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J van E

Mesh in X-Plane has extra features...?

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I had a look at Mesh HD v3 and some comparison screenshots: I thought that in P3D mesh mainly took care of mountains etc. but in X-Plane it also makes a HUGE difference in land class and what you see. The differences between default and Mesh HD are stunning:

 

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOwq_hycfDsWSWUdtmjY7KI07YJc1PKIlrB-RWVx2siAivCGZdeze5TZyYvbjR56w?key=VnRwOHd6UWhvTUdRdUUwTE14SF9HNGxIelBTa29B

 

Is Mesh in X-Plane something completely different compared to Mesh in FSX/P3D? Just curious. ;)

 

After seeing those screenshots I am going to download that Mesh for certain. I suppose it is completely compatible with XP11...?

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but in X-Plane it also makes a HUGE difference in land class and what you see.

 

Hmm, that looks like more than just mesh to me. That looks like landclass as well, but I'm clueless here too.

 

So, what is going on here? Does XP landclass and mesh work in a different way to to ESP based sims? I'm used to mesh being the just the underlying structure that the textures are placed over.

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I had a look at Mesh HD v3 and some comparison screenshots: I thought that in P3D mesh mainly took care of mountains etc. but in X-Plane it also makes a HUGE difference in land class and what you see. The differences between default and Mesh HD are stunning:

 

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOwq_hycfDsWSWUdtmjY7KI07YJc1PKIlrB-RWVx2siAivCGZdeze5TZyYvbjR56w?key=VnRwOHd6UWhvTUdRdUUwTE14SF9HNGxIelBTa29B

 

Is Mesh in X-Plane something completely different compared to Mesh in FSX/P3D? Just curious. ;)

 

Higher resolution, which not only means less blurry mountains with more detail, but also improves generation of landclass scenery (farms, forests, etc.).

 

 

After seeing those screenshots I am going to download that Mesh for certain. I suppose it is completely compatible with XP11...?

 

 

Appears to be, yes! In fact it seems that if you're installing the HD or UHD mesh, you don't need to download any of the corresponding default world scenery files from the X-Plane installer because it's a replacement for the default.

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Mesh and landclass always have to be in the same file for X-Plane. You can't make a landclass without a mesh.

 

If you want to learn more about how the scenery system works, there's a nice article on Laminar's website.

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Higher resolution, which not only means less blurry mountains with more detail, but also improves generation of landclass scenery (farms, forests, etc.).

 

Appears to be, yes! In fact it seems that if you're installing the HD or UHD mesh, you don't need to download any of the corresponding default world scenery files from the X-Plane installer because it's a replacement for the default.

Mesh and landclass always have to be in the same file for X-Plane. You can't make a landclass without a mesh.

 

If you want to learn more about how the scenery system works, there's a nice article on Laminar's website.

Nice! This REALLY is a different sim! ;) Pity that I first installed default files for the Europe... I understand I didn't have to that then, but well. I had to place the Mesh files at the bottom of the scenery ini: I suppose custom scenery ALWAYS takes priority over default files? Otherwise the Mesh at the bottom of the ini might be overruled by default scenery...

 

BTW Amazing that this Mesh HD v3 is free...!!! And it's actually fun learning new things and downloading all kinds of stuff.

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Nice! This REALLY is a different sim! ;) Pity that I first installed default files for the Europe... but well. I had to place the Mesh files at the bottom of the scenery ini: I suppose custom scenery ALWAYS takes priority over default files? Otherwise the Mesh at the bottom of the ini might be overruled by default scenery...

 

BTW Amazing that this Mesh HD v3 is free...!!!

 

 

Yes, default scenery is always at the bottom. You can actually see for yourself if you open the log.txt file, it always displays the order in which X-Plane loads your scenery.

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Nice! This REALLY is a different sim! ;) Pity that I first installed default files for the Europe... but well. I had to place the Mesh files at the bottom of the scenery ini: I suppose custom scenery ALWAYS takes priority over default files? Otherwise the Mesh at the bottom of the ini might be overruled by default scenery...

 

BTW Amazing that this Mesh HD v3 is free...!!!

 

Welcome to the XP world, tons of free, quality stuff. Also the scenery order in the .ini overrules everything so that is the most important when it comes to load order. BTW give Ortho4XP a look, you can build some really good photo scenery with it.

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You can run the installer/updater anytime and uninstall areas for which you have added the HD mesh/scenery. It is a complete replacement for the stock scenery.

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Welcome in the X-plane world of Mesh .... And yes, calling my scenery plainly "mesh" is vastly simplifying the facts inside it. And yes, its really different from the FSX/P3D way (and both have their advantages and disadvantages ... because nothing is for free in the hard world of 3D compute graphics :smile: )

 

But before I repeat myself, let me quote a detailed post I made on this topic a few months ago on X-Plane.org (which is linked to from my website too :wink:) . There you can find a lot of details.

For those who do not want (or can) go to the org, I re-post it here:

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Usually a scenery file can contain any kind of scenery data (that is supported by X-Plane). There is no rule, that say, that a scenery file can only have a real mesh ... or just roads ... etc. No, you can have all of them, some of them, or only one in a scenery file.

The main scenery data types are (this might not be the full list ... but should give you a good feeling):

  • Scenery mesh  - this is a gigantic triangle mesh which defines the structure of the ground .... and this mesh can get a height for all of its vertices .... and thus finally represent the classic ground in the landscape. The triangles which make up this mesh also get textures attached to them (well, indirectly ... technically they get pointers to terrain definition files ... and those files tell X-Plane which textures and shaders to use / mix for that given triangle-patch). The selection of those terrain definitions (and the textures in the end) is based on landclass data used at scenery generation time (landclass data is not in the mesh anymore ... at least not in its raw form ... it just helps to decide which terrain definitions get attached to the triangle patches). IMPORTANT: in X-plane, water is not a separate scenery element, but simply part of this base mesh (think about it like a special kind of texture / shader).
  • Road network - this is a gigantic pile connected vector line data, where each segment has a pointer to - again - an artwork definition. And trough this artwork definition, X-plane knows whith what kind of visual road elements to visualize this vector line network. Railroads and powerlines are part of this data too!
  • Forests - forests in X-Plane are again an extra scenery entity and are defined by a large number of simple polygons. Again, each polygon has a pointer to a forest definition, which - again - tells X-Plane how (what kind of trees etc.) to fill those forests when rendering.
  • Objects - you scenery can also have an arbitrary number of arbitrarily complex objects in it. Here in the scenery you only have point data, which has a pointer to those 3D objects (which the artists supply in OBJ files ... ) ... so again, X-plane knows, which object to plot down at any given point.
  • Facades - they are simplified way to add objects (most of the time facades are used for buildings) to your landscape without the need to create complex 3D stuff via OBJ files. These facades are polygons too and have - again - pointers  to facade definitions which in the end tell X-Plane how to draw those buildings.
  • Autogen - this is one of the more complex stuffs ... as there are areas (polygons) / lines / pint types in the scenery. Here these forms (points / lines / polygons) in the scenery - again - have pointers to complex autogen definitions which in the end tell X-Plane how to fill those points / lines / areas with halfway plausible autogen artwork

What you might see immediately: I always have this "again, a pointer to X" ... This means one very simple thing: the scenery files (the DSFs) themselves do not contain any kind of artwork data, but only the basic geometry data structure (triangle meshes / polygons / lines / points) ... and only have a gazillion of simple pointers to external artwork definitions (if you think about this for a moment, you will realize that this "abstraction" is a fantastic way to give a lot of freedom to artists ... as nothing of their work / modifications need to go in the DSF itself ... just need to be referenced by it)

SOOO ... and now let me go back to your first questions.

The default Global Scenery, the HD Mesh Scenery v3 or also UHD Mesh Scenery v3 effectively contains ALL of those scenery elements (yes, ALL of them!!) because these sceneries are all meant to fully define your landscape (not just give you the ground, but also put trees, roads, cities etc. on top of it). They are also all based on gigantic piles of real world based geographic data (like Openstreetmap but also a lot of other stuff) - just with different level of detail, or different data age or quality!

Now, scenery like w2xp does not "reorganize" but simply add another scenery layer and either mix or replace some of the existing elements. Usually the are different w2xp base scenery versions which can be of these types (and because of its versatility there could be even more combinations):

  • Remove forests and autogen from underlying scenery. Add forests and buildings (based on OSM data building data - where available)
  • Remove forests and "smartly exclude" autogen from underlying scenery. Add forests and buildings (based on OSM data building data - where available) ... here the cool thing is (but can be quite heavy at scenery load time) that where OSM has no useful building data, the existing autogen is kept and only "removed" where cool OSM buildings are available.
  • Remove the entire road network from underlying scenery. Add a new road network.

Usually you use either the first or the second type of w2xp scenery ... but can additionally use new road network stuff too (I thin Simheave supplies such new road netwrok w2xp scenery too).

By he way: photoscenery is technically / structurally often quite similar to default Global Sscenery (or HD Mesh Scenery v3 or UHD Mesh Scenery v1) .... depending on the tool or tech used, it also quite often supplies all the other scenery data layers too (this is especially true for g2xpl based photoscenery which completely "replicates" an existing mesh scenery and - very simply put - "only" replaces the texture pointers from generic textures to photo textures). The only - and main - difference is that the mesh triangle in photoscenery mesh do not point to generic textures but instead each of them to a different photo texture tile.

So, from a pure technical point of view, you can think about photoscenery exactly like the default Global Sscenery (or HD Mesh Scenery v3 or UHD Mesh Scenery v1). And the same rules apply to all of them.

  • Most importantly: only one mesh tile at the same time at the same (1x1 degree location)! If there are more, no problem, but X-plane will only show you the one with the highest priority
  • Any scenery below(!) a given mesh scenery tile will not be visible (think about it like this: that tile defines the base, the ground ... you can only plop stuff on top of that ... not below it)
  • You can overlay anything on top of mesh scenery ... thats why you can mix any w2xp scenery (because it is not mesh .... remember my list above) on top of that. Of course, it might sometimes be an overkill or look bad (or you might even have redundancy if you put two OSM sceneries on top - killing your GPU) ... but technically its all possible and ok.

OK. I hope this helps to clarify it a bit more (and if it does so, the PLEASE spread this info - by linking here - to other users who might at any point ask the same questions again .... they will)

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Wow, cool, thanks for all the information, Andras!!! I will read it a few times more to really get it all. ;)

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