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ES PhotoGenESis 30cm and AutoGenEsis P3Dv2

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A pity everything is so dark it would be interesting to see what it looks like at midday in the summer, from what i can make out in the first picture it does seem to have better definition than the stock horizon stuff

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Very nice pics John,  Thank you for posting them :)


from what i can make out in the first picture it does seem to have better definition than the stock horizon stuff


So you can see a direct comparison of the 60cm GenX version V's the 60cm PhotoGenESis,  I just took these pics of  where the two meet for you Brit.







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The textures are so clear and vibrant...and I love that even the smallest streams are properly 'watered' up :). As you fly over them they twinkle and reflect the sun and genuinely give the impression of flowing water. It's fabulous that such small features have been accurately reproduced and it really makes the landscape come alive.

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It looks great ! :thum:

Just had a look at their website, but seeing that the downloads for Guernsey only ,or the Isle of Man or the Scilly islands cost each more than FSX Gold edition, I think it's not for me. :( As good as it looks, I'm not ready to pay 26.99 GBP for a 10 minutes flight !

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As good as it looks, I'm not ready to pay 26.99 GBP for a 10 minutes flight !




That'd mean you were flying at 1,530 kmh in order to cross this scenery in that time. If you're going that fast Corsair you don't need scenery...you need a nappy!  :rofl:

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Darren, Loic and I have been discussing how photo-real scenery is the only option when you know the area well (hence Nigel's point about Wales and southern England). As Loic comes from the south of France(I think), maybe that might influence his view?

Kevin, on the other hand, is clearly an acolyte! Further investigation is a must! :thum:

Cheers - Dai. :old-git:

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Sorry for misunderstanding, if you re-read my post I was talking about Guernsey scenery for the 26.99. I fly across Guernsey in 10 minutes with my slow Islander !  :)


And I know the place quite well, I've been flying in and out every week irl for a couple of years.  As with everything, to each his own ! I must admit tourism isn't my main center of interest in virtual flying ... since I know it's all virtual, it doesn't necessarly need to look like reality. ( And may be because I started flight sims at a time when we were looking at huge square pixels in 640 x 480   :D )


I fly  Condor soaring with both the new photorealistic sceneries ( and it takes 54 Go on my HD ) and the older "cartoon" ones.  The new photorealistic look good from high altitude but sometimes ugly near ground level, and I am anyway 90% of the time looking upwards at the clouds to find possible upwinds or the nose down on my variometer and the PDA for nav. Of course if I am offline and not in competition I can always "pause" and have a look around. The good thing about the 54 Go is that they are free ! (almost, it costs me 12 Euros per year for registration at the Condor Club to have access to all sceneries, addons, skins and flight plans)


This freeware scenery for instance called "Alps XL" covers the totality of the Alps incl. France, South Switzerland, South Germany, Austria, and Northern Italy.




So the question is why do I get this huge good looking scenery for free while I should pay almost 34 Euros for only Guernsey island in FSX ?  :huh:

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whislt I also use a lot of free photoscenery, where ES Guernsey is different is that he has added a lot of replicas of the real buildings in Peter Port and elsewhere which have to be individualy created and I suppose this doesnt take 5 minutes.

Now I am trying to word this delcately so as not to start a bun fight ,(which inevitably happens)

But I do wonder if sales of Guernsey , or the new 60 or 30 cms Uk , would be affected if Darren didnt bother doing the autogen houses etc and just sold the stuff "flat" with his colouring, no doubt it would make his life easier.

Personally the only time that i like things to be 3d is when i am at or near an airport , but when flying over a village at 3k does it matter ?? everything is flat at 3k except hills etc. I think it jarrs because the houses that i have seen on so many scenery progs are out of scale and effcetively detract from the lovely scenery..

Now dont jump on my back, i am not having a go at Darren or anyone but just saying my preference when using photoscenery is not to have autogen unless it is near an airport where the 3d is makes things more realistic. Now perhaps, and it is a big perhaps Darren could cut his overheads  by reducing the amount of autogen he has to create ok it is too late for Guernsey but pehaps a poll may aid Darren make the best commercial decision for them.

As I am really happy with gen x scenery all I want is the higher definition that the 30cms offers


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Here's a few from me...





I always fly low and slow really, the necessity of autogen at sub3000ft is absolute for me...and yes I am an acolyte most definitely :P ES are selling the photoscenery alone though Brit, so you can get only what you need for the new autogenesis areas. Having an insight into the complexity of the process for generating both the autogen and the level of work that goes into colour matching, correcting and masking all the photo-imagery makes me want to make Darren and Vikki a pair of medals for getting this done :)

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Sorry again, I was not critisizing this scenery, just saying I wouldn't pay 34 Euros for Guernsey  ( I would prefer to spend them in a couple of restaurants I know in St Peter Port... :D  ) I absolutely don't mind if other people buy it ! 

No fight on my side ... :)  


Edit : I don't think it took 5 minutes either to the guys who designed the freeware scenery over 5 countries ...  ;)  

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Hi Loic


You're OK, I left my buns at the door :hat: ..There will be a number of reasons and possibilities for why the scenery you refer to is free. 

Firstly unless you have a very wealthy and generous benefactor giving his time and money, then the source data must be freely available in the first instance. Or it has been used and distributed illegally is another possibility as Aerial imagery always belongs to somebody. The US does have free data...but that is not the case in the UK. Source data is expensive here, and is so expensive that no individual could afford to buy it. So we ( ES) must approach the data supplier and negotiate a licence fee for the use of the data. This accounts for a full 25% of the asking price.

Secondly...I don't imagine that there has been any work done with the source data other than to run it through the resample tool and make very basic photo scenery. There are likely no watermasks, no seasonal changes, no colour corrections, no detailed terrain model and certainly no 3D or detailed airports provided. 

As you say..each to their own and if detailed scenery with all those things doesn't turn you on sobeit. But if you imagine that anyone struggling to make a living could provide all that for free, and give up the months that an ES scenery takes in man hours to create, and then give it away for nothing, then those imaginary people obviously don't need to eat. :)


Hi Brit


Thanks for your thoughtful contribution. Again I can appreciate that it's each to their own. 
But I'd have to question the use of a poll for the reason that we have created this last product ( PhotoGenESis & AutoGenESis)  in response to that exact thing. If you visit our helpdesk you'll see that the top 3 most requested things have been : 

no 1 : ESI support for Prepar3D Installations

no 2 : Add 3D Buildings to the UK national photographic scenery
no 3 : Professional edition of UK photographic scenery at 30cm per pixel resolution


 All three of which we have supplied with this release ( or at least started to supply).  We do ( honestly) listen to our customers and go to great lengths to try to please our users. we're just physically incapable of creating anything without it being as good as we can make it. Believe me I've tried to say "oh that'll do" and I just can't do it.  :whis:  We indeed very likely are our own worst enemies. 

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I hope I am not out of order here but

putting aside this discussion per se , just to give us  hoi paloi (or however you spell it) some idea, is it possible, say using your first 60 cm scotland scenery as an example, , to give us cretins an idea of the amount of hours it takes or a breakdown (not finacial) of just what it takes to get the raw info that you buy, into something that you can consider selling.  I do hope that I am not prying, but personally I have no idea how long these processes take , or the amount of work involved. I dare say if I and others here at Mutleys,had some inkling of what you go through we may appreciate more, how hard you work, for the  little you actually earn at the end of the day.

I do hope I worded that correctly

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I think this is something like the rough process Brit - imagine doing this for each and every photo-imagery tile.....you can rapidly get the idea about what kind of work goes into producing a title like this :O


Step 1 (Create water masks)
1. Load each mask into paintshop.
2. Select the land and bucket white.
3. Copy to a new layer.
4. Make land on the original layer grey to match the blend.
5. Run a gausien blur to make a more gradual transition between blend and default sea.
6. Merge layers and save.
7. When completed for all tiles load all into global mapper.
8. Export the area where each tile joins to the next into a new image.
9. Load into paintshop and smudge out the edges where the gausien blur hasn't blended correctly.
10. Save image and load back into global mapper.
11. Repeat for all tiles.
12. Re-export the entire scenery area into new blended mask tiles.
13. Run batch process with average blur to soften the transition between land and water

Step 2 (Improve colour within water areas)
1. Load aerial image tile and corresponding water mask tile into paintshop.
2. Copy water mask as new layer on aerial image.
3. Select black (all water areas), and then move onto aerial image layer.
4. Increase colour vibrancy, adjust hue, adjust brightness/contrast, adjust highlight/mid tone/shadow, adjust RGB.
5. Delete water mask layer. Save image.
6. Repeat for all tiles.
7. Load into global mapper and check over for errors.
8. Re-export all tiles


Step 3 (Create new black & white masks from blend masks)
1. Load blend mask into paintshop.
2. Run threshold so that grey water areas turn black and land stays white.
3. Run average blur to soften all edges.

Step 4 (Generate scenery bgl's)
1. 60cm summer.
2. 60cm night.
3. 60cm winter.
4. 30cm summer.
5. 30cm night.
6. 30cm winter.


That's just some of the work to create the water masking....doesn't even begin to touch the colour matching across tiles, or the autogen creation, or the modelling/texturing etc etc etc.......

I'm sure Darren and Vikki could write books detailing how they do it :P

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Hey Kev


Impressive! :thum:


That's by no means everything we do of course, and it's all those manual interventions a list like that can't express that make all the difference to quality and take most of the time and effort. We also have a good few processing steps beyond those too...but you clearly have dabbled in the subject quite a bit and have a very good grasp of what's involved. 


BTW , there are 16, 869 photo tiles & 366,732 Autogen tiles.   :stars:


Something else I just thought to add as some extra food for thought, is..try to forget for a minute that this is a fully accurate and 3D populated simulation of  the Uk..and think of it purely in mapping terms. I can say with utter confidence that the data we have created in order to make the scenery is far far more detailed and accurate than any other. Giants such as Google,  or even our own Ordnance survey, or any other mapping entity you care to mention have nothing approaching the detail and accuracy we're providing for our little simulator. Let alone as a living world you can explore in real time 3D graphics. So I do think our work and the work of FS scenery creators in general is sometimes underrated for the marvel that it actually is. We all seem so used to amazing technology these days ( often freely available) that we've forgotten what it was like just a decade ago. 

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Darren, don't get me wrong !  I am sure this represents a lot of work and there are many good reasons explaining the price of these addons.  As long as enough people are willing to pay for them, nothing wrong for me.

I wasn't saying either you should give them for free, I was only saying that 34 Euros for a little island was too much for me. I would have probably bought it at half of that as this is the main base of my last Air Hauler company, and the Channel islands have a special place in my heart.


" There are likely no watermasks, no seasonal changes, no colour corrections, no detailed terrain model and certainly no 3D or detailed airports provided."


You are probably right but they sure look good enough for the few free seconds I can get my eyes off the instruments or the sky to catch a glimpse of the landscape, and anyway soaring is irl a seasonal activity. We don't need airports either, a good airfield with a grass track and a clubhouse does the job. :D  I don't know anything about the licences for data but we have a nice looking 3.5 Go high res photorealistic scenery of Wales and West of England. 


Freeware is part of my computer culture as I gave myself many hours participating in some modding teams, plus the fact that the pension I get from the french state forces me to make some hard choices ... ;)

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I don't know anything about the licences for data but we have a nice looking 3.5 Go high res photorealistic scenery of Wales and West of England

I can guarantee that the data used in that is being used illegally. It's their look out whoever it is, and I won't be telling on them, but if the suppliers find out they'll jump on them without mercy.  


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