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tonywob

Introducing my latest project (An orbx-style GA airfield)

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Something I really miss from FSX/P3D is ORBX's little GA airfields and grass-strips. They have a great atmosphere to them, and are a great way to start and finish a flight. As everything with X-Plane, if it's lacking, you create it yourself :smile:

This is my 3rd airfield project and since it's a fairly small but busy airfield (EGNU in the UK), I'm really concentrating on the small details to try and bring the field to life:
 
Cessna_172_SP_1.jpg

I've added a basic orphophoto around the airfield and edited out the car and building footprints as I work on them. This way, the shadows aren't static and burnt into the ground, and it looks more natural.

 

The airfield has full night-lighting (Even though it isn't used at night, it looks nice just after the sun comes up). It also includes moving people. The three people below are all animated, two are talking whilst the other guy works on the plane.
Cessna_172_SP_2.jpg

 

One of them has also left his girlfriend sitting bored watching the planes. 
Cessna_172_SP_3.jpg

 

I've also modelled the industrial estate as it's very prominent and visible from the airfield. I have done about half the buildings, so there is still much work to do here:
Cessna_172_SP_4.jpg

 

I've also included vegetation, fencing etc all done using photos taken on-site.
Cessna_172_SP_5.jpg

 

There is still some work to do, e.g. the prison at the north end of the runway (Which you get fined if you fly over). Getting pictures for the prison are pretty much impossible, so it I'll have to be creative here. Also, if used with World2XPlane scenery, the entire area is populated with little villages, towns, farms and woodland just as they are in real-life and is really nice to fly around in and practice circuits or fly to the other nearby airfields (Which I've also done).

 

Of course, it will be freeware and all objects/artwork created will be going back into World2XPlane, e.g. all the industrial buildings.

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Thanks John. Yep, I can get a pretty good idea of what the buildings should look like, the shapes, etc, but actually making them look like they really do is difficult without real photographs, It's such a prominent landmark on the approach, that it would be great to get it looking realistic. 

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Really nice!

I really liked the last shot with grass , did you create this grass by your self or is there any kind of library around there?

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I really liked the last shot with grass , did you create this grass by your self or is there any kind of library around there?

 

Yep, I created several styles of grasses and weeds from photos I took. Gotta be careful with them though, as they eat frame-rates if overused. I tried doing a field of oilseed rape next to the runway, it looked fantastic, but killed the FPS too much unfortunately.

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Should be easy enough to get access to the prison lol (just nick a car), seriously though, great work.

Especially like the "Tony-flow" animated characters!

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Should be easy enough to get access to the prison lol (just nick a car), seriously though, great work.

 

:smile:, good point, although this is a top security prison with the likes of Charles Bronson, I might have to go on a mass murder, all in the name of X-Plane of course.

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I always wondered why no one ever created a  grass library.

 

There is some grass on x-plane.org to use, but it needs recolouring to match the overlay you use. Generally, it's very easy to create grass or plants (Which are actually just forest files), just take a few photos, alpha mask the background in photoshop and create a forest file by hand (which is easy enough). Just be careful with them, as people can go to town and the grass and shrubs will really destroy performance.

 

 

 

Looks Great....love the bored girlfriend...so true so true!

 

:smile:

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I'm sure this is a dumb question, but what design tools are required to get into airport scenery creation?

 

It's not a dumb question at all. The absolute basics I think for creating simple airports are:

 

- WED

- Sketchup (For creating 3D models if nothing is already available)

- A paint package, such as paint.net, pixelmator

- Patience :smile:

 

The tools I now use are:

 

- Blender (It's more powerful than Sketchup and quicker for me to create models and animations)

- OverlayEditor for visually placing the objects in a 3D view rather than top down.

- Photoshop for creating the artwork (and also a camera for taking pics)

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It's not a dumb question at all. The absolute basics I think for creating simple airports are:

 

- WED

- Sketchup (For creating 3D models if nothing is already available)

- A paint package, such as paint.net, pixelmator

- Patience  :smile:

 

The tools I now use are:

 

- Blender (It's more powerful than Sketchup and quicker for me to create models and animations)

- OverlayEditor for visually placing the objects in a 3D view rather than top down.

- Photoshop for creating the artwork (and also a camera for taking pics)

 

 

Thank you!

 

Definitely something I'm looking to dive into.

 

So do you use a sat image of the airport to get the placement and size of things correct?

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So do you use a sat image of the airport to get the placement and size of things correct?

 

Well, if I can, I'll go to the airfield I'm doing and take hundreds of photographs and get the lay of the land. If it's not possible, then either I'll ask someone at the airfield for pictures, or hunt down images/YouTube videos to get an idea. Of course the best ones are the ones you can visit yourself, but normally if you contact someone at the airfield, they'll be more than happy to help you out.

 

Also yes, I use sat images, and OSM data to get the correct building sizes

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This looks great Tony. On the subject of photos I did ask at Liverpool but they won't let we wander around either - so I would only be able to do the GA area if that's helpful?

 

As an aside - which sky treatment are using there - one from Sky Maxx I assume, but which one - looks great.

 

cheers

Peter

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While we're on the subject of grass, I am having trouble finding grass airstrips in XP because the default grass runways are often exactly the same color and nearly the same texture as surrounding terrain.  There is an HD Runway file in freeware, but I installed that and lost all my runways to dull gray, no numbers.  Grass airstrips also turned to gray, and I got a texture load error when starting 10.35b1 so I had to go back to default.  (Edit:  Never mind - wrong folder)

 

I'm pretty good with Photoshop and wondered if I could edit the texture files to include a "yellowed" grass area where there would be wear on the grass strip.  How do I turn the texture (.dsf) into something I can work with and then turn it back to .dsf ?  I don't need the super-hi-res that the freeware has (wouldn't load anyway) but I think the default grass runways could use some work.

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While we're on the subject of grass, I am having trouble finding grass airstrips in XP because the default grass runways are often exactly the same color and nearly the same texture as surrounding terrain.  There is an HD Runway file in freeware, but I installed that and lost all my runways to dull gray, no numbers.  Grass airstrips also turned to gray, and I got a texture load error when starting 10.35b1 so I had to go back to default.  (Edit:  Never mind - wrong folder)

 

I'm pretty good with Photoshop and wondered if I could edit the texture files to include a "yellowed" grass area where there would be wear on the grass strip.  How do I turn the texture (.dsf) into something I can work with and then turn it back to .dsf ?  I don't need the super-hi-res that the freeware has (wouldn't load anyway) but I think the default grass runways could use some work.

 

Hi,

 

I have no idea how to do all that, but I found another solution that works pretty well - you can use the lighter pavement types in WED to create some markings for the grass runway. Use the lightest concrete or asphalt type, and create some "brackets" around the corners of the landing strip. They are visible from pretty far...

 

Another thing to keep in mind: Grass strips ARE very hard to find in real life, often you must be very familiar with the area and surrounding landmarks. If anything, I find the uniformly green area that denotes a grass runway in X-Plane too easy to spot...

 

Cheers, jan

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This looks great Tony. On the subject of photos I did ask at Liverpool but they won't let we wander around either - so I would only be able to do the GA area if that's helpful?

 

I thought that might have been the case. I wonder how the author of UK2000 got permission? If you can take some photos of the GA area and then I'll happy model some of the buildings and aircraft.

 

 

 


While we're on the subject of grass, I am having trouble finding grass airstrips in XP because the default grass runways are often exactly the same color and nearly the same texture as surrounding terrain. 

 

Well, this airfield is also no exception to this, it is hard to find in real life, as are other grass strips, and you need to know in advance where to look. You can try adding a few dirt marks along the grass strip (have a look also at the grunge objects). I've used a real orphophoto for the runway and surrounding fields, and it's still difficult to find without deliberately exaggerating it.


 

 


As an aside - which sky treatment are using there - one from Sky Maxx I assume, but which one - looks great.

 

Yep, just Skymaxx Pro with the default settings. It's a great addon

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