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Need Process For Making Part of PhotoReal Transparent

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Guest Elrond

I would imagine that the answer to this is yes, but just in case I'll still ask:Have both DXT1 and Extended 16bit (1-555) format textures been tested using the VTP2 method? You'd think either (specially the extended 16bit) would work just as well as the 8bit since they both carry the mips and 1bit alpha but better color depth. 16bit 555 would also look much better than an 8bit texture with a too simple 256 color pallet - at least for some tiles with complex road or other blending that I could imagine. While a correctly optimized pallet should indeed be enough for many areas, 16bit would be optimal in some designs.Thanks,Elrond

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Hi Elrond.Both DXT1 and 555 show the color-keyed alpha as black ( the color key I use ). When using an alpha not color-keyed, the alpha simply doesn't show, which is what I expected.The 8-bit is used for the road and stream textures... so it appears to be the MS requirement for transparency.Dick

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Guest Elrond

Hi Richard,While not addressed to me, I don't think a TS like program would be as useful on the FS side today - at least one that is tasked to create pseudo photoreal output. With all the different and unique methods of modifying stock FS scenery available here, pseudo photoreal looses most of its appeal for a few good reasons: massive size (specially with multiple seasons, and all at 4.8m resolution instead of the Fly! original 15m), loss of autogen, etc. Few of the newer FS methods of modifying stock scenery so completely were ever developed on the Fly! side, so TS was a wonderful and extremely easy alternative during its heyday.I do however think TS is still an extremely useful tool for FS developers as it is (if woefully unrealized). Instead of using it for its intended purpose as a pseudo photoreal scenery generator, it can be used to created coded output as input for various tools already available in the FS community. Some pieces are still missing, but if an effort was made TS could become even more invaluable:1) It can be used today as extremely accurate input for creating landclass in FS, anywhere in the US and in some areas outside the US where manually gathered data is available. A simple rendering of coded land use colors (mapped to FS texture info) then run through resample.exe makes this process easy.2) It can be used today to generate custom texture overlays for VTP2 polys. This includes extremely accurate road and rail data, but other more imaginative uses as well.3) It can be used today to easily generate a light map for night lighting on any true aerial based projects.4) It can be used today to easily generate a water mask for "real" FS water on any true aerial based projects.5) With a custom tool, it could be used to completely automate the placement of autogen on any true aerial based projects of any size. Its ability to code realworld land use data in specified colors would make this trivial, once a tool was made to read the pixel data and generate matching polys, the result would be automatically generated .agn files that exactly match an aerial. I get the feeling that the authors of the recent Mega Scenery for FS did something exactly like this (if TS was used or not I of course have no idea).6) If the author of Ground2k or other tools could implement reading of TS generated color coded BMPs (like described in 5 above), it could be used to fully automate the "drawing" of "real" VTP2 polys for FS road and rail data.I'm sure there are other valuable uses for the existing TS that I can't think of as well. So, I agree with you from that perspective: some custom support for reading the output images from TerraScene could dramatically improve the ease of use and ability to modify stock FS scenery - without any texture overhead.I don't, however, think its proper of you to presume about Todd doing any FS projects, without first talking to him. How do you know what he would "be willing" to do or not do? Just thought I'd point that out.Take care,Elrond

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Guest Elrond

Thanks Dick, I appreciate it. I haven't looked into modifying TexConvert yet (and if I can support 8-bits without a full rewrite), but I'll do so later this week.Take care,Elrond

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Nice synopsis. Terrascene indeed is a potentially valuable tool as you point out. In a role as a generator of input to programs that would then create FS suitable graphics. This preserves the textures, blending and autogen aspects that are supressed by the direct use of TS in FS - as you illustrate. Perhaps Christian Fumey will read this and take a look at Terrascene 2.1 to evaluate it as an input to Ground2K. Dick KLBE


regards,

Dick near Pittsburgh, USA

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Guest Elrond

Hi Dick,Indeed, if Christian might take an interest in reading and interpreting coded TS bitmap output, the result would be staggering for the entirety of FS scenery in the United States and some parts outside the US where LU data is available. For most of the non-US countries where that data isn't readily available, it could still be extremely useful as users in those countries could trace their local maps and create their own BMPs or TGAs as input. Impressively, some of those users seem to do so already for landclassing, etc.Using Ground2K (or another tool), native FS scenery could be automatically generated that fully updates the land use, road, rail, creek-stream-river and coastlines for any supported areas to fully match the real world in unprecedented detail... With a few clicks and a couple hours of waiting.I can imagine within weeks of such support, the entire United States fully transformed with the two tools - all in a few tens of MBs (probably less).It would blow all FS users away, I have no doubt. It would be a VFR scenery revolution (and realization of a long standing dream for many) on a country wide basis.Take care,Elrond

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Guest Richard Hill

Elrond;I for one know how large Near Photo Quality scenery can be. I have made my entire state of West Virginia and sourounding area over to Washington DC. Although only in summer texture it was an improvment aver FS2002. Now with FS9 the basic city, and other texture is very close, however with missing lake, and river sections, not to mention rivers, it could use improvment. Wouldn't it be nice if one could just replace things like lakes, rivers, and roads of larg areas, without the tedious and sometmes difficult operationsd now involved with these efforts.Richard;

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