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blaunarwal

Adjusting older 3rd party airports for P3Dv5

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My procedure to adjust airports for v5 goes as follows:

Prerequisite:

While Prepar3D.exe is running, you can´t usually change scenery files already in use. There are two methods. Working with two directories and always loading one or the other to try updated files or an unlocker. I use IObit Unlocker 1.1 to unlock sceneries from Prepar3D.exe while it is running. Note, version 1.2 doesn´t work anymore. In the sim go into menu and select World, "Scenery Library" and unckeck, check any available scenery (all from scenery.cfg).

Then delete the files to be replaced

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Back into the sim. Clicking OK starts reloading all sceneries.

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Goes faster than a new start of the sim for me with a lot of sceneries. With a vanilla sim, a restart is the better option. Important is, going into the menu before deleting any files, since otherwise Prepar3D.exe is noting the missing file and bringing warning messages which you hardly can click away. Mostly the end of the session. Sometimes after working long with this method, the sim crashes to desktop. But still, you save a lot of time with this.

Procedure:

On a first step, I load the default airport in Airport Design Editor (ADE) with File, "Open Stock Airport" and note the default altitude of this airport.

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Next step I open the afcad.bgl of the airport scenery I want to convert. I check the altitude. If it´s the same, go to next step. If it´s another altitude, I change it to the default altitude in P3D5 which I noted before. Menu Tools, "Change Airport Reference Data". ADE adds a flag, "Revised Altitude".

 6nFmTs9l.jpg

Since in v5 this is not revised, but default I go again into Tools, "Raw Data View" and change "Create Stub" to false and "Revised Altitude" to false. After closing, the tag "Revised Altitude" is gone.

TCzHsISl.jpgD9yrdoHl.jpg

Next Step, go into List, Exclusions. Delete all of them as we want to start from scratch.

BC1E6TGl.jpg

Again Tools, "Load Stock Data", select "Scenery Objects" and "Taxi Signs". Click Import and you get all default objects and taxi signs shown.

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Draw Exlusion rectangles over all unwanted objects and taxisigns. Make them big enough to cover enough but keep it inside the airport to not exclude autogen scenery outside the airport. I usually need about 5 - 15 rectangles. Make sure to select "All" at the end, click "OK".

p1pCH54l.jpg

 

Don´t mix different types of exclusion. It doesn´t seem to work anymore. After finishing this process, don´t forget to go into Tools, select "Remove Stock Data" to remove the default buildings again from your afcad. Otherwise you exclude them from the default but add them by your own new scenery.

If you changed the altitude, the terrain flattens around your airport become unusable. We´re not talking about 1 ft, this seems neglectable but 10, 20, 80 feet. Maybe the default flatten is good enough, so we could only remove the flatten of the airport scenery we change. This is usually the file called *_CVX.bgl. Now we need to test what happens if we remove it. Rename the *CVX.bgl of the airport to convert to *CVX.bgl.off, with the methods I described above under Prerequisite. Reload the sceneries and look at the result. If you get canyons etc. it´s obviously not good. Maybe it doesn´t look nice, wrong form of the airport grass etc. If all is fine, were finished, otherwise go on.

In the simulator, select a smaller plane, go into outside view with command (hit S), select the top down view (hit A). Look at your airport, look for boundaries, where is the fence, the grass. Connect ADE to the sim and see your position in ADE. You can use this position to put your corners of the polygon. Draw a new flatten poligon with the "Add Poligon" command around your airport, a pixel outside the fence or alongside the grass.

YHWEo8Yl.jpg

 

 

This could be a chapter of its own, but I keep it simple here. Just select "Flatten Mask Class Map Exlude Autogen" in the end. The altitude should be the same as your new  aiport altitude. Then add a small poligon with 3 to 4 corners in the middle of your airport, select Type "Exclude Specific" and below under Tag select "Airport Backgrounds Flatten MaskClassMap Autogen", OK.

zD9gYNvl.jpg

This removes the default terrain polygon, which you want to replace. Compile the airport, put it in your directory, replacing the old version described with the methods under Prerequisite. Check the result, make adjustments, do try and error, get experience and do more and more until you become good at it. It´ll take some time. 

I hope, this wasn´t too complicated. You need to use ADE to get all the knowledge and tricks. 

Dan

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OS=WIN10 Home, Sim=P3D5 actual version (P3D4 and FSX installed but unused)
Addons=ORBX, ASCA, AS, TOGA and tons of sceneries, aircraft
MB=ASUS Z390F-Gaming, CPU=i9700K OC @4.9 GHz, Cooling=Arctic Liquid Freezer II
GPU=KFA2 RTX3090 24 GB, RAM=32 GB DDR4-3200, HOTAS=Logitech G Saitek X52 Pro

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@blaunarwal,

Thank you very much for detailing the steps to make earlier P3D airports compatible with P3Dv5.

It's so helpful I've split your post into a new topic so it's not buried in the one you posted in. I also changed the topic title to a more meaningful one.

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Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2 & v3.4, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” monitor, Fulcrum One yoke.
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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@Ray Proudfoot

Thanks, that´s perfekt. 

If someone has questions regarding this procedure, just drop me a line here. I will try to explain then here for all followers. And first ask here, if airport is already upgraded to v5. 

Dan

Edited by blaunarwal
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OS=WIN10 Home, Sim=P3D5 actual version (P3D4 and FSX installed but unused)
Addons=ORBX, ASCA, AS, TOGA and tons of sceneries, aircraft
MB=ASUS Z390F-Gaming, CPU=i9700K OC @4.9 GHz, Cooling=Arctic Liquid Freezer II
GPU=KFA2 RTX3090 24 GB, RAM=32 GB DDR4-3200, HOTAS=Logitech G Saitek X52 Pro

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 pinned Ray ?, thank you blaunarwal

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9900k,1080Ti,maximus hero XI, Arctic Freezer 280 AIO, Phanteks Mesh case, 32GB steel series ram (3000 GHZ) , x3 Samsung Evo's 480 GB for scenery, intel 1660p 2TB nvme for P3D and addons /Scenery, Adata 480GB nvme for OS win11, 2 TB SSHD for everything else, 43" LG 4K TV for the sim(1440P) , second 27" monitor for charts/ youtube etc. Warthog Stick, X56 throttle and Logitech  pedals, Razer keyboard and mouse, oh and a usb fan to cool me down on approach !

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This is a great help Dan. Thanks. 

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Maurice J

I7 7700k 4.7 \ EVGA 1080ti \ G-Skill 32GB \ Samsung 4K TV

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This is a great incentive for me to start back up with ADE.  The main thing that I would like to do is get certain airports lined up with the terrain elevation wise.  I've tried to adjust the altitude and all it resulted in was the runways being corrected but all of the buildings were still at the original altitude.  I wasn't able to figure out how to correct that.  


I9-9900, 32 GB RAM, RTX 3090 FTW

 

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6 hours ago, blaunarwal said:

Draw Exlusion rectangles over all unwanted objects and taxisigns. Make them big enough to cover enough but keep it inside the airport to not exclude autogen scenery outside the airport. I usually need about 5 - 15 rectangles. Make sure to select "All" at the end, click "OK".

I have been using similar methods to update airports as well. Another technique for creating exclusions which can save a good deal of time is to simply select "Lists" from the tool bar, then "Scenery Objects". Click on "Select All" and "Delete".  ADE automatically adds a small exclusion at the insertion point for each object.

Of course if you want to exclude only some of the objects then select only those in the list which you wish to remove. ADE will automatically move to that point making it easy to verify you have the correct object.

I have done more than a hundred of the ORBX Freeware airports using this method quite successfully. Saves a lot of time.

Hope that helps,

Jesse

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Jesse Cochran
"... eyes ever turned skyward"

P3D v4.5/v5.3 Professional, Windows 10 Professional, Jetline GTX, Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 7 mobo, i7 7740X @ 4.9 GHz, Corsair H115i Liquid Cooling, 32Gb SDRAM @ 3200MHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX1080Ti @ 11 GB

ORBX Global + NALC, ASP3D, ASCA, ENVTEX, TrackIR, Virtual-Fly Yoko Yoke, TQ6+, Ruddo+ Rudder Pedals

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1 hour ago, JesC said:

I have been using similar methods to update airports as well. Another technique for creating exclusions which can save a good deal of time is to simply select "Lists" from the tool bar, then "Scenery Objects". Click on "Select All" and "Delete".  ADE automatically adds a small exclusion at the insertion point for each object.

I´ve seen this small exclusions on a lot of airports I had to rework. As I understood, these mini exclusions do no longer work at least the airports I saw, had default buildings going through. I also don´t know how these exclusions are made automaticly. I tried with my ADE, there´s no such effect. I use 1.79 development version.


OS=WIN10 Home, Sim=P3D5 actual version (P3D4 and FSX installed but unused)
Addons=ORBX, ASCA, AS, TOGA and tons of sceneries, aircraft
MB=ASUS Z390F-Gaming, CPU=i9700K OC @4.9 GHz, Cooling=Arctic Liquid Freezer II
GPU=KFA2 RTX3090 24 GB, RAM=32 GB DDR4-3200, HOTAS=Logitech G Saitek X52 Pro

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1 hour ago, blaunarwal said:

I´ve seen this small exclusions on a lot of airports I had to rework. As I understood, these mini exclusions do no longer work at least the airports I saw, had default buildings going through. I also don´t know how these exclusions are made automaticly. I tried with my ADE, there´s no such effect. I use 1.79 development version.

Perhaps the exclusions you were seeing were to set to exclude objects in earlier versions and didn't apply to P3Dv5 objects? Without a specific example that I could see I'm not sure I can help with that.

As far as the "automatic" placement of the exclusions those are placed by ADE 1.79 by default whenever an object is deleted. They are very small and may be difficult to spot but I don't recall any instance of it not working for me.

Give it a try. Just save the generated OBJ file (I rename mine as Excl files to avoid confusion) and add to the location of your other scenery files for that airport.

Jesse


Jesse Cochran
"... eyes ever turned skyward"

P3D v4.5/v5.3 Professional, Windows 10 Professional, Jetline GTX, Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 7 mobo, i7 7740X @ 4.9 GHz, Corsair H115i Liquid Cooling, 32Gb SDRAM @ 3200MHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX1080Ti @ 11 GB

ORBX Global + NALC, ASP3D, ASCA, ENVTEX, TrackIR, Virtual-Fly Yoko Yoke, TQ6+, Ruddo+ Rudder Pedals

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Some historic perspective why this procedure is required:

P3D has inherited a longstanding bug from FSX related to Exclusions Rectangles, which resulted in some scenery elements being Excluded form YOUR own scenery ( the one you are editing, which contained the Exclusions ), instead of excluding only sceneries on a LOWER priority in the Scenery Library, as normally happens with every kind of scenery object ( except Mesh )

The two categories that suffered from this bug are: JETWAYS ( Only standard CTRL+J jetways ) and EFFECTS, like lights, smoke, etc.

Because of this bug, lots of developers (basically everybody), with the help of various scenery design tools, had to create the infamous MICRO-EXCLUDES, which are very small rectangles centered precisely on each object, so only that specific object gets to be excluded. This way, without larger "global" excludes, you won't end up excluding your own Jetways or Effects.

This method came with many issues, but you had no choice if your scenery used Jetways or Effects. The main problem was that Micro-Excludes were tailored over the locations of the DEFAULT scenery. If your default scenery changed for any reason ( for example using AFCADs supplied with AI Traffic products ), the Micro-Excludes might no longer be valid, so you started to see double objects.

This wasn't so much of a problem until P3D4, because the default scenery from P3D4 is still very much the same as the FSX one.

However, P3D5 updated basically ALL airports of the default scenery, and this would require to update all sceneries that had micro-excludes ( I guess they are a lot ), because micro-excludes made for FSX/P3D4 wouldn't work very well.

Now, I'm not 100% sure if this bug is still there in P3D 5.3 HF2, which means you should be careful adding those large Excludes. If the bug hasn't been fixed, by adding wide-area Exclusion, you'll risk removing Jetways and Effects from the airport. While Jetways might not necessarily be a big issue ( if you have a legacy scenery using default jetway, you'd be better replacing them with GSX anyway...), Effects might be a bigger problem, which would possibly require a NEW set of Micro-Exclude, this time based on P3D5 update default scenery, and that AFCAD should be used only with P3D5.

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On 2/11/2022 at 9:55 AM, blaunarwal said:

Since in v5 this is not revised, but default I go again into Tools, "Raw Data View" and change "Create Stub" to false and "Revised Altitude" to false. After closing, the tag "Revised Altitude" is gone.

Hi there, just having a go at this with Cielosim KJAX. When I try to load Tools/Raw Data View, it is greyed out and I am not able to select it. Any ideas on how to resolve this?

 

Many thanks,

                     Bully.


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27 minutes ago, djbully said:

When I try to load Tools/Raw Data View, it is greyed out

Do you have the Pro Key? You can get it here free https://www.scruffyducksoftware.com/

Otherwise maybe start it as admin?

Edited by blaunarwal
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OS=WIN10 Home, Sim=P3D5 actual version (P3D4 and FSX installed but unused)
Addons=ORBX, ASCA, AS, TOGA and tons of sceneries, aircraft
MB=ASUS Z390F-Gaming, CPU=i9700K OC @4.9 GHz, Cooling=Arctic Liquid Freezer II
GPU=KFA2 RTX3090 24 GB, RAM=32 GB DDR4-3200, HOTAS=Logitech G Saitek X52 Pro

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Hmm, I don't have a pro key. I am started as admin though. I'll give the pro key a try. Thanks 🙂

 

Bully.


AMD Ryzen 3900X - Asus Crosshair VI Hero - G.Skill 32GB (2x16GB) 3000 C14 DDR4 @ 3600 14-14-15-14-28-42

AMD Red Devil Radeon 6900XT  2700/2112 1125mv - 3 x Iiyama G-Master GB2888UHSU 4k @ 11560x2160

Saitek X-55 Rhino - Track IR5 - Obutto Sim Cockpit + Triple Monitor Stand - Fancy some Techno? https://www.mixcloud.com/dj_bully/

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23 minutes ago, blaunarwal said:

Do you have the Pro Key? You can get it here free https://www.scruffyducksoftware.com/

Yep, that did the trick! Thank you 🙂

Bully.


AMD Ryzen 3900X - Asus Crosshair VI Hero - G.Skill 32GB (2x16GB) 3000 C14 DDR4 @ 3600 14-14-15-14-28-42

AMD Red Devil Radeon 6900XT  2700/2112 1125mv - 3 x Iiyama G-Master GB2888UHSU 4k @ 11560x2160

Saitek X-55 Rhino - Track IR5 - Obutto Sim Cockpit + Triple Monitor Stand - Fancy some Techno? https://www.mixcloud.com/dj_bully/

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