Thursday, May 23, 2013

AirDailyX First Look - Vidan Sonderborg X!

FSX/P3D. So we got our first look at Vidan Design' Sonderborg X...and I am blown away! This scenery is absolutely fantastic. In addition to my initial impressions and screenshots, D'Andre has kindly provided some captures and his own impressions from Prepar3D. See inside for more about this incredible scenery.

To be completely honest, this is my first experience with Vidan Design, I had not tried any of the developers previous work. In saying that, I am now taking a closer look at his previous releases as I'm just so impressed with the quality of Sonderborg X.

Sønderborg Lufthavn/Sonderborg Airport (EKSB) is located on the island of Als in Southern Jutland, a few kilometers from Sønderborg City, Denmark. This is an area of the world I had not previously explored so I was delighted to finally check it out. The scenery includes not only the airport itself but aerial imagery covering Kær Peninsula which is basically the nearby surrounding area.

When loading the scenery for the first time, I couldn't help but notice the high quality ground work. As I taxied around the airport I became increasingly impressed with ground polygon quality - crisp, detailed, and precise! Volumetric grass is nicely done and visible throughout. In general, the ground work is beautifully done.

Building modeling and texturing is among the best I have ever seen - yes, among the very best! I think this aspect of the scenery is what truly blew me away. Everything from the primary terminal and hangers to off airport farm complexes are just so well done. The texturing is almost perfect in my opinion. No weird texture anomalies, flashing, or anything of that nature. Hanger doors open which is a nice touch, not sure how many actually open as I only tested the hanger beside the primary terminal. The buildings are high resolution at 2048x2048 pixels although I did not notice any associated performance hit.

Performance and FPS wise this scenery performed very well. At my normal maximum scenery settings I had no problems maintaining my standard 30FPS, without any stutters to boot. In fact, I could not manage a stutter for the life of me. For my normal benchmark test I have included two shots of the PMDG Jetstream with the FPS counter visible. In one shot, I am on final approach and the other, turning towards the primary terminal following landing. You will note, the FPS counter is stuck at 30FPS in both shots. If I can manage this type of performance with the PMDG, I think most users will be very satisfied, even with highly complex aircraft.

Aerial imagery is high quality at 40cm/pixel and as previously noted, covers the Kær Peninsula which is basically the nearby surrounding area. Farm complexes and other required landmarks within the photo imagery area are included. Colours are vibrant and jump out at you, particularly in the summer season. Although I tested and posted screenshots from all seasons, I found myself returning to summer over and over again just because it looked so nice. Don't get me wrong, all seasons are well done, summertime is just my favourite. The scenery includes a small application to change certain seasonal items, apparently, some items cannot be reloaded in FSX. I didn't actually use this application and everything still looked good in all seasons. My understanding is that certain items such as vegetation are custom made for specific seasons, so, to get the correct items for the correct season it must be set prior to loading FSX. Nevertheless, it looked good without using the application so I can only imagine it will look even better using it.

Scenery blending is skillfully done and almost unnoticeable. This is quite a feat given the profound difference between the included high quality photo imagery and default scenery. I have included a screenshot below to illustrate the scenery blending.

Night lighting is nicely done but perhaps a tad bright around tarmac areas. Regardless, it looks good and nothing here detracts from the overall high quality scenery experience.

Lots of little extras included as well. Birds are visible above - I'm not always a fan of birds but in this case it seemed to fit very well into the scenery. Dynamic boat traffic is visible around the peninsula including both sailboats and motorized watercraft. Custom general aviation AI traffic is included and certainly noticeable - during my testing I observed several smaller general aviation aircraft taxi out as well a King Air parked at the primary terminal.

So what more can I say, Sonderborg X is fantastic! Vidan Design has now made my personal list of top quality scenery developers. So is this scenery worth checking out, absolutely! Am I now a Vidan Design fanboy, indeed I am!

Now, the screenshots:

Blending - very well done:
Now, D'Andre in Pepar3D.

D'Andre's Shots & P3D Exprience

P3D. Every now and then there is a scenery where it's just so evident that everything is done right. Very high photoreal quality the what comes to mind with this airport is LHSimulations and Drzewiecki Design. The performance on frames are superb. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the work. So when I am in that position, I try to discover what I may have done better or differently. But here, everything I would have done was done. High quality photoreal apron textures, sharp and crisp quality ground work, very sharp photoreal ground textures covering a massive area that extends in all directions. And it's great location! I am hereby a fan of Vidian Design and I am looking much forward to his future work. I don't have much more to say here as Mark's feelings above mirror my own. So let's take a look from my P3D perspective! 

Animated birds in the above shot with very realistic flight patterns.

Nice cars and custom trees...

Cars seem to be missing tires?? Nice rims though...
Flags are not animated.

Only a couple of people in the scenery.

Nice fences! A+
I like the carts and random objects on the ramp area.

This guy in the tower is animated!

Nice custom hand placed autogen covering a large section of the areas surrounding the airport.
Very crisp ground image! High resolution!! This is how it should be!
And in winter too!
Night textures look good!

And nice runway lighting and lead-in approach lights. And yes the supports are there. No floating lights.
I am looking forward for much more from Vidian design. In fact today, we are purchasing their other projects also and if they are anything like this, we will be impressed. This is an independent developer we fully support and if you like good quality with great performance, check it out!

Website here:
It's available here as well his other products:



Anonymous said...

Great review guys! I'll probably be being this scenery over the weekend, just waiting for some funds to come in ;-)

One thing I did notice is that on the 14th screenshot with the winter textures, the few trees scattered close to the hangars and other airport structures are green and still have their leaves, whereas the trees in the distance clearly have no foliage left:

This does seem a bit odd and wasn't mentioned above.

Unknown said...

Indeed, this was my bad as I did not use the included seasonal change application as required. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the application until after the screenshots were complete. See this quote from the article:

"The scenery includes a small application to change certain seasonal items, apparently, some items cannot be reloaded in FSX. I didn't actually use this application and everything still looked good in all seasons. My understanding is that certain items such as vegetation are custom made for specific seasons, so, to get the correct items for the correct season it must be set prior to loading FSX. Nevertheless, it looked good without using the application so I can only imagine it will look even better using it."

This is not a problem with the scenery but my error.

Unknown said...

Further, I will likely update the screenshot tonight.

Anonymous said...

Cheers for clearing that up so quick and keep up the fantastic work. You have the best flightsim site on the Internet ;-)

Musjo said...

Thanks for the review! :) Looks very nice.

One question - not directly related to the scenery - what weather engine are you using for the screenshots? Very impressive cloud formations, I must admit! :)

DAndre Newman said...

The FSX shots are default. The P3D shots are REX HD overdrive

Musjo said...

Okay! Very nice... Is it REX Weather engine used also?

DAndre Newman said...

No just selected some textures and imported them into P3D. And created an overcast.

Anonymous said...

Ok so I have a question. If I wanted to fly from EGFF using Orbx Wales and then land here, are all my textures going to go to hell? Do I need to do anything special or will this scenery work "out of the box" so to say with Orbx Wales?

Anonymous said...

Yes, good point! I noticed the Skiathos scenery by 29Palms was give a compatibility update for EU England and EU Wales. Do we need something special for this scenery too?

Anonymous said...

I won't be getting FTX Global as I just read that they don't have a proper daytime to nighttime lighting transition! It's either lights on day and night, or lights off day AND night!

DAndre Newman said...

Let me check on that for you.

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