I’ve now posted an update to the PNW ferry system that adds the BC ferry Quinsam to the Nanaimo Gabriola route. This is the regularly assigned boat to this route. Below are a few clips. Consider it an enhancement for CAC8.
I’ve also made some adjustments so that everything works in P3D v4 as far as I’ve checked. Beta tester Greg assures me that his computer did not melt while testing so that’s a positive sign.In fact, the screen shots are from version 4 using some of my working files for CAC8. So that will work too when the ObjectFlow module and the installers are ready.
A number of the wake effects have been redone for v4 but a fair number remain to be tweaked. It’s a slow process and I still learn something new with each one, meaning I then need to go back and fix the ones I just did. I also fixed a large number of scenery errors here and there.
The package of all the files is linked on the links page of the blog as usual. I’ve revised the instructions trying to simplify them. If at all possible I would strongly encourage P3D users to take advantage of the .cfg file method of telling P3D where the ferry system files are located. That way updates are as simple as replacing a single large folder with the new one. See the instructions on how to do it if you are not familiar with the method.
This is about the old adage ‘the more you know the less you know’. It turns out that there are several issues with effects in the initial release of P3D v4. Among them, effect textures are flipped upside down. And in previous versions they had been flipped left right. The LM guys will fix all of this, but it means that my wave effects made to look right in P3D v3 will not look right in V4 as is.
In the process of fixing some of the wake and wave effects I’ve learned more of what should have been obvious. I’ve been using this understanding to fix my Orbx wake effects but it’s taking 1 to 2 hours per effect so it will be some time before I get to all the wakes for each ferry. However I have done a couple.
I have almost finished a new ferry for the Nanaimo Gabriola route; the MV Quinsam which is currently assigned to the route. It’s based on close-up photos I took on my trip up there a couple of years ago and is fairly detailed.
When it’s done I’ll post a new version of the PNW ferries with the new boat, some revised effect (including a better long range lighthouse effect) and a number of other fixes.
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.
This is just a short note to say that I’ve announced my next Orbx project here:
No updates to the PNW ferry system are needed for this one.
It turns out that the latest Orbxlibs update exposed an error in the Taswwassen ferry terminal scenery which is now fixed. A number of other minor errors are fixed too:
Fixed modeling errors including floating bench on Spirit Class ferries
Adjusted several effects including the Queen of Nanaimo wake
Fixed problem with flatten at Tsawwassen which caused landclass to cover the water near the terminal. (Same problem as with Orbx CAC8 Area B.)
See the download link for the latest files. If you spot other instances of water being covered by landclass, please let me know. Thanks much,
Edited to add: it turns out that WinZip was creating corrupt zip files; as of April 6, that should be corrected now.
In preparation for the release of Orbx KBID I have made a minor change to the PNW AI ferries traffic file. As long as your ship and ferries slider is set to less than 95 percent you will no longer see a default 5 times oversize Washington state ferry beached on a sandbar. The fix for Orbx Friday Harbor remains.
The Updated_traffic_file.zip is located in this OneDrive folder:
The LR_PNW_ferries_complete.zip file will be updated with this file soon.
Orbx has now released my latest project, CAX6 Ganges Water Aerodrome. https://orbxdirect.com/product/cax6
This was a very special project for me; it was my way of honoring the memory of my friendship with the late Jon Patch. Jon was the one who got me started in this direction.
I should add that words count. Based on such words from sources one can guess, I had made a firm commitment to make things only for my own enjoyment. Jon slowly convinced me otherwise. (But I still worry that it will all blow up in my face.)