Feedback on new textures for FS9, please!
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Thread: Feedback on new textures for FS9, please!

  1. #1

    Feedback on new textures for FS9, please!

    While ORBX has just released their England package for FSX, I have been working on new FS9 textures for all the world.

    I have been meaning to release them as very reasonably priced 5$ (all the world, all seasons) because I need some extra money but have held off because I anticipate the product being pirated more or less right away.

    But a few days ago because a buddy started a project on kickstarter, I have been toying with the idea of releasing it as a crowdfunded project.

    As I understand it this would mean setting a target sum and people can then pay whatever they feel is fair. If the target is not met, everybody gets their money back.

    If it is met, I get the collected money minus a commission for the crowdfunding site and release the product to everyone who paid into the pot (the crowdfunding site keeps track), no matter how much they put in.

    This seems a very fair deal with no risk or grief for anyone.

    My question is: Do you think this would work for a flightsim project?

    I don't know if this has been tried before!

    I would appreciate any sage advice, remarks or ideas on this dilemma from you - the most fairminded open FS community I know:salute:!

    Now for the more fun bit: I added some screenshots below.

    Unfortunately I am no great screenshot artist, so these are just pulled from FS9 with no edits although I tried to make them look interesting. Cockpit shots only so you get an idea of how they look inflight. I don't know how to do a proper video, mine always are much too big or too low-res when they are smaller. If somebody could point me to a tutorial I would love to do a video because that shows FS off much better than screenshots.

    The add-ons I use are UT for USA and Europe, the REX "realistic" sky and clouds theme, enbseries bloom and some freeware landclasses and airports. All other ground, ocean, inland water, airport textures etc. are mine.
    They are very realistic and have custom and very dense autogen. Of course they are not as crisp as FSX textures but I have done my best to overcome that limitation.


    Attachment 75724 England
    Attachment 75722 English weather
    Attachment 75725 Germany
    Attachment 75728 Continental Europe
    Attachment 75727 Continental Europe
    Attachment 75729 USA
    Attachment 75730 USA
    Attachment 75731 Asia

    I will add some more screenshots after going out for groceries.

    Cheers,
    Sascha

  2. #2
    Nice screens. I'm always up for better macro scenery, and although GE and UT have helped in many ways, I'm still on the lookout for some better renditions of desert, steppe, mountains and generally uninhabited regions. I find they are way too blotchy and don't reflect what looks more like uniform textures with only subtle variations in color. It may not be possible within the FS structure to do that sort of specialized work, like the detail1 file affects everything so I have one for winter, less dark patches in snow, and one for the rest to give a little more depth.
    Now I've never heard of crowdfunding so thanks for enlightening me. I'd say whatever you think is reasonable go for it. As you say, the probability of piracy is out there but given the right venue and presentation I don't see why a small price that you mentioned would be objectionable to anyone. If you decide to pursue this further you might consider releasing a small sample file so folks can see how things look on their particular setup. It sure helps a sale to know what things are going to look like. Thanks for your contributions regardless of where this project leads you.
    W7-64, 3GHz, 16GB Ram, GEForce 9400GT

  3. #3
    OMG, yes. Looks awesome.

  4. #4
    By the way, how can I get better upload quality for my screenshots? I see that they have gone all "soft". They were 1920 x1080 pixels originally and sharper.:isadizzy:

  5. #5
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    Sacha the textures look great, especially the colours and $5 is indeed a very reasonable price (perhaps even a bargain )

    About the screenshots; I assume you have uploaded them at the SOH. Most likely you will have better quality when you use a service like photobucket or similar.

    Cheers,
    Huub

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sascha66 View Post
    My question is: Do you think this would work for a flightsim project?a
    I'd definitely try it.

    It's just like collecting monetary "thank you"s in advance without having to worry about piracy.

  7. #7
    They look great, I will buy them!

    If it's not too much trouble, I would like to see some shots with the enbseries bloom turned off. I personally do not care for the bloom effect and would just like to see what they look like without it. I bet I am not the only one that feels the same way But, none the less the work you have done looks really good!! Thank you.

  8. #8
    I for one would be very interested, will you need UT and REX in order for them to work properly?

    Thanks,

    T.

  9. #9

  10. #10
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    you can count me in also here, they look great! :salute:

  11. #11
    You can count me in as well, a 'pre-payment' fee is an excellent way to generate working capital, just look at Project Cars!
    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

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  12. #12
    Sasha66,

    Those are nice looking textures. As I'm in the process of reinstalling and rebuilding my FS 9 installation, they caught my attention. I particularly liked the mid-west USA scenery.

    I'd definitely be up to purchase them for my reinstall/rebuilding project for FS 9.

    By the way, for sharp screen shots when I upload, I generally use a program called "Irfanview" (irfanview.com) I'll crop the screen shot and then reduce it in size to 800 pixel width, but that reduces the clarity as you noted above. With Irfanview I then select the "Image>Sharpen" option and it returns the shot to its original sharpness. You can also set the program up to automatically sharpen the image every time it is reduced, but I like to manually do it as sometimes a softer image is preferable.
    Keep your airspeed up,



    Jagdflieger

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  13. #13
    OK... you sold me. LOL. Very impressive.

    BB686:USA-flag:
    "El gato que camina como hombre" -- The cat that walks like a man

  14. #14
    Thank you all for your nice comments.

    These textures are replacement for the default textures, so they will work well with default FS9, without REX or UT. But I did try to optimize them for UT as that is such a popular addon.

    They are balanced to look good at low-level (with some creative photoshop tweaking of textures and dense autogen you can actually fly really low with good immersion in some areas) and at altitude (avoiding obvious tiling while retaining as many individual structures as possible).

    I have added some screenshots (using IrfanView, thanks for that HU Jagdflieger) to show the difference between bloom and non-bloom FS. However the results will vary wildly with different monitors. On my previous monitor, the non-bloom look was darker and had lower contrast. With my current Samsung monitor the textures are now much brighter in FS than the colouring of the files in photoshop! That is one reason why I love the bloom add-on - it allows so many tweaks that individual color preference can be achieved!

    I will try and take some screenshots later with default FS landclass only.

    By the way, I don't have a topflite payware land mesh, but use the old freeware meshes from simviation - so mountainous will probably not look as good as they could.

    Cheers,
    Sascha

    Left-hand images are with bloom, right-hand without.

    Attachment 75845Attachment 75846 USA
    Attachment 75847Attachment 75848 Key West Int.
    Attachment 75849Attachment 75850 Las Vegas
    Attachment 75851Attachment 75852 Arizona

  15. #15
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    Daaaannggg... that looks great! But... the rock and desert textures are make-it-or-break-it for me. I am a westerner, out in the hills and valleys of the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin. Your croplands and cities are splendid, but I've got to see more of the areas I spend my time in! More screenshots, please?
    Be assured, though, that if your deserts and rocks are as good as these, I will buy the pack!

    Edit: Just noticed those shots of the Arizona desert. Looks great. Might be improved a bit by lightening it a little? I fly with Bloom on - and the screenshot without bloom over Arizona is Perfect, so if I could get that in my sim With bloom...

    When I ask for cliffs and crags, I would be interested in seeing places like the Wasatch Front, say from KPVU, where Frontier Airlines has a base, and the Grand Canyon.
    Perhaps I'm being too demanding, sorry... but it is only because I am enthusiastic about this product!
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  16. #16
    I'm pretty happy with what I have but am open to something better and it's very reasonably priced. You might try a shareware option. Let people download it and, if they like it, pay you $5 through paypal or something. I think FS people are pretty honest as a group and will pay if they like it especially considering it's only $5.

  17. #17
    Well, I have improved my screenshots using IrfanView and my FS9 using different bloom settings (http://www.mediafire.com/?zzie4otie5z53lt - thanks to Gabriel Teles on avsim.com) and here is the result. These screenshots reproduce my FS9 quite faithfully now

    Cheers,
    Sascha

    Attachment 76104Munich
    Attachment 76105Innsbruck
    Attachment 76106Innsbruck
    Attachment 76107Geneva
    Attachment 76108England
    Attachment 76109Grand Canyon (mesh lacks the characteristic stepped cliffs)
    Attachment 76115Olbia
    Attachment 76114Key West NAS

    Cheers,
    Sascha

  18. #18
    Nice. Looks like photoreal.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rich12545 View Post
    I'm pretty happy with what I have but am open to something better and it's very reasonably priced. You might try a shareware option. Let people download it and, if they like it, pay you $5 through paypal or something. I think FS people are pretty honest as a group and will pay if they like it especially considering it's only $5.
    You are right - the core FS crowd are a worthy lot which is why I have been considering a freeware release as an alternative. But I do not think shareware is good because I general get the feeling that shareware is viewed as an extended trial product by a lot of people. I know released a texture pack as donationware way back in 2005 (I think - before GE in any case) which has close to about 90.000 downloads on avsim alone. It was mirrored on some other sites too. Many people were quite enthusiastic about it (in fact I still see some parts of it in screenshots). But only about 40 people donated something (although one guy actually donated 30+ EUR!)

    I spent years developing this texture pack so if I cannot come up with a foolproof way of meeting my break-even point in some payware scheme I will either release it as freeware on my favorite sites (Virtual german airforce and here) or just use it for myself.

    It would kill me to have it pirated after I sell 10 copies .

  20. #20
    Some more screenshots, I think I'm getting the hang of it! For my next trick I will attempt to do a video using FSRecorder.

    First two are in the Carribean, the others over Germany.

    Attachment 76155Attachment 76156Attachment 76157Attachment 76158

  21. #21
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Regardless of how you release it, I'm looking forward to it.

    Is it just summer textures or are there textures for year round?
    Let Being Helpful Be More Important Than Being Right.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Willy View Post
    Regardless of how you release it, I'm looking forward to it.

    Is it just summer textures or are there textures for year round?
    All seasons. I thought I had finished all of them several months back but I have been doing so many last minute revisions of the base textures (summer) that I will have to go back and rework the other seasons.

    Should not take too long but I am doing this by myself in my free time so I can't work on it as much as I'd like

  23. #23
    Sascha, one thing you could do is post your email addy which would also be for paypal. People would need to prepay then send you an email and you could reply with the file attached.

  24. #24
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Paypal... yuck.
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  25. #25
    SOH-CM-2015 rpjkw's Avatar
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    Hmmm. I get the following: Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator

    I must be holding my mouth wrong or something, but I'd sure like to view the links.

    Any suggestions, folks?

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