The PNW ferry system and P3D v4

The PNW ferry system and P3D v4

Having been on the LM P3D v4 beta team, I’m happy to report that the PNW ferry system works fine in P3D v4. In fact I think it looks much better. Besides the models looking crisp, the greatly extended range for autogen adds a lot of realism especially in the heavily forested areas of the PNW. Users have a lot of control over this range and with sufficient computing horsepower you can push the forest out to the horizon. The overall feeling of realism is so much greater in v4 that I can’t see any reason to remain with v3. I don’t think screenshots fully capture the difference; you have to see it in the sim. Adjusting things for your machine will take a little time but the basic process is no different than with optimizing earlier versions.

A word of caution: I’m surprised at the amount of outright false information (and associated anxiety) that has circulated about v4 before it has been released. Don’t accept everything you read from unknown sources. Elaine Dixon is a tremendous resource; see what she has to say. Check the Learning Center too.

Effects: all of my custom effects appear to work*. Version 4 does a much better job of handling effects and this exposes parts of effects that I’d like to improve. It’s a laborious process so I’ll do it little by little using some new tricks I have discovered for myself. The LM guys have resolved the visibility range issue for .fx type effects in v3 where the absolute maximum range is ~6km. I can now see the Point Wilson lighthouse effect 12 nautical miles away. This is significantly better than FSX. I’m in the process of revising the textures for the long range lights so they are not so big and not so bright close up but still have the extended range. The rationale is to provide a realistic night environment on the water surface where marine navigation aids and running lights are key.

*The rotating loom effect at Point Wilson now works in v4 (thanks Kevin!) but there is an extra red-white beam. I’m sure Kevin will fix this in a future update. Now that this is working it will be worth my while to work on this effect a bit more.