XP11 Ortho Questions

Alright so I finally started installing some Forkboy Ortho scenery but I’ve got a few questions.

  1. Mesh. Previously I had installed the AIPilot HD Mesh and I think I should continue to use that, but what about the overlays included with the Forkboy downloads? Should I prioritize those?

  2. This is what I’m seeing at KEAT. It seems… off. Any ideas as to what could be causing it?

  • Edit - Right now I’m not convinced the ortho for Washington is showing.

Sorry about the n00b questions, definitely still trying to figure out how XP handles everything. Especially the scenery_packs.ini file :man_facepalming:

I believe Forkboy orthos include mesh. Sooo…I think you would have the Forkboy ortho ABOVE the AlpilotX in your scenery_packs.ini order.

Ok. Making progress. Looks like I did have the AIpilot mesh too high and you do need to use the provided Forkboy overlay.

Images below looking in the same general area as before. Still not sure why there’s trees on the taxiway in the bottom picture but maybe that’s something that’ll fix itself once I replace the airport itself.

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I went down a rabbit hole a few weeks ago in regards to the HD/UHD Mesh from AI pilot and Forkboy ortho. The consensus I gathered is that A) Ortho doesn’t use the mesh from AI pilot X because its already embedded in the tile and B) The Ortho4xp/Forkboy mesh is better data than HD v4 mesh. The mountains still look great, I got the Grand Canyon HD Forkboy and its awesome.

I keep the AI pilot mesh for areas that aren’t covered by Ortho.

Two mods I highly recommend if you are using Ortho:

Transparent Autogen Terrain. Basically it removes that little square below all the autogen houses, and makes the houses look 1000 better matched to the ortho. No negatives to this one.

Transparent Roads. Same thing for roads. Removes the roads and just has light posts, traffic lights, and cars on the ortho roads. Keeps the stock highways and bridges. This one is up to you, personally, I like it alot better than the stock roads, but if you fly over an area with no ortho, the roads will be transparent with no ortho road beneath it.

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Yeah…I like this mod. And Orbx offers the same type of toggle in Orbx Central for some of their TrueEarth series.

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Saw that when I installed TE Washington. Wasn’t sure which would be better so I went with…looking…[x] Transparent road textures. I thought this would not do roads, saving maybe a teensy-weency bit on performance? May have it bass-akwards.

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The removal of autogen ground texture saves you some horsepower as well. Have to squeeze every drop out of it these days.

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You already got it but for anyone else who happens along when searching to resolve a similar problem.
Here is the order I have and which works well:

  • airports
  • airports
  • airports
  • libraries
  • libraries
  • X-Plane Landmarks - something
  • X-Plane Landmarks - something
  • yOrtho4XP_Overlays_HDv4 (Please Read Below)
  • z_Ortho_Something (Please Read Below)
  • z_Ortho_Something (Please Read Below)
  • zzz_hd_global_scenery4 (Please Read Below)

The mistake I have made more than once is a double entry in Scenery_Packs. As the list gets longer, it gets easier and easier to lose control. There are easier ways to manage it but I do it by hand and accept the occasional frustration when I screw it up. Usually the best solution for me is to erase scenery packs, load XP, quit XP and reorder the important bits which are the ones I appended with “Please Read Below”. Those are the only folders that are layered and therefore the only for which the order is important. yOrtho4XP_Overlays are where you have to make a choice with Forkboy2’s file. He usually gives you a choice of four to place in this folder. Chances are, if you have the improved HD mesh, you will want to use “yOrtho4XP_Overlays_HDv4” from AlpilotX. That folder should already exist. Unzipping Forkboy2’s version onto your existing version will not overwrite yours. It will just add the pertinent overlay data that comes with the new Ortho you’ve just downloaded. But without it (or if it is below a mesh), you get no objects, just the underlying mesh and paint. The “paint” is the “z_ortho_…” file. That’s why it’s so big. If it is on top of any overlay in Scenery_Packs, those overlay items will not be placed. The very bottom is the Alpilotx’s "zzz_hd_global… (or similar). The mesh. Also big but not AS big is the ortho stuff. It is there to fill in the gaps where you may not have a seemless Forkboy2 set of orthos and their accompaniment of a more accurate mesh.

So this is actually very intuitive. If you were sculpting the planet you would first sculpt a ball and add mountains and valleys (elevation data). That’s the mesh. You would then paint pretty shades of green, blue and brown. That’s the ortho. Finally you would overlay it all with roads, objects, trees, people and airports. That’s the rest. You wouldn’t put clay on top of the paint. But Scenery_Packs sometimes will.

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For this reason, I actually label my folders custom_scenery this way.

Airports get an a_
Libraries just go in however, because I don’t think they matter.
Orbx I let it do what it wants
z for European ortho (because lol I don’t know)
zz for ortho I downloaded from whatever site it was back in the day (this is all LAX area)
zzz for mesh

All seems to work.

Your guide is great. There’s a few out there, but that explains it well.

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Anybody have issues with Forkboy’s Arizona? I can’t get it to show up even though everything appears to be in order.

I haven’t downloaded AZ, but I have had issues with other sceneries. In my case, the issues were always my fault. If you are like me, the good news is that the hard work, the z_ortho_Arizona folder, is probably not where the problem is. Where I get screwed up is the misplacement within yOrtho4XP_Overlays or with the order of scenery in “scenery_packs”.

I’ve got AZ and the Grand Canyon. Seem to be working.

Fixed it, I missed the patch in the notes for AZ.

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