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Sandy shores???

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You can at this time only add a polygon with the shore texture, just like you can place other polygons.The nice looking shores that are in the default scenery are part of the mesh scenery and until the SDK is there we have no clue on how to use them.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

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That's right. Let's pray for the SDk to be out Michel

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Dan,Yes there is a way!Michel..........your prayers are answered........I think!The following is assuming you are familiar with creating basic scenery etc., using Gmax. If not then it will not apply to you.Further, if you are currently using Gmax and have used earlier versions of FSREGEN do yourself a favor and upgrade to the lastest release. The newest upgrade found at his site is not the newest.So for newbies to this tool, first download the fsregen v0.20b full version found at this site. Then click on the TWO document hyperlink labeled "Lakes" and "Decals". In the Decal http document you will find a hyperlink toward the beginning of the document indicating to click on it to download the Newest FSREGEN ..v0.29c version.Next, if you do not have the newest MakeMDL.exe program (the one that goes into ...gmaxplugins directory............downloaded it from: http://zone.msn.com/flightsim/FS02DevDeskSDK00.asp where you look for the set of SDK that can be downloaded on the middle left hand side of this main page.......the one titled Make Model SDK.Now you must also go to:http://cue-stom.com/fsim/html/index.shtmlAt this site you will download the newest version of MIDDLEMAN.Next thing to do is download the newest version of FSREGEN from:http://nhreas.com/fsregen.html. As stated earlier in this thread.And after this is done, read both MIDDLEMAN AND RSREGEN documentation carefully .....IMPORTANT. Because you must rename the MakeMdl.exe file for instance to makem.exe and rename his middleman program to be makemdl.exe etc.. Just read thru the documents carefully.OK. Now you have the updated RSREGEN, MIDDLEMAN packages installed and have downloaded the newest MakeMDL.exe file from the Microsoft SDKsite.After proving to yourself that you can create the Lake and the Decal (which is a lake with a nice SANDY SHORELINE around the lake set at any elevation you want it to be..........).You will quickly realize that you can use the lake/decal technique to PLACE A SANDY SHORELINE AROUND YOUR ISLAND.In short, what Georgio's RSREGEN program will let you do is:In Gmax ...create a number of spline lines...(triangles) that you will assign two colors using the Material Navigator.....one color (the highlite color) will be used to tag the triangles that are two be used as a sandy shoreline once the exported asm file from Gmax is read into RSREGEN, the second color is really inmaterial in this example, as once the asm file is loaded into the RSREGEN tool, you will select the "decal" item to assign the object that has a tag color. You really must read his two documents to understand what I am trying to say here. Just take my word for it. And it is not hard to create the shoreline if you have even a little experience with Gmax, for his Lake/Decal tutorials guide you through each step with colored pictures.....Bottom line is. Once you know where to place the "shore line" Gmax triangles.................that is you first using a chopper for instance go around that Island you spoke of and get many points where it touches the water (skew mode.....jotting down the GPS coordinates and putting them on a piece of paper) you will in Gmax know how large to make the viewport scaling......expanding it approriately to place the trianglar shaped line/splines. DO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SET YOUR Scale to be 1 meter per grid...Once the Gmax file is exported into the RSREGEN tool, and you select the color of the object (you will only see one color in this tool that you set in Gmax), you will assigne the object to be a DECAL and place the object at whatever elevation you want your Islands beach line to be set at.Whew.....pretty long explaination. But at least some of you probably know exactly what I am communicating here, and I am sure I gave all the main steps in obtaining the tools that will allow you to make sandy beach shorelines. One last note, you will find that you can if you wanted to while in Gmax, make a bunch of triangles linked together as the DECAL document will show, and assign that group lets us say a PURE YELLOW COLOR FOR THE HIGHTLIGHT COLOR, then continue making more linked triangle working your way along the coast line, and assigne that group another pure color let us say BLUE...and so on.Now when you have loaded the exported asm file produced by Gmax into the RSREGEN tool, you will find a number of objects listed with different colors, YELLOW, BLUE in this case........so you select the first color YELLOW.......process it to be a Decal with let us say a AGL height of 10 feet, then you process the BLUE color objects, to be a decal with a height of let us say 20 feet, and so on. Result will be: you have a coastline where the sand will not only have a depth (width difference according to what shape you make the triangles in Gmax that represent these sand polygons, but you will also see that you can have section of beach with different elevations assinged to the bgl file. One drawback ........at present, RSREGEN is limited to only 7 PURE color assignments so that you only could have seven different pieces of sandy beach (YOU COULD ALSO USE OTHER TEXTURES OTHER THEN SAND IF YOU WANT WHILE IN RSREGEN TO ASSIGN TO A GIVEN GROUP OF TRIANGLES).Well I hope the above has help and not hindered anyone. I know it will work to make shorelines around islands. In fact as you will see if you go through with this suggestion, the Lake example can be viewed as the island, and the decal part is simply the outer portion that just so happens to use the standard coral white beach sand texture. This is why I know this method will work.Lastly, it is possible that if one has a really large island, I am sure it will work for an island only a few miles long ...that can be placed in a linear fashion within a expanded Gmax ViewPort (expert mode ...where you use the whole screen to represent only the top view for instance) that you can work your way around the imaginary island perimeter within the view point and place the triangles, can be hundreds of linked triangles if you like around where the island's outer boarders would be. Of course one could make up a bunch of individual bgl's...islandNE-1.bgl, islandSE-1.bgl , and so forth, to make pieces of coast line for a particular island. And the added benefit here is that you could build some pretty sophisticated coastlines, which not only vary in elevation but also have different textures (that you choose while in FSREGEN for a particular color taged group), so you could have rock elevated coastlines dropping into a lower, sandy (sand dune with a darker sand texture), then into a nice flat white sandy lagoon area. Food for thought,cheers, :-) George B. (grb)

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Thanks for the reply, but at this moment the effect of this is still the same as placing a normal polygon with a sand polygon in for example Airport. As far as I know nobody has found out how the new shorelines are made.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

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Hi Arno.You are correct. Nobody, outside of the FS development team, knows the way to make any kind of TMF lines. This has been true since 1999, and the CFS2 team. Like Christian Stock, most developers are abandoning the search, and some are even abandoning the sim in disgust. Microsoft's secrecy in this, is really hurting further development... apparently, they do not want us altering their simulated world. Most addon scenery exists in spite of MS, not with their assistance. :-fume Shore lines are not straight-forward. They consist of line segments. Each segment has an anchor point, and 'relative' points ( that may or may not have a scaling factor ). It appears a line's segments always have 8 points, except for the last segment, which may have less.I can move the Oshgosh island's shoreline all over the world, by changing the LOD8 Group number. I can move it around the LOD8 area by changing the anchor-point locations. I can stretch it, and deform it by changing anchor or relative points, or scale.But I cannot add or subtract a point or scale number, and that pretty much ends the project.As for using a TMF decal 'under' a TMF pond or island, you are also right in that this hasn't much more value than adding a FS2000-style textured roadline ( except the decal shows through the transparent shallow edge of the water ). I presented the example with my Interlaken pond, just as an experiment, not a recommended usage.A TMF decal may have some use for changing ground texture of a small area, without changing the whole LOD13 landclass... and is useful to have for the airport background polygons ( abp*.bgl ).You could use skinny decals for roads or streams ( or even shores ), and they will hug the mesh properly... there would be some problems concerning which decal gets visual priority, unless there is some coding that we haven't yet discovered.

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Arno and Rhumbaflappy,It would appear that what I suggested is a waste of time and endevour for one to pursuit the suggested actions in thread #2. I faintly recognize what you guys have indicated in your response, being those that have pioneered many of the things that have been accomplished thus far in scenery development techniques as applied to MS FS2K2 world. It just appeared that with the ability of taking a snap shot of an "island" while flying over it, then being able to load the snap shot bmp into a Gmax viewport and then build up the spline objects around the perimeter, one could accomplish what Dan had in mind. But, Rhumbaflappy, your lake/decal example used by Georgio appears to be a very useful technique in addressing coastal area fixes, where they are not to complicated from a geometric shape standpoint. That is, by using a few dozen or so spline objects, have the capability of modifying a piece of coast. I do appreciate in a limited way, why you guys would say this is probably a waste of time, but it appears that for small areas, one can at least 'fix a poorly shown coastal area'. And if one was to use snapshot bitmap in Gmax they can pretty well place chunks of sandy beach to some degree of accuracy compared to having to do it in tools such as Airport, prior to the newer one that allows one to load a background bitmap.This was the intention/spirit of the suggestions I made. Thank you both for the many things It appears (I have only been viewing this forum for about a week ...going back through the threads... and have noticed both of you have contributed many important issues concerning scenery generation etc.. Thank you both for your willingness to help others.Lastly, may I repeat an earlier appeal paraphrased, would anyone be willing to help me better understand what steps are required to generate a "api" file using FSREGEN for use in FS Scenery Creator and Airport tools? I had downloaded the whole thread found in the TMF thread in this forum with examples by Bob5568, but lack some understanding as how one actually creates the api macro file while in FSREGEN. Is there a number of steps one could follow without having to go into a very long document howto style answer?I know coming from a technical background that most solutions require long explainations, put another way, often there is no simply answer.cheers :-) grb (George B.)

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Rhumba, you may be onto something there. I got stuck because I couldn't find the number of points. If it's always 8, that would be a starting point. I know from the effects, that the beach lines have to be the same length for the wave effect. So maybe the lines are a collection of lines that all have the same length and the last line segment has to be different mostly...Cheers, Christian

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Dan,My long winded explaination on how to get the tools that will allow you to accurately place sandy shorelines or for that matter any texture you like still applies. What they where indicating that there are also other ways it can be done. But that for the "purist" so to speak, the methods are rather crude. But if you have some Gmax experience what I said holds true. You can "overwrite the the shoreline areas to have a sandy texture controlling both the width length and elevation for any particular area, using Gmax to create those mentioned spline triangles per the two documents found at the RSREGEN site. And as indicated in my last response, if one takes a snapshot of the island area while above it, then puts loads that snap into the Gmax viewport(s) one can carefully place small triangles exactly at spots on the background snapshot, (the snap shot view simply is a background templete shown in the Gmax viewport work window(s), and would not be a part of the final exported bgl file.But if you are not familiar with Gmax forget all I have said. And if you are familiar with Gmax but not with the other mentioned tools, you must be carefull to read all the documentation for both tools to get things set up on your system to allow you to export Gmax code via. the Middleman tool to a compiled bgl file that then is read into the RSREGEN tool where you make the final bgl file that will create the sandy areas where triangles have been placed using the Gmax tool.Sorry if this is over your head. It was a response to provide a solution to your question. It is not the only way to place polygons that have sand type texture files attached to them at a given location. Tools like Airport would also allow one to place polygons at a given spot but with nowhere the degree of accuracy and ease as what I had described above. Here you have total control of how the end result will look.Cheers :-) George B

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Thanks for the tips you've given. I'm planning on giving it a try. I'm a bit unclear on how you can accurately build the traingles in GMAX based on GPS coordinates from FS2002. If I'm understanding you, you take a sceen shot of the whole island in FS2002 and use it as a backdrop in GMAX. How do you make sure the scale is the same as what would be in FS2002? How do you place the bitmap at the right coordinates in GMAX's top view so that your resulting triangles are in the right place?

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Thanks for the tips George, very useful, no doubt they give positive result. However in a situation like mine where i have to trace a realistic contour of a coastal city to make its shape like in real life, this method will keep me busy for a year ;) but for small random island it works no doubt.I have alot of respect to all Gurus who discovered with pain parts of the secrets in FS and made things possible to change what MS did not reveal in their SDK...My usual complaint on many forums is: Why Xplane has a great tool called WorldMaker where one can alternate and draw coasts,roads, rivers, etc in a click of a mouse, like if we were painting in a paint program. Great easy to use tool isnt it! And Why MS is not coding a tool like this one and releasing it with the so called PRO version of FS? Why FSEdit changes Airplanes characteristics in a user interface friendly way and why not a similr tool for Terrain elements? We saw Annotator in the Autogen SDK and I was happy to see MS finally releasing user friendly scenery tools. I mean DOS commands like resampler can kill the ambition of average scenery designers who are not into complex mathematical and geological formulas and who want to work with precision. Also DOS commands are really outdated.Hopefully the still not released terrain SDK will have a tool similar to Xplane Worldmaker so we can produce sceneries in a much shorter period and we can avoid halting our scenry design in order to research and experiemnt with reversed engineering methodsAnd Thanks MS in advance ;)Michel

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Michel,You are quite welcome. But I hardly can be included in the expert mode if that was what your kind words implied. I am very new to most of this stuff and seek help and answers to relatively simply things.TFLeanard,After thinking about your above question, I have come to the conclusion that it would be very difficult at best to accurately place those "triangles that eventually become sandy beach polygons" around an island that the snap shot image was greater then a few hundered yards in diameter. The idea would be to find out the exact lat/long coordinates at quite a few places on the island and calculate it's linear maximum length/width from the lat/long to meters using a tool such as LLCALC. Then knowing how large the island is, go into MAX/MIN Toggle mode to make just one large TOP viewport in the screen and set the viewport size to just a bit larger then the island's xy linear measurements. Then when one loads the map file into the view port (using fit bitmap) they would get a close approximate to what you see in the sim verse what the viewport would show in linear meters. But as I think about it more closely. It is rather obvious (that is why you probably asked the question) that it will be near impossible to match up the viewport size to represent what is shown in the simulator. At best one would have to go thru a number of iterations placing a few triangles at the extremes in the viewport, then compiling exporting partially populated triangles at some points in the viewport on the island bit map, pumping it through FSREGEN and then seeing how the sandy areas look in the sim. Once one established where the extreme N,S,E,W points are actually located, then they could start to move around the viewport placing triangles. I realize this would be a quite laborious task at best.I do not know if I would be willing to try it on any island or piece of coast much larger then a few thousand meters in any given dimension, for it would be a pain to continually shrink and expand the viewport as one is placing many triangles on the beach areas. So in retrospect perhaps this is a "half baked idea" at best. Though I think one can imagine for little area fixes it could have some worth.Lastly, with an apology for perhaps offering some hope where a "real solution remains illusive" I will humbly admit that my idea is a waste of time reading as it really is not a solution for what we all seek, as was pointed out earlier.I jumped before I thought out the processes involved and the ramifications of those statements.Sorry for getting anyones hopes up.Best regards,George B.:-(

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I'm sure I'm still missing something...as I've suggested this approach many times, but..............why don't people replace a given LOD13 block or blocks which contain the island or area of interest with your own version, with the island edited or lake or whatever edited to your preference?It works for me, its a highly predictable process. You just have to make a master bitmap of the area you wish to model/alter. You can use screenshots of the current default if you want, with making adjustments to contrast/brightness and scaling as needed to have it match with the area beyond your lod13 block. If you are talented enough with a graphics editor, this can work really well.Then use this master bmp as the source file in a custom type inf file, process with resample.exe, and install your work. Alpha channel is used to produce fs2002 water, with the only thing being wave effects that I can't produce.The only handicap is if you want to do a river without really changing the rest of the default, you need to still replace the default with a new and identical default, but from your master bmp with the new river drawn with an alpha channel water and shorelines drawn beside them. While working just fine, you end up with a large number of texture files if you want all seasons, and this can make for a huge upload if you want to share your work.Bob Bernstein

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This works OK for a small area, but we (NL2000 Team) are working on a whole country. With seasons that would mean around 4 GB of scenery, and that is not what we want, as we can not share that on the internet. So there must be another option (like the default scenery).Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

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