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Photo Scenery Fans - Announcing Forest - A New Tool For Enhancing Airports

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I am happy to announce a new tool to add to your scenery design arsenal.

 

Introducing Forest Tree Placement Tool, a graphical utility for quickly adding realistic vegetation around airports and points of interest.

 

Excerpt from the user guide:

 

Audience
scenery designers looking to easily place vegetation around airports
or points of interest. Forest is a great compliment to airport design utilities and features
precise graphical editing. Forest also features automatic tree detection capability to
make it easy for the novice to quickly add interesting approaches and departures to
barren photo scenery airports.

 

Why a utility just for trees? Good question. As a fan of flight simulation with photo
scenery I love knowing what I’m looking at enroute is nearly an exact replica of the real
world. The problem is without 3D objects in the sim takeoff, landing, and pattern work in
the vicinity of an airport is quite boring. Photo scenery tends to look better the higher
you fly. Synthetic scenery (autogen based or other commercial 3D scenery) tends to
look good once you get close to the ground but can look fake and distracting from
altitude particularly when poorly overlaid atop photo scenery. So I set out to create a
tool to bridge the gap. I wanted a tool that was:

  • fast and easy to use
  • usable anywhere there is photo scenery available
  • flexible and tunable enough to maintain good sim performance
  • able to create 3D stuff to see during takeoff

Features:

  • Easy to use - very little typing once you have a few tree groups setup to your liking.
  • Fast - Most projects are rendered in less than 60 seconds. Time from imagery acquisition to using the Forest enhanced scenery in sim can be as quick as 10 to 15 minutes...
  • Fully customizable automatic tree detection mode
  • Graphical editor that’s almost fun to use for precision tree placement
  • Widely customizable for any system performance level
  • Flexible tree group system allows creation of realistic forest variation

 

Visit the support forum at FS Developer.com.

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Photo scenery fans - I have just released a free little utility to help you bring those boring, flat photo scenery airports to life.

 

Introducing Forest - FSX and P3D Tree Placement Tool.  A free utility which makes it easy to generate trees in that all important 10km radius around an airport.

 

The tool lets you place trees in their proper real-world locations with ease and precision using a graphical editor.  You do not need to be a scenery design

expert to get great results within the first hour.  Once you become adept you'll easily be able to generate vegetation for airports in 30 minutes or less.

 

An automatic detection mode will analyze any satellite image and generate vegetation to fill out your airports.

 

Upload your completed scenery to share with others.  There's no longer an excuse for barren, uninteresting approaches in forested regions.

 

The screenshot below shows individual trees (white dots) placed around Olympia Regional Airport, Washington - a sample project available for download.  The background imagery is a top down screen capture from P3D 2.5 with the excellent MegaSceneryEarth Ultra-Res City Seattle Terminal Control Area installed.

 

Editor.jpg

 

 

Visit the support forums at FSDeveloper.com and get started improving your photo scenery simulation experience!

 

Eric

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Photo scenery fans - I have just released a free little utility to help you bring those boring, flat photo scenery airports to life.

 

Introducing Forest - FSX and P3D Tree Placement Tool.  A free utility which makes it easy to generate trees in that all important 10km radius around an airport.

 

See more detailed thread here: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/471395-forest-new-tool-for-enhancing-barren-photo-scenery-airports

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Bravo Eric! I will have to test this out.

 

Thank you!  :Applause:

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Nicely done.  Is this adding autogen trees?  My current workflow was to use QGIS to create a set of vegetation shape files that I can then run through Arno's tool to create .agn files.  Does this create .agn files as well? Or is is placing trees as objects in a .bgl?

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Nicely done.  Is this adding autogen trees?  My current workflow was to use QGIS to create a set of vegetation shape files that I can then run through Arno's tool to create .agn files.  Does this create .agn files as well? Or is is placing trees as objects in a .bgl?

 

If you are focused on creating large scenery areas (bigger than 100 sq km) I would say Arno's scenProc is probably a better fit for your workflow.  Forest places trees as bgl files - the focus here being on enhancing the initial and final phases of flight quickly and easily.  I have produced over 20 airports in my home region (Western Washington) using the tool and I really enjoy the added immersion when taking off and landing.  Once I am enroute (at altitude) I prefer my photo scenery without autogen. 

 

You could always just use both!

 

Before%20and%20AFter.jpg

 

Happy simming :P

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Looks like a nice utility. Thanks for your contribution to the Flight Simulation Community and letting our membership hear about this new free utility. I have consolidated all of the other related posts and topics regarding this utility and moved them to this forum.

 

Best regards,

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Do the trees change with the seasons like TreesHD from ORBX?

 

-Jim

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Forest is a scenery designer's tool that places trees in BGL files.  This is very different from the product you reference which is using the autogen system.  Autogen trees are excluded from most photo scenery.  If you want autogen with photo scenery you would need to use a tool like scenProc to tell the sim where to place the autogen trees.

 

Finally since photo scenery is based on static satellite imagery placing seasonal trees atop would produce very unnatural results (e.g. winter trees on top of a summer background image).

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Forest 1.01 beta is now available for download.

While this release carries a "beta" label it should be highly reliable and relatively bug free and is recommended for general use.
Updated documentation should be available within the coming weeks.

Build Notes

Version 1.01 beta (Build 120)

New Features
Added project archival capability (Share > Archive Project) to make it easier to share projects or store them for later use.
New project now creates an "Info" directory. This directory is a place to store useful information about a project. Anything in the directory can be included in project Archives.
A Template ReadMe file is placed into the Info directory.
Loading a Forest definition file will now automatically create the "info" project subfolder if none exists. This will update older projects when they are loaded into Forest 1.01+.
Added a direct menu link (Share > Visit Official Forest Forums) to the FSDeveloper.com Forest online support forums.

GUI Updates
Corrected display of Surveyor and Forester labels so they always show whenever a project is loaded.
Added dedicated editor button to main GUI window removing th eneed for the Survey Image right click shortcut.
Relabeled all "View / Edit Survey Mask" UI elements to "Review Survey"
Added arrow grapics to main GUI window.
New Survey Source dialog more clearly describes the available options.
Improved dialog text for many notification windows.

Usability Enhancements
Modified the Surveyor "Check neighboring pixels" algorithm resulting in much faster processing while retaining similar results.
Review survey functions are now enabled/disabled on project load based on presence required project files.
Main program window now moves to front when Apply Edits (resurvey) is selected from the Editor > Edit menu.
Entering color pick mode in the editor now automatically toggles display of the Color Range tab.
If an image file is present, blank mask files are now created (if not already present) any time a definition file is loaded.
Modifed "Perform Survey" function to test if both mask files are present (_mask.bmp and _wmask.bmp) before displaying Confirm Survey Source dialog.
Program now enables appropriate menu items when a project is loaded even if some project elements are missing.
Added support for jpeg images with ".jpeg" extension in addition to existing ".jpg" support.

Stability / Error checking Improvements
Added checks for a "." character in the project name which causes problems for the BGL compiler.
Added check for "," in folder path which causes issues with explorer operations.
Added check for valid image file before allowing the editor to open.

Known Issues
Editor performance degradation when zoomed. Performance improves as editor window size is reduced.
Extremely large images may exhibit refresh issues when zoomed to maximum. Performance improves if zoom is reduced.
Some functions are disabled while Editor is in color selection mode including:
- Editor close button (X) is disabled while Color Selection mode is active
- File and Edit menus are disabled while Color Selection mode is active
- Main program window does not confirm exit if close button (X) is clicked while any editor window is in color selection mode
Forester (Plant Trees) progress bar is not accurate when Tree Density is not set to 100%

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Forest 1.01 (build 130) is now available for download.

 

Release Notes:

================================================== Version 1.01 beta (Build 120) ==================================================

New Features
Added project archival capability (Share > Archive Project) to make it easier to share projects or store them for later use.
New project now creates an "Info" directory. This directory is a place to store useful information about a project. Anything in the directory can be included in project Archives.
A Template ReadMe file is placed into the Info directory.
Loading a Forest definition file will now automatically create the "info" project subfolder if none exists. This will update older projects when they are loaded into Forest 1.01+.
Added a direct menu link (Share > Visit Official Forest Forums) to the FSDeveloper.com Forest online support forums.

GUI Updates
Corrected display of Surveyor and Forester labels so they always show whenever a project is loaded.
Added dedicated "Review Survey" button to main GUI window removing the need for the "Survey Image" right click shortcut available in earlier versions.
Relabeled all "View / Edit Survey Mask" UI elements to "Review Survey"
Added arrow graphics to main GUI window.
New Survey Source dialog more clearly describes the available surveying options.
Improved dialog text for many notification windows.

Usability Enhancements
Modified the Surveyor "Check neighboring pixels" algorithm resulting in much faster processing while retaining similar results.
Review survey functions are now enabled/disabled on project load based on presence required project files.
Main program window now moves to front when Apply Edits (resurvey) is selected from the Editor > Edit menu.
Entering color pick mode in the Editor now automatically toggles display of the Color Range tab.
If an image file is present, blank mask files are now created (if not already present) anytime a definition file is loaded.
Modifed "Perform Survey" function to test if both mask files are present (_mask.bmp and _wmask.bmp) before displaying Confirm Survey Source dialog.
Program now enables appropriate menu items when a project is loaded even if some project elements are missing.
Added support for jpeg images with ".jpeg" extension in addition to existing ".jpg" support.

Stability / Error checking Improvements
Added checks for a "." character in the project name which causes problems for the BGL compiler.
Added check for "," in folder path which causes issues with explorer operations.
Added check for a valid image file in the project folder before allowing the Editor to open.


================================================== Version 1.01 (Build 130) ==================================================

New Features
Smart Filter is now usable in the graphical editor. Combined with "Obey" restrictions this will enable you to produce results identical to the auto survey function.

GUI Updates
Added smart painting filter button/indicator to the Editor tool panel.
Added image area statistics to Surveyor logging.
Added Smart Filter status and sensitivity settings to Surveyor logging.
"Check Neighboring Pixels" function has been relabeled "Smart Filter".
Rearranged Editor Options tab functions to accommodate new Smart painting filter functionality.

Usability Enhancements
Upon closing the Editor you will now be asked if you would like Surveyor to apply your edits (if edits have occurred).

Bug Fixes
Corrected bug which caused projects to load with functions disabled if Forest is launched from an associated definition file.
Corrected several bugs with auto definition file (.fdefauto) loading.



Known Issues
Editor performance degradation when zoomed. Performance improves as Editor window size is reduced.
Extremely large images may exhibit refresh issues when zoomed to maximum. Performance improves if zoom is reduced.
Some functions are disabled while the Editor is in color selection mode including:
- Editor close button (X) is disabled while Color Selection mode is active if there are unsaved edits.
- File and Edit menus are disabled while Color Selection mode is active.
- Main program window does not confirm exit if close button (X) is clicked while any Editor window is in color selection mode
Forester (Plant Trees) progress bar is not accurate when Tree Density is not set to 100%
Forester may on occasion create a blank XML/BGL (file with no coordinates in the filename). It is safe to delete this BGL file as it contains zero scenery objects.

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