Once upon a time JRollon released a scenery file – right about the time the CRj-200 hit the shelves – and I think it was donation-ware, but my memory is drawing a lot of circles in the fog these days. His file, for LESA Salamanca, Spain, was, like everything Javier did, a little ahead of its time. I recall opening it and thinking there was something wrong with my computer – because it looked like nothing I’d ever seen before in Xp. Intense, vibrant colors…that’s what I recall most, but sort of a desert landscape, too…yet, again, please excuse my memory. It might have been made of green cheese, for all I remember.
Well, there’s been a “new” LESA floating around at the Org for a few days now, being revised at a rapid rate, too – yet I could never get to it before it revised again. I caught the latest revision early and made some screenshots, then read over the developer’s description. Seems he’s used some of Javier’s objects and mixed them in with a few million scenery library objects, shaken it all up and tossed his salad into WED. The results are interesting.
The developers page lists about 2.7 million scenery libraries you’ll need onboard to run this thing…but wait…there are three versions of the file available, too…what I’ll call small, medium, and hyper-huge…and yes, of course, I had to go for the Whole Enchilada (huge) file and that’s what you’re seeing here. Do note that all three downloads are the time size, however. Text-calls to libraries form the bulk of the download(s), so, as a result, the downloads are tiny. When you load the big kahuna you will note a perplexing load time (not quite three days) as the file starts placing all those 2.7 million scenery file objects in Xp. And yes, I am exaggerating, so please don’t take these numbers seriously. If you have, I’m sorry. Now, you should go get a bottle of Coke, shake it up real hard and open it in a cop’s face. See? That’s why we call this place Chaos Manor.
So, where is Salamanca (and please don’t ask me where Spain is…because I have no idea)?
Once I stopped flying (for good, and yes, that was a bad day) I went back to grad school and studied History and Philosophy then taught college for a few years (before retiring), and I escorted a few classes on semester-abroad trips, usually to Bonn but here, to Salamanca once, and I found the place truly magic – especially at night. A few old squares and cobblestone streets with gaslight torches flickering in the twilight, lots of eerie shadows casting more than one spell, I feel most certain. This is an ancient city, with structures dating back to Roman times… Anyway, enough of that. If I were to pick just one city to visit in Spain, it would be tough to choose but Salamanca would be on the shortlist.
Oddly enough, because Madrid is just a hundred miles away there are no flights there. Even odder, everyone in Salamanca seems to want to go to Palma de Mallorca, and hardly anywhere else (Air Europa does the Malaga thing, along with Palma d M), so it looks like TDGs file will get some heavy use from here.
And here’s another little tidbit. Even though I am an old fart I drive a Mini Cooper (really slow, too) so when I see a Mini in a scenery I go nuts. I mean, like Gonzo nuts. I lose all objectivity after that…
On the other hand, when I see hot air balloons I get ill. The thought of going up in one of those things – and coming down on a powerline – gets me every time.
No PBR textures yet (that I could find, anyway), but there is HDR lighting onboard.
I love the ramps at night here. Bright – which means a safe place to work – but there’s not a lot of action going on – a few static pieces (like that Mini) but not a whole lot else. For a gonzo Whole Enchilada sized file, I was a little disappointed.
Anyway, all is forgiven…as one of the balloons sports an Apple Mac advert.
There were lots of Canadair firefighting aircraft at Javier’s LESA, and if you look at the field in Google Earth you’ll see a bunch parked there even now. And there they are, still in this revised effort!
Gee, does anyone actually remember Swissair?
Swissair? Who cares…look at that Mini!
Anyway, framerates are decent because of the whole scenery library thing, but look over the developer’s list of libraries as there are a few I’ve never even heard of before. That said, the developer has included a link to download every file used in this scenery. It’s a huge download but also about the only way to avoid hours and hours of fun searching for some truly obscure files.
I tried everything I could to get a parking lot and cars to show up, but with no success, and many of the objects showing up in the developer’s images on the download page simply do not appear when I open the file. Anyway, I’ll not rate this one until it’s complete, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the developer’s progress.
So, yeah. Finland. One more TruScenery file to look at today, and this is a payware file that offers a winter file to go along with the usual generic summer looking thing. Given that folks in Europe have just experienced a truly balmy few weeks (sick joke, sorry), I thought a winter file would do wonders to cheer them up. Maybe TDG could whip up a revised Palma de Mallorca file – with 2 meters of snow on the runways, eh?
Anyway, off we go…
Sorry. I know this would look so much better – in July – but actually, I could think of no better way to show off that new A319 than in SAS’s retro paint, in winter. Do you get cold just looking at this first image? Look beyond the terminal to those forlorn little streetlights surrounded by snow-covered pines…br-r-r-r… Lights reflect off snow, of course, much more effectively than they do off green grass. If you live in someplace like Arizona, or, God forbid, Florida, you’ll have no idea what we’re talking about…so…check out this image:
Isn’t that just…awful looking? It makes me want to run out and get a flu shot. Or…try these on for size…
Snowbanks? Yikes. Where’s my snowblower…? This is the new Toliss A319, by the by. Incredible night panel, and the flight model is solid, almost heavy feeling. Very enjoyable. For an Airbus, that is.
The last time I opened a ScareBus…it was one of Peter’s early A380 files, I think, so this is my first 3D panel for one of these things. After poking around in here I have decided to learn how to work this one. Very nice feel about this cockpit. Oh, yes, the bright lights outside are the terminal’s passenger entrance. Can you imagine getting out of a nice, warm airplane and having to scoot across that ice covered ramp at nine in the morning (yes, it’s still real dark at 0900 up there)? I’d book a flight to wherever just so I could stay onboard…
Reflections on snow. Different colored lights equal different colored reflections.
I think this next image was made at noon. Break out the sunscreen, Bubba.
This “snow” is more than just a white overlay, but real depth is NOT modeled. Like the banks of plowed snow seen again, just above, those mounds have to be modeled, then textured, then added to the scenery…so, for instance, if you wanted to include the appearance of several feet of snow (turning your taxiways and runways into little canyons) you’d have to model that, and somehow keep all your runway and taxiway lighting operational. I can’t imagine what the framerate hit would be.
There’ve been Winter World files before, of course, but true seasons have so far eluded X-plane. There are ongoing efforts by multiple developers to change this, however, yet so far a solution that works on all three platforms has proven more than elusive. We shall see. Right, John?
So, how does this airport look when the birds are singing and the bees…stinging?
What?! No parking meters!!!
Well, it’s a TruScenery file, and if you’ve been reading along lately you know I’m hardly objective where their work is concerned. Perfect models with excellent performance about sums up their work generally, but this one is a little older so doesn’t offer PBR materials or HDR lighting effects – yet. But TS are very good about updating there work so watch this space. Also, this is an inexpensive file, yet when you factor in the winter package it becomes something of a bargain.
Though this is a commercial airport there is an FBO/flight school here, with detailed ramps and a few relevant static acf. Night textures are pretty subdued, as well, though very realistic in appearance. This is NOT KJFK.
Parking lots, adjacent streets and roads (and lighting) are all very good. See all the people?
Uh…what people? Well, so…the hangers are really distressed looking, adding another layer to this file…maybe a little backstory? All the people are zombies now? Afraid to come out in the light?
Uh, no. As with many recent payware files, there are no people visible, and as this one is older there’s no animated ramp traffic either. Yup, this file is in need of updating yet even so it’s quite enjoyable in daily use. With WT3 or X-Life, it would be incredible.
This is a good file to pick-up IF you’re trying to build up airports in this region – to work on short-range flights in Finland or to fly around the eastern Baltic – or…if you just want to collect TruScenery files. I’d rate this a 9 out of 10, knocking off a point for the almost bare ramps and lack of people. Beyond that…bringing HDR lighting onboard wouldn’t hurt, but the whole PBR runway thing almost eludes me. Shiny runways? Really? Yeah, sure, whatever. If that’s what people want, I won’t complain.
The ground clutter issue on the ramps might become less an issue if acf developers started including their own equipment, or, failing that, definitions for JarDesigns GHE so these could become used as static OR animated objects…or both…like library objects – that devs could purchase rights to. A thought, anyway, worth thinking about.
TruScenery’s EFJO is available at the TS Store, here. Both the summer and winter versions are included in the price ($15.50USD). Framerates were a little better in winter than summer, BTW, and the A319 ran in the mid-20s with all settings at MAX…except when the cockpit turned towards the tower…then FPS dropped like a stone. The Carenado C340 and C206 did NOT experience this drop. Lower shadows, objects and AA settings eliminated the problem.
I hear the fat lady singin’ again so its time to hang up the spurs. Hasta later, y’all – A