Autogen scenery is an incredibly competitive market. Everything from textures to mesh to landclass to vegetation has been done time and time again, with each iteration pushing the ESP platform to the next level. A recent competitor in the high quality scenery market, Turbulent Designs, has decided to make a jaunt into this market with their newly released Terra Flora tree replacement package for FSX and P3D. This package brings their highly rated vegetation from their sceneries, and puts it all over the world, similar to FTX trees, but more detailed, and (spoiler alert) much better. Let’s dive in to take a deeper look.
WHAT IS THIS PACKAGE
According to Turbulent Designs, TerraFlora is a “Global vegetation texture upgrade” which really means a replacement of the trees to an average simmer. TerraFlora is not really a new product per se, rather an expansion of the vegetation already used in their airports like KIDA and KMBS, which do look fantastic. This time however, this vegetation covers the entire globe, as opposed to just their airports.
This package comes with the following features, according to https://turbulentdesigns.co.uk:
Replacement for all default autogen trees to improve your simulation experience on a global scale
High definition vegetation textures created by Russ White to raise the bar in detail
The most realistic HD vegetation available for FSX/P3D
Seamless blending between TERRAFLORA and REAL FLORA in future airport updates
Completely reworked and optimised autogen library to boost performance
Full compatibility with all existing 3rd party landclass, airport and scenery products
Support for FSX, FSX:SE, P3D v3 and P3D v4
The installation of TerraFlora is no surprise if you’ve ever installed any other Turbulent product. Run the EXE, drop in your name, e-mail, and serial, wait for the install to finish, and wait for the Turbulent Terminal to load up. Unlike other Turbulent products however, TerraFlora has no configurable options within the Turbulent Terminal. What you buy is what you get, period. Not that this is a bad thing of course, the trees are dynamic, which means they respond to time of day and season, making them always correct for the time you fly.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room first. These trees look better to me than FTX trees, by a long shot. Some people may not agree, as subjective opinions are subjective, but for me, these trees were an instant and noticeable upgrade from the already fantastic FTX trees.
The biggest difference visually with this trees are the colors. I found the old FTX tree package to be very muted, as if the trees could only be colored in pastel. While this wasn’t an issue most of the time, it really became apparent when flying over places with traditionally bright and vibrant trees, like the Appalachian mountains. See this picture for reference:
Terra Flora is the exact opposite of that. During all seasons the trees remain vibrant and diverse, always popping with color appropriately. Take a look at these two pictures of FTX Trees and TerraFlora
The colors are so much more engaging, so much more eye catching, and more realistic all the same. This isn’t even beginning to touch on the shape of the trees themselves, which although somewhat less detailed than FTX trees, run much better, and have a better top-down appearance, making them more appealing to the tube liner simmer.
This better color and style trend continues throughout all of the seasons, including winter, where the TerraFlora trees give off a better snow effect than FTX trees by a long shot
Terra Flora trees also have the advantage of blending seamlessly with Turbulent Design’s airports, which helps the immersion factor when flying into those airports.
Here are some shots I took during my time with Terra Flora, using the Just Flight Arrow III:
You may think that replacing your default trees with prettier ones would come at a huge FPS cost, but it’s amazingly quite the opposite. Just like FTX Trees, TerraFlora actually made my sim perform a bit better than it did with default trees. This also allowed me the privilege of bumping my tree density from high to extremely dense, which made my world look much fuller than it did before. Granted, making this trade off returns you to about the same performance as you would have had with your old settings and default trees, but the visual boost is more than worth it.
Turbulent Designs took their fantastic per-airport work and made it global. They took one of their big selling points, one of their marks of extreme attention to detail, and they somehow managed to make it a global replacement for the default simulator. It seems every market Turbulent competes in they come out on top. This is just another one of their products that is a step above anything the flight simulation community has ever seen. Like their airports, they are absolutely killing the competition. And that’s the best thing that could be happening to the market right now.
TERRA FLORA WAS PROVIDED TO ME FREE OF CHARGE BY TURBULENT DESIGNS TO REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT IMPACT MY VIEWS UPON THE PRODUCT IN ANY FASHION.
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