Well if there is some loose change left over, you might like to try this interesting texture modification addon by Alexey Samoshin.
Having read both negative and positive comments about this addon, we thought it might be worth a short review to help you judge better.
To find out more, “turn the page” and read on.
What is “Samoshin Natural World Trees”?
Quite simply, this is an alternative set of tree textures to install into your flight simulator (FS9 or FSX) so that you see better looking trees. To quote from the “Shop” page:
Natural world FS contains alternative vegetation for FS, which will change the appearance of countryside and forests will be far more realistic. VFR flights will be yet better experience. Textures are made in high resolution, for FSX with SP 1 or 2, and for FS9, for every season.
What’s new in version 2.0?
1) “Low” resolution textures are added into MSFS 2004 textures set.
2) 2 new textures variants are inserted into FSX set. They replaces larches to spruces and birches accordingly.
3) Fix for Windows-64 (XP and Vista) applied.
4) New screenshots are attached to the “News” set.
5) Small fixes applied.
6) Package’s size is decreased.
Purchase, download and Installation
Samoshin Natural World Trees V2 can be purchased and downloaded from the simMarket shop (of course). Purchase and download are as simple as for all other online purchase via simMarket. As long as you READ the text in each window first and then fill in the data correctly. There is a CD service available, although I save all my downloads to CD or DVD anyway and I recommend that to anyone who has a CD/DVD drive with “Write” function. It cannot be said often enough, even here in a software review:
Always make a safe backup!
Installing the software is straight forward. The accompanying “readme” tells the user to unzip the download file to a safe place, then double click on the “.exe” file and follow the “on screen” options.
As you can see from the installer interface (see the screenshot above), you will see a menu on the left with ten buttons. The “Select Sim” button is (ought to be) highlighted. So the first choice you obviously have is to select your sim. If you have only one version installed, the installer will only highlight and allow the one choice.
- A definite plus point there for the installer!
Now being logical, we simply click one button at a time on the left hand menu and READ or SELECT the appropriate option from each successive window. As you progress through this setup procedure, you will find that the installer is very helpful and informative.
- a choice of three “variants” – you can select foliage density and tone of the trees
- a choice ofÂ “resolution” – if you have a lower-end system, you can select lower resolution textures
- a choice of “splashscreens” – you can change your FS startup splashscreen if you wish
- there is a “restore” option so that you can restore your original FS default trees – or a previous configuration of the Samoshin Trees. (in the screenshot, you can see that my original – default – configuration and a second different variant configuration are available)
Using Samoshin Natural World Trees V2
After several hours flying around various locations in the sim-world, I find the overall effect to be a definite improvement on the default FSX trees. Agreed, this is rather a subjective statement and there are some who claim that on their systems the new trees are floating hundreds of feet in the air, or they see no improvements. (The latter is quite likely, if you select the “low resolution” variants during the install and setup process)
The ‘new’ tree textures are certainly more detailed, and if your system is on the more powerful side of average, then you will have a better “feel” during your sim-flights if your scenery and autogen settings are on the higher end of the slider scales.
Of course, if “Big Tubes” are your metier, then you won’t want or need improved tree textures – you don’t get many trees at big “Mega-Scenery Airports” and you don’t see trees from flight level 390 – BUT for any simmer who flies GA aircraft low and slow, these new tree textures are a definite and worthwhile enhancementÂ for your simulation enjoyment.
There is one small caveat I should add here…
FS places different trees during different seasons. In spring you might see different trees than you will in summer. I believe that this is an FS thing and has to do with the way FS selects autogen. Of course it can be “unusual” to see a new tree grow “overnight”, but I don’t consider this a blemish on the Samoshin Trees.
Five Stars out of Five
The Summary in brief
|What it can do||What it can’t do||Who will like it||Pro||Con|
|Change the default autogen tree textures for “better” ones (depending on how you use the setup menu)||Change tropical trees.There is a Samoshin Natural World Trees Version 3 under developement||Low and slow, GA fliers||Simple setup interface|
|Good selection of choices|
The Test System
AMD FX62 based
Foxconn AM2 Motherboard
3GB Corsair RAM
nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS graphics, 512 MB VRAM
Realtek onboard 8:1 sound
three x 250 GB SATA2 Hard drives
Windows Vista Home Premium, 64 bit
About the author
Chris ‘Eagleskinner’ Brisland is an aircraft engineer with flight experience. He was knitted over half a century ago and at his current age has collected quite a few books, videos and T-shirts. A simmer since the very early days of “PC Flight”, he has a broad knowledge of flying around bedrooms, studies and home-offices. You will often find him at his desk thinking up new paint schemes for sim-planes — “finger painting without the mess”. Find him online at the simFlight Forums and many of the other places flightsimmers lurk.
He’s still not come unravelled by the way, so don’t pick at any loose ends you might find…
Various Screenshots for those with time…
This series of screenshots is taken in groups of four – Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn – from the top down. All over the same locations. There are more screenshots, especially comparison screenshots, viewable on the simMarket shop page.