FlyIce

Removing XP11 roads and autogen house ground textures from photoscenery

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I have been making and flying Ortho4XP tiles exclusively in recent months and one thing I really wanted to do is to remove those ugly roads and ground/yard/driveway texture from autogen houses. Doing so will let ortho roads and ground textures show up as much as possible without losing any autogens and road traffic, light posts etc.

Now finally I was able to do this and results look incredible. The information and guides are already available online, but in case someone is still trying to figure out how to do this, here is what I did:

1. Follow Osca Pilot's instruction to make roads transparent: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/119763-turn-off-roads-when-using-ortho4xp/&do=findComment&comment=1156680

2. Install Photoscenery Autogen (I used its library version): https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/39590-photoscenery-autogen/

3. After doing the above two steps, many autogen houses still come with ground texture for driveways and pavements that still look too distracting to me. I fiddled around and made minor modifications in Photoscenery Autogen:

    In Photoscenery Autogen\US\suburban\textures folder:  replace "sub_res_SW1_GND_ALB.dds" with a transparent image "sub_res_SW1_GND_ALB.png", also replace "sub_res_SW1Dry_GND_ALB.dds" with a transparent image "sub_res_SW1Dry_GND_ALB.png". For these I just reused the transparent road png by copying and renaming them accordingly. 

    In Photoscenery Autogen\US\urban_mid\textures folder:  I modified "UrbanMidNE1_GND.dds" in Paint program and removed top two rows of textures. 

These modified images are very easy to make, but if you'd like you can download them from here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/119763-turn-off-roads-when-using-ortho4xp/&do=findComment&comment=1307663

Sorry that I couldn't figure out how to attach file and images in avsim. 

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Here a couple screenshots to show how nice a ZL17 Ortho4XP tile looks when XP11 road and autogen house ground textures are removed. 

Flying over Seattle. ZL17 Ortho tiles, w2xp_US_west real life and Forkboy2 Ortho4XP layers. 

The only drawback right now are those white bridges as you can see in the second picture. But they're actually not too bad at all, a very small price to pay to gain such an incredible scenery. It seems as long as there are good data available for orhto images and OSM layers, a simple Ortho4XP tile can really make Orbx a good run for the money. Since OSM will keep getting better, so is our future on making ortho tiles! 

pc12_448.jpg.cbbb6cb0b608b9197360d3dd56f

pc12_438.jpg.e426d860f8ada50681b24076b33

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Hi FlyIce,

Thanks for passing along your info. The scenery looks fantastic! Wow. I'll have to try and emulate your techniques.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas.

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You're welcome, Jim. These minor modifications on XP11 default textures really make Ortho4XP tiles the best city/urban/suburban scenery I have ever seen. One thing I loath about P3D/FSX is their city scenery as they all use random textures with absolutely no alignment with real roads and streets. Thanks to OSM and ortho, we all can easily make a scenery looks incredibly true to the real world. This is truly remarkable. 

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Great tips, thanks a lot for sharing! I’ll give it a try for sure! 

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Just a got a better solution. I opened CoresResidentialDryUS.dds in Paint and set the layer transparency from 255 to 115, did the same to PlugsResidentialUS.png. Now I got perfectly gray and textured bridges, plus nicely blended plugs and roads on ortho photo. 

I then further modified the CoresResidentialDryUS.png a little bit by replacing the sidewalks with feather edges copied/pasted from the small roads within the image, just to make the roads blend better. The results are really almost as good as I want. A bonus with this approach is that on some otho photos like LA area I found ortho roads are of too light color and can be hard to distinguish from ground. This trick darkens them a little bit make the ortho roads contrast out a bit more without losing the photo texture. 

You can also play with the transparency settings to see which is the best to you eyes. To me I found transparency between 100-115 is the best, and 150 already makes the road stick out as dark as original. Since I don't know how to attach files, you can download those textured files (if you don't want to make them yourself) from my x-plane.org post: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/119763-turn-off-roads-when-using-ortho4xp/&do=findComment&comment=1308616

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Here are the screenshots, those shots already with autogen ground texture removed and plug textures set to 100-transparency.

This is using completely transparent road texture, photo roads show up nicely, but notice those white bridges.

pc12_471.jpg.c9a9c9b13d065ef509aeadc6b21

This is using sme-transparent road texture, perfect orhto roads even with slightly enhanced contrast, no ugly white bridges. 

pc12_472.jpg.064f259747bd003f23b7662cad1

And here is with XP11 dark roads:

pc12_470.jpg.3ac9cb1f0e44e5b65451a000740

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Wow!  How does that affect night lighting though?  Does it lose all the road data? (all the street lights, cars, street lights etc?)

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It's only modifying the textures. So all street lights and cars etc are fine. Night scene is no different from default, and seeing cars running on ortho roads is priceless.. 

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I did everything according to the explanations

but I see the xplane roads are still there (like more transparant) cars still follow that roads and its slightly next to the ortho road

I made screenshot aswell but I dont know how to put it here, im quite new in all of this. I'd like to have a better view :)

I need some help please

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I purposely set the road textures to be semi-transparent (but close to full transparent) so they overlay on the ortho roads and slightly darken them. It works fine as long as OSM road data used in XP11 matches well with ortho roads which is true in most part of US I flew. 

What you have encountered is that the roads laid by XP11 are off from the ortho roads due to inaccurate OSM data. To complete eliminate road textures you can open those modified texture .png files in programs such as the free Paint.net and make them blank and save. It's very easy. But as I mentioned in previous posts the bridges etc may become white-surfaces which can far more distracting. 

As to traffic, ortho "roads" are in fact just photo images and cars in XP11 always follow the OSM roads. So if OSM roads are off the traffic will be off too. To solve this problem you probably just have to turn-off the traffic. 

Just in case, the final version of texture package can be downloaded here:

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/41811-road-and-autogen-textures-for_photoscenery

Edited by FlyIce

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Is there a way to do the same for the ugly default freeways that are ridiculously elevated?

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Yeah you can easily make the highway textures transparent but it probably won't look nice. I haven't done this but I guess the main problem will be too many highways in XP are elevated, so if highway road surface is gone everything else like cars, signs, light posts will look like floating in the air, very distracting. If some elevated highways are in fact bridges then they'll still be stuck there with white surfaces. Hopefully in the future XP will make highways follow the terrain much more realistically.

Edited by FlyIce

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..nice, worth a try ... now, is there a way to get read of those ugly trees that spread all over (probably generated by autogen)  ???

Yair 

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