The Heron’s Nest Gets a Remodel

Last year, we released our first scenery – a little island getaway off the coast of Maine for pilots with the brass cojones to land there. It was a big hit, but some ‘simmers who ran third-party terrain mesh had some issues with it. We knocked around with some changes to the mesh that were intended to fix the problem, but it seemed like each time we fixed one problem, two sprung up to take its place. A couple months back, we hit a crossroads – continue trying to patch up all the little problems with time-consuming solutions, or try a completely different approach. In the end, we decided to drop back and punt.

The result is an all-new Heron’s Nest 2.0, which fixes the problems with custom terrain mesh in the most complete way possible; by getting rid of terrain mesh altogether! In version 2, the entire island, including all vegetation, buildings, and objects, were modeled as a single object. That means that we don’t have to muck about with coastline excludes and fixes, un-flattening the default mesh, or worrying about creating new mesh. We just made sure our little patch of sea was flat, laid down the photoreal backdrop, and plopped down the island. (Okay, it was a little more complex than that, but not much.)

The other big change is that this version no longer relies on the Viva module for seasonal texture changes. In its place, we’re calling on the SimObject Display Engine, or SODE. The idea is to convert Nantucket to SODE at some point as well, and use it as our go-to dynamic content module going forward. It’s mature, it’s stable, and its capabilities make it a sure-fire winner. We think this will be a very positive development for our projects.

The Heron’s Nest still has a couple of minor tweaks and beta testing to go through, but it’s pretty close to the testing point as of now. We’ll keep you up to date as it nears completion.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • B. Stikkel

    March 15, 2017, 6:58 am

    Looks very beautifull. The momentary version is too, so I am curious for the improvements. Thanks for making all this work available for free for us.

  • dexthom

    March 15, 2017, 2:13 pm

    Thanks Bill…

  • Michael Jahn

    March 15, 2017, 2:38 pm

    Hi there,

    great to see an update coming. This place rocks. Many thanks for this little free FS gem.

  • seejay

    March 15, 2017, 3:48 pm

    Great ! Thanks Bill. Looking forward to V2.0.

  • Ken

    March 15, 2017, 7:04 pm

    Thanks Bill! It isn’t just freeware, it’s soon to be upgraded freeware. The previews look outstanding, but that’s something we’re used to from you.


  • Ken Terry

    March 16, 2017, 1:53 am

    Bill you may remember I did not have any trees on the island, I hope this V2 fixes the problem.
    The preview shots look terrific, well done, looking forward to downloading the new version.

    • iBlueYonder

      March 16, 2017, 6:05 am

      It definitely will fix the problem, Ken. There’s not a scrap of autogen on the island. Everything you see (except the float hangar and buoys), is one big model.