FAQ

If you have a question that has not been answered here, send an email to the support address at the bottom of this page or visit the VLC support forums by clicking here.

Additional information about how to install and use VLC can be found in the Documents section

Pre-Purchase

Q: What is this product?

A: This is an addon software package designed for use with Microsoft Flight Simulator 10 (FSX), FSX 'Steam Edition' or LockheedMartin Prepar3D (V3+) which enhances New Zealand's topography and scenery. For more information, see the pages under the 'Feature' menu.

Q: Do I need any other software to use this product?

A: Yes, you will need a valid installation of Microsoft Flight Simulator 10 (FSX), FSX 'Steam Edition' or LockheedMartin Prepar3D (V2+) which can be purchased at most computer games stores or ordered online. We don't offer FSX, FSX-SE or Prepar3D for sale via this website.

Q: Do I need to download a different installer for different versions of the simulator? (FSX, FSX-SE, Prepar3D)

A: No. The installer can handle all versions of the simulator since the data is mostly common between them.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The cost to purchase a single user license of VLC through us is $55 NZD (Approximately $50 AUD, $45 USD, 33 EURO, 27 GBP)

Q: I use Prepar3D as a 'home' simulator (i.e. not comercially)- Is VectorLandClass compatible?

A: Yes it is. The VectorLandClass installer includes the option to install into FSX, Prepar3D (V2+) or both. Commercial use of VectorLandClass (i.e. for profit) is covered by a separate license, please get in touch for more details.

Q: I'm interested in installing VLC onto a commercial simulator running Microsoft ESP or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D- Is this possible?

A: Yes! We offer commercial scenery solutions and licensing for VLC. Please see this page for more details.

Q: Where can I buy VLC?

A: VLC is available for direct download from this site via the 'Purchase' menu which offers the most cost effective way to purchase it. If you prefer, VLC is also available from sim-market as a direct download.

Q: Will this product work with other ‘Environmental’ addons (such as Real Environment Extreme)?

A: This addon shouldn’t change the way that other addons of this type function as they enhance parts of the sim which this addon doesn’t change- If anything, they will enhance your whole Flightsim experience even further when combined with VectorLandClass!

Q: Will VLC work with other ‘Ground Texture’ replacement packages (such as FScene, Ground Environment Extreme)?

A: VectorLandClass is first and foremost a Landclass and mesh package and apart from replacing a few key textures ourselves, we rely on default ground textures. The various landclass definitions have been chosen so they best represent New Zealand using the default texture sets and for that reason, some global texture replacement packages may result in less than ideal texture placements. Unfortunately, some 'regional' landclass and texture replacement packages overwrite default textures kept in the global repository rather than placing them in their own regional folder. For best results, disable these before using VLC.

Q: Will VLC work with other Landclass replacement packages (such as Orbx, Ultimate Terrain)?

The majority of textures included in this addon are installed in our own subfolder and will be used exclusively by our addon. However some textures, such as autogen vegetation, need to be installed into your FSX root texture folder and overwrite default files. The VLC installation process will make backups of relevant textures in the root texture folder before adding VLC replacements. This means that other landclass packages which replace default textures (such as Orbx) will need to be turned off using 'FTX Central' or equivalent program before installing VLC to avoid making backups of non-standard textures.

With the recent release of two ORBX scenery packages which separately cover the North and South Islands of New Zealand, here are some basic instructions on which VLC files can be disabled to avoid overlap if using one of these packages.

 To disable South Island VLC data (for use with NZSI)

The VLC files use the recommended/default naming convention for scenery data so you will need to disable the files for the South Island ending with these numbers:
Mesh (Found in the VectorLandlCass_DTM/Scenery folder)
DTM_20m_9247
9248
9346
9347
9348
9446s*
9447
*The 's' denotes the southern portion of the mesh file as this data tile falls over both the North and South Island. For the other scenery below, there is only the one tile 9446 which covers the true extent of that tile.

 

To disable North Island VLC data (for use with NZNI)

The VLC files use the recommended/default naming convention for scenery data so you will need to disable these files for the North Island ending with these numbers:
Mesh (Found in the VectorLandlCass_DTM/Scenery folder)
DTM_20m_9344
9344
9444
9445
9446n*
9545

9546

*The 'n' denotes the northern portion of the mesh file as this data tile falls over both the North and South Island. For the other scenery below, there is only the one tile 9446 which covers the true extent of that tile.

Landclass etc (Found in VectorLandClass/Scenery)
The numbers will be same as the mesh data except there are 14 'flavours' of data to disable. These are
CustomLibrary_xxxx.bgl
cvx_base_xxxx.bgl
cvx_landclass_xxxx.bgl
cvx_streams_xxxx.bgl
cvx_urbanRoads_xxxx.bgl
exx_xxxx.bgl
exx_xxxx_WaterExcl.bgl
LightsMW_xxxx.bgl
LightsUrb_xxxx.bgl
StandardLibrary_xxxx.bgl

where 'xxxx' are the tile numbers.

Note that for the 9446 scenery tile which covers parts of the South and North Island, you will need to decide if you want to disable this tile (and show default data on either island) or keep it enabled (and have possible double ups) since VLC is designed as a country wide product. 
The easiest way to disable these is by moving the files into the pre-existing 'Inactive' folder (You will need to create one for the mesh data as this folder exists as part of the config tools operation). Note also that if any types of VLC data have been disabled via the Config tool, they will already be in the 'Inactive' folder.
There are also the country wide raster datasets (Population, Seasons, WaterClass, Base)  which can be left enabled if the Orbx data has higher priority.

Q: Can I disable certain VLC airfields if I want to use an alternate airfield model?

A: Of course :)- This is covered in the Readme which comes with the VLC Airfield packs.

Q: What are the minimum computer specifications for this addon?

A: Although the minimum system requirements for a default Flight Simulator X install are a little optimistic for smooth gameplay, this addon should be able to run on any machine that can run default FSX or Prepar3D smoothly. The listed minimum specification for Microsoft Flight Simulator X are: Processor 2Ghz Equivalent or Higher, RAM 1GB, Direct X 9+ video Card. The installation of Vector Land Class requires an additional 600MB free space of Hard drive space.

Q: What Hardware can I buy to ensure the best performance using VLC?

A: Obtaining Optimum performance using VLC is the same for any other FSX/Prepar3D addon: A fast 

multi-core CPU, fast RAM and Video card but with the addition of a fast hard drive to ensure 

data can be loaded quickly.

Q: How will this addon affect performance generally?

 A: There a few considerations here-

Framerates- Overall frame rates should not be adversely affected by the landclass/vector/mesh part of this addon- at some locations performance may reduce, at others it may increase.

Autogen objects, a real frame-rate hog in FSX may be more dense in areas due to the higher fidelity of the underlying landclass. For example, the default landclass data is dominated by a very bland ‘desert’ texture which has only very sparse autogen on it giving quite good performance (albeit incorrect). VLC replacement data may draw textures with denser autogen placement (depending on what is actually there in real life) such as forest or bush. The more autogen features in a scene, the more work your computer has to do and the less your performance may be.

Night lighting along urban roads and highways will have an effect especially in larger urban areas. These lights have been compiled in a way that the number of lights can be controlled with the Scenery Complexity Slider so that performance should be acceptable on a wide range of systems. Furthermore, the user can choose which class of Lights to display, or disable them completely using the VLC Config tool.

Freeway traffic can be another hard hitter on frame rates- VLC freeway data covers a far greater number of roads which means traffic will be visible in more parts of the country. However, when combined with the replacement population density layer, which lowers the overall density of traffic, frame rates should be more consistent.

As with any FSX configuration, it is up to the user to decide their own balance between 'eye candy' and computer performance by using the FSX sliders to control how objects are rendered.

Loading Times- Because this addon contains much much more detailed data, loading times may be slightly affected (both for the initial load and subsequent streaming of new data as the user flies around the scene). In house testing shows that load times are no worse than loading photoreal imagery. In general, for best performance in FSX, it should be installed on a high RPM or solid state SATA HDD.

Q: Will this addon negatively affect airport addons such as RealNZ or other releases?

A: While we cannot gaurantee that they will not be affected, our testing should at least keep disruptions to a minimum. Because all airports should sit on their own flatten and exclude which has a higher priority than our data, there should be no problems with autogen showing up on a runway. However, because our data is so accurate there are some areas where a shelter belt exists near the end of a runway (in real life and in the simulator) which can make approaches difficult- Something that we cannot control is the height of these trees in the sim- except to rely on an exclude to ‘chop’ them down. If problems are evident, please let us know via the support page and we may be able to fix it in subsequent patch releases.

Q: Does this addon work with default mesh (terrain) data?

A: When you purchase the VLC package, we include our very own VLC 20m mesh at no extra cost which overrides the default STRM terrain. This is 4 times more accurate than the default mesh in terms of X,Y resolution and also removes erroneous heights resulting from anomalies in the SRTM data. The VLC terrain model enhances flying around New Zealand even more- Mountains will better defined with crisper peaks, small hills and gullies will appear....all at no 'cost' in terms of loading times.

This mesh is tied to the FSX/Prepar3D water polygons included in VLC so, if for any reason you want to disable it, you may find anomalies such as floating or sunken water relative to the default mesh (For that reason we recommend that users keep the VLC mesh enabled).

Q: Will this addon work with FS9/FS2004 or X-Plane?

A: This addon is designed to make full use of the extra features of FS10/FSX or Prepar3D and so is not compatible with FS9/FS2004. X-Plane uses a different method of compiling and displaying geographic data and so is not compatible.

Q: I don't understand anything you've just said....Can I get more information?

A: Sure- We've written a guide for people new to FSX (Microsoft Flightsimulator) which hopefully describes some of the jargon used to describe this addon. While there are some differences between FSX and Prepar3D, they use much the same scenery rendering and the terminology is common to both. Click here to go to the article.

 


 

After Purchase

Q: How do I disable VLC before flying in other countries?

A: Simply close FSX, start the VLC configuration tool, un tick the 'VLC Autogen Textures Active' box, hit Apply then Exit. This will ensure autogen trees look more correct in other countries, either by using the default autogen textures or by other addon textures.


Q: How do I disable VLC to go back to default landclass in New Zealand?

A: Within FSX, go to the Settings menu, Scenery Library, then untick the Vector Land Class and Vector Land Class DTM entries to disable them. Re-activation is the opposite process (note, it is not recommended that users remove the folders completely unless un-installing)

Q: The VectorLandClass Config tool seems to work but none of my options are saved or visible in FSX/Prepar3D?

A: Since a default installation of FSX or Prepar3D resides in the program files directory, some Windows security features will prevent the config tool from working properly, especially if you are a using a 'guest' (i.e. non Administrator) account. To get around this, either use a Administrator account or override the security settings for the VectorLandClass folder. Do this by navigating to the folder in Windows Explorer, right click it and select Properties, click the Security tab, highlight the required user (i.e. you) and give full control of reading/writing. This will ensure that tasks which the VLC Config tool needs to perform will not be blocked.

Q: How will different combinations of options in the FSX/Prepar3D Scenery options affect performance when using VLC?

A: FSX and Prepar3D allows fine tuning of performance and visuals using the sliders in the Settings >Customise menu. Like any addon, it is up to the end user to decide which features they consider important and set their sliders accordingly. In general terms, the further right the slider, the better the visual effect will be but with a corresponding drop in performance. VLC scenery objects have been compiled in a way that their density can be controlled using the default scenery sliders in the simulator so if you are suffering from poor performance such as low frame rates or stuttering, try moving some sliders to the left.

Some settings that may be useful in obtaining optimum visual performance with VLC are:

• Set the Target Frame Rate slider to an acceptable value (~40) so that extra processing capacity can be assigned to loading the higher density terrain data that VLC provides.

• Set the Mesh Resolution slider to 10m or smaller

• Set the Mesh Complexity slider to 99

Q: When trying to use the VLC Config tool, I get an error or it doesn't appear to change anything. What may be the cause of this?

A: This is usually caused by the user not having sufficient privileges on their machine- Because the config tool needs to move files within a restricted part of your hard drive, the user needs to have administrative rights and the folder in which VLC is installed needs to have full read/write permissions. To ensure this:

a) Open Windows Explorer (Windows key + 'E') and navigate to where VLC is installed (i.e. C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\VectorLandClass)

b) Right click on the 'VectorLandClass' folder and choose 'Properties' from the menu and then select the 'Security' tab.

c) Click 'Edit' to change permissions so that each user will have 'Full control' of this folder. Click OK to exit the dialogue boxes you have opened.

d) You may also need to specify that the config tool be run with Admin privileges. To do this, right click on VLCConfig.exe in the VectorLandClass folder referred to above, click properties and then select the 'Compatibility' tab. Check the 'Run this program as administrator'. Click OK to exit.

The issue may also be caused by not having the .Net framework installed, although this is rare on most modern PCs. The config tool needs the Microsoft .Net Framework v3 or 3.5 installed which can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. If you are still having problems, please send a support email.

Do you have a question that hasn't been covered here? Click on the support link at the bottom of the page and one of the VLC team will answer your query.

Are you learning to fly in real life? Read on to see how VectorLandClass and FSX can help!

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New to flight simulation and want a better understanding of what it is and how this addon package works? Read on!

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