Scenery Update : KSLC - Salt Lake City International v1.5 by ShortFinal Design
In April 2017 mister6x made the jump from freeware to payware with this rendition of KSLC - Salt Lake City International and also at the same time a change to the formal name of ShortFinal Design. As a debut scenery then KSLC - Salt Lake City International was a sensational release in every respect including the sub-$25 price. But in two and a half years a lot can change in the X-Plane simulator and so also has ShortFinal design. Significant was the release last year of Short Final design's EDDM - Munich which was a masterpiece (and won our best airport scenery of the year 2019), it wasn't so much the high detail, but also in the way that ShortFinal had mastered the X-Plane11 dynamic features and the same airport was also the first third party to apply in a scenery the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager to great effect. The problem was EDDM - Munich rendered every other Short Final scenery to be a little dated so an update for SLC is now required, and here it is.
Overall the airport in this v1.5 you will find it's layout is virtually unchanged which is a good thing
There was not a lot of the first release of Short Final's KSLC scenery to moan about, as it was all a very high quality airport, but the one area that didn't quite work was that the scenery didn't fit in to the landscape very well. There are several reasons, but the main reason is that the default mesh and textures around Salt Lake are not of what you would call high quality... fair enough. But Short Final also created many blank areas around the airport that didn't help in blending it in with the background that worked either. With this v1.5 release a lot of those blank green areas have been adjusted, but a few blank areas are still there on the north and south approaches, at SLC airport itself these blank areas are part of the salt lake (white pools of salt) and are still noticeable...
.... but however one of the biggest eyesores has been addressed. The area behind the General Aviation area that connects out to the city autogen has had a photo texture fill and it works very well in reducing the isolation factor of the airport from the city and in the actual texture mesh. It is a flat ground texture with no 3d buildings, but thankfully it all works very well. So the biggest issue I had with the scenery has been addressed, I do note I am using Short Final's excellent SFD Global texture package, and that also goes a long way in replacing the original poor mesh textures of the Salt Lake area.
SAM - Scenery Animation Manager
The first release of Short Final's KSLC had a variation of "Marginal's" autogate and docking guidance plugin. But now the docking system has been changed to the more adaptable Stairport SAM - Scenery Animation Manager like with Short Final's EDDM, and very good it is as well...
... you get a marshaller guiding you into the bay, then the menu connection to the aircraft. I thought this would have taken away the excellent featured Docking Guidance System (DGS) at KSLC, but no... it is still here and it has been adapted over to the SAM system.
The Traffic Light system is so well done and great to use, beautifully reproduced here it shows a real attention to detail...
..... bay airport information boards are still very good as well and they show current local time, air pressure (inHg) and current air temperature (ºC).
Like again the dynamic Munich you now have the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) on the ground and with the building textures at SLC...
... you could call them reflections, but the process is a bit more involved than that to bring out the materials and texture feel and realism. Glass was already reflective, but now add in the terminal design with the refined PBR materials and the the WOW factor kicks in.
It is the sheer realism of everything that now brings the airport alive. The process is used also the refine the textures with down-scaled normal maps so that they now are more efficient as well, so you get the best of both worlds of not only dynamic realism, but a higher framerate in scenery use as well... I think it is known as a WIN-WIN.
Beautiful light spill has been added to the navigation taxiway signage, this is another use of PBR to it's maximum effect.
Short Final's v1.5 has also been dynamically adjusted to use SAM seasons and the TerraMAXX concept, I use the xEnviro seasonal adjustment for the same effect, and it is exceptional... Summer and Winter versions are also available.
Short Final were always the leader in excellent clutter, and SLC is one of the best and the MisterX Library is required. Everything is here, Ice deployment trucks, graders, snowploughs and all the airport service vehicles are all locally branded, not only to airlines (plural) but SLC branding as well, all the quality vehicles have also been retextured for PBR. Also included is the Salt Lake City Skyline which is untouched but still very effective.
As noted the main terminal and ground layouts remains unchanged, but it didn't need any adjustment or changes anyway, but you do get the more slightly darker PBR textures on the buildings and the ground and you could call it "nitty gritty", and it does certainly enhance the overall SLC scenery to a more and higher realism.
Only released two and a halve years ago, ShortFinal's (aka mister6x) statement scenery in KSLC - Salt Lake City International was at the time the best in many areas, but ShortFinal topped themselves with the extraordinary EDDM - Munich last year 2019 and so now SLC also gets the same dynamic and feature based tools and treatment as the German airport.
The focus in this v1.5 update is on the dynamics and the application of PBR or Physically Based Rendering on all the textures. This makes the ground and buildings reflective but also dynamic to sunlight and environmental lighting conditions. Add in season effects and taxiway spill lighting and you have a very effective and highly realistic scenery.
Other areas have had attention including new clutter PBR textures, and the replacement of the older Marginal autogate and docking guidance plugin with the more versitile Stairport SAM - Scenery Animation Manager that is also featured with it's seasonal effects, TerraMAXX and X-Enviro season effects now also work as well. Touchup of the surrounding blank mesh has been replaced by photo textures, but there are still a few blank areas, but overall KSLC blends in the landscape far better than with the original release.
ShortFinal has a reputation as one of the very best scenery developers in X-Plane. They deliver quality scenery, all the latest features and dynamics at a huge value price, and you can't really can't pass a great deal like that up... SLC is a must have!
The KSLC - Salt Lake City International v1.5 by ShortFinal Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :
KSLC-Salt Lake City International
Your Price: US$24.95
Accurate rendition of KSLC
Highly accurate scenery for KSLC – Salt Lake City International Airport and parts of Salt Lake City
Accurate models for all terminals, hangars, and other buildings
Terminals with 3D interiors
Buildings and vehicles with PBR materials
Baked Ambient Occlusion
Custom high resolution ground textures
High resolution photo scenery (15cm/px)
Animated and populated Airport
Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic)
Animated jetways and custom DGS unique to KSLC using the Scenery Animation Manager (SAM) plugin
Randomly placed static aircraft, can be easily toggled off in the X-Plane settings
Summer and winter version
Weather effects on the ground for rain and snow
X-Plane 11 (fully updated. not compatible with XP10)
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download size: 1.2 GB
Current version and Review version: 1.5 (January 2nd 2020)
Installation and documents:
MisterX Library can be installed to get a larger selection of static aircraft.
Stairport SAM v2.02 animation plugin is required for this scenery: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/49066-sam-scenery-animation-manager/
SFD Global is recommended
Documents : Manual supplied but no charts
v1.5 Update Log txt KSLC v1.5 Log.txt
Review by Stephen Dutton
8th January 2020
(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 - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD
Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52
Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini
Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe GHD plugin : SFD Global - Global Textures : WT3 - WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : SAM Plugin - Free
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