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NEW MEGASCENERYX TITLES
Southern California

Dallas/Fort Worth

Phoenix


FS2004 TITLES

MegaScenery USA:
Mid Atlantic

MegaScenery USA: Pacific Northwest

MegaScenery USA: Southern California V2

MegaScenery USA: Northern California V2

MegaScenery FAQ's
  1. How Does MegaScenery differ from default FS2004 Scenery?
  2. How much hard disk space does MegaScenery use?
  3. What kind of frame rate reduction will I experience with MegaScenery?
  4. What speed system do I need to run MegaScenery?
  5. Tell me more about night scenery?
  6. What about bodies of water? Can I land my float plane?
  7. Does MegaScenery Also Support AUTOGEN?
  8. Will There Be Other MegaScenery Areas Available?
  9. Will MegaScenery be available in stores?
  10. Who Makes MegaScenery?
  11. Does MegaScenery Run With FS2002?
  12. What's the Difference Between the "Lite" version and the "Full Kit" version?
  13. Is There A Downloadable Version of MegaScenery?
  14. Why are some titles on DVD format?
  15. What is MegaScenery’s compatibility with other scenery products such as terrain mesh?

How Does MegaScenery differ from default FS2004 Scenery?

Flight Simulator scenery is divided into 3 types, polygonal, texture tiles and autogen. All 3 dimensional buildings in Microsoft flight simulator are polygonal scenery objects. The random trees and buildings you see scattered throughout your Flight Simulator world are autogen objects and are also at the same time polygonal. The cross country textures such as urban textures, farmland and anything else you see on the ground as you fly cross country are repeating texture tiles. These are created and placed by the program based upon the land type. These textures guess at the actual land type and place these generic repeating textures down accordingly. So if you are in a city area, Flight Simulator places repeating urban tiles and so on. Also underneath the textures is DEM (Digital Elevation Model) data also known as terrain mesh. This has the elevation data and these repeating tiles are placed over the DEM so that altitude information is represented in the scenery. Nevertheless the textures are generic and you are not flying over a real representation of that scenery but a very rough approximation.

MegaScenery on the other hand is created from an actual satellite image. Satellite images of the area covered are mosaiced to produce one large satellite image of the area. The scenery is not created "from" the image but instead the actual satellite image is "chopped up" and is "draped" over the Flight Simulator elevation mesh. The image is draped as tiles (just like the flight simulator repeating tiles), but each tile is unique and actually a small photograph of that real world tile. So what you are seeing when you fly over MegaScenery is what you would see from a real aircraft. Because of the high resolution nature of the satellite photograph (5 meters per pixel), very fine detail is noticeable down to individual trees and rooftops and fine crevices in mountain terrain.

To compare some images of Flight Simulator 2004 default scenery and MegaScenery, CLICK HERE.

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How much hard disk space does MegaScenery use?

Because each individual tile is unique, MegaScenery takes up more hard disk space than FS2004 default scenery. That's the tradeoff you make for visually spectacular scenery. A general formula to use is each square mile takes up 150 Kb of hard disk space. So if we advertise a title as being 14,000 square miles it will occupy about 2.1 Gigabytes when installed. If you are running low on hard disk space and are running Windows XP, Vista or Win 7, you could always compress the folder, although you may then experience a slight reduction in performance depending upon your processor speed. With 200 Gigabyte hard disks becoming readily available we expect that upcoming PC's will ship with these bigger hard drives and 2.1 Gigabytes is a small amount of disk space relatively speaking nowadays.

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What kind of frame rate reduction will I experience with MegaScenery?

The answer in short is.... NONE! In fact the opposite is true. MegaScenery gives you faster framerates than default FS2004 scenery! The reason is that FS2004 default scenery consumes processor power to render vector based objects over the landclass tiles such as roads, rivers, etc. This can consume significant processor power. Since MegaScenery does not need these objects (as they are already part of the scenery image), frame rates are faster. How much faster? Well depending upon the landclass type you are flying over it can be up to 300% faster. In some testing over Palm Springs, MegaScenery was getting over 37 fps while the Palm Springs default scenery was getting around 9 fps with autogen and scenery complexity settings set to normal..

You will experience a slightly slower loading time when you go to a MegaScenery airport since there are thousands of tiles/files to load but when you are actually in the simulator flying over MegaScenery the frame rates are faster than if you were flying over regular FS2004 scenery. FS2004 frame rates are also impacted by other things such as 3D clouds and other scenery detail settings.

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What speed system do I need to run MegaScenery?

See the answer to the above question. Generally speaking your simulator will perform just as with default FS2004 scenery. What is of benefit is a higher performance video card since it does need to load each texture into memory as a tile and not as a repeating tile. Of course the latest, fastest video cards such as the ATI Radeon 9800 will give you better performance with higher quality settings, we have found Megascenery to be almost as visually spectacular on even an 8Mb video card. So your hardware needn't hold you back from running MegaScenery if you are already able to run FS2004 satisfactorily.

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Tell me more about night scenery?

This is one of the things that sets MegaScenery apart from the other photorealistic scenery that is available for Flight Simulator. MegaScenery has unique and highly realistic night time scenery and other photorealistic scenery doesn't. FS2004 default scenery uses the same technique as for daytime textures which are generic night time textures with no order.

MegaScenery has night time scenery that is generated using a proprietary technique that places lights wherever they are expected to be based on streets, roads and other geo information accurate to within feet. You can see an example of a night shot here. "Yes.... WOW!" MegaScenery adds a new meaning to the term - "sea of lights" which you experience in an aircraft at night. We all know how awe inspiring flying into a city at night can be, as a pilot or as a passenger. MegaScenery recreates that same sense of awe in a spine tingling kind of way. You can fly true "Night VFR" with MegaScenery.
 

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What about bodies of water? Can I land my float plane?

This is another feature that sets MegaScenery apart from other photorealistic scenery. Again using a proprietary technique, all bodies of water in the satellite image, are carved out to precision and replaced with water that Flight Simulator recognizes as water. Therefore meaning that you can experience landing your float plane in all bodies of water and at the same time experience Flight Simulator's water effects.

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Does MegaScenery Also Support AUTOGEN?

Yes absolutely and not only that but we've actually improved FS2004 autogen! Yes, that's right, we've improved Autogen with our own more "correct" autogen. Our technology enables us to differentiate land use and as a result we correctly place houses, commercial buildings and trees, etc. So its a more accurate representation. You can activate or de-activate Autogen as you wish with MegaScenery.
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Will There Be Other MegaScenery Areas Available?

Absolutely! Our plans are to cover many popular regions of the USA (and world) with MegaScenery. The frequency of release and number of areas will, of course, depend upon the marketplace demand. MegaScenery is indisputably the best visual scenery ever developed for a PC based flight simulator - it's the best thing you could have asked for! So if you want more areas, show your support with this first product as demand will be the main factor in how many and how often.

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Will MegaScenery be available in stores?

MegaScenery will not initially be available in stores and will only available direct through PC Aviator's website and catalogue as well as through specialist flight sim stores (online and catalog). The retail store marketplace simply isn't as fair as it could/should be for smaller publishers such as ourselves with specialist products such as flight sim add-ons. This channel set-up doesn't limit availability to you and you can purchase MegaScenery from anywhere in the world on the web. Even though it is only available through direct channels MegaScenery still is professionally produced and comes in a spectacular shrink-wrapped box with all the goodies inside. It truly is a great value for money package especially if you get the Full Kit version which gives you around $20 worth of aeronautical charts for just $10 more than the Lite version.
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So Who Makes MegaScenery USA 2004?

MegaScenery USA 2004 is a joint effort between Aerosoft Australia (developer) and PC Aviator (publisher).

MegaScenery USA 2004 is developed by Aerosoft Australia. These guys are true "wizards" when it comes to scenery design and the powerful proprietary tools they have developed for creating scenery. The quality of their products is impeccable. They are most well known for their SceneryUSA scenery for Fly! They don't just create scenery though, you can go to their website at www.aerosoft.com.au and check out their Boeing 747-400 Primary Flight Display (For Microsoft Flight Simulator) as well as their 747-400 Mode Control Panel hardware.

PC Aviator publishes MegaScenery or in other words creates the final boxed product and takes it to the marketplace. People who have previously purchased products under the PC Aviator label would be aware of the high quality of the product they are purchasing. We've been publishing flight sim add-ons for over 10 years and only decide to publish a product if it is one that truly stands out as a truly unique and ground breaking product. PC Aviator is also the publisher of Computer Pilot Magazine, the world's only monthly flight sim magazine (www.computerpilot.com) and we also operate PC Aviator Direct (66.98.242.96/pcaviator.com) through which we sell flight sim software and hardware. PC Aviator has offices in the USA and Australia.

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Does MegaScenery Run With FS2002?

Yes, absolutely. It runs perfectly under both FS2004 and FS2002**. MegaScenery has a smart installer. During installation, MegaScenery will install into the folder you specified and will look to see if both versions of Flight Simulator exist on the system. It will only install once but will set-up pointers to the scenery in both versions of Flight Simulator. It will also optimize the configuration files on both versions of Flight Simulator for best performance.



If you are running FS2004 and FS2002, MegaScenery will install just once and update scenery libraries for both simulators. It also gives you the option to automatically update your configuration files to optimize performance.

** There is one limitation with FS2002 and that being misalignment with default object placement. When default Flight Simulator 3D objects are displayed over the geographically accurate MegaScenery tiles, it becomes clearly apparent that the location of these default objects are crudely located and not at thei exact geographical locations. While the development team have been able to go in and reposition default FS2004 objects, this procedure is not possible with FS2002. So in FS2002, while MegaScenery will display perfectly, some objects will appear to be misplaced. Again, this is a shortfall in FS2002 and not MegaScenery.

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What's the Difference Between the "Lite" version and the "Full Kit" version?

We cater for 2 types of user tastes with MegaScenery. Some users want all the charts to get the most out of their MegaScenery experience and some don't. When you order the "Lite" version you get a fully boxed product that includes the software on CD-ROM and the 64 page manual. Our manual includes 48 pages of professionally authored VFR flight lessons. When you order the "Full Kit" version for just $10 more, you receive an additional $20 value with authentic printed aeronautical charts. You get the software on CD-ROM, a 64 page printed manual, a full color printed VFR Sectional Chart for VFR cross country navigation. a VFR Terminal Area Chart for VFR navigation in terminal areas and you also get over 200 printed instrument approach charts for Instrument Flying. The first title (Southern California) includes 2 Terminal Area Charts - one for LAX and one for San Diego. For more information on the charts that come with MegaScenery , CLICK HERE.

Regardless of whether you order the "Lite" or "Full Kit" version, unlike a lot of flight sim add-ons released these days, you will receive a comprehensive, printed manual.
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Is There A Downloadable Version of MegaScenery?

Unfortunately the size of MegaScenery makes it virtually impossible and not economically viable to provide a download version. In it's compressed form on the CD-ROMs or DVD on which it is delivered MegaScenery titles are between 900 MegaBytes and 3.6 Gigabytes. Dial up download time for that would be between 12 and 48 hours and while it would be much faster for broadband users, the bandwidth consumption and cost of that bandwidth would be prohibitive. Plus you simply wouldn't get the value that you do with our 1.5 pound box full of goodies that make up the MegaScenery product. It's not just amazing scenery. You'll see that when you receive your "Full Kit" box.
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Why Are Some Titles on DVD Format?

Our most recent release Pacific Northwest is a mammoth sized product at 3.6 Gb. A CD-ROM version of it would come on 7 CD-ROMs. For any publishing company this many CD-ROMs in a title can be a logistical nightmare. For consumers - it's also somewhat inconvenient. DVDs (Digital Versatile Disc) on the other hand store 4.7 or more Gb data. Even the biggest title so far fits comfortably on the one DVD. So overall it's a more convenient way and much more hassle free way of distributing products when they are so big. If you don't have a DVD drive it's a very worthwhile investment since many future products will ship exclusively on DVD. A basic 16X DVD drive costs under $50.

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What is MegaScenery’s compatibility with other scenery products such as terrain mesh?

MegaScenery is fully compatible with terrain mesh products. Just put MegaScenery above terrain mesh sceneries in the scenery library within Microsoft Flight Simulator. From Volume 3 onwards, MegaScenery comes with its own terrain mesh created from 30 meter terrain data so terrain mesh is not required anyway when flying in a MegaScenery area. 

USA Roads – MegaScenery is fully compatible with Flight One’s USA Roads. Keep MegaScenery on top of the priority list and when you fly into a MegaScenery area, USA Roads stops displaying. This is the desired effect anyhow since MegaScenery gives you all the roads anyway and you do not want its display to be overridden by USA Roads. 

Airport scenery products - MegaScenery is highly accurate geographically – down to within feet. Where necessary we have gone in and repositioned FS2004 default airports so that they sit perfectly over MegaScenery textures. If you have a detailed airport add-on that is in the MegaScenery area, there may be object alignment issues since these 3rd party airports generally use FS2004 default coordinates and positions for laying down their airports. If you have a 3rd party airport product that doesn’t quite line up – ask the developer of that product about their plans or availability of a patch or upgrade to their product to perfectly align with MegaScenery. 

Highly detailed city scenery such as Aerosoft’s )Germany) Scenery Manhattan. Again slight alignment problems may exist. Consult the publisher about alignment patches. Scenery Manhattan does have a patch that aligns it perfectly with MegaScenery New York.

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