FTX Global – what is it really about?

Couple of weeks after release of FTXG, the hype has settled and more truth has been shown on the FTXG, what the product really is. The problem however is that ORBX doesn’t really want to show it – whatever the reason for that.

For those not knowing what this is: FTXG is a global set of textures replacing default FSX ones with new (realistic) ones. The change is global, meaning it doesn’t look better or worse in any part of the world (like ORBX FTX regions products do). FTXG replaces textures only, it doesn’t place roads, mesh, autogen or anything. They do however also replace default autogen textures with what they say is better too. In a whole, ORBX produced quite a good replacement for default FSX. This whole product however, doesn’t only come at the financial price, but also at another price…

The problem (or the advantage, depending how you look at it) is with FTXG, as many probably don’t even know, that it changes the core structure of the FSX, NOT following the FSX SDK, thus causing potential problems. Those problems will show themselves usually in combination with other addons. I intentionally said potential, so the problems show here and there.

I had one-two errors flying around, others have reported other errors. The problem on the whole is that no-one’s Sim is the same! ORBX doesn’t provide an easy way to turn off FTXG (like they do with their regions), nor does it provide an easy uninstaller, so having it installed, you are left only to wonder if it’s FTXG causing the problem, or something else!

I have a specific problem at a Croatian airport Dubrovnik (LDDU), where trees grow on runways since I installed FTXG. It is an airport I like flying to, but since the FTXG I am unable to. It’s not a great looking airport and is not up to today’s standards, but it is an airport in my homeland, and I simply like flying there.
Now, I also read about removal of the cvx files (a custom landclass?), which might be FTXG-incompatible. Anyway…

The explanation from ORBX was following and I quote:

“it looks to me as if the issue with the trees on the runway is due to the Croatia add-on not using one of the default airport grounds landclass types, which don’t have autogen. There are some non-airport classes in default FSX that also don’t have autogen but they do in the FTXG replacement textures and thus add-ons that use these classes will display unwanted autogen. In short, this isn’t an issue with lclookup.bgl or terrain.cfg but simply default versus FTXG textures and autogen with an add-on that uses a non-standard class for their airport grass polygons. Kosta, does the situation change at all whether you select FTXG hybrid mode or not?

The easiest fix would probably be to add local autogen excludes with ADE or SBuilderX, by someone who owns that add-on, and then share those files in our compatibility subforum with other users. (Holger Sandmann)”

So, ORBX changed the core files of the simulator, rendered my addon unusable and the world is fine. Even from reading occasional posts about FTXG on their forums, I was never aware that FTXG will make such changes. And I am probably one of the most advanced users in the community when it comes to FSX. And the errors have been reported by other users too.

So, what happens when a simple user crosses this? He won’t even know where to begin.

Again: they “announced” the core file changes over the forums. But they neither warned users prior to installation, nor before purchase, nor do they provide ANY kind of switch or removal.

In other words, ORBX are forcing you to use FTXG after you decided to pay them a substantial amount of money. Not giving you an option, forcing.

They have also announced that an uninstaller is in the works and testing, however why do they delay – what can be so hard to make an uninstaller, if I can restore the files inside of minutes manually, after a little research? Why did they release a product without an uninstaller or without the OPEN EXPLANATION on how to back-up your sim prior to installation and warning you to do so! FTXG saves your current state of textures, but it does not save everything (eg. does not make a full copy of your scenery\world\texture folder, in which it installs its textures) nor it does backup anything else changed. At least not in FSX.

So what does FTXG installer really change:

FTXG installer backs up all the files in the scenery\world\texture folder, but it omits the backup folders made by other addons in that folder. So if you were to remove the old folder, you would also inadvertently remove those backups. Ain’t a big of a deal though, if you know what you’re doing.

Then come the core files:

Holger says they are to be found here: \ORBX\Scripts\FTXCentral\InstallBackup
But hey, funnily enough I find them at another location: \ORBX\Scripts\Backup (and I don’t even know if that’s right!). They could also be region backups. My backups are the whole images of my drives on another drives, which I backup monthly, so I really have no problems restoring. But what about hundreds of other simmers who most likely don’t?

Files:

- AutogenDescriptions.spb
– default.xml
(- Extrusions.spb) – not sure if FTXG
– lclookup.bgl
(- Materials.spb) – not sure if FTXG
– RoofDescriptions.spb
– terrain.cfg

You might or might not be aware, but these are really important files in FSX and changing them basically changes the underlying structure of FSX, something other addon developers rely onto. So basically, if they change this, other addon developer must ensure fully compatibility with FTXG, and I have already began to see the first. Some might call this progress, but if ORBX decides to change the core of the simulator, they should make those changes and new landclass lookup tables (and whatever else is there) publicly and freely available for any other developer out there.

Now, there is also a folder \ORBX\Scripts\FTX Global\Backup which contains custom.eu files (and here are some of the files from above, the “core” files from FSX). I reckon these are the custom files to change the FSX core to display their region. And THIS has been always known, that if you have a FTX region active and fly somewhere else, you might start seeing errors, due to custom jobs ORBX has done to autogen, lclookup etc.

So, basically, what ORBX did with their regions, is now doing to the whole world, without giving an ability to the user to switch back and forth! Reason: the world the way ORBX imagined it. Fine! I agree! I like it! But you can’t make it incompatible with other addons (or at least not without warning the user with a big fat warning field!), no matter how many or which, and not give the user ability to switch FTXG off. It is simply unfair to the less knowledgeable users, who would have no idea how to “fix” the errors, if some arise.

In my opinion, the best thing for everyone would be for ORBX to provide a user not only with the ability to uninstall the product, but also with an ability TO SWITCH THE TEXTURES JUST LIKE THE REGION PRODUCTS!!

I am not going into guessing why it all transpires as it does, but I would like to warn every future FTXG buyer to BE AWARE of what you are getting. No mistake, FTXG is a beautiful upgrade for the whole FSX world, with many upsides and also some downsides, however at what cost really?

You decide…

ADDED 21.08.2013:
MANUAL UNINSTALLER:

Nick Needham on Simforums was so kind to write up a detailed way for those wanting to remove the product manually:

http://www.simforums.com/forums/how-to-remove-ftx-global-and-restore-8-20-2013_topic46919.html

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95 Responses to FTX Global – what is it really about?

  1. Max says:

    Hi Kosta, first of all thanks for this great and useful blog!!!

    I have GEX Europe for some years now and honestly I don’t see so many differences with FTXG where I usually fly (Europe). Sure FTXG costs quite a lot but on the other side it covers all the world… now I’m not a developer, so I cannot say nothing about this strange behaviour inside FSX, but the true is that this add-on is causing too many issues according of what I’ve read on some forums, and your comment is the last one which confirm these…. I hope they decide to change something or they risk ruining their reputation…

    • Kosta says:

      I hope they do too. The texture switch ain’t that hard to do, certainly not with their area of expertise, they just decided not to.

  2. Giorgos says:

    Hi Kosta,

    All of the above understood but i really don’t know how to fix the problem without causing farther. Can you provide step by step fix to the problem thus i did find a problem after installing it with all my FSDT sceneries, although they are installed they disappeared from FSX. I already sent an email to the FSDT team but still no answer.

    Kindly help out …

    • Kosta says:

      Giorgos,
      I don’t understand what you mean.
      I checked couple of FSDT sceneries after FTXG installation, didn’t notice any problems.
      Can you please post a specific problem, where and what?
      If your FSDT sceneries are not working in general, then their support is the right place and you will have to wait!

  3. Tomaz says:

    Are you talking about Davor Puljevic Crotia Airports (LDDU)? Man, I fly there all the time. I was kinda undecided about FTXG but recently I’m reading about so many problems people have and a typical ORBX attitude (no way it’s their fault) I really don’t know if I want to give them ~100$.

    • Kosta says:

      Yep. Got those a long time ago, and been flying into LDDU as a part of the BAW member. As I mostly fly NGX, I am a bit limited when it comes to destinations, and most of those are either Spain, Croatia or Austria, this is where I have addons for most of airports.

      • Tomaz says:

        I checked their forum and it appears a lot of trees are popping out all over the world. From their answers it doesn’t look like ORBX is going to fix that. I hope they do though.. I’m holding off until than.

      • Kosta says:

        Tomaz,
        I don’t think they can fix that. They can change the core files back to default and work with the textures from there, but it won’t be productive as it would defeat the purpose of the product. I reckon it’s kind of a no-win scenario.
        But, time will tell, I am no developer.

      • Snoeckx H. says:

        If there are trees on RWY’s, they can be removed with ADE by simply drawing an exclusion rectangle for that airport and compile it again, it is a problem from default FSX for all RWY’s and airports the aces team forgot to draw the rectangle, I’ve been doing a lot of testing with both freeware scenery and payware scenery aswell as self build scenery with SbuilderX and only encounterd a few problems with RWY’s with trees wich for every kind of scenery could be resolved in the previous manner.This problem already existed on my system long before FTXGlobal saw the light.
        For the rest it works just fine with any add-on from any publisher aslong as it doesn’t concern scenery textures. I also use UTX Europe and even that works great together.

      • Kosta says:

        It might be simple for you, but not for someone who never did it. Can you give a short tutorial on how-to?

      • Snoeckx H. says:

        Hi Kosta, I think there are more then plenty tutorials on you tube on how to use ADE but to show I’m a friendly old guy here it is; open the airport in ADE, if it’s a default, use the default import, if not then use open .bgl and try to find it in the add on folder of that airport, once opend, click on the exclusion rectangle and draw all the lines, clicking on every corner making sure you have the whole airport covert and click the last one exactly on the first one( a bigger dialog box appears), if you’ve done it right then the whole surface turns yellow and a new window opens up, normally that’s already set okay so just click save, then go to File and compile the airport, you can either save it in your addon scenery folder or use the same name from the original folder and overwrite the original one, they both work.
        Hope this is okay for you?

      • Kosta says:

        Yep, that is excellent! Well, I guessed that I’d at least deserved it or even be entitled to, having given so much to the people for free, to ask for a small favor. I thank you for this tutorial, so that I don’t have to search the net for solutions, once in my life.

      • fxsttcb says:

        Snoeckx H.’s ADE exclusion works a charm, but, one very important thing is not noted.
        If you import a default airport and consequently Compile it with it’s original name and location (FSX\Scenery\****\Scenery\APX*****.bgl) you will LOSE all of the other nearby airports contained in that file. Some of those APX*****.bgls contain 30 or more airports.
        Compile those modified default airports to FSX\Addon Scenery\Scenery or a custom folder, with a unique name. Ex: KDTW Tree Excl.bgl

  4. Ian McPhail says:

    Kosta, thanks. That is the most helpful explanation so far. I, too have been having some unexplained problems, so I thought I would uninstall. It was then I realised that there was no Uninstaller. That is not so good, as after so much messing around I have lost my P3D default backup, and now only have a corrupt Global backup from a recent, and successful, reinstall of Global over the top. The maker of Real NZ add-ons has adjusted his products to fit NZ/North and South, so the message is your Croatian airport add-on would have to be modified to fit Global.

    • Kosta says:

      Yes, but how many more adapts are needed to adapt all other sceneries which were made for default SDK? And what is to stop ORBX from charging for that? What if developer soon needs to pay to access their compatibility?

      This is why I said open and public access to those tables. How else to make it 100% compatible? Right so far I’m aware, you either need to buy FTXG or contact ORBX. What goes behind the scenes, is questionable at best.

  5. Jim says:

    Wow Kosta, thank you for that review. FTXG sounded like a great thing but after reading about your issues, I doubt I will give $100 to someone and in return, get a product that I have to learn such deep programming to get it right. You are correct, to the simple user (or someone who doesn’t want to have to bother with fixes, especially with something made by ORBX that has a reputation of creating things that work right out of the box), they wouldn’t know what the heck to do. It’s bad enough that we all have to become programmers in some way when using FSX, but that’s a given these days. With addons though, this is why we pay the big money to these companies to figure it out for us. I don’t mean to sound selfish but who really does want to fork over a big sum of money only to be stuck with something that will cause errors or other superficial issues that ruin the flight sim experience? I sure don’t. I’ll let them work out the bugs. I am a tubeliner flyer so this package really isn’t practical anyways for me. Once in a while I’ll fly GA, but for where I like to fly, which is either the USA or Europe, I have pretty decent add-ons that satisfy the low alt experience.

    Keep us in the loop as to how you may be able to get a fix. In the mean time, I’ll chalk this one up as a GRIPE…GReat Idea Poorly Executed.

    • Kosta says:

      Jim,
      Just one thing: I find that FTXG texture-wise is exactly what tubeliners need. At least for me, being a tubeliner, is a major upgrade. GA not so much. This is what I like my UK region for.

      • Jim says:

        So you are saying that the quality of the textures is more suited for those high flyers rather than GA? How much better, practically, does FTXG rate over say GEX?

      • Kosta says:

        Jim,
        Indeed. GEX was good, texture-wise FTXG is in my opinion much better. Just check out the comparison screenshots I posted previously.

      • Jim says:

        Well I do trust your judgement as you have a whole lot more experience in this department than I. With respect to your review though, it’s a “buyer beware” situation and not one I am willing to take right now. Thanks again for your up-front honesty. :)

      • Kosta says:

        Jim,
        Exactly. I wanted in no way to point out that FTXG is a bad product. For what it is, visually, it is absolutely stunning and a whole new upgrade to FSX/P3D.

        But everything around it, unfortunately, yells for buyers
        beware. The circumstances around the product are simply bad. My post is merely a kind of warning, so that users know what they are getting into, without any hidden agendas behind.

  6. Max says:

    For me FTXG textures are better only in some areas vs GEX textures, but not so better to justify – in my humble opinion – to leave GEX and spend others $
    As I wrote before I’m not a developer but a “simple” FSX user, and I have only one “stupid” question: GEX and FTXG are at the end the same add-on (or not?). So, why FTXG has so many issues? Anyway the only product I’m waiting for with great expectations is Norway from ORBX. Hope they’ll do a great job ;-)

    • Kosta says:

      Max,
      It all depends on your personal preference and the areas where you fly.
      FTXG and GEX are *almost* the same product.
      FTXG replaces the whole world textures, and also changing core files to make their textures adapt to the world better, while GEX to my knowledge replaces textures only.
      With GEX, the core of the FSX remains intact and addon compatibility also remains intact.
      Norway is going to be another region, possible to deactivate like any other region hopefully, so it will be fine. I am sure it will look stunning :)

  7. Eduardo Lee says:

    Wow Kosta … I’m terrified. FTXG I buy and install a couple of days. Luckily I made an Acronis image before installing so I can return back at any time. Right now I’m flying to Hawaii FSDT scenarios and have not seen any errors. Now if I say that as others say, I have seen big differences between GEX and FTXG. I also I have several scenarios Orbx installed and are wonderful, but I would imagine that FTXG something as realistic as this work, but really it is not. The promotional images on the site are not what you see in your own FSX.
    Well at least I have not even errors. (I think that will come soon).
    Kosta, I will review today back to my home, LDDU airport and see how it looks in my sim. Add that I use to install it and see how it looks?

    regards

    • Kosta says:

      The promotional images are almost never what you see in your sim, at least not with the ORBX. John Venema has his own texture set for clouds and skies, which is virtually non-existent. So this makes for the part of the impression.
      The textures however are really the same if you look closer.
      If you have no errors, be happy. In fact, I do not expect many errors, since the whole FSX world is just way too big. I am only thinking out loud what might happen in the future.
      If you have no addon for LDDU, you don’t have to check it, as without an addon, there is no problem present.

  8. Gerald Stuck says:

    Kosta,

    Thanks for the review. I will definitely wait until there is a way to turn off or uninstall before shelling out $100. I have other products from ORBX which I love, but will have to wait. I will go with UTX and GEX for the regions I want if FTXG doesn’t make changes. Besides, I just figured out(crossing my fingers) what was causing my sim and computer to lock up requiring complete power off and restart. I downloaded ShellExView v1.41, ran it, and disabled all non-Microsoft extensions which a lot were Nvidia. Haven’t had any freezes yet, and haven’t seen any degradation of my sim experience. But I couldn’t imagine combining the frustrations of this with what you and others are having with FTXG. Thanks Again.

    Many Regards,

    Jerry

    • Kosta says:

      Jerry,
      It would be very weird if the Nvidia processes were causing problems. If they are/were, I would look into cleaning of the driver and installing the newest one. I personally never had a problem from Nvidia processes.
      FSX can be frustrating, and you are right, FTXG was just the tip of the iceberg…

      • Gerald Stuck says:

        Kosta,

        If my “Freeze” returns I will definitely give that a try. Currently everything is running smooth with consistent 30 fps. The only irritation that I wish I could get rid of or reduce is the sudden appearance(popping) of trees and buildings as I progress. I’m a VFR low level type. I’m running Intel Quad Core I5-3570K overclocked to 4.1 GHz with Nvidia GeForce 660 2G. Ram is 8G 1600MHz. Any suggestions to reduce the popping – more RAM(16G at 1866 MHz) or will I have to upgrade to a higher processor? Or is this popping inherent to FSX? I have my max autogen dialed back to 1000(trees) and 800(buildings) and my autogen slider to “Dense”. Thanks for any insight and for helping me learn more about how things work in FSX and my system.

        Many Regards,
        Jerry

      • Kosta says:

        It’s a good computer, so you should only make sure that you have no loading lag – eg. not overloading the system. Test with lower settings and work your way up, and observe how texture loading and AG loading is going on.
        Don’t forget: AG popping is actually an FSX feature!!

  9. Alain says:

    Hey! Kosta,

    Great review, I knew you would be neutral in explaining FTX-G to regular simmers who, like you said, do not know what is happening in their FSX and would not know where to start if they wanted to uninstall FTX-G.

    Did you ever talk to JV and got a answer about what your concern were on FTX-G, if you did what is your feed back on why FTX-G was sold as it is (no switch or uninstaller)? Could you get a refund as you wanted?

    By the way Nick posted a “How to removed FTX Global and restore” here..

    http://www.simforums.com/forums/how-to-remove-ftx-global-and-restore-8-20-2013_topic46919.html

    Alain

    • Kosta says:

      I wrote a post on monday afternoon, hoping he would be back on 18th as planned, but he wasn’t.
      I didn’t hear from him until yesterday, so I posted.
      It’s nothing bad I posted, I will keep FTXG, so won’t go about with the refund, but I will stand by my opinion that a switch is what is needed, and an uninstaller too.

      • Alain says:

        Agree, you did not post anything bad but the fats as you see them, also agree that the switch is what’s missing including a uninstaller that will 100% revert your FSX to his original state before FTX-G global was installed if one want to do so.

        FTX-G look like a very good product visually.

      • Kosta says:

        And that thread on AVSIM… precious some answers.

  10. daniele says:

    hi Kosta,

    im here just for this reason…searching some info because FTXG messed up most of my addons, and for all I can see, Im not alone.
    I dont have anymore autogen in santorini x, cut in half autogen in mykonos x, exagerated fps drop in Los Angeles x and messed up some airports(seems Ftxg dont like aerosoft products) and a strange “broke” feelings all over the fsx world.
    Great set of texture, but for me, I prefer my old perfect scenery, than a new world broken.Uninstall ftx global, thanks Alain(above comment), and reinstall again when a patch coming out, with a proper installer/uninstaller, and a better optimization with 3th developer support.FTXG is too green.And not for their texture.Sad:(

    • Kosta says:

      Daniele,
      Yep, those are the exact airports which also use custom files made by Aerosoft, especially when it comes to autogen. However, autogen files can be edited to my knowledge, and they only “fix” the area, and not the whole world.
      FTXG has an effect on the whole world, thus the problem. They should make a switch, and I would urge everyone to go there and request it. Enough voices will probably warrant it.
      I found the FTXG green very compatible with many airport addons. Most addon devs make surrounding textures a bit greener than GEX ever was.

  11. cabnz says:

    Hi Kosta,

    Thank you for that very good information.

    I have mentioned so many times on the ORBX forums (and on other forums) that an uninstaller should have been provided with there product but it continually goes without a reply or deleted – nice! This has really put me off buying there products and I have bought every single on of there product so far but there attitude towards people concerned is a HUGE let down. I’ve decided to go with photoreal scenery wherever I can now and have deleted some of the ORBX scenery off my hard drive. Photoreal scenery in my opinion looks better and you know you are flying over what is really there plus the FPS are way better.

    Anyways, thank you for your information and I look forward to an uninstaller (or switcher) from ORBX.

    Cheers,

  12. Alain says:

    “And that thread on AVSIM… precious some answers.”

    Always easier to attack the messenger, trying to rebuff the argument is not as easy.

  13. hawkeye says:

    Thanks Kostas, I was wondering why many of my addon airports had trees going through them! I found a tool that removed trees +/- 500 feet on either side of any runway, but didn’t fix the trees on taxiways issue.

    • Kosta says:

      Do what are you using to remove the trees? However, funny that it will remove on runways but not taxiways…
      Can you also name specific locations?

  14. Afterburner says:

    After reading most of the existing reviews and comments about FTXG, I have decided to skip the purchase and just stay happy with the FSX default textures. Using an external Landclass product (XClass), the results are acceptable to me.
    Besides the substantial price (which is 3x as high as the FSX itself) and the issues described above, I have also read that the FTXG textures in southern Europe and USA are too green. This is a no-go for a product that is so highly appraised. Once all these problems are eliminated via an update, I might give FTXG a reconsideration, but until then I will wait for Prepar3D Version 2 to come out and save money for the hardware.

    • Craig Bishop says:

      Good decision – I’m annoyed that I rushed into it to quickly.

      • Kosta says:

        Yep, I regret it too. I swear *never* to buy a ORBX product this quickly. And I would advise this to any simmer out there. Up until now, they had a good reputation. In my eyes, this has sunk quite many points down.

    • Kosta says:

      A good idea ;-)

      • Jim says:

        In my humble opinion, FTX out on a good “Dog and Pony Show” making their promo images look so good to suck people in…sorry, I just hate it when companies do that just to get their pound of flesh and then they handle damage control as they see fit. Not a good practice if you ask me.

      • Kosta says:

        They present their product in best light possible. Wouldn’t you, if it were your company?
        There is an issue about changing the innards, and that is bad however.

      • Jim says:

        Not to compare, but at least Captain Sim (for instance), at least show screenshot directly from FSX without doctoring or using only the best backgrounds and such…no deception basically…just my opinion.

      • Kosta says:

        They are, indeed. To each his own, I guess.

  15. Carlyle Sharpe says:

    For the past week, I have been reworking the airport backgrounds in my large “Honduras Islands” scenery which is available as freeware. Prior to FTX Global, all the airport backgrounds were visible. After FTX Global, a majority of them disappeared and trees appeared on the runways and aprons. After much research into the issue, it became clear that those airport backgrounds now required a scenery “hole” to be created for them, so that they could show through the background landclass polygon. (This is not an issue if the airport backgrounds sit on top of a landclass “tile”. The issue only arises with landclass polys.)

    The scenery has now been made compatible with FTX Global, by creating those “holes” for the airport backgrounds to show through, and it occurred to me that this may be the same issue that is arising with other 3rd party airports/sceneries. Again, prior to FTX Global, the airport backgrounds would show on top of any other scenery, even if they intersected with landclass polygons, so the developers had no way to predict that this could become a problem down the road.

    It appears FTX Global changed the way the standard, default “green” airport backgrounds (with masks, flattens and excludes) are prioritized when used with landclass polygons. I’m currently waiting for an answer from ORBX to confirm this, because I seem to have stumbled upon the solution. Unfortunately, the reason quoted in the article that “it looks to me as if the issue with the trees on the runway is due to the Croatia add-on not using one of the default airport grounds landclass types, which don’t have autogen,” does not apply in this case. All default backgrounds (whether they are created with SBuilderX or ADEX) will most likely disappear, along with their ability to exclude trees, if they sit on top of a competing landclass polygon. This appears to be due to an apparent change in the FTX Global scenery priority given to these “default” backgrounds.

    • Kosta says:

      Hey Carlyle,
      Many thanks for this report! As we can see clearly from your example, FTXG changed the base of the sim, and problem(s) appear.
      It seems you know what you’re doing when it comes to the scenery.
      Could you provide us lowly folks with help on how to help ourselves when it comes to such problems?

      • Malcolm Rigby says:

        Hi Kosta,

        I know that this is not a solution to the problem of trees, particulary on the runway, but it has worked for me.

        I have most of ORBX’s scenery including England, Scotland and Global. Like everyone else, until I installed FTXG, every was great. Then trees started appearing on runways and places where there are no trees, Hebrides, Outer Hebrides, Shetland Isles, Orkneys and Faeroes. I have been flying Aerosoft’s Twin Otter Extended from UK to the USA and sightseeing over the islands on the way via Iceland.

        So, using FTX Central Scenery Library Config Tool, I changed the order of FTX in the scenery library from the default of Edwards to above UTX (I have all of UTX) and the trees have gone away. I haven’t thoroughly checked all areas but for the flight I was making it worked, no unwanted trees.

        I hope this is of some help, I imagine that you have tried it already Kosta and I may have missed it the forums.

        Best regards to You.

        Mac

      • Kosta says:

        My FTX has always been above UTX. That is the only reasonable configuration IMO, when you think about what the products provide.
        But thank you for the suggestion anyway!

      • Carlyle Sharpe says:

        Mac’s comments on UTX with FTXG are quite logical. In fact, I thought this might be a UTX issue at first, because since introduction, the sheer detail of the product sometimes cannot prevent unwanted trees around highly detailed polygons (whether they are water, land, or airport backgrounds) unless an additional “exclude” polygon is added to remove them. Even though it is not a global solution to the tree issue, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

  16. Carlyle Sharpe says:

    The easiest solution and quickest fix is to download any of the freely available software such at Airport Design Editor (ADE) or SBuilderX to drawn a polygon that will exclude the offending autogen popping up through airports. Unfortunately, the actual “green” airport background will only become visible if the original developer goes back and creates scenery “holes” in the landclass polygons for the airport background to show through. It never hurts to contact the original developer to ask them if they can go back and make those fixes! The only reason I was even aware misbehaving autogen had become an issue was that someone contacted me who had recently installed FXTG. Because I hadn’t installed FXTG yet, I wasn’t even aware there was a problem.

  17. Max says:

    Tore, please… I can respect your comment and ideas (which is different to agree with you) but don’t call us “idiots”… Thanks.

  18. Kosta says:

    Tore: I will allow both positive and negative comment, even harsh ones, but swearing like in your post is really not needed nor nice to read.
    However, the reason for removing it is because you posted pirated link and that I will not allow.
    Not matter how bad JV is in your eyes, this community can only thrive on support, but also positive AND negative opinions!!
    Now removed, please consider reposting with a better choice of words and without pirated links.

  19. Paolo says:

    I installed FTX Global about a week ago, no problem, and now my P3D is at the peak of perfection.
    Never would go back to GEX.

  20. Afterburner says:

    Hi Costa,

    Apparently there is a patch available to FTX Global, which can be found here: http://www.orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/64168-ftx-global-patch-110/

    Among other things, one of its features is:
    “New landclass for the USA SW region to eradicate the “green deserts” and also add in the indigenous red desert in that region”

    Pay attention to the word “landclass”. To me, this implies that they have not replaced their greenish desert textures assigned by the default landclass file (or 3rd party such as XClass or SceneryTech), but instead added a landclass file on their own that commands the placement of “their” desert. This is tweaking on the symptoms rather than eliminating the cause. That way, it can mess up with the transition between the base LC file and theirs. And no information is given about southern Europe. I suspect that ORBX may have deliberately avoided replacing the miscolored textures assigned by default LC files in order to seduce buyers to purchase their LC packages that are to be released in the future. By that token, any potential future buyers of FTXG who already own good LC files will have to include the LC packages anyway, as they will face the choice between maximum accuracy and misplaced colors.

    I may be wrong, though. Are you going to install that patch and keep us updated about the improvements? I would still like to know if southern Europe has been improved with regard to the exaggerated green color of the textures (which I don’t expect).

    • Kosta says:

      Hi,
      I already installed the patch, but didn’t have the opportunity to fly it much.
      It makes sense that ORBX will adapt the FTXG to their needs and the upcoming LC packs, is all I can say about it.
      If they added a layer for a specific texture, all fine with me, since it is like expanding FSX.

  21. Clutch Cargo says:

    Thought I’d chime in – First, congrats Kosta on passing the one year mark. 2nd, been watchin’ the FTXG spectacle take place around the multiple forums. Boy, sure brings up passionate debates. So I just sit on the fence with popcorn and get my morning laugh.

    Not purchasing it for now until a few more patches… then I might decide but I am a photoreal enthusiast at heart (with my own added custom autogen), and would only use FTXG in areas I do not have it. Plus, not sure I agree to have only an Orbx world – by that I mean I too would like an on-off switch for FTXG. But I don’t think that is in their business model. Question I have is with the step-by-step uninstall instructions link mentioned above, could not one reverse that and make sort of an ON/OFF switch?

    My other question, Kosta, is with my FTX regions activated it also activates all the Orbx airports for that region even if I am 100’s of miles from them. Now from what I have read doesn’t that eat away at one’s VRAM? I’m thinking moving all my Orbx airports out of FTX Central and that way just activate the ones I wish to use for that flight.

    Lastly, saw your latest post in the LM forums about your wishes on what to put in a launcher. We may have an answer for you in a couple of months. (Shhhhh…. ;)

    • Kosta says:

      ” could not one reverse that and make sort of an ON/OFF switch?”

      I was thinking that exact same thing two days ago. Two simple batch files, each to copy specific data in, but it will be only for a specific configuration and my folders, so basically “me only” :)

      You can’t remove the airports from the FTX central directly from the FTX central AFAIK? But you can back the script up (.cfg file) and run the FTX configurator to remove it from the FTX central, that way you will basically remove it from loading in the FSX. And you can always put it back.

      What do you mean with an answer for me? And external program or LM implementing that? Because they are probably already at it…?

  22. Tobias Tuft says:

    only been here for a couple of months, but have found your blogs/ site invaluable – so thank you

  23. Carlyle Sharpe says:

    Adding more to the FTXG “tree issue”… As I’ve been updating more sceneries, it has been easier to zone in on the issue creating this. In a previous post, I addressed the need for a scenery “hole” to exist for airport backgrounds to exist correctly with hand-drawn landclass. The 2nd, and more troubling, issue I have found is that FTXG has REPLACED the assignment for the standard “grass” texture with a texture that is a mix of grass and trees. This means that any developer assigning the “solid” grass texture from SBuilderX will not find that texture where it belongs with FTXG installed. This also means that any developers who choose to use the “grass” texture as an airport background instead of the standard “Mask Class Map” will not see a solid grass surface. The reason developers sometimes choose “grass” over the “mask” is largely for aesthetic reasons… it just LOOKS BETTER in some instances, but it serves the same purpose. Because the standard grass texture contained NO TREES, it was always a safe (and sometimes preferable) alternative to using the “mask”. FTXG makes the grass texture useless, and thus, “breaks” every 3rd party scenery that has assigned a specific “grass/non-tree” texture based on satellite imagery.

  24. Just another simmer says:

    Thanks for your insights, Kosta, they are appreciated.. I was a passionate customer of ORBX’s NA sceneries, but started noticing things amiss with their SE Alaska release that was originally supposed to work flawlessly with Aerosoft’s Anchorage X package, and then saw the significant turnaround after release that had users deleting over half of the Aerosoft scenery to get it to work with their own.. their recent attitude of “suggesting” to users that the ORBX add-ons are flawless and (almost literally) everyone else’s addon’s need to be fixed is alarming to say the least, and then to see this sort of thing has convinced me that they are no longer worthy of significant portions of my paychecks.. thank you.. think I might go check out GEX now…

    • Jim says:

      I can say with all honesty that ORBX’s scenery does work flawlessly as long as that’s all you use. I have all of the NA_Rockies, South Alaska, Pacific Fiords loaded on my rig and you get some great flying, combined with many of the airports there. GA flying is great with ORBX, again as long as that’s ALL that is loaded. Granted, I do also have UTX-USA installed but the order of my scenery is set as such so no conflicts occur. As for ORBX’s Australia, well ORBX is the only ones who have that market so no issues with that either. I really can’t say anything bad about ORBX, mainly because if you know what you have and you heed warnings from ORBX, then you shouldn’t have any problems as long as you know how to adjust everything. Just my two cents.

      • Kosta says:

        Exactly my experience – this:
        “if you know what you have and you heed warnings from ORBX, then you shouldn’t have any problems as long as you know how to adjust everything.”
        It is like that in the whole FSX world. It is SO complicated, that as long as you wish to use one company, it will all fit well, but when you start mixing, is when you MUST know what you are doing. And when problems arise, you must know how to alleviate them!

      • Just another simmer says:

        IMO the problem is that for such a broad base package that has the potential to affect nearly every scenery addon produced previously (regardless of developer) in a negative way, I am now at the point where I do not wish to simply throw away thousands of dollars of paid for products just because ORBX says it’s not their problem.. and lack of an uninstaller where they are replacing core files is just poor customer service, and JV’s attitude has begun to border on God complex IMO.. this guy doesn’t care that he is going to ruin my simulator without telling me about it first, and then I am supposed to do all the work to fix it??? sorry guys, but that is a first to me, in any industry… I used to be a mechanic, and if I broke something on your car in the process of fixing something else, then I was liable for the further repairs, not my customer… And IMO this is no different.. In replacing core FSX files, he has damaged my original product in the process of “fixing” it, without my knowledge, or consent, and then has dumped the mess on me to repair.. this is borderline malware as far as I am concerned.. I absolutely loved the NA sceneries, but I always had the ability to shut them off as needed, as well as uninstall them if necessary.. to offer up something that cannot be uninstalled or repaired is just downright negligent as far as I am concerned and seems to reflect the “God complex” I have seen ORBX getting recently..

        these are just my opinions, and if ORBX chooses to change their way of doing things then I might revisit their products, but at this point, I see this as a storm brewing, and want no part of it..

      • Jim says:

        Well as far as FTX Global is concerned, I do not own it, and for obvious reasons such as the ones you and everyone else has mentioned. When you install and run any other ORBX product, you still have the ability to disable that scenery in FSX or through FTX Central, which I do like. Case in point, last night I wanted to fly a route from KJAC to CYVR, and when I loaded the flight, I notice KJAC was in default FSX, not the KJAC I had from ORBX, so I got out of FSX, went to FTX Central and activated the North American region. I went back in to FSX, reloaded my flight and BAM! everything was good. The reason my NA airports and regions didn’t load initially was due to me flying a previous route through Australia, to which I have that corresponding region as well. Long story short, the ability to switch like that works just fine, but again I am not experienced with FTX Global so i can only imagine the headaches everyone else goes through. I can also say that using FTX scenery with UTX-USA works just fine, which I found surprising…I guess one overrides the other in the grand scheme of things.

      • Snoeckx Herman says:

        Hi folks, I’ve been testing FTX Global for a couple of weeks now and didn’t find any problem that couldn’t be fixed with the sliders in the game. I did install it the way they tell you to do, with backing up the scenery/world/scenery folder, and I did ( by means of a test what people were saying that it wouldn’t work or fsx wouldn’t work properly any more) uninstall it and didn’t have any problems with FSX what so ever!! I have Aerosoft mega Brussels airport, UTX Europe, Fly Tampa St. maarten, a lot of freeware scenery and some scenery I build myself with SbuilderX, I tested all of those areas and didn’t notice a single problem except for some occasional trees on a runway on the second airport on St Maarten wich I could solve as explained in another post up above so I really don’t understand all the bla bla that is going on against FTX Global, I for one wouldn’t want to miss it anymore for no money in the world, I now can enjoy flying everywhere in the world what previously only was in Europe and North America.
        regards Herman

      • Kosta says:

        I like the comparison with the mechanic and the car. I find it correct.

  25. Carlyle Sharpe says:

    As a follow-up to my post regarding grass and tree textures, ORBX did get back to me and confirmed that the grass texture had been swapped out for a “meadow with trees” texture. They’ll be preparing a fix for the grass landclass in the next service pack. (At present, this texture swap means that any 3rd party scenery that has a “grass” assignment will display a “meadow with trees” texture under FTXG.)

    Anyone interested in following the thread where Holger Sandmann and I discussed this can find it here: http://www.orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/61929-ftx-global-what-is-it-all-about/page-6#entry601242

    Best,
    Carlyle

    • Kosta says:

      Ahhh, would that mean my LDDU will get clean again? That would be nice…

    • Kosta says:

      Carlyle,
      I just wanted to tell you that renaming of the .agn file worked out! Thank you very much for pointing me there!!

      • Carlyle Sharpe says:

        Terrific! Sometimes persistence pays off! You’ll still probably notice a “meadow” background instead of solid-colored grass, but at least the trees are gone.

      • Kosta says:

        Yeah, I saw the meadow, but hey, the trees from taxiways and in the middle of the airport are gone, so that is good! They should definitely replace the texture with grass again.

  26. Carlyle Sharpe says:

    If LDDU is using the “grass LC” instead of the standard airport “mask”, it should return to grass with the fix. In the meantime, Holger posted a temporary workaround (found in the thread posted above) to prevent the trees from appearing on the meadow texture. If the LDDU issue is a result of the texture swap (and not a separate issue), your trees should disappear with the workaround.

  27. Paolo says:

    Kosta, you know when it will be released FTX Vector?
    I can not find news.

  28. TheBladeUk says:

    Hi Kosta

    I have all the FTX regions and getting OOM when flying into EGLL, how do you disable just FTX England with FS Global installed?

    • Kosta says:

      Blade,
      You just set FTX Global in the central. Flying into addon EGLL, with addon aircraft, with FTX UK and maybe one or two other heavy addons like UTX and mesh, incl. LOD 6.5 = no-can-do. Lower LOD for instance…

  29. Jackson says:

    Hi Kosta…after reading all the forums with pros and cons, I made the step and replaced GEX2 with FTXG and I have to say now agree with you when you say it has been probably one of the best addons ever after the NGX (and maybe now ASN, which I am loving….).
    Have you tested FTX Vector as well ? Any idea how it compares against UTX, expecially in Europe ?
    Regards

    • Kosta says:

      Jackson,
      Glad you’re liking it, there are many happy users out there with it.
      No, didn’t get FTX Vector, as it is visibly worse than UTX, and I have UTX Europe already.

  30. Jackson says:

    “it is visibly worse than UTX…” that’s the kind of confirmation I needed….! I will stay with UTX..
    Have a happy new year..!
    Ciao

  31. Fedor says:

    Kosta, hi! I have posted a question on the orbx support page but it’s taking a long time until someone answers me. So I decided that I take the chance and just ask you.
    the problem I have – I have first installed my Prepar3dv2.2 to my HDD drive, then I bought the FTX Global 1.1 and installed it. Then I decided to reinstall te P3D to my SSD drive to see how much better it would perform. So I have uninstalled FTX Global via their uninstall button and deleted all info and shortcuts and i guess that was a misstake. After reinstalling the P3D to my SSD drive I ran the FTX Global install again and the FTX Central would not be created again and therefore would not run. I tried to look for it but it’s just not there. what should i fo to properly install FTX Global again? I have clean uninstalled P3dv2 and FTX Global several times and still, I just don’t know where to get the FTXCENTRAL.EXE file…. Thanks, Fedor.

    • Herman says:

      I’ve had the same problem relocating FSX, the only way to reinstall FTXGlobal is to download it again from your customers account and do a total reinstall then, and don’t forget afterwards to update to version 1.2

      • Fedor says:

        Herman, Thanks a lot!! That really helped! Issue resolved and I am very happy. The thought of downloading it again from the Flightsimstore did cross my mind byt I didnt’t believe that it would actually work. you convinced me and thank you. One more question if I may – after I click the apply button on the FTX Central menu, do I have to run FTX Central again and click Apply every time I start P3D of FSX? Or one time is enough? Thanks again!

      • Herman says:

        If you only have FTXGlobal then a one time is enough, if you want default scenery then you switch it again. One other thing you might wanna do is copy the FTX day and FTX night switch from the ORBX folder to your desktop, switching it to day helps performance a lot.

  32. Kosta says:

    Fedor,
    I honestly don’t know what the problem is. There are virtually 100 causes that could be causing the problem in a Windows environment, beginning with corrupted installs, registry entries, bad disks, etc etc… Without being at your computer, I simply can’t give you any answer, much like FTX cannot give it also, I reckon.
    ORBX stuff however doesn’t put much anywhere else than into the P3D directory, so basically trashing the whole sim directory should actually give you a normal way to install. And always use a full download install from wherever you bought it.
    However, your last sentance confuses me: you cannot find FTX Central? Did you look in the ORBX folder in P3D?

  33. Fedor says:

    Kosta, Thanks a lot for the reply!!! that was quick :) Well, I uninstalled P3D totally and then installed it again and after that tried to install FTX GLOBAL but it never created the FTX Center… I guess the installer just doesn’t understand that the FTX Central is not there on my CPU. I will try what Heman suggested above. Anyway, thanks a lot!!!

  34. Fedor says:

    I meant to say Herman, sorry ))

  35. Malcolm Beaton says:

    Kostas-thanks for all your work-eye opening for me,.I noticed another Orbyx “moment” on my machine. I have Photorealistic Scenery for Scotland plus the Orbyx Scotland setup and switch between the two as required.The Weather and Season are now not available in the Photorealistic setup-permanent Summer reigns!
    This a FSX operation.
    It is not a serious problem–compromise is the name of the game when we have simulators giving us such fabulous experiences but Orbyx are a bit naughty altering such basic attributes of FSX without notice- if this is what has happened!
    Malcolm

    • Kosta says:

      Malcolm,
      What you describe is addon-specific. Not something I can help you about really.
      If an addon is causing *something*, then best take it up with the dev, and you must do your own research into the matter, if it’s the addon causing that or “something else”.

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