Installation and Conflicts Volumes 1-10    Conflicts Volume 12 onward

By its very nature Photographic Scenery involves large amounts of data. The greater the resolution the more data is involved.

An example of this can be seen in Volume 7. To fit the data for this area  onto DVD for distribution as an FSX product requires 5 dual layer discs  holding approximately 8GB per disc to produce a resolution of 60cm. The  same area produced at the maximum resolution FS9 can handle, 2.4m,  requires a single, standard 4GB DVD.

Actual Photo data now exists that allowed production of Photo Scenery at a resolution of 30cm.  The producers were Earth Simulations who had to deliver the data to customers via portable 500GB hard drives.

As that is unfortunately no longer available with the demise of Earth Simulations, let's look at what we have now and the problems  people may have installing the software.

Firstly we have a DVD,  which consists of a fine metal layer, stamped with the data needed for  the laser to read, encased in plastic. These DVDs are not the same as  the ones on public sale for 'burning' your music collection on.

Second we have the DVD/CD Reader which is in fact one of the cheapest  components in a modern computer system. Put simply it spins the DVD so  the laser can pick up the data.

The disc need to be reasonably  well balanced in the drive and the laser needs clean optics to get a  good reading. If either is slightly 'off' then problems begin to emerge.

It is very rare these days for brand new DVDs to be off balance which  leaves the DVD Reader/Player as the main source of problems. They pick  up dust from inside and outside the computer case and are not always  treated with respect when the drawer is closed. Who hasn't pushed the  drawer instead of using the Open/Close button?

In the vast majority of discs returned 'faulty' there is actually nothing wrong with the disc.

When this happens there is a very good chance that dispatching a replacement set will have exactly the same result, a failed installation!

No one likes having to wait for replacement goods when they have eagerly  sought to use their new purchase. Fortunately in most cases the 'failed  install' can be overcome by not installing from the DVD.

When the Install/Setup process is run from the disc the timing of data transfer  is critical to the file order being moved to the hard drive. If the  processor moves on before the DVD drive has supplied the information the install will fail. If, however, you copy the data from all the discs in the set to a single temporary file location it is not a time critical  process. Once all files are copied to the temporary location simple  'Run' the Setup.exe file.

Having taken the DVD drive out of the  equation should give a clean install. Once you are happy that the  install is correct simply delete the temporary file you saved the disc  data to.

Conflicts: Volumes 1 -10.
1. These Volumes do not conflict with any other scenery. Installing them  only adds entries to the scenery library, they make no changes to any of the files in your Autogen folder within FSX.

2. I should point  out that Volume 8 whilst not conflicting with its sister volumes does  have certain Install parameters which look for the existence or  otherwise of Volume 3. This is because it contains a 'transition' layer  between the two Volumes so that the change in resolution is not  prominent. Please remember that Volume 8 has a resolution of 0.6m set  against Volume 3 at 1.2m. If Volume 3 is detected the installer acts to  blend the files. If for some reason, i.e Custom Folder location or lack  of Registry entry it doesn't find Volume 3 it will install to match  default FSX scenery.

If Volume 8's installer does not detect  Volume 3 then you can manually make the changes by following the 'manual install' procedure on Disc 1 of Volume 8.

3. Earth Simulations  released their version of the Isle of Man by download early in July  2013. It is known that the Terrain files for this Volume extend their  influence into the Volume 8 area causing sections of the Mull of  Galloway to become flat. To correct this problem simple move the Earth  Simulations IOM terrain folder below that of Volume 8 in your Scenery  Library.

4. Having installed any of the Volumes you will find  that the internal GPS map no longer functions in that area in respect of terrain display. Airports, Beacons etc still appear. This is not a  fault created by the photo scenery which fully complies with the  requirements of the FSX Software Developer Kit issued by Microsoft™. There is a bug within FSX that prevents coastlines with the accuracy of this photo scenery from displaying correctly. It was one of a number of 'problems' not resolved before support work was terminated by the  developer of FSX.

All is not lost in respect of the above as a  replacement, far superior, mapping system has been developed by TA  Software, a member of our Flight Simulation community. It is called  'Plan-G' and is available for free from: The simplest and greatest advantage of this product over the default  map is that it is constantly update-able and is not fixed in time at the date FSX was released.

5. Third Party Airfields. If you are  using VFR Airfields from Scotflight or UK2000 you should disable the  airfields folder that came with the photo scenery, where applicable. The simplest way to do this is to untick the folder in the Scenery Library.

6. "When I install photo scenery the airfields are on raised land or sunk into the ground." This comment is often made by new users to photo scenery.
It has a simple cause, Flight Simulators prior to FSX always assumed that  the Earth was flat. A flat Earth made it easy for AI aircraft to take  off and land on a flat runway. When Aces Studios were given the task of  producing FSX they took the runways from FS9 and ported them into a  round world FSX. When you get a runway that is long and flat and bolt it to a round world you get curvature of the Earth effect and that is what you see.
The default Landclass tiles are somewhat elasticated to  allow for the effect so it doesn't show up as much. Married to a less  than accurate terrain mesh means for most people it isn't a problem.
Photo scenery usually comes with a high resolution topography underlay. A  mile high mountain may well register a mile heigh compared to 8/10ths of a mile in default. It makes the curvature stand out more.
This  curvature problem can be overcome by 'blending' the height of the flat  runway to the surrounding land height. Many Freeware and Payware  airfields made for FSX include files to mask this height mismatch to  give a pleasing and seamless blend from flat to another height.

Installation & Conflicts: VFR Volume 12 onward

Volumes 12 onward are produced by Earth Simulations. They contain extensive autogen in the form of buildings, trees and  other objects together with seasonal textures and sound files.

Unlike Volumes 1 - 10, to achieve all this extra detail requires the  implementation of modifications to the default "Autogen" folder files.

In a standard install of FSX this places the folder in a 'protected location' partly controlled by  the Operating System, User Access Control. To ensure that the Installer  can modify the default autogen files the Setup.exe file should be run  with Administrator Authority.

If the Autogen files are not correctly updated then large areas of scenery will not appear in the simulator and you may experience failures to  load when you start FSX. To correct this requires manually placing the supplied Autogendescription.spb, RoofDescription.spb and default.xml in the FSX\Autogen folder. You should backup the existing files in case you wish to remove the new scenery.

Please be aware that Earth Simulations were not the only developer to modify the previously mentioned files. ORBX, Germany VFR and France VFR also modify them. This can result in a new scenery from any of these  producers breaking a previous install from another producer.

Please ensure that if you have Orbx FTX installed that it is set to "Default" before you commence installation of any scenery produced by Earth Simulations.

Other Conflicts
Volumes produced by Earth Simulations contain their own highly detailed Airfields, as such they are not compatible with Airfields from other Vendors.

If you have Volume 1 of UK2000's Airfields installed you MUST inhibit St  Mary's using the UK2000 installer. Failure to do so will leave you with  many 'floating' buildings as the base layer of scenery will be  disrupted. If you have UK2000 airfields for the Isle of Man, Ronaldsway, Jurby or Andreas these too should be inhibited using the UK2000  installer.

Freeware or other payware airfields designed to replace the default versions of the above airfields should also be inhibited.


Earth Simulations Isle of Man

If you install the ES version of the Isle of Man after installing Volumes 7 & 8, Scotland South and Central you will have a conflict whereby  water will appear over sections of land along the Scottish coast.

To correct this problem simply move the ES Terrain folder down the Scenery Library listing until it is below the Scottish ones. At the same time  making sure it is above the files for Volume 3, if installed.

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