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tonywob

New Autogen Tech

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It's been a while since I've posted any updates or news on World2XPlane, but I'm at work little by little. The latest feature I'm working on is autogen (which may seem like a step back for some). I've found the problem with OSM data, especially in places like the UK or Spain is the very patchy coverage. With this new feature, the entire country will be populated with realistic regional autogen. The trick is to make it as convincing as possible. Here are few screenies of the latest progress:
 
Alabeo_R66_6.jpg

Alabeo_R66_7.jpg
Since I'm using autogen, I have exact control over how the buildings are rotated, placed, and more importantly I can include objects along with them. So trees will only appear in people's gardens, cars in driveways, and the buildings will perfectly align up with the roads.
 
At the moment, I have only created a few autogen files for the UK (In fact there are only 4 types of buildings used in these shots), but even with just a mixture of 4 buildings the result is quite nice. There is also a peak of the new facades and placement engine I've created for highrise blocks in the screenshot below:
Alabeo_R66_5.jpg
 
The entire country is populated like shown in these screenshots, and when used in combination with third-party data such OS VectorData to populate forests which are missing in OSM, we end up with 100% coverage.
Alabeo_R66_3.jpg
 
I intend to make it blend with the existing real OSM objects, but this is still on my todo list. The autogen objects actually look superior to the OSM placed objects because they are all lined up and consistent, but hopefully I can work out a way of making the autogen engine actually use real data and/or blend in and not add autogen when there is real data (Think of smart exclusions without exclusions).
Alabeo_R66_2.jpg
 
Performance wise, I'm hoping it will be an improvement (but only if you take a well-populated OSM area and replace it with autogen). This is because there are fewer varieties of objects and hardware instancing comes into play. In areas that where previously empty, like the below screenshot, of course you will get a FPS hit (just as you would with the default X-Plane autogen).
Alabeo_R66_1.jpg
 
There is still much to do. Especially in the artwork department. I don't have the time to create regional objects for every country. Once I'm done with the UK, I may create some artwork for the US, but this as always is where I need help from others.

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Holy [expletive deleted]

That is incredible.

 

I've recently spent a small fortune on P3D addons, do you mind not posting this stuff for a few more months? :)


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Amazing!  Quit posting and get back to work, Tony.  :lol:


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Nice work.  Looking forward to some US autogen.


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Nice work.  Looking forward to some US autogen.

 

I've not tried it out in the US yet, and it all depends on how well the residential areas are setup. Otherwise, like in the UK, I'll have to find other data sources to compliment OSM. Also, the places that will benefit the most are the places that already have artwork created in the world-models library.

 

Here are a few more taken around Leeds in the UK which with just OSM data is almost completely empty.

 

Alabeo_R66_8.jpg

 

Alabeo_R66_9.jpg

 

Alabeo_R66_10.jpg

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Hello!

Wow! its a great work! beautifull and well done.

Can i ask you a thing? Is there a way to make also in autogen the night lights of aiplanes more visible at bigger distance than now? In prepar3d v2.5, you can only see them up to 20 km. (in fsx, mucho more)...

is there a way? many people like me are flying at night, having the sensation that sky is empty, but watching many planes near us by radar. Befofe we could see them at least 50 km .

thanks, sorry for my english! im spanish.

 

holds!

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This is incredible Tony, the effect is so realistic.

 

The improvements you're making are really impressive but I have one small concern; often it takes a long time to generate scenery, particularly if the OSM data is good. Are we going to need to regenerate scenery folders whenever there are updates to W2XP?


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Awesom job there.

 

One thing I was wondering - do all autogen objects have to have the same footprint size? Because often there is a large empty space between roads and maybe if there was autogen with a bigger footprint these gaps could be filled a little bit better. Or maybe one could even create an autogen object with several houses in it to make it look less sterile.

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Can i ask you a thing? Is there a way to make also in autogen the night lights of aiplanes more visible at bigger distance than now? In prepar3d v2.5, you can only see them up to 20 km. (in fsx, mucho more)...

 

Yes, you can adjust the LOD of the autogen to change the view distance, but you are going to suffer with framerates if you do so.

 

 

 


The improvements you're making are really impressive but I have one small concern; often it takes a long time to generate scenery, particularly if the OSM data is good. Are we going to need to regenerate scenery folders whenever there are updates to W2XP?

 

Well, if you use just autogen it's faster, if you use a mixture then it will take longer because of the collision detection. You will need to regenerate to get updated data and the new features. For a major release it's worth it, if it's just minor fixes that don't interest you then you won't need to.

 

 

 


One thing I was wondering - do all autogen objects have to have the same footprint size? Because often there is a large empty space between roads and maybe if there was autogen with a bigger footprint these gaps could be filled a little bit better

 

No they don't :smile:. In my above demo screenshots I'm only using 4 houses (grouped into 2 groups of semi-detached). As I add more artwork and smaller/bigger buildings then it will work exactly as you've specified. I expect the produced scenery will improve significantly the more variety of objects I can make. I'm starting with the UK because I'm originally from there and know very well how it should look. Also, it's worth adding that it will have to be a bit cleverer than simply plonking down a random house in a space that fits, the houses should firstly look like they belong together on the same street, and secondly they all have to be aligned correctly. Secondly, I need to put in a hotspot system which records how far away a street is from the town/village or city centre and adjust the type of buildings accordingly. Still much work to do :(

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One more question - is this an extension to the X-Plane autogen or is it basically a scenery file with objects placed in a fixed way like what the osm scenery does?

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is this an extension to the X-Plane autogen or is it basically a scenery file with objects placed in a fixed way like what the osm scenery does?

 

It's a mixture of both. It still uses OSM data, but it uses X-Plane autogen files. So instead of plonking down an individual building where each building should be, it marks up where and what type of autogen to place. It will use data from residential roads and zones to work out where buildings should be. This is a somewhat simplistic view, as it does much more in the background, but you get the idea. It also will blend with real data, so it won't place autogen zones where there is real data placed down, etc..

 

Also, another very important thing to add. If I extend the autogen by adding new artwork and buildings into the correct groups, I won't need to rebuild the entire scenery, as each house isn't hardcoded into the DSF only the zone to place buildings. So it's very easy to improve the scenery without lengthy rebuilds.

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The pictures are stunning! Excellent job, Tony!

 

Question:

 

As far as I understand, Laminar is using pretty much the same process for autogen: Look at the OSM roads and the "zonetype (i.e. residential)", then plop down appropriate buildings along those roads.

 

Where does your process differ? Are you just using different artwork, or do you also add more roads where there are none in OSM?

 

Again, no matter how you do it, the results are stunning and most welcome!

 

Thanks, Jan

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As far as I understand, Laminar is using pretty much the same process for autogen: Look at the OSM roads and the "zonetype (i.e. residential)", then plop down appropriate buildings along those roads.

 

Where does your process differ? Are you just using different artwork, or do you also add more roads where there are none in OSM?

 

Thanks Jan. Well firstly, I don't really know how LR do it exactly, but the results are quite different when using the default scenery and W2XP autogen scenery. Here are some key points that I hope explains it:

 

  • W2XP uses roads and residential zones from OSM as the data (it can use whatever you configure it to do so) to determine where buildings should be. It then decides what group of buildings should be there and places autogen zones based on that zone.
  • The artwork is World2XPlane's. So what you see here is UK buildings in the UK. The artwork is regional so will change based on country, etc..
  • Users can easily fix up bad data inside OSM. e.g. If they see a street devoid of buildings, they can look at the street in OSM and see if it is tagged correctly.
  • The autogen produced by W2XP will blend in with real OSM data if the user chooses to do so. Instead of using thousands of exclusion zones, W2XP will simply not place an autogen zone over an area where there is real data.
  • I so far have only used AGP (autogen point) and AGS(autogen string) files. I haven't been able to understand AGB (block) format, and I don't think it will work for the approach I'm doing. LR use the AGB block format to fill in blocks between roads AFAIK, whereas W2XP won't fill in data where there aren't roads.

The process is similar to what LR are doing, but the major difference is that this allows the scenery to be updated without waiting for recuts and also allows greater control over how the scenery should appear

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