Sesquashtoo

Dedicated, 'nose to the grindstone' Ortho4XP tips...

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Hi Folks,

Since this old dog decided to sit up for a new treat...Ortho4XP v1.20b, I have been chewing on that treat every day, for about 5 hours or so.  The wife has been sliding food under the closed door...

I had a bumpy start, with Ortho4XP not working on my system (was not the program's fault, but my lack of Python Engine knowledge (had v2.7 as global, and was not compatible with this version of Ortho4XP v1.20b), but once I caught the groove, there has been no turning back!

I am pushing 600 GB's of ortho goodness on my system, and have a few User Tips, to offer anybody else that is not a hot shot already with this program.

Under the Mask section of the tile generation screen, before you decide to generate a shoulder-to-shoulder 'cluster' of ortho tiles, you will need to decide whether you want the benefits (and there are!) of checking off the Complex Mask box, as well as the Inland water mask box.  I most highly recommend that you DO check those boxes off, for all your tile generations, as for if you do, especially with the Complex Mask engaged, you will have absolutely seemless adjoining tiles. There will be no visible line, or seam between one adjoining tile and the other.

This is the choice though....if you decide to engage the Complex Mask feature, you must continue with that feature engaged for your entire, shoulder-to-shoulder tile generation.  What the Complex Mask feature does over not having it engaged as you generate tiles, is that data from three tiles or more around the tile you are generating, will be used to analyze the 'seaming' of the adjoining tiles, and elevation and water masks will be fluid and consistent.

If you for instance, do a tile run of two or three tiles with this feature turned on, and then for whatever reason, you decide that a tile you next generate will only sniff out its own particular x/y parameters for the boundaries WITHIN that one tile, you will have a seam clash, that XP will stumble upon, and you will ultimately have a XP11 or 10 CTD.  Truly, there is no good reason to NOT have this great mask enhancement turned on always, OTHER than it adds about 2-3 minutes more per tile in the generation end game.  You also want to have Inland Water Masks turned on, so you will have ortho/xp combinations of water that look drop-dead gorgeous, and still maintain PBR glistening of the sun upon the water as it catches the waves.  Without this engaged, you could merely have a non animated, non sun-effected, blue water mask for all inland lakes, as WELL as the Great Lakes Basin, which XP sees as truly what they are...large lakes, INLAND water bodies.  

There is another VERY IMPORTANT tip in the generating of your tiles. Believe it or not, even if your ortho picture jpg downloads are starting, and the tile is generating to the time it says in the data screen; Download or Files Complete, that simply MIGHT NOT BE THE CASE. Think of modem traffic as what they are, packets of data...and think of each ortho pic jpg, as one 'data packet', I have seen on many of my tiles (when XP squawks at me, that there are texture files missing and CTD), leaving me scratching my head..."Hey...how can that be? The tile said it was complete in all the download....

NOPE...NOPE  NADA!   On these tiles, I went back and reran after I PURGED the OSM data by the very button that allows for it on manual Tile Generation Screen, the OSM again (after the purge) and then number 3, creating the tile.  Well..what do know....?!?   As it displays many of textures already present within the created file...it starts downloading many, MANY, new tiles that did NOT get downloaded in the first and original generation routine. The BATCH routine is especially deadly for this.

So...here's what I do now. I do NOT use the Batch, but highlight with the YELLOW boundary mask, the file I want to create on the World Map, and then I use the new 'Mitch' method of tile generation:

I manually start with generating my OSM Vector section, then the MESH, then the 2.5 MASK with both Complex and Inland Water engaged, then finally the number 3 portion, the downloading and creating/conversion of the textures.

I then as soon as the first 'pass', I'll call the original generation of texture the 'first pass'...I then immediately, when the script states Textures Completed, press again, and start again a 'second' pass in creating the textures. I run the number three routine again.  Lo and behold, some tiles fly through the routine, with the statement,  Texture already Present, but...I find some tiles that will start downloading 20-30-50 new 'Downloading Missing Texture' lines, that WERE NOT DOWNLOADED IN THE FIRST GENERATION PASS!!!!!

This is why it truly is imperative that you MANUALLY create, not by BATCH METHOD, each tile..and run the number 3 section, TWICE.  If you do this, you will have truly complete tiles...all textures needed, and no textures missing that might, or might not cause XP to CTD, but you will see default XP ground textures where the true Ortho texture should have been, but was NOT downloaded on only one generation pass of creating that tile.

This has been my experience, and I have created close to 3/4 TB of tiles downloads.  On one tile that I had created, near Lake Superior, at Wawa, Ontario, it finished its run...stating that downloads were complete.  I ran the tile generation routine again...and DANG...if not about 30-45 NEW 'downloading missing textures' came off the Net.  Yep..over 40 jpg ortho pictures did NOT get captured and downloaded on the initial first generation.  If you are Batching, how many countless tiles are you generating away from the computer, as you do something else around the house, that have incomplete texture captures, and you won't have any idea that this has occurred.  

I have had some incomplete tiles NOT bring XP down to a CTD, but most have where XP 11 gives you a box that states that it can't find xxxx texture, OR that it says, just before the CTD, that the scenery you are running is damaged and XP can not go on...then bye-bye...CTD.

So, in closing this post, I hope that I have saved the newbie and perhaps seasoned user, head-aches with their tiles not running, XP crashing, default scenery showing up....and all, because you never guessed that the first run of the tile generation, did NOT in fact, download all the textures that reside within the x/y parameters of the tile you wish to have as Ortho upon your system.

Happy Ortho'ing...for I am on a mission to Ortho4XP the entire North American continent, Central America, South America, all of the Caribbean, and parts of Europe that will interest this North American simmer.  This post will save you headaches, and will contribute to premium visual ortho generation.  One final suggestion....truly take a look at all the features that can be engaged on the Global .cfg file.  One of them (that I have made; TRUE) is that if whatever tagged source I am using, does NOT have textures for the next download sequence to create my target tile, a default (I have BI(ng) set as my default) will automatically switch, to fill in that download, to make sure your tile generates veritus.  You can not address this feature, on any of the two User screens...but only by setting it to TRUE in the .cfg file.

Post Edit: If you already have some tiles generated, you can go to the World Map screen and double click upon them until they turn YELLOW, and then you can merely press the number 3 routine (generate tile) again...on the manual screen section, and the tile will download on the second pass, any missing (that you were actually unaware of!) textures, without having to fully download ALL the textures once more that comprise the tile.  Nothing will be erased that has already been downloaded, ONLY the missing textures that were not properly downloaded and captured on the original generation will be downloaded and added to what you already have created and converted for that tile.  Easy as pie...and worth your time to do it.

Happy Ortho'ing!

Cessna_172_SP_1.png

Cessna_172_SP_2.png

 

Sesquashtoo :biggrin:

Edited by Sesquashtoo
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I wonder, if all the Map sources/sat picture sources, Google, Bing, USA_1 &2, etc...have different servors that house the assorted Z zoom files, z14, to z19, etc?

Why I ask, is that I have experienced my tile downloads, where I have created a two zoom tile, z17 for all terrain, except a zoom level of z19 two KM's out from the airport boundaries, and yesterday, ONLY z17 tiles were being downloaded, but today, on the second pass that I have started to do...only z19 files are being downloaded, being that all of the z17 files were already in the Ortho folder for that tile.  So, that begs the question, was the server down that housed the z19 collection, or did BI(ing) take that hard drive/server that housed the z19 collection off-line for repair or maintenance?  

The bottom line, is that I did not get a mixture (as normal) on other days, of z17 and z19 files to complete and form the total generated tile.

Something to watch out for.  I am right now going over yesterday's generations, and only z19 files are being downloaded, to the already downloaded collection of z17 for that tile. That supports, I think, that BI(ng) Google, all of them, house the zoom rating 'family' of pictures on different servers/raid-drives.  

Something to watch out for...and unfortunately, if you use the BATCH method of tile creation, and are not visually monitoring what is being downloaded in the update script window, you could have an incomplete tile generate, with only z17 textures, and all your z19 (around airports) totally missing...which would cause XP10 or 11 to give you the 'scenery is incomplete, or damaged' and XP needs to close' message.

If you only comprise your tiles with only one z(zoom factor) than this probably would not be something to keep on the watch for. If you start downloading z16 or z17, then you'd most likely capture all the files that need be converted into textures.

The only thing is...that you would be missing out on a really great feature of Ortho4XP...namely, having really nice, crisp graphics two or greater KM's out from the airport boundaries, as you take the downwind circuit, and then shoot the final. Believe me, the visuals are stunning at z19....trees and forests...can almost be counted by the leaves upon the trees. Very well defined suburbs and farm fields...totally lock in the immersion that you ARE shooting the final at that arrival airport. You should consider setting the flag in the Global .cfg to True for this great feature, and make the z-rating 2 zoom factors higher than either your z16, or z17 for general landscape. 

Also, while you are in the .cfg file, look down to the advanced section of the file and find the parameter line, that allows you a 'default' map source, in the event your chosen map source has NO data/picture for the texture the program is trying to convert. I use Go,Bing,USA2, and OSM...but have BI(ng) as my default map source, in case the others do not have data, and I have seen a few textures for when I have used Go, default to BI, as obviously, Go did not have what was needed to convert to that particular worked-upon texture for the tile.  If you don't have this set, you possibly will see white tile for no texture at that x/y was created...no data from your chosen map server for your generating session.

Just a head's up on a few things I have encountered to date.

Ses

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I think I need to do more flying, and less typing.  Good plan...:happy:

Cheers, all !

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What is your preferred source for the US? Started using USA_2 but I'm seeing some drastic cooor differences between neighboring tiles?  

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17 hours ago, jlindbe said:

What is your preferred source for the US? Started using USA_2 but I'm seeing some drastic cooor differences between neighboring tiles?  

Hi,  Bi(ng) is my 'default' go to...and I have had great success in multi-tile-shoulder-to-tile-shoulder, conversions.  I am doing States at a time, and so continuity is very important for me.  BI(ng) has pulled through time and time again.

Cheers,

 

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I have done quite a bit of the US and good sections of Germany, Austria, and England and can say without a doubt that Bing has the most reliable quality.  Other sources may provide better results in specific areas but experimenting can take serious amounts of time that I don't have.  If you want to set up a batch and let it run overnight like I do, Bing is the way to go in my experience.

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4 hours ago, rjack1282 said:

I have done quite a bit of the US and good sections of Germany, Austria, and England and can say without a doubt that Bing has the most reliable quality.  Other sources may provide better results in specific areas but experimenting can take serious amounts of time that I don't have.  If you want to set up a batch and let it run overnight like I do, Bing is the way to go in my experience.

"Totally concur!"

Cheers,

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