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  1. Scenery Review : KLAX HD Los Angeles International v1.1 by ShortFinal Designs Another LAX? Well yes it is and do we actually need another LAX... well yes we do. This is the third release of ShortFinal Design's scenery after the first with Salt Lake City, then secondly the magnificent Albuquerque International Sunport. And it is no hidden fact that ShortFinal Design is the multi-talented Mister X6, but "say didn't MisterX6 release a freeware KLAX - Los Angeles International"? Well yes to that question as well, so why do the same airport twice, and then actually ask you to pay for it the second time around. That alone is a hard sell, free vs pay. Then we have the situation of an already very good LAX from Funnerflight "KLAX - Los Angeles International v2" which already has had a significant upgrade with v2. But this is Mister X6, and we all know he is a master at great scenery, so let us see what this KLAX delivers and then we will make some decisions and choices. KLAX Overview First impressions say that the ground textures are too light and don't fit into the X-Plane mesh correctly. But that is really not the case if you look at the Google Map images of LAX... (Google Maps) ... In fact it looks perfect, the only noticeable difference is the beach colour in that the scenery's lighter beach sand is in contrast to the darker X-Plane mesh, in fact the lighter scenery beach colour is the correct one. It also shows how good X-Plane mesh is today in replicating urban areas. A few notes. There are a few small urban areas blank in this scenery, even though I have my object slider set at maximum for the maximum density, so it will be very interesting to see what difference is with the new X-Plane v10.30 urban autogen and what it will do to fill in these loose blank areas. Second note is that L.A hasn't hasn't had a lot of addon city skylines, there was an FS Aerosoft L.A. addon that would convert over, and obviously a few VFR tools like SoCal, but otherwise the L.A. basin relies totally on the default autogen, and that is a good and bad thing as well. Good in that it does a great job replicating the L.A. Sprawl, but bad in that all that autogen that goes on for as far as the eye can see and is very heavy on any processor, in other words it uses up a lot of your framerate margin. So flying over L.A. at full graphic settings is never really possible, in fact I haven't flown around or used LAX that much in simulation because it is just too heavy and too marginal to do so unless my autogen object count is set quite low. A trick I have been using lately that sort of fixes the balance here and allows you to get that high object count back is to set your Texture Quality to "High". This trick I use now at any scenery that has this high urban sprawls, like New York, London and Moscow. Here the idea works again as the quality of scenery today can overcome the medium texture quality setting and still not look too blurry or softened out, and all the images noted here in this review reflect that "High" texture setting. A final note for the L.A. Area is the coming release of KRAL Riverside and LA Pack by RD Studios, as this addon package has some great L.A. Landmarks included that will fit in very well with this LAX scenery. LAX is a huge complex of an airport, it is the third busiest in the United States and the seventh in the world, LAX is a big and busy place. So for any developer then a scenery of this magnitude it is a big undertaking of a project, just to pull it off is a challenge in itself. So you may see a lot of the original elements out of the freeware version as that is to be expected, but otherwise this scenery is very different from the freeware version, more so is that you will need your "Runways Follow Gradients" X-Plane setting on to allow for some very clever ground modeling for like (above left) that denotes cutting of the surrounding terrain to allow highways to pass through or to allow roads to go below the airport's surface and to travel under runways, and we will see lots of examples of these areas later. KLAX - Los Angeles International (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX) 6L/24R - 8,926 (2,721m) Concrete 6R/24L - 10,285 (3,135m) Concrete 7L/25R - 12,091 (3,685m) Concrete 7R/25L - 11,095 (3,382m) Concrete Elevation AMSL128 ft / 39 m Overall the photo textures are excellent, certainly from above or in the air, the only areas that are not as detailed are mostly the photo road networks that are more pixelated close up and have a lower resolution, and yes it is noticeable and mainly in the roadway central terminal areas. You can divide the central areas into three zones, first in the eastern World Way entrance with the airport hotels, then the central terminal core and finally the western Maintenance, Fuel Depot and remote stands. Terminals All the Terminals are domestic except for the main new large terminal of which is for International. Central area is mostly consists of five large carparks that are attached to the outer terminals in a U layout. The Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) dominates the top of the U. And was only completed for $1.6 billion in September 2013, it is a huge complex in rivaling Heathrow's T5 building. Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) The Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) dominates the top of the U. And outwardly it looks the same as the freeware version, but in detail however it is totally different. Most of the changes are in the glass which is all totally new, now see through and glossy/reflective and changes the whole perspective of the building. The highly distinctive semi-sail roofs and the new clearer glass wall windows have been very well replicated here. Nine gates are configured for the A380 (F) with Gates 130 (A), 132, 134, 148,150, 152, 154, 156 and 159 which are all highly usable here for your A380. Ground clutter is exceptional as expected from Mister 6X, but here it goes above and beyond with custom bendy-buses in the LAX "Airfield" livery, and the buses like other animated vehicles do the transfers to the outer western stands. The TBIT interior is also modeled, but it is only basic and really for the outside point of view, but it is all still very well done. North Terminals 1, 2 and 3 Terminal 1 is mostly LCC and Southwest. Terminal 2 is interesting because it is an international terminal for Mexico, Canada, China, Hawaii, Italy and New Zealand and international Delta. Terminal 3 is Delta. Modeling is exceptional in detail and the correct character and feel of each of the different terminal designs, again ground clutter is excellent with assigned branded liveries to each terminal in i.e. Delta for Delta, Southwest for .... South Terminals 4, 5, 6, 7,8 and The Box Terminal 4 is American and American Eagle, Terminal 5 is American, JetBlue and Allegient, with Terminals 6 for Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and a few International Airlines like IcelandAir, Terminal 7 is for United and United Express and 8 is for United and Azul Airlines. Far east of the main terminals is a regional and stand area for Delta and American Eagle and this area is called "The Box". Like the north set of terminals the south set are just as detailed and very authentic with the same detailed clutter liveries, this is detail overload, but the ramps are easy to taxi into and use, just perfection. The Box and Eastern Stands This area called "The Box" are remote stands for American Eagle and Delta with Delta Maintenance behind, and all operations here are regional based walk-on operations. In a rare mis-step the covered walkways from the terminal are a scale too small, and don't match the scale of the marshaller or the aircraft? and they look odd. Far east are the United parking stands and B-1 Cargo parking. Central area, Control Tower and Theme Building The skyline of LAX is dominated by the very distinct Control Tower and the iconic "Theme Building" which is now closed except for the odd weekends thanks to 9/11. Both the Control Tower and the iconic Theme Building are significantly different and far more highly detailed than the freeware version, detailing is overwhelming up close with even the support cables to the building, and the glass is reflective. Note the lovely detail on the Theme Building exterior. All tower view approaches and runway thresholds can be nicely seen, but you do get a portion of the tower building in your lower view? All carparks and central area detail is again excellent and has moving animated traffic. It is not detailed, detailed but for a scenery of this scale extremely good but there is a lot of great 3d static vehicles to make the area very realistic. Note the lovely and excellent palm trees that give the scenery that perfect LA SoCal feel and look. World Way The entrance to LAX is via World Way which is a significant part of the LAX skyline and a major visual viewpoint. Mostly it is the brand Hotels that make up the entrance and all the important hotels are represented in the Sheraton Gateway, Crown Plaza, Los Angeles Marriott and L.A. Airport Hilton which are all here. The World Way road section is however quite low res and it shows, so this avenue is not detailed, detailed in my "high" texture setting, and a lot of the flat car images are burnt in. The iconic entrance to LAX with the LAX sign and the fifteen lighting pillars are faithfully reproduced, as is the complex freeway elevated roadway system around them. The old control tower is still there as part of the LAX entrance and it is now the "Clifton A. Moore" administration block, but again the building is well reproduced in detail. Western Maintenance, Fuel Depot and remote stands The western areas are focused on maintenance, the main fuel depot and the more far west remote stands called "West/Remote" Note the large area now cleared and with earthworks that are in motion (with animated earthmovers!)... this is the new midfield passenger terminal now under construction and that new terminal opens in 2019, the design of the midfield complex is very similar and set to match the Tom Bradley TBIT design. There are three major maintenance hangers for American, United and Qantas... Fuel Depot is large and there is a significant FedEx cargo and maintenance complex set next to the fuel tanks... ... Fire Station is buried mid-field and again the detail is phenomenal, with a huge amount of clutter that is excellent visually around the Fedex area and the LAX "Airfield" Bus maintenance depot. West/Remote Far west is the West/Remote area. Here west remote gates 201 to 219 allow for loading and unloading, parking, ... but many are nothing more than hard stands and overflow operations. Stand 212B is for aircraft as large as a A380. Detailing in context with the size of the airport is outstanding, as this is just the place to service your long haul aircraft before going back into service Cargo and South The southern LAX boundary is mostly cargo, airline and airport administration and services. Main Cargo zone is the "Imperial Cargo Complex" Tenants include Northwest Airlines Cargo now Delta, Cal Cargo, China Cargo, DHL, Lufthansa Cargo and ACA Shipping Corp. Detailing is as fine as branding all the companies based here, including Swissaport which is phenomenal... a small thing is that with scenery of this size many developers overlook this distinct branding, but it makes for great authenticity. The original Hangar One, commonly referred to as Hangar No. 1 that was built in 1929, is faithfully recreated here and the building which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. As Los Angeles Municipal Airport, it was purchased by the city in 1937 and during this period the hangar was used by Charles Lindbergh and the German LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin of which the airship was tied down near its doors during its stopover in Los Angeles. The main receiving cargo terminal for FedEx is another huge and well represented complex. Then Asian cargo represented by JAL Cargo (or Air Freight Building 6041!) Korean Air Cargo and Singapore Airlines Cargo. With then a zone representing Private Jet operators including Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation (above left) note that Landmark Aviation is now Signature Aviation and this change will be in the v1.1 update (see below)... and the large custom reception building, ramp and hangar for Atlantic Aviation (below). Note the excellent fine detailing of the Atlantic sign on side of the hangar, just incredible detail. By Atlantic Aviation is another LAX entrance sign that looks great with LAX in profile behind. More Cargo for Nippon Cargo Services and Qantas Freight, Qantas per se' doesn't have a cargo division, so this is all hold cargo... but a new Qantas Cargo domestic is now operational so international could be revived again? The Flight Path Museum & Learning Center is also represented but the restored DC3 'Spirit of Seventy Six" is missing? hopefully it will be placed in an upgrade... The main KLAX radar installation is really well presented and the radar is animated for realism... .... finally we have several catering companies with Gate Gourmet and Sky Chefs also represented. North LAX On the northern boundary it is mostly carparks in multi-story or just lots and lots of parking spaces and CarHire Company parking... and a few office blocks that have been created for visual fill in for the approaches to RWY's 24L/24R... ... but the highlight is the excellent IN-N-OUT Burger Store on Sepulveda Blvd and across from the best and most famous spotters viewpoint in the park opposite. I mean plane tail spotting and bad greasy fast food... it is like going to heaven and back again, for more burgers that is. Special features As noted the airport uses the "Runways Follow Gradients" X-Plane setting on for 3d ground features that allow the mesh to be used for above and below the flat ground. This is used for impressive modeling with road gradients and under runway tunnels. Taxiways AA - A - C all have runway overpass bridges and are all very authentic for taxiway use. Animations are well done here as well, but there isn't a huge amount of movement around LAX, some airports are just too buzzy and don't look realistic, but I think about the right amount of movement is correct here... and all the vehicles are correctly branded to create a perfect mix with realism. WT3: ShortFinal's LAX comes with provided and tuned WorldTraffic3 ground routes and AirportOperations sets by the master K-Man - Brian Navy (Bird Stryke Designs) . This is a drop in and instantly use scenerio, and straight away your LAX is buzzing and flying to the real ARFE timetables... WT3 is quite simply sensational at LAX, turn it off and the airport looks empty (below left) then when running the plugin and LAX is alive and buzzing (below right) The uber birds arrive as well, Qantas has two arrivals within 30 minutes of each other from SYD QF11 and MEL QF93 and a B747 QF15 from Brisbane (BNE) and they all arrive early in the morning and a BA A380 BA283 that arrives just after lunchtime. But overall I found the TBIT took a fair while to fill out and can look quite empty early in the day, but it can get busy at certain times. A note on running WT3 at LAX. Obviously there is a lot of movements here at LAX and if you run WT3 with your flightplan generator set to max settings it will simply overwhelm your computer and you will get a very hard hit on your framerate (even as high as 10fr!) So my settings is for 6333 flightplans and that works extremely well and comes with far lower framerate hit, and traffic is still perfectly buzzy. So yes WorldTraffic3 Is highly recommended here. lighting The KLAX lighting is a bit of a mixture... overall it is very good, even really well done. From the air LAX looks amazing, very realistic. Approach and taxiway lighting is excellent. The airport uses two types of lighting for both the landside and the airside and that feel is very effective. Multiple lighting sources and up to six light sources on the pylons create the ground ramp lighting with supplementary strip lighting on the terminal's structure and is outwardly very effective. But down on the ramps at night it is all a bit black and white, one side of the aircraft will be lit but the other side will be in darkness? so some terminal gates are great at night but most are not. Control Tower is a bit bright? and should the working operations windows should actually be in the dark? not crazy about that tower look at night but the Theme Building is beautiful and absolutely perfect. Note the lovely lit trees. The entrance lit poles are also perfect, they are animated to revolve the colour as the real lighting does... really well done. Hotels lighting is very good and so is with all the excellent lit brands on buildings and hangars, but World Way is quite dark street light wise... highlights are both the Atlantic Aviation and the brightly lit IN-N-OUT Burger franchise, that you can see it for miles... and miles. Final notes. V1.1 - This LAX is a huge expansive scenery and the input in here bordering on the insane, but still there are a few things missing (you could say "picky, picky") I found a lot of missing fences and some important ones around gates missing and lighting down the World Way. Landmark Aviation building needs to be changed to Signature Flight Support, Jetway canopies will be animated, and the added Four Points and Renaissance Hotel and hopefully as well the missing museum DC3. This v1.1 update is due soon, even this weekend for all of the above and more. v1.1 Update Only a week after the initial release, then already ShortFinal has updated the KLAX scenery to v1.1. These changes are to fine tune the scenery, but also to cover a few areas that were missed. Main change is the now inclusion of the Four Points Hotel and the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel. Important, well yes because they are highly visible on the 24R & 24L approach paths, the feeling was they were just not finished in time for the initial release, but here they are now. There is still the feeling that a few more details will eventually go into this same area, but it is now far more complete with the hotels installed. I found some areas around LAX was missing vital walls and fencing... a small thing, but extremely important in creating the completely correct look and feel and even from a security point of view it was not right. From my notes ShortFinal have corrected these areas, and done so very well. There was a vital wall/fence missing on the D-7 taxiway by Terminal 1 (Southwest), so if you arrived here then your view was not correct as you looked straight across to the carpark, but the inclusion of a wall makes it perfect and realistic. There was the same situation at the end of Terminal 8, and you could simply walk straight off the street on to the ramp by Gate 88, not now as it is all beautifully fenced in, and it is really well done as well and now totally realistic from the ramp or ground point of view. More fencing now corrected is along the rear of Taxiway F on the threshold of RWY's 25R and 25L. Again vital as when taxiing for takeoff on either runway, then the missing fencing just didn't look correct from the aircraft, now installed it is perfect, and again well done with a part wall and fence design and not just basic placed fencing.... great detail. The WallyPark Airport Parking Premier Garage (and no I didn't make that name up) was out of alignment (above right), but now correct in that the trains don't run part way through the carpark. If you look at the above original night images of World Way, why then it wasn't lit via street lighting. Now the complete approach to LAX area has now been correctly lit, the Four Points Hotel adds in more realism in lighting for the area as well. Summary The more you observe and search this ShortFinal - Mister 6X KLAX scenery then the more you will find.. and in time it even gets overwhelming in just how much work and with the overwhelming shear volume of the objects that are in parts and make up this whole complex scenery. Detailing is simply astounding and even down to the huge immense clutter and even the correctly branded buildings and vehicles, this scenery is over-the-top 101. So first let us put to rest the differences between the freeware version and this payware version... there isn't one, the freeware is a very basic but a good LAX and this version is simply everything, plus, plus. Not only in the pure insane object count but in the detail of the buildings and glass and signage that are completely different, yes some basic elements of the freeware are still in this version, but overall most areas have been highly more detailed and defined, and in many cases have also also been totally redone from scratch. So the differences here are simply night and day, black and white... you pay for this over the top extreme detail and quality. The scenery is full of features as well, with the provided WT3 routes and operations brings the scenery alive instantly, overpass 3d taxiway bridges, animations included custom made LAX buses and vehicles, every gate has working airbridges or marshal guidance, realistic fauna and LA style trees and all areas of the airport complex is covered, oh and even the IN-N-OUT burger bar... don't forget that! Negatives... well you would think first it would be the framerate, but it's not, and we will get to that in a minute. Mostly it is with the lighting as most of the lighting is very good, but in areas it needs more work to work more easily on the ramps at night, And I am not so sure of the Control Tower lighting, in being far too bright and lit in the wrong areas. World Way is now lit via the v1.1 update and that did a lot to fill in a few blank areas. LAX is not the most colourful of airports, so in pure summer daylight it can feel a little washed out colourwise, but most people say L.A. is like that anyway. And finally like at ShortFinal's KSLC some of the far boundary areas don't mesh cleanly with the X-Plane native mesh (leaves an empty gap). I don't personally like to put two projects head to head and say one is better than the other. Because usually one project has many things the other project lacks and vice-versa... and so it is between FunnerFlight's excellent KLAX v2 and this version from ShortFinal. In pure detail they are really head to head and so one is no better than the other, and in areas FunnerFlight's is a little better. But in many main crucial areas then this SFD version is far, far better. Number No1 is framerate. This scenery is half as light as FF KLAX, but with a double to extreme object count. So it is for its scale this is a hugely efficient running scenery and in the L.A. basin that is a godsend of almost biblical proportions and difference of being able to use the scenery effectively or not. And yes you still have to make compromises (texture setting) or use tricks, but you don't suffer for that either and even if you will still need a pretty powerful computer with a minimum of 4Gb of graphic card to do so, this scenery is very, very light on framerate for what it delivers. Number No2 is the shear detail that you get here, and besides the quality terminals and buildings it is in the little things like the custom branded LAX buses and the individual branding on everything from the airline, to their gates to their buildings... a small thing yes, but again it is realism 101. I note scenery as an investment, something to use over and over again and effectively, and investing in this LAX will give you one of the very best returns of your cash that you can do... it delivers and is now also feeling very complete with the v1.1 update, this scenery is simply excellent in every area and you will use it and love it to death for years.... totally highly recommended. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes! the KLAX - Los Angeles International v1.1 by ShortFinal Design is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KLAX - Los Angeles International HD Price is US$26.95 Note is you have already purchased the release version, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and update now to v1.1 Features High Definition Airport Accurate models for all buildings with baked Ambient Occlusion Dynamic reflections on objects and ground textures Custom high resolution ground textures HDR night lighting, animated LAX Gateway Kinetic Light Pylons High resolution photo scenery (15cm/px) 311 parking positions with randomly placed static aircraft Custom Mesh by maps2xplane, realistic sloped runways and taxiway underpasses Fully Animated Airport Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic) Custom animated jetways and DGS at all gates (using the AutoGate plugin) Animated information boards on terminals World Traffic 3 routes already included, made by Brian "Cpt. K-man" Navy (Bird Stryke Designs) Installation : Download scenery file size is 678.70mb. "KLAX Los Angeles International HD" being inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder in this order... KLAX - Los Angeles International HD (1.16gb) z_KLAX_HD_Mesh (27.1mb) Mesh is required to be installed Below all airports, but above over other local meshes (Ortho4XP) i.e. SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/ KLAX - Los Angeles International HD/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Global Airports/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/ z_KLAX_HD_Mesh/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/ zzz_hd_global_scenery3/ WorldTraffic 3 Make sure you clear out any older versions or text of earlier KLAX WT3 files... then insert the provided WT3 items below. ClassicJetSimUtils\WorldTraffic\GroundRoutes\Arrival\KLAX ClassicJetSimUtils\WorldTraffic\GroundRoutes\Departure\KLAX ClassicJetSimUtils\WorldTraffic\ParkingDefs\KLAX Documents: KLAX - Manual (7 Pages) no charts Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Version reviewed v1.1 update ______________________________________________________________________ Updated Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 12th July 2018 Copyright©2018 : 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 - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - None-
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