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Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design

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Seattle City XP_Header.jpg

 

Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design

 

This Seattle City XP scenery is one pack of the two packages that cover the full area that makes up Puget Sound in the far north of the American west. The second package covers the main five airports in the Seattle Airports XP Pack, X-PlaneReviews will cover those airports and their details in a follow on review.

 

Obviously the two packages have been created to work flawlessly together to cover all aspects of this significant area and it's very rich aviation history, but if you wish you can still use this city scenery portion with some good freeware airports if your cash flow is not for say "forthcoming", as the whole set of the two packages can add up to the significant cost of US$67.00. The views taken in this review are of the full two packages installed together, so any freeware airport sceneries will look a little different (mostly in the distance) if you have those items installed rather than the Seattle Airports XP pack.

 

Drzewiecki Design have undoubtably become the foremost scenery developers on delivering custom city scenery for X-Plane. Past impressive scenery packages includes their Washington DC XP, New York City XP, Warsaw City XP and their very impressive Moscow City XP scenery, and in that even makes you to actually want to visit such a far away destination as Russia.

 

The major point to make that these sceneries are not just focused on airports or facilities, but whole complete areas including the city itself and the surrounding airports. The trick is that the whole in the full expansive area is to not make your computer burn a hole in the ground beneath itself, but to actually cope with all that extensive processing in that all the sceneries are refined together as that one whole. So there is always going to a trade off between full absolute detail and the best performance you can get with the full package installed, overall I think Drzewiecki Design have delivered an outstanding job in this area, but to note that also still depends on the power of your computer and graphic card.

Again the option of the Seattle City scenery and freeware lite airports can help in areas were as your computer is not that powerful and you can still get a welcome use out of the package. If you do run the complete set of packages, then another option is to lower your texture quality to the "high" setting, you lose a little visual quality and get a slight blur but with the size of these city scenerie packages then that setting is usually the normal one...  hopefully the coming Vulkan/Metal API changes may allow you to go back up the slider. But the graphic numbers still do count in that 8351mb at Maximum, and 2855mb at the High setting for the complete installed twin packages, it is only one step on the graphic slider, but it is still a very high jump in numbers and small loss in quality.

 

Seattle City XP

From the very outset, you have to be aware of what the scenery consists of all the notable buildings and the city infrastructure of Seattle of which they are all very well represented here, but the buildings are quite basic in design with only a few highly customised objects like the iconic Seattle "Space Needle", but there are still 2000 custom-made objects positioned in the city and other areas of the scenery package and the mesh even covers and creates a detailed Mount Rainier. You have to really accept this compromise to get any sort of efficiency out of the scenery, and overall the effects of this approach is very minimal with the best in not only efficiency range and and still get those excellent visual aspects.

 

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The actual Seattle custom photographic scenery covers an extremely large area. From North Everett in the north, right down to Federal Way in the south and out east to Redmond. The size and scope of this scenery however catches up with X-Plane's limited basic autogen layouts....  If you say sit/park your aircraft out at KSEA - Seattle Intl. and move your viewpoint over to the city, then the autogen stops quite abruptly just by the Space Needle? (seen here below right), ditto at night as this causes a black hole in the roads lighting networks to the north. Certainly flying over the city has no effect with the full and very effective autogen at your disposal, but landing at KSEA from south at night it is noticeable?

 

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Autogen working (below left) and the overall city effect is astounding. The Space Needle itself is excellent with animated lifts running up the external structure and a detailed two level interior.

 

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The most detailed area is south Seattle and the Harbor Island docks. Standouts are the two stadiums in "Century Link Field" and "Safeco Field"

 

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For VFR flying the stadiums are very best visual reference with their distinct roofs...

 

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...   the "Port of Seattle" Harbor Island docks is also very impressive, most scenery developers just add in a few cranes and do not do a lot of the required dockside clutter, but you get everything here and it looks very and highly realistic.

 

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Seattle's famous wharf's are all covered with the Pier 55, Miners Landing and the Seattle Aquarium all represented...

 

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...  the Minors Landing "Great" wheel is animated, if moving very slowly. The "Coleman Dock" ferry terminal is well done and complete with the boarding gantries...

 

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...   and also represented is the Coast Guard wharf. There are available H helipads for Elliott park, Broadcast House Helistop, Komo TV, 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza and Harborview Medical Center.

 

Lake Union with "West Lake" and "South Union Lake" are covered with the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) building set at the south of the lake.

 

Seattle City XP_Seattle 25.jpgSeattle City XP_Seattle 26.jpg

 

Redmond

17 kilometers or 11 miles east of Seattle is Redmond. The city is the home of Microsoft, Amazon and Nintendo of America and other various high profile tech companies.

 

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Mostly in Redmond except for the branded Microsoft Building it is just Hi-Rise buildings, nothing custom, but the city skyline does give you a great visual reference when flying into KSEA from the north or east, I did find a few floating buildings to viewable to the west of the CBD.

 

Federal Way

25 miles to the south (and way past KSEA) in Tacoma is "Emerald Downs" a horse racing center...

 

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... because of it's very visual VFR reference and for any approach into Sea-Tac from the south the racetrack has been created, it is certainly very visual item and well done with the light industry surroundings.

 

Night lighting

Drzewiecki Design has decided to light the city areas from the ground and not to use the usual reflective X-Plane lighting, although the street lighting is in place to add in to that aspect. This is a very brave thing to do as to get it wrong and it can seriously ruin a great scenery...  but here they get away with that idea and the city looks spectacular. As noted if the autogen is not active, then in certain city areas it can be very dark and ground blank?

 

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The Seattle city lighting textures are very good and the city night view is highly realistic...

 

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...  The Space Needle looks brilliant, but the Carnival cruise liner is gaudy beyond belief, but the ship is animated and very slowly disappears into the sound.

 

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Overall the night lighting gives you a real sense of arrival with a big city feel, simply great views on the northern approaches into Sea-Tac and this is currently one of the best American city sceneries now available for X-Plane11.

 

Summary

Part of a two part package from Drzewiecki Design, this pack covers the City of Seattle in the American far northwest. The full Seattle City XP and the combined Seattle Airports XP Pack is quite an impressive coverage of this very exciting from an aviation point of view VFR area. You can if you don't want to purchase the whole package still use this city scenery with other relative local airport sceneries and most probably with the freeware or global versions, and even in that context this scenery will give you a good to very good representation of Seattle. 

 

The scenery itself is excellent, if still created with high efficiency in mind, so don't go looking for extreme detailing, but as an overall skyline and for excellent VFR visuals then it is an excellent addition to your X-Plane11 city scenery collection.

 

Laminar Research's autogen is also now showing its boundaries with area sceneries of this larger scale. The autogen's lines and boundaries are now being shown, and lower texture settings are required to get the best overall performance from the scenery and the area.

 

In content the scenery covers all the major attractions and buildings in Seattle, custom buildings and stadiums are included as well as a highly detailed and animated Space Needle, other areas covered include Redmond and the far south down to Federal Way with a detailed Mount Rainier which is also included.

 

Seattle is home to Boeing, one of the biggest aircraft companies in the world with a long and rich history, and so the city is important to represent the area to X-Plane users...  this Seattle City XP is certainly an investment, but a very highly regarded one in to which to build the best X-Plane scenery you can assemble into recreating the best flying world around you, either in the smaller general aviation aircraft or the bigger more powerful jet aircraft, flying around Puget Sound from now on with this scenery installed, will never be the same again...  only now better, far better. Highly Recommended.

 

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Yes!...  Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Seattle City XP

 

Price is US$24.00

 

Features:
 
  • Seattle, Washington scenery with over 2000 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas, trains, containers and other objects, all with night textures. Mount Rainier is also included.
  • Large scenery area (Federal Way – Everett – Redmond) with night textures and a detailed autogen as well as seaplane bases (W55 and S60) and heliports
  • Highly advanced performance-friendly design
  • Added H helipads for Elliott park, Broadcast House Helistop, Komo TV, 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza and Harborview Medical Center.

 

Recommended for use with:

 

Seattle Airports XP

 

Price is US$43.00

 

 

Requirements :

X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Download size: 1.2Gb
Current version: 1.1 (September 6th 2018)
 
Download and Installation
Installation :   Download file size is 1.12gb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Custom Scenery Folder. Installed file size is 4.34gb. Package comes with installers for both Win (.exe) and Mac-Linux, and be sure you download the correct version for your system.
 
If both the Seattle City XP and Airport scenery XP files are installed then the correct .INI order is required, but the installer will arrange that for you.
 
Extras and Documents:
 
  • SEATTLE_CITY_XP_MANUAL.pdf
  • Mac and Linux manual install - Russian.pdf
  • Mac and Linux manual install - Polish.pdf
  • Mac and Linux manual install - English.pdf

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Review by Stephen Dutton

7th September 2018 

Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews

 

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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 - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.25r2

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.09 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

- Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
 

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