How are the pros using ground polys?

I am wondering how these big guys like orbx are getting their ground polys to look so good. I’ve scoured these forums as well as FSDev forums and its a mixed bag of pros/cons of projected mesh vs ground poly vs in-sim tools. It seems like the big studios are avoiding all the cons or at least covering up the shortfalls very well. My ground poly either flickers with z-fighting or it clearly floats if i offset it too high to fix the flickering. And even then if I do resolve those issues its a flat airport with no sloping runways, which looks bad imo. The only thing I suspect is that they are creating a ground poly for the entire airport region rather than just the aprons/runways ect, and then terraforming the existing landscape way down to avoid it peeking through the poly. Am I getting warm?

I use aprons for textures I apply to the ground and order them by priority. They follow the ground and don’t flatten the surface. I haven’t had any issues with flickering or z-fighting.

It’s easiest if you use a square apron. When you save the texture, flip it about the vertical axis, and place it at the bottom of the texture square (they need to be square, best in multiples of 1024). Unfortunately, the square apron is somewhat broken, and the only reliable way to size them is with the gizmo scale field. The handles don’t work. The rotation handle of the object works though.

Yeah, after I posted this i just started messing with the dev mode tools and aprons seem to produce pretty convincing results if I hack them up and get really creative with their placement. I guess I am still a little in the dark as to what the benefit of ground polys are in MSFS now with the apron tools and being creative with custom materials.

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Polygons are great for adding/removing vegetation (set density=0 to remove), exclude buildings and photogrametry, terraforming, adding water, and several other things.