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Hundred Dollar Burger Scenery Update

The first of the two killer B’s (6B6 & 2B2) is going out to the beta test team this weekend, with Plum Island close on its heels. While we finish up the Plum Island facelift, here are some shots of Minute Man Field showing off that glorious P3Dv4 lighting…

The first of the two killer B’s (6B6 & 2B2) is going out to the beta test team this weekend, with Plum Island close on its heels. While we finish up the Plum Island facelift, here are some shots of Minute Man Field showing off that glorious P3Dv4 lighting…

Filed Under: 2B2 Plum Island, 6B6 Minuteman Field, FSX, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, New England Scenery, P3D4, Prepar3D V3, Prepar3D v4

Return of the 100 Dollar Burger

In the midst of all the announcements about large airport projects, a GA-loving person might despair that we’re abandoning our first love. Au contraire! As we steam towards KDAL and KPDX, our aim is to keep the flow of smaller fields going as well. And to prove that commitment, we’ll soon be releasing a dual-airport pack featuring an old favorite that’s been given a facelift (2B2 Plum Island), along with a new project that we’ve wanted to get to for a while now, 6B6 Minuteman Field.

Both airports are located in the US state of Massachusetts, and would make for great flights from Nantucket and The Heron’s Nest. Here are a couple previews of 6B6 just to kick things off…

And yes, those are 3D-modeled bottles of mustard in the second screenie. Details!

In the midst of all the announcements about large airport projects, a GA-loving person might despair that we’re abandoning our first love. Au contraire! As we steam towards KDAL and KPDX, our aim is to keep the flow of smaller fields going as well. And to prove that commitment, we’ll soon be releasing a dual-airport [...]

Filed Under: 2B2 Plum Island, 6B6 Minuteman Field, Announcements, FSX, FSX Scenery, Heron’s Nest, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, KACK, Nantucket, New England Scenery, P3D4, Prepar3D V3

Myrtle, fetch the mower!

Convincing sim airports are built of many things, most of which we can pretty much all agree on. Hangars are shaped a certain way, pavement looks like asphalt or concrete or gravel, vehicles either have the right look or they don’t. Where things get a bit more subjective are in the tiny, organic details – grass, for instance.

For some time now, there’s been an expectation that smaller airports (and for that matter, most larger ones) will at least try to incorporate some representation of grass. It might just be a fringe around the taxiways at an international hub, or it might involve a full-blown tangle of thick vegetation that threatens to overwhelm the whole field.

In our latest project, we asked ourselves, “what makes realistic grass look, well, realistic?” Since the airport in question is a smaller GA field, there was no doubt that the natural elements would play a key role in “selling” the believability. So rather than plunking down some grass from one of our existing libraries, we decided to go back to the drawing board and find as perfect a balance as we could between performance and plausibility. We’re pretty happy with the result.

They key elements were:

  • Coloring – The grass had to seamlessly match the photoreal ground beneath it. After all, that image is essentially a top-down view of the actual grass on the field.
  • Variety – Like most organic elements, there’s a lot of variation of color, texture, and density in a field of grass. In some seasons, that includes a splash of wildflowers here and there as well.
  • Performance – We’re trying to fool the eye into seeing hundreds of thousands of blades of grass while laying down a few hundred polygons. That means striking a balance between what’s actually there and what looks like it’s there.
  • Blending – After all that work, the last thing we want is for someone to look at a field and think, “yep, there are a bunch of polygons trying their best to be grass.” We want you to peer out through the windscreen and just think, “grass.” We paid a lot of attention to the best way to hide those straight 3D model edges the human eye has such an affinity for, but which look out of place in a natural setting.

Of course, in the real world many airports are meticulously maintained, including regular mowing. That means that the grass is seldom more than a few inches high. For our simulated environment, we’ve relaxed that standard a bit and let it get higher without being out of control. The result, we hope you agree, is quite believable…

Convincing sim airports are built of many things, most of which we can pretty much all agree on. Hangars are shaped a certain way, pavement looks like asphalt or concrete or gravel, vehicles either have the right look or they don’t. Where things get a bit more subjective are in the tiny, organic details – [...]

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, FSX, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, New England Scenery, P3D4, Prepar3D V3

A Great Little Free Plane for Your Free Island

A Great Little Free Plane for Your Free Island post image

I just saw a mention on Facebook from my friend, Flight1 staffer Jeff Smith. Looks like they’ve released their Cessna 162 Skycatcher for free. Jeff pointed out that it’s a great complement to our Heron’s Nest 2.0 scenery.

More info on the free Skycatcher here: http://www.flight1.com/view.asp?page=skycatcher

And of course for your copy of the Heron’s Nest 2, check out the product page.

I just saw a mention on Facebook from my friend, Flight1 staffer Jeff Smith. Looks like they’ve released their Cessna 162 Skycatcher for free. Jeff pointed out that it’s a great complement to our Heron’s Nest 2.0 scenery. More info on the free Skycatcher here: http://www.flight1.com/view.asp?page=skycatcher And of course for your copy of the Heron’s Nest [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, Bush Flying, Freeware, FSX, FSX Scenery, Heron’s Nest, New England Scenery, Prepar3D V3

Your Island is Ready

After a total rebuild and a whole lot of tweaking and testing, version 2.0 of The Heron’s Nest is a go! Rather than deliver it only to mailing list subscribers, we’ve decided to open it up to everyone for download, absolutely free.

Get your copy here: http://iblueyonder.com/portfolio/the-herons-nest/

And here’s a sampler…

After a total rebuild and a whole lot of tweaking and testing, version 2.0 of The Heron’s Nest is a go! Rather than deliver it only to mailing list subscribers, we’ve decided to open it up to everyone for download, absolutely free. Get your copy here: http://iblueyonder.com/portfolio/the-herons-nest/ And here’s a sampler…

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, Announcements, Bush Flying, FSX, FSX Scenery, Heron’s Nest, New England Scenery, Prepar3D V3

Hot New Tech for Decrepit Old Stuff

The hottest buzzword in 3D rendering and gaming at the moment is PBR, short for physically-based rendering. It’s a deep, highly wonky topic, but at a high level is basically an attempt to re-create how light plays over real-world surfaces using mathematical formulas and sets of texture maps. For any given material you could have, for instance, a base color map, a map representing how glossy each pixel of a surface is, one for the specular color of each pixel, and so forth. Wait, wake up! I swear, this is not only cool, it’s a sea change in how we create realistic looking things in a digital environment.  [click to continue…]

The hottest buzzword in 3D rendering and gaming at the moment is PBR, short for physically-based rendering. It’s a deep, highly wonky topic, but at a high level is basically an attempt to re-create how light plays over real-world surfaces using mathematical formulas and sets of texture maps. For any given material you could have, [...]

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, FSX, FSX Scenery, Heron’s Nest, New England Scenery, Prepar3D V3

Nantucket is Getting Livelier Soon!

One of the challenges of being a small design studio (I like to think of us as “boutique”, because it sounds better) is the creation of assets that larger developers already have lying around on the shelf. For instance, slowly but surely we’re working to bring new, reusable libraries of objects online that will speed development of future projects.  [click to continue…]

One of the challenges of being a small design studio (I like to think of us as “boutique”, because it sounds better) is the creation of assets that larger developers already have lying around on the shelf. For instance, slowly but surely we’re working to bring new, reusable libraries of objects online that will speed [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, Flight Simulator, FSX, KACK, Nantucket, Prepar3D V3

Exploring Nantucket: The Brant Point Lighthouse

Today’s Nantucket destination is perhaps the unluckiest spot of real estate on the island, the Brant Point lighthouse. If not for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, this poor lighthouse might have been the oldest on Nantucket.  [click to continue…]

Today’s Nantucket destination is perhaps the unluckiest spot of real estate on the island, the Brant Point lighthouse. If not for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, this poor lighthouse might have been the oldest on Nantucket.  The whaling industry on Nantucket was booming by the mid 1700’s. In order to improve safety for [...]

Filed Under: Flight Simulator, FSX, Getting to Know Nantucket, KACK, Nantucket, New England Scenery, Prepar3D V3

Nantucket Island SP1 Released

For users of Nantucket Island 1.0, we’ve released a service pack that fixes commonly reported problems and adds some enhancements as well.

NOTE: If you purchased Nantucket on or after February 1, 2017, this update is already part of your 1.01 download. There is no need to download it again.

For users who purchased Nantucket 1.0 before February 1, 2017, log in to the My Account page, and under “View Details and Downloads”, you’ll see a link to download SP1. If you purchased from another vendor, follow their procedures for getting your update.

Changes include:

  • Added designated Cape Air and seasonal airline parking
  • Added ILS to rwy 24 and 06 per airnav.com data
  • Fixed texture draw issues with tower glass, fence by terminal
  • Fixed flickering in native P3D ground poly
  • Enhanced bump and specular mapping on P3D ground for added realism
  • Added rain effects to native P3D ground
  • Hardened apron surface in front of terminal
  • Removed a few bushes from water near NW point of island
  • Added missing runway 12 number marking
  • Information on Viva and AutogenConfigurationMerger added to manual

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For users of Nantucket Island 1.0, we’ve released a service pack that fixes commonly reported problems and adds some enhancements as well. NOTE: If you purchased Nantucket on or after February 1, 2017, this update is already part of your 1.01 download. There is no need to download it again. For users who purchased Nantucket [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, Flight Simulator, FSX, FSX Scenery, KACK, Nantucket, Prepar3D V3

Official Nantucket Video Released

Official Nantucket Video Released post image

Our good friend Alexander Ther (ateh one) has created another of his masterpieces. This time it’s the official video for Nantucket, and it’s a beauty!

Find out more about Nantucket Island for FSX & Prepar3D here.

Our good friend Alexander Ther (ateh one) has created another of his masterpieces. This time it’s the official video for Nantucket, and it’s a beauty! Find out more about Nantucket Island for FSX & Prepar3D here.

Filed Under: Flight Simulator, FSX, FSX Scenery, FSX Videos, KACK, Nantucket, Prepar3D V3