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Plugin Review : XPRealistic Pro v2.0 by rk Apps - Realism effects Three years ago a new application by the name of XPRealistic was released by rk Apps. X-Plane in various sorts has always had dynamic effects or in this case screen movements in like with turbulence or shakes when you moved along the runway, and one of the better ones was Headshake by Simcoders which was very good but also quite limited in what you could set with it. rk Apps newer version was to be a more global (in aircraft variety) and a more customised tool in the larger range of effects available. FlywithLua I was a very early adopter of XPRealistic - XPR and really loved this exceptional plugin of effects, and that aspect was certainly received just as well all around in the X-Plane community, the plugin was clever and well designed, but it had one fatal flaw. The plugin worked through using a host plugin and in this case it was the FlywithLua plugin or FWL. There was no actual issues with XPRealistic's portion of the plugin, but the problem with FWL was that it used as it's namesake suggests in the .Lua scripting. Where conflicts arose was that the .Lua scripting is also the main source of dynamics through mostly the SASL system of virtually every operation that you use to fly your aircraft. So FWL was soon conflicting badly with the aircraft you were flying, and mostly through poor or other bad scripts running in the FWL plugin. In my case that meant that FWL had to simply come out of my plugins folder, with the loss of FWL that also created the loss of XPRealistic as well. A lot of users swear by FWL but personally I never really liked it, because it always had the habit of being the main source of ruining a good simulation. rk Apps were very aware of this nasty FWL issue, but to fix it it would require a full rewrite of the plugin, and here is that now independent plugin version rewritten in CC+ in v2.0 of XPRealistic Pro. XPRealistic Pro v2.0 Overall if you already have the original v1.0 of XPRealistic or XPR then in a lot of ways it is a very similar application, which is good as well. But there are also a few significant changes. Installation is highly simplified from the install of scripts in FWL, as you just now install the XPR application directly into your X-Plane/Resources/Plugins folder. Pull down your X-Plane/ Menu/Plugins and there it is... there are now only two XPR selections, with Disabled and Control Panel. The new menu is quite significantly different from the early original version as it uses the default X-Plane pop-up layout, but also loses the very nice transparency feel of the original v1.0 menu layout. Personally I am not against this far better layout design as in areas the older v1.0 was getting a little or was a slightly complicated interface... the new version is a far more cleaner and an easier to use interface. Four tabs are now available: Effects, Profiles, Settings and About. XPR works by setting a certain effect in either a shake or a noise relating to an action on the aircraft or it's current environment, it is a very clever reactive tool. These effects are saved in "Profiles" that can be found in the Profile Folder in the application folder for that particular aircraft, these "Profiles" are managed in the Profile tab. Profile On loading any aircraft in X-Plane then XPR will create a profile for that aircraft. You have the choice to turn that aircraft's "Profile" on/off via a "Master Switch", or at any time reset the profile to default. The most interesting factor is that you can use another all ready set up profile for the aircraft you have just loaded via the "Choose Profile" menu and then link it to your current aircraft. This means that carefully created profiles can easily be distributed between aircraft without having to start again from scratch with every aircraft. In this case I have already set up my Boeing 733 profile, but will now add those profiles over the MD-80 aircraft. Another option is to "Copy" from another profile as a basis for your current aircraft. Say you want to have all the same profiles of the B733, but want to add in a few changes to suit the MD-80 without changing the original B733 profile... "Copy" allows you to do this action. Settings The setting tab cover Multi-Monitor, Freeze-mode, Master Volume and Visual Offsets related to X-Plane default offset settings. Missing from the new menu is... Always Start for (aircraft), Are You Using TrackIR (TrackIR is still supported), Are You Using X-Camera (X-Camera is still supported) and Active Profile. So the layout of the settings is now very slimmed down. The Activation (Product Key) is also inserted here, but you can get a 7 Day Demo Free trial to experience XPRealistic Pro. Settings The About tab gives you your current version, v2.07, and internet links to the Manual, Official Website, Official Forum, Facebook Page and Support. Effects There are forty Effects and choices of 120 Sound Effects now to choose from and that is up from 26 effects in the v1.0, so there are fourteen new effects in v2.0 with a few discarded. New or changed effects which are are highlighted as these are the same effects but have been renamed into their own separate category. (1) Airframe Wind - (2) Airport Ambiance (3) Auto Speed Brake - (4) Blade Slapping (Heli) - (5) Brakes - (6) CAT (Clear Air Turbulance) - (7) Cockpit Ambiance - (8) Engine Startup - (9) Engine Vibration - (10) Flaps drag - (11) Flaps Lever - (12) Flaps Stress - (13) Floats Splash - (14) G-Force (effects) - (15) Gear Drag - (16) Grass Strip - (17) Ground effect - (18) Ground roll - (19) Ground Shakings - (20) Head Anticipation - (21) Natural Movements - (22) Over G - (23) Overspeed - (27) Reverse Thrust - (28) Sneezing - (29) Speed Brake Drag - (30) Stall Buffet - (31) Stick Shake Sound - (32) Surface Turbulence - (33) Touch Down Front - (34) Touch Down Main - (35) Turbulence Shakings - (36) VR (Virtual Reality) - (37) Water Ambience (38) Wheel Well - (39) Windshield Rain - (40) Windshield Wind Renaming and separating certain effects has simplified the effects menu. The actual interface of each effect has been simplified as well, and this makes selection and application of that effect far easier to do as well. Each effect has a "Preview" button and an Activate or Deactivate switch... with the "Preview switched on you can see the effects of that particular effect and the changes (or in most cases the shakes) and the preview will show any of the changes of the effect sliders. Happy with your selection then just press "Done" to lock the effect in. I found this an easy to use arrangement and far, far easier to set up the effects that I liked and to switch off the ones I didn't need, but note a lot of the effects are for certain conditions, like the Grass Strip would not be used on an airliner, and the Floats Splash would certainly not be used on an airliner! Sliders can be simple adjustment tool to quite a lot of the selections and choices, and many have the unique slider to start the effect at a certain throttle % which is excellent for say runway takeoffs were as the rumble starts (builds) later, than at the start of the takeoff roll and in so creating a more realistic effect. A lot of selections also allow for multiple choices of a particular sound or effect, say a runway sound to suit a certain aircraft between a light GA to a very heavy airliner. Airliner Heavy aircraft effects are harder to get right unlike say a shaky noisy C172SP. The movements are more subtle but add in the right effects and you can effectively bring the aircraft to life. I did a basic set up on the Boeing 737-300, but used the same profile over on the MD-80. One of the huge benefits are that all the effects can be adjusted on the run or fly, this allows you to adjust or tweak the effect to the current situation with the Preview function. So if say there is too much movement on the ground roll you can easily wind it back to a more subtle feel, and some of the effects are very violent. You would say I was a full up slider kind of person, when in fact I am the opposite, as I look for the realistic subtle movements more than the violent heavy shaking ones, I find the overall experience far more realistic that way. One seriously violent effect is the engine startup. I was not a big fan of this effect even in the v1.0 set of effects. It feels or worse sounds like you are starting up a WW1 biplane, with a load of rattles, they are not really the sounds of starting up a JT8D-209 turbofan is it? so it still stays switched off. Engine Vibrations are always one I liked, but they are only more noticeable on takeoff. Natural Movements are the movements of breathing, or that slight rise and fall, and one I like a lot, but it is subtle effect, more on this effect later. Head Anticipation is another debatable effect. It works very well but sometimes too well. Turn a corner with taxi or do a bank in the air and your view moves directly into the turn... the issue for me is that it takes my eyes away from the instruments at a critical phase, for absolute hand flying though the effect is exhilarating, as you move into the turn with your eyes first and then come back to the centre with the straight ahead position, I personally keep the here adjustments extremely low, but mostly I also turn it off altogether. Cockpit shakings are a set of vibrations I campaigned for. The idea is for some slight vibrations that give the sense of movement, or in this case taxiing along the taxiway, here it creates a nice rumble with a slight vibration I really like. Brakes give you that push-pull feel that is a pretty common effect in X-Plane... There are three different sound choices with brake squeals. On takeoff you get the full monty of a load of effects with, Engine Vibrations, Ground Rolls, Ground Shakings and like noted all the vibrations and shakes can be set to come in to effect at a certain throttle position %, good... brilliant. The shakes can continue into the climb, to a point you have to be careful in that you don't overdo the effects, as too much shaking is not realistic and worse is you can't adjust the aircraft's knobs as they are vibrating around too much... ditto the Head Anticipation, as here below are the settings switched on and off in the same tight bank. As you clean the aircraft up, a lot of the noise and vibrations will go away, you are reducing the flap shake and gear drag. As you retract the gear there is a "Wheel Well" effect for sound as the still spinning wheels fill the cockpit. If you increase the speed there is a very nice engine vibration until the power climb settles down again, I love a lot of vibration in the climb... is that realistic, I think so. Airframe Wind has five sound choices, and that really helps out when some aircraft have lousy wind noises... ... The "Sneezing" is a violent vibration, and a few times is enough, a random event here however would be nice... The most interesting is Turbulence is now noted under "Turbulence Shakings". But Turbulence is only effective if there is effectively some turbulence, were as I like the idea of low-frequency vibrations that creates the feel of a moving aircraft... ... the Natural Movements of breathing really help in the air of creating a more alive aircraft, but you are missing that slight motion vibration? The problem with airliners compared to a light GA aircraft is that they are quite smooth, but they still vibrate as they move through the air. I missed this factor in v1.0, and had hoped it would have been included here... you can sort of replicate the effect by using a "preview" setting "Ground Speed" with the movement (shake) set at 1. There are however a lot of choices in the random Turbulence with Six Rumbles and seven Shakings. One interesting effect is CAT or Clear Air Turbulence. This effect is very effective and you can set the % of shaking and the persistence, but you can't control the when or where? Still it is the old favorites give you the biggest kick... Speed Brake Drag is one of my favorites, but again making the effect too violent is not realistic... ... if you are willing to keep the rumble down in the low numbers the rewards are higher, just having that "seat of the pants" feel as the aircraft now slightly more shakes as you activate the airbrakes and that gives you a much more realistic feel to your flying. My big two effects are of course very similar to the Speedbrake drag, in the Flap Drag and Gear Drag. This is when the vibrations really come in and the noise levels goes up... ... they are both quite similar in set up and also settings with a movement slider and rumbles, I do have them set higher than they should be, but I love the feedback they both give to the airframe. There comes the valid point of where does one effect counter out another, or worse counter out the effects that came with the aircraft itself. Yes some effects are very good at replacing the average ones on the aircraft, and like with the X-Plane default Boeing 737-800 it can bring the aircraft alive... but here the Rotate MD-80 has some pretty good effects built in (mostly in sounds) and so you don't want to lose those aspects of the aircraft, another point is that a lot of the aircraft also come with stall, stick shaker effects built in, so you must either switch them off or adjust each other effect to match... ... however having your machine vibrate and rumble around you on finals is a seriously great experience, and yes it does add in a huge immersion factor in when trying to replicate rougher weather conditions. Another set of favorites are the Main and front gear touchdown effects, again not to have a huge crash and shake effect (unless you really do have a huge crash and shake landing) is more realistic, but I do have the sliders more to the heavy shake than not as I like the contact effect... ... throw in Speedbrake effects, huge reverse thrust effects and even a few G-Forces to make your contact with the ground memorable. The effect tool here is of course highly adjustable and that is a point... with forty settings to adjust and sort out it will take time to get the perfect setting profile you really like, as noted when done you can then use that profile on another aircraft as a starting point of setting up the effects to suit that airframe, so expect a fair amount of time in experimenting. Usually you will do most actually on the fly (no pun intended) or tuning as you go... you will oddly be never satisfied, and will always do a tweak here and a tweak there. General Aviation I tried out a few of the XPRealistic Pro effects on my trusty Bonanza with say... great effect. A new default start was a good place to reset the settings. The "Engine Startup" shakes were actually pretty good, and I liked the "Engine Vibrations"... you can be obviously a bit more rigorous in the movements, but still don't push the shaking into false or unbelievability territory. There are effects that I wouldn't use in the airliner, but are willing to use them in the Bonanza... A trip across the grass brings out sound effects of bangs and rattles within the Beechcraft's airframe, and I will leave on the swooning Head Anticipation to get more movement in the pilot's seat, but again it is a very debatable effect as it can easily disorientate you badly and to the point of confusing you and sending you into the ground on takeoff... Overcast and blustery conditions are perfect to push the F33A into it's limited parameters, 16 kts of wind is going to be fun! Before I even get up to rock and roll shakes at 8,000 ft there is a lovely mild shaking glareshield to focus on, and in reality that is all you really want, is that feel of movement from the pilot's seat and to know you are moving through the air at 140 kts. Climbing up to 8,000 ft and the turbulence settings were set to violent at 73, so I reduced them down to 35 and it felt perfect... in a bouncy way. Like noted you tend to adjust the profile every time you fly until spot on, it is a tweakers heaven. Want more wind noise, then just adjust the slider. With a severe 7 knt cross wind the little Bonanza was being buffeted around badly on approach... you really need to concentrate because your vision is being manipulated more than the aircraft is moving, because your head is attached to your body and not to the aircraft's frame, your body is moving in motion to the buffeting, but with far more sway than the aircraft... I hope you don't get seasick, because that is what it feels like... ... the trouble is you tend to overcompensate for the movement of your head and not for the actual aircraft... realistic, very much so, but turn the XPR plugin off and you then realise on how much you are actually being manipulated. Again it is up to you to find that right balance between absolute realism and the artificial feel... the devil is in the profile detail. And I always find it is in the very low numbers and the sliders always to the far left than the severe movements of the right. Overall with XPRealistic Pro running you have to adjust to a new way of flying of even the most familiar aircraft like my Bonanza F33A. Last thoughts are that there are altogether now forty different effects, and to a point unless you go through every one of them... in turning them off then back on again and noting that effect, then there is a lot of different effects that you don't know are overriding other. In time you do sort of get a feel for the keeping the right effects and shutting off the others like I did with v1.0... but it can take time to refine that process, somehow you do wish there was more of a guide to getting the right already set profile for that aircraft, not for everyone in your aircraft folder, but certainly for the most popular aircraft we fly, if anything these profiles can also be a guide to start from as a default. __________________________ Summary Three years ago XPRealistic came into our dynamic world and created clever vibration, motion and sound effects for X-Plane. It was and still is a very popular plugin, but it did have at the time one fatal flaw in that it used the FlyWithLua plugin as a host. This is version 2 or XPRealistic Pro 2 and this new version has been completely rewritten to be now a plugin in it's own merit and not rely on the very toxic FlyWithLua plugin. This rewrite now in CC+ also brings with it a lot of positive changes in an easy installation, a new and cleaner interface, easier manipulation of the effects and dynamic preview of the effect that made the original application a bit complex and with a complicated interface, in the bargain you also lose the nice transparent interface. Version 2 has now 40 effects and choices of 120 Sound Effects, up from 26 effects in v1.0 and a few have been renamed or amalgamated under a new effect, and basically they are split between vibration, movement effects and sound effects, but all are excellent for use in a wide range of aircraft including airliners, general aviation, seaplane and even helicopters. XPRealistic Pro has full integration with X-Camera and is also highly VR -Virtual Reality compatible. There are no negatives here, but it can take time to refine the high multitude of effects to your particular liking or to suit an aircraft, some effects override other effects and can also override the effects and sounds that come with the actual donor aircraft, so some skill is required on mixing all the different profiles effectively. XPRealistic Pro 2's application can transform any aircraft in X-Plane dynamically. It is now a highly polished application that has a huge amount of benefits to your flying experience, I am a huge fan of the idea and of the XPRealistic Pro plugin.... Highly Recommended. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The XPRealistic Pro v2.0 by rk Apps is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : XPRealistic Pro v2.0 Your Price: US$34.99 If you have already purchased the XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9. You can update to v2.0 for only $4.99. Please use the coupon code found in your original v1 invoice. Features Stand-alone plugin, written in C++ Vulkan ready Growing list of 40 effects Over 120 sound effects Multi-monitor support VR support (stable ASW 45 fps are required) fps friendly, zero to none fps impact Top of the art user interface Compatible with X-Camera ASXP (From XP B7467 beta and up) TrackIR Most of aircraft addons Requirements Windows, Mac . Not compatible with Linux at this time Download Size: 550 MB Current version : 2.08 (June 14th 2020) : Review Version : 2.07 (June 13th 2020) Note: Version 1 owners can get the new version 2 for only $4.99. Please use the coupon code found in your original v1 invoice X-Camera (optional but recommended) Support forum for XPRealistic Pro Installation and documents: Installation is to simply install the plugin in your X-Plane/Resources/Plugins Folder. Documents: XPRealistic V2 Manual (12 pages) _________________________________________________ Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton 14th June 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews (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 - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and X-Plane 11.50b10 (works fine in the beta) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - MD-80 Pro by Rotate (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95 - F33A Bonanza XP11 by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95 - LIRF - Airport Rome by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95 - LEBL - Barcelona Airport XP11 by JustSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.00 - Barcelona City by Logo Projects (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95