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Does the Airbus A320neo depicted in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 box cover photo has the right engine in all the wrong place?

Here is the snapshot:

enter image description here

Is it only me, who clearly sees that it is way too close to plane's body and actually attached to it?

If I am correct then would that mean that someone has artificially modified the original picture, when preparing promotional photo, and made that modifications completely wrong?

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    $\begingroup$ Seems like a matter of perspective to me $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Dec 14 '20 at 7:43
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    $\begingroup$ Why are all the aircraft in the picture stalling? Looks terrible to me. (no need explaining the difference between incidence and AoA) $\endgroup$ – Vladimir F Dec 14 '20 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ Turn your phone upside down, makes seeing the real position easier. $\endgroup$ – DonQuiKong Dec 16 '20 at 21:15
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It looks OK to me:

enter image description here

Your confusion may come from the fact that your eyes are focusing too much on the engines themselves both of which are not directly attached to the plane but just hang under the plane.

If instead of the engines you look at the pylons you will see that they attach at roughly equal distance on both wings.

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No, Microsoft's image is not doctored. It looks very much like the image from a 2010 press release for the A320 NEO.enter image description here

(Dictionaries say that doctored means deliberately altered or manipulated, in the same sense as the original question's "artificially modified". That would apply equally well to developed photographic film, a software rendering, or even a cocktail napkin sketch.)

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    $\begingroup$ "Very much like", yes. "The same as"? No. So, either is has been doctored and this answer is wrong, or it's a different image and this answer is irrelevant. ;) $\endgroup$ – Asteroids With Wings Dec 14 '20 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ @AsteroidsWithWings I think Camille's point is that you get a similar optical illusion in a different (presumably undoctored) photo -- which illustrates that it's likely the plane in question has not been doctored in any way and is merely a trick of the eye. As Bergi pointed out in another answer, the lighting is inconsistent (by virtue of the different planes and background being composited together -- this is the only alteration that has occurred) which only reinforces the illusion. Note the direction of wing shadows on the yellow plane vs the A320... $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Dec 15 '20 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ "Microsoft's image is not doctored" Well, since it is a digital illustration and not a photograph, it is 100% doctored :-) That 2010 press release is also a digital illustration or rendering, rather than a photograph. $\endgroup$ – TylerH Dec 15 '20 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps the pedantic medium can be "the placement of the engine relative to the plane does not appear to have been doctored in this image". $\endgroup$ – Gregor Thomas Dec 16 '20 at 16:05
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The position of the engine in the model seems correct, what's wrong is the shadow rendering, causing an optical deception.

What appears to be the shadow of the engine against the fuselage (making it look very close) is actually the shadow of the wing, lighted from above.

The shadow problem is exacerbated by the inconsistent direction of lighting. The sun in the picture is in the top right corner, but the aircraft is rendered with a lighting source in the top or even front left. Look at the engine on the left wing: it's either lighted hard from the top right, in which case the engine on the right wing is completely wrong, or the shadow that we can see on the left engine is actually cast by the fuselage. Compare this against the much better rendering in @Camille's answer.

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The perspective of the photo, or actually rendering, has been altered perhaps to gain a more dynamic composition.

This can be verified by looking at the nose of the plane: it seems flattened sideways, much like the nose of Boeing 737 family has. The A320 family's nose is not oval, but cirular in cross section, just a tad flattened on the top to accomondate blending into windscreens.

The shading in the rendering is not of very high quality, the fuselage section does not look right either, giving out a squarish look.

The engine location does look a bit odd, most probably due to this applied distortion, poor shading quality adds to the effect. In the model this rendering was produced from, the engine is likely in the right location.

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    $\begingroup$ What you're saying, then, is that they took an in game screen grab of the aircraft with the settings turned down low enough to run on my ancient computer. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Dec 14 '20 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ Pretty much so yes 😃 $\endgroup$ – Jpe61 Dec 14 '20 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ @FreeMan It seems a bit worse than that. It looks like they took a screen grab, but then rotated it in 2D. Your mind then tries to map the image into 3D space, given the cues in the image and what you know should be the 3D location for things (and the already mentioned poor lighting). This results in what feels like an oddly distorted view of the plane with portions of it a bit out of whack in your mental 3D mapping of the plane. $\endgroup$ – Makyen Dec 14 '20 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ Why? You may ask, @Makyen... because Microsoft. :/ $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Dec 14 '20 at 23:39
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A close look at 3-view images of the Airbus A320 neo suggests that the engine pylons are located about 1/4 to 1/3 of the distance between the first and second cone bodies on the trailing edge. The image that you reference appears to be consistent with this for the most part. One anomalous feature is the dark shading on the fuselage which gives the illusion that the engine nacelle is extremely close to the fuselage. Also, compared to a similar image given in this other related answer, on the Flight Simulator image, the engine pylons appear to have possibly been shortened-- look at the relative position of the windows and the right nacelle. But this could be an illusion caused by the fact that the aircraft on the Flight Simulator image may be banked slightly away from the observer, or the perspective may be such that the aircraft on the Flight Simulator image is slightly closer to being overhead the observer.

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Perspective can be tricky in a 2-dimensional static image. It is easier to see perspective in a moving image or a simulated 3D image that you can rotate and flip. The discrepancy in the image could be due to the rendering computer’s interpretation of parallax.

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