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Guest GeorgeDorkofikis

Digging... Can anyone please help?

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Hi there,What I want to do is lower a part of a mesh or cut through it in order to simulate a lower level highway that cuts the new Athens airport in two. There are two aircraft bridges that pass over the highway.My problem are not the bridges. I know how to do that.I can't find a way to cut through the mesh in a nice way or lower the terrain in a straight line! I tried flatten polygons but the shape is very irregular. All I want is a simple cut. Something like a cliff, or riverbed.I tried to read the Terrain SDK but got no meaning out of it!Could someone be kind enough to guide me to what tools I need to download? Or point me to a tutorial or something.Please, don't tell me to use GMax.. I can't redo the whole airport...And I find Gmax way too hard and time consuming.I'm attaching a photo of the real airport construction that shows what I want to do... I know it IS possible... I just don't know how to do it!Most probably by altering the mesh terrain in high level of detail for the airport area. But what tools do I need, and how do I do that?Thank you all for your help!George DorkofikisAthens, Greece

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Hi George...I understand your need to dig ditches because I've had the same challenges in making riverbeds, ditches, canyons, etc. The thing I use for doing just that without too much hassle is the "Create Flatten Area" of the Apt26 scenery design program. These "flatten polygons" actually alter the elevation of the FS2002 mesh terrain in accord with the elevation dictates of the flatten polygons created. When compiled into a .bgl file, they do not require one to edit the FS2002 Scenery.cfg file with added flatten definitions.You can make their width almost "knife-edged" or as wide as your need requires. Installing a very narrow "depression" (or ditch) in the mesh, i.e. 100 ft. in depth compared to the surrounding terrain will cause nearby mesh to "Blend" in a fairly linear fashion to the depth of the 100 ft. ditch. Therefore, if an "abrubt" drop-down to the bottom of the example 100 ft deep ditch is desired, you must place flatten polys at the scenery's default elevation on each side of the "ditch-digging" flatten polygon in order to "Anchor" the default terrain to the default (or as desired) elevation, else the above mentioned blending will occurr. A top-down bitmap of the scenery area being worked is helpful to "draw" your "Ditch-Digging and Anchoring" flatten polygons onto.This process is sort-of fun as it allows one some "free" terrain mesh manipulating ability, however, The FS2000 docs state that only ten flattens per scenery area is allowed and I assume the same limitation might exist in FS2002. Also, I don't know whether or not this will work in a default airfield which usually has been flattened by MSFS by default --- but I'd say it's worth trying.I've not noticed any sacrifice in frame rates in using this process and also, the default autogen is not disturbed. Keep in mind that as mesh elevation is varied with flattens, the autogen still rides on-top-of the altered mesh.'Hope this helps...J.R.

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Hi George.You can do just what J.R. suggests, but with an LWM landmask specifying the correct height... there is no framerate effect. This is what FS2002 uses for airport background polys... the "flt" files within SCENEDB.The Airport26 flatten is an Area16n ( SCASM ) bgl. It will affect framerates... that's why FS2002 runs so much better than FS2000.Dick

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Thank you both for your suggestions.I've tried flatten polygons already but they don't blend too good...They are very irregular.I think I'll give a try with the LWM landmask... I've downloaded the tutorial mentioned in another thread and reading it.Hopefully, I'm not that stupid and will understand how to do it... :-)Regards,George DorkofikisAthens, Greece

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And just to follow up, this is the result I'm taking with the flatten polygons... I just need a smooth clean cut... That's all!George DorkofikisAthens, Greece

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Hi George.Have you altered your 'FS2002.cfg' file to read:TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=21form the default:TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=19??I have advised against doing this for some time, and if you have done this, it may explain that reaction.Dick

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Nope...I haven't changed anything in the fs2002.cfg !And in the scenery settings I have the Mesh complexity to 100%George DorkofikisAthens, Greece

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Hi George.The depth of the trench seems too much, and you might try to tune the mesh complexity down to around 85%... but you'll still get the jagged edges.We had a short discussion on this not long ago. Christian Stock suggested digging the trench, then making a Gmax object to actually fill the sides so they are smooth... like the Hoover dam in the US.Dick

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Unfortunately, I'm not good with GMax at all!...Tried once, tried twice, but it seems I'm just too stupid to understand that d@arn thing!!!Anyway. So, you suggest I leave it zig-zagged and just cover over it with polygons? Or kind of a cube? Hmmm... that might do the trick.But it'll have to be EOD. I can't use GMax... Not even to make a simple Cube! And the tutorials don't help either! They go very deep.As for the LWM masks I can't understand the details about the greyscale image and how to translate it to the LWM format.Must it be North oriented? How 'long' are the 256 pixels in the several levels of detail ? Can the use of LWM make sharp edges?I may be getting too tyring here for things already discussed, so tell me to 'shut up' if you wish... :-)Thank you all for your help so far!George DorkofikisAthens, Greece

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