AviatorMoser

A Small Update on FreeMeshX - USA

103 posts in this topic

Hello folks,

 

It's been over a year since we released FreeMeshX Global 1.0. Since then the reception has been astonishingly welcome and I thank you all for that. We have more updates in store for FreeMeshX Global, but this post will mainly concern FreeMeshX - USA expansion. Yes, work on FreeMeshX - USA is indeed still going. We're seeing nice improvements to the terrain!

 

Take this LOD10 terrain below:

 

XKpKNy2.png

 

And compare it to the subtle differences in LOD12:

 

5sauBvj.png

 

Notice the small undulations that were not previously resolved? We love that extra kind of detail. LOD12 does wonders for mountains and hills (along with some nice FTX Global textures).

 

nZm5WfB.png

 

FRtC5l2.png

 

kLtiOo7.jpg

 

atMh6hN.png

VndmnMB.png

 

And for a special local, LOD14 mesh of Mount Rainier (with the photoreal texture included in FTX PNW), the detail is mouth watering.

 

IfdXyjp.png

 

Some Insight

 

With the USA mesh, we want it to be special. To be honest, we could have could have cranked out USGS elevation data and had the expansion finished by Christmas. But our testing reveals that going down to LOD12, while making sharp mountains and undulating terrain, also makes horrible pits and plateaus where airports lay. This was expected and I had hoped elevation corrections (such as through FTX Vectors) would help relieve us of this problem. As many would know, airports sit flat in FSX and P3D, no matter the gradient and variability in the underlying terrain. This causes airports to sit on a plateau or in a pit, or commonly a combination where one end is much higher than the surrounding terrain and the other end is below it. It's an ugly system that I would like be ridden, but this something we must live it.

 

For example, look at this airport in Oregon. Notice how one end is much higher than the other. This is with an unmodified LOD12 mesh.

 

JTGIDwl.png

 

There is a gradient in the actual terrain, but the airport does not have any slope. It lays flat while the terrain continues to lower as we approach the end of the airport. There are more ugly artifacts that are common when you go to high resolution. Such as these "walls" around this end of the airport.

 

T5RoK4k.png

 

And more plateaus.

 

Oet2mR3.png

 

This problem exists with and without FTX Vectors. There is no avoiding it and is more apparent as we go higher in resolution. One solution is to go in and blend the edges of each airport into the terrain, but that is not practical. I'm trying to finish my Ph.D., not labor away smoothing out terrain for over 12,000 airports ;) In any case, we could not release FMX - USA knowing this problem existed. Others have sold meshes basically ignoring the problem, but we refuse to follow the status quo.

 

A Newer, Better Solution

 

So in the meantime, we've been trying to find an efficient, automated solution to the pit/plateau problem. And I think we may have found it. I won't go into the details on how, but we are seeing great results. The next three pictures are the previous with our corrections applied.

 

UZ8QHFK.png

 

OJprOK3.png

 

m8AtGDB.png

 

The airports now lay aligned with their terrain, coinciding peacefully in a 10-m LOD12 mesh. This is the quality we desire here at Nine Two Productions, and we mean to bring it.

 

Open Beta Plans

 

With that said, FreeMeshX - USA is moving forward, and at the same we hope to bring innovating solutions to the mesh production space. We plan to host some sort of open beta in the near future (preferably with a limited release of the West Coast area) where we can get some nice feedback from the community before we finish the rest of the USA. I can't set a date in stone yet because real life commitments are a bit unpredictable. We'll keep you informed as we near this next phase.

 

Thank you!

 

Nine Two Productions

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Wow Daniel, great stuff. I really appreciate how much you have given to this community.

Good luck on your Ph.D. and hopefully you graduated soon, that way you can finish this

fantastic USA Mesh.. :Big Grin:

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Wow Daniel, great stuff. I really appreciate how much you have given to this community.

Good luck on your Ph.D. and hopefully you graduated soon, that way you can finish this

fantastic USA Mesh.. :Big Grin:

 

Thanks! I appreciate that! Hopefully we can make airport pit/plateaus a thing of the past!

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Looks like a real improvement!  What resolution do you set your mesh to in the sim for this?

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Looks like a real improvement!  What resolution do you set your mesh to in the sim for this?

 

Well, as high as the mesh resolution dictates. So 10 m usually for LOD12. But there's no real disadvantage of using 5 m either. Or 1-2 m when I'm near a LOD14 mesh.

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WOW :dance:

 

Although i live in good old germany and enjoy the good you gave to all the mountains here, including the alps, i think i will have to do some US west coast hops in the future :wink: Great work and a really impressive solution, whatever you did to solve the plateau issue!

 

So, keep on going, take your time...i remember my own Ph.D., that one comes first!

 

Greeting, Matthias

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Daniel, wondering when you have time with your Phd studies and all to provide an update? Thank you

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Great news!

 

However, get your qualifications first - the rest of us can wait :) (...so how much longer did you say you've got to go for the PhD?? :D)

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