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Guest ChrisD

FS Ground texture max. resolution.

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Until now, I have seen and believed that: Maximum Ground Texture Resolution is LOD 13 or aprox 4.8 m/pixel.the xxxxxxxxSu.bmp files are 256 x 256 pixels and that's it.Surprise: this seems to be less than the whole truth.I have just purchased the 'FranceVFR 1: Belle Ile' scenery-package (15 Euros), and guess what? They use 512 x 512 Ground textures near the Airstrip and the towns!! The visual difference is stunning! At 300 feet the ground is still crystal clear!Numbering sceme is the usual xxxxxSu.bmpLOD 13 textures are normally 43 Kb in sizeThe 'enhanced' 512 x 512 textures are 171 Kb in size. (Expanded to plain readable bmp the size is 768 Kb.)Checking out the Texture-dir it seemed that each 'enhanced' ground-texture were preceeded by a similar named xxxxan.agn file, but close inspection reviels 'enhanced' textures without, and agn is Night Lights, is it not?Now, do anybody out there know how they do it??Due to copyright (I do not understand French that good, so I do not know if they alow me to post a screenshot). Therefore: Go to www.simw.com and seek out FranceVFR, and see for Yourself.Being able to 'enhance' ground-textures to (must be LOD14, isn't it?), will make a huge difference near airports and other POI's.Next project here: I will make a scenery area and replace one or two of the ground textures with 512's and see if this is how it is done.I'll be back, but in the meantime: Does anybody know how they do it?ChrisD

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Three very samll screenshots fail to illustrate any difference in texture resolution. The only little picture of the ground appears to have the same blurred 4.8m/pixel as all other textures. See below.AGN is the file with Autogen placement parameters.Dick Boley @KLBEhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/55753.jpg

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As I am forced logged out when trying to attatch a picture, You will have to go here to see the screenshot I intended to show here.URL: www.lundbykrat.dk / fs9 / scr1.jpgremove the spacesChrisD

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The textures are typical of PhotoReal and show more varied detail than standard FS2004. However, from my eyes it looks like 4.8m/pixel.Actually, most of the photoreal that I have seen looks slightly worse that the FS2004 textures in terms of clarity. It does look better in terms of detail/reality. Thus an airfield with bare spots in the grass shows that while FS2004 makes everything look the same. An airfield in Tibet looks like one in Australia. PhotoReal is a big advantage for airport areas. However, it continues to consume large file sizes since each texture tile area is unique and then if you add in the other three seasons the size becomes enormous. I have Megascenery of LA and it is quite accurate but up close, on the ground, it has no better clarity than FS2004 stuff, and that is very poor.Anyhow, just my observations as I have made PhotoReal(using Terrabuilder) and have not been satisfied enough to do the Autogen and all the seasons. But 15 euros ain't a bad deal either for an attractive area of France..Dick Boley @KLBEhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/55772.jpg

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I sense some 'disbelief' :) I don't blame You. To prove I am not crazy, I just put another picture on my site. It's a top down pic.The difference between the 2 resolutions cannot be missed.Please, just take a look, one more time.Same url: www.lundbykrat.dk / fs9/ TextureRes.jpgremove the spaces.Top half is in extended Resolution and bottom is in normal res.File is not reduced, so it's 768 Kb. That's why I don't post it here.I cannot figure out how they do it....Just replacing a normal sized 256 x 256 ground texture-tile with a 512 x 512 ditto, is not working. The new tile is shown aprox 1/3 smaller sidewards, top-down res is ok.FS2000 SDK does not work with this res....FS Texture Converter v1.03 by Elrond Elvishdoes convert the 512 texture to a 171 Kb compressed bitmap which shows up in FS9, but with the above mensioned side effect.I am puzzled.ChrisD

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hi Nudata and Chris.I just discovered why FS textures look so bad. Low resolution may be one reason but i found also another reason.This "finding" came as i opened my CFS1 and was stunned at how the ground textures there give a a true sense of flying over some countryside, villages and hills, despite the lack of autogen stuff. Then i ask myself 'why is that?' and i proceeded to compare the textures from CFS1 with those of FS9: The nice feeling of real flying when in CFS1 comes from the fact that the textures there are clearcut photographs of trees, villages etc. with shadows. The rounded lumps of bushes trees have their rounded voluminous shadows. In FS9 the textures do not (avoid) to have shadows included. There are no shadows either on rounded bunches of trees nor on vilages or anything. I think they did this so they could add the autogen over textures which are universal--without predefined shadows. Like that, the FS9 textures are mostly "spots": the hills are black spots (undernieth the autogen trees), the neighbourhoods are white stripes (roads) with flat white spots (places where autogen houses go), etc.Some of the fields are not too bad but that's all. FS9 textures (especially hills and touns)look more like a schematic drawing than a photography of actual terrain. I was flying recently Falcon-F16 (microprose) and there there's no real effort on focusing too much on textures, yet they are photos with shadows--despite the lack of great variety the illusion of flying over actual hills and villages is stunning compared to FS9. Hope we come up with something better:) (if i find a way to get my textures be seen as normal BMPs again without converting them, i'll mix parts of CFS1 textures with FS9's)cheers!***

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This has all come up in the forum nefore. I can't find the thread, but basically someone came on and said "I replaced the 256 x 256 textures with 512 x 512 textures and it worked." The idea is that they were able to change the resolution from 4.8 m/pixel to 2.4 m/pixel.Well, it sort of worked - the textures were displayed, but at the original 4.8 m/pixel using the 2nd mipmap level. Someone more knowledgable than I tested the idea by creating ground textures with "512" written on the first (512 x 512) mipmap, and "256" written on teh second level mipmap, and so on. The highest bitmap resolution that would be edisplayed was the 256 x 256, thereby confirming that we were resticted to 4.8 m/pixel.However, there is another method to get higher resolutions that is only usable on flat terrain. By using a polygon with custom textures, we can make that texture have whatever resolution we want. FSArchitect uses this method to create ground textures for airports, which are usually flat anyway. However, this method won't work over uneven terrain.It's really too bad that MS hasn't let us increase the 4.8 m/pixel resolution by one or two levels, given the huge amount of quality aerial photos out there. Maybe this was something built into the game engine that was too difficult to change without re-writing to much code? It was fine for FS2000, but we need to move on. I guess we can be hopeful that there is a way, and that MS will tell us when they release the Terrain SDK, but I won't hold my breath.- Martin

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Hi Chris,I suggest you to take a look in the bgl file which displays the ground tiles using tmfviewer.exeNormal custom textures are referenced with 253 if only one season is present.May be there is some hidden code there. Who knows ?Cheers, Jean-Pierre

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Hi ChrisD.Arno was the one who tested the mips ( I think ). The result was that the uppermost mip displayed was 256x256.I don't know how he edited the individual mips.My understanding is that a source of any resolution is possible, and if you bypass resample's texture-production, you can slice your own textures at 512x512. Higher resolution source will produce crisper textures, even if they only show mips to 256x256.As far as I can tell, we're still limited to 256x256.http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...ing_type=searchDick

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Hello DickThanks for directing me the above thread.I used the search engine before posting, but came up with nothing on the subject.Seems that FS shaves the resolution of the 512 tiles down to 256 while loading.Only solution I can see now, is that they must have used Ground Polygons with the higher res textures.Got to check that one out.What fooled me is that the naming sequence follows the normal LOD13, so there was no way my suspicion was alerted.. This must mean that the normal Ground Tile Texture is not there.ChrisD

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That is correct, I tested this with a special texture that has different mipmaps (so the 512x512 mipmap has the word 512 on it, the 256x256 mipmap 256, etc). You can never get the 512 mipmap to show in FS.The only way to use higher resolutions is to make the area flat and use normal polygons.

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If what Arno, I, and others suspect is true, then the creators of those textures are simply fooling themselves. The textures would be a mip at 256x256, which actually degrades their texture!Dick

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Hi Dick.I have done some more 'research'.I am not proficent enough, (read I have no experience in examining bgl's), so I did my testing the 'brute force way' :)I slewed about 50 miles away and alowed the textures to settle before going back. Now the Belle Ile was only a faint shadow, and I was alowed ample time to see in which sequence FS did load the different scenery.Buildings go first, then ground polygons, and hello, here it was, a green rectangle around the runway. Soon the ground textures apeared sharp and crisp in the first go.Much later FS came around to loading ordinary Ground Textures, and I could se the sequence of the mip-maps, until finally the highest resolution was displayed. To hide the sharp boundry between the high-res area and the ground tiles a border-zone has an opasity added that let the high res and the lower res blend together.Starting Your flight from the airport at Belle Ile You will never see this.What fooled me, was the fact that they have named the textures in LOD13 sequence. This is the first time I have seen anybody name their custom textures using the LOD13 naming sequense.If they place their custom polygon exactly the right place, who is going to use the normal ground-tile anyway :)I certainly learned something here.Have a nice day.ChrisD

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