theskyisthelimit

Ortho4xp height files, overlays and running on separate computer?

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I'm still relatively new to XP11 and now Ortho4XP.. i followed some online guides.. most mention downloading the height data from this site, though i'm still having trouble triangulating exactly which square to click on compared to the tile(s) i choose in the map that is part of Ortho4xp.. i also tried looking at the skyvector site to triangulate, but i dont think i was doing it right..

 

I think when i extracted the height zip file, i was able to find the height file based on the longitude and lat..  however.. my question is, what if you are doing 2+ tiles at one time.. how then do you point it to the custom dem file in step 2 for the mesh?  It would only be a single height file.. or do you just go through one by one and select the height coordinate files and build the mesh multiple times?

 

I'm running with the hd mesh v3 as well.. so on the build overlays.. i have that in there.. and click build overlays for the last step..

 

Though someone somewhere else mentioned copying the folder yOrtho4XP_Overlays folder to the custom scenery folder.. is this not needed at all.. or only if you arent using the hd mesh?

 

 

Last question was related to running the ortho4xp on another machine and pointing it to the directories over the network (to let it run in the background on a "server" machine to do the downloading while still flying).. is this possible or does it rely on proper pathing for what it downloads.. or can i simply feed it the paths either locally re-created or point to the \\machinename\m\xplane folder structure etc?  Has anyone tried this?

 

Thanks in advance for any input here.

 

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I did some comparisons and found that i had to have the overlays folder in the custom scenery or the roads wouldnt work.. i did it as a junction shortcut as well, so if the folder contents changed then it would be reflected... i'm not sure why this wasnt mentioned in some of the tutorials.. i'm guessing it was just assumed

 

I'm still unclear on doing the height files for more than one tile.. the best method there.

 

Honestly, after seeing the difference between photo scenery on and off.. to me, xp11 does a fantastic job with the defaults, it seems almost unnecessary.. ie: roads line up and match the photo very well as is.. just my take on things.

 

 

I havent tried a second machine installation and seeing how that goes for generation of the tiles, as right now i'm on the fence on this.

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I'm no expert either, but for me to get trees, autogens and roads I have to add/copy Ortho4XP overlay to the custom scenery. It works well. 

 

Agree that XP11 already did a very nice job without using photo scenery, but I found photoscenery really helps when you have some large landscape with no buildings and trees. The photos sever a very nice and real texture on the ground.

 

I only have on biggest sore while using photo scenery that XP11's autogen road texture desperately need update. They're all too dark. Actually it will be great that we can have road transparent so those cars just appear to run on those photographic roads.

 

During one slow loading of Ortho4XP scenery in XP11 I actually got a moment that cars already started running before XP11 started building those autogen roads. Those cars essentially appeared to follow "roads" on photographic tiles and the scene looked fantastically real and nice. 

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I would use the Batch option: that takes care of everything automatically afaik. You can use it for one tile but also for dozens. I never used the manual options. No need to do every step manually. And it doesn't matter on which PC you run Ortho4XP as long as you copy the resulting tiles into the Custom scenery folder. The Ortho4XP folder itself isn't needed at all when you use the created files.

 

And btw instead of copying the actual files into the Custom scenery folder you can also simply drop a shortcut to the folder in it. That's what I do with everything I put in there (libraries, airports, mesh, etc.): I simply create shortcuts to the actual files in my Downloads folder. Saves a lot of space.

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I would use the Batch option: that takes care of everything automatically afaik. You can use it for one tile but also for dozens. I never used the manual options. No need to do every step manually. And it doesn't matter on which PC you run Ortho4XP as long as you copy the resulting tiles into the Custom scenery folder. The Ortho4XP folder itself isn't needed at all when you use the created files.

 

And btw instead of copying the actual files into the Custom scenery folder you can also simply drop a shortcut to the folder in it. That's what I do with everything I put in there (libraries, airports, mesh, etc.): I simply create shortcuts to the actual files in my Downloads folder. Saves a lot of space.

Does the build overlay option take place from within the batch build too (edit nevermind i see build masks and build overlays, i guess just need checked)

 

 and how about the base mesh step 2.. the part where i was pointing it to a custom dem file, the hgt files for the heights?  How are you dealing with height files.. can i always go back and add in multiple height files for the dem later (since i often cant tell which height files i need especially if i do more than 1 tile?)..

 

 edit:  i guess you cant do more than one tile at a time ?  the yellow box only seems to appear on one at a time

 

 

 

so far i've done level 16 on the zoom level.. i may try upping to 17 or 18 max.. it took 9.8gb for a 16 level tile in SW PA.. not worried about space but i'd hope to keep a mix of good quality and medium size, so maybe 17 next ill try.

 

On running on another pc, i guess i could just setup fake directories with nothing in them and then run the batch builds from there and copy it over, though i like just doing a junction for some of the folders which reside outside of the main XP folder, that way i dont need to constantly move them.. running over the local network isnt desireable though, but i guess i could do a sync job to mirror the ortho4xp folder structure on both machines then keep junction points in place.

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I think you have to control-click to select more tiles to batch them. There are quite a few good video's about this on YouTube too! It looks a bit daunting at first but in the end it is quite easy. (But well, that Goes for everything you have to learn LOL)

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At least for US zoom level 16 or 17 shouldn't be any problem I'd guess.

 

I started with zoom level 19 and ended up with gorgeous but huge tiles (120GB each). It's just impractical to keep doing that, too much bandwidth, computing power and time, and storage. Based on Oscar's advise I'm now sticking with zoom level 18, which gives me ~26GB/tile and take <2 hours to generate a tile. ZL18 looks pretty good too, not as detailed as ZL19 though... 

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I'm still unclear on the custom dem for mesh generation.. is that needed? Do i need to goto the website to do the heights hgt file and point the mesh step to that file (i dont think batch does this by default).. I think without the custom file, its going online and trying to find it.. what is the need for this file?

 

Also.. suddenly for some of my tiles i've generated, i'm not getting autogen.. i have the overlay folder above the hd mesh in the scenery library file ini, in the proper order, but the autogen is missing.. not sure why.

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I'm still unclear on the custom dem for mesh generation.. is that needed? Do i need to goto the website to do the heights hgt file and point the mesh step to that file

 

You only need to if you want to use another source apart from the viewfinderpanoramas ones (or you want higher definition). If you leave it blank, Ortho4XP will download the correct HGT files for you automatically

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So far I always did tiles and their overlays based on the meshv3. How can I create an overlay in an area where there is no such mesh available like South Africa?

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is it possible to put the files which I download to another drive instead of under XP folder?

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4 hours ago, johnliem said:

is it possible to put the files which I download to another drive instead of under XP folder?

Absolutely!   Here's what you do.  Once you created the tiles folders within the TILES Folder, and of course, you had set Ortho4XP's options to build Overlays from XP 11's own Global Scenery Folder (that you pointed to), then you only have to highlight all of your created tile folders, within the TILES Folder, and then create SHORT CUTS.  Then, when they are created, highlight all of them and transfer them to your XP 10, or 11's Custom Scenery Folder.

Next,...create a Short Cut of your root Overlay Folder within the root directory of your Ortho4XP Folder.  Move that Short Cut into your XP10 or 11's Custom Scenery Folder.

Next....run XP10 or 11.  For 11, as soon as your opening screen comes up....look at the left bottom, and QUIT XPlane.

Next...Open up your Custom Scenery Folder  Scenery.ini file, and you will find all your short cuts registered at the top.  First move your OVERLAY entry, to JUST ABOVE your custom mesh, like for instance, UHD or HD 3 Mesh, which should be at the VERY BOTTOM of the entries. The Overlay should be inserted just above your custom mesh. Then...move all your other TILE short cuts BELOW the Overlay entry.  You are done!

Fire up XP11 and enjoy.   One final thing.  Because you Short-cutted your Overlay Folder, you will never have to do anything more with that folder.  Anytime you create another tile, and have create overlays enabled, then when that tile is created, an overlay for it will also be created, which of course will be 'seen' by XP11 the next time it sniffs that folder, via your shortcut in the .ini file.

But...you still DO have to create a short cut for each new subsequent tile you choose to create, and then repeat the above (for the tile folder shortcuts...but only the new one, or ones).  Always make sure that in your .ini file, all your TILE shorcuts are below the OVERLAY entry.  You are good to go.

Hope this helped.

Ses 

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26 minutes ago, johnliem said:

Thank for the tips I willl give it a try and will let you know.

Johnliem...."welcome to the Dark Side".  Things will never again, be the same! :ampun:

Ortho4XP generated content...is totally addictive....yes, totally, no matter what z(zoom factor) you choose to tile-generate at...

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42 minutes ago, Sesquashtoo said:

Johnliem...."welcome to the Dark Side".  Things will never again, be the same! :ampun:

Ortho4XP generated content...is totally addictive....yes, totally, no matter what z(zoom factor) you choose to tile-generate at...

VERY true, I can't stand to run around Oklahoma City without ortho. LOL. It's just seeing the dam in the proper place at the lakes, there is the state capitol, worst of all, there is my house, Hey the shed in the back yard is THERE, go around to the other side of the house, there is the carport, not to mention my neighbors, some of there cars sitting in the driveway. Fortunately I can fly other places and be happy without ortho as I am not so familiar with the streets in other large cities. 

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