Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rio Galeao. Our impression.

Oh Brazil! The women, the Sun, the music, the beaches, the food, the airports... Airports? Ah! Yes! The airports! I had a very nice flight this morning from Paris and now here I am. Rio baby! TropicalSim has given me a very compelling reason to head down South and I must say, it's not the women, sand, music or food that has captured my attention. It's the megabeast we all know as Galeão. This is a very interesting airport and TropicalSim has done quite a job creating it's pressence in the simulatior. So, it's summertime people, let's explore! Dom will also cover the FSX version in this review. Bandwidth Warning! Lots of pictures to load!
Now I am going to fly right off the handle and be honest. This is one beast of an airport. It's macho unlike those pretty glass clad airports we usually see around Europe. This airport is pure concerete muscle and it stands it's ground quite firmly. What I find most impressive here, is how this likeness is represented almost perfectly in it's virtual form.
For those who live in Rio or have visited Galeão in the past will without a doubt see just how well this project mirrors it's real counterpart. There is something I have a profound respect for, when a developer can take something that is not naturally pretty and almost detail for detail, make just as not pretty in simulation form. To that end, what we have here is a very realistic rendition of the real thing.
Looking up close, it's clear TropicalSim really worked hard to get the terminal object just right. Honestly, the only thing that would make the object more realisic is perhaps some photoreal glass. The glass here has too much of a matte look. But I don't find myself caring much as the overall look of the terminal keeps stealing my attention. That's a lot of curves and rounded squares blending together. Most pretty glassy airports stand out on their own. But this terminal takes your attention by force.
And to be honest, I really don't mind. Here is a feature I really like in the scenery. The light towers. Everything about this airport says "I'm different" and it truly is. This is honestly the most noteworthy rendition of this airport to date. The other being the older TropicalSim version.
Another thing I like here that some other developers tend to get wrong is the photo glass textures on the jet bridges. The ground markings and textures are well done as well. But oops! I see an error in the above picture. Can you spot it?
Almost during every hour of the day this airport is teaming with AI. As one of the buissist airports in South America, this place stays busy.
Moving around to the front, I am quite impressed by how all the levels are represented complete with taxis busses and all.
 Moving a bit further back, we get more of a complete picture with the ramp in the background.
 But there is more to this airport. A lot more. Let's move over to some of the other sections of the airfield.
 The cargo area. It's all there!
What I call TropicalSim's signature trees.

Without a doubt a higher res ground photo and the surrounding areas are teaming with autogen.

The hangar well detailed and textured.
Nothing was left out. All buildings and objects clearly present.
You can see the dense autogen in the background.

From the North looking South, everything is in it's place.

So TAP controls that hangar now? Cool! A Varig relic sitting on the ramp. I do miss Varig. Very interesting airline. Some of the finest female older flight attendants I have ever seen. And sometimes an all Japanese cabin crew speaking Portuguese. I loved chatting with the crews on the layovers in LA between Brasil and Japan.
Above we get another shot of the ground image. Very good quality in FS9.
Now what I can say without a doubt was done well with this airport is the night textures and lighting. Very well done. But there are some issues.
We see the jetbridges are not only nicely textured during the day, but the night effect and textures are very good as well. But where the developers went wrong here is they did not give any night texturing to the depature halls connecting the jetbridge to the terminal building. What happend there?
With the exception of that, all the night textures look damn fine!
On the ramp we see those lovely rendered light towers.
Very busy night operations!
I wanted to point out the above shot for it's use of parking lot lights. The way those light up is very realistic. Very nicely done.
The 2 terminals lit together.
Here we have a shot from the non secure side. Note the pink lights there. All the night texturing there is perfect. Very nice touch!

Here is a closer shot. Note how well the lighting has been placed and textured. Great job!

The cargo area well lit as well.

Okay so overall it's obvious the FSX version gets the better end of the stick. But honestly, with the exception of the default features, the FS9 version is not very far behind at all. All the textures and lighting is very well done. The terminal model was rendered perfectly and the developers strived to ensure nothing was left out.

However, there are some errors here that I think can be worked out like the error I pointed out in picture #4 and the issue with the bridge connectors not having night textures. Besides this, an improvement would have been photoreal wondow textures but I am sure getting around to the ramp area to get such pictures could prove difficult. Besides this, there is a lack of perimeter fencing which is something I am very anal about. And of course there are the parking lots which were void of cars and trees, something TropicalSim did add to their previous scenery. Besides this, I honestly would have liked to see the taxi bridges make their way into FS9. Developers have proven this possible in FS9 with Leipzig, Munich, and Athens to name a few.

Besides that, I can't think of any else negative to say. The developer hit the mark where it counts most. Without a doubt this is by far the best rendition of Galeao to date. If you bought this airport released from another developer earlier this year, junk it and buy the T'Sim version. It's extremly easy on frames, the ground textures and markings are highly detailed and there are plenty of static GSE cars and trucks rampside that give a realistic look. TropicalSim has finally given me a very good excuse to make that long haul down to to the South where the women, music, food, and night life is absolutely best. Too bad TropicalSim couldn't add THAT to the scenery! Allright! Crank up the BossaNova and lets fly baby!



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-------------Addendum / FSX version--------------

These two shots are from Rio de Janeiro defaut FSX scenery and textures.
With the next ones below, you can see what T.S. SBGL scenery includes :
Governador island, Ilha Fondao and in Rio, Penha area.

And a comparison with Google Earth view.

The taxiways and runway textures are very good.

Hangars, buildings are designed with a lot of photoreal textures with different level of qualities. As here for instance, from 300-500 meters, the view is really good. But zoom on these textures and you will be quite disappointed. Now from a pilot angle, the standard of quality chosen by T.S. is sufficient.

While releasing FS9 version, Tropical Sim has slightly updated the FSX version. Here, for instance, the traffic is now connected to the island of Fondao.

Some hangars in the military area near runay 33.

The island of Governador has some custom autogen and some details like here, this marina.

The main terminals, jetways and apron ground textures are quite good (here at night).

Here is the Avenida Vinte de Janeiro, the main access to the airport. Curiously, when i tested the updated scenery for FSX, i did not see any traffic any more. I am also not really satisfied with the low textures of the road.

This version is a real improvment compared with T.S. first version. I think it was 4 or 5 years ago, maybe more. This is a heavy airport and i suppose that Leandro and Carlos had to make choices to preserve the framerate. Personally, i would have prefered a scenery with just the airport.
Paulo Ricardo is working on a great Rio de Janeiro bay and i don't understand the choice of designing the whole island of Governador. Luckily, Leandro has confirmed that T.S. SBGL Galeo will be compatible with Paulo's work. We really needed a good Rio SBGL airport and i would say mission accomplished.

FSX part from Dom.


Anonymous said...

are those default taxiway signs?

and I don't know but I think TS should revise their night ground textures they look a bit like FS2002

Mason Dominique said...

Comparing this work with FS 2002 is excessive ! Or post some more detailed explanations...

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