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How to create photoreal sceneries for FS2004 ?

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Hi,How to create photoreal sceneries for FS2004 ? I've a few satellite pictures but I don't know how to import them in FS2004.What tool to use ?Please could you tell me how to do ?Thank you !;-)Damien BRUNET.e-mail : damien.brunet@udb.fr.st

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I think it depends on what you want to do with the satellite pictures, and how big the area to be covered is.There are two methods for doing this: The first involves using the "custom terrain textures" SDK. The benefit of this is that it will apply the textures right over the default mesh. The downside is that you are limited to a resolution of 4.75 meters per pixel, so you will lose some detail if your image is a higher resolution. This is a good tool to use if your satellite picture covers a large area.The second method places textured polygons directly onto the ground. You will have to flatten the area underneath the polys, since they won't blend with the mesh (they are flat). However, there is no limitation in terms of detail. This is good for small areas, like maybe an airport. Also, as you increase the detail from 2 m/pixel to 1 m/pixel (for example...) you will find a four times increase in file sizes. You will either to either increase the number of textures, or the resolution of the bitmaps. I use this technique, and I've seen the total size of my textures approaching 25 MB, which starts to seem unreasonable.I'm not sure which method Terrabuilder uses (pretty sure it is the first method), but I'm not a big fan of it anyway. The SDK has all the tools, and it is free. Also free, is "Photo Scenery Maker" available here at AVSIM. Before you go spending money on terrabuilder, you should check out the free tools. You can check out his website at http://scenerytools.sourceforge.net/I use FS Architect (payware) to place the ground texture that I described as the second method, but there might be an alternate method of doing this also.- Martin

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Hi Damien.Just a note about TerraBuilder. There is a lite version that is fully functional and free. Several happy users swear by this program. I use the SDK tools... but Terrabuilder was created with the idea a user could make photoreal without extensive knowledge of the SDK process.The method Shaka describes does require the ground under the image is flat and level... not the best solution for hilly terrain, but usually good for airfields, as they are sometimes rather flat. :)Dick

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Hi,Please can someone tell me how to create photosceneries with Terrabuilder. I tried to import a *.bmp photo but the width was wrong and I was unable to resize it with Paint Shop Pro or Irfan View. Could you send me a tutorial or explain me step by step on this forum the procedure to make a scenery with this tool which appears to be great ?Thank you very much !;-)Damien BRUNET.e-mail : damien.brunet@udb.fr.st

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Hi Damien.AVSIM has a whole forum devoted to Terrabuilder, where you should be able to find help.Dick

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Dick;I am wanting to make some changes in FS9 Default Scenery, mainly Lakes, and Rivers with TerraScene and add roads, rails, and trails using Ground2K. As you know I had done my entire state and area around it for FS2002. FS9 land texture is very close to actual so I do not plan to change this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 1. What should I color should I use as transparant, TerraScene's transparent or other?2. Once I have created the BGL's souold I merge the Lake/River with the roads, rails and trails? Richard;

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Hi Richard.I'm not sure this is possible.If you try to use Resample to make the rivers and lakes, resampled textures use the alpha channel as water... but that BGL will not allow any VTP roads or streams or rails to display over those textures.If you use a TerraScene image for Ground2K, it could easily have the lakes and rivers in the image, and they can easily be drawn in with Ground2K.I've used VTP2 polys ( with value #253 or #252 ) to place the CUSTOM textures, and then the alpha is transparent ( not water )... but the texture then needs to be 8-bit mipped, vertically flipped, with alpha. But the water would still need to be drawn with Ground2K.Chris Wright had been working on AutoASM, and that would take a bitmap image and automatically create the LWM water. I don't know if Chris is still working on the project. That would bypass the need to acually draw the water polys. He was making great progress, but then simply didn't have the time to persue the project.You and I both wish for a utility that could translate SHP files to LWM and VTP2 polys and lines... but it just isn't happening. :(In lieu of that, Ground2K is an incredible program that allows hand-drawn shapes and lines. Hopefully, a new SDK will reveal more about the structures of VTP2 lines, so our projects can be even better. MS obviously uses data files to automatically make roads, streams, lakes, shores...Dick

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Dick;I guess FS9 has made scenery generation much harder than in FS2K2. I guess if I just wanted to replace default lakes, rivers, and streams it would be quite a task. I thought all water was the same layer including streams, and roads, and or rails and or trails were a different layer. I could live with the default roads but one lake Stonwewall Jackson opened in 1998 one of the latgest manmade east of the Mississippi has been missed for the last two FS versions, and another only a few miles away from it has been there for thirty years. The Mononghela River a large river ends just south of Pittsburgh. I would like to at least get them into my scenery, about 2x2 degrees just for this. I have read your tutorials on making scenery, I guess I will have to go back and figure out what you are talking about VTP2 polys and see what I can do.Richard

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>Chris Wright had been working on AutoASM, and that would take>a bitmap image and automatically create the LWM water. I don't>know if Chris is still working on the project.... Hi, Dick! Just to let you know - and anyone else who's interested - AutoAsm is far from dead and buried. I've been working on it slowly but surely since the last release just before Christmas. As well as full support for LWM and VTP, it has some other new and probably unique features which I hope people will like. But there are some improvements it needs before I would be happy to release it, particularly as there are some other excellent programs such as Ground2K. One improvement in particular would be to improve TerraScene image import so it's completely reliable. The problem, as you'll recall, is caused by the artifacts in the TerraScene images that make reliable import difficult. Hopefully that problem can be overcome.... I hope the new AutoAsm version will be out before Christmas! Best regards, Chris

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Hi Chris.That's really good news. And this might be the tool Richard needs for his West Virginia project, as he already has the data and is experienced with TerraScene.Dick

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Thanks, Jim, I'll bear that in mind. But it'll be some time yet.... In a week or so I'll post a description of the new features etc. It'll be useful to know if people are interested and if they have any suggestions. Best regards, Chris

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Chris;Fantastic news! I have always thought TerraScene given the available data produces much more realistic ground texture. I produced scenery of my entire state of West Virginia for FS2002, covering parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, all on Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia, and Kentuckey about 5GB. Some minor editing of TGA files to update things like Stonewall Jackson Lake, one of the largest manmader lakws east of the Mississippi opened in 1988 stll not in FS9, and some major highway updates in the Clarksburg area. The only thing lacking was autogen capability, or my lack of knowledge of creating it. I know one can use autogen tools to work with each BMP but with many thousands in my scenery I would long be gone before they were finished. I hope you will be posting from time to time of your progress and some details of what we will be able to do with your program.Thanks for your hard and devoted work. Richard L Hill

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