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Bear Island v2 (Redux)

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Open Beta now available! See here.

Back in 2013, another developer and I created a small (and pretty basic) scenery for an abandoned island-airstrip in Crecent City, Florida. The island, known as Bear Island, was a fun destination that many simmers have enjoyed. (See the scenery here)

Nearing 4 years later, with the scenery no longer living up to my standards, I have decided that it's time for a redux.

I'm only a few weeks into development now, but Bear Island v2 is quickly becoming my favorite scenery again. I'm taking optimization of this scenery more seriously than I have in the past. For once, I'm creating multiple LODs for everything reasonable. Due to it's small coverage area, I've been able to pack a lot of details into the scenery while still managing to get 59-60fps in the sim. (Locked at 60) Without the LODs I average anywhere from high 30's to mid-low 40's.

Bear Island v2 uses 99% custom objects. (The only default items being some animated birds and Dolphins) Most all of the custom vegetation has been recolored to match the surrounding 30cm photo real. (Which has been color-matched to FTX Global)

I plan on implementing some more features more towards the end of development, but I'll leave that for a later post. For now, I still have a bit of 3d modeling, texturing, and optimization work to do..


(Notice: Some vegetation LODs were not added at the time of these pictures.)
esd_bearisland1.jpg
esd_bearisland2.jpg
esd_bearisland3.jpg


-CB
 
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Although I think my PC would choke on this…incredibly realistic! Wow! Guess it is time for a new PC.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Although I think my PC would choke on this…incredibly realistic! Wow! Guess it is time for a new PC.

I'll have to see how performance is affected when I add the 3d buildings in, but thanks to the optimization, a medium-end PC could probably run this scenery at almost full settings.

Thanks to 29 Palms, this scenery will also come with a Configurator so things like tree density, clutter, animals, and 3d grass can be turned on and off to help improve performance. With the LODs, I'm trying to make as many things unload as possible when not seen. This has helped with performance a lot, along with keeping drawcalls and polys to a minimum.

esd_bearislandv2_config.JPG

(Configurator Example - Subject to change)

-CB
 
<sigh> You were supposed to reply, "Yes! You definitely need a new, more powerful PC."…how else am I going to convince the wife?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
<sigh> You were supposed to reply, "Yes! You definitely need a new, more powerful PC."…how else am I going to convince the wife?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

haha. I can send you a "special" copy of the scenery with a ton of drawcalls and polys if it helps. ;) (Although you may need a NASA computer)
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Bear Island is starting to come together nicely. I've got the main house and dock textured and placed, but I need to go back now and make a few different Levels of Detail for the model.

I have also added in an old (low-poly) Rowboat model that I picked up over at TurboSquid. After reducing polys as much as I could and creating a few different LODs, it seems to be performing quite well in the sim. Although it probably wont be needed, you will be able to turn it on or off with the configurator.

You may also notice in the rowboat picture that there are a few Pine Cones scattered about. Since this is Florida, and there are Pine Trees scattered on the island, it only seemed appropriate to add some fallen Pine Cones. As with the rest of the models, they have also been created with almost no performance impact.

Alongside working on a few additional models, I'm going to be working towards getting some of the dynamic SODE features up and going next. (Although I've hit a small snag that will hopefully be resolved soon)


A few more recent screens for your enjoyment:
bearisland_wip1.jpg
bearisland_wip2.jpg
bearisland_wip3.jpg
bearisland_wip4.jpg
bearisland_wip5.jpg
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Fantastic scenery…um…where are the bears? ;)
Nonexistent. :)


I haven't had a chance to construct the other building models yet, as I'm still making performance tweaks to the existing models. However, I have started to implement some of the SODE environmentally-dynamic features. These features currently consist of:

- A windsock (Flightport model) with 4 levels of animation. (No Wind, Low, Medium, High) I have made a few tweaks to these models in MCX to improve performance as well as added in the no wind variant.
- A croaking frog sitting on a rock. He really loves the rain, and only the rain. You wont find him on a sunny day. (Pictured below)
- Water puddles. They will only show up when it rains, as they should. (Pictured below)
- Ambient crickets and tree frogs on calm evenings and nights.
- Ambient Cicadas during May and June, fairly close to when you would hear them irl.

bearisland_frog.jpg
bearisland_puddle.jpg


These are just the SODE features that I have added in so far. Once I get some more modeling and optimization work done, I will explore adding in more environmentally-dynamic features to further improve the user experience at this fun airstrip.

-CB
 
Nonexistent. :)
Reminds me…
…when I was a kid my parents took me to Yellow Stone National Park, to see the bears! I was excited. We traveled for two days in the car. As we were getting near Yellow Stone National Park we saw a highway sign. It said "Yellow Stone Park - Bear Left"

…so we went home. :(

Oh come on…it's at least worth a chuckle.

Regardless - amazing job on the environmental scenery! I am adding Emerald Scenery Design to my favorites list.:)
 
Looks quite good, Christopher ! :)

BTW: Is this as rendered in P3Dv3.x, and if so are the cross-plane tree object "visible" vegetation area texture material shadows now being properly cast onto the ground by P3D's rendering engine, or are the shadows already present (or graphically 'baked') in the top-down view custom aerial imagery ? :scratchch

GaryGB
 
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christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Looks quite good, Christopher ! :)

BTW: Is this as rendered in P3Dv3.x, and if so are the cross-plane tree object "visible" vegetation area texture material shadows now being properly cast onto the ground by P3D's rendering engine, or are the shadows already present in the top-down view custom aerial imagery ? :scratchch

GaryGB

Hi Gary,
First of all, thanks! Secondly, all renders are being shown in P3Dv3 (Latest client version) and the trees are using P3D's rendering engine for their shadows. The shadows aren't perfect of course since they are only cross-plane, but I would say the shadows are somewhat realistically rendered. What would make it even better is if they would add in support for soft shadows. The hard shadows just don't work at times. :)
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
I'll just leave these shots here for you guys..

Bear Island v2 is nearing Beta. At the moment I only have one more model to construct, a shed. (I assume) After so, I would say its just a matter of adding the remaining SODE features and polishing up some of the rough edges. In the mean time, I'm currently writing up the formal announcement of this scenery, which I will most likely post tomorrow..

ESD_BearIslandv2_1.jpg
ESD_BearIslandv2_2.jpg
ESD_BearIslandv2_3.jpg
ESD_BearIslandv2_4.jpg
ESD_BearIslandv2_5.jpg
ESD_BearIslandv2_6.jpg
ESD_BearIslandv2_7.jpg
ESD_BearIslandv2_8.jpg
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
If anyone would be interested in Beta testing this scenery, let me know. I would like to get some of the testing started by early-mid next week. :)
 
What do you need SODE for in this case??? Florida seasons are hardly existant.
Either you are an artist in making screenshots and either you have an extremely powerful PC or, you none of those.
I am working on the Oasis Ranger Station but I think I'd better forget about it when I see your pics:(.
Great work!
 
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