become successful, I have known from the beginning that we are going to need to be in this for the long haul.   In order to really garner interest, we are going to need a really large inventory of products.     This of course results in somewhat of a catch-22 situation.  In order to expand past releasing 2 products per week (and sometimes 1), we are going to need to add more staff.   In order to add more staff, you have to have more sales.

Because of the shorter development times using our custom tools, we can release the products at a lower cost.  In order for this to become a viable future business, we are going to need each product to average about 200-300 sales over their lifetime.    That may seem a lot at first.  But, we are talking 200-300 sales over a period of years, not months.

Anyway, we have the press release coming up this weekend which should stimulate things. And, we should have press releases every couple weeks to announce new products after that.

Thanks to all of you who are giving this new venture a good shot.  If you like it, please spread the word.

Cheers,
Allen
Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldfunflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-15-2016 at 11:47am
I waited for many years for someone to develop KBRO/Brownsville Intl. Airport.  Not only did Allen give us that but the entire city of Brownsville Texas.  It is outstanding, unless you know this area the following will not mean much but I took off from KBRO and picked up a major street "Boca Chica"  and followed it like I was driving a car made my turns and flew to my house its on a street that ends in a cola sack looking down was unreal (well Real) the foot print of my house was unmistakable.  What a piece of work..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psybear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-15-2016 at 12:04pm
Is a cola sack similar to a bag of joweah? Big smileTongueLOL
Win 10x64-256GB 840Pro | P3Dv3.4-512GB 850Pro
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-15-2016 at 12:09pm
Originally posted by oldfunflyer oldfunflyer wrote:

I waited for many years for someone to develop KBRO/Brownsville Intl. Airport.  Not only did Allen give us that but the entire city of Brownsville Texas.  It is outstanding, unless you know this area the following will not mean much but I took off from KBRO and picked up a major street "Boca Chica"  and followed it like I was driving a car made my turns and flew to my house its on a street that ends in a cola sack looking down was unreal (well Real) the foot print of my house was unmistakable.  What a piece of work..
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and I will bet with all that detail and intense scenery rendered, you didn't see performance drops.  That is what makes this product line so special. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vince carlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-15-2016 at 1:39pm
Sounds great Old Fun !!   Agreed this is going to be a great project Smile Don't worry bout the cola sack joke -- I flunked French in high school and I understand Wacko
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldfunflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-15-2016 at 2:30pm
Not a bit of frame lose.  My old computer is a Gateway FX530S with upgraded memory and a Gfroce 760 card still renders very well frame rates were in the hi forties. and about the cola sack joke I am like old Alfred E. Newman "Who me worry"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlyingAxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-26-2016 at 6:29pm
Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

and I will bet with all that detail and intense scenery rendered, you didn't see performance drops.  That is what makes this product line so special. Smile


Nick, I know you will hate it, but I made some tests with PMDG's NGX being set to a resolution of 4096 before while installing the sceneries with a 2048 setting. Usually the bird can react quite sensitive in dense areas and you need to take care if clouds and traffic are additive. With XpressSim I never got in trouble regarding frame rates or being pulled too close to the VAS border. As some guys wrote above, it is just amazing. It's gonna be a new chapter for simmers being usually forced to compromise because of the magic 4 GByte border.

BTW, I saw Allen's sceenshots above, and the documented amount of available memory (thanks to Pete Dowson) made me thinking about an other payware scenery, 'Drzewiecki Design New York'. There is no way flying any other bird than default ones around this scenery. If you want to fly a complex bird you need to reduce the object and texture resolution remarkable.
Axel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-26-2016 at 6:46pm
Awesome !   Thanks for passing that on Axel.
Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlyingAxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-26-2016 at 6:53pm
Originally posted by oldfunflyer oldfunflyer wrote:

I waited for many years for someone to develop KBRO/Brownsville Intl. Airport. 


Hey, as far as I can recall it, I'd pimped for you a while ago the default KBRO. Of course it can't be compared to Allen's work and it wasn't even intended, but it should have had the correct layout a least. Cry

And you're right with your judgement, just don't forget to delete the old AFCAD, as I wrote about a year ago, it took me just 20 minutes ...Big smile
Axel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldfunflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-26-2016 at 7:22pm
FlyingAxx - Old and no memory not sure what you mean in your post, but I had downloaded a KBRO I believe form flyaway sims that was good but the old Pan AM building was way out of place.  Before I lost my medical (well for years after - don't tell this to FAA ) - I flew out of KBRO so I know this area very well and what Allen and his team has given us is the very best at has came out.  I am getting old to fast so do not have many what years left (hope it's years) but will crank up my old 172 and fly anything Allen puts out in and around the Valley.  Looking forward to Brownsville connected to south padre island.
Hope All Had A Merry Christmas (Went to Church) It is the Day we celebrate His Birth..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jorgen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-27-2016 at 3:36am
I really like this!

But I can see a potential problem coming up down the road, as more sceneries are released: how to keep things organised, like what scenery is not downloaded and installed, what is downloaded but not installed, and what is downloaded and installed.

Maybe a system of color-coding the lines in the interface would work?

Jorgen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote electric man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-27-2016 at 9:44am
Hi Akriesman, great stuff but you have to correct a mistake; it's not A Coruna but La Coruna.
People from Europe will appreciate it if you would change that.
 
Herman
PS Sorry, here in Europe everybody speaks La Coruña but it seems that the rest off the world speaks A Coruña, didn't know that, first thought it was a place in the states, especially Colorado has a lot of villages and cities with a Spanish  name that are written sometimes a littke different from the Spanish cities.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-27-2016 at 12:08pm
Originally posted by Jorgen Jorgen wrote:

I really like this!

But I can see a potential problem coming up down the road, as more sceneries are released: how to keep things organised, like what scenery is not downloaded and installed, what is downloaded but not installed, and what is downloaded and installed.

Maybe a system of color-coding the lines in the interface would work?

Jorgen

Yes as this project evolves we will be adding more interface features as needed.  For example, just after the limited forum release, we released a new version with the ability to list products by region in the "My Purchases" dialog box.



Just click the "Region" dropdown iist to only list your products purchased for the selected region. 

One of the goals with XpressSim is to keep things simple when it comes to product maintenance.  For example, All products within the same region only take a single layer in the FSX/P3D scenery library.   If you have 50 different products by 50 different vendors, you would normally get 50 different layers that you have to manage.   We want you guys to have less time spent tinkering with layering/tweaking and more time flying.   

Any feedback that our users can give us to make future interfaces more user friendly is always welcomed.




Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-27-2016 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by electric man electric man wrote:

Hi Akriesman, great stuff but you have to correct a mistake; it's not A Coruna but La Coruna.
People from Europe will appreciate it if you would change that.
 
Herman
PS Sorry, here in Europe everybody speaks La Coruña but it seems that the rest off the world speaks A Coruña, didn't know that, first thought it was a place in the states, especially Colorado has a lot of villages and cities with a Spanish  name that are written sometimes a littke different from the Spanish cities.

Yeah, I knew about the local spelling variation.  But, as you found out, most of the world sees it as "A Coruna".   I figured the locals can figure out the different spelling easier than the rest of the world.    Plus, in FSX/P3D the region is listed as "A Coruna".   That was the main reason for sticking with the A Coruna spelling.
Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlyingAxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-30-2016 at 12:13pm
Hi Allen,

I still stick on my thought that it might be helpful for airport sceneries having their ICAO code clearly visible (and not only in the description. That would clarify the location too.

By the way, I wish you, and the guys around all the best for the upcoming year.
Axel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-30-2016 at 2:28pm
Originally posted by FlyingAxx FlyingAxx wrote:

Hi Allen,

I still stick on my thought that it might be helpful for airport sceneries having their ICAO code clearly visible (and not only in the description. That would clarify the location too.

By the way, I wish you, and the guys around all the best for the upcoming year.

Thanks Axel.  Yeah, you have a really valid point.  Once a product has been released, I can't change the description due to accounting issues.   

There are 3 general types of XpressSim products:
  1. Large Cityscapes Only (like Florence, A Coruna, etc)
  2. Airport Regions that are typically a good distance from large city and so it is split out into another product (i.e. LIRQ for Florence, LECO for A Coruna, etc).
  3. Cityscapes and airports combined (i.e Brownsville, Peterborough, Ajaccio, Propriano, etc).
The Cityscape only naming convention is  easy.   The airport products get a little more complex.

For example, the next 2 products up are in Greece.   I just released "Patras Cityscape" for testing.   This is a very large city with no airport within the city boundaries.

The nearest airport for Patras is LGRX, which is in Araxos.   This airport is 45km from Patras but is seen as the airport for Patras.    This scenery is currently in development and is about 2/3 complete.

When the products are released, I need 2 titles.

One of them obviously will be "Patras Cityscape".   But, the airport product is a little more difficult.   It could have several naming variations:

1) LFKO Airport Region (Patras)
2) Araxos Airport Region (LFKO)
3) Patras Airport region (LFKO)

This scenery contains several small towns and the LFKO airport.   It is usually called Araxos airport because Araxos is the closest town and Patras is 45km away.   However, Patras is the 3rd largest city in Greece and more people would probably identify with LFKO being the Patras airport, even though it is so far away.

That is my dilemma with some of these products.   If I was only doing the airports, I would just name them by their ICAO code.  But, potential customers might seem them as just another airport product and not understand that it covers the airport region and not just the airport grounds.     And, if I don't go with the official names, locals might complain about the naming.

I am certainly open to suggestions on this topic.   But, we do need to find some consistency in the naming and stick to it.  One way or another, I agree that the ICAO code needs to be in the title.

Have a great New Years !


Allen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-30-2016 at 6:09pm
Originally posted by FlyingAxx FlyingAxx wrote:

Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

and I will bet with all that detail and intense scenery rendered, you didn't see performance drops.  That is what makes this product line so special. Smile


Nick, I know you will hate it, but I made some tests with PMDG's NGX being set to a resolution of 4096 before while installing the sceneries with a 2048 setting. Usually the bird can react quite sensitive in dense areas and you need to take care if clouds and traffic are additive. With XpressSim I never got in trouble regarding frame rates or being pulled too close to the VAS border. As some guys wrote above, it is just amazing. It's gonna be a new chapter for simmers being usually forced to compromise because of the magic 4 GByte border.

BTW, I saw Allen's sceenshots above, and the documented amount of available memory (thanks to Pete Dowson) made me thinking about an other payware scenery, 'Drzewiecki Design New York'. There is no way flying any other bird than default ones around this scenery. If you want to fly a complex bird you need to reduce the object and texture resolution remarkable.
 
 
Just a FYI..   you DONT have to install the scenery with the changed texture resolution..  it automatically installs all resolutions..  all you need to do is switch the TR in the interface.
 
Its the same as editing:
 
TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024/2048/4096
 
in the FSX/P3D.cfg file. The scenery installs with everything available, all you do is change the global resolution, just be aware that if you happen to use other crazy designed regions/airports/ (and dumb aircraft artists) that higher setting can force a OOM which wont have anything to do with XpressSim.
 
This was something I brought up to Allen about that feature. It may make the buildings look better in his scenery but if people see OOM flying elsewhere or close they may blame XS for it when that is absolutely false.
 
I'm not down on 2048/4096..  I am down on how its called and used by the sim in typical scenery and ESPECIALLY aircraft designs. A 1024 airplane external or internal tile can be made to look as clear and sharp as 4096, and without shimmers,.. its the graphics person who needs to go back to school Big smileWink
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldfunflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-30-2016 at 7:21pm
Well this old fart is overwhelmed by all you smart people so I'll just say Allen and Team are producing this best STUFF FSX has Ever Seen.  To All You Wonderful People.. Have a Safe and Happy New Year..
 
Gotta say I LUV YOU ALL..
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlyingAxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-05-2017 at 7:19pm
Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

Its the same as editing:
 
TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024/2048/4096
 
in the FSX/P3D.cfg file. The scenery installs with everything available
<snip>
I'm not down on 2048/4096..  I am down on how its called and used by the sim in typical scenery and ESPECIALLY aircraft designs. A 1024 airplane external or internal tile can be made to look as clear and sharp as 4096, and without shimmers,.. its the graphics person who needs to go back to school Big smileWink


Nick, I see that you don't care seeing dust and fingerprints on your glass gauges, right? WinkLOL

By the way, I'm normally using a lower resolution.

These day I'm trying out a freeware scenery, 'Mogadishu X3', that killed my frame rates in an unacceptable way. However, I'm still not sure whether if it is the amount of objects or rather the photo cover. I'm just at the border designing it myself by using standard textures and landclass. As it is for my private use I even may import some of the custom objects (e.g. the terminal).

It's time to sleep....
Axel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akriesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-05-2017 at 8:23pm
Hey Axel.   FWIW, having too many individual 3D models in a scene or having 3D models with too many triangles (and bad LOD) are the thing that normally cause frame rate slowdowns like that you are seeing in the freeware product.   The reason XpressSim scenery can get away with so many models is due to the object grouping strategu.   A single compiled object actually contains lots of buildings (in some cases well over 100).   So, there are fewer objects overall that the CPU has to manage before they actually get processed by the graphics card.

Peformance issues due to high resolution custom terrain textures (like photoscenery) usually show up as "blurries" instead of frame rate loss.

Here is something pretty cool to show using Arno's ModelConverterX model viewer.  This is one of the urban areas modeled from the upcoming XpressSim Greece Patras project.    As you can see, there are well over 100 buildings (200 ?) in this "scene".    Yet, this scene is actually processed as a single object by FSX.   Because XpressSim shares a single texture sheet for all buildings, look at the number of draw calls necessary to process the scenery.   That answer is exactly 1 draw call as shown below.    If a developer created the same scenery in the normally manner and and there were 200 buildings and each building used 3 separate textures sheets, it would result in 600 draw calls instead of 1.    This logic is/was the entire basis of XpressSim, without it, we would not even try to release these products.




Allen

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