bonchie

Tried Orthos + Overlays...didn't like it

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I don't know why people think it's complicated. It was remarkably easy to do. 

But it was too chaotic looking IMO, with the overlays sloppily laying over the photo and trees showing up in random places they shouldn't. The photo textures in flat fields looked so much better than stock XP11 but otherwise, it wasn't a clean enough presentation for me. 

I can see where this would look really good with complete OSM coverage via W2XP like in Europe, but I don't think it's for me in it's current form. 

Back to default it is. Really hope they'll be an HDMesh v4 at some point and someone releases an update for the stock ground textures to provide better color and variety.  

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Did you build Overlays? It places trees etc... in realistic positions. To me its like night and day.

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When I use Ortho in congested cities, I cut World Objects to half or more, so that trees don't end up on the roofs of buildings and so much autogen covers the ortho representation. With a ZL 17 flying 1000 feet above a city that you know well. is pretty nice. with ZL17 down to 500 feet looks pretty decent without a lot of the autogen cluttering the landscape up.  

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I'm working on a tool to add trees to Ortho4XP imagery. It does rely on having some good imagery available, and results can vary, but I've had great results in California. It replaces the overlay trees/forests from the overlay layer with more accurate ones, so no more trees going across fields or beaches, etc..

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25 minutes ago, tonywob said:

 

I'm working on a tool to add trees to Ortho4XP imagery. It does rely on having some good imagery available, and results can vary, but I've had great results in California. It replaces the overlay trees/forests from the overlay layer with more accurate ones, so no more trees going across fields or beaches, etc..

 

Looking forward to trying it out Tony. Many thanks for all your hard work and contributions to this hobby!  For me, poorly placed trees poking through buildings placed by w2xp and in beaches and sports fields are the biggest immersion killer when using Orthoscenery and/or w2xp. Inspite of the misplaced trees, I still think the combination of Ortho4xp with default autogen and custom w2xp overlays can provide the most immersive desktop flightsim experience one can get. Any improvement to the tree issue will be icing on the cake. Will you be making this available on the org?

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1 hour ago, tonywob said:

I'm working on a tool to add trees to Ortho4XP imagery. It does rely on having some good imagery available, and results can vary, but I've had great results in California. It replaces the overlay trees/forests from the overlay layer with more accurate ones, so no more trees going across fields or beaches, etc..

Tony thank you for this effort. Can't wait to try it.  I also get some trees where they should not be, with overlay, but...mentally have blinded myself to them...but this would be fabulous. 

A pre-thank you!

Mitch

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1 hour ago, turnandbank said:

Looking forward to trying it out Tony. Many thanks for all your hard work and contributions to this hobby!  For me, poorly placed trees poking through buildings placed by w2xp and in beaches and sports fields are the biggest immersion killer when using Orthoscenery and/or w2xp. Inspite of the misplaced trees, I still think the combination of Ortho4xp with default autogen and custom w2xp overlays can provide the most immersive desktop flightsim experience one can get. Any improvement to the tree issue will be icing on the cake. Will you be making this available on the org?

I agree with this one 'side effect' and if it can be addressed, the WOW factor rates up!

I'm just finishing my first series of Batch Tiles for Western Europe...France...Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, and have two left at zl17/19/2.  Can't wait to try them out in about 30 minutes!

Cheers,

Mitch

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I'm still working at it. My first efforts have been less than satisfactory, but I see fantastic Ortho on YouTube videos, and I downloaded Sky Story's Corsica, and it is fantastic. So, I know it can be done well. 

Great news on the tech you're developing, Tony!  

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On 6/17/2017 at 8:14 AM, tonywob said:

I'm working on a tool to add trees to Ortho4XP imagery. It does rely on having some good imagery available, and results can vary, but I've had great results in California. I

This great news Tony - thank you.

Tony's GB Pro shows how trees can be properly placed with the correct data (some issues with airports which don;t have the right exclusions)

Also Truscenery do the area around Helisinki, Finland which is very good - also shows what can be achieved with correct tree placement and orthos - the city scape is toward the end - its payware. They also do some great airports  - some free, some payware.

 

cheers

Peter

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That Helsinki Metropolitan VFR Photoreal Scenery for X-Plane is amazing!

From the first initial videos that I saw, I thought it was the best scenery I've ever seen for XP 10. I wish there were more areas available.

Does anyone know how long does it take a developer to create a region with that much detail?

HD space for this add-on?

Lastly, is this scenery XP 11 compatible?

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Ortho is a game changer, yes there are trees in wrong locations still but by in large its a major step forward in mesh and can be insanely realistic. 

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2 hours ago, DJJose said:

That Helsinki Metropolitan VFR Photoreal Scenery for X-Plane is amazing!

 

Lastly, is this scenery XP 11 compatible?

Yes - works fine.

 

cheers

Peter

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I've decided to create zl16 for the US with zl 17/18 for florida which is where I'm from. The thing for me to put ortho over the top was I run max scenery objects, but trees I have turned Off. They are too patchy looking and in the wrong place. But I have all the auto-generated buildings and roads with traffic and it looks great. 

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Here are a couple of shots of a few tiles around Portland and Oceano using the autotrees

Cessna_172SP_28

Cessna_172SP_29

Cessna_172SP_30

Cessna_172SP_31

Cessna_172SP_32
 

It sits on top of the normal autogen as an extra overlay. It isn't perfect as it can't differentiate between shrubs and forests and of course it's also very dependent on having good clear orthos.

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Tony, this looks quite good ... and I can definitely understand the problems involved with your approach. It is - simply put - the same issue, which scientists face when trying to automatically classify (land cover / land use) sat / aerial imagery into landclass data. And usually its almost impossible to do it right by simply looking at RGB (true color) imagery ... thats why pro classification approaches all use multispectral (more than just RGB channels) data

By the way ... for the USA, I think you might - instead of doing it algorithmically yourself (with all the pitfalls included) - really think about falling back on NLCD data for example, which is really detailed and should be aligned quite well with most of the orthoimagery (is also very high res). It also already gives you more than just forest, non-forest info ... but also if you have shrub / conifers / broadleaved (and if you factor in NLCD canopy data, you can even differentiate between sparse / dense forests). The default and HD Mesh use this data too ... but based on the generated triangle mesh resolution do not fully capture the max possible detail included in the data.

My first X-Plane project for XP8 (where the default scenery did not even have any forests) and XP9 (where the default forests were extremely coarse) was about generating forest overlays based on NLCD (for the US) and CORINE (for Europe).

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1 hour ago, wiler said:

Ortho is a game changer, yes there are trees in wrong locations still but by in large its a major step forward in mesh and can be insanely realistic. 

I hate to be a constant Negative Nellie on this subject, but once in a while I think it's worth mentioning that we don't all love the orthophoto concept. And there is that topic header up there, so...

I just can't get past the artifacts at low flight levels -- the glaring contrast between razor-sharp detailed 3D autogen buildings and the blurry ground they sit on. Just two quick examples below, from that Helsinki clip posted above. The agricultural fields look much better than generic landclass. But then I see something like that squashed athletic field at the left (because there is no equivalent 3D autogen), or the flattened hedge rows at the edge of the field, and it just kills it for me:

Ortho_Artifacts_01.jpg

Another example from later in the clip, with sharply detailed autogen sitting on blurry terrain with squashed cars, squashed buildings at the lower right:

Ortho_Artifacts_02.jpg

I know I'm cherry-picking here, but I can't help noticing these things. And sure, you wouldn't notice this at high altitude, but the times when I'm paying the most attention to scenery is during takeoff and landing, where I do notice these things. Or if I'm flying a helicopter and there isn't a need to climb very high on a flight. 

This isn't a problem that orthos will ever solve, because even if you have insanely high resolution, flying at any major angle to an object on the ground will reveal that it's flattened. Marinas are a special eyesore, because nobody ever goes in and covers up all the flattened docks and boats with hand-placed objects. 

This doesn't even get into the issue of different sunlight angles competing with baked-in shadows. If you only fly at noon on a sunny day with no clouds, I guess it doesn't matter, but that's not how I fly. So I'll keep flying over "plausible" landclass + autogen that responds to changing conditions of weather and sunlight as a personal preference.

Looking towards the future, I have a feeling that whatever Austin has planned for procedural season changes will also be a better fit for their default terrain + OSM, than it will be for orthophotos.

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So how does it work? Does it literally somehow "read" the ortho and put trees based on coloring or something?

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1 hour ago, bonchie said:

So how does it work? Does it literally somehow "read" the ortho and put trees based on coloring or something?

Basically, yes. It will scan all the DDS files in your Ortho4XP ortho directory and generate trees based on color with some simplification and smoothing. It's pretty simple and nothing that hasn't been done before (There is a similar tool for FSX)

1 hour ago, alpilotx said:

By the way ... for the USA, I think you might - instead of doing it algorithmically yourself (with all the pitfalls included) - really think about falling back on NLCD data for example, which is really detailed and should be aligned quite well with most of the orthoimagery (is also very high res)

I've actually started using this approach using the NLCD raster data as it's quite detailed and has simple forest/vegetation classifications. In addition, I've found a few states which provide some even higher resolution landuse data which can be used (I've already tried the California vegetation one, and it's pretty good). 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Paraffin said:

I just can't get past the artifacts at low flight levels -- the glaring contrast between razor-sharp detailed 3D autogen buildings and the blurry ground they sit on.

This is a mistake I think many airport sceneries have when using orthos for their ground textures. Many developers don't edit out the buildings or cars and it really ruins it. This is why I really like the work of BetiX and some ORBX airport devs because they make their own ground textures or carefully add AO and edit the orthos so they work naturally with the buildings. However, for a large scale area, this would be a huge amount of work.

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2 hours ago, tonywob said:

Here are a couple of shots of a few tiles around Portland and Oceano using the autotrees

Looks quite good Tony, looking forward to trying it.

27 minutes ago, tonywob said:

I've actually started using this approach using the NLCD raster data as it's quite detailed and has simple forest/vegetation classifications. In addition, I've found a few states which provide some even higher resolution landuse data which can be used (I've already tried the California vegetation one, and it's pretty good).

Any plans to share this as well sometime?

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I'll upload the California one to x-plane.org when I can. 

 

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8 minutes ago, tonywob said:

I'll upload the California one to x-plane.org when I can. 

Awesome, thanks!

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Really looking great Tony!

For me it isn't too much about making sure the trees are in the right spot, it's just about making sure the trees aren't in the wrong spot. 

 

Looks like your efforts here could be a very nice addition!

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