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Newly released FS2002 Terrain SDK: taxilines commands.

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Hi,As you know MS released the Terrai nSDK with useful documents to desicribe how things work in this new version.I liked the taxilines commands but i wonder what compiler do we use to compile the commands mentioned? BGLC?Cheers :)Michel

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The new taxiway commands are also implemented in the current version of SCASM (Manfred managed it months before the SDK came out ...) and in Airport for Windows (who are gradually refining their routines to get it right).Gerrish

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Thats right but somehting that no 3rd party tool did yet I think is to make those lines touch each others perfectly. MS mentions that we should make one block of taxi command and inside it leave the pen trace as much as possible and to use ivisible lines and breaks to move the pen to other locations. This gives perfectly connected taxilines but this is not he method visual tracing tools do it. I think for every taxiline one has to create a new object in Airport right? wish makes a huge FPS drop and the lines do not connect because refpoints are different.Coding the whole lines by hand is a time consuming work because one has to know what is the x and y for his taxiways. I wish we had a tool like AFCAD that we can connect to FS and it follows FS position so we know the exact points.As for now any tip to trace a huge airport in a fast and effecient way and let the lines touch each others 100%?CheersMichel

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>>>somehting that no 3rd party tool did yet I think is to make those lines touch each others perfectly.<<<***Hi Michel.. I may be wrong but I suspect that MS programmed their taxilines using the SDK (BGLC based) macros. We're now doing the same thing using SCASM based macros. I suppose it's possible that MS has developed "standardized" segments of taxiways that employ optomized taxilines for that "type of" segment -- If I were MS, with their vast resources, I would probably do it that way anyway :-). I would however suspect that IF they have developed "standardized" taxiway with lines segments, each (different) segment might need to be based on it's own individual area and refpoint locators --- a not very efficient method if they indeed do it that way.For example, In Apt26, I make added taxiways from ground polygons and then apply the "new" SCASM lines using the Apt "Lines" routine. That routine allows one to quickly make center and edge lines of any of the types available by simply adding (inserting) points at the ends of the (long) straight segments of the lines (where the ARCS should be), defining the ARC "offset" in the same create window, and continuing the same line to it's point of termination. Therefore, when making a 90 degree turn in the taxiway with lines, all that's necessary is to draw the taxiway with 90 degree turn lines as if you were making them out of straight lines, allowing the ARCS to do their blending. --- Actually, this is quite a fast process because the ARCS blend the lines as perfectly as possible, based on your selection of ARC offset, at the location where the 90 degree (or whatever angle) turns occurr. The only inefficient remnant (as I see it) is the need to draw the Hold Lines to a seperate RefPoint. If I were a good enough mathematician, I could probably calculate the hold lines locators to be referenced to the same RefPt as the basic "Lines" macro. :-)***Finally, all this is done referring to only one area and RefPt base point in the scenery --- an efficient method. I've not seen any measurable drop in frame rates using this method (Athlon 1900+/Gforce 2 Ti, 512 mb PC2400 DDR). I've not built any hugely complex (large airport) taxiway systems but I recognize that the Apt26/SCASM method is efficient. Is BGLC more effecient than SCASM in FS2002? --- Probably.*** >>>MS mentions that we should make one block of taxi command and inside it leave the pen trace as much as possible and to use ivisible lines and breaks to move the pen to other locations. This gives perfectly connected taxilines but this is not he method visual tracing tools do it.<<<***I think what they're stating is that one should NOT make a lot of short segments of lines when one longer segment could do the job, especially when allowing the ARCS to blend lines nicely at the turns in the lines as the Apt routine does. Someone has pointed-out that the "New" lines routine is really nothing more than using the same software techniques as used by plotting chart instruments.***>>>Coding the whole lines by hand is a time consuming work because one has to know what is the x and y for his taxiways. I wish we had a tool like AFCAD that we can connect to FS and it follows FS position so we know the exact points. As for now any tip to trace a huge airport in a fast and effecient way and let the lines touch each others 100%?<<<***'Not familiar with AFCAD. Maybe it could be revised to apply here. For the present, my approach for such is to use ground polygons for the taxiways and create a top-down background map precisely located on which to draw the taxilines. It does indeed take some fine tuning of the line locations, however, you have accurately set-up a background to reference-from and a GUI to quickly correct the line's locations as necessary.-->Apparently, MS has given fair warning that we must convert from SCASM to BGLC. As I see it, that's the real and present challenge...***'Regards; J.R.

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??? mine touch perfectly (using scasm)....what am I missing?Bob Bernstein

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That's because you then already used the method as described in the SDK, works fine with SCASM :).And for the tools, give FSSC a try (I just tried it recently and it is very nice). That has a snap option, so you can connect to lines very well.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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I agree with fssc, although I haven't tried Derek's line utility yet...glad to hear it works well. Only question I had about it is the insertion of arcs between each line segment, have you noticed that yet, Arno? I suppose usually that would make sense.Bob B

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Hi JohnWherever did you get this idea:->-->Apparently, MS has given fair warning that we must >convert from SCASM to BGLC. As I see it, that's the real >and present challenge...*** >>'Regards; J.R. What MS have said is that the next version will not support the old drawing & polygon rendering commands such as Points(), LoadBitmap(), Poly(), TexPoly() etc. etc. and we must in future use the new floating point commands instead. These commands are already implemented in SCASM and there is absolutely NO reason why we cannot continue to use it. There is just a little bit of learning left to do as to how to use these commands correctly, and how to call and structure an object drawn with them correctly, but this is no big deal.IMHO, SCASM remains by far the easiest tool for hand coding scenery files and compiling them to BGL's. All it lacks at present is the ability to create 'section 8' terrain mesh stuff, and now that we have the SDK and the excellent work of Christian Stock and others, I see no reason why Manfred shouldn't soon be giving us a new version of SCASM that includes these facilities (although he may want to wait until after the release of CFS3 to see if it gives any more clues as whether some of the other older commands are also going to be dropped ...)SCASM is simply one of several tools available for writing code that can be compiled to BGL files. BGLC is a lower level tool provided free by Microsoft based on their MASM assembler. It has no intrinsic part in MSFS, except that it is used as an interface for compiling output from gMax into BGL and MDL files, and has the advantage of being one of the tools used by MS themselves and supplied with their (always too late) SDK's. Of course, if one wants to struggle writing hundreds of lines of BGLC assembler code, with a calculator poised in one hand to do the calculations that BGLC/MASM can't handle, or indeed use some other language such as C/C++, fair enough. But as Manfred does it all for us in a relatively high-level and easy-to-use form, what on earth is the point?Incidentally, it appears that MS probably do quite a lot of their own scenery programming in C++ rather than BGLC/MASM ...Please, please, please can we put this nonsense about 'SCASM is dead, BGLC is the way forward' in the trash bin where it belongs before we put Manfred off from continuing to maintain his superb tool!Kind RegardsGerrish

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Thanks Gentlemen for the explanations, but where can I get FSCC?CheersMichel

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Hi Bob,Using hand coded lines in scasm works perfectly indeed, however I have a big airport to cover and guessing where the X,Y are for every point is a long process to trace everything. This is why I thought using the new taxilines plugin for Architect2002, however it does not have a snap option and the lines do not touch perfectly unless we do a trial and error forever. If we do a single line tracing with breaks and invisible lines using the plugin, the tracing becomes buggy but this is the plugin. So I am looking for an alternative tool to trace the taxilines in a fast and precise way :)CheersMichel

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Hi Arno,On avsim there is Version 1.2.5 but not the 1.5 version wish has the taxilines. Any idea?ThanksMichel

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I found it there some days ago :).But I have "bad" news, I was playing with it just a minute ago and I noticed that there is still a small gap between the two lines. This must be because they have an own RefPoint both (then you get small calculation errors if you go to the same point). So for optimal result you would need to use one RefPoint and I think no program supports that (apart from GroundMaker, but that has no TaxiMarkings yet).I think I need to change my DXF to SCA converter a bit, so it can make the taxilines for me :).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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