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VFXSimmer

Yosemite Valley scenery - photogrammetry creation

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pRE5TJK.jpg

 

I'm happy to share my first version of using google maps assets to build up the default Yosemite Valley.   It is probably my favorite place on earth and I was a bit underwhelmed when I saw what was there with the default terrain map and textures.  When I saw the first example of what people had done with google map 3D data and Blender I went into the maps app and saw that the photogrammetry areas extended into landscape features as well as buildings and cities.  I started with the Devil's Tower monument which many of you have seen, and then discovered that Yosemite had equally impressive data to work with.  Since that time there have been some other great recreations like the Matterhorn scenery released several days ago.

The trick was getting decent resolution in as many places as possible so I had to break up the capture into several pieces and then work them into the existing landscape, color correcting the textures to match as much as possible.  One of my pet peeves with photogrammetry sceneries is the blobby trees that come with the data. MSFS 2020 trees look so much better especially close up.  The only frustrating part is that I cant seem to find any way in the SDK to put tree polygons onto 3D objects as opposed to the base mesh.  The way you add their trees is to define a polygon on the ground and then select from a list of vegetation types - the trees are procedurally generated - its really cool.  But that only works on the base mesh.  If there isn't a way to do this onto 3D objects once we have the full SDK documentation then its something Asobo should add - something like the "decal" option for textures that projects onto objects.  While they're doing that, they should allow us to add grass too 😉

To preserve as many of the good trees as possible I worked hard to place the objects so that flat ground either dissappeared under the mesh or was as flush as possible so the base trees would poke through. That works in a lot of places, but (if you check it out) you will see that I did need to leave some of the blobby/blocky trees in areas where that wouldnt work.

I also paid particular attention to the waterfalls which are such a key feature of the park (Yosemite, Bridalveil, Nevada & Vernal Falls are all represented).  I did captures from Google as close as I could possibly get - you'll actually see the waterfall water as 3d relief geometry.  I blended these higher res areas with the surrounding models.  That said, I would love to go back when Asobo releases the FX SDK and replace the static water with particle effects for moving waterfalls.

If you want to check this out, all of the major features of the valley are there, El Capitan, Half Dome, Glacier Falls, The Ahawahnee Hotel, and the falls mentioned above.

This is a work in progress.  In the future I'd love to:

- Add normal maps to add better details up close

- subdivide and smooth out some of the jagged shapes that result from the photogrammetry process

- add moving animals (once the SDK technique for doing that is published) ..... if you look close NOW tho, you might find a few suprises 😉

- add moving waterfalls

CAVEAT - I have a pretty decent rig so I built this with as much detail as it could handle.  I get about 40-45 when flying around at 3440-1440 full Ultra on i9-9820X, 2080Ti, 128G Ram, on 2TB SDD.  I've heard from some others that they are getting decent enough performance, but if you try this and have issues .. and you're kind about it .. I could be talked into releasing a version with lower res textures and a step or two of geometry simplification in Blender.

Enjoy!

You can get this here

https://flightsim.to/file/384/yosemite-valley

 

Edited by VFXSimmer
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Looks fantastic!

I just rolled off on a very scenic flight from CYXT to CZST.

Will load up your new creation and let you know how it runs on my ancient 8700k with an extremely old Titan (Maxwell) that I read is not even as fast as 1070 (Sad news to hear for my extremely expensive card....good thing I bought it used for $400 a few years back...she has served me very well and seems to handle the demands of MSFS ok...debating if I should upgrade she's running so nice)

What's a good airport to take off from to quickly get to your scenery?

Edited by Steve Dra

Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my FSX, P3D paints at Avsim by clicking here
Get my DC-6 paints at flightsim.to here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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45 minutes ago, Steve Dra said:

Looks fantastic!

I just rolled off on a very scenic flight from CYXT to CZST.

Will load up your new creation and let you know how it runs on my ancient 8700k with an extremely old Titan (Maxwell) that I read is not even as fast as 1070 (Sad news to hear for my extremely expensive card....good thing I bought it used for $400 a few years back...she has served me very well and seems to handle the demands of MSFS ok...debating if I should upgrade she's running so nice)

What's a good airport to take off from to quickly get to your scenery?

There isn't an airport right nearby, you have to fly (or slew) a little bit

Larger airport: Fresno-Yosemite International (KFAT) - about 65 miles south, or Mammoth Yosemite Airport (KMMH) about the 30 miles east of the valley

I would typically load from Yosemite Hidden Lake Ranch (0CL0) and slew east, but looking just now, Johnston Field (5CL9) might be closer.

If you want to just start over Yosemite Valley, type this in the search field:

37.740786,-119.593672

Then select the option with those coordinates as your starting point. It will start you about 5500' over the middle of the park.

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1 minute ago, VFXSimmer said:

There isn't an airport right nearby, you have to fly (or slew) a little bit

Larger airport: Fresno-Yosemite International (KFAT) - about 65 miles south, or Mammoth Yosemite Airport (KMMH) about the 30 miles east of the valley

I would typically load from Yosemite Hidden Lake Ranch (0CL0) and slew east, but looking just now, Johnston Field (5CL9) might be closer.

If you want to just start over Yosemite Valley, type this in the search field:

37.740786,-119.593672

Then select the option with those coordinates as your starting point. It will start you about 5500' over the middle of the park.

Will do.....let me get to Juneau right now.....flying in this region is just so memorizing with the majestic mountains...Can't wait to load in those coords with the Cubby and see your creation. 🙂

I'm about an hour out of Juneau.

WROAoV.jpg

 

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Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my FSX, P3D paints at Avsim by clicking here
Get my DC-6 paints at flightsim.to here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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This looks great VFX, please continue your endeavours. Whenever I do my Round The World Tour it isn't complete without a flight through Yosemite Valley.

Looks fantastic so far.

Many Thanks,

Will.

Edited by Will Fly For Cheese

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First....thanks alot for the coords....when I started I was heading right towards a cliff face....lucky for you I'm a skilled Cub pilot and narrowly avoided disaster. 🙂

Hehe...the scenery is looking good.  Still some stuff to tweak as I'm sure your aware, but I like it!!!

Dawn/dusk in a mountain range with the colors and shadows is just awesome! 

QHruyO.jpg

Not sure if you can clean these vertices up or if that will impact performance too much...I've not gotten into scenery design yet so have no idea.  Speaking of performance.  Not too bad.  Lost about 6 frames initially, but I think with a 12gb card I may be at a slight advantage, even if its older than dirt (Titan Maxwell).   After a while the fames settled and I was back up to my normal 30 (I have it locked down)...I think the data is all getting loaded in the VRAM (I could be wrong but I like to think I've hung on to this card because its 1gb more than a $1300 2080ti, ...I got mine used for $400, hehe).  Anyway, I'd call the performance adequate on my system, (8700k at 4.9ghz, 32gb slow ram).

30 to 24 frames does make a noticeable difference...but I only had to wait a bit, then like I said it was mostly back up to 30, unless I did a quick tight turn, then well you know. 😉   I'd fly in this scenery to admire it, but if you can trim it up and get more performance out of it, you may not get crucified as much by the "I gotta have 60 fps or the game is KRAP." crowd. 🙂   
GmPyrU.jpg

This was a nice shot I thought you should see of your work 🙂
I8zroG.jpg

I strongly encourage you to keep at it,  I'll swing by the falls soon and let you know what I think.

Great job so far!!!

 

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Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my FSX, P3D paints at Avsim by clicking here
Get my DC-6 paints at flightsim.to here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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Wow looks incredible!! One of my first flights through the sim was through Yosemite Valley (Lee Vining -> Mariposa) and it was indeed underwhelming. Trees were also the wrong type so that was frustrating. Can’t wait to try this!

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1 minute ago, Flyfaster said:

Does this integrate well with the airports (e.g. MMH, BIH, etc.) ?

Pretty sure it wouldn't get anywhere near those airports, which aren't in the valley.

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Here are some shots of the falls....

DUHK7H.jpg
wjXA6Q.jpg
2kPoyq.jpg

Not bad.....very nice in fact at the right distance and time of day.  You start the see the vertices when you get in too close....but if you're that close in real life...you're getting a visit from the FAA. 😉

Also there is not collision with your overlay...got too low and slow and was happy for that...but it looks weird when you fly thru it and see the "hard deck" below it. 🙂 

You know I want to land on top of the ledge on the fall, then ease off it and see if I can dive and recover into controlled flight. Hehe.

I'm liking it.

 

EDIT: One thing that would make this scenery epic....animating the water rushing of the falls. 🙂   Anyone out there care to collaborate with Mr. VFXSimmer? 😉😉 

 

Edited by Steve Dra
  • Like 5

Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my FSX, P3D paints at Avsim by clicking here
Get my DC-6 paints at flightsim.to here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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Here is one more before I move on to my next adventure.

Actually got a bit motion sick from all the twisting and turning in the cavern to get good screenshots....thought I'd land in the valley in an open field and get out to grab some fresh air (I'm in this awesome XCub....that is what she was made for!).  

Love the contrasting light on the mountain....just makes the scene.

JYpHUX.jpg

 

Edited by Steve Dra
  • Like 5

Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my FSX, P3D paints at Avsim by clicking here
Get my DC-6 paints at flightsim.to here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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Your work is wonderful.  Thanks for being a contributor to the Flight Simulation renaissance.  It's been FAR to long in coming.

Take off from 6CL4, a really rustic dirt runway which ends with a drop off, and flight straight due north a ways...you can't miss it, but do watch for those mountain sides along the way there 😄.   Breathtaking views, almost as good as being there.  THANKS!!!!

Edited by TheFamilyMan

Rod O.

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This is wonderful, thank you!!!


Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra, i7-9700k (4.9ghz), NH-D15 cooler, 64 GB 3200mhz RAM, RTX3090FE, SB Z, Yamaha 5.1 A/V Receiver, 2x 512GB and 1x 1TB Samsung NVMe, 2TB Samsung SSD, Win 10 Pro, TM Warthog, Virpil WarBRD, MFG Crosswinds, 43" 4K TV, 21.5" touchscreen, TrackIR, JetSeat KW-908, Reverb G2, PointCTRL, Buttkicker 2

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1 hour ago, Steve Dra said:

Here are some shots of the falls....

DUHK7H.jpg
wjXA6Q.jpg
2kPoyq.jpg

Not bad.....very nice in fact at the right distance and time of day.  You start the see the vertices when you get in too close....but if you're that close in real life...you're getting a visit from the FAA. 😉

Also there is not collision with your overlay...got too low and slow and was happy for that...but it looks weird when you fly thru it and see the "hard deck" below it. 🙂 

You know I want to land on top of the ledge on the fall, then ease off it and see if I can dive and recover into controlled flight. Hehe.

I'm liking it.

 

EDIT: One thing that would make this scenery epic....animating the water rushing of the falls. 🙂   Anyone out there care to collaborate with Mr. VFXSimmer? 😉😉 

 

Thanks so much for the feedback Steve,

I agree with all of your points.  I've already been working on ways to address them.

For performance there is the LOD card to play - I already experimented with that on another scenery bit (Devil's Tower - didnt release it tho because I think the single object doesnt really break anyone's GPU bank).  That should help a lot tho - lowering the resolution of textures and geo on the objects at the other end of the valley from your view.

For the collisions I get a warning message when an object has more than 60k ish vertices.  The SDK warns for collision objects to be as light as possible.  I wonder what they are doing with the default photogrammetry areas like NYC.  Honestly the docs are a bit sparse right now so doing a lot of reverse engineering to test, but I'm playing with a) breaking up the objects into smaller pieces - perhaps with a LOD setting to only swap in a collidable version when you get close, and b) having an invisible lower res proxy that coexists with the display model.  If anyone has insight into this I'd love some advice 🙂

On that front I'm also trying to squeeze as much out of closer hi-res captures of the various cliffs (kind of like the falls - google still has a little more to give on the other features in the valley) that are kept under an LOD setting to swap in when you get close.  Even those wont quite be enough when you are really close, so a longer range task is to subdivide and hand smooth the qeo.. I'm masochistic enough that I just might try it 😉. While I'm at it, I'll look to add some normal maps to further squeeze some more detail when you're right up next to them.

Moving falls will definitely happen - Asobo has stated that a lot of the scenery controls for this are not in the current release and are coming in the next patch or two.  Soon as they hit I'm all over that!  I also want the wandering animals as well.

I'm looking at this as something I'll keep at over the next few months ... (year, lol).. glad you've enjoyed it so far in its nascent state!

Edited by VFXSimmer
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