Users of the World2Xplane Overlay I quickly put together have noticed many of the things I have about the new objects placed in the world. Mostly, that it’s very European, buildings are too tall and some of the textures aren’t great. Let’s see if we can improve things.
The OSM overlay seems like a much better alternative that using the default data overlay because it fixes the roads, puts forests in the right place, and makes the world look a lot more like the real world in terms of placement in general.
However, there are limitations. OSM placed buildings mostly seem to be flat roof style buildings, so favour apartments or townhouses. If the area of land the outline of the building is placed on isn’t flat, the edges of the buildings will float in mid-air and the texture of the building is fairly low-res and a guess based on the type of building or area it is in.
Another issue – World2Xplane is offered ‘as is’ and is no longer in development by its creator. So, to see if things can improve, I spent a few hours playing around with a similar tool, OSM2XP. In a word nope. The buildings weren’t very high quality, and there’s no way to exclude it from placing airport buildings, so you would need to go through every single airport scenery pack, and add an exclusion for objects, or (and this is worse) create a scenery pack for every airport and add an exclusion so default airports don’t have their airports buildings doubled up. In OSM2XP you can disable it from rendering airports, but this is doesn’t stop it from creating all the buildings immediately next to the taxiway etc. That’s a show-stopper!
Going back to World2XPlane, I edited the configuration file a bit. I reduced the height range of the buildings to generally fit with the height of our buildings. I’m not entirely sure they worked 100%, but it did make a difference in my before and after checks.
I also reduced the frequency of cranes. I noticed that if there was a construction site, 6 cranes would be rammed in, that should now be a little lower.
Textures – this is where I spent quite a bit of time. Have a look at a texture issue at night time:
These houses are probably missed by others because they are actually New Zealand specific. World-Models has a folder under ‘Houses\NZ.’ There’s a few objects in there, and only a day time texture. The objects point to the daytime texture for both day and night, so X-Plane is happily using it for both.
In Photoshop, I overlaid a solid black layer, and then made it 3% transparent, but cut out the windows and made them look lit up by internal lights. The time consuming part is cutting out the windows.
Hurray, we’re done – except now I notice more buildings that look weird.
While most of the houses look dark with windows lit up, some look way too bright sitting in the inky black.
So I set about editing these textures too, they are simply too bright for me. This was a lot more work, because the texture file actually covers quite a few buildings. Here’s a before and after:
Also, I’m not a fan of those strange yellow circles over the windows. This is a super quick job, and others would make it look better I’m sure.
Here’s some after shots:
If you go to the same download location, you can grab an updated Overlay pack. There are also the two edits I made, you can copy over the files inside World-Models if you wish.
Categories: Flight Simulation