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Question about ground textures

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Okay, so I've got most of the kinks worked out of my first scenery file, and I've found that I really liked building it! I know how to created buildings, etc in Gmax, build libraries and APIs from them and place them using AFW. Here's the thing that's got me quite vexed, however... how do I place textures on the ground around my compound to simulate my driveway, paths, etc.? Bear in mind that this is a bush scenery, and is basically a grass strip and a cabin, so the stock concrete taxiways, etc. would be out of place.My issue seems to be figuring out how to overlay a texture on the ground. I've searched extensively on this forum and elsewhere, and from what I see it's possible that I could build my paths using TMF decals. I tried the FSRegen tutorials on making lakes, but even using the supplied gmax files I couldn't get them to show up. I create the decal in FSRegen, process and compile it and get the same thing I started with: a poly filled with red and yellow. As near as I can tell everyone is pretty much shooting in the dark about TMF since MS hasn't released a scenery SDK for FS2k2 yet, so maybe that'll take more research on my part.Are there other ways to get this to work? I also found a tutorial on using gmax to make ground polys, but even though I edited the shadow out and the layer order in the raw ASM file, mine still flickers when placed over flattened scenery, like it's got the wrong z-order or something.If there's a spot I can go to figure some of this out, I'd appreciate a link. I'm not averse to research, I just seem to be hitting a little bit of a wall.thanks,Bill Womack

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>>>how do I place textures on the ground around my compound to simulate my driveway, paths, etc.? Bear in mind that this is a bush scenery, and is basically a grass strip and a cabin, so the stock concrete taxiways, etc. would be out of place.My issue seems to be figuring out how to overlay a texture on the ground. Are there other ways to get this to work?<<<*** Hi Bill... It sounds like the driveway, paths and small grass runway could easily be added to what you already have made using Apt26/154. First (and most importantly), you would need to create small flatten areas only approximately as large as your driveway, path and grass runway objects. These (small) flattened areas should be placed at elevations to blend-in favorably with your existing surrounding TMF, otherwise you'll experience plateaus or depressions that would look abnormal. For the driveway and path, you can create ground polygons exactly the shape required and apply the texture bitmaps of your choice to them. For the grass strip (runway), you can probably use the "Create Runway" feature of Apt26 which allows the choice of Grass for texturing the strip OR, you can also make the strip out of another ground polygon textured with grass.I think the main thing to watch-out-for is to get the flattens appropriately elevated. Then, the added polygons will lie flat on the (Flattened) terrain. They will be "Hardened" but not "Smoothed". For the ground polygons you want to be "Smoothed" (for taxiing-on), you will need to create a smoothed area to underlie those polygons. For smoothing, you can use either the Apt26 "Create Surface Area" or a small macro to do the smoothing. The existing Apt surface area routine presently wipes-out a little autogen, however, a seperate smoothing macro does not seem to penalize autogen.In this "era" of scenery design we're presently-in it seems our scenery often needs to be "Hybridized" with a mix of the various available tools.***'Hope this helps...J.R.

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Wow, thanks for the tips, J.R. Since beginning a short while ago to design scenry, I've experienced a lot of "plateaus and depressions" if you know what I mean ;-).For some reason, I thought I had experimented with APT26 ground polys already, but I may be getting them confused with exclude areas. Something I did scared away all my lovely autogen trees. I read that in the 154 build that shouldn't be an issue, provided certain conventions are followed. I'll give all this a stab and see what happens.My main goal is to get a nice dirt road and a taxiing area at one end of my strip. I may have to use custom textures for this, with an alpha blending channel so I can get a softly feathered edge. Do you know if just using a DXT3 texture with the appropriate alpha channel would work? The only reason I can think of why not is if it cast a shadow.Again, thanks for the comments.-Bill

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