Archives

Prepar3D V3

Minute Man Now Gets Along Better With Orbx

Hey, everyone. We just added a file that might help you Orbx FTX Global fans enjoy your Minute Man airport a bit more. The original photoscenery for 6B6 was designed, logically, to blend well with the default landclass tiles. However, we know a lot of you also run Orbx’s FTX Global, which changes the look of the sim in some seasons rather substantially. To help maintain our smooth blending, we’ve added a new set of files to smooth the transition to the Orbx look better.

If you’re already a Minute Man – Plum Island owner, log into the My Account page on our site and click the link to your purchase. The new blending file will be available in your list of downloads. If you’re not a customer yet… hey, here’s another reason to give it a try.

Enjoy!

Hey, everyone. We just added a file that might help you Orbx FTX Global fans enjoy your Minute Man airport a bit more. The original photoscenery for 6B6 was designed, logically, to blend well with the default landclass tiles. However, we know a lot of you also run Orbx’s FTX Global, which changes the look [...]

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

Minute Man – Plum Island Released!

My wife asked me the other day – “what the heck is a Hundred Dollar Burger?” Some of you flying types probably get it. It’s a code familiar a whole class of winged nomads who will use any excuse to get airborne, up to and including “I heard the food was good at [insert airport name here].”

Well sim folks, the food is not just good, it’s great at Nancy’s Airfield Cafe. Want to find out how good? We’ve just released a new scenery package that might help. Welcome to the Hundred Dollar Burger: Minute Man – Plum Island.

You get not one, but two classic New England airports. Minute Man Field in Newburyport, Mass. (2B2), a reworking of our classic and popular scenery, coupled with Minute Man in Stow (6B6). Both are designed for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, FSX:Steam Edition, and Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v3 and v4.

Both fields come with the standard features you expect from us – 3D vegetation, high-quality models, large, well-blended photoreal areas around each airport, etc. Plus, at Minute Man we’ve added a couple of new tricks you might not have seen: proximity-triggered animated hangar doors that open when you approach them, and pilot-controlled runway lighting at night!

Trot on over to the product page and check it out!

My wife asked me the other day – “what the heck is a Hundred Dollar Burger?” Some of you flying types probably get it. It’s a code familiar a whole class of winged nomads who will use any excuse to get airborne, up to and including “I heard the food was good at [insert airport [...]

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

Nantucket Island for P3Dv4 Released

We’re pleased to announce that Nantucket Island has been updated to version 1.02 for full compatibility with Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D version 4. In addition, the seasonal and dynamic animation functionality has been converted to use SimObject Display Engine (SODE) in place of our old Viva technology. We think you’ll agree that the ease of use (not to mention not having to worry about compatibility with new sub-versions of P3D) make it well worth the switch. This new SODE version covers both Prepar3D 3 versions and 4.

Other Changes in version 1.02:

  • New grass textures for better realism
  • Enhanced ground poly textures
  • Lots more static planes – both GA and bizjets
  • Added detail in open hangar
  • Dynamic apron night lighting (P3Dv4 only)

These changes are planned as an update to the FSX version as well. Details will be announced once a release date has been set.

If you already own Nantucket for FSX and P3D3, download version 1.02 by logging into https://iblueyonder.com/my-account/ and click on the link to your Nantucket purchase. The 1.02 installer will be available in your list of downloads. Your registration number will work for this version as well. If you purchased through another store, your version should be available to you where you bought the original very soon.

If you haven’t gotten it yet, now is a great time to pick up your own copy!

We’re pleased to announce that Nantucket Island has been updated to version 1.02 for full compatibility with Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D version 4. In addition, the seasonal and dynamic animation functionality has been converted to use SimObject Display Engine (SODE) in place of our old Viva technology. We think you’ll agree that the ease of use (not [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, Exploring Nantucket, KACK, Nantucket, New England Scenery, P3D4, Prepar3D V3, Prepar3D v4, SODE

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: https://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: https://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