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Guest mjtibbs

Possible to convert TP's downloaded scenery files to non FS9 type scenery?

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Hi there,Basically I have VFR Generation X Photo Scenery installed and I noticed there is no texture sub-folder in any of these sceneries, however there are large .bgl files in the scenery folders.I take it this is because its using the FSX type standard of scenery.I know TP uses the FS9 standard (thousands of bmps in the texture folder).My question is, is there anyway to convert what TP has already downloaded, into this standard FSX type scenery, because I get no blurries at all with Gen X even at 300+ knots, however Im still affected by blurries in TP even with a fibre frame of 2.5 and in a microlight.it starts of great but after 5 mins i start getting blurries requiring a pause.thanks.

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The answer is : yet it is possible but only with a lot of programming effort. The steps are outlined hereDecode DXT1 textures (quality loss as compared to source images from online server)concatenate to a huge TIFF fileGeotag Tiff or alternatively put coordinates into INI file for resampleConvert to BGL format with Microsoft's RESAMPLE.EXE tool from FSX SDKRequires lots of memory (several gigabytes are fine), it takes forever to do large areas and requires the Flight Simulator X SDK.

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I've been doing just that. Tileproxy gave me the idea!It's early stages yet but when finished my freeware tool will download tiles for a given area and build a BGL using resample.The only problem I see are copyright issues with the images. Did you get much "harassment" with regard to this?

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I've been getting no harassment from Acme Globe Services yet. They are probably too busy to either sue me or hire me.

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Thanks for the info gents.Im kind of busy right now to manually try and convert to single BGL. (I would probably make a big mess of it anyway lol)MatthewS, do you have a rough ETA on your Photoscene tool? It would be awesome to have TP scenery in a single BGL to stop the blurries.I really cant handle blurries anymore and I may lay off TP until I can have the tiles converted to a single BGL.Incidentally, what is it that allows all the textures to be packed into a single BGL as opposed to the FS9 style of having thousands of individual texture files?Is there an actually name for the new FSX style of scenery?Cheers!EDIT: On a quick thought, would use of the Photoscene tool (once finished) not make it very easy to be blacklisted from gee00gle if you were to download all tiles over a generous area. Also if M$ V00rt00l uurth where to impose such lameness of a bandwidth qouta, no doubt it would be affected too?-Finally, would you add an option to use the pre-downloaded jpegs in the cache folder as well as directly from a server? that would save bandwidth

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I think it is just called "FSX photoscenery" ;)The new feature is a wavelet-like compression (similar to JPEG 2000 but faster) of the images which is much more efficient than using individual DXT1 compressed files.But in a filesystem filter driver I cannot dynamically create or modify such a BGL. The file format and the image compression format are all Microsoft specific and not documented at all. There exist some research papers about the image compression format, that's basically it. No code, nuffin.The FS9 format, in contrast is pretty well known and documented. but horribly efficient for a large visible radius.

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>I think it is just called "FSX photoscenery" ;)>>The new feature is a wavelet-like compression (similar to JPEG>2000 but faster) of the images which is much more efficient>than using individual DXT1 compressed files.>>But in a filesystem filter driver I cannot dynamically create>or modify such a BGL. The file format and the image>compression format are all Microsoft specific and not>documented at all. There exist some research papers about the>image compression format, that's basically it. No code,>nuffin.>>The FS9 format, in contrast is pretty well known and>documented. but horribly efficient for a large visible>radius.>>^^thx for the speedy answer.oh by the way, did you hard-code the JPEG to DXT1 conversion in the filter driver from scratch, or does it use like an external .dll or somthing?

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uses public domain DXT1 compression from the makers of Doom. id software.It's more than JPG->DXT1. For Virtual Earth, it's concatenation of JPEGs, scaling, cropping, possibly colorization, brightness matching and DXT1 compression. ;)For Google Earth, colorization and brightness matching is not needed.

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Photoscene currently consists of 2 parts:-1) Tile downloader2) BGL maker (using tiles from part 1 - the Tile downloader)I wonder if its safer for me to remove the Tile downloader part from Photoscene. That way all Photoscene would do is composite existing tiles and pass them through Resample to create the BGL. In other words Photoscene would not actually download tiles but simply use tiles that already exist (downloaded via Tileproxy or some other tool).Surely that would remove any legal issues since Photoscene would not actually be downloading the tiles in the first place.But what about Virtual Earth specifically? Are they any legal restrictions with the Virtual Earth tile server?

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Thats impressive regarding the JPEG / DXT1 stuff Christian! great work!on Photoscene, I'd be happy with just the BGL maker! I dunno, I guess its easy for me to say but you sound really "concerned" about the legal aspects.Id say just go for it, and do some cunning "not quite configured on default install" like we have seen somewhere else recently :-walksmile

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Matthew,But how will this affect the ability to attach autogen as outlined in my post on Lake Tahoe in TP screenshots thread.? Any thoughts? Re WOZ

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Not sure about attaching true "autogen" but FSX KML can be used to place scenery objects.Currently FSX KML only supports placing objects along a polyline, but populating objects inside a polygon is planned.What does this mean?You could draw polygons around forests and have FSX KML populate those forests with the appropriate scenery objects (ie the same tree models that are used by the FS autogen).So you would use FSX KML to create your BGL containing trees, and FSX Photoscene to create a BGL containing photoscenery. Not sure whether it would be as efficient as true autogen though.See my signature below for link to FSX KML.

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>Matthew,>But how will this affect the ability to attach autogen as>outlined in my post on Lake Tahoe in TP screenshots thread.?>Any thoughts? >You can use the Autogen SDK Annotator.

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>Photoscene currently consists of 2 parts:->>1) Tile downloader>2) BGL maker (using tiles from part 1 - the Tile downloader)>>I wonder if its safer for me to remove the Tile downloader>part from Photoscene. >>That way all Photoscene would do is composite existing tiles>and pass them through Resample to create the BGL. >>In other words Photoscene would not actually download tiles>but simply use tiles that already exist (downloaded via>Tileproxy or some other tool).>>Surely that would remove any legal issues since Photoscene>would not actually be downloading the tiles in the first>place.>>>But what about Virtual Earth specifically? Are they any legal>restrictions with the Virtual Earth tile server? Hi Mathew, I am really looking forward to whatever program you create. I used to download imagery with USA Photomaps (I think that was what is was called) which is freeware and accesses the same source images as Virtual Earth, so I am not sure that you need to worry about legal issues if you are not trying to sell the images. I then created my own photoscenery for FS9 from those images using TerraBuilder. The problem with this was that it was really tedious and time consuming having to stitch images together in Photoshop (or Photopaint) and even worse trying to figure out the exact lat and longitude coordinates for each composite image. I never could get the airport photoscenery to line up very accurately to runways etc... That is one thing I really like about TileProxy, it's just plug n play. It would be good though to have the downloaded scenery performing better in the simulator, if that is what BGL creation would do.Good luck with the program,Tony.

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This will get problems however if I decide to put all my low res BMP tiles into single "flat" files. I would be using filename redirects ("reparse") in the tileproxy.sys driver to make all the small tiles populate one file only. I think this would permit faster access by cutting out some overhead created by the NTFS file system (which has to locate tens of thousands of files currently).

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Yes true!Hopefully you will publish your file format so that FSX photoscene can access it.If not I understand. I have developed a tile "downloader" feature which I currently use for my own limited personal testing. You can either specify a rectangle (using 2 pairs of lon/lat) or you can draw polygons in Google Earth of the areas you want and save them as a KML file. The downloader acquires the tiles automatically (based on the zoom level you specify) and feeds them to the "compositor" to build the BGL.I am happy to release a freeware FSX Photoscene with the downloader enabled as long as I can get it sanctioned by the powers that be (Google, Virtual Earth, Yahoo or whoever).I also am happy to put "throttling" in the downloader so that users cannot swamp the tile servers, for example restricting to one tile per second.Like TileProxy, the intention with FSX Photoscene is that it is freeware. If anyone reading this wants to somehow progress the sanctioning then please be my guest. Even if its just with Virtual Earth!

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G'day Matthew,Well yours is an very interesting development. My view is if that's going to rid us of the blurry problem at moderate to fast speeds ,then I'd rather have that than other features in TP at present. Matthew, I ask the question:will It ???All this cloak and dagger stuff about legal hurdles is real a pain. My view is that if its in the "fair use" category for personal use then it should be available. I put it in the same bag as copying TV programs for personal use on DVD-R discs which is now legally a "fair use" item - well here and in the US anyway that I know of.But I can understand that you guys are nervous. But lets hope that potential "hooks" between the two programs remain available as TP and KML develop.WOZ

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