Lightman Posted January 29 Report Share Posted January 29 Scenery Review: KSEZ - Sedona Airport by X-Codr By Joshua Moore Introduction Sedona Airport is located two miles southwest of Sedona, Arizona, on top of a mesa that overlooks the city. Dubbed the tabletop runway for its appearance, it offers some unique challenges for pilots making a trip to the airport. Sedona Airport began life in 1955 as a 3,700-foot dirt runway and was paved in 1957. Today, Sedona is considered the United States’ most scenic airport and features a nearly 5,200-foot long/100-foot-wide runway. X-Codr’s rendition of Sedona for X-Plane 12 is an update to their existing scenery for X-Plane 11, so it will be interesting to see how it looks and performs in Laminar’s latest offering. First Impressions The installation process of the scenery is mostly standard, consisting of three zip files, with the unzipped contents totaling 8.7 GB across four folders. The manual is six pages long and includes basic installation instructions for installing the scenery, as well as a few notable highlights of the package. Upon loading into the airport, I was greeted with a copious amount of red rock and a rather nice-looking airport environment. The overall scope of the product is well-sized, with a good portion of the area surrounding the airport having been modeled with custom orthos, autogen, landmarks, and the famous red rocks. From my initial observations, I was very pleased with what I saw, as the attention to detail, especially the airport, was very well done. Exploring the Airport Again, and this is something I like to do with all my reviews, I began by viewing the airport from above in which to get an idea of its layout. The overall scenery looks fantastic, with most details being visible, even those in the distance. The city of Sedona looks great from above, and the surroundings feel wonderfully natural and come across as well-textured, with the added bonus of merging perfectly with the supplied ortho. Mesh also feels enhanced and helps bring the airport alive, though there are a couple of areas which I felt could be improved on, such as the road leading up to the airport, which could do with some smoothing out. The airport environment is quite frankly one of the best I have seen in X-Plane 12 as it feels so alive, especially with the animations, vehicles, and people; the whole atmosphere is simply fantastic. The custom 3D vegetation sways with the wind, and as such, really helps add another level of immersion to the overall ambience. The exteriors of the main terminal and the Mesa Grill diner are well-modelled, with some nicely done texturing to go along with them, they even feature seating areas outside. Two other airport buildings which featured interiors were the Helicopter Tours hut and the Helicopter Airplane Tours shop. Whilst not as detailed as the other two buildings mentioned, they were a nice addition to the package. Both the terminal and diner include highly detailed interiors, and these are done well for the most part. However, I did find them to be a little too shiny for my taste, with both the chairs and floors feeling overly polished and unnatural. Another area which I felt could be improved upon, was the ramp area which had a slightly dead appearance, as there were simply no aircraft anywhere to be found, and while I’m not a huge fan of static aircraft, having the option to add some here and there, would have been nice in this case. Both the taxiways and runway felt realistic in their appearance, and the grass, albeit a bit scraggly and pixelated, really helped sell the idea that I was looking at an authentic, small, GA airport. During my testing of Sedona, I would see animated vehicles drive up to the airport gate, and then for the gate to open, which I thought was another nice touch! There were also animated people playing games in the garden, and having drinks, plus wind chimes spinning in the breeze. It’s these wonderfully thought-out details such as these, which help bring the airport to life and is something I really appreciate. The surrounding red rock formations found in the scenery deserve their own special paragraph, as they have been created entirely in 3D. The texturing of these formations is excellent, and the models themselves look detailed even from a distance. However, if you get too close, the illusion, unfortunately, starts to fall apart, but from an aircraft window, at a reasonable distance, they look incredible and are far superior to using base-only orthos. Textures When it comes to Sedona’s textures, I think it’s safe to say that this particular scenery is one of the better X-Plane sceneries that X-Codr has created. Most of the textures, when viewed from a relatively short distance, looked sharp and only started to lose clarity when viewed up close. The taxiway signage was a bit low-res for my tastes, but that was also the case for Mammoth Yosemite, which I reviewed only recently. The interiors of the various airport buildings were slightly blurrier than other more visible parts of the scenery but were just fine if your intended purpose was to simply stroll around the airport, just remember to not get too close. Winter Sedona, due to its climate, doesn't receive much in the way of snow, and when it does, it usually melts quickly. However, as I had seen some photographs of Sedona during winter, I was keen to see what it looked like with the new weather engine in X-Plane 12. I was glad I did because the results, as you can see, are simply stunning. The underlying ortho used for the surrounding scenery looks great as well, save for the various “off” colors you’ll see if you look too closely. If you use any ortho scenery for this part of the world (something I highly recommend you do), then you’ll find that the package, due to the quality of the supplied ortho, works very well, especially with something like VStates. Performance When it came to performance, I was again pleased with the results, as I experienced hardly any framerate issues. In fact, the only thing I noticed about running the scenery was my increased VRAM usage, which wasn’t surprising really, especially when you consider the sheer number of textures being used by Sedona. With X-Plane 12 not yet fully optimized and suffering from blurry textures, I would advise caution, and to check your GPU’s VRAM specs plus the package’s minimum memory requirements before purchasing the scenery. Night Lighting Sedona’s night lighting consists, for the most part, of X-Plane standard lighting effects. That’s not to say it looks bad, it’s just that nothing really stands out. There are a few areas where the lighting doesn’t quite work, such as parts of the terminal and restaurant, which look a bit odd at night, as if they don’t share the same lighting engine, but everywhere else exhibits the usual X-Plane lighting. Conclusion As with Mammoth which I tested at the same time, Sedona is another high-quality GA airport that I really enjoyed exploring. For VFR flyers, it’s a dream come true with its stunning red rock formations, but it’s equally appealing for those who enjoy flying something larger, like business jets. With challenging approaches, a wonderfully modelled airport environment, plus again, that incredible landscape, Sedona is one of those airports that I can wholeheartedly recommend. ________________________ KSEZ - Sedona by X-Codr is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: KSEZ - Sedona by X-Codr Priced at US$19.95 Features Ultra-detailed rendition of KSEZ - Sedona Buildings are detailed down to door handles and gutters Most "feature buildings" have full 3d interiors, including food on the restaurant table High quality normal maps utilize X-Plane 12's gorgeous photometric PBR rendering engine High quality realistic ground textures Hand crafted detail textures and detail normals add unparalleled detail with virtually indistinguishable tiling Hand painted, subtle grunge overlays for the whole airport make the airport feel life like and natural. Up to date layout as of 2021 including significant changes to the center-north ramp Living Airport Cars will randomly wander the airport roads, and occasionally drive up to the gate, open it, and drive to a spot on the apron. 3D animated people 3D animated trees using X-Plane 12's new forest system 3D animated grass and shrubs Custom surroundings Generic, regionally appropriate autogen for the surrounding valley Stunning hand crafted rock formations for most of the Sedona Valley Low poly landmarks (schools, old stadium, etc) Custom Ortho4XP Mesh Custom UHD Mesh V4 overlays (courtesy AlpilotX, used with his permission) Optimizer for excellent performance. VR ready, constant 60 fps with near max settings on high end systems. Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 5 Gb X-Codr Designs Library 1.6+ (available on the download page, redownload if you downloaded before 10/26/2022) Living Scenery Technology 1.05+ (available free on x-plane.org, https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/82876-living-scenery-technology/) Current version: 2.0 (October 26th 2022) Review System Specifications Windows 11 Ryzen 5800x RTX3070ti, 32GB RAM __________________________________ Scenery Review by Joshua Moore 29th January 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions. Kiwiflyer 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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