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Hundred Dollar Burger airports

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

KACK Preview Pics – Now in P3D3!

KACK Preview Pics – Now in P3D3! post image

Every once in a while, I still get that wow factor from flight simming. You know the feeling; where just for a moment, you forget all about software, tweaks, and settings and are just… there. Lately, I’ve had a whole bunch of those moments. Granted, using an Oculus Rift VR headset has provided a whole slew of them. But the other component is Prepar3D v.3.3. People, if you are fence-sitting about Prepar3D at all, let me nudge you off that fence. This sim is nothing short of amazing, especially from a graphics perspective.

All this is a fancy run-up to something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and that’s provide some new screenshots of Nantucket Memorial Airport (KACK) – this time in P3D. In addition to the modeling and textures, look at the tree shadows now! We finally have those available, as well as dynamic reflections on the glass, bump maps and specular highlights on ground polys, and some really beautiful HDR lighting.

Okay, I’ll shut up now and let the pictures do the talking.

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Every once in a while, I still get that wow factor from flight simming. You know the feeling; where just for a moment, you forget all about software, tweaks, and settings and are just… there. Lately, I’ve had a whole bunch of those moments. Granted, using an Oculus Rift VR headset has provided a whole [...]

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

Beta Testers Wanted

In the last Heron’s Nest update, I said all that was left was to add a staircase from the top of the island leading down to the float hangar. So, here you go…

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With that out of the way, it’s time to move on to testing. I’m looking for about 5 testers to check out the Heron’s Nest, but also for general testing on my other upcoming projects. Ideal testers would:

  • Own more than one version of the sim – targets include the original FSX/Acceleration, FSX Steam Edition, and Prepar3D v2.
  • Have previous testing experience, especially on projects I’ve been involved in.
  • Take testing seriously, but be willing to have a little fun with it, too.

If this sounds like you, drop me a comment below so we can talk. If you don’t meet the above criteria, but feel you’d be a great tester anyway, let me know that as well.

Either way, we’re nearly there!

In the last Heron’s Nest update, I said all that was left was to add a staircase from the top of the island leading down to the float hangar. So, here you go… With that out of the way, it’s time to move on to testing. I’m looking for about 5 testers to check out [...]

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, Announcements, Bush Flying, Flight Simulator, FSX, FSX Scenery, FSX SP2, Heron’s Nest, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, New England Scenery, Prepar3d V2

Heron’s Nest: The Latest

Amidst the flood of paying work lately (and mind you, I’m not complaining), I’ve managed to squeeze in a few hours here and there to push the Heron’s Nest towards completion. There were two things left on my mental list that had to be checked off before I could move to final testing and installer: adding some more ground interest around the house, and putting in a steel staircase descending the hill to the float dock. Happily, item one is now complete. Here are a couple of shots of the cottage now that it’s been filled in with all vegetation and a flagstone walkway.

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Item two, the steel staircase, is modeled, and I’m working on finishing the texturing for it. I’ll post shots once it’s ready.

Amidst the flood of paying work lately (and mind you, I’m not complaining), I’ve managed to squeeze in a few hours here and there to push the Heron’s Nest towards completion. There were two things left on my mental list that had to be checked off before I could move to final testing and installer: [...]

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, Announcements, Flight Simulator, Freeware, FSX, FSX Scenery, FSX SP2, Heron’s Nest, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, New England Scenery

Your Own Private Island – Free!

At the recent FlightSimCon, we announced the upcoming release of iBlueYonder’s first branded scenery package. Fans of our Cushman Meadows/Bear Gulch scenery (done a while back for Orbx) know that from time to time, we like to play around with “what-if” scenarios for private bush airports. Since our geographic focus has shifted to the New England region of the US, we thought why not do a little virtual homesteading on one of the rocky, windswept islands off the coast of Maine?

Introducing The Heron’s Nest, a rough dirt strip gouged into the crest of Outer Heron Island, Maine. It comes complete with a cozy little cottage, a barn hangar for parking your ride, and nature, nature, nature. If the undulating dirt strip gives you the willies, you can also fly in on floats and park in the water hangar in the protected cove near the cottage.

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hn_announcement_5How soon will this be ready for release? We’re aiming for mid-July. The original plan was to release it at the FS Conference, but we ran into a glitch that held up testing. If the FS gods are willing, the beta test will resume in earnest in a few days.

How do you get it? That one’s easy; just sign up for our mailing list using the form on the sidebar to the right of this page. If you’re already on the list, then you’re golden: all members of the iBY mailing list will receive a link to download The Heron’s Nest free of charge. It’s our way of saying thanks for sticking with us through the rocky process of creating an all-new company.

Tell your GA-loving friends, too. Once the scenery has been released, anyone signing up for the list will automatically be sent a download link.

Now, back to the testing center!

At the recent FlightSimCon, we announced the upcoming release of iBlueYonder’s first branded scenery package. Fans of our Cushman Meadows/Bear Gulch scenery (done a while back for Orbx) know that from time to time, we like to play around with “what-if” scenarios for private bush airports. Since our geographic focus has shifted to the New [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, Bush Flying, FSX, FSX Scenery, FSX SP2, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, New England Scenery, Prepar3d V2, Uncategorized

The High-Wire Act

Everything in life is a balancing act, it seems, and nothing more so than the so-called “career” of a self-employed freelancer. For every new project that crops up, time has to be taken away from other pursuits. Things that start off with a bang can fizzle under the weight of obligations, roadblocks, and just plain old running out of time. The things you woke up planning to do often end up gathering dust while projects you had no idea existed before breakfast run away with your day until you collapse in bed, exhausted, wondering “what the hell just happened?”

All this is by way of explaining why I sort of suck at meeting my FS deadlines.

Never the less, I showed some shots of a new project I’m working on back in December, and it’s time for another batch of screenies! As soon as this goes into beta testing, I’ll announce to my mailing list what this project is (along with a little surprise). Until then, all I can say is that I’ve been a busy boy perfecting more advanced night lighting techniques and creating my own libraries of natural elements such as grass, shrubs, and trees.

Enough blabbering. It’s time for shots!

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Everything in life is a balancing act, it seems, and nothing more so than the so-called “career” of a self-employed freelancer. For every new project that crops up, time has to be taken away from other pursuits. Things that start off with a bang can fizzle under the weight of obligations, roadblocks, and just plain [...]

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, Announcements, Bush Flying, Flight Simulator, FSX, FSX Scenery, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, My FS Products, Prepar3d V2

Upcoming…

Presented with no further comment. Yet.

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Presented with no further comment. Yet.

Filed Under: Announcements, Flight Simulator, FSX, FSX Scenery, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, My FS Products, New England Scenery, Prepar3d V2

Nantucket is one big step closer to done!

Hallelujah! Finally, after dinking around with it for weeks, I’ve basically completed the main terminal at Nantucket Memorial Airport. I say basically, because even as I watched this batch of screenshots rendering, I realized that there were a few things I meant to fix and/or add before the final. Maybe we need an ice bucket challenge to fight perfectionism.

At any rate, here are a few renders of the terminal from Blender. They’re a bit darker and more contrasty than the final object will be in the sim, but you can get an idea of how it’ll look. This is far and away the most complex single building I’ve made for a scenery project to date.

The end of terminal modeling is also the light at the end of the tunnel for modeling the airport in general, as there are only the fire station, fuel farm, and a few small assorting buildings left to complete. Compared to this beast, they’ll be a walk in the park.

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Hallelujah! Finally, after dinking around with it for weeks, I’ve basically completed the main terminal at Nantucket Memorial Airport. I say basically, because even as I watched this batch of screenshots rendering, I realized that there were a few things I meant to fix and/or add before the final. Maybe we need an ice bucket [...]

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, Flight Simulator, FSX, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, KACK, Nantucket, Prepar3d V2