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bob.bernstein

using GMax to create terrain

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I'm working on coastal Florida and it's flat. People from Florida can get mountain sickness in Kansas. But there are some terrain elements that need to be represented. I'm considering using GMax for some of these. Some examples:Causeways. The barrier islands are often connected to the mainland by a series of bridges that connect small keys, spits, and sandbars. Because these are hurricane evacuation routes they are usually built up quite high but they are long and narrow and unsuitable for mesh. The bridges are then built at grade level. (no ramps up and down)There is a large landfill that stands about 150 feet highThe central airport I'm working on has two huge noise abatement berms. These are essentially landscaped piles of dirt about 50 feet high and 3/4 of a mile long. One has a large concrete retaining wall.I was thinking of laying some PReal and using screenshots to texture the GMax objects (because FS fuzzes up terrain textures but not buildings) to create these elements. Is this a good plan or is it "cheating", gauche, impure, and generally a bad idea.John

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Hello John,This is great. We usually only get technical questions on this forum, so it is wonderful to see your ethical ponderings. Are you interested in an opinion based on a particular moral system, or would you accept a non-referenced, yet very ethical, view?Well, here goes. Do what you want. It is your scenery, after all.If you are thinking of offering it to others, you might consider the matter of frame rates, but it is easy to optimize scenery objects and textures, so this should not present a problem.Does anyone else have a moral judgment that might be of use to John?Best regards.Luis

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Hadn't really thought of it as an ethical issue. I was thinking more along the lines of whether it would look "toylike" or behave badly in others machines because, yes, I'm planning on sharing. Has anyone else done this? I'm assuming you'd get a "Building Crash" if you ran into one.

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Lately the options for scenery seem almost too many...its hard to decide the best way. I'd certainly suggest that you check out the autogen bridges for the causeway, thou I've not yet mastered the technique...or perhaps its not completely a good technique, still very tempting.Using ground2k, you can draw a line, and simply define it as autogen bridge, and you get the results in the attached pix....the appearance has some discontinuity to it when viewed closely, but also some terrific detail...and I must assume the impact to frames is less than a new object.Also, ground2k would be a good choice for creating the "mounds" you mentioned, using the "remesh" capability, you can redefine the elevation of selected points...do a couple in a row, you'll have your mound.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/49864.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/49865.jpgBob Bernstein

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Hi Bob:excellent idea for causeways - have you tried using curved lines too or do only straight sections work?To prevent the bridges from splitting, you can place a flatten switch underneath; either with Steve's flatten utility or, in Ground2K4, as long-narrow LWM land polygons with a specific elevation (similar to my hydro dams in the Castlegar area). In the same manner, one could approximate dikes or raised roadbeds. The raised areas can also be covered with VTP2 poygons with a grass or other desired texture to enhance the visual effect. The only limitation with these LWM/flatten approaches is that they can't have sloped tops but for causeways, dikes, etc. that shouldn't be an issue.Cheers, Holger

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thanks for the tips...so far I'd only tried to give the bridge itself an altitude, but hadn't tried the flatten ideas.What is "Steve's utility"? Steve Greenwood?B

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Place a narrow flatten under the bridge and it will be level.....Dick Boley KLBE

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The autogen bridges are pretty good but my problem with them is the ramp on the end. If you put alot of short ones in a row it starts to look like a roller coaster, not grade level bridges.My limited mesh experience (from 2k2) tells me that without a very hi res mesh I'm going to end up with sloping water and jagged edges. Is that not true?Regards,John

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If you are designing using photoreal approach (resample.exe), then its certainly possible you'll see these artifacts. It can be minimized...I do small areas at a time, and adjust nw corner, cellxdim and cellydim, and some custom editing on the image to acheive best possible fit with the mesh.Bob Bernstein

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