How to improve terrain shape in FSX and P3D? FreeMeshX – freeware mesh for entire world. The same (or better) quality than payware products! A must have!
Why? Where’s the improvement?
FreeMeshX is a 38m mesh for entire world (apart from the U.S.). That means that your FSX or P3D terrain will use elevation points every 38 meters* – instead of default 76 meters (most European countries) or more (up to 300 or 600m in some parts of the world). Currently only USA is covered with 38m mesh in FSX and P3D.
Even the difference between 76 and 38 meters is visible and the change between 300m and 38m is huge!
Those who fly over United States will be happy to hear that FreeMeshX team is working on 19m and 10m mesh for U.S.
* – Antarctica, Greenland and northern parts of Russia are covered with 76m mesh in FreeMeshX.
Take a look at how it looks in different parts of the world:
This is the place where the difference is most significant. The default mesh resolution is around 300 meters here giving this gentle and rounded look to the Himalayas in FSX and P3D.
Kilimanjaro shows the difference in Africa.
There is only slight improvement in Europe, but nevertheless – you should be able to see it on the screen below.
Possible problems – elevated / sank airports
This is how an airport looks when there is an elevation conflict between mesh and airport elevation. In this case I am high in the South American Andes and the terrain elevation is about 20 meter higher than the airport altitude.
The airport itself is not affected – there is a flatten around it but there are visible slopes around it.
This problem is not limited to FreeMeshX – other mesh add-ons suffer from it and there are airports in default FSX and P3D where this happens too. With the FreeMeshX I had to check a few airports in high mountains to find this problem.
Is this problem serious? No. It affects only some airports – usually the ones located high in the mountains. I observed this problem a few times when I flew in Andes and Himalayas. With one exception I had no problem taking off and landing on these airports. The airport where I was unable to land was affected also in the default FSX – it was located in a hole 200 or 300ft deep.
How to download and install FreeMeshX
The most important part. You can download FreeMeshX from it’s website http://ninetwopro.com/freemeshx/ I chose MediaFire downloads that is better for those who have a high bandwidth connection. If you have a low-end connection – use Download Manager software or Torrent distribution.
Download and extract the files (you can use a freeware 7zip to extract 7z files). Keep all continents in separate folders. Another folder should store all patch files. Then add all folders to your Scenery Library. Generally – FreeMeshX goes between default FSX sceneries (Edwards_AFB is the last or top one) and the AddonScenery folder. If you have any ORBX FTX area sceneries (like FTX Australia or FTX Norway) – make sure that they are above FreeMeshX.
You may notice that I changed the order that was suggested in developer’s installation guide. Addon Scenery may include some sceneries featuring local meshes – keep them above FreeMeshX folders.
Although the sceneries that are far from your flight path should not affect your performance or VAS usage it is a good practice to turn off all sceneries (including mesh) that are not necessary for your flight. I also turn the mesh off for long-haul flights unless the airports are surrounded with mountains.