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Scenery Review: EHRD Rotterdam Airport by RDPresets


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Scenery Review: EHRD Rotterdam Airport by RDPresets


Introduction

Hello and welcome to my very first X-Plane writeup for XPlaneReviews. Some of you probably know me from my PM library here at the org, so it gives me great pleasure to write a review on something dear to my heart…scenery design. 

 

Rotterdam The Hague Airport, is an international airport serving Rotterdam, the Netherlands' second largest city, and The Hague, its administrative and royal capital. It is located 3 NM north northwest of Rotterdam in South Holland and is the second busiest airport in the Netherlands.


The airport handled over 2.1 million passengers in 2019 and features scheduled flights to European metropolitan and leisure destinations, Transavia being the largest operator at the airport. It is also used extensively by general aviation and there are several flying clubs, a skydiving club, and a flight training school located at the airport.


Installation
After purchasing the product from the store, I downloaded the zip file and promptly extracted it. The size of the zip was about 2.6 GB which is quite large for an airport scenery. After extracting the file, I ran the exe file contained within the folder. The installation process requires you to insert your serial number, which is supplied to you via email and once done it's just a simple case of installing the scenery into X-Plane’s Custom Scenery directory. 


Upon loading Rotterdam for the very first time, I noticed there were no objects of any kind to be seen. Having experienced this before, I had a good idea of the reason behind it. A quick look at my scenery_pack.ini confirmed my suspicions, the library which was needed for the scenery to work was installed above the airport. As we all know, scenery libraries (due to how X-Plane works), need to be installed below any airports. Unfortunately, in the case of Rotterdam, this had not happened, and the scenery had loaded without any objects. After a quick and simple edit of the scenery_packs.ini file, I loaded up the scenery again, and lo and behold there was the airport in all its glory. Strangely I did get an error message informing me that the scenery might not display correctly but decided to ignore it as all the assets were installed.


Walkabout
One of the first things I like to do when looking at a new airport scenery is to view it from above, and this is what I did with Rotterdam. The scenery itself comes with its very own ortho, but for the purpose of this review, I have also included a larger ortho of the surrounding scenery, plus simHeaven's excellent X-Europe enhancement. If you've never used this freeware add-on before, then I highly recommend checking it out as it really enhances X-Plane, especially if you use ortho tiles.

 

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Rotterdam airport looks pretty good when viewed from above, and the included ortho works well. All of the buildings, including the main passenger terminal, hangars, and maintenance facilities seem to be accurately placed. One aspect of the airport which I was surprised by, was the large solar array running the length of the runway (let’s hope they get plenty of sunshine).  

 

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Going down to ground level allows us to see the airport in more detail. Here you will see maintenance vehicles, including fuel trucks and Ford Transits, plus the usual airport clutter. Whilst the vehicles themselves look good; it would have been nice to have seen a bit more variety as they all look the same. 

 

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Texturing for the apron area was good with plenty of weathering on show to make the airport look used.

 

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Unfortunately, it was here that I witnessed one of my pet hates, there were no people present!  

 

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An airport such as Rotterdam should have people. You don't have to have a lot, maybe just some marshallers, or perhaps a few passengers getting on a plane. Unfortunately, I didn't see any and it was a real shame because the airport could really do with them. Perhaps in future updates, the developer could look at this and include a few people as it would greatly enhance the scenery.


The main airport terminal of Rotterdam has been recreated reasonably well in terms of its 3D modelling. However, the texturing is not the best I have seen. From a distance, they look quite good, but when viewed up close, the textures soon begin to lose clarity. They could also do with some weathering as they look too clean and artificial. Again, perhaps this is something the developer could look at. 

 

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Many of the other buildings situated close to the terminal exhibit the same kind of modeling and texturing, and while it’s good enough for a freeware scenery, for a payware product, I think it needs to be upped a notch.  Don't get me wrong, the modeling is good, it's just that the texturing could really do with being worked on.

 

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The photographic ortho tile on which the buildings have been placed is of good quality and for the most part, works well. Trees are positioned in their corresponding areas as are signs along the road, and from above these areas look good.

 

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However, there are a few places where the ortho doesn't work, namely the airport car parks. In my humble opinion, using ortho imagery for these areas is notoriously difficult, as to make them believable, you have to place numerous (and varied) vehicles over the area in question. Unfortunately, in the case of Rotterdam, the result was not as good as it could have been. 

 

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Night Lighting
Night lighting was a bit of a mixed bag as there were some parts of the scenery that looked good, but there were also plenty of areas where improvement was needed. Dynamic lighting around the main apron worked reasonably well, albeit a bit dim. The biggest problem I encountered was with the lit textures for some of the main buildings as they just don’t look good in X-Plane 11.  

 

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Performance
I found the performance at Rotterdam (for the most part) very good, especially on my low-end system. The only issue I encountered was if I ventured over to the side of the runway where large amounts of 3D grass had been placed. For higher-end users, this area would no doubt not be an issue, but for users with aging systems, it’s something to bear in mind as you cannot disable it.  Overall, the scenery ran very smoothly, and I was pleased with its performance.   


Documentation
Unfortunately, try as I might, I could find no documentation whatsoever.    

 

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Conclusion
As an amateur who has occasionally dabbled in creating freeware scenery, I know how difficult it is to recreate an airport in X-Plane, especially a large one such as Rotterdam, and as such, it’s not for the faint-hearted. When you factor in custom-made 3D objects, plus ortho imagery, it suddenly gets beyond my pay grade.


However, Rotterdam airport is not a freeware scenery, it's payware, which means you are parting with your hard-earned cash. Priced at $21, the scenery (compared to quite a number I have purchased in the past), is on the higher end of the scale, so with that factored in, do I recommend you go out and purchase this scenery? Well, in its current state I would have to say no, as unfortunately there are just too many areas where the scenery requires work. However, in saying that, if the developer made the necessary changes, then I honestly believe Rotterdam Airport would make for a highly enjoyable scenery and one that I would have no hesitation in recommending.  

 

Regards

 

Paul

__________________________________

 

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EHRD - Rotterdam Airport by RDPresets is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:

 

EHRD - Rotterdam Airport

Price at time of writing $21.99

 

Features:

  • Highly detailed version of Rotterdam the Hague Airport.
  • Handcrafted 3D Objects
  • Accurate night lighting.
  • Accurate vliegclub area and new aeroclub building.
  • Hoog-Zestienhoven Industrial area modelled.
  • Airport Hotel Rotterdam
  • Brand new Fletcher Hotel in front of the Wings Hotel modelled.
  • Simple terminal interior.
  • Optimized performance.
  • Custom highly detailed ground textures.
  • Accurate area in front of the airport, featuring billboards, monument, flags, fuel station, full car parks.
  • Accurate taxiway, runway and apron featuring the recently added (Q) parkings.
  • PBR Materials throughout.

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows Only at this time
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 2.7 GB
Current version : 2.0 (May 12th 2020)

 

Review System Specifications:

Windows 10 64 Bit
Intel Core i5-3350p
CPU @ 3.10 GHz
16GB RAM
NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti

 

Scenery Review by Paul Mort
19th May 2022
Copyright©2022: 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) 

 

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