No Money Monday: VStates

By
Garrett Yalch
July 30, 2019

Vertical-Simulations has recently begun to release portions of color-corrected orthophoto under his newest project, VStates. These portions are released for each state in the US.

As of now, the series includes the states of:

  • Illinois
  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Indiana

Installation

To download, you’ll need a torrenting program like BitTorrent or uTorrent. You may be thinking that this is starting to seem a bit sketchy since it involves torrenting, a common way to download pirated content but it isn’t. Torrenting is also the most effective way to ship massive files. Because orthophoto takes up so much space, the developer decided this would be the best option. Back to the installation, next, navigate to the downloads page and hit the download button. Select the files you want to download. Open up the .torrent files in your torrenting program. Depending on your internet speed, it could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple days for the downloads to complete. Once they’ve finished, move the overlays and orthophotos folder to your custom scenery then run X-Plane. Once you are to the menu, quit. Navigate to your scenerypacks.ini file in your X-Plane custom scenery folder and highlight “SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/VStates_(whichever state you downloaded)/”. This should be at the top of the list. Copy this text, delete it, then paste it at the bottom of the list. This will ensure that the orthophoto will not cover up any of the autogen objects.


In The Sim

(For the purposes of this review, I am using VStates Alabama)

At first glance, VStates is stunning. The color correction really brings out the greens of the terrain and when coupled with MisterX’s HD Forests, Alpilotx’s Treelines and Farms, and Antwob’s US Forests and Woodlands, the sceneries work in unison and it doesn’t get much better from altitude. The colors are much better than anything else we’ve seen for free (bing via ortho4xp, forkboy, etc).

Here is the scene with some snow from xEnviro.

There are certainly still some downsides though. By default, when taxiing, you will see a very stale and flat green image with no texture as seen below. In the future, I’d love to see the implementation of decals. Decals add texture to lower resolution terrain overlays so they’d reverse this downside. 

Lastly, it is worth noting that with a bit of tinkering, you can add your own decals. Apply Decals is a program that will streamline this process. It can be downloaded here.

Conclusion

Despite the downsides, I think that overall, VStates is a large improvement over default scenery and is worth a couple gigs of Hard Drive space. VStates is available on the X-Plane.org forum here.

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