Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest Anubis

I did it!

Recommended Posts

My first post... Today I installed TP on my pc. It was less difficult than expected, having heard many people complaining about the setup phase. It is a great gift to the community and I would like to thank the author, he did a great job!It is working quite good I would say... But I have yet to get accustomed to the "flat" (that is, without 3D element) world. I understand that TileProxy will disabled AutoGen completely, and that means no buildings and trees, however any landmark element (e.g. a castle, or a church or a bridge) should remain, is that correct?Another thing that is not 100% clear to me: when you fly another time on the same area, then there will be no need to download anything from Internet, as everything is already cashed. With that respect, what happens when for example you change the map provider? For a specific area a provider could have better data compared to another, right?I guess I will have more questions as I experiment it, but it is great, much better than the cartoonish FSX default (now I can see how much is different!!!).Cheers,Anubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Hi Anubis, welcome to the world of TileProxy, glad you got it going without the usual grief!!You are correct, you cannot have autogen, just landmarks. If you follow the same flight path as before, then the tiles will have already have been downloaded, but obviously JUST where you flew before. Bear in mind, the tiles downloaded will only be at the max resolution you set in area approx 1.2 kilometres around you. After that the resolution will be less and less. So to download ALL the image tiles and manufacture ALL the scenery tiles, you will have to criss cross the area in a regular pattern, about 1.5 KM apart. When you have done this, you will find that TileProxy does virtually no work and you can fly at speeds of 300KTs no trouble, over perfect photoscenery....I am not sure what happens if you chnage just the map provider, but Loyd will know. If you chnage ANY of the settings in the .ini file that relate to the way the tiles are displayed or made however, then the tiles already made in your Photoreal world folder will be flushed, so beware.Cheers,Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... So to download ALL the image tiles and manufacture ALL the scenery tiles, you will have to criss cross the area in a regular pattern, about 1.5 KM apart. When you have done this, ...
Hello Mark,Thanks for answering. What you said gives me some kind of idea: one could switch on FSX, program in the autopilot a criss-cross flight plan, set infinite fuel on, start and let FSX work for hours (days?) and build slowly a perfect coverage over a certain area...edit: I forgot to say that once you get accustomed to TP, you begin to feel you should always fly with it. The more you see the more you would like to see...Anubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats correct Anubis, I just use a freeware flightplan programme that lets you add waypoints, then off you go. And yes, it is addictive..so much scenery, so little time!!! cheers,Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anubis,Switching map providers...TileProxy "looks" for images to provide scenery for FSX. It doesn't consider the provider of the imagery. It makes scenery with available jpg images. If it needs to download some, it does so from whatever provider it is connected to; who you are connected to at the moment is not pertinent (to TileProxy). You can fly with level 10 to 15 from one provider and then select another - but add level 16 and 17; the scenery will be flushed and rebuilt but will use the already existing levels and only add the more detailed ones on top. It isn't the source that causes the rebuild, but the difference in levels - you KEEP the jpg tiles cached. You must manually delete them to use ones from a different provider.The Scenery TILES that are made are individually 1.2km. The width of TileProxy's "Paintbrush" (to create the most detailed level) is a function of the Texture range SLIDER. Medium will make approx 5 tiles wide, Large setting will make about 7. This closely approximates minutes of lat/lon so if setting up a flight plan, I used to offset each pass a little less than those distances. That's the way I used to do it; now I try to center on the same spacing, but as seen more precisely in the SDK's TmfViewer where the individual tile locations can be seen. This "base" is for level 15. Level 16 is about half the effective width, and 17 another half I'd guess... gets real close to what Mark said initially; you'd need to fly within 1 to 2 minutes of latitude/longitude to be sure of getting complete coverage... quite a tedious process for a large area but pretty to watch. FSX + Tileproxy: an expensive "screensaver", I've thought more than once...Well, more like a paint roller than a brush...Loyd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Loyd,Thanks for answerting... I am experimenting with TP more and more and I have tons of (probably stupid) questions...- If I fly over a certain area at max_lod=17 with service provider#1 and then I fly over the same area with service provider#3 but still at max_lod=17, would that mean TP end up storing the best (in terms of image resolution) tiles? And to make it correctly, should I stop TP, stop FSX, edit ProxyUser.ini and change the service provider, or it is enough to switch the provider from within FSX? This is something is not clear, does TP understand that provider#1 has higher resolution images compared to provider#3 automatically?- What should I do with black tiles? I have -from time to time- a black tile appearing at start-up (that is, when I load with the aircraft sitting on the tarmac), so I know there must be something wrong with the images: when it happens, I usually stop FSX and TP, switch the service provider and start again, that solves the issue. Is the best way? Or should I do something else?- Assuming that I am not using any level_mapping option, why should I load everytime 8-9 levels of tiles (from lod#17 to lod#9)? Wouldn't be better/faster to load only 6 levels (say lod#17 to lod #12)?- TP seems to eat memory endlesslsy. I have seen now several time its virtual size grow beyond 4GB and then crash... Shouldn't TP flush old/not useful anymore tiles as time goes by? Otherwise, I believe that it will eventually run out of memory on long flights. The error reported by TP is the following:fileAPI(): not enough memory for final alpha mask!fileAPI(): Missing alpha data before final rendering.The computer is crashing with error c000005 (I think this is an access violation - OOM)- Finally, I do not know whether it is possible/feasible, but as TP can switch service while running, why not make some kind of planetary look-up-table containing the id of the best image provider for that specific area? On startup TP would simply get from FSX the location of the aircraft and choose the service accordingly: when during the flight the aircraft crosses a boundary and enters in another area, TP woud query this table again and switch provider if required. Just an idea...- Another idea, this time trying to cope with the OOM problem of TP on very long flight: when TP is reaching the 4 GB limit, it could simply kill and restart itself and therefore freeing the memory used to far. Sorry for the long message...Anubis-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A hint for you on the memory problem:

# Maximum number of bytes allocated to BMP graphics tiles in RAM at any time (0 for unlimited)# The value below states 100 MB.cache_bytes_limit=100000000# Maximum number of BMP tiles to cache in RAM at any time (0 for no limit).cache_tiles_limit=100000
Current settings works fine for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Loyd,Thanks for answerting... I am experimenting with TP more and more and I have tons of (probably stupid) questions...- If I fly over a certain area at max_lod=17 with service provider#1 and then I fly over the same area with service provider#3 but still at max_lod=17, would that mean TP end up storing the best (in terms of image resolution) tiles? ...does TP understand that provider#1 has higher resolution images compared to provider#3 automatically?
No, Tileproxy (you might say), knows from NOTHING about what you see. You tell it to make some 1m (level 17) scenery for you and it does so. If there is level 17 imagery available, it makes the scenery from 17; if there is no 17 available, it will make the scenery with 16 - or 15 - or whatever it can get. What you see in the "ovals" in the display is Tileproxy making scenery elements for you, as requested. They could be made from anything at all. Flying over the same area where you have tiles already downloaded does not cause anything to happen at the tile/server end of things. If you have the tiles, no additional downloading occurs regardless of whether you change servers or not. A tile is a tile is a tile. If you have already made scenery for the area also, then not much occurs at that level either; Tileproxy just keeps checking to see if anything is needed.
And to make it correctly, should I stop TP, stop FSX, edit ProxyUser.ini and change the service provider, or it is enough to switch the provider from within FSX?
I'm not sure. The only time I ever tried to switch 'in the air' I crashed the sim/tileproxy and maybe even the system so I don't do that anymore.I do shut down, edit the .ini and restart if I'm going to do something like that. I have removed the 'service listing' section of the .ini so I do not have anything in the menu now that would allow me to select another service.
- What should I do with black tiles? I have -from time to time- a black tile appearing at start-up (that is, when I load with the aircraft sitting on the tarmac), so I know there must be something wrong with the images: when it happens, I usually stop FSX and TP, switch the service provider and start again, that solves the issue. Is the best way? Or should I do something else?
Don't know; never had the problem.
- Assuming that I am not using any level_mapping option, why should I load everytime 8-9 levels of tiles (from lod#17 to lod#9)? Wouldn't be better/faster to load only 6 levels (say lod#17 to lod #12)?
The levels LOD8 to whatever level YOU SET IN FSX is what must be shown - That's FSX, not TileProxy; it's only making the tiles to replace what FSX is going to display. Do you want default scenery starting at 35km out instead of 120km? FSX starts generating scenery at the most remote location and works its way inward with increasing resolution - not the other way around. We can only control the detail at the near end, not the far end------- The memory issues, someone else maybe can address... I get crash when 4G pagefile limit reached. Now I just save and restart when it goes above 2G (even though it still says I have 1.5+G ram still available)
- Finally, I do not know whether it is possible/feasible, but as TP can switch service while running, why not make some kind of planetary look-up-table containing the id of the best image provider for that specific area? On startup TP would simply get from FSX the location of the aircraft and choose the service accordingly: when during the flight the aircraft crosses a boundary and enters in another area, TP woud query this table again and switch provider if required. Just an idea...- Another idea, this time trying to cope with the OOM problem of TP on very long flight: when TP is reaching the 4 GB limit, it could simply kill and restart itself and therefore freeing the memory used to far. Sorry for the long message...
How Tileproxy behaves it for the developer to address. We still have a 'beta' product here that works amazingly well, all things considered, and he may never do anything else with the program. For now, it is what it is, and all that it can do is what he's designed it to do so far...Loyd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loyd,Thanks for your answers and patience. Now I begin to understand a bit more. I was under the impression that if I ask TileProxy LOD 17 tiles and the service can't provide adequate imagery, then TileProxy would simply use the "next best" (16 or else) and when flying again over the same area with another service with a better imagery, then tiles at LOD 17 would be finally built: you are telling me that TP matches the request (LOD 17) with whatever is available. Good to know, I have to select the best image provider beforehand.About the black tiles, here's an example:1) open http://www.flashearth.com/ and choose "Palma, Spain" and 'Yahoo Maps'2) locate the airport (SE of the default position)3) zoom until you get a good picture of the airport (there is an aircraft taxiing or taking off from 34L)4) now pan straight east: after a while you should be able to see a black vertical (that is, North-South aligned) strip. The black strip appear only if you select an high enough resolution.If I fly over that area with Service#3, I get black tiles in the same position: to solve the issue, I had to switch to Service#1 to "fill" the void.Anubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, does this mean that if I use Service 1 (using level 10-17) in an area where there's only level 12 textures, and then change to another service which has level 16 and fly the same area, that Tileproxy will use the created textures from level 12 which was compiled to level 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, so I'll not get better textures. If you know what I mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, does this mean that if I use Service 1 (using level 10-17) in an area where there's only level 12 textures, and then change to another service which has level 16 and fly the same area, that Tileproxy will use the created textures from level 12 which was compiled to level 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, so I'll not get better textures. If you know what I mean?
It is something I am not sure of but I believe, after seeing the email of Loyd, that this is what will happen (sadly).If I understand correctly the logic of TileProxy, the first time you will overfly area ABC with service #1 with a ProxyUser.ini configured to request LOD10-LOD17 then TileProxy will do what you have asked with whatever is available. Flying the same area ABC with service #3 will not change anything as the area is already covered. End of story.I would like to get "better" scenarios by mixing the images coming from the various services, but so far I haven't been able to do it.For example, when I start the flight from an airport, I overlook the area with http://www.flashearth.com/ to figure out which service has better images. That is easy to do. However, there is a problem: as I fly away from the airport, the quality of the images (coming from the chosen service) may degrade faster compared to the other one. At that point in time, I stop the simulation and go again to http://www.flashearth.com/ to see what's going on: sometimes I can find out that the other service has, where the aircraft is now flying, better images.But then, what should I do? If I save the flight and stop FSX, stop TP, edit ProxyUser.ini and change the service and finally restart FSX and load the flight, then the tiles that I see are the "old" tiles (the bad ones coming from the previous service, as those have been already processed).I was also thinking to user the in-flight menu of TileProxy and changing service during the flight: but when I try that, I get some kind of horrible mix of images afterwards. Neither FSX nor TP crashes, but what I see is awful.What I believe may help a bit is to use the Tile Editor (the one that shows the map of the world and the areas where each service has accumulated tiles): with that tool it would be theoretically possible to delete offline only selected areas: in that way I would for example overfly a big area with service#1, then use the Tile Editor to delete some zones where the resolution is bad, then overfly again the same area with service#3 to "fill the gaps" with better imagery leaving the rest unchanged. But the resolution of the Tile Editor does not allow this kind of precision work...A good solution would be to find a way to tell TileProxy something like "Take the tile which the aircraft is overflying, dump it, switch service provider and reload" or even better, have a Tile Editor that shows you the tiles in the same way are displayed in FSX by the F12 (satellite) view, to be able to select them. A Tile Editor that works like http://www.flashearth.com/.In that way you could, with patience, find the best of both services.Anubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been swithing services on the go. The only problem is that, as you say, I get strange behavior with water in strange places, but this will even out after a little while.But thanks for explaining this, makes it easier to get a better result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MortenS, Anubis,I see I've been slightly mis-understood...If you fly the same area with the same service, the same settings and the same tiles available, nothing changes.example max tiles 15: your scenery will be "level 15" even though you asked for 17; the penalty is that level 17 scenery is 1,398k per tile, and the 15 level tile that it "could" have been is 87K... world of difference in HDD space for no gain in quality. There is only one size tile, but it will contain ALL the resolutions asked for - whatever they're made from.So I fly service3 at level 17 but it wasn't there so I made level 17 tiles out of level 15 imagery.I switch to service1 at level 17 and there are 17 tiles so TP starts downloading the new "resource" and will rebuild the previous tiles to your specification BUT it will NOT replace the 15's you already have - only ADD the 16 and 17. If there is a different coloration and you want to replace the original 15's (or whatever) you can use the delete feature in the cachebrowser tool or just do a Windows Search in the cache for tile_l15_*.jpg and delete everything that pops up.... assuming you don't keep everthing in the same cache; some people do. In that case be sure to use the selectability in the cachebrowser.I do the mix 'n match services for color preference all the time. It takes a little longer perhaps, but I get things the way I want.However, just changing tiles sometimes may not be enough... if you just replace one set of tiles with another of the same size, TP may not update the scenery. In that case it may be necessary to remove a block or scenery tiles so they can be rebuilt. I'd only flush the world scenery as a last resort. If you can't geographically locate the tiles, you can possibly delete the tiles based on time: if I decide I don't like what I build last night... then tiles created last night ONLY will be searched and deleted. There's no need to delete stuff I made last week also.Repeating: if there is only 13, 15, or 16 available, leaving the ini set at 17 and just flying everywhere like that is an extreme waste of HDD space. But at the price of terabyte drives, maybe I'm just being over-cautious; I do custom set the ini for the available imagery. Even to the point of sometimes just doing a "survey flight" at 15 (4.8m) to evaluate. If I really like it, I come back on top and do 16 (or rarely 17).Some places simply aren't worth doing at 17 (lack of interesting detail) but are worth having at just 15.Loyd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Repeating: if there is only 13, 15, or 16 available, leaving the ini set at 17 and just flying everywhere like that is an extreme waste of HDD space. But at the price of terabyte drives, maybe I'm just being over-cautious; I do custom set the ini for the available imagery. Even to the point of sometimes just doing a "survey flight" at 15 (4.8m) to evaluate. If I really like it, I come back on top and do 16 (or rarely 17).Some places simply aren't worth doing at 17 (lack of interesting detail) but are worth having at just 15.
Ah... Then TP can discriminate between images @ LOD17 downloaded from the service provider and images @ LOD17 created by itself and will overwrite "hand-made" tiles if/when there are better alternatives. Okay. Then it is worth to switch, thanks Loyd for claryfing, I had not understood it in the first place!Is there a way to know when TP is "hand-making" imagery as opposed to download? The DOS window with the ovals has different symbols ('+' and '*') but I understand those mean "tiles to be created in the near future" and "tiles ready"... I wish there was a third symbol, something like "x" to mark an "hand-made" tile.Or, is there a way to figure out which LOD is available by looking at the place with http://www.flashearth.com/ ? I can see which service is providing better images, but I have no other clue...Anubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah... Then TP can discriminate between images @ LOD17 downloaded from the service provider and images @ LOD17 created by itself and will overwrite "hand-made" tiles if/when there are better alternatives.
I don't think it 'discriminates', but it certainly 'knows' that it has no imagery for a particular area and 'knows' it needs to download it - I suspect that triggers the scenery tile rebuilding...
Is there a way to know when TP is "hand-making" imagery as opposed to download?
The most obvious way is to do the windows search on the tilecache I'm using. If I start a new flight at a location that's new to me and I wouldn't have tiles for, by time the ovals finish filling and FSX is building scenery, a Windows search should show newly created tiles and the highest level that can be seen is probably the highest level available. So if I want to fly "to level 17" and the highest tile is something like "tile_l15_x2345_y6789.jpg", then 15 is all that's available at that location and I'd do better either adjusting the ini for level 15 max or going somewhere else.Maybe I never actually said... TileProxy saves downloaded imagery with names that incorporate the resolution level (l15) and location (x2345_y6789).
The DOS window with the ovals has different symbols ('+' and '*') but I understand those mean "tiles to be created in the near future" and "tiles ready"... I wish there was a third symbol, something like "x" to mark an "hand-made" tile.
If Christian ever resumes work on the project maybe he will include such a feature.
Or, is there a way to figure out which LOD is available by looking at the place with http://www.flashearth.com/ ? I can see which service is providing better images, but I have no other clue...
Flashearth is quite useful and I use it most of the time BUT if I want to avoid guessing I typically go to Airnav, type in an airport destination and then link directly to the mapservices at those exact locations...where the address bar shows the zoom level. It is also worth noting that if I 'zoom' to the next level and there's no indication on-screen that new tiles are being downloaded, more than likely all I've really done is ZOOM the previous resolution level. Maybe the next "zoom" will show download activity... but sometimes the various service refer to zoom level differently and the same scale imagery may vary by 1. Additionally, the obvious color differences in imagery occur at the transition from level 13 to level 14. You can also just "count" up or down from that transition point.Like a lot of things, it just takes some practice and some "attention to details"Loyd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites