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Guest DanielBu

Megascenery phototiles

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Hi guys,rather "just for fun", I fumbled around with one of the Megascenery LA textures, and look what I got (mind the gif quality). Now, it took me about 5 minutes to get there, so why can't the professionals do that?I tried to clean the textures a little (removed the dark patches which make the tiles look so blurry), and sharpend it slightly. I find the result quite good, however it would take ages to convert all files to 32bits, edit them and re-convert ... -Daniel

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Can u see a difference in the sim? You can't tell the value of those 5 minutes by looking only at a photoediting software.B

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Well, I can't tell if there's much of a difference, as I have only edited a few files (there are hundreds, if not thousands, of tiles) - but I guess a little editing of the files wouldn't hurt. The tiles just look like completely unaltered satellite imagery. I'm sure, with more than "5 minutes of work", better results would be possible. I dunno, I just find the textures look washed out ingame. Not crisp. The resolution of the satellite is just too low. Looks like these portrait photos with lots of kitschy blurriedness. And all this for 50 euros? Hmmm...I tried to remove the artefacts, and I think I've succeeded. Of course, a professional image editor might be able to do a better job. Make a photoshop action out of it, apply it to the raw data before you tile the images, voil

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sure, I understand...I can't get into discussing the cost, as I don't see these packages containing much different content then the folks on this forum can produce for themselves...but I was suggesting you avoid work that may not make a difference before previewing the "improvements" in the sim, cuz the sim display resolution is pretty weak.Anyway, have fun, the "action" you suggested should make short work of it!Bob B

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Well, don't get me wrong, I wasn't really planning on converting all the files. Just trying to make a point, why do I pay 50 bucks for something I could do better ;) ...-Daniel

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Yeah heheWell, I wouldn't be able to get the satellite data and even if I got it, it would take a while to convert it for FS. It's 2GB after all. Oh well...-Daniel

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Just for the heck of it, I batch-converted the longbeach folder of Megascenery, ran a quickly-thrown-together ps action over it (including some layering and sharpening), and reconverted to dxt1. Took about an hour all in all, with my AMD1500+.Check the screenshot...the right side's the modified area ;)It's sharper and less mushy, just clearer (mind the poor jpg quality due to which the image loses sharpness in the distance).The shortcoming of "my" (or rather, "this widely known by digital photographers") method is some loss in contrast, which is only apparent from high altitudes - but this is something that could be overcome by a more subtle approach or some smart image editing mechanism. It's a little bright too, which can easily be changed - but hey, it's California, isn't it.(I keep my fingers crossed that someone will read this, who actually makes photoscenery ;) *hinthint*)-Danielhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/54825.jpg

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Greetings from Denmark.A few hints to You :)The program convim, can batch convert Your 43 Kb xxxSu.bmp textures to 'readable' 193 Kb dittos. If You have enough Diskspace, You don't need to convert back again as FS reads the new images just as well.As for batch work, use IrfanView to alter the colours. Available features is not as plenty as in ps, but brightness, contrast, and individual colours is adjustable under advanced settings.Do a batch run with IrfanView and try FS to see the difference.Regrettably IrfanView does not have Autolevels, but by reducing brightness in one run and then increase contrast in a second run, You get something similar. It must be 2 seperate runs. Reducing brightness and increasing contrast in one go does not work.Check histogram in ps to see how much You can shift brightness downwards, and enter the same value in Irfanview.Then check histogram again to see how much contrast can be added without burning out the highlights.I have been working on an area using Arial Photos. They seemed to have some kind of haze over them. The resultant scenery was good but did not have the vivid colours of a bright summerday.Autolevels did a fantastic change to the better. Maybe some think the colours are too bright, but You can always introduce some bad weater to reduce lighting..Hope this helps.ChrisD

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>Greetings from Denmark.Hi Chris, greetings from Germany :)>>A few hints to You :)>>The program convim, can batch convert Your 43 Kb xxxSu.bmp>textures to 'readable' 193 Kb dittos. If You have enough>Diskspace, You don't need to convert back again as FS reads>the new images just as well.>I know, but the folder was about 600mb uncompressed, for a relatively small area...so I chose dxt ;) But I'll need to try that program, because imagetool can only process so many images at a time.>As for batch work, use IrfanView to alter the colours.>Available features is not as plenty as in ps, but brightness,>contrast, and individual colours is adjustable under advanced>settings.>>Do a batch run with IrfanView and try FS to see the>difference.>I might give it a shot. I'm using XNView, it's quite similar to IRFan.But I think I'd need to adjust the PS action to get better results.Here's what I do, which might help you with your photoscenery: I duplicate the original image, invert it and desaturate, then I use "overlay" for that layer. You will see that the brightness will be quite evenly distributed. I then use a blur of the size of the blurry patches (about 10 maybe with satellite data), and voil

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Daniel,Before you spend too much time editing the tiles to look "picture perfect", remember that, in the real world, everything is slightly hazy when viewed from the air. You might get crisp detail in a dry environment, like the desert or on a cold crisp winter day. But in Europe, the coast, and most other places (including here in Kansas), the haze dominates.A similar observation applies to night textures. In the real world, it is almost impossible to see an airport from the air at night - even a decent sized airport. The airport lights are buried in a sea of lights. If you are lucky, you will see the rotating beacon and can figure out where it is from there. Where the airport is in the middle of a city, I have known pilots who have asked the airport to turn up the lights at bit (which the airport can do briefly).As for seeing other airplanes, forget it! A small airplane more than a few miles away cannot be spotted unless you know exactly where to look. And once you turn away, you are likely to lose sight of it.I think that FS9 is about where it needs to be with planes and ground textures above a few thousand feet. What they now need to work on is clouds (i.e. a nice thick cumulus cloud), trees (forests- not individual trees) and better ground detail below 1,000 feet.Phil

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Hi Phil, well, of course you're right about some points, but I'd rather have the sim create the haziness than having hazy textures ;). What ennoys me with megascenery is just that there is a certain kind of blurriness, which is surely due to the satellite lens system or something, but not due to weather. And I for one like low flying, which is where sharp textures are needed. I tell you it's really not all too difficult to edit the tiles. Most work can be done using batch processing, which is a little time consuming, but the computer does the work, so what.I have only spent about two evenings on it all-in-all, using procedures I already knew, and seeing the results, I'm quite optimistic about what IS possible, and what photoscenery producers should really consider doing. I'm not even sure if I'll continue working on it much, but to be honest - I spent much more time on getting my reflection textures looking just near what I wanted than what I spent on this ;)-Daniel

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Hi Phil.You are absolutely right about how things usually looks. :)I would however, like to explain why I have a slight different view, and I will do it by giving You en example:Suppose You own a house and You just spent $$$ on that brand new tiled roof, bright red. Workers has just left and You stand in Your garden looking up, the Sun is shining, and Your new roof looks just GREAT. You could swear that You could pick Your house easily from above as this great new roof really is shining.Armed with Your camera You seek out the nearest flying club to go for a spin in the skies above Your neighbourhood. You may be one of the fortunate that can do the flying Yourself. I have to ask someone to take me up, (maybe he will let me hold the controls for a while :)?). Regrettably the sun hides behind the clouds before we get airborne and the pictures of that bright new roof seems to be brown instead of red. :(Getting back home, the sun just set, and the roof looks more black than red, so You have to go into Your garage and take a look at one of the spare tiles to actually convince Yourself that Your roof is bright red and not brown or black.On orthophotos, Your roof will only look red if they are fortunate enough to fly the photo-run on a bright sunny day. Chances are that they are not... Well, most days there is a haze or, worse, if You live in Denmark like I am, it's raining, so You will rarely see the right colour of Your roof if passing overhead.Therefore, You are perfectly right that the dark brown colour showing up on the orthophotos is what Your roof looks like, most of the time.On that rare bright summerday, however, Your roof will shine in all its red sparkling colour...If the textures are brown, there is NO way Your roof will look right, should the day come.If You have read this far, I am sure You got my point, and agrees with me.The simulator can always darken the textures when time of day or weather situation requires, but if textures are already like a rainy day, there is NO way it can lighten up the textures to get that bright red colour needed on that bright sunny summer day..You can always deteiorate picture quality, but improving a bad texture is impossible.This is why I do my utmost to get the ground textures as bright and colourful as it would appear on a bright summer day.This is however no easy task.Tweeking the colours of less than perfect arials are a trial and 'mostly' error situation, and quite time consuming, which is why most publishers just publish the textures the way they tend to turn up on the arials.If You are interested, I will publish a couple of screenshots that illustrates my point.ChrisDI wish You and all the other readers and their Families aHappy New Year.

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Chris,I'm not saying that you shouldn't make the changes if you want to do it. I'm just saying that it's easy to overdo it with the 3d effect. For example, the use of dark black in the sample picture, while perhaps enhancing the 3d effect, seemed to create more of a "speckled" look than you would see from the air. Perhaps just toning down the contrast a bit would help.And I agree that you can always degrade an image, and not upgrade an image (except on TV detective shows). However, if 99% of the time, the colors are muted, it would seem better to save computer power and set the colors to where they would be on an average day. Otherwise, you will always be using computer power to degrade the image. It's almost like detailing the parts of a model that no one will ever see.I certainly don't want to discourage you from experimenting. I can't begin to tell you the number of times that one tiny change added an entirely new dimension to a game.All the best in the coming New Year,Phil

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Well guys, I guess it's up to individual taste to a certain degree.You're right that you cannot upgrade an image, but using the wide range of possibilities to actually pronounce details through sharpening and to improve the color available by adjusting color levels or satuation, you can actually enhance an image very much.I doubt that, for example, ANY good print maganzine today ignores the improvements image editors can make, to make the images look better, and actually more natural.It's like with digital cameras, where colors and contrast are often off (at least with my "old" model ;)) - auto levels almost always does the trick, and every good editor can do that in one click! And this is why I would have liked to see some smart manipulation of satellite data, in products like Megascenery - if the raw data had actually been that good it would have been fine. But as it is not, .... well you get the point ;). Happy new year, everyone!-Daniel

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