How does Real NZ Dunedin work with FTX NZSI?

EDIT: This post is rather 'dry', I may have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the world news this week, and on rereading it this morning I think that my mood might have affected the presentation...

As a cheerier counterpoint, Mallard over the FTX forum has posted some screenshots of a flight from Orbx Queenstown, through the Subscription scenery and ending at Real NZ Dunedin, so if you want the user's point of view of how it works, then head over there! Note that you may need to be logged in to view this, I'm not sure if that's the way it works now.

This is really a FAQ question, but it deserves a bit of explanation. The feature list of this scenery says "FTX NZSI compatible", but there is a bit more to it than that. I have always aimed to produce non-partisan scenery for New Zealand, which means compatible with the default simulators plus any other major 'base' landclass or other scenery. In New Zealand this means, Vector Land Class, FTX NZSI, or FTX Global.

'Compatible' means 'works with', but it doesn't mean 'works like an Orbx scenery addon'. I try to blend it seamlessly, and remove any discrepancies like differences in elevations.

My photoscenery normally doesn't include seasonal variations. This is a sensible solution, as the aerial images are invariably a single season -- almost always summer -- and editing the image for seasonal changes is always going to be a compromise, not to mention the fact that adding a season doubles the file size, adding all seasons increases the size by at least four. With a single season at 1.14 GB, an increase to 2.2 or 4.4 GB would put this out of the reach of a lot of my customers, for very little actual improvement.

In reality, FTX NZSI doesn't offer much in the way of seasonal variation in this part of the country, anyway. But the main thing is that Orbx have their own colour palette for New Zealand, which doesn't really match my reality, not to mention the aerial images I use. So I'm not going to change the colour of the aerial images to match FTX NZSI, this wouldn't really serve any purpose.

Here's some screenshots showing the Real New Zealand scenery blended on the western side. I've included a couple of seasons in FTX NZSI, both the best and worst colour match. (Click for larger images.)

fsx_orbxblend1 fsx_orbxblend2

The sharp tonal divisions are not the Real NZ/FTX border, but the edges of forests. The only visible sign of the change to FTX is the bright green. My 'Real' New Zealand is not that green down south.

These shots are from FSX, as I use FTX NZSI in FSX only, in my favourite simulator, Prepar3d v3, I use Vector Land Class, which has taken a bit of a back seat to FTX, but still offers a great solution for New Zealanders. VLC uses default textures, but adds detail through the use of vector data.


Although VLC lacks some features of FTX NZSI, it is difficult to distinguish the blend between actual aerial imagery and VLC landclass textures.

So, the idea is to be able to fly into and out of the photo scenery without a big ugly sharp division, in any season. Note, though, that when it snows, FTX will switch to snowy 'hard winter' textures, whereas Real NZ Dunedin does not include hard winter textures, so you will definitely see a difference.