In the news…

I was a bit wary of how news is perceived on the web when I first started this development blog. For a long time Godzone and Real NZ scenery was aimed firmly at locals, so it was sufficient to put any news announcements on the NZ Flightsim Forum. A few years ago I noticed a lot more overseas interest, mainly European, and nowadays about half of all orders come from outside New Zealand. Germany has been particularly good to Godzone!

Putting a news item up stating that I'm working on a new Wellington Airport scenery, and that I'm planning to make it work fully with FTX NZNI, opens up a whole can of worms. For example, I wonder how many people think that Godzone has come along to leverage the increased interest in New Zealand following the release of FTX NZ? This isn't at all true, locals will know that I've been around for a very long time, some would say too long...

Seeing a news item on AirDailyX about the upcoming Wellington illustrates this to some extent. Luckily it worked out well, with enough interest to warrant a review of Real NZ Nelson, so I've relaxed a bit about the AirDailyX coverage.

The AirDailyX review mentioned the blend between Real NZ Nelson and NZSI, which is a very good point. The blend is something which is always going to be an issue with photo scenery, but the main issue I have is that I like to develop scenery which works with any 'base' package, whether FTX or something else. In this case, 'something else' means Vector Land Class.

I did comment on AirDailyX that then blending will not be an issue with Wellington, and that's true, as I can switch NZNI on whenever I need to test the blending, which I couldn't do when developing Nelson. However, New Zealanders have been spoilt with Vector Land Class. It is a bit of a shame that this was overshadowed by FTX's New Zealand. Sure, Orbx make a very nice New Zealand, but it does mean giving up some of the best features of Vector Land Class. Personally, I still use Vector Land Class, only switching Orbx on when I need to check compatibility.

Here's a look at the blending at Wellington. This is still early days, and I hope to expand the photo coverage. There's no photo autogen in this particular area yet, but it'll come. Blending to NZNI will need some serious tweaking, whereas Vector Land Class just works.

Blend to Vector Land Class

Vector Land Class -- with minimal photo editing (a little less blue, a little sharpening), it is really tricky to see where the photo scenery ends and VLC starts.

NZNI blend

With NZNI, the edge is obvious, and will need to be tweaked a lot to make it work. Where the hell did all that bush come from?

To be fair, Orbx doesn't lend itself to this sort of photo coverage, so I'd be inclined to trim the coverage a little. But the truth is, I love photo scenery, it's what I do, despite the limitations which some people find annoying -- the lack of seasonal variation, and variable quality compared to landclass textures. Sure, all this can be fixed, but 'Real New Zealand' scenery will always include a version with a real, unadulterated photo scenery, which shows locals the real place they know.

One good thing about the Wellington scenery is that the airport area is a peninsula, so it goes to the coast, and doesn't need to be blended. So taking off and landing at the airport will be all photo scenery.


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