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rhumbaflappy

Question for Georgio or rhumbaflappy

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I have tried the tuorial on creating the Decals and Lake and have had no success. I can't figure out what's going on here. Everything seems to work correctly in FSRegen with respects to selecting a material, processing, etc. I've checked elevations adn they are correct. The only thing I wonder about is the calculator. When you put in input coordinates and then hit calculate...what are you supposed to get? I see that if you select LOD13 from the pull down list, the calculations switch to something different. So what is the differnce between using the calculate button and picking the LOD13 from the list? Anyway, does this have any bearing in the process after you have already exported from GMax? There is nowhere else that you put in coordinates.

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Hi there.The calculator is nothing more than a support tool, not really needed for successful creation of flattens-decals.First make sure that you have v0.29d or later of fsregen as previous versions had some bugs in the TMF calculator.Assuming you are familiar with the way fs splits the world in quadrants related to a detail level (LOD) the calculator has two uses:- The first one is to give you most of the details you need for any specific quad (boundaries, width and length, center position, its row and column in the world grid of the selected LOD) and the relative position in the quad of a given point ("Input point").- Calculate the parameters that Christian Stock's MASM macros need to be given for the specified point. You only need this if you are hand-writing the MASM code.When exporting from gmax, make sure that the points of the polygon you use as a guide for the flatten/decall do not occupy more than one LOD 13 quad.This is how I use the calculator:-Decide of an initial point that you will export to -Enter the Lat/Lon of this export point in the input point area and click on "Calculate". The details of the needed quad are displayed.-Use the Center point of the quad (LOD13) as your gmax export point. If you want, create a rectangle with the given dimensions (the two red boxes in the calc) in gmax around your 0,0,0 position to mark the area you'll be using. Don't go outside this quad unless you export two files that will have stuff side by side.In this case, use the four blue arrows to find the adjacent quad dimensions and gmax export center point and draw more rectangles to design into.Hope this is a bit of a help...Good luckGeorge

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I am still having no luck. I am using the .30 version of Fsregen. I export from gmax (the irregular shaped lake file that you provide on your website) to the center coordintes of the LOD 13 grid I am working with (N35* 53.21 W78* 47.197). I have assigned a material to the lake in Gmax. The diffuse color is left the grayish default but the highlight color is a saturated blue and the Level is set to 100. This is all you have to do right? The coordinate is sitting in a Flatten area made with Airport. Is this a problem? I've also exported to a coordiante not in a Flatten area and it didn't work so I am guessing that the Flatten doesn't matter. I've checked the altitude in FS so that I can enter it correctly in FSregen. FSregen recognizes the material and I assign it the Lake choice in the menu. I then go to parameters and adjust the altitude. Next I Process the file and it says that tmplake.asm has been created, etc. I then go to a command prompt and, using BGLC, create the Lake.bgl file that I want to use from the tmpLake.asm. I then put the bgl file in my ADDON SCENERY/KRDU/scenery folder (this is the scenery I am working on). The lake does not show up in FS2k2. I have tried to also put the Lake.bgl in the FS2002/scenery folder and still nothing. What am I doing incorrectly? I have tried multiple files in Gmax - all small objects that will fit in one LOD 13 quad to no avail. I need help. Thanks

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Hi tlassiter.Just a recap...You sent me a zipped e-mail attachment with 2 ASM files. The file named Lake.asm contains a reference:

	[b]include	C:WINDOWSDesktopLake_0.asm[/b]

That include was not included, so I could not compile the file... The file named tmplake.asm compiled properly, when I altered the bounds of the BGL header.

; ========= FSregen v0.30a. TMF Know How and macros by Christian Stock[b]include TMFMacros.inc[/b]header label BGLCODE	dw  1;	dd  03D674Ch;	dd  03CCEAFh;	dd  0C7AAAAABh;	dd  0C8000000h[b]	dd   4111830 	; North Bound	dd   3889569 	; South Bound	dd   -930576248 		   ; East Bound	dd   -954437177 	; West Bound[/b]	dd  9 dup(0)	dd  (offset terrain_data) - (offset header)	dd  15 dup(0)	dd  87654321h	dw  3 dup(0)	dd  10 dup(0)terrain_data label BGLCODE	dd  (offset terrain_header_end) - (offset terrain_data)	dd  0202h	dd  12 dup(0)	dd  (offset flatten_header) - (offset terrain_data)	dd  10 dup(0)terrain_header_end label BGLCODEflatten_header label BGLCODE	FLATTEN_HEADER  513, flatten_list, flatten_data, flatten_endflatten_data label BGLCODE

The Bold lines show my changes... the ; is a 'comment' code for BGLC. I also added the line: include TMFMacros.incAs that is necessary when compiling TMF code BGLC code outside of the fsregen environment. Christian Stock's TMFMacros.inc file must reside in the same folder as BGLC.exe and tmplake.asm. Then you can drag'n'drop tmplake.asm onto the BGLC icon to get your bgl file.Either Georgio's header bounds are not right, or you modified them. If you are reading this, George, you might want to test a few western hemisphere bgls, as there may be a bug in either your coding, or Gmax header coding.Here's your lake! Note how the runway overlies the TMF water.

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Hi again, tlassiter.I wonder what it is you are going to do with KRDU?The airfield is surrounded by woods and what looks like a rural town area. Looking at a satellite image, I can see there are things you'd probably like to change. The changes you'd probably want cover about 8 x 8 lod 13 areas. There are problems with the airfield background polygon, the area roads, the runways and taxiways, and certainly the layout of the ground terrain.The TMF bgl approach is very experimental at this time ( you already know that! ). It can be very frustrating, as we can't simply define an area, draw polys and lines, and produce an asm file, in a suitable graphical environment. I believe this will eventually occur, as Microsoft has already announced it will abandon the earlier types of BGLC code. We do have code for lakes, flattens, decals, mesh-clinging water, and soon, roads, streams, and rails. But the tooling isn't there. George Ioannu has really helped by including a beta approach to TMF coding using Gmax and his fsregen.If it's not your intention to spend frustrating hours with TMF experiments, your time might be better spent using a photoreal TMF approach. How's that, for heresy? :) TMF lakes, decals and lines are simply not the best approach for what you want to accomplish.Using the CUSTOM option for resampling, you may get much quicker results. Your area is only about 64 LOD13 tiles. You could use a satelite view, and info gleaned from this forum and the Terrabuilder forum to get a good scenery. Here's a tip about photoreal:You can use a satellite bitmap, and resample.exe, to get the 'slices' and BGL for your area. These slices are texture bitmaps, with cryptic names, that are the replacements for the ground tiles. Usually, they don't blend into the default scenery very well... But you can use these 'slices' ( and their cryptic filenames ) as a template for your own custom groundtiles... make copies of similar-looking default ground textures, or use top-down screenshots of the default terrain, alter them, draw on them. Then rename, and replace, these altered default bitmaps as the cryptic slice filenames. It will be a cross between photoreal and default, and should blend in pretty good. Problems will be encountered due to the format of the bitmaps, but M$ provided imagetool for that purpose. You'll be spending your most of your time with a paint program, coloring 256 x 256 bitmaps, and seeing real results. You won't be wandering around in Gmax, fsregen, and staring at obtuse asm code.I'm sure this was the basic process Microsoft used to produce the Oshgosh scenery. And it worked well for them.Bob Bernstein ( bob5568 ) is probably the best designer-experimenter to ask about this approach. 1) First look up all of his posts on photoreal ( including the archives ). Save them to disk for reference. 2) Experiment. 3) Then ask him if you're stuck. He's very knowlegable, and very helpful. The knowledge you gain will put you in the forefront of design for FS2002 and FS2004, as it currently exits. The learning curve is pretty mild. The process is well established, even though I'm suggesting an alternate approach to making CUSTOM resamples from altered, default ground textures ( rather than using straight, resampled satellite photos ). Basically, you're going to create 64 FS2002 ground textures, to be placed by the bgl resample.exe created.... The number of tiles will grow, if seasons, and night lighting are added. And you should add them. It will make your scenery look great! You'll need 384 textures for a 8 x 8 area with all seasons and night lighting. Add 64 custom autogens. You're scenery will look as good, or better than the Oshgosh scenery!You'll get results quickly. And you're not going to be examining TMF bgls with hex editors for hours on end, like Christian Stock and myself. *:-* Here's the satellite photo of KRDU], courtesy of Terraserver.comTMF decals, water, and lines will someday be a great way to add scenery items to FS2002. But if you want to replace[/i an area spanning several LOD13 tiles, CUSTOM TMF resampling is the way to go... at least until a new terrain SDK is released, or we get better tooling.

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I am totally redoing KRDU. Right now I've got most of the ground layout done in Airport (runways, taxiways, aprons, etc. That in itself was really fun (sarcasm intended). I've also played around with the landclass in the area and have made a feable approximation of the stuff you see (south of I-40) in the Terraserver satellite image (which I am using for all the layout). Right now I guess my focus is on completing all of that first. I then want to start my terminal modeling. I feel like that will take a good while. It's just that as I read posts on the forum I get interested in making the whole area look better and I start veering my attention to other things like decals and lakes. I really wanted to replace the ground decal with something a little bit better. If it is possible to do a photoreal scenery without messing up the stuff I've already done, I would be game (maybe). The only problem is that the Teraaserver image is circa 1993 or something like that. There have been numerous changes at the airport and area since then. Someone posted that Mapquest has satellite images and they do! In color too! And these images are more up to date than the Terraserver - I don't know why - I havn't been able to find anything like them anywhere else. So I am basically working with two satellite image sources. The Terraserver will work because I can get the scale from it easily (using USAPhotoMaps). The Mapquest image is harder to get into Airport correctly, and when I do, it still won't match up to what I have done so far. The Mapquest image is where all the new roads will come from as well as some buildings, terminal changes, parking garage, cargo area, etc. I am afraid that I will be doing a lot of that by "eyeballing". If you have any suggestions...let me know.I appreciate the feedback on the Lake thing.Tlassiter

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Hi tlassiter.If you decide to try CUSTOM ( photoreal ), remember you don't need to use the photo bitmap for anything other than a guide. For an 8 x 8 LOD13 area, you'll get 64 sclices from resample ( for each season ). These oddly-named slices are bitmaps, that can be replaced by anything you want, with the alpha channel now being water! ( I noticed water in the satellite photo ). That's why I suggested replacing the photo slices with appropriate default ground-texture bitmaps, and then altering those bitmaps to get an accurate and perfectly blended in background for your airfield... with water! Think of these tiles as being 64 custom TMF decals... the same as the airport background you wanted to replace... or the TMF landclass tiles you were thinking of altering.If you go that route, just try the summer textures first... resample for just one season, and alter 64 tiles with 64 copies of default ground-texture bitmaps. Do the alpha channel, and resample that. then rplace and repaint. It's not all science... some of it will be art. :)Study the Oshgosh scenery textures. They are not photos... but look like paintings of photos! Reworked ground-textures replacing the slices from a resampled satellite photo, with autogen added.

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Damnit! Now you really have me trapped! I tried woring with CUSTOM tiles today and I am afraid you are right. That is probably the route to go. Well I guess I am in for more work than I imagined. Seriously though, that is a great idea and I appreciate your thorough feedback. I will start this soon. Question though:Do you happen to know a good way for me to find the textures that I might use? Since they are all DXT1 bitmaps, I can't get a preview just by selecting it in explorer. I'd have to open up each one in a image program and that would most likely (definitely) be a large hassle.

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rhumba,I was up late last night trying to figure out the best way to do this. I don't even think I will have that big of an area. My main concern is the immediate airport vicinity. That can be taken care of (I've made some sample textures and they look pretty good - with not a whole lot of work!). But, I also want the highway and exit ramps to look good and the best way to do that is stretch the custon area out until the highway in the satellite image matches the highway in FS2k2. And it does! It just make the area bigger. But since a lot of that land is forest, it shouldn't be too bad.Are you sure autogen won't be a problem in all this vast land? I haven't messed with that at all at this point.

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Hi tlasiter.You'll have to create your own autogen files... one to match each slice ( texture bitmap ) filename. CUSTOM ( photoreal ) scenery overrides the default scenery... so default autogen is lost.You could copy some of the default autogens, and rename them to match your slice ( texture bitmap ) filenames. Or you could create autogens from scratch for each slice. The autogens need to go into the local 'texture' folder with the slices ( texture bitmaps ).Look at the filenames for the Oshgosh scenery autogens, and see how they match the slice filenames. Gerrish Grey is the best guy for info on autogen. Seach for his posts at AVSIM. And you'll need the Autogen SDK.

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