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Scenery Updates : CZST Stewart and CYBD Bella Coola v1.5 by X-Plane.Org Life throws up some weird coincidences... When I did the excellent Thranda Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter review back in June I went back to a very old scenery for two reasons, one was in how after all these years is if the scenery still held up to it's status of a winner of the scenery of the year award (2016), and two to try out the now running v11.50 (Vulkan) feature of reflections. I had even planned to use the second of this series sceneries in Bella Coola as a basis for Thranda's next project in the announced Beaver DH-2. Both of these sceneries have now been released under the XPOrg banner or X-Plane.Org. Both sceneries were originally created by Beti-x or Peter Kubek, but the developer has not been involved in simulator for now quite sometime, that aspect puts the scenery into a major conflict, in that in reality it can be seen as abandoned(ware). In most cases a lot of product would date and sometimes quite substantially from this period and gradually fade away. But CZST Stewart and CYBD Bella Coola are not your average sceneries, they are as mentioned award winning sceneries and also far more significant than that in that for their time, as both sceneries predicted the future of scenery development and in features as in detail. In this situation both of the sceneries rights have been bought out by the XP.Org and also revised to current standards, in this aspect the sceneries get a refresh, but more importantly they will survive and carry on well into the simulators future, in this case the XP.Org has to be applauded to save this outstanding work for generations to come from just being a lost cause to the past. I found that in using CZST Stewart in the PC-6 review was that the scenery had indeed faired extremely well. It was released six years ago at about the mid-development point of X-Plane10, and six years in X-Plane development time is an extremely long time for any product to survive without any updates and through the significant changes of texture quality, PBR (Physical Based Reflections), baked burnt-in ambient occlusion effects and metal/glass grading.... but survive well it did. The original CZST Stewart review is here: Scenery Review : CZST Stewart by beti-x CZST Stewart, British Columbia First differences between 2014 and 2020 is of the different atmospheric feel that you have, plus the water effect is now far, far better. Having the Vulkan reflection feature active is also a huge bonus in creating a very realistic panorama, it is a superb feature and not to be underestimated here in Stewart. The CZST airfield itself is located by the Portland Canal, tricky is a word in that both approaches require skill and nerve to get right, but they are also both in return highly rewarding for the pilot. Stewart has only one asphalt runway (more of a sealed gravel strip). 18/36 (3872ft)- Elev. 24ft. CZST is nothing more than a clearing with a big double shed on it, calling it a hangar would be generous... and a smaller garage. There have been changes here since the original release and that is reflected in this updated version... the area to the south of the apron has been cleared, and this aspect has been well represented in this new version. So the apron feels now very open, compared to the more closed in field feel from before... Textures were groundbreaking (no pun intended) for the time, and simply some of the best worn asphalt and stone work you could dream of and it all comes with 3d grass and turf.... .... textures have the resolution of 2cm per pixel, an unheard of quality for the period and here they are still as refined and as highly realistic, but still also have that gritty quality we love, what is the word... exceptional. Outwardly the buildings look exactly the same. But they are quite different in that the textures have been again reworked and refined to modern methods with burnt-in ambient occlusion effects and PBR reflections that gives the glass its reflective (lower doors and side windows) effects, the newer textures brings also out the lovely wear dirt lower brickwork to the more cleaner higher building paneling realism, doors are superbly rusted to perfection. Noted is that more static elements have been added to the scene... two MHS Aviation AS350 B2 helicopters now also grace the pad, and a lot of personnel in Hi-Viz jackets... this is a debatable element? Field strips like Stewart are remote, and not hubs of aviation activity. Yes the figures look very good, but in reality very few people hang around or are to be seen working around on aprons like this... debatable. That said it is very well done with hi-quality figures. Another huge change and addition is the amazing ship sitting at the new wharf... ... ships in X-Plane scenery are usually very basic, but this... is breathtaking in realism! with so much quality and detail, and you will fly over the ship every time to arrive on RWY 36 or depart RWY 18, shame there is no name on it? The wharf is all new and extremely well done, detailed and as are the older harbour areas, and the distinct woodmill wharf that is also still excellent. Another profound aspect of the original Stewart scenery was the township itself. Obviously recreating a small township like Stewart is not new to X-Plane, but Stewart was a very significant step forward in design in that the whole town was totally recreated, that is not just with generic buildings, but the WHOLE town with EVERY SINGLE building was recreated as a custom building, no two buildings are the same unless they actually are at Stewart, and if you think about that aspect of photographing and recreating everything there, it is a mindblowing experience... but that is what was done here as a complete photographic 3d reality of the area. All the main significant buildings are correct including all other main town buildings in Churches, Schools, Port & Fishing facilities, Fuel Stations, Fire Station, (Mounted) Police, Utilities in power stations and even the standing out blue roofed Stewart Health Centre and note the sited H-Pad in front of the building. The Stewart scenery represented for X-Plane the first real fully walk-around scenery, a place to explore as per the real life Stewart township, and I have done so mostly every time I come here... it is and still is an extraordinary achievement. Any negatives.. the trees are still only 2d and the original versions, okay but just passable for a very high quality scenery like this. Lighting is still also one of the best in X-Plane, and still a high standard to meet, not just with the big in drop down lighting and nice windows, but the minute small detail in say this Coke Cola machine... the service station was the highlight in the original and it still looks as great here... Shops, garages working at night, every house, every business is lit here as per perfection. __________________________ CYBD Bella Coola, British Columbia It was three years until Beti-x released their second scenery after CZST Stewart in another British Columbia scenery and in many aspects a very, very similar layout as the former release in CYBD Bella Coola. Original Review is here: Scenery Review : CYBD - Bella Coola BC by Beti-X Yes it was again set deep within a valley, yes it had a river flowing past the runway, yes every single building was a custom building, yes it had a tricky approach and departure... and again it was all as mindblowing. The only slight difference was that the township of (lower) Bella Coola was not situated behind the airport but the airport is placed a 14 km a distant west from the main townsite. And unlike Stewart then CYBD is more of what you would call an airport than a strip of runway, it even has a terminal building, well sort of in a house with an extension built on to it. Again a few more people have been added, but in reality there was a few placed already in the original scenery, here the new members are more by the remote buildings/hangars than the terminal ramp area, but the additions are far fewer here than at Stewart. The detail was again astounding... well it did take three years to do, so what did you expect. And here it still looks as good in X-Plane as it did back then... but like Stewart the buildings have also had their textures refined and processed for v1.5, so the glass and roofs are more reflective and shiny when need to be and any metal-ness or steel buildings, water or fuel tanks now look far more realistic in nature. Textures are again sublime, asphalt is in variations, cracked and worn edges, oil spills, rubber wear, and you still have to love the faded compass detail. CYBD has one tarmac runway that is 05/23 at 4,200ft (1,280m) - Elev. 117ft. From a reviewers point of view, in that once seen, you expect other developers to be as good or better, but that is putting the bar far too high, a lot of developers have done some brilliant ground texture work and yes even a few have reached these impressive heights, but they are still the best of the best you have ever seen in a simulator. Bella Coola Valley As noted the Bella Coola scenery is far more spread-out andthere are more villages than big townships out here, so in actual custom building count they are actually quite similar, but here most are laid out around the Hwy 20 (Chilcotin-Bella Coola Highway) that winds right down from the the east of the airport of the Hagensborg township, right down through to the dwellings of going westward to Lower Bella Coola, then to Bella Coola itself. Hagensborg above and Lower Bella Coola below. One significant difference between Stewart and Bella Coola sceneries is the 2cm per pixel definition is not used (it is around the airport) but here it is the standard 50 cm per pixel definition and it shows, certainly around Lower Bella Coola and Bella Coola, this was one area I thought would be updated in this version... But the quality of the custom buildings are excellent including the Mamayu (butterfly) building. Bella Coola itself is positioned on the North Bentinck Arm inlet right, and the Government Wharf is prominent here, and very well done. Lighting is very good, but there is not a lot of it, even the runway is unlit at night, so all the lighting is restricted to just windows and street lighting, the quality however is very good. One feature that Bella Coola has that Stewart does not have is that "Winter Textures" are provided. These textures are used here under the JSGME/Generic Mod Enabler system... I have no information if they work under the more recent SAM Suite Seasons system, but I would guess as yes... The results are quite still spectacular, and are well worth the switch over with the JSGME... ______________________________ Summary Both of these former Beti-x sceneries are award winning packages that set the extremely high standards of what could be achieved in X-Plane scenery development, the sceneries in CZST Stewart and CYBD Bella Coola are both situated in Canada's British Columbia territory are now owned by the X-Plane.Org by a purchasing agreement of a change of rights. But the change of owners has not meant just a transfer of the scenery, but an update to bring the scenery up to the current X-Plane11 standards and dynamics, and even added in a few additions to make them more involving. The most significant aspect of the sceneries is that they set standards of quality that are still not even being matched today, clever then, they are still outstanding today in the sheer concept and resulting outcome. Ground textures are simply the very best in X-Plane, custom modeling of every building as per real, and not just the airport, but of the whole township itself, and the detail is overwhelming and walk-around (another first) and both sceneries took over six years to complete, both these sceneries are VFR heaven in detail and complexity. The v1.5 update shows that the Stewart and Bella Coola sceneries have lost none of their original impact and quality, added has been updates to meet the current X-Plane dynamics in burnt-in ambient occlusion effects, PBR reflections and Glass/Metalness enhancements, not forgetting the natural X-Plane advances since the original releases of the sceneries that includes better water, better weather, shaders and even Vulkan/Metal power. Additions include more ground personnel and in the Stewart scenery a new wharf and high quality ship... All in all it adds up to quite a set of packages. (the "winter" option is also still available for Bella Coola). One of the most significant aspects of this v1.50 update is that both of these former Beti-x sceneries have not thankfully been consigned to history. And to have them not only revitalised, but also refined to still provide their outstanding features to future X-Plane generations is persevering a historical element of the simulators breakthough quality scenery periods of its past, not that they were now anything but relics but are still extremely more relevant than ever and still can deliver countless hours of enjoyment... outstanding then, both Stewart and Bella Coola sceneries are even more outstanding and relevant now... a must have investment for any private or bush pilot. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the CZST Stewart v1.5 scenery by XP.Org is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore : CZST Stewart Price is US$25.80 (Currently on sale:$17.50) Features: faithful replica of the real airport with HD buildings and pre-rendered ambient occlusion the airport surroundings with handcrafted ground imagery and a resolution of 2cm per pixel surrounding Photoscenery at a resolution of 50 cm per pixel covering an area of over 150 square kilometers volumetric grass hand placed 3D trees and other custom objects precisely visualized town of Stewart, with every building modeled in 3ds MAX, the architecture of the buildings fits in precisely with this location dozens of hand placed POIs, such as the museum, schools, fire station, port, fuel station, hospital and many others simulator many species of HD trees and landscape with dense forest hand edited Mesh of the whole area. Edited abnormalities in terrain elevation, perfected roads etc Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 Gb+ VRAM Video Card Download Size: 586 MB Current and Review version: 1.5 (September 21st 2020) ____________ Yes! the CYBD - Bella Coola v1.5 scenery by XP.Org is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : CYBD - Bella Coola Price is US$24.00 (Currently on sale:$17.50) Features: Faithful replica of the real airport with HD buildings and pre-rendered ambient occlusion Airport surroundings with handcrafted ground imagery with a resolution of 2cm per pixel Surrounding Photoscenery at a resolution of 50 cm per pixel covering an area of over 275 square kilometers Volumetric grass Hand placed 3D animated trees and other custom objects The architecture of the buildings fits in precisely with this location Winter version included 1GB of pure High-detailed fun Requirements X-Plane 11 (or XP10) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 Gb VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1Gb Current and Review version: 1.5 (September 21st 2020) _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 29th September 2020 Copyright©2020 : 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) 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 v11.50 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series by Thranda (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$34.95