Review: ORBX YMML V2.0 DVD Edition
By Alexander Czarnecki
February 18, 2012
Melbourne Tullamarine Airport is the primary airport serving the city of Melbourne and the second busiest in Australia. It was opened in 1970 to replace the nearby Essendon Airport. Melbourne Airport is the sole international airport of the four airports serving the Melbourne metropolitan area.
The Melbourne-Sydney air route is the fourth most-travelled passenger air route in the world and the second busiest in the Asia Pacific region. The airport features direct flights to 33 destinations in all states and territories of Australia in addition to numerous destinations in Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Melbourne is the most common destination for the airports of five of Australia's seven capital cities. Melbourne serves as a major hub for Qantas and Virgin Australia, while Jetstar Airways and Tiger Airways Australia utilise the airport as home base. Melbourne is the busiest airport for international export freight as of August 2011, while second busiest for import freight. Domestically, Melbourne serves as headquarters for Australian Air Express and Toll Priority and handles more domestic freight than any other airport in the nation.
In 2003, Melbourne received the International Air Transport Association Eagle Award for service and two National Tourism Awards for tourism services. The airport comprises four terminals: one international terminal, two domestic terminals and one budget domestic terminal. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
ORBX List of Features:
- 7 cm/pixel imagery for aprons, taxiways and airport area around terminals
- 60 cm/pixel imagery over a much larger area (expanded from ~40 km sq to ~80 km sq)
- Much better performance than versions 1.0 - 1.5
- Completely remodeled in 3D Studio Max
- TextureFlow enhanced
- Russ and Marty's beautifully modeled ground services equipment
- Many new photos taken onsite and building textures updated
- Ground imagery completely cleaned up and now with 3D modeled vehicles across 100% of airport
- FSX polys used only for runways for better performance
- Brand new approach lighting system (will also be used at YSCB)
- The new international terminal expansion, accurate to the last ground marking, gate and stairs
- Updated buildings, Tiger terminal expansion and new ATC side buildings
- Completely accurate ground markings in 7 cm, reflects the airport operations as of today
- New gate locations and revised airport layout to reflect expansion
- Includes coverage at Taylors Lakes and Watergardens shopping centre
- Includes the township of Bulla
- Full integrated with FTX AU Traffic 3.01
- Expanded Control Panel options
- And much more!
(Real world photos taken by me)
This review is for the DVD edition, not the download edition.
YMML Melbourne International was the first international airport Orbx Simulation Systems released back in 2008. This was the result of over 18 months of development by the ORBX team. That scenery was widely acclaimed with it receiving several awards.
However ORBX recently remade (yes this was redone from the ground up, not just an upgrade) the entire airport, and among other things, modelling the new international terminal expansion, adding NGIS to all gates, upgrading all the ground imagery to higher resolution from 15 cm to 7 cm and 1.2 m to 60 cm, now over 60 sq km of photoreal area, a new AFCAD including full crosswind runway support and massive performance improvements.
Installation is easy, put the DVD in your DVD drive, and if you have autoplay enabled, the installer should open, and click thru the installation. It only takes a few minutes to install. Remember the airport is made to slot into ORBX's FTX AU BLUE region, so you need that for the full experience.
The scenery is the usual standards from ORBX, with superb modelling and texture work of the terminals, ground service vehicles and landside and miscellaneous buildings, which also extends outside the airport boundaries.
Also the AFCAD file, if enabled, allows full crosswind runway support, which is rarely, if ever, seen in default FSX.
Also the airport has the feeling of life, with plenty of vehicles (some animated and most static) and people. The people are not animated, but ORBX is rolling out Peopleflow across their airports so one would think YMML would get the treatment soon. Having all the ground service vehicles animated would be nice too. Most of the jetways are fully animated.
The airport and surrounding areas are covered with superb ground textures. The resolution for the airport itself is an amazing 7 cm/pixel. The surrounding areas are now at 60 cm/pixel. (There is a noticeable difference where the 7 cm/pixel imagery swaps with the 60 cm/pixel imagery.)
Unfortunately, one thing I dislike is that unlike the runways, which are poly models, the aprons and taxiways are part of the ground textures, so unless you have an extremely powerful computer, they are very prone to blurring.
Night lighting is very good, with all the modelled street lights and realistic apron flood-lighting.
The main key also, is the ORBX Control Panel, which allows you to adjust levels of details like static vehicles and the 3D people, among many other things. This enables you to fine tune performance and detail to your liking.
The package is rounded out with a well written manual, detailing installation and recommended settings, and also includes a few charts.
YMML V2 has a lot better than V1, where V1 would get only 5-10 fps, V2 can get 15-20 fps. Personally, with all the settings on max, and full AI traffic, I get around 15 fps. However, if you can't run the default YMML satisfactorily, you won't be able to run this airport.
An excellent remake of a landmark Australian scenery release; already very good in V1, V2 really makes it. Upgrading the detail dramatically and also managing to increase frame rates. If you can run it, get it, because it is a stunning and ultra-detailed (and ultra-accurate; I have flown in and out of YMML several times so I can vouch for its accuracy) rendition of a major Australian airport.
Important: I am not affiliated with ORBX in any way. Please direct all support issues to ORBX at www.orbxsystems.com/forum/.
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