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What is "landclass" and "mesh" and is it worth getting

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Hi,I am somewhat confused: all over the place I see adverts for all types of "lanclass" and "mesh" files for certain areas. What EXACTLY are they, what is the difference? On simmarket, they offer so-called developers' packs with landclasses for almost any area of the world - does that mean I have to develop smthg myself (which I don't know how to;) ) or can I use them right away? Unfortunately, there aren't any screenshots, wo I don't really get an idea for what these files do. Final question: are they compatible with add-on scenery? I have lots of airports, and I would not like to lose themCheersChris

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Lots of questions.. and this could be a long answer if I'd have time ;-)In short: Mesh = the altitude information for your sim. It consists of points projected on the earth's surface, each point indicating the altitude at that position. The 'points' are connected by the program to form a 'profile' of the earth's surface, i.e. you will see mountains and valleys. The higher the resolution of the mesh, the moredetail you will see in the mountains (that can be a HUGE difference!), and the slower your sim will run ;-)'Textures' are projected over the mesh to apply the color to the surface (and show roads, woods, lakes etc.)Landclass is an add-on program that adds photorealistic textures to certain areas and you will have to buy area by area.So the mesh shows the earths contours in your sim, the landclass makes it look better seen from above.As for compatibility.... not always. Some add-on scenery uses lower resolution mesh than some of the add-on mesh provides. This could conflict. Same with landclass. There is no guarantee it will work with each and every scenery.No programming needed, by the way ;-)Hope this helps, :-outta Francois :-wave[table border=0 cellpadding=10 cellspacing=0][tr][td valign=bottom" align="center]"At home in the wild"[/td][td valign=bottom" align="center][link:avsim.com/alaska/alaska_052.htm|Don's Alaskan Bush Charters]"Beavers Lead the Way"[/td][td valign=bottom" align="center][link:www.avsim.com/vfr_center/mainpages/vfr_flights_main_page.htm]VFR Flight Center]"Looking Good Outside"[/td][/tr][tr][td valign=top" align="center]http://bfu.avsim.net/sigpics/logo75b.gif[/td][td valign="top" align="left" colspan=2]http://www.fssupport.com/images/moose2.gif[/td][tr][/table]________________________Francois A. "Navman" DumasAssociate Editor &Forums AdministratorAVSIM Online![/bemail: fdumas@avsim.com________________________

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Francois,thanks, that gives me a good first idea. My only question on landclass then: does this mean landclass is a rendering of areas such as city centers, for instance, would the city center of London or Paris look more realistic than the default if I got a landclass file cpovering that area?Thanks for your time ;) Chris

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My initial answer would be: I don't think so... but I could be wrong. Landclass replaces standard (default) texture 'tiles' of MS FS2002 with new texture tiles. By design these are still 'gener

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To expand just a little bit, if a city is 12 miles square, and MSN shows it as a dozen buildings, landclass will show it the proper size of generic buildings/houses. A quick/easy way of seeing this is to get any of Joe Watson's landclass (here at Avsim) and compare before & after.

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Chris,The FS2002 LandClass logic breaks the world into tiles that are 1,200 meters by 1,200 meters each. Each of these "tiles" can be assigned a unique LandClass texture value. The value is numeric, with each numeric value represents a particular texture set in the SCENEDBWORLDTEXTURE folder.What this means, is that when you fly over a particular tile, you will see a LandClass texture that was assigned for that particular tile.For example, a downtown area for a small country town might get a land class value that represents "Low-Intensity Residential". Microsoft has provided over 100 different sets of textures with FS2002, representing over 100 different LandClass values.FS2002 already uses these LandClass textures, but the mappings are not very detailed. The additional LandClass packages that you can purchase or download from Avsim are much more detailed and better represent the true terrain types.It is not too difficult to create your own, more detailed LandClass data. The topic is often discussed in the "Scenery Design Forum".Also, if you don't like the default Microsoft textures, you can "paint" over them with something more appropriate.IMHO, the LandClass technology is very important to FS2002. The ideal ground scenery would contain the exact aerial photos for a particular region. However, the storage required for these textures would be immense, and prevents them from being shared with others.LandClass is the next best thing. It may not provide the exact results, but it can do a pretty good job with very low storage requirements.Hope this helps out some. I got a little longwinded.Allen

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>On simmarket, they offer so-called developers' packs with >landclasses for almost any area of the world Do not buy the developer packs if you just want the scenery - there are scenery packs available that are cheaper.http://www.fssharecenter.com/fslandclass/cp.htmI use Europe FSLandclass and it is very good, particularly since you can use different texture sets for the different countries.

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In addition to the other responses, I've written a freeware program called "Landclass Assistant" which allows you to do "spot" updates on specific cities and areas, without requiring the purchase of third party programs or landclass packages.There's a little learning curve, but if you follow the example I've used in the included tutorial (adding the missing Carson City to FS2002), you can get a general idea of how powerful landclass updating can be. My program is very similar to a "paint" program...it allows you to paint your updates in a grid, and different landclasses are represented with different colors.As for FSLandclass, if you don't intend on changing landclasses, their non-development scenery packs might be the way to go. Joe Watson, mentioned in another post, used Landclass Assistant for his updates. There's some updates which cover a larger area (i.e. California) that give an indication of what FSLandclass can do.I'm currently finishing up my first update to Landclass Assistant in a while. It adds new editing features for Landclass Projects. I hope to be uploading it in a few weeks.Regards,-John

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FMFBI, Francois...but, I think you are wrong about a couple of points in your reply. On the other hand, I may be all wet, because I am not a techie. But, this is my understanding of things:Mesh, as you point out is a terrain overlay that basically differentiates altititude points. I have never read anywhere, or experienced any performance hits because of textures. I think it is things like autogen and specific objects that bogs down performance.As for landclass scenery, as Francois points out, this provides more reality by allowing a designer to put farmland, woods, urban details where they would be in reality. There are freeware landclass files available at avsim and elsewher for download. They do not require the payware program which is used to create landclass sceneries. Sorry, if I am being redundant or even incorrect, but, our forum is here for all of us to help each other...Sherm

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Hi Sherm,Mesh files can definitely be a frame rate killer if they're too dense. It's like anything else in the digital realm; the more detailed they are, the more information they contain, ergo the more memory they take to display. That said, I've got a fairly beefy computer, and I've never seen much of a hit in running detailed mesh. Just thought I'd add my $.02.

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Even on my P3/800, mesh has never really been a big fps killer. The Oahu mesh is outstanding, and I usually have only a 10-15 pct. fps decrease. I'm usually so "wowed" by the scenery that I don't notice the fps decrease. But it brings to light a comment about landclass files. Areas with wide coverage take longer to load. With spot landclass updates on the scale of a small city, such as those done by Joe w/Landclass Assistant, load times are virtually unchanged from the default landclass. That's something to consider when interested in landclass updates....

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Wow, this is forum is really impressive!:-) Just been away from my computer a couple of hours (doing real world flight from Munich to Paris), and now logging back in again I have it all here.Thanks a lot to all you guys for the great explanations, I really learned a lot.Hope I can help out another time on questions I am more familiar with (AFCAD, AI)Chris

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