New Zealand and X-Plane

An effort to collaborate all freeware New Zealand scenery addons. Discuss the creation and management of the project here.

Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:47 am

Thanks for the info, TG - I'll try to instigate the changes as soon as I can.

Unfortunately I was only working with the information I had in front of me - which was existing X-Plane apt.dat files (a bit outdated) and satellite imagery. And it's a little far from NZAA to get a decent appraisal of the layout, considering I've been living in London for 20 years! ;)

If there are any recent afcad files that you could recommend or point me in the direction of for authenticity, then I'd be more than happy to convert them across - giving an accurate facsimile of the apron layout.

Cheers,

Aaron.

BTW - this was the DHL ground image I'd got my references from, with a B727 and B757 on the tarmac (so I thought this was a regular occurrence):


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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby towerguy » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:13 pm

I think that photo was a one off when they were changing over from the B727 to the B757 so can see where you might have got confused, no worries.
As to apron layout I'll dig around and see what I can come up with for you. I also have some recent photos that I will try to get resized and uploaded soon.
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:40 am

Hi everyone,

I've released NZAA Auckland v1.2 on the X-Plane.org download site - found here:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/fi ... -auckland/

I've amended the taxiways and added a lot more detail to the tarmac, (and Craig - including the DHL area!), by creating a completely new tarmac alphabet and laying them out as draped polygons to speed up redraw, and avoid strobing. It looks fantastic, and really increases the realism, but I will have to add a photoshopped dirt mask over everything to weather the tarmac a bit more. Then, there's the plan to add animated ground support vehicles as well, to make the place look like it's alive. I'm always going to be tweaking this, but as it stands it's fully operational. So if you're an X-Plane user, please download it and give it a try - it's free!

Craig - I'd like to amend the boundary lights as you'd suggested, so please send me some info over whenever you've time! The aim is to be as authentic as I can.

I've also created some WorldTraffic files using real-world timetables so it will be more realistic flying in and out of Auckland. Now the gates are populated correctly with the right aircraft and airline, and fly on the right routes. However, I've got to do a little more manipulation of the files by having the correct times for the flight arrivals and departures, and as they're only from a sample of one day and therefore not completely true-to-life!

After I've laid out the proper timetable I will publish them for WorldTraffic 2 users (which is an excellent program!). Apparently, WT3 will have the ability to download timetables directly off the net, but until it's released (currently in Beta testing) this will be more than adequate.

So far, the response from the X-Plane community has been fantastic, and I'm very grateful to everyone for their support. Obviously, the next stage is to create a full Auckland skyline to provide the ultimate experience!

Ian - any news or developments with Mike? I'd love to get started on this project soon...

Cheers!

Aaron.

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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby Ian Warren » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:18 am

kiwi_the_iwik wrote:Ian - any news or developments with Mike? I'd love to get started on this project soon...

Mike got a little busy over the last couple weeks, I sorta not been doing much myself, PC doing silly things , the moment the building are not finished yet but I guess thing may take a little longer in the city department.
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:55 pm

I'm going to have to start calling this topic - New Zealand and X-Plane 11!

Just took the plunge and bought the official release - along with a nice, juicy GTX1070. And I've never been happier!

All the previous sceneries and aircraft work beautifully, and the computer throws out 1920x1200 at @ 45-60fps with everything on "lush". I don't think that I need to go 4K, as I'm getting old and my eyes aren't as good as they used to be - but the sim will, if I want. Next step is an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive - not decided yet (but I'm thinking of building a small 3DOF motion platform to go along with it).

I've also put together @ 320 real flight plans to the airport (domestic and international), so the place has really come alive now! I've added a few pictures below for you to see how it looks.

Cheers,

Aaron.


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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:00 pm

Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted, but it's really great to see over 30000 views of this thread, which really is quite incredible - and shows just how much interest is still out there for X-Plane!

So - I've been a little busy designing and building over the past few months, and have finally released NZWP Whenuapai - with bespoke 3D structures; license-free orthoimagery that fits into Ortho4XP/Lyndiman's/alpilotX and default sceneries; GroundTraffic moving vehicles; static aircraft; authentic taxiways and runways designed from the ground-up; a fully working ATC (compatible with WT3); and it's XP10/11 compatible.

Try it out here:

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/f ... whenuapai/

It's taken many months of work and effort to complete this project, but in the spirit of X-Plane it's still just donationware... :)

Auckland's CBD is the next project I'll hopefully release before Christmas (I've been building 3 x sceneries concurrently!) - another massive body of work, taking over a year to complete, where I've attempted to build and texture as many recognisable city icons as possible (I just have to tidy up the waterfront and finish Mechanic's Bay).

And to round things off, I'm in the final stages of completing NZPP Paraparaumu - another iconic New Zealand airport which has me using even newer design techniques with unparalleled levels of detail compared to my earlier sceneries! I've also had a lot of assistance from some great folk (primarily driven by the brilliant Andy - aka. Buzzard2008 - and the amazing staff at Kapiti Coast Airport).

Included are some photos - namely, NZWP, Auckland CBD and my (still unfinished!) work of NZPP.

Enjoy!

Aaron

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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby toprob » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:12 am

That is just brilliant, Aaron, the best NZ stuff I've seen for X-plane. I will install it this week for a proper look! My old NZPM for FSX is looking very dated now!
Your 'take' on things really impresses me, there is nothing 'cartoony' about your work, which is something which I see a lot in X-plane releases.
I do have a partially evolved strategy for X-plane development, which I'll cover in the next Kickstarter update, but basically I'll be sticking to airports only, the first major one being NZCH, but really don't have a clue whether it would be successful enough to keep working on X-plane. It's a strange new world for me, and there are some issues which are really outside my experience -- a quick example which shows up here, the beautifully crafted buildings just look so real, but there is a lot of work to do on things like the NZ vegetation.
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane 10

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:19 am

Hi Robin,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I'm really going for the realistic approach whilst trying to keep the sceneries frame-rate friendly, and have thoroughly loved the building process (I'm still relatively new to it, as well - but have found that it's really addictive!).

I totally agree with you about the vegetation - there aren't enough generic trees and shrubs to work with, so I've attempted to make some of my own. The picture I've included of the front of Kapiti Coast Airport has generic "placeholder" shrubs, but I've since made some nice flax bushes which are more true-to-life.

I'm still having an issue as to whether I need the standard 4 x sided variety, or bespoke 8 x sided. Unfortunately, the other problem is dealing with shadows and reflections which show up the axes - and therefore, blow the illusion of realism! I'll have to re-investigate some scenery programming parameters to see if there's a solution. So far, "ATTR_no_shadow" has improved some of the problems, but hasn't ironed out all the issues...

Cheers,

Aaron.
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby Grumble » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:57 pm

I bought myself X-plane 11 for a Christmas present and... wow. Colour me impressed! I'm loving the "feel" of the flight model, and am having a ball, but am a hunting for some better ground-level scenery. Love the airports but what little I've been able to to with orthoxp, etc. has left trees etc. in the middle of town areas and the airport! I've seen some great pics of the Tauranga area in Xplane (which is what I really want) but can't figure out how to do it myself... if anyone has a link to some pre-created regional scenery I would be really grateful!
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:54 am

Hi Grumble,

Welcome to X-Plane!

I think you may have to edit the scenery.ini file in your Custom Scenery folder using a text editor program, to specify load order of sceneries.

When installing scenery, it's important to make sure the scenery you'd like to see primarily in the simulator be near, or at, the top of the list. Basically, it goes:
- all downloaded airport scenery;
- the Global Airports folder;
- any generated OSM files you've downloaded or made (i.e. from Simviation.com, or W2XP-generated);
- Orthophotos (i.e from Ortho4XP);
- Mesh files

For further info how to do this, take a look at:

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/f ... -in-order/

If you're still getting trees/objects all over your runways, you may need to lay down some "exclusion zones" in the scenery using either OverlayEditor or WED (or contact the scenery designer directly to get them to do it, if they haven't already!).

Do take a look at the x-plane.org forum site, as the chances are that someone will have a solution for a problem you're facing, and will be happy to share. And there may also be a few tricks/setups/enhancements on the site that you could pick up to help your sim experience! :)

Cheers,

Aaron.
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby Grumble » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:32 pm

Hi Aaron, I'll have to take a look. Unfortunately, a lack of time precludes me from doing much. I own the RealNZ tauranga/rotorua packages for FSX, and I hear they can be converted, but W2XP looks like a better bet, if I can find the time to do it!
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby chopper_nut » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:03 am

Took a look at your Whenuapai Aaron.... bloody hell mate, it's epic. I'll have a bit more of an explore when I've got time. I suppose I should share what I've been working on. I felt that there weren't enough places for us helicopter guys to go and land at. There's an addon that adds the DoC huts throughout NZ and I've used those locations to insert unimproved landing sites. I've just used library objects.... I'm not quite up to building anything yet. The unfortunate thing about this effort is that it shows up the limitations in the aerial photographs. I'm up to 18 sites now of varying difficulty and detail.

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Like I usually do, I've started another project at the same time :blink: Again to add helicopter landing pads but at Fox Glacier this time. There is a long way to go with this one. The vegetation is killing me..... If you look at the pics closely you can see that I've got to tweak the location of some of the vegetation. I've added Fox and Franz Helis and Glacier Southern Lakes pads so far. Really just Mountain Helicopters to do at the airport. I'm undecided what to do about the town yet. It really needs custom buildings.... I'll have to have a think about it.

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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:40 am

That's brilliant work - well done!

It's great to get some decent helicopter landing sites in X-Plane.

With that in mind, I'd been building Auckland CBD for quite some time now, but it just didn't seem right to not have a detailed version of NZMB Mechanics Bay included. So, my efforts have been going into making a decent version - although the elevation data is giving me quite a few problems, as it's incredibly hard to edit the base mesh in X-Plane.

This week, a developer released an Auckland VFR scenery package on the .org site (pre-empting mine, unfortunately). But his version is great for a bit of flying around the city, and much better than the default bare landscape. However, I've decided to complete my version (which will hopefully be soon!), and it will have a fully functional Mechanics Bay heliport in addition to a vibrant skyline, orthophotos, additional buildings from LINZ data and the Harbour Bridge complete with flowing traffic.

There's still plenty to do (levelling the terrain, texturing buildings, baking in ambient occlusion, adding clutter, fixing up the sea wall and plotting some additional moving vehicles), but I'm aiming for a realistic product!

Cheers,

Aaron.

Here's some WIP pictures - apologies that the resolution isn't great. I'm currently working on the Mac, but the PC looks 100x better!

(Note that the terrain's not been levelled yet and the heliport buildings are still to be rendered).

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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby chopper_nut » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:59 am

Very good. I was there a couple of years ago and from what I remember you've nailed it. I don't fly around Auckland a lot so I'll wait for yours so it'll be the same style as NZAA. Is there any way to bring the ground photo into WED in the correct place and scale?
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:06 am

Thanks! It'll look better textured, though - and I'll be putting new lighting towers up, matching those on Fergusson Wharf.

re: WED - yes, you can match it by using GeoTIFFs or even JPEGs with geotags. Importing an orthophoto can be a little tricky, so I suggest checking out this post:

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/f ... o-scenery/
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby chopper_nut » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:10 am

I probably should've been a bit clearer.... I'm using Lyndiman's orth scenery as the base for these scenerys that I'm doing so I just import those tiles into WED. They go in alright but as I say I have to stuff around for hours getting them in the right spot to start placing objects.
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:12 am

Ok - try OverlayEditor instead, as it might be easier for you to place the objects (you can use Google Earth, Esri, Bing or OSM for accurate placement).

Download it from here:

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/f ... ry-editor/

Let me know how you get on... :)

Cheers,

Aaron.
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:18 pm

Here's the latest NZMB update images - not rendered fully, as these images are from my Mac with 2GB graphics - and not the nice 8GB graphics on the PC with specular lighting effects. But you'll get the idea...

Still a bit to do (better grass and trees, additional objects and new lighting towers on the wharves, and Ambient Occlusion on the structures - and to finally sort out the terrain mesh).

Then, it'll be good-to-go!

Cheers,

Aaron.


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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby chopper_nut » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:43 am

That's really coming together Aaron, good work. I've been doing a lot of work on the Haast and glaciers area. Of course I keep making the job bigger by expanding the area that I'm working on... I wasn't happy with my first efforts so I'm going back and revisiting the pads that I've done and putting in what is, at least to my mind, more realistic vegetation. I've also reworked the airstrip at Haast and Fox Glacier. Hollyford strip has been created but has no detail at all yet.

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Looking towards the Coppermine Creek Hut... sort of. Maori Saddle Hut is off to the right.

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Looking toward the Horseshoe Flat Hut. Not really happy with the colouring here yet but I've since worked out a much better balance so I'll alter it.

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Taken just in front of the last shot. Not a pad as such, just a little spot that can be used. I'm planning to add a few of these around the place that should be big enough for some of the more hardcore bush aeroplanes.

The last three shots just show how good the sim can look....
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Re: New Zealand and X-Plane

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:20 pm

That's looking great!

Now that AlpilotX has released a UHD mesh of New Zealand I've been adjusting my NZMB Auckland scenery to fit his, and the Lyndiman's mesh and orthoimagery (which is superb!).

Lyndiman has put out a fantastic discussion regarding his work on an Auckland mesh/orthoimagery on his blog, found here:

https://lyndiman.com/2018/03/20/the-x-p ... -auckland/

He's also posted a YouTube video, flying test helicopter circuit using his mesh and my NZMB Auckland scenery.

Check it out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhLI-7p91Rg

Cheers,

Aaron.
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