Although the ACES team members are pretty much stuck here in Redmond (with one or two telecommuting exceptions), we build a product that simulates the whole planet. Team members come from all over, and we've done a lot of world travelling, but we still spend an inordinate amount of time doing research on the web.
Recently Flight Simulator has seen the number of people who do terrain texture add-ons explode. I think a lot of that has to do with the amount of aerial and satellite imagery coming on line. When I started (way back in the Dark Ages) I had to make a trip to Juneau to go through a company's archive of a million or so aerial images. I then had to make my selections based off looking at reversed negatives, and a few weeks later we got color photoprints. Contrast that to what's now available, and you can understand the renaissance Flight Sim is undergoing.
It's not just terrain of course, it's also landmark objects. So it's always nice to come across great reference sites that show a bit of both:
Yeah, I can see where such info would be beneficial - especially when the lead artist does not travel via air. :-)
All in good fun!
Well... I *used* to fly...
Hmm I do not envy your trip back in the Dark Ages. You are right though about the explosion in ground scenery designers. I jumped into it with some help from others and then yeah we went looking for source files to help with the mesh (SRTM) and satellite imagery for textures, an don't forget the geodata for shorelines. :^)
I dont fly much in the sim anymore... just jump in an aircraft to fly around and look at the ground and buildings being added into the scenery later.
So I think I fall into the *used* to fly category as well.
Can you say where Aces is getting their new updated resolution geodata? Or are you using the same geodata from FS2004 but now the FS X engine can now handle better than 4.8 m pixels??
Really good posts today. Always want to learn more about scenery.
Sheesh! Imagine how the Grand Canyon or the fjords of Norway would look with 1 m pixel resolution!
... and not only the textures and objects..... new (add-on) tools have also greatly expanded the abilities of people like Holger Sandmann and others to REALLY show coast lines, rivers, lakes, fjords and all other topographic forms in FS9 now..... without such tools it was just way too cumbersome to manually program :-)
As to the Norway (and other) Fjords.... I believe there is still no data for 60N upwards to really make the world look like it really is?
"I believe there is still no data for 60N upwards to really make the world look like it really is? "
I am unaware of the answer to that.
Jason, its great that you are able to be in contact with the public thru your blog and on the web boards. Thanks for the information. I enjoyed the link to arounder.
I've been adding high resolution ground polys at airports for years now, and with the limits we've historically faced we must add polygons to host the images...produces basically flat area of high res. The idea of having the ability to produce high resolution draped over the terrain is exciting. Perhaps the days of an "airport polygon" are over.
Is the team addressing nonflat runways also? Perhaps you can't say, but just thought I'd ask.
There are a couple of blog posts about sloping (non flat) runways floating around (I think on Mike Gilbert's blog).
Don't expect to see non flat runways in FSX.
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