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New to scenery design, trying to add beaches to Oahu

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Hi all,


I've always been disappointed with the missing beaches on Oahu in the default FSX scenery. I tried last night to add Waikiki beach on Oahu, following the instructions here: http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=FSX_KML


I traced over Waikiki beach in Google Earth, named it "Waikiki Beach" and then saved my polygon as a .kml file.


I installed FSX_KML, FWTools, and I have the SDK installed. After opening FSX_KML, I had trouble pointing to my FSX and SDK folders, I got an error message every time I tried to select "choose folder". I forget what the error message was, but a google search showed some others with the same issue, but there was never any resolution. I did see that I could find my FSX_KML.ini and manually enter the paths in there, so that's what I did.


I loaded my .kml file and tagged it as a "shoreline". This is where my first question comes up. What tag should I use for a beach?


I saved it and went through the build process. I didn't get any error messages and it all looked to work fine. It added the scenery to my "addon scenery" folder in FSX. I created a new addon scenery folder called "Beaches" and dropped my new .bgl in a "Scenery" folder in there. So I had AddonScenery/Beaches/Scenery/Waikiki Beach.bgl.


I started up FSX, added the area to my scenery library (at the top), and started a flight from Ford Island. I got to Waikiki, but there was nothing there. No change from the default scenery. Here is my second (and bigger) question: Where did I go wrong? I was wondering if maybe the scenery area I created was actually in FSX's ocean, and maybe I need to do some sort of water exclusion...? Or maybe I just missed a step?


Any help would be appreciated! I can get UTX for $35 and it will add the beaches and do a whole lot more, but I thought it would be fun to give it a try on my own first. But if it ends up being and exercise in frustration just to add one beach, I may just go the UTX route.

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So I realized that I probably needed to use a vector, not a polygon, for the beach. I also realized that I had the path to FWTools wrong in FSX_KML. However, I ended up adding UTX before I had a chance to go back and try the beach again. UTX is simply too good of a deal if you compare it to the time it would take me to do just a fraction of the work in a fraction of the area.


I did try customizing the waterclass around Oahu and Waikiki, since right now a lot of the South/South-East shore is missing any sort of reefs or shallow water. I also CHANGED PEARL HARBOR TO A DARKER BLUE. Yeah, that part is in caps. The bright blue water around Pearl Harbor looks horrendous and has bugged me since day one. I'm still working out how to use Google Earth and FSX_KML, but I'm making good progress.

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Sounds good. I prefer SBuilderX but that may be a matter of taste. When dealing with the shorelines you have a couple of decisions to make. The default FSX shoreline textures are not nearly as variable as the FS9 ones. The width is set in terrain.cfg and you can't change that unless you add your own custom texture id entry. Effectively you have 3 shoreline textures only, and only one that works as an actual "beach", 50m wide white sand. So the alternative is to place a polygon where you can vary the width/shape of the sand. The problem is the beach created as a polygon doesn't blend so doesn't look that great. What people have done is to use either default landclass or downloaded aerials of beach and reef and used that with the 'blendmask" to blend in the default landclass and waterclass textures.


If you are working with the default fsx you might want to take screen shots or use tmfviewer and screenshots and overlay onto google earth since the default coastline doesn't exactly match what you see in GE.


scott s.


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