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mauriceb
07-24-2008, 08:57 PM
I had been looking forward to try FS Altitude for FSX and I finally bought this product. The high altitude screenshots in their website are amazing and my own testing confirmed that the high altitude scenery is indeed quite good.

But, having said that, I discovered several not so nice side effects which are only mentioned in the manual that come with the DVDs. I was familiar with one of the drawbacks which is that the scenery is supposedly only summer scenery. I thought that was acceptable since the scenery can easily be disabled without uninstalling it & re-enabling is as easy as a checkmark. So, if flying in Winter, I could go back to the standard FSX scenery.

So I did a flight in Southern France. After take off, I soon noticed that there appeared to be snow on the ground in the middle of July in the South of France. So, it is likely early Spring or late fall scenery. Not that big a deal except when you look at the scenery from outside the plane. If you look down, you see the normal FSX scenery while in the distance you see the FS Altitude scenery. The contrast is quite disturbing as you can see in the screenshots below and in some cases the FSX scenery is actually much nicer than the FS Altitude scenery.

Also, late in the day, the scenery gets darker but shadows are not nearly as pronounced as they should be. Anyway, judge for yourself & beware of this issue if you do decide to buy this scenery. As long as you don't use external views or look down when looking from outside, the photo scenery is indeed quite good and definitely more acceptable the higher you go. After all, it is called FS Altitude. :)

In most of the screenshots below, you can easily see where the FSX scenery ends and where the FS Altitude starts and in many cases it is quite disturbing.

Maurice

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/1.jpg
All looks OK here


http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/3.jpg
FSX textures in the bottom


http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/5.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/6.jpg
Half the town is snow covered

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/7.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Distantview-Allisgood.jpg
Distant view

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Distantview2.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Distantview3.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Distantview.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Gettinglower.jpg
FSX textures look much better here

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Halfflowing-Halffrozen.jpg
River half frozen and half flowing

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Mountains-halfhalf.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Disappearingriver.jpg
Where did the river go?

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Dusk2.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Poorlydefinedshadows2.jpg
Sun is very low but almost no shadows

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d38/mau_ben/Poorlydefinedshadows4.jpg

Peter Dowson
07-25-2008, 04:32 AM
As long as you don't use external views or look down when looking from outside, the photo scenery is indeed quite good and definitely more acceptable the higher you go. After all, it is called FS Altitude. :)


I got the scenery when it first came out, as it is actually a really good idea for the way I use FSX -- I view only the outside scenery through cockpit windows, projected on a 10 foot screen. I never get out of the aircraft whilst flying (too much to do in the cockpit in any case, even if it didn't ruin the flying illusion*), so although I know about the demarcation effect you talk about, it has never bothered me at all.

Not noticed "wrong season" views though -- that's more worrying really.

Regards

Pete

* Not to mention also that since I am flying a PMDG 737NG model in FSX DX10 mode, my own aircraft is untextured, so looks awful from outside! ;-)

Matt Olieman
07-25-2008, 05:31 AM
Maurice,

Excellent review and pics. Thanks for taking the effort to share your product experience with us.

Matt Olieman

mauriceb
07-25-2008, 07:15 AM
I view only the outside scenery through cockpit windows, projected on a 10 foot screen. I never get out of the aircraft whilst flying (too much to do in the cockpit in any case, even if it didn't ruin the flying illusion*), so although I know about the demarcation effect you talk about, it has never bothered me at all.

Not noticed "wrong season" views though -- that's more worrying really.

Regards

Pete


Totally agree that if you stay inside the cockpit, this is much less of an issue but they warn you not to turn too sharply either so that you look down from the side window.
But as you said, the wrong season is the most bothersome to me as well plus the lack of good shadows, and that you can see even if you stay inside.

Basically I think, it could be really good in some areas of the world and not so good in others and also depending at what time of the day you are flying. High noon in the desert would be perfect :D. But seriously, you can get some spectacular views under the right conditions. I'm just spoiled and I want that all the time :roll: :D

Maurice

warvet
07-26-2008, 01:02 AM
All I can say is Holy Sh*T!!! West Jet sure gets around, especially at the low prices the charge LOL :)

Tim
A340
Canada