Yosemite Valley

Current Version 1.2.1 by VFXSimmer
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Version 1.2.1
Initial Release September 11, 2020
Last Updated December 07, 2020
File Size 1.37 GB
Downloads 6,870
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NEW Version 1.2.1

Renames modellib.bgl to avoid conflicts and potential CTD

Version 1.2.0

This makes the package COMPATIBLE with World Update II - USA from MS/Asobo.


It took a little work and a little patience - you can't directly remove the geometry they added for their version of El Capitan and Half Dome in the world update.  I was, however, able to use a terraforming rectangle beneath their new objects to sink them low enough as to not interfere with my geometry.  The biggest bummer is that they had also added some terraforming of their own in the update and these could not be removed either.  The main artifact I was left with was the blend between the terrain and my objects.  It is not quite as seamless as before and I lost some of the procedural trees at that blend as well.  In my next update, I'm planning to test adding some bespoke 3D trees of my own to help restore something closer to what I had before.


In the meantime, I would also like to present a fully updated HALF DOME that uses the same technique of my previous El CAPITAN change.  It uses efficient lower res geometry with very highly detailed texture and normal maps generated from the highest level capture from Google Maps that I could get (I describe the process in detail in my previous post).  The process allows you to get very close to the model without losing detail and is very FPS friendly.  Speaking of detail, I have also improved the use "detail maps" in the material definition.  Detail Maps can be used to give you a 'pebble-size scale' bump map and color treatment which really helps the surface when you get right up next to it.


In this version, I also ran a "delighting" pass on the color texture map of both objects (El Capitan and Half Dome).  This removes the 'baked in shadow' problem that you get from photogrammetry.  You'll notice this whenever you are looking at the object at a time of day that differs greatly from the time when the photography was taken.


Finally, I also happy to announce that this version includes a first pass at working COLLISIONS! Yay!  Let me say that it is NOT 100% perfect.  The only way I could get it to work at this stage was to use a low res proxy of the top surface of each landscape feature.  I tried my best to match this as close as possible to the full res object but there are areas where the 'collision' surface is off by as much as 1-2 meters.  If you try to land, you may find that you touch down either slightly above or sligtly below the visible surface.  I've also occasionally run into situations where you suddenly pop through to the ground way below.  I have no idea why this occurs.  Without further documentation updates in the SDK this is the best I can do for now.


You can check out my successul.. and not so successful .. landing attempts in the screenshots.


I hope you enjoy the update.  The next area I will hit is Yosemite Falls.  MS/Asobo have teased the FX particle system release, so I'm hoping to include moving water in the next release!


PLEASE NOTE that the only NEW objects are El Capitan and Half Dome.  You will still see older versions of the rest of the park - just in case you think its a mistake when you see it.


Previsous Versions 0.1.0 and 1.1.0

I am happy to present my initial release or Yosemite Valley. Its one of my favorite places on earth so I was really excited to see it well represented in the sim. As soon as I saw the first post describing how to work in google map data, I knew I wanted to do this. I've incorporated as much of the detailed geo available in google maps and worked hard to blend them into the existing landscape and color correct them to match as much as possible. All of the major features of the valley are well represented in their data - El Capitan, Half Dome, Glacier Point, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls, Vernal & Nevada Falls. Especially with the waterfalls I zoomed in for maximum detail and blended those into the surrounding geo.


I consider this just an "initial release". There are several things I hope to tackle in the future, some that just require time, and others that need more from the SDK.


Future work includes:


- Creating normal maps to add finer detail when viewing objects from a closer distance

- Subdividing some areas of the geo and smoothing out some of the weird jagged shapes photogrammetry sometimes creates

- Get the FX system working from Asobo to add working waterfalls

- Get the animal SDK details to add some wandering around the park... (that said, there IS some stationary wildlife if you look very carefully)

- Do more paintwork to reduce the "baked in shadows" on some of the cliff faces from the photomapping


My other pet peeve is the hard shelled photogrammetry trees. I tried to preserve the MSFS trees from the landscape as much as possible. One thing Asobo needs to add is a "decal mode" that allows you to define a polygon projected onto an object that can also accept their vegetation shader. Right now you can only do that with polygons that lay flat on the base terrain mesh. So forgive the hard shell trees I had to leave where my surface didn't match the ground. Hopefully we'll get the ability to fix that in the future.


The other BIG CAVEAT...


I built this with my system in mind and wanted to get as much detail as I could. I do have a pretty beefy system (I9-9820X, 2080Ti 12G, 128G RAM, several 2TB SSDs). That said, I can get a pretty steady 40-45fps flying around in the worst areas. I have no idea how this will work on other systems. Please ... be kind .. and let me know. I could be convinced to work on a lower res version with smaller textures and a step or two of geo simplifying in Blender.

Hope you Enjoy!

Pretty empty over here.

Pretty empty over here.

  • Version 1.2.1 December 07, 2020

    Renamed modellib.bgl to avoid potential conflicts and CTD

  • Version 1.2.0 November 30, 2020


    Also Brand NEW Half Dome with the same very efficient geometry with high-resolution textures and normal maps.

    Ran a DELIGHTING pass on both Half Dome and El Capitan to remove "baked in shadows" from original photogrammetry.

    Added first pass of COLLISIONS. Not 100% perfect - had to use low res proxy which causes the plane to alternatively be slightly above or below the visible geometry. Hope to improve in the future. But you can give a shot at landing on top of both El Capitan and Half Dome!

    ** Please note the cliffs in other areas are still as they were in version 0.1.0 These will be replaced in the future as I release each section.

    Yosemite Falls is NEXT!

  • Version 1.1.2 October 16, 2020

    Fixes a typo in manifest.json that causes Content Manager to hang.

    Thanks to FlyingsCool for finding the issue!

    FYI - the previous version number said 0.2.0 in the file (should have said 1.1) - changelog now reflects the new version 1.1.2

  • Version 1.1 October 13, 2020

    This update is the first step in what will be a total rework of the scenery. It replaces the model of El Capitan with a more efficient medium res model but to which has been attached a very detailed color and normal map texture that looks great no matter how close you get.

    For a complete description of the process see:


    The downloadable file here includes a 16k texture map. This works well on my 2080Ti, but you can follow the link above to get a version with 4k maps which may help wit lower GPU memory limits.

    *** ONLY El Capitan is updated in this version, the rest of the scenery is the same as version 1.0 The process I'm using is manually intensive so I will release other areas as I finish them. Half Dome is next on the list...

  • Launched September 11, 2020

    Initial release of this file just launched. Welcome aboard!

Title Subject Last Updated Answers
Content Manager Won't Load
October 16, 2020
performance issues
September 25, 2020
  • VFXSimmer
    21 day(s) ago
    Hi everyone. Just an update.

    Work has taken me away from this for the past several months, but I'm about to jump back in. As a quick answer to those of you having fps issues, the biggest thing I've been doing as I work through upgrading the original version of each area is a simplification of the geo with higher res textures AND adding LOD functionality. In testing with just the two parts that have been upgraded this way (Half Dome and El Capitan), the performance improvement is substantial. The best news is that if you're in a jet flying in the vicinity (but not in the park itself) .. there is almost NO fps impact because the LOD models at that distance are very low res.

    I'm doing this in my spare time, so unfortunately I cant promise when this will see the light of day, but it IS coming...

    Thanks all..

    (working on Yosemite Falls next)
  • wfrayer
    29 day(s) ago
    I have the same problem as squareflux. FPs drop from 45 to 50 down to 6 to 10. Is there anything I can do?
  • squareflux
    1 month(s) ago
    I landed at Lee Vining as part of the Bush trip. Whenever I look to the east, towards Yosemite valley, I get extreme fps drops.

    I'm using an Asus A17 laptop, with gtx1610ti and 8gb ram. I get decent fps on medium to high settings everywhere else.
  • Tailstriker
    4 month(s) ago
    WOOOOOOOOSSSHHHHHH! UNBELIVEBALE! Thank you very much. Amazing work.
  • jvortiz56
    4 month(s) ago
    Hands down, you've done the best for Yosemite, sorry, Asobo. Cheers.
    • VFXSimmer
      4 month(s) ago
      Thanks so much!

      FYI - i've stared working on a better Yosemite Falls (like El Cap & Half Dome). Hoping that Asobo releases the FX SDK by then to get some moving water as well!
    • jvortiz56
      4 month(s) ago
      So cool. Bridal Veil and Yosemite Falls.....
    • VFXSimmer
      4 month(s) ago
      Takes a while to build each section with my current technique. After Yosemite Falls, I'll hit Bridalveil next, then Glacier Point, and finally Nevada and Vernal. Expect to be done sometime late spring next year, but will release each part as they complete.

      If only i didnt have to deal with my day job 😉
    • jvortiz56
      4 month(s) ago
      I remember driving over the mountains from NV to CA. Would look in this sim. Thanks for making it more dramatic.
  • Maxest
    4 month(s) ago
    Can you rename the ModelLib.bgl? I have heard that this file causes a lot of errors in the sim and increase loading times.
  • Commodore329
    4 month(s) ago
    This is fantastic! Well done. I went through Yosemite valley with both versions, and your version beats the World update II version hands down. To be fair though, MS had a lot on their plate updating the whole US 😊. I added a couple legs to the Nevada bush trip to go by Mt. Whitney and down the Kern river valley. With this mod and WUII, the Sierra's are almost lifelike. Thanks for your effort (and Microsoft's if they happen to come by here)!
  • opjose
    4 month(s) ago
    Hi. This scenery contains modellib.bgl which conflicts as per Asobo's recommendations. See the section here on CTD's being caused by scenery and how to fix it. Could you fix it please? https://flightsim.to/blog/creators-guide-fix-ctd-issues-on-your-scenery
    • VFXSimmer
      4 month(s) ago
      Copy that! Will do.

      I had just happened upon a thread on this topic
      for the first time yesterday. It was a bit confusing so thanks for this new link - its very clear. I’ll get a fix out by this evening.

      This issue needs to find a place of prominence in the SDK docs. Other than some links on developer forums and posts like this, would be scenery hobbyists would have no idea...
    • opjose
      4 month(s) ago
      Thank you very much and for all of your efforts!
  • UkieGeno
    5 month(s) ago
    I call this, Moon Over Half Dome.
    Its really fun to go down to ground level with the drone and walk around the park. This is going to be insane in VR.
    • VFXSimmer
      4 month(s) ago
      Beautiful image.

      FYI - I know of at least one location photographer who has used MSFS to do a virtual 'pre-scout' of a location - to preview time of day - best angles, etc. Your "moon shot" reminds me of that 😊
  • Socorrista22198
    5 month(s) ago
    This is art!! You should teach to the community how to do the process you used to make the new El Capitan and Half Dome... Finally photogrammetry without ugly triangles!! FPS friendly even with 16k version... and colissionable!! what is next? what? Particles effects? im falling in love with you... 😊 hahaha thanks for it man
    • UkieGeno
      5 month(s) ago
      Waterfalls! Wouldn't it be awesome to see Yosemite Falls with actual water. I agree it is art. He did a fantastic job!
  • FireRx
    5 month(s) ago
    thank you 😊
  • peroni
    5 month(s) ago
    Fantastic work, super quick loading and great performances, even with my modest system i5-6600 and gtx1070 I get between 35 and 40 fps

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This Flight Simulator 2020 Mod was created by VFXSimmer and shared in Scenery Enhancements » Landmarks for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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