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Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v1.5 by X-Codr Designs


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Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v1.5 by X-Codr Designs

 

I'll look at X-PlaneReviews release review of X-Codr Design's sensational KDEN - Denver airport that took 8 months of painstaking work to bring you the most high quality scenery of Denver's mega-hub, the point is I didn't do a review but only a pre-release overview? Now that maybe a strange and interesting thought, but the reality was that when I looked at the scenery and as really good as it was. then X-Codr's Denver was at the time just missing the mark, and mostly in the night textures. 

 

No offence to the developer in that a first scenery is always going to be a huge daunting task, add in the fact that the choice of airport is one of the largest in the mid-west of the grand olde US of A and that alone was always going to be a compromise, another factor is that X-Plane in scenery dynamics is a serious business, get it right and it looks brilliant, but it needs skill to bring out those dynamics and not make everything bland, so huge ambition hit the world of reality.

 

So obviously there has been a few post-release updates already to KDEN since that release, but here is a big one in v1.5 and it covers almost all of the elements that didn't quite hit the mark on the release version.

 

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Denver's International gateway DIA is a monster of an airport, it is HUGE, even by say Atlanta's comparison. Your taxi fuel accounts have to be as much as a consideration as your flight time fuel loads just to reach certain runway takeoff points or to taxi into the terminal area, I love the taxi aspect, but it can certainly add into your gate to gate time if you don't take this huge sprawl into account, layout navigation is actually quite easy in not getting lost, but at some certain hold points the main terminal area are a set of buildings set out on the horizon. At 33,531 acres (13,570 ha), then DIA is the largest airport by area in the US and the second largest in the world after King Fahd International in Saudi Arabia.

 

  Arrival at KDEN via LONGz1 SID and the DIA airport is showing how really well now scenery can be intergrated into the default mesh...

 

KDEN v1_5_Head 6.jpgKDEN v1_5_Head 7.jpg

 

...  X-Codr provides two mesh/overlay installations in Y and X (Y has to be set before X obviously) but it works extremely well, and also there are Ortho4xp patches provided if that is your preference. The ortho itself has now been totally recolored to better match the airport ortho and other 3rd party ortho.... and it shows with the differences from every angle. The mesh and airport together are big Gb downloads (1.5gb each) but the detail is worth the hard drive storage. Noted is that there is a lot of refinement that has been done in this update, with now far better compression of over in that 300Mb in disk space and VRAM were saved just in ortho alone, and other refinements are all the way through this update pack.

 

The south approaches are dominated by the incredible huge (Batwinged?) presence of the Westin Hotel, and it almost hides the DEN iconic circus soleil membrane styled roofing of the main arrival Jeppesen terminal and it is made of Teflon-coded woven fiberglass for strength and is also impenetrable to radar...  all the detail presented here are simply really well modeled and totally highly realistic...

 

KDEN v1_5_Head Westin 1.jpgKDEN v1_5_Head Westin 2.jpgKDEN v1_5_Head Westin 3.jpgKDEN v1_5_Head Westin 4.jpgKDEN v1_5_Head Westin 5.jpgKDEN v1_5_Head Westin 6.jpg

 

The reflective glass on the original Westin Hotel was actually pretty good, but the problem was it was also far better than the rest of the airports glass and textures. Upgraded in v1.5 is that all the glass areas are now highly PBR reflective and detailed and the scenery now extrudes quality and realism.

 

KDEN v1_5_Head Westin 7.jpgKDEN v1_5_Head Westin 8.jpg

KDEN v1_5_Head Westin 9.jpg

 

Denver International Airport

IATA: DEN - ICAO: KDEN - FAA LID: DEN

KDEN Charts.jpg

07/25 - 12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

08/26 - 12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

16L/34R - 12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

16R/34L - 16,000ft  (4,877m)  Concrete

17L/35R -12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

17R/35L - 12,000ft (3,658m)  Concrete

Elevation : 5,431 ft / 1,655 m

 

Denver's airport layout is very typical of most U.S. major hub arrangements, a welcoming terminal then (in this case) three separate huge concourses connected together by an underground rail system.

 

KDEN v1_5_Concourse Main.jpg

 

Concourses are really simple in A, B and C...  A is the closest to the Jeppesen Terminal and is for the International arrival and departures.

 

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Concourse A has 51 gates, which includes several "ground load positions" requiring passengers to exit the main concourse through shared doors to access their aircraft. Concourse A handles all domestic airlines except Alaska, Southwest, and Spirit as well as all international arrivals (excluding airports with border preclearance). There are currently twelve dedicated gates for international arrivals; five of those are equipped to handle widebody aircraft and two are 3-jetway gates capable of handling an Airbus A380. Two airline lounges are currently located on the top floor of the central section of Concourse A: an American Admirals Club and a Delta Sky Club.[26] Concourse A is mainly different from the other two in because it has the pedestrian bridge from the main terminal.

 

KDEN v1_5_Concourse B-1.jpgKDEN v1_5_Concourse B-2.jpg

 

Concourse B, is almost twice as long as "A" and "C", so it over shadows the two other island concourses. Concourse B has 70 gates. United Airlines is the sole occupant of Concourse B. Mainline United flights operate from the main concourse building, whereas United Express operations are primarily handled at the east end of the concourse, which currently includes two concourse extensions for smaller regional planes. Four gates near the center of the concourse are equipped to handle widebody aircraft and each have twin jet bridges labeled A and B. There are two United Clubs on the second floor of Concourse B, situated about an equal distance away from the people mover station: one near gate B32 and the other near gate B44.

 

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Concourse C, has the bonus of having the Main Control Tower as part of the concourse. as 29 gates. Southwest Airlines is the primary occupant of the concourse with only two other airlines, Alaska Airlines and Spirit Airlines, utilizing the concourse. A 2014 expansion added five new gates to the west end of the concourse. The expansion, at a cost of $46 million, allowed Southwest to consolidate all of its operations into Concourse C (prior to the expansion, Southwest was using two gates on Concourse A, which it had inherited from its merger with AirTran Airways). American Express recently began construction on a 14,650-square-foot (1,361 m2) Centurion Lounge in the upper level of the eastern wing of Concourse C. The lounge is expected to open in mid-2020, and will be the second largest of its kind.

 

Outwardly everything looks the same as the original release scenery. But in v1.5 almost everything in the texture aspect has been completely redone.

 

KDEN v1_5_Concourse 1.jpgKDEN v1_5_Concourse 2.jpgKDEN v1_5_Concourse 3.jpgKDEN v1_5_Concourse 4.jpg

 

The textures have lost their flatness and are now if you look closely are also now quite beautiful, you are seeing here a lot of Misterx6 style and of quality, that same feel is now showing in this scenery and I like it a lot.

 

A lot of attention has been given to the ground textures here at DEN. The problem with a lot of acres of concrete is that it can look really bland, worse it reflects the light twice back, so it has no feel or depth. No developer can fix highly reflective white glare, but the grunge, oil and rubber dirt has been heightened here at DIA with great success. Yes it was slightly mottled in the original version, but the effects have all been all redone and deepened.

 

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This is masterful work to get this sort of wear and rubber detail, almost every U.S. scenery developer now has to create the same level of making white concrete actually interesting. The PBR reflective (wet) active textures and burnt-in ambient occlusion are also first-rate, it is a huge jump forward.

 

Glass is very interesting as well. Reflections are very good, but look closer in the right lighting conditions and there is the wet dirt fall on the glass panels, it is all very good if great detail and highly realistic....

 

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....  all the different styles of glass are different but highly realistic, note the fantastic reflections on the apron tower windows...  very good.

 

There was modeled concourse interiors in the original release, but there has also been a lot of revision work done here internally. Plus point is that the waiting passengers are now actually sitting down, a small point but it gives the whole terminal scenario a bit of a more realism feel to it, certainly all the main A,B and C concourses can be explored, and are worth doing so....

 

KDEN v1_5_Textures 9.jpgKDEN v1_5_Textures 10.jpgKDEN v1_5_Textures 11.jpgKDEN v1_5_Textures 12.jpg

 

...  moving walkways and even hanging aircraft are well done for the detail shown internally. There is now a required installation into your custom scenery folder a X-Codr Designs Library that is now used for all these higher quality assets, the library is quite a big at a 1.16Gb download so it is quite an extensive package.

 

The SAM (Scenery Animation Manger) system has replaced the older Marginal autodock VDGS airbridge layout. So all the airbridges have been redesigned and replaced and even the complicated long arm versions are really well done. Also added in are the two and three pier installations and they all work with two door aircraft in say the Boeing 747...

 

KDEN v1_5_SAM 1.jpgKDEN v1_5_SAM 3.jpgKDEN v1_5_SAM 2.jpgKDEN v1_5_SAM 4.jpgKDEN v1_5_SAM 5.jpg

 

...   and I really love this three pier arrangement that can be adapted to either an widebody or single aisle aircraft.

 

KDEN v1_5_Lighting 1.jpgKDEN v1_5_Lighting 2.jpg

 

The original X-Codr KDEN night texture lighting was a bit average, it was okay but not highly realistic. The night textures have all been redone and the effects now are far better in v1.5...  clear glass is always really problematic at night, however they pass the realism test here.

 

KDEN v1_5_Lighting 3.jpgKDEN v1_5_Lighting 4.jpg

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The Jeppersen Terminal looks however still a little too saturated, and needs a little more calming down, but I like the far better Westin Hotel textures, the originals were horrible grey squares... ugggh! But this image below shows off some of the spectacular lighting at the concourses.... it is incredible of what we can do now in simulation.

 

KDEN v1_5_Lighting 7.jpg

 

Highlighting the detail here is interesting...  There is some of the very best gradient work in X-Plane scenery here, all levels and ground variations are uniquely covered and also highly detailed...

 

KDEN v1_5_Highlights 1.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 2.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 3.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 4.jpg

 

....  it all makes for some of the best and most interesting arrival and departures experiences in the simulator, the detail is incredible, and the gradients can be seen and felt from the aircraft for that realism factor. Infrastructure detail is really off the planet, it is all a feast for the eyes.

 

KDEN v1_5_Highlights 5.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 6.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 7.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 8.jpg

 

Both United and Frontier maintenance hangars are also covered really well...

 

KDEN v1_5_Highlights 9.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 10.jpg

 

...  and overall you can't be but very impressed by the detail and activity at this mega hub scenery.

 

KDEN v1_5_Highlights 11.jpgKDEN v1_5_Highlights 12.jpg

____________________

 

Summary

The original release of Denver's megapolis International Airport by X-Codr Designs was a bit of a tour-de-force, ultimately it was brilliant, but still missing that something in a few areas, there has been a few updates in between, but this is a major update in v1.5, and an spectacular update it is.

 

This is a maturing update to the scenery, it covers all the aspects that were just a little below par to get the package into that elusive higher quality bracket... but the update here is a great success.

 

Covered in v1.5 has been a complete texture revision with outstanding results and PBR quality. That brings in more lifelike glass reflections and even better glass detail, night textures needed attention and they have had that with the more realistic look and feel done really well. Ground textures have also had serious changes to make them more gritty or grubby or grungy or whatever you want to note as more realism, but that they are some of the now the best grungy concrete textures around is a still the ultimate aim.

 

Internal details has now added in even sitting people and the new X-Codr Design Library adds in a huge whole new level of a new library of detailing.

 

The SAM (Scenery Animation Manger) has replaced the older Marginal autodock VDGS airbridge system with huge benefits of more twin and three pier gates and resulting in even more bay choices, it has also been fashioned to match the real gate systems and is a great addition to the scenery. Note the KDEN scenery covers a large area and has a huge amount objects, you can run the scenery on a 4K board, but a 8K is certainly highly recommended, hard drive space is quite at a premium as well.

 

This v1.5 update is free to all previous the purchasers of KDEN - Denver from X-Codr Design. If you don't have this scenery then you are easily missing a huge important part and aspect of your North American route network....  Highly Recommended!

_____________________________________

 

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Yes! KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v1.5 by X-Codr Design is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


KDEN - Denver International Airport HD

 

Price is US$29.95

 

Features:
  • Ultra detailed rendition of Denver International Airport
  • Winter and wet rainy versions are included as well
  • Highly detailed custom buildings
    • Most parts of all concourses have detailed custom interiors
    • Detailed yet performance friendly models
    • Normal maps for great bump mapping and glass reflections
  • Ultra detailed ground textures
    • 1 pixel per 6 inch orthophotos equivalent to ZL20
    • Orthophotos have been cleaned of duplicate flat textures under 3D models (such as traffic and bridges)
    • Extreme detail for pavement, while still maintaining minimal repetition
  • Highly detailed normal maps for impressive specular reflections
  • X-Codr Designs SoundXP Plugin (Windows 10 ONLY)
    • Ambient airport sounds will be played based on your location in the airport - a first in X-Plane
    • Listen to chatter, announcements and other sounds when inside the terminal, trucks rumbling by and beeping when near busy ramp areas, and the drone of traffic speeding by when on the landside of the airport
  • Dynamic living airport
    • Watch heavies, regional commuters and other air traffic bring the airport to life with superb WT3 routes by Brian "Cpt. K-man" Navy (Bird Stryke Designs)
    • Animated jetways using Autogate by Jonathan Harris (marginal)
    • Animated car traffic using Ground Traffic by Jonathan Harris (marginal)
    • Native ground services will service your aircraft upon request
  • Highly detailed custom mesh using Ortho4XP
    • Detailed under and overpasses
    • Sloped runways and taxiways, and ditches

 

WT3:  WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided and overall the airport generation functions perfectly.

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 3.8Gb
Current and Review version: 1.5 (August 5th 2020)
 
Installation
Download scenery files required are in three downloads, KDEN Airport (1.53Gb), KDEN Mesh (1.61Gb) and the X-Codr Designs Library Package (1.16GB)
 
KDEN Airport
  • Ortho4xp Patches
  • KDEN - Denver International Airport
  • ClassicJetSimUtils (ground Routes)
 
KDEN Mesh
 
  • Y KDEN Overlay
  • Z KDEN Mesh

 

X-Codr Designs Library Package

(The library Package is inserted into your Custom Scenery Folder)

 

Total scenery installation is 11.30Gb (yes 11.30GB!)

 

SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery

 

Documents

One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts

 

  • Denver International Airport Manual.pdf

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

7th August 2020

Copyright©2020 : 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)

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and tested in v11.50b17 (really good!)

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini 

Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99

Scenery or Aircraft

- Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research
 

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