Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fly Montreal : REVIEW !

FS9/FSX/P3D. Dorval airport... Rings a bell ? Dorval became Trudeau, from the name of Canada first minister P.E. Trudeau. if i remember. The third canadian airport has never ceased to be reconstructed, modernized, updated. A seventy years old lady that is serving a vibrant city.



Reviewers : Dom Mason
Version tested : FSX V.1.0.
File size : 850 MB
Installation : Very easy.
Manual : Yes, 14 pages, airport layer chart.
Utility : No but during installation, several options/features can be selected.

Framerate : Excellent.
PMDG NGX : >16-20 FPS on take-off (runway 26 R) on a mid-core processor.
Windows Seven 64 bits. FSX sliders at 100 % (no AI traffic). (no UTX Canada).
Test configuration ;
Processor I5 / 3,54 GHz / 6 MBram / ATI HD6570 1MB / Windows Seven 64 bits / FSX SP2.

The bad :

* A very large area has been designed around the airport with a lot of custom buildings. It' a "plus" but can slow down some processors...

The good :

* The impressive amount of technics applied in one project ; self shadowing, ambient occlusion, custom reflection maps (FSX), new wet/puddle effect in rain, low cloud/mist effect (FSX), floodlight lamp glows, 3D tunnels, new realistic snow effects, especially along runways and taxiways.... etc.

* The high quality and diversity of textures (i imagine the time spent to process hundreds of textures).

* The choice of Montreal airport. And all possible destinations to Canada, USA, Europe...

* The good framerate.

* Highly competitive price compared with many heavy airports of this level of quality.


( Taken with low graphic card settings )

The history of Montreal CYUL
Passengers from all around the world, coming to the Olympic Games (1976), supporting the tremendous development of this country, with french speaking peoples from France, Caribbeans, Africa, etc. George has perfectly caught this place. It's not a brand new platform since the construction started after 1940, so the developer from F.T. has spend a lot of time on textures, designing all these buildings constructed during the fifties / sixties.
Montreal is a wonderful city. I came back there 3 years ago, guys playing baseball, the underground life, squirrels of the Mont-Royal, and most of all, the Canadians Montreal, Ken Dryden, Beliveau, Cournoyer... (oups sorry, these hockey-men are from the past already.. But still in our heart).
Land in Montreal.. You won't want to leave it... or leave it and come back just to enjoy this marvelous work by Fly Tampa.

According to your computer performances, you can select some of these features : Volumetric grass, static vehicules, etc.


In Fly Montreal, George has programmed many ambient occlusions, a feature included on 3DSMAX and that enhanced 3D models by including fake but natural and realistic shadows. The addition of this effect, snow traces and realistic rusty and old-looking textures, really enhance the scenery.

* * * * *
T.. like Textures
Just take a look at this screenshot. We are somewhere in the center of the airport, near the large cargo area. Look at these textures on the borne and in front of this fire station. Look at these wear traces on the edge of the borne.. Realistic ! And hundreds of 3D models have been designed this way.

The south part of the cargo area (Air Canada hangars). From Google Earth on the left, and Fly Tampa Montreal on the right...

I really like the contrast here between colors, between the exhaust nozzle and the hangar. In winter, many buildings are surrounded by some snow textures on the ground. The large cargo area in the center of the airport, also includes a few static aircrafts. 
These hangars, located between the two main runways, have many fine rusy traces, on front buildings, on doors, on the roof etc. Some snow traces along the ground marks but i am not shure if this is realistic ?

This large cargo area has many details : static cars, street lamps, poles, signs, pallets etc.

Along the international terminal, glazed, crispy window textures. And this one hasn't even been taken with best quality settings on my graphic card. One regret though, here. I really miss the shadows effects simulating the passengers walking in the lobby. I think Martin invented it for Chicago Midway airport. It's genius. I really wish we will be able to see - in a  near futur - the life inside terminals. From the cockpit, it would be wonderful. Many editors tried things to show the inside view but it's still not convincing. FSDT in Vancouver did a great job on it though. I like the way these windows are designed too, just showing a few details of the inside halls.
Fantastic work on the tower. On the top of it, several antennas, an aluminium ring, air vents, with ambiant occlusions. There are also reflective and transparents textures...!


This is the main terminal building of the airport. Here again, George has given this very good old-looking display. You can see the work on the textures and the ladders. There are also traces of rust from the roof.
* * * * *
S.. like Snow
George has developed an entire new way to display snow on airport. In fact, Montreal includes many different kind of snow traces, of different density and aspect. Now, i think we are just at the beginning of what we can do on this. It's really apparently to design "volumetric snow". A-Flight did it in their Helsinki (picture below) but it's too artificial. If you look at real pictures of airports and runways under snow, there are volumes, snow balls, peaks.
In winter, this snow layer is everywhere, invade the buildings, taxiways and aprons, with different textures and levels of opacity. Here there is some halo effect on this parking.
Three developers, three ways to design snow along runway... Make your choice ! Personaly, i like the way the snow is encroaching on the runway. But curiously, i did not see any snowplough ! I remember Limesim (Normann) had included an animated one in Antarctica X. 
* * * * *
R... like Runway
Just look at these puddles ! That's new ?! And you will find some on aprons and along the runway when it's raining or snowing. Don't worry, absolutely no effect on your framerate.


Runways will impress you. You will discover many variations of shades (grey, blue, ./..) and effects. These textures enhance considerably the visual impression of speed during rotations. 

 * * * * *
T... like Technics
 Dozens of bridges, gateways, a tunnel, multi-levels. Here the picture shows the tunnel near the Côte-Vertu, near the threshold of the runway 24 L. Animated traffic included !

(Textures in summer)
An incredible tangle of lanes and motorways. All the real hotels around the airport are included.

The quality of ground textures at gates, aprons, runways is simply magnificent and shows all the microscopic details of concrete. An old-looking concrete, actually.

N... like Night

The vinicity of the airport has been designed too : custom buildings and textures, traffic, very effective night lights (here).

Here at night, all the light poles are enlighting terminal and gates. The different greens and greys colors are realistic.
Conclusion :
I am looking hard at reporting some weaknesses. I can't. The framerate is really optimized, many effects are included (reflective textures, snow, night light, effective light poles at night, tunnels...) and large area covered around the aiport (100 enhanced the city of Montreal. Even the price is fair (less than 27 euros / 37 dollars), considering the work. George has spent more than a year on this unique project. Should i inveil these informations ? During this year, the developer had to deal with several heavy challenges : new construction plans in the real airport, problems of memory and conversion files with P3D etc, etc. I make a guess. You will still use this airport in 5 years !
Thanks !
Airdailyx, February 2013
 Want to know more on this airport ?
All the details here :


Anonymous said...

thanks! why flytampa is THE number 1? take a look at picture n° 20! :-)

Anonymous said...

Great review. Good job Dom.
I've had the scenery since day one & love it.

Anonymous said...

I liked this airport because it WORKED.
I'm sick of OOMs at certain other locations.

Anonymous said...

They should make an option to exclude the night photoreal sourrouding low res textures. If you have UTX and Experience X night lighting it looks much more real.

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