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New England Scenery

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

Summer on the Island

Nantucket Island for Prepar3D v4 is turning base to final, so I thought I’d take a moment to share some pics. Just like the real deal, summer means traffic! The bizjets are starting to crowd the ramp, and there’s been a marked uptick in GA birds as well. All the ones shown in these pics are statics, and they really bring the airport to life.

This isn’t just a port for P3D4, it’s a complete reworking of the field. New grass has been added, the ground polys have been improved, and all seasonal textures and custom animations are now driven by SODE. And of course, there’s that juicy P3Dv4 night lighting…






Nantucket Island for Prepar3D v4 is turning base to final, so I thought I’d take a moment to share some pics. Just like the real deal, summer means traffic! The bizjets are starting to crowd the ramp, and there’s been a marked uptick in GA birds as well. All the ones shown in these pics are [...]

Filed Under: KACK, Nantucket, New England Scenery, P3D4, Prepar3D v4, SODE

The Heron’s Nest is Now P3Dv4 Ready!

The first of our dedicated Prepar3D v.4 projects has just been released. The Heron’s Nest has been updated with that lovely P3Dv4 dynamic night lighting in both hangars, and a new installer has been created specifically for the newest sim.

Current owners can download the P3D4 installer by logging into their “My Account” page on http://iblueyonder.com and selecting their Heron’s Nest order link. The installer has been added as an option alongside the existing iBY_Herons_Nest_v2 version.

Those who haven’t tried it yet can get their free copy by visiting http://iblueyonder.com/portfolio/the-herons-nest/.

Next up: Nantucket!

The first of our dedicated Prepar3D v.4 projects has just been released. The Heron’s Nest has been updated with that lovely P3Dv4 dynamic night lighting in both hangars, and a new installer has been created specifically for the newest sim. Current owners can download the P3D4 installer by logging into their “My Account” page on [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, Heron’s Nest, New England Scenery, Prepar3D v4

One Week Until FlightSimCon 2017!

The biggest flight simulation event in North America, FlightSimCon 2017, is only a week away and we’re getting excited! iBlueYonder will be exhibiting this year, and we’ve got some good stuff planned, including a test of your piloting skills and not one but TWO big product announcements.

For those who can’t make it to this year’s show, we’ll be posting the announcements online as soon as they’re made public. For those who can, you get to take part in our first ever piloting challenge:

How good are you pilot skills? If you’re up for it, stop by our booth at FlightSimCon 2017 and sign up for the Heron’s Nest Landing Challenge. The challenge is fairly simple: using a pre-defined flight, you’ll approach the Heron’s Nest from the north in the default FSX/P3D Piper Cub. If you can safely land and taxi into the hangar barn, your name will be entered to win. Sounds simple, right? Well… it is, sort of. Bear in mind there will be a crosswind component, and those tail-draggers can be treacherous. The equipment at the show will be minimal; a joystick with twist action for the rudder. If you plan on competing, make sure you’ve got a copy of the free Heron’s Nest 2.0 scenery so you can practice beforehand.

First prize is Free iBlueYonder Products for Life! Second and third prizes are a free download of the iBlueYonder scenery of your choice, either current or future. And we definitely have some interesting projects coming up in the near future.

If there is only one winner, they automatically win first prize. If there are more than one, all names will be put in a hat with first, second, and third prizes drawn.

The challenge starts Saturday, June 10 at 3:45pm at the iBlueYonder booth.

And for everyone, a little special to brighten up the show weekend:

Nantucket Island will be marked down 50% on our site from June 9-11 to celebrate the show weekend. If you haven’t gotten it yet, now would be an excellent time. We will also be rolling out a new P3D4 version very soon, along with more airport content that’s free of charge for all Nantucket owners.

See you at the Con!

The biggest flight simulation event in North America, FlightSimCon 2017, is only a week away and we’re getting excited! iBlueYonder will be exhibiting this year, and we’ve got some good stuff planned, including a test of your piloting skills and not one but TWO big product announcements. For those who can’t make it to this [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, FlightSimCon, Heron’s Nest, KACK, Nantucket, New England Scenery

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

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