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ywgspotter

Blend mask and red on texture problems

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Hi guys,

 

I recently began creating a photo scenery for the Gimli Airport and industrial park, in Manitoba Canada as a starting point for designing scenery. I used Sbuilder X to create the photo scenery and ADE to edit the airport building locations and runways. I imported the scenery into FSX without any trouble after I got a friend to look over the .inf of the scenery.

 

Then I went into Photoshop and created a blend mask where I used a feathered brush around the perimeter of the airport and used a hard brush to colour in the rest of the blend mask. I made the image into a grey scale as told by a friend, and well, when I imported it into FSX, the entire photo scenery was blended in with the default terrain. Along with this, some red pixels were in the photo real as well. I'm not sure where I went wrong to make the entire photo real blend in or for the red pixels to appear in some areas.

 

Help would be greatly appreciated! I'll probably be back in regards to making night and seasonal textures as well :P

 

I will post some pictures when I get back from school so there's a visual to the scenery.

 

Thanks,

 

 

Mike Ignagni

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Does your blendmask run from pure black to pure white? Pure black will let your photoscenery through, while pure white will block it. Shades of grey allow varying degrees of photoscenery to show through depending on the degree of darkness.

 

Not sure what the red pixels are about.

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Yeah, a pic would be nice. I've seen red lines in scenery I've made. They appear at the edges of tiles for some reason. I read somewhere where the fix for this is to add a 1px thick black border around each image that is going to use a blend mask. But, I haven't made any scenery recently to test this. I'm not sure if maybe this is what you are seeing too?

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From my experience the red shows up on the photoreal when there are pure white pixels on the imagery and you use NullValue=255,255,255 in the .inf which is SBuilder's default setting. I've gotten around it by using "replace color" in PhotoShop to replace all pure white pixels with something just off-white, 254,254,254 for example. Mainly just set the color to be replaced to pure white, set the tolerance to "0", and then pull the darkness slider back to "-1" or similar.

 

Jim

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I don't really understand what you mean by opaque, you mean the edges are not blending off to transparent? Is the photoreal showing hard lines where the imagery ends? I can't tell much from your screenshot, if anything it looks like the PR is slightly transparent allowing some of the landclass textures to show through. Make sure your blendmask is pure white where you want the imagery to be 100% opaque and pure black where you want it to be transparent. Usually if you're masking land against land it works best if you delineate the black/white on the blend mask with just a slight feather, maybe 1-2 px is all. If you use say a 100px feather you end up with a large semi-transparent area where PR joins the landclass textures, works good for blending water but doesn't look great for land.

 

At any rate we can't see your actual .inf, can you copy & paste it here so we can take a look? Should be in your SBuilderX313\Tools\Work folder if you haven't moved it elsewhere.

 

Jim

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Whoops, I mixed up the wording :P Ya, because the default landclass is showing through the photoreal, but I'll try out a couple things in Photoshop. Do I make the blend mask black, make the layer a greyscale, and then compile the background and blendmask together?

 

[source]
   Type = MultiSource
   NumberOfSources = 2
[source1]
   Type = BMP
   Layer = Imagery
   SourceDir = "."
   SourceFile = "L17X60390X60426Y88173Y88207.BMP"
   Variation = All
   Channel_BlendMask = 2.0
   SamplingMethod = Gaussian
   ulyMap =  50.6416230496019
   ulxMap = -97.0669555664063
   xDim =  5.36441802978516E-06
   yDim =  3.40305092389946E-06

[source2]
   Type = TIFF
   Layer = None
   SourceDir = "."
   SourceFile = "L17X60390X60426Y88173Y88207_B.TIF"
   SamplingMethod = Gaussian
   ulyMap =  50.6416230496019
   ulxMap = -97.0669555664063
   xDim =  5.36441802978516E-06
   yDim =  3.40305092389946E-06

[Destination]
   DestDir = "."
   DestBaseFileName = "Photo01"
   DestFileType = BGL
   LOD = Auto
   UseSourceDimensions = 1
   CompressionQuality = 85
 

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Whoops, I mixed up the wording :P Ya, because the default landclass is showing through the photoreal, but I'll try out a couple things in Photoshop. Do I make the blend mask black, make the layer a greyscale, and then compile the background and blendmask together?

 

...

 

The blend mask is a mask. You don't combine it with any other image to get a 3rd. Here's a reduced JPG example of one of my TIFF masks to blend the default FSX scenery into the photoscenery:

 

BlendMaskExample.jpg

 

 

Pure black lets the FSX scenery show through, while pure white allows you to see the photoscenery. In this case the photoscenery is on the right side of the area. This particular area is along a coast.

 

Rich

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Okay, so I made a blendmask, but when trying to compile the .bgl, it flashes the little black screen and doesn't start compiling. Any idea what I may be doing wrong?

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Try using the magnetic lasso tool, with "width: 10", "edge contrast: 100%", "frequency: 100", a feather of 1px and anti-aliasing ticked. Select all the way around the part of the imagery you want to be visible (hold down the space bar when you need to scroll) and when you get back around to where you started and connect the ends to complete the selection, make a pure white (255,255,255 or #ffffff) color fill layer at the top of the layers stack from the selection. Then just do Ctrl+A to select the entire image and make another pure black (0,0,0 or #000000) color fill layer from that, drag the previously made white layer above the black one in the layers pallette if necessary so you see the white on top of the black. Now flatten the image, do Mode > grayscale and save it as "*_B.tif" which leaves your layered .psd intact.

 

I do water masks the same way except the magnetic lasso tool should be set to feather: 0 and anti-aliasing turned off.

 

Actually I usually embed both the blend and water masks as alpha channels in the .tif rather than use the separate "_B" and "_W" blend and water files but what you have in your .inf should work fine so that's another adventure for another time. :smile:

 

Jim

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Okay, so I made a blendmask, but when trying to compile the .bgl, it flashes the little black screen and doesn't start compiling. Any idea what I may be doing wrong?

In my experience that usually means that either 1) the TIFF file name doesn't match what's in the INF or 2) while the file name is correct, I've accidentally saved it to a different directory so that it isn't found. If nothing else has changed, a third option might be that the TIFF file is in a format that the compiler can't use. I think that's happened to me once or twice, too, when I've been playing around with the TIFF Save settings.

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Well it looks like you have the technique down, but you're showing a summer variant against winter landclass textures so naturally it'll look a little out of place. You'll have to figure out how to turn your summer variant into a winter variant, export another .tif or .bmp from that, add it as another source to your .inf, and then specify which months you want it to appear in the sim with "Variation = November, December, January" or similar depending on which months the landclass textures change.

 

When you're laying out your blend mask make use of features in the imagery, blend it off at the outer edges of roads, edges of fields, etc. so you don't have an abrupt cutoff in the middle of a field for example. You can even blend in such a way that the PR roads extend out onto the vector roads a few hundred yards, then spray some black on the ends so they transition into the vector roads a bit less noticably.

 

I'd say all in all you've had a success though. :smile:

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Thanks for all the help Jim! Really appreciate it! :) Are you familiar with creating seasonal textures? Or is that just a whole different ball game? :P

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It's a PITA, lol. You could try putting a white layer overtop and set it to "overlay" or "screen" (I can't remember which, do some experimenting). Then maybe add some noise and use your eraser tool to "plow" the roads, etc. What works is sort of a crap shoot, every peice of imagery is different so you just have to experiment. You can copy and convert some of your landclass textures to 24 or 32 bit so you can get them into PhotoShop which makes matching a bit easier.

 

Jim

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I've done winter textures just by simply using the color select tool in Photoshop. I have saved my various colors(greens and browns mostly) in whatever adobe calls the file now(can't remember) so I can re-use for every summer texture I create. With that "color select" file saved, I can then run a batch with all my summer textures. I run them through a color select "action", replace those selected colors with white, desaturate the image and then save them off in a winter folder or something. Then, I compile the bgls with summer, winter and any masks that I have. It actually looks really awesome, IMO. Here's a sample...

 

By the way, I had to drop the resolution and change to jpg so this looks no where near as good as it does as the original BMP and in FSX. So, take that into consideration.

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