Natural Tree Environment
Zinertek Technologies are well known for creating high quality, low-cost texture modification packages, aimed at upgrading the general look and feel of the MSFS/P3D series. Rather than focus on a single area, such as an airport, or country, Zinertek's packages enhance a particular element globally. This means the changes you see are visible straight from the word go! In this review, I will be looking at their Natural Tree Environment X package, and see if it's a worthy addition to your FSX/P3D installation.
When downloading from the FSPilotShop, you are provided with a ZIP file and a serial key. Within the ZIP file is a single executable, the installer. When starting the installation, you are given four xdifferent install options: high and low quality trees, and either an FSX or P3D installation. Once you have selected what quality trees you want, and for which simulator, you are asked to input your serial key. The rest of the installation is entirely automated.
Within the FSX directory, a new folder is created, called Natural Tree Environment X. It includes an uninstaller and an 8-page User Guide (PDF) which goes through how best to set up your simulator, based on your computer specs and what this add-on requires.
The manual is nicely laid out, clear, and contains comparison images of the different tree textures included. There is also a very helpful FAQ section, which is well worth looking over, and will answer many of your questions related to the package.
Note: As this add-on is a replacement for the default tree textures, it does not add anything to your scenery library during the installation.
What Does It Do?
Natural Tree Environment X is a texture replacement package, which adds greater realism to the default trees and shrubs found in FSX and P3D. It does this by replacing every single tree texture found within the simulator, with 170 new photo-realistic textures.
From the ground, the trees look highly realistic, especially when selecting the high-quality tree textures during the installation phase. Natural Tree Environment X only replaces the default textures (they are still formed through the use of billboarding) which means no new memory consuming models have been added. The result, is that frame rates remain high and the quality is vastly improved!
The change in quality is most noticeable during low level VFR flying, as the new textures really help bring the simulated world to life.
As mentioned previously, there are two different texture sizes included in the package: 512x512 (default FSX/P3D texture size) or 1024x1024, which is twice as large, and includes higher quality textures.
An important thing to remember, is that Natural Tree Environment X does not change or alter the placement of any of the trees found within your simulator; this is done by the default FSX or P3D autogen. The reason I mention this is because (as many will know) there are a few certain anomalies in the FSX/P3D world, concerning the location of trees. Perhaps the most well known, is the placement of conifers in Hawaii. As this add-on only replaces the textures, these conifers will still be present, albeit in far greater detail!
Being a default texture replacement, you'll find that Natural Tree Environment X is compatible with most scenery add-ons which use the default tree textures.