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N330DG

Water in photosceneries for FSX

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Hi,I have a problem with water in photosceneries in FSX. I mark water with the water-channel-mask and put (0,0,0) in the RGB-channels. The good news is: I get water; the bad news is: it's deep ocean water. That's not so bad for inland water but it's very bad for coastal areas. There is an abrupt transition from the dark water of my scenery to the default water. Is there a solution to retain the default water-class from below the photoscenery? I also know about the blend-channel. If I set that to 0 over water, then the water looks fine. Unfortunately the coastline in the aerial images and in the default scenery do not match 100%. I would prefer an approach (if possible) where I can reuse the water-masks that I have already defined in the imagery (a lot of work!). Thanks, for any help.Gottfried

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OK, I found a solution - at least kind of...If I put an old-style FS9 photo scenery of the whole area that consists purely of water in the same "scenery" and "texture" folders as the new FSX scenery then everything that is "blended" away with the blend-channel becomes the right class of water (inland or whatever). This solves my problem of default-scenery being visible in areas where the default scenery has a larger extent than my photo-layer. Just funny that old-style FS9 photo scenery retains the water class of the underlying default scenery whereas FSX scenery doesnt.But there must be a simpler way to define a rectangular area as water. If anybody could point me in the right direction, that would be very appreciated!

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It's been a long time sine I experimented with different combos of mask/blend and underlying hydro polys. I can't remember what all my findings were, but I use blend mask with underlying hydro polys on my photo now. I do remember that things can look quite a bit different depending on the water setting of 1.x or 2.x.I typically use a bezier path tool in the graphics program to define my blend mask. At least in GIMP, I haven't found a way to export the path as some sort of vector that I could use to create matching polys. There are raster-to-vector programs out there, though, that might be able to extract your coastline.scott s..

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Thanks for your reply.That's exactly what I want to do: To put a hydro-poly under my textures. It doesn't have to match my water-bodies. A hydro-poly of exactly the same extent as my scenery would do. Is there any tool where I can input the Lat/Lon coordinates of a rectangle that generates a hydro-poly. That would be sweet.Gottfried

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FSX uses the GIS shapefile format to create terrain polys, via the SDK shp2vec tool. A couple front-ends to shp2vec are available, incuding FSX_kml (uses google earth to generate source data) or SBuilderX (alows drawing in the tool or import of BLN and SHP firmats). scott s..

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I took a look at the shp2vec tool and must say: Wow, thats a big bite for just retaining the default water :(. Thanks for your reply anyways. I found a bunch of water-classes in the shp2vec doku. Do you know, if there is a water-class that retains the water-class of the underlaying (default) scenery. Because that's all I want: Retaining the default water-class in my photo-sceneries. It was all so easy (automatic) in FS9 :(Gottfried

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I use SBuilderX. Load the photo as a background image and trace the water body coast/shoreline with the poly build tool. Set the poly to type hydro generic ocean or lake (depends on what wave effect you want), set the altitude to flatten, save and compile. Use this with a photo blend channel and the effective waterclass with waves will be shown through the photo. scott s..

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Hi,I have a problem with water in photosceneries in FSX. I mark water with the water-channel-mask and put (0,0,0) in the RGB-channels. The good news is: I get water; the bad news is: it's deep ocean water. That's not so bad for inland water but it's very bad for coastal areas. There is an abrupt transition from the dark water of my scenery to the default water. Is there a solution to retain the default water-class from below the photoscenery? I also know about the blend-channel. If I set that to 0 over water, then the water looks fine. Unfortunately the coastline in the aerial images and in the default scenery do not match 100%. I would prefer an approach (if possible) where I can reuse the water-masks that I have already defined in the imagery (a lot of work!). Thanks, for any help.Gottfried
Why not just use the water in your image and add the water effects of sky reflection, waves water spray etc by using an 8-bit water channel and a 8-bit blend channel as shown in the SDK? IMHO it is supperior to anything else as you get the natural variation, silt shallow to deep water contrast and colors.

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I can't do this for ocean-water, where this problem occured to me because there would be a ugly transition from photo-scenery to default.Furhtermore the water-color is sometimes very unnatural and inconsistent in the original imagery.It' crucial to retain the default water-class in coastal areas, bays etc. I could do this with the blend channel but unfortunately thephoto-coastline does not match 100% with the default-coastline, so in places the default-coastline appears.Hence putting a water-poly under the photo-scenery (as Scott has suggested) seems to be the only solution.

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I can't do this for ocean-water, where this problem occured to me because there would be a ugly transition from photo-scenery to default.Furhtermore the water-color is sometimes very unnatural and inconsistent in the original imagery.It' crucial to retain the default water-class in coastal areas, bays etc. I could do this with the blend channel but unfortunately thephoto-coastline does not match 100% with the default-coastline, so in places the default-coastline appears.Hence putting a water-poly under the photo-scenery (as Scott has suggested) seems to be the only solution.
I know what you mean but sometimes you might be surprised how it works out with some creative blending etc the FSX water effects do a nice job of making it all good.With a lot of in flight terrain observation with this all in mind it is amazing how much variety there is with water.Here are some shots of my latest work including blended work with water FX I have done with 13cm/pix scenery (hope I'm not breaking any rules):

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Blending is not easy if you have rocky shorelines and/or beaches with waves in your photos. I have UTX and it's shorelines are often at the break zone for waves which is 10-20 feet out to sea from the beach. So you can use a blend to try and get the FSX water to merge with the wave images in the photo but the color differences make that stand out a lot. Or you could just replace all the water from the photo with FSX water in which case you will more than likely get shorelines and land showing through. Then you go into SbuilderX and add hydro tiles but those usually flatten surrounding terrain because FSX puts a bounding box around your polygon hydro tiles. It is almost impossible, in some cases, to get all of the water included in the hydro tile and not effect the sloping terrain next to the shoreline.Through lots of work with both the blend channel and hydro tiles, I have managed to get a few areas that look good to me from a distance like in the shots above. But when I fly down low over the shoreline, I notice all the imperfections.

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Finally, I managed to get some good results. I used a combination of a blend and water mask. In the first two shots here, the coastline is very rocky and I wanted to keep the splash of the water on the rocks to emphasize the coast. I drew an irregular blend offshore a ways and then added various gradations of it from light gray to black. Then I used the smudge tool to add random blending between the levels. I used a water mask all the way up to the shore to get the FSX water effects applied on top of the image of the waves and to make it look more like water. In the background to these shots, you can see the adjacent tiles that I have not edited yet to get an idea of what it looked like to start.On the third shot, the shoreline was pretty straight so I used the gradient tool to do the blending for me. I will play with it some more but I am pretty happy with the results so far.

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