Sunday, November 25, 2012

Orbx EU ENgland Part 2: Review

FSX/P3D. The Australian touch redefining a new vision of England. The thousands of squares miles in British Columbia were a challenge ? But imagine all the details needed for England !


Version tested : FSX V.1.0 (P3D available too).
Bought on
40,95 AUS. $
(Approximately : 42,5 US $ / 33 Euros).

File size : 3,3 GB
Installation : Before decompressing, it is better to reindex FTX Central to Default.
For compatibility with UK 2000 airports, move up airport(s) over Orbx layers in the library.

Manual : 25 pages in english / no chart.
Utility : FTX Central, FTX night / lights nights.
Framerate :
General aviation : more than 40 FPS
Processor I5 / 3,4 Ghz / 6 MB / ATI HD6570 / Win 7 64 bits / REX
Aircrafts tested :  Carenado B200 King Air.
ATI settings : sliders on average, between best performance and best quality.

The Bad :

* Progress still required on trees / OR  / trees with ground textures are not perfectly balanced.

* No PeopleFlow on airfields yet. Will probably come soon.

The Good :

* Compatibility with UK 2000 airports is rather good, especially in flat areas. Tested London City, Newcastle and Heathrow without noticeable problems.

* Spin of life of this product is limitless. Hundreds of thousands of hours !

* The landclass Orbx technology is definitely working on very large areas. And the visual quality of grounds is better than France VFR VFR sceneries. Now Orbx might think to improve its 3D models...

* Compared with France VFR sceneries, the price of Orbx FTX sceneries is really cheap...

* * *Orbx with UK 2000 * * *

Here are two screenshots from UK 2000 Liverpool. Frankly, i am not horrified about the adjustment between UK 2000 and Orbx sceneries. The short grass around the airfield and runway usually differs from the surroundings. Since UK 2000 developer is updating its airports regularly, the next versions will shurely take into account this new layer.
Besides, in Liverpool for instance, you will be more disappointed by Speke area, that is not realistic.

Speke in Google Earth

And Speke, on the right side, in Orbx EU England.

The final approach at Liverpool and the junction between Orbx and UK 2000. I tested Newcastle and London City too and did not remark any elevation step. The futur FTX Scotland might be ultimately more challenging considering the relief.

  * * * Landscapes * * *

Incredible diversity of colors and forms if you just compare the three first shots below.

 You would think that England is a flat country ? Not here, in the Gloucestershire.


The Lancashire in winter.

* * * A trip from the Devon to the Somerset * * *

 To my opinion, this is the best places i have enjoyed during my tests this week. Along the coastline, landscapes are changing a lot, from cliffs to hills, quiet countryside to populated touristic centers.

* * * Points of Interest * * *

During my ballads, i found Silverstone F1 race circuit, Stonehenge (below), Blackpool station in the Lancashire, Canterbury's cathedral and the castle of Windsor, from the east of Heathrow airport.
There are probably hundreds of visual objects like these. The monuments are enhanced by the quality of autogen. In Canterbury, for instance, the cathedral is nested around green and rusty trees. Stonehenge stones are really nice although i did not recognize the position of the fields around it.

Filton airfield, in Bristol, with the British Airways Concord !

Blackpool beach could have been a litlle bit more colorful. Give me the keyboard please mister developer, i will program and add thousand of PeopleFlow here...
I am not kidding. Orbx should work on a special package. Let's say 10 cents for 1 PeopleFlow. Pay for what you need. Imagine a package of 1000 PeopleFlow in your virtual box and you can put them anywhere you want trough an interface. An idea ?

* * *   EU England in Dusk and night * * *

Assuming you have activated FTX Night and FTX lights night icons on your desk, the night scenery is really improved and will include hundreds of light poles in cities. There are also many blue lights in airports and more enlighted ground textures.  The first one below, is taken from the suburb of London. The second one shows the most popular buildings in the capital (here, i set the maximum quality on myATI card).

This one is taken with 100 % traffic. A motorway in Manchester city. Remark the light poles along the road.

The last ones were taken at dusk and then, night, in Gloucestershire airport.

 * * * *

Manston in the Kent. This famous RAF airfield in the second world war, is now a multi-purpose airport. Orbx developers have included here many static aircrafts, liners and general aviation propellers (it is the case in all other airports and airfields too). Try a flight to the cliffs of Dover, or make some tests on a B-747. I remember this video from Oasis airlines. There were testing their trainees on some go-around procedures here.

* * *  Trees and photoreal textures * * *

These screenshots are showing some "impairment" between the photoreal ground textures and the trees. Are the trees too realistic compared with the grounds or is it the opposite ? It's hard to tell.
This is a curiosity i did not see in the FTX sceneries in North America. Maybe the problem comes from the contour of the trees textures. Anyway, i am shure Orbx can still improve this in a near futur if the developer consider this as an issue. Personally, i really like the way it is. When i flew around for my tests, i almost found myself into some Renaissance paintings from Cranach or Patinir.  

This one is pretty funny. There is a large shadow in the center of the picture but the tree is... a small shrub. A malfunction in some algorythm ?


Conclusion :

Orbx FTX EU England is a huge addition in Europe zone of  flight. And a serious competitor to France VFR 3D automation engine (now that we can seriously compare two european areas). Now that all my expectations are satisfied, the wait for FTX EU Scotland will be very long !
 My only question here is about this curious/odd impairment between trees and photoreal landclass, since i never noticed this on other FTX packages. But look at the screenshots and judge yourself.
It's beautiful....

More screenshots here :

Thanks !

Airdailyx November 2012
Dom Mason


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this review and I add in "the good" Compared also with France VFR sceneries ... you have season texture and night !!!
I'm définitively happy when Orbx make also France in EU collection ...

Anonymous said...

The developers said once that there is no algorithm in FTX's annotations, its all manually placed by hand, good fair review and I'm totally enjoying it myself atm

Mason Dominique said...

Thanks !!

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