I am converting the “scenery blog” to a real blog, meaning one that uses real blog software for RSS feeds, trackbacks, comment posts, all that good stuff.

A brief intro: I work for Austin Meyer on X-Plane, a cross-platform flight simulator based on real physics, developing the scenery system, scenery engine, 3rd party development kits, and the algorithms used to create the default scenery.

We just shipped the new “global scenery”, a rendering of the entire world from 54S to 60N using SRTM2 data. Sergio (our lead artist) has posted some screenshots here. I’ll try to post on topics of interest to scenery authors and X-Plane users.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.

4 comments on “A “real” Scenery Blog

  1. Global Scenery looks spectacular. Great Job. Technical question. How does X-Plane utilize the CPU and GPU? How much performance would I gain from upgrading my video card? currently p4 3.6ghz 2 gig ram and an ati xe800 128mb pci express video card. I’m looking to upgrade to one of the new ati cards preferably the 1800 with 512mb. Would I see a huge difference.

  2. CATTilley — I’m afraid I’m not sure how much benefit you’ll get; you’re using hardware that is way more powerful than anything Austin and I have, so we don’t have good data.

    I can tell you that more VRAM will only help if you want to increase your res. For example with 512 you might be able to run on ‘extreme’ without texture compression. (This will also tax your system RAM – all VRAM is backed up in system RAM – that’s just how OpenGL works.) But in terms of going from one graphics card to the other, I can’t say. You might also be able to run higher FSAA, etc.

  3. Also, the most important thing to consider is the Memory Bandwidth throughput – which means, how much faster is the GPU clock, how much faster is the Memory Speed, How many bits to the Memory – is it 128 BIT or 256 BIT. I would consider the amount of RAM on the card as secondary.


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