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markturner

Level mapping questions

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Hi Guys, I just got tileproxy up and running on the new PC after an inintial hiccup with the file paths to the cache folders. Its fantastic on my new i7 with all SSD storage, I am seeing up to 4000 ( Yes, 4000 !!!! ) tile accesses per second at times, and loading times are amazing. All pretty cool, but I am playing with the level mapping settings and got a result i could not explain. I started with this setting: 10,10,12,14,15,15,16,17. Using the overhead view, I could see that high res tiles were being rendered far beyond what I could see at the height I was flying. So, I thought I would save the PC a bit of work and only get it render high res tiles in the first 2 rings round me, thus: 9,9,9,9,9,9,16,17,17. When i started the sim again, I only had hi res tiles for a radius of approx 500 metres around the plane, after that it was all the low res stuff. Going on the radius of the high res tiles from spot view before, i would have expected the high res stuff to extend much further than it was. From the f12 view, i could clearly see an area of high res tiles round the plane, extending about 4.5 squares in all directions ( i guess this corresponds to the 4.5 lod raduius setting) However, all these tiles looked the same res. The next band of squares seemd a much lower resolution, there seemed to be an abrupt change from very high res, to low res, not the gradual transition that you might expect from the mapping I had set.OOSo i tried 9,9,9,15,15,16,16,17,17 and this time, I had a wierd thing happen with the ovals. Only the second oval filled, the next one kinda half filled and that was it. Also the scenery was not in focus very well. i did however achieve pretty much the right sized ring of high res looking tiles when viewed from above. The strange thing is that the f12 does not seem to correspond to what the level mapping is doing. i was expecting to be clearly able to recognise each layer of different res tiles as viewed from above. Can anyone see why that might be from those settings?+So, i went back to the original settings. Using the f12 view, I can only see 4 different levels of tile resolution around the plane. Why is that, when my level mapping has 6 different resolutions listed?Using a lod radius setting of 4.5 in my FSX .cfg file, and knowing that I only usually fly at a height of 2 -4000 feet above the ground, with a maximum visibility radius of 30 miles set in my weather, what would you guys try as a level mapping setting, bearing in mind I want top res stuff for a couple of miles round the plane then it can fade out pretty quick.Cheers, Mark

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Sorry, Mark,just not enough information...A. initial setup:-what max_lod?_Christian's LOD8 scenery?-------------------------------what min_level?-what max_level?assuming: max lod = 15assuming: preload 8-17assuming FSX texture_resolution=25 (1.2m)assuming min_level=10 max_level=17# ----pattern-----10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19level_mapping=10,10,12,14,15,15,16,17---------------------ovals_upper:--10--10--12--14--15ovals_lower:--15--16--17FSX should display 8 scenery rings from LOD8 (QMID10) to LOD15 (QMID17) i.e. tiles from 10 to 17 but pulling only 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17.My most usual source is #1 where there is a distinct color shift from level 13 imagery to level 14. This means it is easy to see where the level 14 tiles begin.Normally this is ring 5 (counting from the outer), represented as the right-most oval in the console, though you are using 15 in place of 14 and this will make it difficult to see where rings should be because the color shift has been moved outward 1 ring. The "higher-res" color tone mapped to ring 4 is only that... ring 4 is the 20m ring and 20m is what is generated there even if the source was level mapped to 5m or 2m.It's much too tedious to try and figure the actual distance of individual rings, but imagine a particular scenery tile 4km in front of you, currently in scenery ring 4. The largest image in that scenery tile is 64 x 64 because that is what's used in ring 4 (until you get closer and this location falls into ring 5). You forced TP to use the 128 x 128, level 14 image instead so it was re-sampled to half resolution for use at level 13. At the same time this was done, the same image was re-sampled again to a 32 x 32 for use in ring 3, and to 16 x 16 for ring 2, and to 8 x 8 for ring 1. As you continue to fly toward this spot and your moving scenery rings brings this spot inside your ring 5 (at 2km), the level 15, 256 x 256 resolution image is down-sampled into a 128 x 128 image and will be added to the tile (because this is the resolution - 10m - that's displayed in ring 5. At 1km the spot comes inside your ring 6 (5m ring) the level 15 image is used at full size and added to the scenery tile - and resampled downward to "overwrite" all previously contained images.At 500m the spot comes inside your ring 7 (2m ring) and the level 16 image is added into a tile full sized - along with others of it's scale and together they become a 512 x 512 image at 2m resolution. Again down-sampled to adjust all previously formed images inside the tile.At 250m the spot comes insde your ring 8 (1m ring) and now 24 (or so) level 17 images combine to make a 1024 x 1024, 1.2m resolution image, and all previous resident images are 'remade' in the likeness of the highest resolution source tile.After you've flown for 10km, if you look behind yourself, you see a "path" of what looks like the high-res stuff; is isn't. What is it then? The high-res imagery resampled into lo-res but keeping the color tone. The scenery tile KEEPS the highest res imagery inside along with all the low res stuff and provides FSX with whatever resolution imagery it needs to display the appropriately scaled imagery for each scenery ring. FSX doesn't display 1m (tile level 17) imagery in ring 6. It does display a down-sized version of it once you've gotten close enough to that tile for it to have been inside ring 8 at some time - that's when it 'got' the 1m imagery - but the actual 1024 x 1024 (1m) imagery is only used inside ring 8.What your setup #2 looks like and why you got the results you did... to many variables you didn't specify.Can you even distinuish the range of the various scenery rings? There are differences in resolution, of course, between the rings but they can also be hard to see in all the clutter. Color differences are easier to see.A few days back I tried a little experiment... filled all rings level 10 to level 17 with service 1. Deleted every other resolution 10,12,14, and 16 and refilled them with service 2. NOW you can really see where the actual rings are. You might want to try this in an out of the way location (and temporary cache); it might help you to see what you've actually got with that "mystery" setupI wish I were a graphic artist - this stuff would be easier to understand with appropriate illustrations.

So, i went back to the original settings. Using the f12 view, I can only see 4 different levels of tile resolution around the plane. Why is that, when my level mapping has 6 different resolutions listed?
probably because most of the source imagery is made from a higher resolution 'look-alike'If I make 2m imagery from 1m imagery and put in on a map server as level 17 and level 16 when I bring it into the sim I'm going to initially display the 1m in the nearest ring and 2m in the next ring. After I fly around and start filling ALL the nearby scenery tiles with 1m imagery my "2m" ring is still showing 2m scenery. Only now, how can I tell if it's 2m scenery I made from my 1m scenery, or the 2m server imagery that was originally made from 1m imagery...it's the same danged thing! The only visible difference is the possibly-visible "sharpness" junction between the rings themselves. There's likely NO effective difference in the imagery - ideally, anyway.Loyd

Hooked since FS4... now flying: FSX Acceleration on Win7/64, Core Duo E8400; GA-EP45-DS3R; GTX 460-768MB; 4G RAM; Freezer 7 Pro

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Hey Loyd, that was really helpful, although as usual, your answers provide me with at least a couple of days worth of further information to digest. I am seriously considering gathering all your answers together in one document, kind of like a compendium of expert knowledge on the workings of scenery and tile proxy !In direct answer to your questions: I was using max lod 15, Christian's LOD8 tiles, I changed the min and max level to match the lowest and highest level map each time.I am going to re read your "what goes on inside a scenery tile " post again, in conjunction with this. I wish I could sit down behind a desk and have you teach this stuff face to face, it would be so much easier!! As a quick side question Loyd, knowing what you do about how this stuff works, what would you do to maximise performance available form level mapping. For example, my little experiment was based on the assumption that if I could only "see" the first 4 or 5 scenery rings, then I could concentrate all the resources of my PC and tile proxy in generating high res scenery around me, while not bothering with the stuff i could not see anyway. That way, instead of working with a circle of scenery up to say 80 miles across, you could work with a circle of say 30 miles radius. Hence the 9,9,9,9,9, for the outer rings. Am I barking up the wrong tree here? I read in another post that if you go one down on one ring, you can go one up on another without sacrificing any performance. Is this so ? Do you know how wide the scenery circle is using LOD8 scenery ? And is there as set dimension for the scenery rings? You referred to them doubling in size from 250m outwards in your example, was this just an example or based on the actual size of the area rendered at each level of detail? And does the size of the rings vary according to the LOD radius selected within the FSX .cfg file? I am still coming across a bottleneck in keeping max high res displayed around me despite the improvements offered by the new i7 PC. I am convinced it can be tuned out though, and will carry on testing and tweaking. However I still need to understand more about what is going on to do this effectively. Cheers, Mark

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Mark,You DO help keep me thinking and rethinking how to explain in simplest terms...Creativity keeps you young forever!Again - a disclaimer of sorts - I KNOW very little about FSX's inner workings but attention to details and experimentation will give lots of clues.... from generalized to specialized...FSX creates 'rings' of certain sizes around the aircraft. Each ring provides a range within which the scenery is displayed at a certain resolution.Each ring is a circle but is perceived as a torus (donut shaped) because each smaller ring sits on top of the more coarse resolution rings and shows a higher resolution.How big are the rings?What is your LOD_RADIUS?Each ring has a radius of (approximately) the LOD_RADIUS number of blocks of each LOD.i.e. if I set LOD_RADIUS to 3.5, Ring 1 (LOD-8) will be 7 blocks wide... Christian's table in the User's Manual shows an LOD-8 "cell" to be 34km - the SDK says an LOD-8 cell is 0.3515625


Hooked since FS4... now flying: FSX Acceleration on Win7/64, Core Duo E8400; GA-EP45-DS3R; GTX 460-768MB; 4G RAM; Freezer 7 Pro

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Fantastic explanation Loyd, and the photos are showing! Which helps! I am going to experiment along those lines.Just quickly, in the test photos, in 1 you refer to "FSX at 5m" - What do you mean by this ? you set the texture resolution at 5m ? If so , I dont understand why as you were using level 16 (LOD14) tiles, which are 2.4 m, yes? If we go by Christian's size of 34km for the LOD8 radius, then at 3.5, each block will be 34 / 7 = 4.9km wide. Following from your workings, each block at LOD 4.5 will be 4.9 plus 28% ( 1.37 ) = 6.27 km wide. And if we use LOD5.5, each block will become 6.27 plus 28% (1.75 ) 8 km wide. Is that correct?If so, the total radius of the lod 8 ring will increase from 34km to 43.5km to 55.7km if we step up incrementally from LOD3.5 to 5.5. So, the area of the LOD8 ring at LOD 3.5 is 34 squared (1156) multiplied by Pi = 3630 sq km approxThe area at LOD 4.5 would be approx 6000 sq km and the area at LOD 5.5 would be 9800 sq km. So the area is increasing by approx 50% each time you step up the LOD radius. That would equate to 50% more work for the PC then I guess? So, each increase in the LOD radius in the FSX .cfg file increases the relative size of each ring by nearly 30%. What do you think is more work for the computer - using a higher LOD radius value, or altering the level mapping ? For instance, assuming I wanted to use maximum resolution of 1.2 m. I would set the following in the proxy user .ini:Max lod 15Min_level=10Max_level=17you could , using LOD radius 3.5, use a mapping of 10,10,10,10,16,16,17,17 ( for a good radius of high res stuff )This would give a circle of 2km ( is that correct?) rendered in good high res stuff. Thinking about it, this is probably not enough. I will have to test! But would it be better performance wise to use say LOD radius 4.5 or even 5.5 Will do some tinkering and let you know the results. Thanks Loyd, you really got me thinking!Cheers,Mark

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Interesting topic guys. I've been using radius 5.5 almost ever since starting with Tileproxy. I've experimented with higher but I lose too much performance and loading a flight takes forever. I'm seriously wondering now about going back to 4.5 or 3.5 again now.Which service were you getting those wonderful shots of Hong Kong from Loyd - I've not tried flying there yet with TP.IAN

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Mark,

"FSX at 5m" - What do you mean by this ?
It means I set up Tile Proxy for 2.4m resolutionlevel_mapping=10,10,10,14,14,16,16and forgot to bring FSX in from 5m to 2m, that's all; I didn't realize why things weren't quite as sharp as they should have been until afterwards. I set the FSX resolution to 2.4 to match TP for the UK photos.
34km for the LOD8 radius...
That 34km is the size for a LOD8 BLOCK. At radius 3.5 (7 blocks wide) that's 238km ( the approximation of 240km I stated previously) Radius then is 119km.The 28% was just the difference in RADIUS if you go from 7 blocks wide to 9 blocks wide (radius 3.5 to 4.5)Going from 2.5 to 3.5 would be 7/5th's or 40%; from 4.5 to 5.5 is 11/9ths or 22% increase; I wasn't thinking area, just radius - sorry for the confusion.In calculating actual coverage area...since we aren't dealing with an actual circle but blocks that approximate, it's probably easiest to just count the blocks and multiply by the area of 1 (1170km sq per LOD8 cell) - just count the blocks (asterisks)in the TP dos window oval 1 - or look at the pattern..rows of 3,5,7,7,7,5,3 (37 LOD8 blocks in oval 1) or 5,7,9,9,9,9,9,7,5 (69 LOD8 blocks for the long range) - and obviously larger at radius 5.5 -and get 37 x 1170 or 43,290km sq at 3.5 and (1170 x 69) 80,730km sq at 4.5 That's a 86% increase in coverage, and cpu workload to go from 3.5 to 4.5Don't lose sight of the fact that thus far we're just describing the max range that we attribute to the LOD_RADIUS setting. Level mapping:If I want to fly an essentially straight line flight from A to B I won't be in any area very long; I won't benefit from having high res out to the horizon. For this I'd go for the smallest radius and as few hi-res map-overs as I can get away with. I'm thinking to keep at least the top 3 ranges high. Reduce visibility and use the surface primarily for reference/pilotage. the river, the town, the road junction ("disposable scenery for temporary use - I may never come this way again...")examples:max_level=15..level_mapping=10,10,10,14,14,15max_level=16level_mapping=10,10,10,14,14,16,16 ( UK and Hong Kong pix)I'm (unfortunately) a tourist, I want to see it all - where it's worth seeing - so I do less of the long range stuff and putter around areas that I find interesting. Here and there spots all over the US West.Since I already have the low res stuff for the region, it matters less what settings I use because I'll only be adding detail to a local area at a time. But the details determine the pricise settings. opinions or preferences ( tempered by cpu power )Hawaii begs for 1.2mMonument Valley and most of Utah only 5mColorado is more 'interesting' so I'd shoot for 2.4m wherever it's available but 5m otherwiseCalifornia needs 5m or 2.4m for the rural and 1.2m for the urban areasMontana and Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico 2.4 where available, 5m otherwiseSo... Denver region at 5m, followed by 2.4 for the metropolitan area (but 1.2 for Littleton so I could show my 6-year-old grand nephew where he lives)
What do you think is more work for the computer - using a higher LOD radius value, or altering the level mapping ? For instance, assuming I wanted to use maximum resolution of 1.2 m. I would set the following in the proxy user .ini:Max lod 15Min_level=10Max_level=17you could , using LOD radius 3.5, use a mapping of 10,10,10,10,16,16,17,17 ( for a good radius of high res stuff )This would give a circle of 2km ( is that correct?) rendered in good high res stuff. Thinking about it, this is probably not enough. I will have to test!
At 3.5 size, the 1.2m resolution scenery ring "should" be 7 elements wide (at 270m ea - from Christian's table) or extend to about .9km from the user; the 2.4m ring (assuming twice as large) would reach out to almost 2km. But the level 16 image tiles probably look much the same as the 17 (just less sharp) and their reach is out to about 8km from the viewpoint with your settings. This isn't very far but it depends very much on the terrain that's visible and your visibility settings. There isn't going to be any one setting that's right for all situations. Start on the "weak" side and enhance as cpu power permits. Radius vs mapping? If I'm high enough to see the edges of my TP scenery, I need to extend my radius, reduce altitude or reduce visiblity. Then I'd remap so as to carry the look of the high res out as far as performance considerations will allow.
But would it be better performance wise to use say LOD radius 4.5 or even 5.5?
Radius 5.5 is a long, long way - considering that each LOD8 cell area contains 1024 actual scenery tile bmps each of which has to be accessed by FSX to get the scenery data from them (an estimated 104 cells at the 5.5 range but only 37 cells at 3.5)It really seems, when you 'run the numbers' that perhaps smaller radius would make better use of cpu power.Don't forget, also, that every tile in range gets (and stays) larger and more detailed as you fly and FSX has to access them to get the proper resolution image out for display. Fewer has GOT to be better...I was flying "ahead of TileProxy" the other night. At normal FSX speed. Tileproxy had no trouble keeping the ovals filled (making scenery). I can't do this with FSX actually using Tileproxy scenery. But it does make it quicker to get the tiles loaded and the scenery created for the 'real delight flight'. The bottleneck at my power level is FSX, not TileProxy.Ian, the service use for Hong Kong and the UK was #1.Loyd

Hooked since FS4... now flying: FSX Acceleration on Win7/64, Core Duo E8400; GA-EP45-DS3R; GTX 460-768MB; 4G RAM; Freezer 7 Pro

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Cheers Loyd. I decided that having seen your shots I couldn't wait and flew to HK straight after I posted.My results seemed to mirror your screenies. I tried experimenting with LOD, 30 m texture and level mapping but got no real imporvement. My system does struggle a bit when I try to use 30m textures but in some places, the results can be worth it (Found the Italian/Amalfi coast was much better at this level for example).Your posts have been very informative and I'm continuing to learn a little from each one.By the way, I never got your spreadsheet to work. I think as you said, it's because i have a different version of Excel.Cheers, IAN

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Hi Guys, Ian, I presume you are talking about 30CM textures, not 30m textures? I tried these on the Valle D'aosta, but could not get detail textures at low level for some reason, using service one. I know there is good high res images, because Frank Dianese has made some fantastic photoscenery of this area. Perhaps I had some settings wrong, I will check.So, Loyd, can I just run this by you to see if I have this right ! Assume I am using Max_LOD=15 for 1.2m textures: If you have Christians' world LOD8 tiles enabled, these take the place of tile level 10, and these tiles do not get downloaded or made by TileProxy, yes?If you have World_LOD8 enabled, then you set min_preload to 9, ( this equates to tile level 11 ) as FSX will load LOD8. Yes? max_preload would be 15, (tile level 17 ) yes? You therefore then need only set your level mapping from tile level 11, to 17, yes? Does this force Tile proxy and FSX to use ONLY tile levels 11 - 17, or do all the other levels get downloaded anyway? What I am getting at, is some mapping levels I have seen start at much lower levels than 10 or 11. What is the point of that, if Christian's World_LOD8 is level 10 ? You can only just barely discern that ring anyway, so why would you want any lower levels? By setting the level mapping from 11 - 17, does that force Tile Proxy and FSX to use less rings? And is that better for performance? BTW, I tried using the moving map hook yesterday, but could not quite understand what it was showing me. I could see rings, but need to try and work out which ones they are. Cheers, Mark

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Mark

If you have Christians' world LOD8 tiles enabled, these take the place of tile level 10, and these tiles do not get downloaded or made by TileProxy, yes?
No, There's more to it. Two simple tests:test A: LOD8 enabled; (preload left at 8) --- level mapping 10,11,12,13,14,15,16 ( i.e. no actual mapping...)The LOD8 scenery was used by FSX, but oval 1 fills with downloaded level 10 imagery EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT SEEN IN THE SIM. If you want the tiles for some other time, then leave the pre-load set at LOD8.test B: LOD8 enabled; (preload set to 9) --- level mapping 10,11,12,13,14,15,16 ( i.e. no actual mapping...)LOD8 scenery used by FSX. No activity in oval 1; no level 10 tiles downloaded.If you want to skip loading all level 10 tiles (and will always be using the LOD8 files) then set pre-load to LOD9I changed nothing in the mapping for part B.
If you have World_LOD8 enabled, then you set min_preload to 9, ( this equates to tile level 11 ) as FSX will load LOD8. Yes? max_preload would be 15, (tile level 17 ) yes?
You can adjust the max_preload if you choose, but I leave it at 17 - it has no effect on tiles that I don't download. ONLY if I was 'experimenting' with NOT preloading the high-res tiles would I change it.
You therefore then need only set your level mapping from tile level 11, to 17, yes?
Need? No. Using the LOD8 scenery, everything that is level 10 (imagery and mapping) appears to be simply ignored. No reason to reset mapping to 11 and confuse the issue.
Does this force Tile proxy and FSX to use ONLY tile levels 11 - 17, or do all the other levels get downloaded anyway?
FSX is going to make a scenery environment that provides 'detail' scenery starting at 152m/pix in what we call the "LOD8 ring". This appears to be fixed - not adjustable. If TileProxy gives FSX downloaded imagery for that distance, FSX will use it. (normal TileProxy environment)If the LOD8 'alternate' scenery is enabled, FSX will use that for the outer ring (LOD8 scenery ring)- because it's a higher priority than the rest of Tileproxy scenery (if installed correctly!)If no photo scenery is available, FSX will use its default terrain surface imagery for that range.The scenery range slider changes ONLY the width of my 'detail scenery' environment; 5-block wide patterns, a 7-block wide patterns, 9-block wide patterns of scenery cells.Everything is downloaded the same EXCEPT the level 10 imagery is skipped IF you set preload to lod 9. If it is permitted to download, it is processed the same as always; this would allow to turn off the LOD8 scenery and have level 10 tile imagery immediately available - it's as available as all the rest (just ignored by FSX)
some mapping levels I have seen start at much lower levels than 10 or 11. What is the point of that, if Christian's World_LOD8 is level 10 ? You can only just barely discern that ring anyway, so why would you want any lower levels?
I think the goal is to use very low res imagery tiles for the more remote rings so you need less of them. The resulting SCENERY tiles (FLAT and BMP) are exactly the same size as before; no gain at all in that respect.I don't think there's any gain in processing time, or any less processing involved. The one advantage over Christian's LOD8 scenery is consistancy of color. The NASA Big Blue Marble imagerey is not the same color as most downloaded mapserver imagery. It's obviously possible to use the level mapping feature to force Tileproxy to substitute lower resolution for the level-10 range but I don't think there's a measurable payback. I'd happily change my opinion (and that's all it is) if there was a way to measure better performance from using level 5 in place of 10.
By setting the level mapping from 11 - 17, does that force Tile Proxy and FSX to use less rings? And is that better for performance?
You don't 'force' FSX to use less rings except with the Texture_Resolution slider.If you 'short' yourself on the number of elements in the mapping statement by skipping the level 10 'element', how would this correspond with the initial max_lod statement at the .ini top.Possibly 11 - 17 level mapping (skipping a place for the 10) would be remapping EVERY range to the next higher level. I think you are trying to "simplify" the mapping statement when using the LOD8 scenery but there is nothing that actually needs to be changed in the level_mapping line. Level mapping has raised so many questions...I THINK(!) this is the correspondence between the elements of the level_mapping statement and scenery and imagery...Scenery is like a multi-layer wedding cake of decreasing layer size and increasing height. I can choose to make it 5 layers high or six layers high or 10 layers high.I cannot get a 5-layer cake by removing the bottom 5 layers. FSX scenery starts with a wide coverage and builds inward to the point where I limit it with the Texture Resolution slider (how high is my cake?). TileProxy controls how RICH or LEAN each layer is.Tileproxy settings determine the LIMITS of the resolution of the scenery FILES that are made.FSX settings determine the HIGHEST resolution PROCESSING that will occur for display. I can tell FSX to display (an perhaps here's a key word) UP TO 1m resolution. FSX can't tell if the highest resolution image in a particular scenery file was made from 1.2m imagery or 'resampled' upward from 2.4m imagery - if a 1024 x 1024 image is part of that .bmp file then it IS (by definition, you could say) a 1.2m image tile. We cannot 'adjust' the bottom of the cake. We can't tell FSX NOT to show a LOD8 range of scenery; I can tell FSX to make it "smaller"; that doesn't make FEWER layers, just smaller ones.
...using the moving map hook yesterday, but could not quite understand what it was showing me...
Think of it as a 'real time cache viewer'. You are seeing a representation of coverage of the downloaded PHOTO TILES, colored much the same as they are in the Cache Browser but at a smaller range - and with no zoom. You can use it as you fly around an area to make sure that you haven't missed an area of imagery that you might need or want. It orients to the a/c direction so 'ahead' is always at the top. I used to "live by it" but I've not used it in a while; I get the equivalent knowledge of tile coverage directly from my tiles in the folders now. I do use the Cache Browser occasionally to get 'the big picture'. It is difficult to discern what colors are what tile levels and at short ranges the high resolution stuff can barely even be seen...Aside: I just 'discovered' the RAF low flight area in Wales (the Machynlleth Loop) so I had to make some Fixed-location cameras for the area and grab my Tucano and go exploring. Will post separately on this topic shortly.Meanwhile... http://www.warplane.co.uk/Wales.htm and http://lowfly.net/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5E7bGExICE...feature=channelLoyd

Hooked since FS4... now flying: FSX Acceleration on Win7/64, Core Duo E8400; GA-EP45-DS3R; GTX 460-768MB; 4G RAM; Freezer 7 Pro

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Hey Loyd, brilliant stuff ! Thank you !!I think I almost have the correct picture., apart from one thing: Can you check my logic here! : You say the detail texture mapping starts at LOD8 ( tile level 10 ) and FSX builds the scenery within that outer ring. Where do the level 5 - 10 tiles go then if you decide to use them in the level mapping? Outside the LOD8 scenery ring ( whats the point? You cant see them !) What is the point of having any mapping starting at anything below level 10 ? surely nothing ?Within the LOD8 ( level 10 ) ring there are , without any level mapping, 7 rings of scenery - 11,12,13,14,15,16,17, ( assuming we are using max_lod=15 )Level mapping can "force" less rings to be displayed in effect, by substitution, as it makes FSX use the same resolution for one or more of the rings, so you only have say 4 resolutions displayed instead of 7. But there will still be 7 rings. If you did use higher resolution, say up to 30cm, you would get 9 rings inside the worldLOD8 ring, but obviously they would all be a little bit smaller, to make room for the extra 2 rings, within the finite size of the outer LOD8 ring, is that correct? Or does using more resolution and subsequently more detail rings, make the whole scenery ring bigger? In the same way as if you increase the LOD_radius value in the FSX .cfg, then that would give the same number of rings, but they would all be bigger. In effect your max resolution ring around the plane would increase in size, all the rings would be approx 30% wider for each step up from 3.5 to 4.5 etcIf I understand you correctly, then irrespective of your mapping or preload settings, the server will download the range of resolutions automatically and it will be stored in the cache folder. FSX and tile proxy will just use what you tell them in the various .cfg settings, is that correct? Do the different map services have varying levels of zoom available and the level mapping defaults reflect that? Finally on a related, but slightly different note, I have just got FSAltitude for the western USA. I was sure Christian specifically mentions this product in the manual in relation to level mapping, but having just re read it , I now cant find it ! It must have been somewhere else. Basically, its blanket photoscenery for the whole of the western USA and designed to be only used at higher altitudes, as it is lower resolution, so I am wondering how to incorporate it within my set up. Presumably there is a benefit at soem point to be gained, in much the same way the worldLOD8 tiles Christian included help with performance, except that this product is at a higher resolution than those. Cheers, Mark

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Where do the level 5 - 10 tiles go then if you decide to use them in the level mapping?
Any sizes to the LEFT of what "lines up with" the actual rings defined are just PLACE HOLDERS...but "8 tiles" went right in the outer ring in my test case; I SUBSTITUTED 8 for 10. But to do so I had to 'span the full range of scales making 'too many ranges to account for, so Tileproxy only uses (to all appearances) the right-most number of elements that matches the necessary number of rings.I went to DFW with these first settings and ended up with level 8 jpgs and 11-16. I downloaded NO 9's or 10'. The level 8 tiles were used in the outer ring where level 10 would have been used by default.min_level=8max_level=16map_version=373#----------------10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17__guidelevel_mapping=8,8,8,11,12,13,14,15,16only these used --*******************and should you think to ask what would happen if I made it level_mapping=8,9,8,11,12,13,14,15,16?Yes, I downloaded level 9's in addition this time but DID NOT USE THEM TO MAKE ANY SCENERY TILE... strange...To use level 6 imagery in the "10 ring" you would structure the statements like so:min_level=6max_level=16map_version=373# --------------------10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17__guidelevel_mapping=6,6,6,6,6, 11, 12,13,14,15,16I got nothing smaller than 8 with 6,7,8,9, 8,11,12,13,14,15,16but putting the 6 where it matches the outer ring postition (level10), it did indeed DL level 6 imagery (6,7,8,9,6,11,12,13,14,15,16)The actual ring quantity in effect is from level 10 (non-adjustable) to whatever is stated by the lod_max parameter; the extra elements in the level statements and mapping statement DO NOT CREATE or REMOVE rings. Level mapping only controls WHAT is shown (made for) the rings that do exist.Clarification: TileProxy makes SCENERY TILES to specification - level mapping specification. FSX shows resolution "rings" based on TEXTURE_RESOLUTION. The smallest ring is set by The texture resolution slider defining the "top layer of the cake". If the slider is lower than what is available from scenery, you have fewer rings than you could have (but better performance). If you run the slider above what is available, FSX wastes time and cpu cycles to show the available scenery at a "pretended" higher resolution than it actually is, but you won't see any results from its efforts.
Within the LOD8 ( level 10 ) ring there are , without any level mapping, 7 rings of scenery - 11,12,13,14,15,16,17, ( assuming we are using max_lod=15 )Level mapping can "force" less rings to be displayed in effect, by substitution, as it makes FSX use the same resolution for one or more of the rings, so you only have say 4 resolutions displayed instead of 7. But there will still be 7 rings
You could say there are 4 resolutions displayed but that is only part of the picture. If I map from higher resolutions, I'll have 7 discernable levels of resolution. If I map from lower then I will end up with effectively less levels of resolution.At lod_max=14, there are 6 rings inside that outer ring (total 7), treated as 7 levels of resolution by FSX. A scenery tile at resolution 2.4m is 342k in size and contains 8 internal images, the largest being 512 x 512. This is a scenery tile at 2.4m resolution (max) - the limit I set in MY max_level=16. IF I had substituted level 15 for 16 in the mapping statement, I'd have exactly the same size tile, with 8 internal images, and the largest would be a 512 x 512 image at HALF of the expected resolution. TileProxy made what it needed from what it was given (lower resolution 4.8 imagery) and FSX knows nothing of this. It sees a 512 x 512 image and displays it. On the other hand, suppose I remap level 17 for 16. My level 17 tile is presented as a replacement for 16, it's twice the resolution needed and would normally be a 1024 x 1024 image inside the scenery tile ( and the 9th level) but instead, it's reduced in resolution and ends up being portrayed as a 2.4m, 512 x 512 image. FSX knows nothing of this either. It sees a tile that contains a 2.4m image and displays it. We're not altering the number of rings displayed; we're not even changing the resolution of the scenery tile contents (as FSX sees it) - we control the "quality" of what is used to make each level. Using level 6 imagery in outer ring shows big "pixels" with no detail. FSX didn't get "big pixels". FSX read a scenery tile that was the normal size and it was treated normally. Only the viewer "knows" that it isn't normal resolution.
If you did use higher resolution, say up to 30cm, you would get 9 rings inside the worldLOD8 ring, but obviously they would all be a little bit smaller, to make room for the extra 2 rings, within the finite size of the outer LOD8 ring, is that correct? Or does using more resolution and subsequently more detail rings, make the whole scenery ring bigger?
NO. each higher resolution ring is smaller than the previous. Wedding cake. Add a layer. Do we make all the previous layers different? No. only the new top layer is smaller. Rings only change size with the Slider (or cfg edit) and they all change PROPORTIONATELY.
In the same way as if you increase the LOD_radius value in the FSX .cfg, then that would give the same number of rings, but they would all be bigger. In effect your max resolution ring around the plane would increase in size, all the rings would be approx 30% wider for each step up from 3.5 to 4.5 etc
That is correct. We increase the size by using a larger NUMBER of blocks to outline the range. Each range.Each smaller (higher resolution) ring is using blocks that are half the scale of the previous ring.I don't remember ever seeing a SCENERY TILE smaller in size than QMID15. That's bigger than the area covered by 1.2m images so it takes many of them to make up a single tile. Takes 4 times as many 60cm tiles and 16 times as many 30cm tiles but the SCENERY TILE would have raised its contents to 9 levels to hold 1.2m, 10 levels to hold 60cm and 11 levels to hold 30cm detail. The scenery RING that holds 30cm detail is something that FSX has to manage. I haven't looked at those extreme levels closely so I can't say if they are discernible as distinct rings or not. I know that with my synthetic scenery, FSX seemed to be able to get the 'blocky-ring' shape higher res portions from the Scenery tile and show it correctly; I could make some synthetic 60cm and 30cm tiles and test but that will have to wait until the weekend.
If I understand you correctly, then irrespective of your mapping or preload settings, the server will download the range of resolutions automatically and it will be stored in the cache folder. FSX and tile proxy will just use what you tell them in the various .cfg settings, is that correct?
A. There is no "irrespective" and no "automatic". As Tileproxy begins to build scenery, it starts at the outer (#1) ring/#1 oval. What shall it download to build this ring? what does level mapping say? Level mapping says 10. OK, we download level 10 tiles until we've completely constructed the entire CIRCLE that is outer "ring".Done? Ring 2.. what shall we use? mapping says use 10 again here. Ok, already got. Fake it. make new smaller circle inside first circle using (poorer quality) level 10 imagery instead of level 11. Done.Ring 3: what to use? mapping say use 10 again. Oh cr*p. Making another lousy ring, boss!Ring 4: what to use? mapping say use 13 here. Download level 13 and shove into smaller circle of tiles around aircraft. This ring now can display actual correct resolution.Ring 5: what to use? mapping say use 15! I'm gonna choke, I am. make a smaller ring; take level 15 tile, de-res them to look like level 14 and stuff 'em into the scenery tiles that are closer in.Ring 6: what to use? mapping says use 15 again. Nothing to download. Take a smaller radius of level 15 tile and make a level 15 ring. Piece o' cake!Ring 7: what to use? mapping says use 16. Download 16 and stuff a smaller still group of nearby scenery tiles with level 16.etc., etc,Some time later, FSX, using the same "standard" to define scenery ranges, looks in the constructed scenery tiles to retrieve the imagery appropriate for each of those rings. Eventually the 'in memory' version of the view is calculated and displayed. The screen comes to light and we are now ready to fly. Finally.Wait, I want more quality further out! Set FSX to large range. FSX starts seeking higher res further out, TileProxy can't suppy immediately, so it starts back out at the Oval 1/ longest range and starts adding to it all around the perimeter. Then into ring 2, etc. etc. Ready to fly again with nice scenery all the way to the horizon. FSX seeks. TileProxy supplies.When you adjust FSX scenery range, you "Build a new Cake - starting from a new base size"; you reload scenery just as you originally did when you selected "Fly Now". This is probably an FSX requirement. It does it even if I already have all the tiles and all the scenery already made. It's just an "FSX thing".
Do the different map services have varying levels of zoom available and the level mapping defaults reflect that?
Yes, No, maybe, I'm not sure. They didn't fly/orbit overhead and take the pictures 16 times at different resolutions.Service 1 low res maybe 10 to 13 looks the same. Probably all made from the same source, re-sampled to lower resolutions. But most frequently level 14 to 17 looks the same. Same story; make 1m photos and re-sample to make 2m, 5m, 10m, 20m. Some photos are distinctly grainy. Only got 2m photo source imagery. So blow it up and call it 1m. - they can still see their house; what do they expect for free?I've know I've seen imagery that is "zoom" 17 in the browser that is much poorer than "zoom" 17 at other locations. I guess you get what you get. But the imagery is SCALED correctly for the stated "zoom" level.
FSAltitude for the western USA. I was sure Christian specifically mentions this product in the manual in relation to level mapping, but having just re read it , I now cant find it !
Page 28 (of 30) he compare it with LOD8 scenery and mentions using it the same way but doesn't specify exactly how. He says Europe was "up to 14m"; so you would use it to replace level 13 and below. Priority above Tileproxy and LOD8. FSX would take from it until there was no more, then get from lower priority source Tile Proxy. Use with LOD8 ring disabled and preload min probably 12 (level 14 and above) as level 13 and below should come from FSAltitude. That's my best guess - makes sense anyway.Best wishes.LoydToo bad I can't fly and write at the same time...

Hooked since FS4... now flying: FSX Acceleration on Win7/64, Core Duo E8400; GA-EP45-DS3R; GTX 460-768MB; 4G RAM; Freezer 7 Pro

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Hey Loyd, i just tried it as you suggested, but the result was not great. I got a ring of tile proxy scenery around me that extended about approx 2 - 3 mile radius, and all the FSAltitude stuff outside that. The transition was very noticable and it looked much better with just using TileProxy. I am going to check wether I get better result from putting it lower priority that Tileproxy, will report back....

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I am going to check wether I get better result from putting it lower priority that Tileproxy, will report back....
I tried it both ways, and it's still FSAltitude for everything except the nearest tiles. Perhaps there's something in the coding of the FSAltitude tiles that forces it into most LOD's.

Petraeus

 

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Yup, its what I found too, I have switched it off now, as it looks better just using tileproxy- , shame, bit of a waste of money!! Was expecting to be able to tweak how and when it displayed. I may contact their support department, they are pretty good at getting back to you.I had a look at the folder, could only see .bgl tiles. I wonder how they get the "cone" effect to work?? There must be something else.I looked in the folder in my FSX install, there is an application called "icpuninst" - I guess it unistalls something from the name, burt does not seem to do anything....

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