Jump to content

Update Scenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay v1.5 by Tom Curtis

Recommended Posts


Update Scenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay v1.5 by Tom Curtis

Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay is a huge massive area of scenery that covers the San Francisco and South Bay area. There are already in this scenery a large list of the areas airports including:

KSFO - San Francisco International airport

KOAK - Metropolitan Oakland International Airport

KSJC -  Mineta San Jose International Airport

KHWD - Hayward Executive Airport

KPAO - Palo Alto Airport  - General Aviation

KHAF - Half Moon Bay - General Aviation

KSQL - San Carlos Airport

GG01 - Clipper Cove, Located on Treasure Island

GUQ - Moffett Field

And not to mention other items including Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridges, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridges.  Alcatraz Prison and the Nike Missile Site Museum. For a full cover review these areas and the above airports from X-Plane Reviews then go here:

Scenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay by Tom Curtis (v1.4)

This 1.5 version release of Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay covers the extra inclusion of more detailing on the San Francisco city and port areas. To have a better view of the additions I flew the excellent X-Trident's Bell AB412 to get a closer look. Departure was from KSFO on the Coast Guard pad and flew north towards the San Francisco city area.



My render setting are important here to relate what you see in what is part of the Golden Gate package and what X-Plane autogen scenery adds to the overall viewpoint...  so the texture res is set at "Very High", number of objects is "Too Many" and the World Distance Detail is set at "High".

At first glance the the package does not seem that much different except for a more densely populated city skyline. But standing out is the Candlestick Park Stadium on Candlestick point. It is the smaller additions that can add in visual detailing and you can see the many wharfs and finger maritime warehouses that are located around the shoreline. The Oakland Bay Bridges dominate the view as they stretch out over towards Oakland on the other side of San Francisco Bay. Traffic on the (all) bridges are animated and that adds into the vibrant movement that you require to bring bustling cities alive.



Once past the Oakland Bay Bridge you are downtown. Tom Curtis has replicated most of the iconic buildings in this city area, there are too many to list here but the most important ones (or the highest) fill out the view including the Transamerica Tower and the Telegraph Hill-Pioneer Park monument "Coit Tower".

The Embarcadero is the main frontage of the main wharf area of the city and the iconic "Ferry Building" is well modeled as well as all the wharf fingers. At Pier 27 is a luxury Liner.

There is more items in vessels parked at wharf's (tugs), showboats, clippers and various ferries. Shipping is dotted around on San Francisco bay and many are animated. Famous "Fisherman's Wharf" is well replicated, but more a tourist attraction than a working Wharf.



The cities bridges in the Oakland Bay Bridges, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridges are not new to this release, but are significant to mention again in their detail and the added animated vehicle traffic.



The "Golden Gate is of course a stand out, and the heavy Oakland Bay Bridges, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridges and the heavily animated traffic is excellent.



"The Rock' Is also the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast besides its infamous past as a prison.


And is always worth a flyover.

So how much does the X-Plane autogen contribute to the scenery...  quite a lot actually. I have always been a promoter of the fact that to engineer realistic sceneries quickly in X-Plane it is a great idea to use both angles in creating the basic icons of cities and then letting the autogen do the major point of filling in the surrounding areas. This way you get the very best of an efficient engine and can cover a large area without the large framerate hit you can get with a totally filled out 3d city. Yes I admit it is not building to building perfect, but all you are really requiring is a replica skyline of the city and this approach can deliver that with efficiency.



With the autogen scaled back you can see the actual added scenery provided by the package, there is no hope to cover the whole area with efficient 3d buildings, yes there is the Open Street Map conversions and very good they are as well, but it is framerate at a premium we are looking for.



Complex and realistic, with North American autogen, for once the San Francisco package works in your favour.  Time to head back to KSFO.


The San Francisco cityscape is very good in the low light. The city building textures are very realistic and from any angle including the excellent approach to KOAK RWY 09R is excellent. The autogen lighting does not match the package as it is darker... but overall it is pretty effective.



The spot lighting on the bridges, doesn't really work, but the wharf areas are quite good. The highlight is the Candlestick Park Stadium at its full candle watt power, as it does look very realistic. Overall at night it is very impressive.




This scenery is already an extensive collection of airports and bridges and sharp details that go up to make the San Francisco Bay area. Full of great value and with excellent frame-rate. So it defies logic on why you would want it to be part of your scenery collection.

Now there is the added bonus of the full San Francisco cityscape, and in a cohesive way v1.5 rounds off the scenery as the full complete package.

Tom Curtis has a great reputation in X-Plane to deliver clever intelligent scenery that gives you a lot for your investment, and here Tom Curtis delivers again. Great scenery, Great package and now even better than ever in this new 1.5 version.


TheScenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO + South Bay by Tom Curtis is available now from the New X-Plane.org Store :

Golden Gate KSFO + South Bay

Price is US$34.95

If you have already purchased Golden Gate , KSFO + South Bay, Then check into your X-Plane.OrgStore account


KSFO - San Francisco International Airport
KSJC - Mineta San Jose International Airport
KSQL - San Carlos Airport
KOAK - Metropolitan Oakland International
KPAO - Palo Alto Airport - General Aviation - 18 miles south of KSFO
KHAF - Half Moon Bay Airport - 10 miles west of KSFO
KHWD - Hayward Executive Airport - 8 miles south of KOAK
GG01 - Clipper Cove Located on Treasure Island

All airports include :

All gates and terminal
Global Night Lightning
Custom ATC
Frame rate friendly

Golden Gate Bridge

Detailed model of the world's most famous bridge

Alcatraz Island

The 'Rock'. Used to be home of a federal jail until 1963

Other landmarks

All of the piers and other structures along the shoreline from AT&T (Baseball) Park all the way to the Presidio near the Golden Gate bridge.
Transamerica Tower located downtown San Francisco
Nike Missile Site Museum

Bay bridges

Oakland Bay Bridge, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridge

Developer Site : Scenery4XP


Documents and Installation :
Download: 84mb : Installed as GOLDEN_GATE+SOUTH_BAY_150_XP-10 (295.00mb), and four animation files noted Banner Tow (1.5mb), GG Bridge (634kb), San Meteo Bridge (641mb) and SF Bay Bridge (639mb)

Tom Curtis provides a full set of instructions on how to install the scenery under: "OPEN FIRST!" Golden_Gate+South_Bay_Open_Me.

Internet is required for installation instructions as it is an address HTML link.

GOLDEN_GATE+SOUTH_BAY_150_XP-10 is the main scenery file and four other files are noted under GND_TRAFFIC are - GG Bridge, Banner Tow, San Meteo Bridge and SF Bay Bridge are all to be installed in the "Custom Scenery" Folder (These are bridge traffic animations).

Supplied also is the "Red Flag" flag animation plugin. Folder "CustomSBDatarefs004" is installed in the X-Plane Resources/Plugin Folder.


Technical Requirements:

X-Plane 10 (any edition). - This scenery is not compatible with X-Plane 9
Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 / 8 (32 or 64 bit) or MAC OS 10.7 or Linux
1Gb VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended.

Current version: 1.5 - Last updated October 14th 2015


Update Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

21st August 2015

Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:  - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42

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


- Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle


Bell AB412 by X-Trident is available at the (Bell 412) X-Plane.OrgStore $35.95


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review... I agree about the importance of the skyline. Although, it's AT&T Park and not Candlestick. 

I am no American, But it is still noted here as Candlestick? and the logo is the "Sticks"? AT&T is a brand name of course and those brands can change quickly when the money runs out...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Stephen unfeatured this topic
2 hours ago, Guest Shyu said:

Do we have KRHV?

There is no Payware version of KRHV - Reid-Hillview San Jose. But there is good KRHV version on the X-Plane.Org - here:  http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=17856


There is "global Airport" version as well so be careful they don't clash... SD

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

The stadium in the screenshots is not Candlestick Park at Candlestick Point.  Candlestick closed in 2014 and has been demolished.  The new park is AT&T and located at a totally new location within the city which these screenshots show.  Candlestick and Candlestick Point are south of the city.  Candlestick Point's real geographical name is Hunters Point.  The new ballpark, AT&T, opened April, 2000 as the San Francisco Giants home baseball park.  It is located close to the city at a location called China Basin.  The San Francisco 49'er NFL football team continued to use Candlestick Park until its new stadium, Levi Stadium,  was completed which was for the 2014 season.` Levi Stadium is located in Santa Clara which is in the South Bay part of the San Francisco peninsula,  42 miles south San Francsco.  It is only a couple miles from San Jose airport, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, downtown San Jose, Cisco and Intel company headquarters, etc.   Basically, it is in the heart of "Silicon Valley".  Levi just hosted the recent NFL Super Bowl.  Of course, you wouldn't know by watching the intense tv and media coverage of this year's Super Bowl that Levi is over 40 miles south of San Francisco!  Most of the reporting and camera shots were from San Francisco ... the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, Marina Park, etc.,etc.  Yet, if you did not know the area, one would think the game was being played within eyesight of all these landmarks when in fact it was over 40 miles away from these landmarks and only a couple miles from San Jose-Mineta International Airport.  San Jose has almost a million people population, slightly more than San Francisco.  Now you know all the facts! :)

A  Bay Area resident for 15 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Chris Leipelt
On November 25, 2015 at 4:27 PM, Guest Shyu said:

Do we have KRHV?

We need Reid Hillview to be included in the Golden Gate scenery. Really surprised he included KHAF and not KRHV.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi, I love this entire scenery package. I do have one issue, though (I bought the KSFO scenery on 2 April, order #324283). The bridges all show traffic on top of the water underneath the bridge. The Golden Gate shows traffic in one direction on the bridge but the traffic in the opposite direction runs on top of the water.  Any idea what I am doing wrong?  Thank you so much for your help and I apologize if this is not the correct way to ask for help.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, gilcandia said:

Hi, I love this entire scenery package. I do have one issue, though (I bought the KSFO scenery on 2 April, order #324283). The bridges all show traffic on top of the water underneath the bridge. The Golden Gate shows traffic in one direction on the bridge but the traffic in the opposite direction runs on top of the water.  Any idea what I am doing wrong?  Thank you so much for your help and I apologize if this is not the correct way to ask for help.

First thing is that this traffic issue is not your problem or an installation issue. I notified Tom Curtis about it on release, he said he was fixing it?  That update should have been done by your latest version?  I'll check it out.  SD

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...