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Guest JR Morgan

Advanced Building Helipads

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Hi all.Thanks to Christian Stock's investigations of the default BGLs, in typical 'Forest Gump' fashion, I may have stumbled onto a different way of coding invisible helipads.These pads are actually FS2000 Advanced Buildings with no height:; Delavan Helipad;Header( 1 N42:37:59.75 N42:37:59.75 W088:38:00.00 W088:38:00.00 )LatRange( N42:37:59.75 N42:37:59.75 ); ----------------------------------------Area( 5 N42:37:59.75 W088:38:00.00 12 ) Call( :_Placeit ) Jump( : ):_Placeit RefPoint( abs :_FailReturn 1.00 N42:37:59.75 W088:38:00.00 E= 300 V1= 0 V2= 68 ) Call( :_Pad ) Call( :_Light ) Return:_Pad AdvBldg( normal 100 100 LEVEL1 0 0 0 0 LEVEL2 58 0 320 352 320 LEVEL3 0 0 0 0 ROOF 10 256 256 ) Return:_Light IfVarAnd( :_FailReturn 030A 0018 ) LineColor( 0F F0 ) Dot( 0 0 0 ) LineColor( 10 F0 ) DotLine( 49 0 49 -49 0 49 50 ) ; 1 DotLine( -49 0 49 -49 0 -49 50 ) ; 2 DotLine( -49 0 -49 49 0 -49 50 ) ; 3 DotLine( 49 0 -49 49 0 49 50 ) ; 4:_FailReturn ReturnEndA; ----------------------------------------This is a 100x100 meter invisible pad, with some lights, placed at 300 meters elevation... about 12 meters above the default ground here.Autogen is excluded directly under the pad, which should be no problem, as pads usually reside on top of objects larger than the pads.All flat roofed Advanced Buildings appear to be landable ( please correct me if I'm wrong ! ), so they only need lights and a bitmap for the target. I don't know about sloped roofs, or peaked roofs. Although a sloped roof brings up an interesting possibility of a sloped runway.I'm going to test this for a day or two, and see if all kinds of objects can benefit from this type of pad.Hopefully, J.R. Morgan will have an API ready for using this soon. ;)Dick

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Hi J.R.I hope your reading this. You'll still need an Area16n flatten under the object you wish to place a pad on. That is needed to "lock" the mesh elevation.. so different meshes don't upset the placement of the pad to the object it sit on.This isn't even a bad idea for Advanced Buildings with heliports designated. In the real world, heliports have set elevation, just like runways.Dick

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>>All flat roofed Advanced Buildings appear to be landable ( please correct me if I'm wrong ! ), so they only need lights and a bitmap for the target.<< **Well, I, err, umm...I just don't get it :-doh. First off, it's been a heckuva day here --- 'Wife insisted I paint the innards of the front entry door --- Spent 5 hours on a job that should have taken 1/2 hour.'Soon as I could; First, I checked the San Diego Scenery in the sim and could find NO buildings that had hardened roof-tops. Scenery detail set to extremely dense, etc, etc. Anyone got a precise Lat/Lon location for any of those? I Know the Carrier West of SD has hardened landing and hangar decks -- 'You guys ever broke it's code? Second, Checked many flat-roofed AdvBldgs I had made in a scenery in-work and none of those are roof-top landable.Third, compiled your (last list I think) code, went to it in Delavan and had nice green lights floating in the air but no Heli-landable surface other than the ground surface below it.I'm reasonably sure I'm missing something basic here, based on seeing the pic you posted with the shadows, etc, but ????? Did you make that with code you posted on in BGLC?Fourth, I made a locatable macro, placing it in various locations. 'Got lights but no landable surface, similar to the Delavan experience.I was hoping to have a macro to post tonite but so far --- Zilch.ALSO, to top things off, My drag 'n drop SCASM compile function quit working. Works OK from a DOS window or in the 'Start/Run' box but no longer compiles when drag/dropping a code snippet on top of it *:-* ! Any ideas of how to recover that handy function?I'd go kick the dog but I'd probably only break my foot..J.R.

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Did you read my reply to the other thread (the one where I started it all)?I now posted the BGLC decompile of one of the two default files...Cheers, Christian

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Hi J.R.This is a mystery!I can turn off all my autogen, by turning the slider down to zero... then I can easily find the default Advanced Buildings. I can land a helicopter on all of them.I'm thinking I may have something activated that you do not... so I'll play with my system today, and see what turns off their hardening.It's nothing dependant on anybody's computer, but most likely a slider or checkbox that is different. I usually have all my sliders to the right ( maxed out ). We'll find it.Meanwhile, here's a zipped FS video of and Advanced Building Roof and its hardening. If your settings are not supporting this, then the video should show a crash... other wise it might be interesting.Dick

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Hi J.R.Sorry for another post on this. I should have looked more closely.First, turn your autogen off, to properly be able to see the Advanced Buildings... the slider is in the Display menu item.2nd. You may have Advanced buildings... but if you have used transform or dummy cals, they may not work as expected.3rd. The Delavan example has no visible pad. The surface is hard surfaceplane between the lights. Slew above the target, then use the 'A' key to descend to it. You'll be sitting above the ground, surrounded by the lights. You can go under the surfaceplane, and ascend through it... but dropping down, i is solid, and crashable.I used TDFCalc3's elevation readings over some default ADV buildings. The ground elevation is used, until you descend to the roof height.. then suddenly you are stopped by the roof, and the ground elevation snaps to the ground + roof height. If you stay in the nearby area ( v1 ?) the ground elevation is now the roof. If you leave the area and return, the ground elevation is now the ground, until you again descend to the roof.I tried all kinds of sliders, setings, etc... Only scenery density hurts the default Advanced buildings. If you can see them, you can land on them.You can place these over a Gmaxed object as well. Even over a Gmaxed object, turned into a library object, by fsregen ( but they show artifacts if you insert the damage code into the library object code!!! )Dick

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Hi all.Attached is a txt file of a helipad API using the Advanced building code.; ADVPad30m.api by Richard Ludowise; code is free for any usage within the constraints of SCASM usage; this will place a 30x30 meters helipad at a specified elevation... the hardened surface is 50x50 meters; many thanks to J.R. Morgan; ------------------------------------Area( 5 %1 %2 30 ) PerspectiveCall( :_ADVPlace ) Jump( : ):_ADVPlace RefPoint( abs :_ADVFail 1 %1 %2 E= [ %11 ] V1= 500 V2= 70 ) RotatedCall( :_Harden 0 0 0 ) RotatedCall( :_ADVFail 0 0 0 ) Return:_Harden Zbias( 1 ) AdvBldg( normal 50 50 LEVEL1 0 0 0 0 LEVEL2 0 0 0 0 0 LEVEL3 0 0 0 0 ROOF 0 0 0 ) Zbias( 0 ) Return:_ADVFail ReturnEndA; ------------------------------------Area( 5 %1 %2 30 ) PerspectiveCall( :_PadPlace ) Jump( : ):_PadPlace RefPoint( abs :_PadFail 1 %1 %2 E= [ %11 ] V1= 3000 V2= 40 ) RotatedCall( :_PadPaint 0 0 0 ) RotatedCall( :_PadFail 0 0 0 ) Return:_PadPaint Zbias( 2 ) LoadBitmap( 0 L5 EF 255 255 255 "helo3.bmp" ) Points( 1 -15 0 15 15 0 15 15 0 -15 -15 0 -15 ) ShadedTexPoly( m 0 32767 0 0 1 0 127 2 127 127 3 127 0 4 0 0 ):_PadFail Zbias( 0 ) ReturnEndA; ------------------------------------Area( 5 %1 %2 30 ) PerspectiveCall( :_Lights ) Jump( : ):_Lights RefPoint( abs :_LightsFail 1 %1 %2 E= [ %11 ] V1= 6000 V2= 40 ) RotatedCall( :_LightsPaint 0 0 0 ) RotatedCall( :_LightsFail 0 0 0 ) Return:_LightsPaint Zbias( 3 ) IfVarRange( :_StrobePaint 028c 0002 0004 ) LineColor( 10 F0 ) DotLine( 15 0 15 -15 0 15 16 ) ; 1 DotLine( -15 0 15 -15 0 -15 16 ) ; 2 DotLine( -15 0 -15 15 0 -15 16 ) ; 3 DotLine( 15 0 -15 15 0 15 16 ) ; 4:_StrobePaint IfVarAnd( :_LightsFail 282 5555 ) RGBLColor( EF 255 255 255 ) Brightness( 100 ) Dot( 15 0 15 ) Dot( -15 0 15 ) Dot( -15 0 -15 ) Dot( 15 0 -15 ):_LightsFail Zbias( 0 ) ReturnEndA; ------------------------------------Enjoy.Dick

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Hi Dick..Well, there clearly must be something vastly different in our systems. Per your screenshot at San Diego's Lat/Lon positions, I went there (see atchd screenshot for lat/lon verificaton); and maybe you can park a 'heavy' on it but I can't land a Heli on it :-). I'm wondering if perchance you have some FSUPIC things set that might be affecting this? Some peculiarities:1. AGN on or off doesen't affect the AdvBldg roof's 'landability'. BTW, note the different appearance of AGN between your pic and my pic. I'm running Gerrish's AGN replacements and his latest trees but surely that's not affecting the AdvBldg's roof characteristics??2. On first attempt at running your SCASM API (Thanks for writing it) I had a G3D.dll lock-up but 'don't necessairly blame it on your .api as I'd been doing some 'cruddy' stuff in the scenery area I wrote it to. 'Ended up re-doing scenery.cfg to get things back running right.Here's the pic's of my San Diego experience and also my system settings:3e49b2ec2436ce9e.jpgIn this pic the pilot's jock strap is gently crunching into the bldg.3e49b36f25e9ae97.jpg,3e49b39f26a8ddd0.jpg'Just got the dinner call so CUL. I'll play around some more with your macro tonite...J.R.

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Hi J.R.I'm not a good chopper pilot at all! But I can slew above the target, about 30 meters, and control the descent to gently land on these buildings. I noted the Bell is a little more "touchy" than the freeware EuroCopter... but I can land both models.The surface of these roofs are hard, and you can crash... just like you can crash on the ground. I believe the sim 'sees' thr roof area as ground, otherwise I couldn't park the big iron on it. :)I think a small runway could be placed over these buildings, but I think that isn't really needed. Perhaps the surface needs to be smoothed.I don't know what surface type these are ( I suspect rough )... I'll need to make a longer building and see if I can land a small plane on it.Dick

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Hi J.R.I think I found the answer.I made a building of huge length...3000 meters.I tried to land a Cessna on it.. and crashed miserably.After fooling with the code for a while. I placed an invisible runway at ground altitude.. under the building. I then could land easily on the building!I fooled a bit more with this...If you place an advanced building with an absolute elevation, it still appears at ground level... but the hardened surface is:Building Height + your placement elevation.So a 0 elevation building has 0 + your placement elevation for the hardened surface. This hardened surface isn't detectable from below, and isn't detectable from above, until you are practically on it.The really odd thing is that the the invisible runways surface characteristics "echo" upwards to the invisible building's surface hardening.==============So place an invisible runway under any building or object first, at the ground level. Then you can put the zero-height ( invisible ) advanced building pad at any height you want, and it will have runway characteristics.I haven't tried to SurfaceType( 0 50 50 'ground elevation' ), yet.That may also work, and "echo" upwards.EDITEDSurfacetype does NOT appear to "echo" upwards to the invisible pad.Dick

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>I haven't tried to SurfaceType( 0 50 50 'ground >elevation' ), yet.Please tell me if this doesn't make sense, as I haven't followed the whole discussion 100% :), but with a SurfaceType you can not make the ground hard (and landable), it is only used to set the properties of the ground.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[link:home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]Arno's FlightSim World for scenery design hints, tips and other tricks...

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Hi Arno.You can make a zero meter tall AdvBldg(), then set the absolute RefPoint elevation to any height, and there will be an invisible hardened surface at the RefPoint height.The surface appears to be 'rough', and is causing J.R. some problems landing his helicopter on it.I placed an invisible runway at the ground level under it, and it seemed to smooth the surface, and make it more landable. ( That might be subjective ).I was trying to see if setting SurfaceType to 'smooth' would effect the elevated, invisible surface. It doesn't.I'm pretty sure Smoothing( 1 )... Smoothing( 0 ), would have no effect.I really need to work on it more.I can land a helicopter on top of an advanced building fairly well, but it does need a soft landing or you'll crash.Here's a Gmaxed Cube and a hardened pad on top of it:NewCube.zipDick

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OK Dick... I've found (MY) problem in not being able to duplicate your results. It was 'simple as pie' --- In order for these buildings to have landable roof-tops, The Aircraft's 'crash' ability must be set. -- All the while, I've been bad-mouthing M$ for not being 'kind' to us Heli Pilots when, as the song says, "It was there all the time". If only they'd have put helipad texturing on those roof-tops instead of (only) the single blinking red light, I could have saved lots of 'wierd' coding (I think).Here's a pic of the famous San Diego site:3e4a96720b4fd44a.jpgSee ** Comments to >> << statements, based on testing here:>> I can slew above the target, about 30 meters, and control the descent to gently land on these buildings. I noted the Bell is a little more "touchy" than the freeware EuroCopter... but I can land both models.<<** Dick, I used both 'slow slew' ( Q or A keys) AND real flight to test at San Diego and the Delavan code, which AFAIK, did not have an Inv Rwy under it? (These AdvBldg's with the single blinking lights need more looking-into)? Usually, I would always use slow-slew first to look for an aircraft shadow indicating the roof was 'hard' surfaced, but also use real flight, dropping through the roof top to ground (the A/C shadow appeared on the ground under the building), HOWEVER, I always have 'crash-detect' turned-off when doing my testing during development of elevated rooftop scenery(s). Although it speeded-up development time, I now see that was a mistake.**>> The surface of these roofs are hard, and you can crash... just like you can crash on the ground. I believe the sim 'sees' thr roof area as ground, otherwise I couldn't park the big iron on it. <<** The "and you can crash" comment above was my clue. In your Delavan picture I saw the eurocopter's shadow. that convinced me the surface was indeed hard -- but my problem is that I'd not been able to duplicate that hardness condition (yet); Because I had 'crash' turned-off. :-grr :-rotor.Arno is correct in saying the SCASM 'SurfaceType' is only used to establish whether a surface is 'bumpy/dusty', smooth, or acts like water. It cannot, in itself, produce a hardened surface. Finally, at this point in time, I think the real key to understanding all this is to know the nature of the code MS uses under these (landable only if crash-detect is turned-on) buildings. I think you've approached a similar result in your comments on placing the InvRwy under the created AdvBldg.**Well this is a very nice experience and IMHO, made possible only because Christian and yourself (Dick) and people like Arno have continued to use your abilities to explore and experiment with the default code which, I'm sure still contains many nice'ties yet to be discovered.**Thanks; J.R.

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Hi J.R.Are you saying the invisible runway must be under the building for you to land easily?Or, are you landing alright, without the invisible runway?Dick

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