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announcement TrueEarth Washington - Reduction in size by 75% using a ZL16/17 combo


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I prefer higher resolution products and would not purchase TE products if they were sold at a lower resolution. For me it defeats the purpose of True Earth and Orbx as Orbx for me has always been a way to fly with the best scenery in the marketplace. As I do most of my flying low and slow, I am looking forward to seeing comparison shots that are much closer to the ground to see if True Earth at Z16 would just turn into Blurry Earth. It does sound like the best approach, from the respondents, is to have a Silver (z16/17) option and a Gold (z17) option.

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We all just want higher resolution, smaller file sizes, more custom details, and better fps.  All for less money.  :D  Oh, and we want it for the entire globe, right away!

(Intended to be humorous, but you know it is true!)

 

I do most of my flying VFR and below 5,000 ft, so details and resolution are important to me.

I'm interested to see how the higher & lower resolutions scenery compares when flying at 1,500 ft and viewed full screen.

File size is already becoming an issue for me.  200 GB per TrueEarth product adds up really quickly!  (And 4TB SSDs are not cheap.)

 

Here are my current sim sizes:  (Using almost exclusively Orbx scenery.)

X-Plane 11 - 705.5 GB  (637.5 GB is Custom Scenery folder and Orbx Library)

P3Dv4 - 627 GB (487 GB is Orbx folder)

AFS2 - 176.2 GB

 

I'm already worried about how much new storage I am going to need for future Orbx products.  Everything I see previewed looks fantastic!

 

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1 hour ago, FalconAF said:

I have ALL of my ORBX TE X-Plane products installed on an external USB drive (currently a 6TB USB3 that cost me less than $125 when I bought it a year ago).  They are "Symbolic Linked" to my main X-Plane installation on a 1TB SSD internal drive.  ORBX even says this will work...and it DOES if the user KNOWS how to DO it.  Trust me, there's still plenty of space on that 6TB external USB3 drive for plenty more future HD TE products, even if they are 200+ GB each.  And by the time my 6TB USB3 drive gets filled up with new ORBX TE products, the price of a new 10TB USB drive will still be only $125 then.

 

1 hour ago, FalconAF said:

Saying you don't have the time or are too old really means you are just too LAZY to do it.  I'm 65-years old and still learning new things every day.

 

I've done the same as you FalconAF.  I have two external 6TB drives that are connected by USB3 that I'm downloading Ortho on.  It works fine in X-Plane.  And by the way I'm 10 years older than you.  :smile:

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A 4TB drive in the USA is $80. How long is it going to take ORBX to release 4TB of TE products? 4-5 years? The 8TB will be $80 by then. And most people are probably only interested in specific regions of the world.
 
Most people fly from airport to airport, that usually includes everything in-between cities, mountains, lakes, farms, rural towns, etc.. So your "spending 95% of your time in a city" makes no sense.
 
People were complaining in the other forums how soft the TE products looked at low altitudes. I think the current TE ZL17 looks good above 5000 AGL. So lowering the resolution even further would probably be a show stopper for me.

 

 

  

Edited by Eric Schoen
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1 hour ago, Eric Schoen said:
A 4TB drive in the USA is $80. How long is it going to take ORBX to release 4TB of TE products? 4-5 years? The 8TB will be $80 by then. And most people are probably only interested in specific regions of the world.
 
Most people fly from airport to airport, that usually includes everything in-between cities, mountains, lakes, farms, rural towns, etc.. So your "spending 95% of your time in a city" makes no sense.
 
People were complaining in the other forums how soft the TE products looked at low altitudes. I think the current TE ZL17 looks good above 5000 AGL. So lowering the resolution even further would probably be a show stopper for me.

 

 

  

 

I doubt the resolution will be noticeably different unless put under some sort of forensic test.  However the proof of the pudding will be when the scenery is actually seen in operation.  If this new compression results in scenery that is essentially indistinguishable as I fly from airport A to B at VFR altitudes, unless for some weird reason I decide to forensically analyze the scenery tiles as I pass over them then I'm in. 

 

It's a bit like jpg photos.  You don't have a folder full of TIFFs as your photo records, because in all but a minuscule set of examples, a jpg is indistinguishable under normal viewing resolution and conditions.  And the vast majority of your home snaps look just as good at 20% compression as they do at 5%.

 

I imagine these sorts of figures will be replicated in the higher compression used in the scenery... ergo unless you set out to deliberately seek slight differences in the look of the terrain, you really won't see any.  My guess anyway.

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Hi everyone

 

In general I have to agree with FalconAF above. Not sure I agree with the term "lazy" as I can quite understand some people simply wanting to "plug and sim".  I too like to fly low and slow as I love to take in the detail of the views I'm getting in XP11. I already have ORBX scenery on an external HDD. It works fine and honestly it's quite easy to do - just follow the simple instructions given elsewhere on the ORBX forum. I have also just found the  Western Digital My Book 6TB Desktop Hard Drive (USB 3) for £106 on Ebuyer, so storage costs are coming down.

I'm 70 so age isn't a limiting factor lol.   For me personally, more detail is better, but that's my personal preference.  Interesting times ahead.

 

Pete

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Regarding the ability to make Orth4XP equivalents to TE I would hasten to add that the imagery is only part of the TE experience. I have most of western Europe and all of US west coast (except Washington which TE Washington replaced) in Ortho4XP and can confidently report that the imagery is at least as good as or in some instances better than TE in resolution and fidelity. However, and a big "however", is that the colour correction, autogen placement, tree placement, accuracy of placement etc is no where near the standard that TE offers. So us XP users can provide imagery at ZL levels equal to or even higher than TE offers, but can in no way match the Overlay quality without spending many, many hours of learning and then processing the "free" imagery to the level TE offers, and then placing the autogen and trees etc accurately, like TE offers. If it was that easy, then Orbx could just issue Orth4XP type imagery with no colour matching, having paid a fortune to allow them to distribute it commercially and slap a default type Overlay on it.

I think the quality (ZL) of the image textures after decompression and conversion to dds is important to VFR flyers but is being slightly overplayed in it's resolution/fidelity importance by some. In my opinion, as a slow and low flyer. Even low and slow would normally be from 2000+ ft and I am struggling to see the difference between ZL17 and ZL16 at that altitude, especially over populated areas where autogen is covering a large percentage of the terrain. Wide open spaces like the area from Spokane flying west in TE Washington will look just the same in ZL16 ans it would in ZL17, and you wouldn't realistically be flying below 2-300ft in that area would you?

 In summary thern, I am all for offering the lower ZL16 option if it means more sales for Orbx and less HDD resources for the people who have limited or restricted resources to be buying new hardware. I also back the call for the new format to be an option, so that those who wish to have ZL17, and with really good eyesight to spot the difference at 3000ft, can choose the current ZL version.

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No John! No John! No! When I buy ORBX products I'm paying for quality and I'll happily purchase the required SSD's to experience that quality. I love to fly low and slow and enjoy the superb ORBX scenery and that is when the difference between ZL16 and ZL17 will be visible, not in the high level shots you've chosen to display. I wouldn't expect there to be any visible difference evident in high level shots and I'm quite frankly upset that you chose to display high level shots instead of low level shots - what were you trying to demonstrate? If you'd shown us low level (1000 ft) shots we could clearly be having a significantly more qualified discussion now.

 

Should you want to offer an alternative low resolution version, fine, but for goodness sake keep the present high resolution versions to uphold the ORBX reputation of industry leading quality and excellence.

Edited by JohnVulcan
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When I read that a lot of people here wants "high quality", I am still asking if they expect seasonal texture ?

For me it is more important than ZL16 or ZL17...

So far, no clear answer from JV.

Gérard

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1 hour ago, gaab said:

When I read that a lot of people here wants "high quality", I am still asking if they expect seasonal texture ?

For me it is more important than ZL16 or ZL17...

So far, no clear answer from JV.

Gérard

This won't happen. As of right now, it's impossible to A, make X-Plane use different ortho photos for different seasons and B, find a good ortho source with ortho photos from all the different seasons.
 

Some more comments to the entire discussion:
I agree 1000% with everything @FalconAF said. I have no idea why people keep buying solid state drives for ortho scenery? I bought a 4TB (internal) HDD, put all my ortho on there and then created symbolic links (aka shortcuts) of the ortho folders into my custom scenery folder: works flawlessly! The reason why I chose TE Washington is because of the beautiful ortho but on top of that the tree placement (seriously, it's amazing!), POI's and custom autogen. As of right now, it's worth it, but if you decide to lower the ZL, I might as well go back to using my own ortho.

 

I disagree with everyone saying that the difference between ZL16 and ZL17 is negligible. I know (because I made my own ortho tiles) it isn't, especially at lower altitudes there is a clear difference. Please stay at ZL17. If every region is about 250 gigs it would take 16 regions to fill up my entire HDD, so I feel like the region size is perfect as is.

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Since the Z16 images are half the size, it's not a fair comparison.

 

Here they are at the same size:

Z16:

a4939f8f54bf5cb01d0a475143e4afb6.png

 

Z17:

b98ce0ca32f12fe9c3bba343ec79c937.png

 

I suggest downloading them in separate tabs and switching between them. I think the sharpened Z16 version looks noticeably worse, and it's going to look even worse at 500 - 2500 feet in a high-wing aircraft. There's less detail overall, and the sharpening adds noticeable noise and ghosting to the image to the point where just a resized texture with no processing would look more natural.

 

Also, I don't spend 95% of my time in urban areas. It's more like 5%, with the other 95% in the mountains and plains. If you're going to downgrade the quality, it's essential that you still provide the original product I paid for as an option.

 

If hosting fees are the problem, at least allow us to pay for the download and keep it backed up ourselves.

Edited by JimmiG
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I'd like to add my opinion to the discussion and as others I'm willing to pay the price in storage space for quality and resolution over ease of installation and storage in general.
That being said I'm very aware orbx has no other choice than trying to please as many customers as possible and do their best to make successful products (and product line, TE).
So I'll ignore part of these business considerations to give my point of view as a recent and satisfied customer who flies only GA aircraft, mostly at low VFR altitudes.
X-Plane has not been designed and is not "equipped" for bush flying or backcountry flights. Low and slow is just a gimmick for several reasons and the terrain rendering and physics are just not compatible. But of course, those of us who enjoy these types of flights have no other choice but to compromise and get what we can with the current tech, products and available sources.
 

Orthoimagery has been a fantastic addition to the experience but definitely requires high resolution terrain textures for the detailed areas.
As many here, I've been generating and optimizing custome ortho tiles using Ortho4XP.
As I'm also very familiar with image editing, I've been tweaking some areas with batch texture editing (color balance, tint, filters, etc.) for some very specific areas. I'm aware it's a time consuming process and a lot of work (removing clouds can be a real pita).

What I really like with the current TE US WA is the overall visual balance of the terrain textures (which is hard to achieve with public sources and tools), the precise overlays (autogen, vegetation) and, the numerous and invaluable POIs.
I'd be willing to pay more for high resolution packages that would offer ZL18 and ZL19 hybrid textures packs. Understanding this would be very demanding in storage space.

That being said, I'm also aware that no sharpen filter and no generic image processing can make a texture look like a it's double its resolution.
Sure, from afar a ZL16 would look like a ZL17, mostly over vegetation and roughly homogeneous terrain (like forest areas). But certain terrain features would just lack visual data. This can't be faked (even AI-driven image reconstruction, like NVIDIA's tech, can't do miracles).

As such, low and slow would certainly suffer from a switch to lower pixels density per surface covered, and I certainly wouldn't be as much interested in purchasing a product that would make my flight experience less enjoyable and accurate than what I could get by generating a custom ortho, even suffering from lower image quality, clouds and other annoyances.
Following a river at low altitude when everything is blurry just destroys the perception of distance and scale and significantly degrades the flight experience. Faking a landing on a sand bar becomes even more difficult as you have to figure out if the patch of color you see should be solid or liquid or in-between, etc. You get the idea.

If the final decision would be to reduce the size of the TE packages by limiting the zoom level to ZL16 where possible, I most probably wouldn't be interested in the product anymore.
I'd purchase a separate pack including the overlays and POIs in a glimpse though. OrbX had done a fantastic job and used quality sources for this.
I'd definitely by more of these.

Just as a side note, I know it's also possible to compose a tile with different zoom levels by targeting very specific areas, pushing the resolution higher where it's useful (ex: ZL 16 for patches of forests or bland terrain, ZL 17/18 for rivers and other natural features, ZL 18/ZL19 for important urband areas and airport/airfields vicinity).
But a careful selective resolution would require multiple ortho-imagery sources that could be put together as seamlessly as possible and a lot of post processing and production work. That's why it's probably not viable for that type of product for the orbx team (unfortunately).

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I hope my opinion can be of some use as a type of customer.
I'm willing to pay more, but I definitely value the highest quality possible withing reasonable limits (meaning, for me: 300 GB for Washington or Oregon would be just fine).

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13 minutes ago, JimmiG said:

it's essential that you still provide the original product I paid for as an option.

I absolutely agree with this.


I'm already considering keeping a backup of the files to keep the current resolution if the package had to offer a global update reducing the file size and degrading the textures further.
That's obviously an annoyance and not a solution.

It's already obvious the current download size has been reduced as much as possible to make it easy for the customers (and possibly bandwidth cost).
The most obvious issue is that the texture compression of the source material is very noticeable in some areas and inferior to what can be achieved with public sources and tools (not considering the image post-processing, here).
Not a problem at mid-high altitudes but definitely noticeable at low altitudes (compression artifacts):
2681a4fdc6e3288b7dcfced4f4b31bb4.jpg

 

For those not familiar with the process, that's what's happening with compression artifacts (that's just a crude example to highlight the principle):
balloons.jpegartifacts-blocks.png

Edited by Bourrinopathe
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13 hours ago, wolfko said:

JV,  you write ZL 16 with an unsharpen mask. This does not make sense. I guess you mean a sharpen mask.

 

For some reason it's called an unsharp mask...  to make things look sharper.

 

If you have a scanner with a TWAIN interface , the menu options should include an option to have an unsharp mask active or not.  Try it, you'll see!

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10 hours ago, W2DR said:

Thanks FalconAF. Now I realize that I'm just an old, dumb, and lazy cheapskate who spent 30+ years in the IT business thinking he knew what he was doing..........Doug

 

For God's sake, Doug.  Quit taking my post so "personal".  I spent 35 years doing professional IT, both in the Air Force AND after I got out of the Air Force.  And I STILL had to learn new things concerning how to make my flight sims work on my own home computers.  There really wasn't anything in my several MCSE and CISCO certifications that taught me, "This is how to eliminate stutters in FSX", etc.  That was all learned separately over time in dedicated flight simulator "learning environments" (like...flight sim forums).

 

You can go to EVERY flight sim forum on the Internet and find posts from users who already HAVE the latest and greatest hardware, yet STILL complain about the "flight sim software" not running well enough on it.  THAT means only one thing...they DON'T KNOW how to make even the BEST hardware/software combinations work correctly to run the best available software on it.

 

This whole post started with JV saying ORBX was going to reduce the quality (ZL) of the TE products because a large percentage of users were complaining about the storage requirements for it.  Those storage requirements can be TOTALLY SOLVED by the user spending less than $80 today for a 4TB external hard drive, then KNOWING how to make their TE work from THAT hard drive.  That is the solution for the user.  It does NOT take purchasing thousands of dollars for SSD drives to make True Earth work.  And if AFTER putting all the True Earth products on that 4TB drive, the user is STILL experiencing "problems" in displaying the product while simming, THEN it indicates one of two things:

 

1.  The REST of the hardware is insufficient to run the flight sim proficiently at the current user's settings, or...

 

2.  The rest of the hardware IS sufficient to run the sim without any problems, but it's the USER who doesn't know how to make the hardware/software combo DO that.

 

It's not rocket science.

 

And for those who seem to have been offended by my use of the word "lazy", let me try to be more politically correct for them......

 

"If the user is not "motivated" enough to learn how to do it...…"  :lol:

 

If you are going to want to use ORBX state of the art sceneries, quit holding ORBX hostage because you can't or won't buy an $80 4TB hard drive to store it on for the next 3 years.  :banghead:

 

Edited by FalconAF
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OK...maybe I read more into your post than was actually there. One thing we agree on, though, is the perceived need to use SSD's for scenery. Given the price difference it's a no-brainer for me...the HDD wins every time. Actually I'm running TE GBS on an old WD Velociraptor plugged into a USB3 docking station. The load times are a bit long but once loaded everything looks and works just as it should. Peace..........Doug

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Before jumping to conclusions one way or the other maybe it is best to compare the two products.  Users past experience with ZL 16 may not be the same as what ORBX is able to do it through their process and it if is able to save me 75% of the footprint then I am all for it.  Something is driving the need for the discussion......download costs?   perhaps sales numbers relative to expectations, or looking forward to the increased footprint as more TE regions are released and questioning the download cost or interest in sales.

 

One thing I have observed from the TE regions is that they are produced very quickly in comparison to the LC regions.  (perhaps this due to the cost being tied up in the imagery and not in the labor to select the correct landclass and time spent "upgrading" the airports).   

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I think we need to take a deep breath here .... :)

 

17 hours ago, wolfko said:

JV,  you write ZL 16 with an unsharpen mask. This does not make sense. I guess you mean a sharpen mask.

 

Yep, my bad. It's a sharpen filter in PS that we are using.

 

 

14 hours ago, FalconAF said:

 

Folks, ORBX even endorses using Symbolic Links on external hard drives for their TE scenery if you "need the storage space".  IT WILL WORK...IF the user understands HOW to make it work correctly in conjunction with the rest of their OWN computer hardware configuration. 

 

Orbx Central will do all this for you automagically. It's working right now on my PC for all simulators. I can create as many locations as I want, either on drives inside the PC, SSD, HDD, whatever - and also external SSD or HDDs. We recognised the need for this to be made seamless a long time ago and very soon it will be so simple to do you'll never go back to using the simulator root folder again. So problem solved there.

 

 

6 hours ago, gaab said:

When I read that a lot of people here wants "high quality", I am still asking if they expect seasonal texture ?

For me it is more important than ZL16 or ZL17...

So far, no clear answer from JV.

Gérard

 

TE regions will not have seasonal textures. That is only for landclass regions and openLC regions, currently only for FSX/P3D.

 

 

 

With regards to "taking away" your purchase of the original ZL17 Washington, we would never do that. Instead, we will offer a separate installer to give you the choice of ZL17 or ZL16 for Washington. For a lot of people, a 65GB installation is much more comfortable to deal with versus a 210GB one.

 

We will soon post up some comparison shots from Oregon, thanks for your patience.

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Thanks for the reply JV.

 

I have read everyone's posts, not been offended by any of them and taken the positive points from them all. I hope everyone else has as well.

 

My homework tonight is to research, symbolic links, price of ext HDD, USB 3 Sticks.

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The sharpen filter in photoshop sharpens the whole image, creating many artifacts as it goes, but the unsharp mask just sharpens the edges between changes in colour or tone and leaves smoother areas alone. It enhances detail without spoiling the more subtle parts of the image.

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21 hours ago, Bourrinopathe said:

I absolutely agree with this.


I'm already considering keeping a backup of the files to keep the current resolution if the package had to offer a global update reducing the file size and degrading the textures further.
That's obviously an annoyance and not a solution.

It's already obvious the current download size has been reduced as much as possible to make it easy for the customers (and possibly bandwidth cost).
The most obvious issue is that the texture compression of the source material is very noticeable in some areas and inferior to what can be achieved with public sources and tools (not considering the image post-processing, here).
Not a problem at mid-high altitudes but definitely noticeable at low altitudes (compression artifacts):

 

I agree about the compression artifacts. It's one of my few complaints with TrueEarth. It's not super-noticeable, but when you take ~200 GB of textures and compress them down to ~30 GB for download,  compression artifacts are inevitable. In some cases, you can clearly see the JPEG-like artifacts while flying. Right now, it looks good enough, but if the resolution is also reduced, on top of the already existing compression artifacts, it would be a devastating blow to my enjoyment of "low and slow" flying within the region.

Of course it's understandable that OrbX want to reduce the download size, both to keep their own costs down and to offer manageable download sizes for their customers. Again, one solution might be to offer a paid downloads for customers who want the uncompressed, highest quality version, and who have the bandwidth to download hundreds of gigabytes...

Edited by JimmiG
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I'm with sticking with the present quality. I mean that's the reason why I'm so keen on TE because of the sharpness of the scenery close to the ground. Cost of extra external drives to cope with any new TE scenery is not an issue for me.

 

Now, a couple of questions. I've not found a way yet to install any future scenery that OrbX release into my internal HDD. At the moment, any new scenery is automatically installed into my SSD. Is there a way to install any future downloads into my HDD? I have 3Tb ready and waiting to accept any new scenery downloads! Where is the option to do that?

 

My 'C' SSD drive is 80% full now and I'm getting a bit concerned that if it gets any fuller, then I'm wondering if that could cause the Windows 10 operating system to start faltering. I did hear some time ago that the drive where one keeps one's operating system (ie. Windows 10) likes to have at least 20% disc space remaining for it to operate satisfactorily.

 

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My two cents here :)

 

Most of the time I have used ZL16 aerial imagery for my own use. ZL17 or 18 is overkill for for me unless it's around the immediate area of an airport. 95% of the flight is at higher altitudes and not skimming around the ground at 300ft, so it's never really bothered me too much. Having lower resolution imagery allows me to have more areas installed and for those areas to run faster. If I was an Orbx customer and not a developer, I'd personally want the ZL16 option, but we currently make the higher resolution imagery because so far we believed this is what the majority want.

 

A ZL17 tile takes up 4 times the size of a ZL16 area. The nature of each increasing zoom level means each subsequent bump is 4 times the size of the previous. The imagery we've used has a maximum resolution of 1,2m/px which just about fits into a ZL17 with some upscaling. Anyone who is generating tiles at ZL18 or higher using the same imagery is getting nothing but imagery 4 times the size with no visual improvement :-). One thing that will be evident however is the texture setting in X-Plane, this does have an effect on less than high settings on the imagery. Essentially each decrease in the setting is halving the resolution. So if you have ZL17 imagery, running on medium settings is like running ZL16 on high settings, etc..

 

We aren't discussing about reducing the texture size to save us money, but rather to accomodate a wider spectrum of users than just those who stick to one area in the sim. We're not just going to drop Washington's size down in an update, but we're discussing future regions, e.g. If you already have Washington installed on an SSD which is taking up 200GB of disk space, then how likely are you to get Oregon and use another 200GB. An SD version of a region would mean you could install 4 regions in the space of a single one at present, and to top it off you'll get better performance as well on slower hardware.

 

Some other points:

 

  • It's not necessary to install regions to an SSD. Although it will help with loading times, it does not actually decrease the FPS. Mechanical drive storage is cheap, so for folk who really want the highest resolution of everything but don't want to invest in expensive SSD drives, there is really nothing wrong with sticking to the older mechanical drive option
  • For those users who are using Ortho4XP and saying it doesn't produce jpeg artifacts are being misleading. In fact, many of the providers serve the imagery as jpegs to save bandwidth (technically many users are taking this imagery without permission or thoughts on bandwidth costs from the providers). The jpegs that are coming down from these WMS servers are compressed and have some artefacts already. The imagery we've used for the US does not come from a WMS server and is in the raw original format. 
  • Sharpening an image can have the effect of sharpening jpeg artefacts, so it should be used sparingly

 

and my final point is that the aerial imagery is actually only a small part of a TE region, the vast majority of the work and costs go into developing the 3d layers on top (trees, buildings, landmarks, masts). These overlays are not something you can easily make for free with some tool, but require lots of processing. For the US, we had to create all the tree/vegetation data ourselves as well as the heighted/grouped buildings as there is no free/commercial data available that offered what we needed. Whilst we of course spend time and effort cleaning up the orthos, colour matching etc, the key point of these products is not actually the imagery, but the overlays on top of them. There are also a huge amount of landmark/POIs dotted around the scenery

 

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1 hour ago, orbmoke said:

I'm with sticking with the present quality. I mean that's the reason why I'm so keen on TE because of the sharpness of the scenery close to the ground. Cost of extra external drives to cope with any new TE scenery is not an issue for me.

 

Now, a couple of questions. I've not found a way yet to install any future scenery that OrbX release into my internal HDD. At the moment, any new scenery is automatically installed into my SSD. Is there a way to install any future downloads into my HDD? I have 3Tb ready and waiting to accept any new scenery downloads! Where is the option to do that?

 

My 'C' SSD drive is 80% full now and I'm getting a bit concerned that if it gets any fuller, then I'm wondering if that could cause the Windows 10 operating system to start faltering. I did hear some time ago that the drive where one keeps one's operating system (ie. Windows 10) likes to have at least 20% disc space remaining for it to operate satisfactorily.

 

 

Hi mate,

 

To a large extent, regarding the use of the capacity of the C drive, it can be said that it is something like: 2.5 x 34.3GB (the latter is the size of Windows installed) = 75.5GB.
Nevertheless, it must be taken into account that what is obtained from the nominal capacity of HDD / SSD is in fact 85 to 90% ±, in almost all media.
So by making this small account with the capacity of your C drive, you will have the maximum volume you can occupy without losing the efficiency of your C drive.

 

Cheers,

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1 hour ago, Traveller said:

 

Hi mate,

 

To a large extent, regarding the use of the capacity of the C drive, it can be said that it is something like: 2.5 x 34.3GB (the latter is the size of Windows installed) = 75.5GB.
Nevertheless, it must be taken into account that what is obtained from the nominal capacity of HDD / SSD is in fact 85 to 90% ±, in almost all media.
So by making this small account with the capacity of your C drive, you will have the maximum volume you can occupy without losing the efficiency of your C drive.

 

Cheers,

Thanks for that useful info.

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@John Venema I would be interested to know if there would be plans to offer up a ZL16 version of the current TEGB series?

I hope that Orbx will release the ZL16 versions of all their TE addons as I am sure this will increase sales and also offer a smaller HDD footprint option to those who wish utilise the space they have in a more frugal manner.

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So, at the moment it’s looking like you can’t have extra add on scenery in a separate drive to where the flight sim is stored. Is that correct? Unless, as JV has stated above that it will be done automatically when my main drive is full (which to all intents and purposes it is now!) but that facility isn’t available yet I take it?

 

i hope Orbx sort that out soon, because as of now, I won’t be able to purchase any more OrbX scenery. I may be able to just about squeeze in the forthcoming enhanced London City Airport, but that’s about it. My ‘C’ drive will then be pretty much chocker!

 

By the way, my PC does have USB 3 sockets.

 

 

 

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Hello,

 

1. Mr Venema does not say that Orbx Central will automatically place scenery elsewhere when the C drive is full.

 

2. He does say that Orbx Central will place scenery outside the X Plane 11 folder and in a location of your choice.

 

3. This is perfectly possible now.

 

There are two ways, one is to create a dummy X Plane 11 folder, install to that and use shortcuts to link that scenery

to the main X Plane 11 Custom Scenery folder.

This is essentially what Orbx Central will do for you in due course.

 

The other is to install the scenery to the simulator folder and then move it yourself to another drive, linking it back to

the Custom Scenery folder using symbolic links.

 

This is not a support topic, if you need help or advice in doing this, there is the X plane 11 support forum where there

are already pinned topics on this subject.

 

 

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Ok Nick - thanks for the info. I’m quite happy to wait for Orbx to update their Central software to accommodate drive changes for any future scenery addons.

 

Meanwhile I have enough new Orbx scenery already to fully explore. That’ll keep me satisfied until the new Central software is updated to enable an easy way of choosing drive location choices.

 

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Just to add another response.

 

I also would like to see lower altitude comparisons. The examples give at the head of the topic look ok to me (without getting out my magnifier) but I'll have to have a look on my big monitor to really say for sure. But in general I don't have a space problem, and would rather go for max quality than min space. I've got plenty of drive space available and I don't feel SSD is necessary for this scenery - ordinary HD is fine and 8tb drives are relatively cheap. I would probably go for any higher res options if offered, and will probably keep the existing TE WA if possible.

 

But kudos to ORBX for tackling an issue that obviously does affect lots of folks.

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12 minutes ago, andy1252 said:

But in general I don't have a space problem, and would rather go for max quality than min space. I've got plenty of drive space available and I don't feel SSD is necessary for this scenery - ordinary HD is fine and 8tb drives are relatively cheap. I would probably go for any higher res options if offered, and will probably keep the existing TE WA if possible.

 

 

@andy1252 - I’m totally with you on that 100%.

 

 

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Interesting discussion. My vote would be to keep the ZL17 and not sacrifice quality (or offer two options for every TE product- low and high res). Based on my experience, there is a noticeable difference between ZL17 and ZL16 for GA flying at lower elevations. The best part of TE WA are the Cascade mountains and the islands and I feel having ZL17 makes a difference. If you must reduce the quality, I would recommend doing so in the eastern 1/3 of the state which is mostly flat with not much to see (from the air). Instead, I would prefer to see a ZL18 enhancement pack for the Seattle area. My two cents.

 

Those of you holding off on purchasing TE WA based on size are missing out on probably the best scenery in flight simulation. I own all the ORBX products for XP11 and this one is simply amazing. Why not buy a bigger HD (cheap) and enjoy TE WA now? This is my home state so I'm a little biased. :)

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Having experienced both Orbx’s stunning color-matched and cloud-free TE GB and Washington and my own Z16 and Z17 Ortho4XP creations, my vote is to give consumers the option to download the Z17 offering for the entire state if they choose (perhaps for a few $$$ more if the bandwidth costs are a concern).

 

That way, those with storage concerns can still enjoy the scenery then enhance the resolution as their capacity to store data increases.

 

For me, having Z17 tennis courts and factories and everything else below look crisp and life like is well worth the extra size tradeoff - Z16 just looks too “soft” for my tastes, even with Orbx’s superior autogen and tree placement (though it’d be interesting to try this enhanced Z16).

 

Steve

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OK folks, here are the results. Judge for yourself...

 

TIP - If you click on the first image to bring it to it's own viewing pane, you can then maximise your browser screen and use the left and right arrow to compare images.

 

Location A: ZL16 at 2000ft 

a.ZL16_2000FT.JPG

 

Location A: ZL17 at 2000ft

a.ZL17_2000FT.JPG

 

 

Loction B: ZL16 at 3000ft

b.ZL16_3000FT.JPG

 

Location B:  ZL17 at 3000ft

b.ZL17_3000FT.JPG

 

 

Location C: ZL16 at 2000ft

c.ZL16_2000FT.JPG

 

Location C: ZL17 at 2000ft

c.ZL17_2000FT.JPG

 

Our conclusion is that from 2000FT and higher you can hardly tell any difference at all - in fact ZL16 looks crisper in most cases. Also as you cycle between screenshots notice that only a radius of a few thousand feet around the aircraft is affected. That is because XP11 already uses lower LOD versions of the orthos further out, and there is no difference at all a few miles away.

 

Below 2000FT it's a bit of a compromise but to be honest most flights would be above 2000FT for 99% of the time.

 

Please also remember that all Orbx payware airports come with all circuit areas in either 30cm or 60cm resolution, so the argument about final approaches needing to look as good as possible are not relevant.

 

TIP - If you click on the first image to bring it to it's own viewing pane, you can then maximise your browser screen and use the left and right arrow to compare images.

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