I was thinking about asking for Utimate Terrian for Christmas, but I'm not sure how good it really is. If anyone that has a copy of UT that would be willing to take 2 screen shots of a specific area around KHLN (Helena, Montana), I would really apreaciate it, let me know if you can, and I will tell you where the area is.
Roger that, I'll fire up my plane in a few minutes. I'll also try getting you some shots from a metropolitain area at night, as I think that is the best part of UT! They did some amazing tricks with the added night-lighting effects that really are amazing. Your sense of depth just really shoots up, making it really feel like you're descending into an airport with the city surrounding you! Somehow they did all this with minimal cost with frames, just gotta do your part to keep your computer in tip-top memory shape and defragged regularly!
Edit: Got your pictures, day and night. I'll sort through them and upload them in the next couple of hours.
I took off from runway 27 (winds 260 at 15kts) and made a left turn out over the city. I flew out for a ways taking a few shots of whatever I could see, and flew left again after I hit the factory. I headed out towards the lakes for a few shots and then headed back in for a long base on runway 27 for my landing. I switched to night time and then took off from 27 again, made a right turn out, and simply flew a downwind/base/final with a few pictures along the way.
Things you might notice: rivers and roads are finally accurately placed, and much more orderly night-lighting! I don't have the graphics cranked on the program and have the roads set on bright at night, so it may seem unrealistic, but if you tweak it enough I'm sure it'll be to your liking!
After taking off from runway 27 I looked off to the right to find the nearest major road trailing off into the distance!
I thought that the panel lighting for the landing lights was so beautiful that you should get a look at it!
Notice that now you can find your way back to the airport via familiar roads (i.e., if you have a sectional of the area). Especailly handy in foggy conditions!
In the next two shots, notice how the angle of the lights change. This is what I was talking about as far as the "depth" goes. It's far more clear when you're in a heavy jet descending on final in a major airport!
A shot of my home town (NYC). Notice that they even got the colors for the main avenues correct (red taillights for the downtown avenues and only the white headlights for the uptown bound).
(By the way, yes this was a shameless plug for the Carenado Cessna 182RG Skylane as well! All the pictures were taken either in external mode or the VC).
Note: I am happy with the framerates I get with UT and am positive it will run well on your computer. I run Active Sky V Enhanced, visibility out about 50 or 60 miles, full cloud cover and density, and graphic sliders around midrange on a 64mb Nvidia, 1 gig of RAM, and 1.9 ghz processor.
Thanks a ton, those are great. 😀
What display settings are you running at? If I got UT and maxed out all the settings, what kind of FPS do you think I would be looking at? With default terrian I run it with the settings maxed out and I get around 35 FPS in that area.
512 MB RAM,
256 Video Card,
Pentium 4 3.0 GHz.
Would you mind taking a pic of this one area? You could make a flight out of it if you wanted, there is some real beautiful senery along the way, big cliffs and snow capped mountains in real life. It would probly look real great in UT. If your not interested you don't have to, but if you are, here is the rout.
Take off from KHLN and fly out-bound on the 343 degree radial, the VOR/DME freq for HLN is 117.700. At 13 NM from the station look off to the right of the nose and take a pic of those mountains.
No problem. I'll power her up either tonight or tomorow for the hop. With your computer you will be FINE with UT. Since the majority of it is correcting the location of roads, rivers, etc, you won't experience too much of a hit during day time. At night you will experience some hit around busy areas, but they somehow designed those lights with nearly no cost to your FPS themselves. In fact, even though they do seem like really bright glowing spots (giving you that great depth), if you zoom in on a group of them you'll find that they almost disappear! I'm not sure how that happens, but it certainly is a great trick 😉 . The only thing is your ram is a little on the low side, so the loading time may be longer than you're used to, but it certainly won't affect you that much in flight.
By the way, this program doesn't add proper terrain scaling (i.e. for cliffs and such), nor does it alter the textures themselves. So in that sense it does come up short on a complete terrain make-over. But for the addition of accurate roads, landclasses, and rivers/streams, I am certainly grateful! It is a great program!