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Mathijs Kok

Us Cities X - Indianapolis

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US Cities X is a series of city scenery for FSX that will cover (big surprise) US cities created by LimeSim. Based on an extensive aerial image it will have all the major buildings and landmarks plus all the heliports and small airports that are inside the covered areas. It is clearly intended to fill the gap between the default scenery and very high dense city scenery such as Manhattan X, London VFR or Venice X. Because the file size is rather large due to the ground image it has been decided to only supply one season (in most cases this is not a real issue) and no night textures. The VFR flights over these cities is mostly a day time affair anyway. The cities will be done in quick succession and we'll attempt to keep the price as low as possible. For now only a download version is scheduled. After this first release cities like Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco and many more will follow. We also got some options on cities outside the USA, for example Canada. Of course we are willing to listen to suggestions on this! An FS2004 release is not planned.

The first in the range is Indianapolis, Indiana. It covers downtown all the way to the Motor Speedway and has 9 heliports that can be used. Included are of course traffic on most major roads and sound effects near the heliports. The images below are from the current beta but should show a good representation of the actual product. They were taken from the last beta Catalina and all had framerates over 50 fps on my machine. Release is expected in the next 2 weeks.

PreviewIndianapolis_1.jpg

PreviewIndianapolis_2.jpg

PreviewIndianapolis_3.jpg

PreviewIndianapolis_4.jpg

PreviewIndianapolis_5.jpg

PreviewIndianapolis_6.jpg

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Wow! This is something interesting...

Will they be covering the Airport (KIND) as part of this scenery package?

And, are there any plans to do Cincinnati, Ohio? [Only roughly 100 Miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana.]

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Wow! This is something interesting...

Will they be covering the Airport (KIND) as part of this scenery package?

And, are there any plans to do Cincinnati, Ohio? [Only roughly 100 Miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana.]

No this is just the city not the airports. US airports are nearly impossible because of the security demands imposed at this moment. In fact we hardly even try anymore. We get easier access to US Navy ships at this moment (serious). Your vote for Cincinnati is logged.

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This is too funny. My ex-hometown. The heliport is two minutes from my wifes ex- job at Lili.

San diego down the road please.

P.S. I did not even ask for this through the power of the force mind control.

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Sorry Mathjis for what is about to come your way here soon. ;)

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That's an interesting new product series!! :)

It looks nice so far...but the resolution of the ground image is a little bit too low for my taste.

Especially if you compare it with the great LA Downtown freeware scenery for FS9... :mellow:

Greetings

Tim

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No this is just the city not the airports. US airports are nearly impossible because of the security demands imposed at this moment. In fact we hardly even try anymore. We get easier access to US Navy ships at this moment (serious). Your vote for Cincinnati is logged.

While it sounds funny, they did have a documentary about a security advisor for the WTC (ironically killed in the collapse) that was convinced that Osama bin Ladin was going to launch an attack on the WTCs, and I think he even demonstrated how easy it was on Flight Simulator. While I think that the likelihood of a terrorist buying FSX with acceleration and that, the threat is unfortunately somewhat real....especially as flight simulators get more realistic. Navy ships are less likely to be targeted due to them not being considered an easy target.

Minneapolis would be cool as well. As would a high quality San Diego (navy yards) or Pearl Harbor/O'ahu.....I see the photoreal scenery, but nothing on the cities. Especially with the Catalina, a good Pearl Harbor scenery would be awesome....or some good island scenery to put together some WWII shots.

Jon

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Please add Las Vegas, NV to the list this is a must (I might even switch over to FSX) the Vegas strip, Downtown, and the local casino's

I am sure Vegas will be a winnner I have lot's of photos of the Hotels I took I can provide :)

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Guess I'll have to add Minneapolis and Prince's studio to the mix. Atlanta would be great as well...

That's an interesting new product series!! :)

It looks nice so far...but the resolution of the ground image is a little bit too low for my taste.

Especially if you compare it with the great LA Downtown freeware scenery for FS9... :mellow:

Greetings

Tim

I'll piggy back off of this post and say it would be awesome if you guys really did the Hollywood hills with some of the more prominent mansions. Santa Monica Pier and the various well known movie studios in the Burbank area. Studios like Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney, and Paramount would look awesome built up in this area... :) LA/Burbank would be an awesome area to really showcase this concept...

For the record I'm still an FS9er but something like this would give me something to look forward to in the future.

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I'm surprised that no one has voted for Denver yet ... a beautiful city sitting just at the base of the Rocky Mountains. :)

Nice idea regarding the city-scenery-set! :)

Regards

Tibbo

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That's an interesting new product series!! :)

It looks nice so far...but the resolution of the ground image is a little bit too low for my taste.

Especially if you compare it with the great LA Downtown freeware scenery for FS9... :mellow:

Greetings

Tim

The download will already be around a gigabyte, doubling the resolution would increase this to 4 Gb, something we did not decide to do. Instead we decided to make the coverage a bit larger.

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The download will already be around a gigabyte, doubling the resolution would increase this to 4 Gb, something we did not decide to do. Instead we decided to make the coverage a bit larger.

With 1TB hard drives available now for around $100 why is 1GB file size a limitation? Okay so some people pay for internet on a capacity basis but distribution costs via disks is very cheap. DVD-R disks with 4.7GB capacity run around $0.25 each and if you package and mail them like Netflix your mailing costs should be less than $0.50. Personally I'd like the night lighting at least.

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With 1TB hard drives available now for around $100 why is 1GB file size a limitation? Okay so some people pay for internet on a capacity basis but distribution costs via disks is very cheap. DVD-R disks with 4.7GB capacity run around $0.25 each and if you package and mail them like Netflix your mailing costs should be less than $0.50. Personally I'd like the night lighting at least.

Right. But keep in mind that this will be a low-priced product and therefore distribution costs have to be at a minimum.

Anyway: The resolution isn't that bad. It's actually not much lower than the LA scenery's resolution. It's just the technique we used that makes it appear a bit blurry when many 3D objects around are loaded. When you get closer to the image the resolution gets better (just see the rooftop car park on the 4th screenshot). This technique has several advantages:

  • Better framerates
  • The frames saved are used for the placement of 100,000s of autogen buildings making vast suburbs looking as realistic as in no other US scenery before.
  • The aerial image maps perfectly on the terrain and causes no hard corners at the scenery limits (unlike the LA scenery).
  • No flickering in when you look at it from further away

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Hi Mathijs,

Of course this looks great, but I have one comment/question:

Getting 50FPS with that low AA and an i7 in your rig, isn't too difficult. Your proc. is powerful enough to handle a good bunch of polygons, and with this level of AA your videocard hasn't a very hard job.

Now what would happen if: A large 3rd-party add-on airport was close to the city, with thunderstorms in the area and crowded AI traffic, combined with a better AA because seriously: for nice movies and serious screenshots this is too low.

I tend to think that in the situation described above, even your rig will be brought down to it's knees. Would you be willing to test the scenario, and post the results?

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Hi Mathijs,

Of course this looks great, but I have one comment/question:

Getting 50FPS with that low AA and an i7 in your rig, isn't too difficult. Your proc. is powerful enough to handle a good bunch of polygons, and with this level of AA your videocard hasn't a very hard job.

Now what would happen if: A large 3rd-party add-on airport was close to the city, with thunderstorms in the area and crowded AI traffic, combined with a better AA because seriously: for nice movies and serious screenshots this is too low.

I tend to think that in the situation described above, even your rig will be brought down to it's knees. Would you be willing to test the scenario, and post the results?

For sure it would be stressed more seriously. It's also not some I am focused on a lot, I do not fly 747's into major airports and it's not the kind of addon I work on for Aerosoft, so it is hard for me to answer that fully. Of course I am more than willing to test any scenario, but the moment it is on a comparison between FSX and FS2004 we need to look only at the amount of polygons that are drawn (and how they are drawn). I mean, I am adding an image I just made of a scenery problem we got to fix. It shows FSX Autogen at 80%. The same 80% setting in FS2004 would show less then 1/3 the objects in the same location. So the same settings in both sims should not be compared in my opinion.

Still, when I fly FSX with the addons I am responsable for I hardly ever see something under 30 fps and that's on a system that costs way under $1000. How much more fps do I need? When I do fly into into a major airport like Heathrow in a VERY complex but well designed aircraft like the Catalina I still get 27 average fps with scenery, weather and traffic settings to Ultra High. What more do I need to see? How much more fps do I need?

Your mail suggest you got problems running FSX at (to you) acceptable fps. I do not share that problem. FSX for me is fast and above all way smoother then FS2004 is at this moment. I show FSX Xpack with scenery we made and aircraft we are producing. I can't comment on how others are doing it, I can not comment on the hardware of others, I can only say that for me it all works.

post-43-1239213297_thumb.jpg

post-43-1239214563_thumb.jpg

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Right. But keep in mind that this will be a low-priced product and therefore distribution costs have to be at a minimum.

Anyway: The resolution isn't that bad. It's actually not much lower than the LA scenery's resolution. It's just the technique we used that makes it appear a bit blurry when many 3D objects around are loaded. When you get closer to the image the resolution gets better (just see the rooftop car park on the 4th screenshot). This technique has several advantages:

  • Better framerates
  • The frames saved are used for the placement of 100,000s of autogen buildings making vast suburbs looking as realistic as in no other US scenery before.
  • The aerial image maps perfectly on the terrain and causes no hard corners at the scenery limits (unlike the LA scenery).
  • No flickering in when you look at it from further away

I also like to point out that there is a lot of high ground pixel scenery around as freeware that was offered to us but that we refused because the images used were not free of copyright or bought correctly. I am not saying this is the case with THIS project covering LA, I am just saying that for example coverage of some parts of Germany, Spain, Italy and the US are shared at this moment illegaly. It's easy to drag the images from Google Earth and make a freeware scenery from it until you find an invoice for $23.000 in your mailbox. And this is something that happened recently.

Again, no idea where the images and models from the discussed project came from, I'll assume it's all in order. But as I know what these things costs. High res imagery is worth a lot of money these days. If you get it offered for free you should always think consider that. Downloading 15 gb of high res scenery for free, covering major parts of Germany sound to be good to be true and it is. That's why it is not on Avsim or on other respectable sites that check.

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With 1TB hard drives available now for around $100 why is 1GB file size a limitation? Okay so some people pay for internet on a capacity basis but distribution costs via disks is very cheap. DVD-R disks with 4.7GB capacity run around $0.25 each and if you package and mail them like Netflix your mailing costs should be less than $0.50. Personally I'd like the night lighting at least.

Well if you like to come to our office and burn the DVD's, package then and ship them around the world for $0,50 you are more then welcome! We sure can't.

But serious, these large files do matter a lot to many customers. There is a sweet spot in what people can download. Go over that and your support on download issues explodes. Sending it on DVD is expensive (we seriously can't do this below 6.30 euro, so my offer for you to come and do it for us for $0.50 is not really a joke) and then people also start to expect a printed manual, nice cover etc. So that means we are talking about a full boxed product. But in that case the production costs would make the scenery at least 50% more expensive then we think it is worth.

See things are not THAT simple. For some projects we think we should got the whole way, include the kitchen sink, for others we rather keep the price as low as possible and tell customers exactly what will be offered. If you like the night scenery included this one is not for you.

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I also like to point out that there is a lot of high ground pixel scenery around as freeware that was offered to us but that we refused because the images used were not free of copyright or bought correctly. I am not saying this is the case with THIS project covering LA, I am just saying that for example coverage of some parts of Germany, Spain, Italy and the US are shared at this moment illegaly....If you like the night scenery included this one is not for you.

Does this apply to the U.S. Airports that you mentioned earlier? Is the U.S. "???" restricting you from obtaining images of our airports (because you are a foreign commercial business using it for commercial means) and, so, its way too expensive at the moment? If that's the case, it a shame...

I rather liked the idea of having aerial topographic sceneries with Heliports/Airports attached (like London VFR X and Manhattan X) especially if they have authentic Autogen placed on them.

Oh well; I'll live with the limitations. :blush:

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Your mail suggest you got problems running FSX at (to you) acceptable fps. I do not share that problem. FSX for me is fast and above all way smoother then FS2004 is at this moment. I show FSX Xpack with scenery we made and aircraft we are producing. I can't comment on how others are doing it, I can not comment on the hardware of others, I can only say that for me it all works.

I never meant my post as a (hidden) argument against FSX/pro FS9. The only thing I wanted to state that 30-50FPS might be nice for some VFR-flying in not that heavy FPS-eating aircraft, but isn't reality when it comes to flying airlines like the PMDG MD-11 or the Ejets by Wilco. If you fly with that kind of planes to FSDreamteam KJFK covered with clouds, with Manhattan X in the background, you are in serious trouble FPS-wise when you have a normal to upclass rig.

Thus I wanted to ask: does the same goes for this add-on? Is it as heavy as for example Manhattan X? Is this an interesting option for the serious virtual-airline-pilot?

And indeed, for airliner-flying I use FS9. I have no better choice ATM. My overclocked E8400 and overclocked 8800GTS640 can't handle e.g. MAF2008 crowded with AI and cloudy weather with FPS below 12.

Kind regards,

Erik Brouwer

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I did know the department of Homeland Security is very strict, but never thought about the fact that this would have impact on the development of scenery for US airports... However, screenshots look very good!

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I love Indy! I go to the nascar race every year there, will be great to see it from the air!

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It's pity that FS9 versions are not planned. I think FS9 market is really big and worthy even in a.d.2009. FS9 is much better and stable product than FSX and many people (including me) did not upgrade to FSX.

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It's pity that FS9 versions are not planned. I think FS9 market is really big and worthy even in a.d.2009. FS9 is much better and stable product than FSX and many people (including me) did not upgrade to FSX.

FS9 just cannot show this amount of 3D polygons and autogen objects.

Bests,

Sascha

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