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arno

Photoreal vs. Synthetic

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I have experimented with Terrascene and photoreal (colorized Terraserver) textures. While they work well for small areas covering significant distances for VFR flying is a lot of work.My observations:The non-FS synthetic (photoreal & Terrascene) seem slightly more blurred than the adjacent FS synthetic textures. May be the resample and not a significant drawback.Using Terrascene's own textures offers a very different color appearance and at the transistion boundry look bad. I converted FS2002 textures for use by Terrascene and saw an improvment but small texture elements gave very repetitive patterns in crop fields. Reverted to Terrascene (HITW actually) textures for some items.Terrascene does not blend adjacent textures as well as FS2002 and the result is quite odd at times.Terrascene is the only vehicle we have to re-texture the entire USA WITH roads and coastlines that are very close to real. FS2002 is crude at best.Photoreal offers very nice appearance of the landscape if you can find color photos. Stiching together adjacent photos takes time.Terraserver offers large areas but no color. Takes lots of time to colorize properly.None of the Terrascene or photoreal allow Autogen elements to appear. You must spend time placing all of the Autogen items by hand using the MS SDK. Airports may not line up with the existing FS2002 airports and you have to fiddle them into place or exclude and make your own.NOW - there are "rumors" that experts are close to solving some of these issues. In my view the best world is using the existing synthetic textures, with Autogen, and having accurate coastline and roads. This may be coming. If the Terrascene roads can be layered atop the FS2002 textures transparently so as to not supress the Aurogen that helps a lot since Terrascene allows one to customize the size and texture of roads and their boundries (easements). Or, develop a program that draws roads in FS2002 format from USGS data, or other sources from around the world. Same goes for coastline/river banks. I think that the EXPERTS are close. If they succeed we will see yet another evolution in the product. Weather is solved, new synthetic textures is solved, and mesh is solved. Now we can hopefully look forward to the roads and coastlines. However, once that happens I will want (you may also want) to be able to tune the underlying mesh so roads and streams that are close to cliffs stay in the valley and do not climb the sides. Perhaps an FS Clouds like program that offers various road textures to emulate plowed snow covered roads, or to represent large (over time) construction projects. Hmmm, lots of fun! Maybe we can get some sort of moving autos and add to that automatic detours based upon the local automobile club data. VFR can be much more real......Regards - DickDick

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Hi Dick.Juan Toledo is now actually able to use geodata in conjunction with the MapInfo program to place water polys and VTPm2 lines. That is a good start. However, MapInfo is a professional mapping program, and costs hundreds of dollars. I'm hoping a breakthrough will eventually come that will place these polys and lines without the need for an expensive program.Chris Wright's AutoASM program is still evolving. He is very close to solving the "island" problem, and soon may have a program that will take any reasonably sized image, and create LWM code perfectly... and I'm considering using that code as a basis for translation to VTPm1 polys. Right now, I can display LWM streams... and the code for VTPm1 polys is not that different from LWM.... so it follows that I should be able to make concrete "streams". Now that Chris' program will be more powerful, I need to find a solution for a bug in VTPm1s that limits the number of points. If successful, we will be able to derive polys of any texture.Dr. Falko Dienstbach, has given us SCM2VTP to allow us to draw roads, streams, and beaches as FS2000 roads, and convert the SCASM code to FS2002 BGLC code. This program may eventually evolve into something much more powerful.Christian Fumey is rapidly gaining skill with VTP, LWM, landclass, etc, and has already contributed to the knowledge pool.Arno Gerretsen has told us that the NL2000 Design Team has made some breakthroughs in scenery design tools.So things are looking up, and soon, I think, our first set of tools will be surpassed with a more powerful generation.Dick

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Excellent! Looks like we will be seeing an amalgamation of the "great chefs" work that will add the final touch to our pleasures. I wonder if there is anything left as another "great leap" in FS2002 once the manipulation of textures is provided? Perhaps we must await the next major release by Microsoft and start again!?!?Thanks to all,Dick

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>Arno Gerretsen has told us that the NL2000 Design Team has >made some breakthroughs in scenery design tools. Yes, might be time for a little update.Our scenery will have the following setup. First we have made a LandClass BGL file that will place the field textures etc in the scenery. We use our own textures with this landclass. AlL together there are about 6 different textures for this purpose, with each 7 variants (just as MS). So that means we only have to make autogen for those.We choose to do it this way, because covering the entire county (and the Netherlands isn't that big) with photoreal texture with the resample method would give more then 1 GB of textures. Of course this would make downloading the scenery a bit hard :). So now we only have a limited amount of textures that are placed in the scenery as LandClass.On top of this LandClass scenery, which places the basic types of fields that appear in the Netherlands, we use VTP/LWM polygons to place all lakes, cities, towns, forest, etc, etc. The VTP lines are used for the roads and the railways. All VTP/LWM code is written by a internal tool we have and it uses data we received from a company for the location of the town, roads, etc.These towns, etc have not been added to the LandClass scenery because the LOD5 grid is not detailed enough in our point of view. It wouldn't allow us to show the characteristic shape of every small town and city in the Netherlands.With this method we can make a nice and detailed scenery, without having a download that is too big to handle. Also with the LandClass scenery that has different variant for each texture we think that the repetition effect will not be that big (although we use the same type of field for a big area).This is our thought on Fs2002 scenery in a nuttshell :).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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Perhaps you could "dress up" your tools and make them available. My credit card balance is zero and awaiting you!!!!!Dick

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I am afraid that our tool will never be released. It is designed in such a way that it only works for scenery in the Netherlands and only with the data in the form we got it from the company.I don't think the desinger of the tool wants to redesign it completely to make it general usable.But we'll share the knowledge we gain while making it here, so it can still help in tackeling other problems here :).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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