We looked at this file a few weeks ago, and the developer has just posted a revision – so we thought we’d duck in and take another look around.
Okay, so my rendering options are unchanged and now I’ve got static aircraft? So, that’s been changed in the Mac installer. My night window textures look sharper, too, yet these are NOT in the change-log. Well, for whatever the reason it happened, I’ll take it!
Here’s the change-log, by the by:
-Fixed missing ATC frequencies
-Fixed ground flickering
-Fixed misaligned stands
-Fixed runway lighting accuracy
-Fixed car park showing on taxiway D
-Fixed broken shadow on North terminal
-Reworked ground layers
-Added ground routes
-Added specular lighting to the ground
-Added ground detail to ‘select airport’ UI
And this last item? I’m not familiar with this command.
The ramps in this file are uniformly textured, and the painted ramp markings are a little on the sparse side. I suggest you check out the area in Google Earth for confirmation (a small segment is seen below), and can anyone guess what all the wet splotchy areas in the image below are? No prize for the answer, but do you know? Condensation falling off aircraft? Fuel spills? Toilet pump-out overflow? Anyway, note that the ramps are anything but uniform in appearance.
More clutter is showing up on these ramps – for whatever reason – and together with the addition of static aircraft this is beginning to feel like a more immersive airport.
Last image, above, proved to be a real WTF moment. The tops of the parking deck are made of ortho textures, while on the unseen lower level cars (objects) protrude from inside the structure? And look at the corner of the building…the two textures don’t line up…? Say what?
Still, on balance and with these improvements, UK2000 has struck a good balance between accuracy and overall appearance as a ratio to performance. Most of the remaining car parks that are derived from ortho imagery (sans objects) are out of sight when taxiing on aprons around the terminals, so the case can be made to let this sleeping dog lie. I’d prefer to see all the lots finished-out with objects, but realize that’s not exactly a high priority item in a file this complex. The ramps, and ramp markings, including clutter? That’s a different matter entirely and I think this remains a big negative. Almost certainly the payware LEVC Valencia has the best such detail in Xp (to date, anyway), and that file is a model of good performance. It’s good to see PBR materials showing up on the ramps at EGCC, but I think that’s just a first step. The uniform appearance of these texture/surfaces needs work, but the absent painted ground markings are a much bigger issue.
In the end, however, this is quickly becoming one of the best large airport files in the UK. When you factor in Orbx’s EGCB and the freeware Lennon/Liverpool, this is quickly becoming the best little corner of England – in X-plane – and as a result UK2000s file just slips into the Must Have category.