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Chris Bell

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vEarth - Virtual Earth Project

this project has been in the making for some time now,
initially on paper, than as a proof of concept, and now it is in full on development!

with this project we aim for a new experience when it comes to Photoreal scenery integration!

we are still working and developing in-house functionalities we need to achieve this experience,


starting with color corrected Photoreal imagery! for ALL N.A. collected no earlier than 2015!




as it stands our standards are LOD15! we will include all seasons variations! and Night!

(we may or may not mix High res with lower res imagery in metro area's,
our rational is... there is no point in using high res imagery than covering it with objects that block the imagery anyway)


beside a complete special edition Night Environment style Lighting system (Autogen based with traffic!!!)

what makes this project different than what most already familiar with is...


we detect the data we render directly from the actual imagery we use!!!

this means accurate coast and water lines, including waves!

even boats on water from the imagery are detected and rendered,


we detect and render every single tree, matched with its type and size!!!

we detect and render every single house matched with its real rooftop color!

every power line post, and much much more :)


as our test bed platform we choose the state of Florida,

i think everyone would agree it is a complicated peninsula known for its complex Coast lines,



the video below showcasing our latest tree detectoin technology,
(the Photoreal we used there is an early test sample for water coloring and not representative of final product colors)

its worth to note that everything you see in this clip is 100% data derived process!

ill use this opportunity to coin a new phrase "AccuGen", as its name suggest its Accurate Autogen :)

as appose to the default Autogen behavior which is random; these will always appear in the same exact place every time!


This is my own personal flight recorded raw!
As soon as the data was ready for inspection, The only modification is the audio track,
everything else is 1:1 what saw when I first went to check latest Tree data for vEarth in Sim,

without further ado...


KIMM to KAPF Part 1







KIMM to KAPF Part 2











before anyone asks...

vEarth is designed for Lockheed Martin PREPAR3D, Dovetail Games (DTG) FSXSE, and Microsoft FSX!

this flight was captured in FSX! no addons of any kind! no modification to FSX.cfg what so ever! (except

This is plain Vanilla FSX out the box with all sliders and setting set at MAX available (default) settings!

yes... trees density is controlled by the default density slider inside Sim and can be adjusted in session,

under these maxed out setting frames are dead locked at 30FPS!

(flown, tested and recorded on Mobile Dell Precision M3800, Win8.1, 16GB Ram, Intel HD Graphics 4600)


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the project although on for some time now is still in its infant stages,

we are working on popping all buildings now with matching roof colors,

the Photoreal we used here was a random set i grabbed; originally used for water color tests,

it is not perfected in this video yet; i was only out to test trees distribution and placement,

i was so happy i wanted to share with our community what we achieved so far,

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Hello Chris,


promising start! Looking at the video, I was wondering if you could not remove or reduce the waves on the lakes.



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Thank you Emmanuel,

these are not waves; thats clouds reflection :)

in the second half of the video i go even lower and slower; you will be able to get a closer view,

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I might have missed it but will this be released on a state by state basis like Megascenery or in any other form? Also is there any form of timeframe for this, I know you probably cant be specific but are we talking years? :)



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Welcome to our forms Mike :)

vEarth line will indeed be state based, as for time frame...

this is an early preview; it is literally my first data test flight!

we definitely not talking years away before everyone can enjoy a proper Photoreal based scenery!

loaded with element and features that did not exist or were technically possible before for Photoreal based scenery,

we have already developed the technology required to achieve most items on our goal list,
its now time to test and generate data full scale and fine tune output to our standards,

if all goes as planned; maybe 6 months away before we can start streamline states,

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Seems quite a project Chris my initial reaction is that your florida doesnt look anything like the scan that i did 2 years ago


being a bit thick , will it work with 3rd party photoscenery scans or just your own photoscenery?

I have to admit to watching progress in XP (which I do not have, yet) and this seems to resemble their update announced at flightcon if so, more power to your elbow !

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good to see you Nigel :)

your PR set doesn't like like our work at all; this is not the final product yet just a tree detection showcase!

we haven't color corrected our set yet, and Sim and video were not tweaked for Photoreal,

no nVidia Clamp or any video filters were applied there!


note that we also decided to use a lower res imagery set @ LOD15, you are showing a high/ultra res at least at LOD17-18

the VAS and processing power needed to push these high res pixels alone will leave one with no room for anything else,


we also run our video at about 8:30am at a complete opposite side of Where you are (you are around Miami we were around Sarasota);


these high res set are not viable commercially for distribution; just the base product results in hundreds of GB's for the imagery alone,

and thats for a single summer season! we will include all 4 seasons and night layer, each needs to be factored and considered prior,


lets not forget we intend to cover the entire imagery with matching objects above every tree and every structure; 

carrying a high res imagery just to cover it up makes no sense and leave one with no VAS space to work with for other elements,


as much as we would like to use high (and we do have access to same high res data as well (actually better than google's ;) )

it is just not practical at this point in time,


if you're asking if our element (and in elements im referring to objects above ground) can be mixed later with High res Photoreal set, the answer is yes!

but you will not be able to replicate our coastlines or inland water bodies work; as these are part of the imagery masking we render,


our work as always will be compatible with the major 3 platform we always work and support, PREPAR3D, FSXSE, and FSX,


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electronic download chris....?  I would pay for the bandwidth necessary to download 0.6m imagery rather than the 1.2 I think you've chosen to go with.  (and sit and wait a week for it to get to me :p)   Maybe you could offer that as an option, maybe not?  Cheers K


PS Kudos for trying to render accurate water masking - some previous photoscenery products have been sorely lacking in this respect. 

Edited by Kevin Firth
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Thank you Kevin :)

we want 4 seasons, night, water, waves, objects, moving traffic, with Photoreal!

0.6 is just not practical and already exists mind you! ;)

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a quick example of our color correcting algorithm

(which we didn't apply yet to the Photoreal set used in these videos)

Before                                                                                                                       After


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This is some exciting tech Chris!  Really looking forward to the end result.  I have never been able to fly with vector scenery.  Just doesn't feel real enough to me as a rw pilot.  I want to look down and see what I should be seeing exactly where it should be!  So this is really promising to hear.


So far these are all mostly low altitude shots (I realize this is all VERY early previews).  How will this work at higher altitudes where the tubeliners fly?  Render distance is much further and I'm concerned about popping in of objects in the distance (and performance, of course), along with night lighting at a distance which has always been rather short.





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here you guys,

we had to turn our light on asap :)

this is our Special Night Environment AccuGen Edition that is part of vEarth!

(this is not Night Environment Florida! and this is not Black Marble!)






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Very very nice Chris.  Loving the soft light splashes, which look exceedingly realistic :D

Do the lights automatically come on at an appropriate time?  Or is user interaction required with a control panel etc?

Edited by Kevin Firth
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theses indeed come in and out during the day as needed,

no control panel or settings to change or tune here; you can change these settings during session,

move your native Sim density slider to control your desired density,

(in the above are maxed-out density settings!)

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KIMM to KAPF Night Test

Part 1


Part 2


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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow Chris, this project is very overwhelming !!
I was looking forward for longtime now, that someone will put autogen over Photoscenery. As last my dream come true ! What a great news xD
Do you have vEarth plan for Europe and Middle East (especially for UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait) too?

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thank you very much for your kind words MC,

as our fist goal we will focus on NA regions initially,

our capabilities are not restricted to NA, we can exercise our technology over any Photoreal set,

ideally we will expand to EU after we complete NA,


what we do is very different than anyone ever did before,

we include 4 seasons + Night with lighting system!

all objects are detected off the Photoreal set directly!

perfect blend of water bodies and coastlines,


and of curse traffic, 3D bridges, power-lines, Boats on water, waves,

most are detected directly from the Photoreal set we use!

with 100% real word fidelity,

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Hello Chris,

This looks like it could go a long way!

However, for those like myself who only fly low and slow vfr z15 won't be detailed enough, now z19 for the whole of the UK would be wonderful.


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