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What it's like to fly over 3D Photoreal Scenery

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Here's a glimpse of the future coming our way with FS12.

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That was pretty cool.  Thanks for posting.

Hook

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Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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It's a feast for the eyes. Once we have that plus traffic, ATC, weather and properly integrated aircraft it will be incredible.

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Barry Friedman

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Hi @ll,

btw - no need for FSX. The Google Earth Pro client program has a flight simulator built in (Menu "Tools" or press Ctrl&Alt&A).

Best regards


Oliver Binder

LORBY-SI

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The buildings in that demo look great. Putting on my curmudgeon hat though...

The first thing I noticed was how bad the trees looked, especially when densely clustered together. It looks like Google is using some kind of smoothing process to avoid having to render individual branches or something. Maybe it's just that the resolution falls down when it's that close, and our eyes more easily recognize and accept lower resolution on rectilinear building details. Don't want to draw any direct conclusions about MSFS from that, because this is Google tech not Microsoft. Just an observation. The trees grabbed my eyes and wouldn't let go.

The other thing I noticed was the building shadows. Satellite photos can't be made without shadows unless it's at noon near the equator. I hope whatever MS is doing can avoid shadow conflicts with the sun's lighting angle, and that the color of sunlight early in the morning and late in the afternoon looks right on buildings and terrain features. The MSFS trailer looks great, but it's unknown how much of that may have been chosen for minimum artifacts.

And of course there is the "what do you do about seasons?" question for higher and lower latitudes than Florida.

This certainly does show the potential of this approach, I'll give it that!

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I just tried the Google Earth "Flight simulator" and even though it far from "as real as it gets"  it certainly shows what possibilities lies ahead. I can't imagine if Google and MS joined forces what future flightsims may look like.

 


Jorn Lundtoft

I don't always stop and look at airplanes.........Oh wait, Yes I do.

 

 

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Ive flown in the Google Flight sim, and the scenery is far more plausible than we ever had, but its also a very very static image with some squashed or morphed buildings and trees.  But clearly Microsoft has figured out a way to clean all that up and make it more dynamic and living which is superb.  Adding shadows and fixing up alot of the weird looking 3D buildings and trees does wonders.  Im sure AI can fill in or remove problem areas in time and enhance areas or special effects like a dynamic seasons according to reading to the WX but that could be a long way off still. 

If they were to provide the tools either to 3PDs and or the community in general to fix those things up all around the globe, this would be tremendous as everyone would have their favorite areas and many eager to fix it all up to look pretty darn good.  


Dave Seminchuk  CYVR LSZH FDX Virtual, Fly Virtual.
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FlyInside Flight Simulator (ever heard about it?) will have this implemented in the game itself within a couple of weeks. They will use Bing instead of Google, though. Here's an announcement by developer Dan Church with some shots:

https://steamcommunity.com/app/862390/discussions/0/1638662230370399158/

Kind regards, Michael

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pmb said:

FlyInside Flight Simulator (ever heard about it?) will have this implemented in the game itself within a couple of weeks. They will use Bing instead of Google, though. Here's an announcement by developer Dan Church with some shots:

https://steamcommunity.com/app/862390/discussions/0/1638662230370399158/

Kind regards, Michael

Not sure if they´ll use photogrametry tho. Looks like just ortho to me (which is pretty good) and it confirms the streaming part if a simulator wants to cover the whole world thru bing-google earth.

*Watching the screenshots It´s ortho+autogen and the result is pretty good, but not like the google earth simulator in the video that the OP posted.

Cheers

Carlos

Edited by chass32

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The Flyinside screenshots looks just like orthophotos, and if you ask me they look terrible. Especially the Manhattan screenshot looks like FS2004 autogen.

 


Jorn Lundtoft

I don't always stop and look at airplanes.........Oh wait, Yes I do.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Paraffin said:

The buildings in that demo look great. Putting on my curmudgeon hat though...

The first thing I noticed was how bad the trees looked, especially when densely clustered together. It looks like Google is using some kind of smoothing process to avoid having to render individual branches or something. Maybe it's just that the resolution falls down when it's that close, and our eyes more easily recognize and accept lower resolution on rectilinear building details. Don't want to draw any direct conclusions about MSFS from that, because this is Google tech not Microsoft. Just an observation. The trees grabbed my eyes and wouldn't let go.

The other thing I noticed was the building shadows. Satellite photos can't be made without shadows unless it's at noon near the equator. I hope whatever MS is doing can avoid shadow conflicts with the sun's lighting angle, and that the color of sunlight early in the morning and late in the afternoon looks right on buildings and terrain features. The MSFS trailer looks great, but it's unknown how much of that may have been chosen for minimum artifacts.

And of course there is the "what do you do about seasons?" question for higher and lower latitudes than Florida.

This certainly does show the potential of this approach, I'll give it that!

I heard some speculation the other day that they have AI processes that can scrub satellite imagery of shadows. It appears they've done that, at least going by the trailer. 

But you can also see some morphing of trees in a few scenes, so that may be an issue. Albeit, there will be trade-offs. I'm just looking for something much better than what we currently have, not perfection.

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I have a sneaking suspicion that the new MSFS and P3Dv5 could well turn out to be the same. I can't see, after the amount of investment and know-how Lockheed Martin have invested, that they aren't tied in with the development of MSFS. Time will tell.

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Before we get too excited about that FSX demo using Google Earth, try a little experiment: 

Boot up Google Earth Pro, move it to your hometown, and enter the flight sim mode (Ctrl Alt A). If your hometown has good elevation data for buildings, it might look as good as that FSX with Google Earth demo. And if it doesn't...

I just did that over my small town about 100 miles from Seattle WA, out on the Olympic Peninsula. Flying the Google Earth Pro "flight sim", the scenery of my hometown is all flat as a pancake, just like normal ortho-based scenery with everything squashed. Apparently, Google has no elevation data for this area. Which is curious, because I know there is at least partial Open Street Map data here. They must be using another database for places where they do have elevations.

I had all the 3D settings enabled. Just to make sure I hadn't messed something up, I moved Google Earth Pro over to Tampa, and suddenly had 3D buildings to fly over. And with the same fugly trees. I'm starting to think it's not a resolution issue with those trees, but that Google never has measured elevation data for trees like they do for buildings in some places. All those trees are just a fudged guess for height based on the 2D satellite imaging.

So the bottom line is that you can't generate and stream 3D autogen buildings automatically from a satellite photo, if you don't have corresponding elevation data. It's not hard to imagine how much elevation data will be missing in most parts of the world. Like my squashed hometown, even in a tech-heavy area like WA state.

For what it's worth, XP11 uses available OSM data to generate autogen 3D houses and other buildings in my hometown. The building types aren't quite right, and some landmarks like a local lighthouse and some downtown buildings are missing. But at least the town is covered with 3D autogen buildings and they're all in the right place. Flying at low levels, it looks more "plausible" to me than the squashed ortho scenery in Google Earth, even though the Google Earth version does show my actual house... after the Jolly Green Giant stepped on it.

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Primary sim is X-Plane 11 on Windows 10
i7 6700 4.0 GHz, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1660 ti, 1920x1200 monitor

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6 minutes ago, Paraffin said:

Before we get too excited about that FSX demo using Google Earth, try a little experiment: 

Boot up Google Earth Pro, move it to your hometown, and enter the flight sim mode (Ctrl Alt A). If your hometown has good elevation data for buildings, it might look as good as that FSX with Google Earth demo. And if it doesn't....

That would be even fine, and GE works quite well for my hometown. But now switch to Bing, which MS certainly will choose, where my hometown - and quite a number of places in Europe which I tried, are mere ortho photos with nothing in 3D above. Maybe they have the data and just not integrated into the Bing app. Who knows.

Kind regards, Michael


Prepar3d Professional v4, AeroflyFS2, XP11; Beta tester of SimStarter, SPAD.neXt, and FS-FlightControl; AeroflyFS2 Freeware Scenery List

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With regards to the AI, wouldn't that be used to fill the gaps which lack data like towns which don't have 3D buildings? Or is that used only for parts with no satellite imagery?


Niklas Graefe
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