This is a short post…about early adopters…and being first out of the gate.
Checking-in at the Org a few hours ago I noted an update to Peter Borovszky’s (alias hapet) EFVA Vaasa, to v1.2, and this file appears to be a densely reworked summer texture package. Clicking on the download button, two options appeared: the v1.2 summer package, and a winter textures package. Maybe I missed it before, or maybe it was released today, but this would appear to be one of the first – if not THE first – file modified to take advantage of TerraMAXX.
There are no installation directions with this download. In the end I decided to duplicate the summer package, rename it winter, then put the winter texture objects into the summer textures objects folder. Yes, this way you’ll have to manually change seasons, by switching out the winter for summer file, but if you do, this is what you’ll find…
When Xp opens the immediate airport area will have snow, while the surrounding terrain and auto-get will still be in whatever mode you were in the last time you closed Xp. This could be winter, or it might be either summer or autumn mode. Above? This is autumn. Go to the TerraMAXX plugin and switch to winter (in this case regular winter) and this is what you’ll get:
Note: the two parking lots in the foreground have snow and ice showing, while the lot closest to the terminal is pristine. So are the aircraft ramps.
Trees and grass are semi-white in this state, and depending on the light will appear white, blue (as here), or almost dark gray/black near or at night.
Compare the image above with the one below. Same date, time, temperature, etc., the only difference is mild winter (above) and deep winter (below):
Trees are whiter and the light has a cooler temperature, a deeper blue cast to it. Snow “depth” remains the same, so if deep snow is to be rendered it will need to be modeled, i.e., models made in Blender or AC3D, and textured appropriately, then will have to be added to the ground objects folder. Note: this was the route taken by Truscenery in their EFJO Winter file, as seen below. There are mounds of snow from snow-plows all around the ramps and taxiways.
The question becomes…how far do you, as a scenery developer, want to take this? In the image below, the “closed” runway is heavily weathered with snow and ice, as it would be, while the main (open) runway is clear. This is taking it to the next level.
This opens up a world of possibilities for conscientious developers, but again it all comes down to “how far do you want to take it?”
hapet’s EFVA winter objects file is certainly convincing and may well be “all the winter” sim users expect in Xp. Truscenery has taken this a step further, of course. Can you imagine an airport like ESSA or EFHK…with piles of snow lining the ramps after plows finish snow clearing operations? It’s only a matter of time before an adventurous developer presses the issue and becomes the first to make this happen.
I wonder who it will be…?
So, on to the next issue/concern…?
KPHL Philadelphia International & city file was also revised today, so on a hunch I downloaded and opened this file.
Guess what? No ortho, so instant winter landscape all over the airport.
Pretty neat, huh?
Maybe, or maybe not.
Suppose you’re a payware scenery file developer and all your files rest on orthos. Now, suppose word gets out that all of a sudden you can have an instant winter landscape at all your files…by simply removing the ortho file – so TerraMAXX can work it’s magic.
Uh-huh. And what’s going to happen too all of your carefully placed layers and objects? Can you also imagine a growing tech support nightmare as customers begin tearing into their files and corrupting all sorts of things?
So…wouldn’t it be easier if you just modified your existing files to work in TerraMAXX – right now?
Food for thought.
Later – A