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Guest oldraisin

Help please on Ground2k

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Somebody put me out of my misery please. I have tried to get my head round Ground2k and I am sure it will suddenly click into place, however I would love to finish my project before FS18 comes out:-) All I am trying to do is add what can only be described as an extremely 'tatty' looking grey concrete apron at the front of a couple of hangers and have it blend into the grass ( at the real airfield it has just worn away with use. And a taxiway( and I use that term loosely) which is simply dark gravel over the top of the grass that has been there for years. The Airfield has been constructed using AFW and the trouble is is I use the polygon tool in there with textures I get these beautiful clean lines. How do I achieve this in Ground2k and which is the best absolute useless users tutorial around for people like me whose eyes glaze over with some of the techy terms....newbie is an understatement :)

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Please use a name so we can be a little more sociable.About your question, I am not an expert in Ground2k. But you might try a utility I uploaded, file name PolyBSetup.zip. If you construct your polygon in FS Scenery Creator, which is simple to use, and free, or FS Architect 2002 which is payware, then PolyB can convert it to a VTP2 polygon. This technique is limited to the landclass textures, however. Otherwise, I think you are into painting your own apron and blending area. Some of more experience folk here may have some better ideas, so wait and see what they say. If you use PolyB, read the help files accessed from within the program.Best regards,Jim

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Thank You Jim,I will have a go with that. The textures that are currently filling the polygons are DTX1 (I think) and someone suggested I may want to try using Alpha channels (eyes glazed over at that stage :) )Will definately have a go at your suggestion though. You wouldn't think that it would be so difficult. I have got over the hurdle of building stuff with Gmax at last, I've even cracked AFW (to a point) but this last bit???Anyway thanks for respondingRegardsPaul

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Paul,Played around a little before I left for work. When I get home this afternoon will upload a screenshot.Used FS Architect, but FS Scenery Creator or other would work fine, and PolyB.Basically, I made an uneven edged polygon and textured it as a VTP2 polygon using a gray texture which looks a little like gypsum or old snow, I think it was number 136. Then I placed another polygon over it, slightly smaller, also with an uneven edge (many points) textured with a FS9 concrete texture, intended to be similiar in color to the landclass texture on the first polygon. (there is a good landclass catalog/viewer in PolyB and also the download contains a similar stand alone viewer so you can find the right texture to use) The VTP2 polygon blended with the general background, and the concrete texture looked enough like the landclass texture to blend in. I thought I would use a gravel like texture in another polygon mostly covered up by the other two, but I had to come to work.......work always interferes with the important things in life.:DBest regards,Jim

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ground2k takes a bit to get used to but its not that hard.Your frustration is all that came thru in your post. I'd be willing to assist if you ask specific questions.Bob B

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Paul,Here is the example I mentioned, the crumbling apron is 3 polygons. First is the concrete with some FS9 concrete texture and a couple of psuedofenestrations. The holes are really elongated invaginations with very small necks.Second is the polygon with gray landclass texture #136.Third is the polygon with blending green/brown landclass texture #126.Made this with FS Architect 2002.So, this was all done just with 3 polygons, no custom textures.Regards,Jim http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/73971.jpg

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OldraisinThat is exactly what I want :) I have my airfield sitting on a Seasoned Texture Polygon created in AFW, the textures that uses are from various sources, would I still be able to sit this on top?Thanks againPaul

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Bob,Thanks for replying, yes it was getting a bit frustraiting x( Initially, and I am still not sure, which version I should download, I have now seen V.2.32, so I am going to clear everything off and get that.Entering the initial coordinates blew me away. I know them exactly but it kept coming up with error (N52 08.428 W001.50.853)it let me put first but not the second.What bitmap should I use? I had FS9 open at the time I was assuming that it would read in the bmp from those coordinates.As you can see confusion was an understatement :) I am going to try the Ground 2k for beginners, however I am also going to try the solution that oldraisin has given meThanks againPaul

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Paul,Yes, shouldn't be any problem. I have read, and it seems to be true, that FS reads bgl's in a directory in alphabetical order of their file name. So if you have many of them in a directory, that's the way they get read. I think that is important if they are in the same layer. So when you place one on top of the other, the bottom one should come first in the alphabet. Maybe the gurus out there can confirm that, but I found that to be true as I made this scenery example with one polygon on top of the other.By the way, the texture I used for the top, but any concrete should do, was ctgranite2.bmp. You need to download PolyB just to get PolyView, a stand alone viewer, so you can see what landclass textures to use on your polygons in the future. If you use FSSC or FS Architect, PolyB will be useful also (the two programs come together). You can probably do all this just fine in Ground2k, but the learning curve may be different.Hope this helps. If you have any problems with the effect let me know.Regards,Jim

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mmmm...tried redoing my Airfield in FSSC, yes it is that small. Not good, although I could get to name polygons (which I couldn't for some reason in ASW) I could not get the flattens right or the excludes, in fact none of it worked, even though the altitude setting in ASW was okay, it wasn't in FSSC.It looks to be an easy program to work with, I just couldn't figure out what was going wrong. So unless someone can tell me how to name Polygons in AFW (they seem stuck on Poly 1/2 etc) I assume I am scuppered.Frustrating isn't it this Scenery building, by the way here is wjhat I have so far

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Hi Paul,>That is exactly what I want :) I have my airfield sitting on>a Seasoned Texture Polygon created in AFW, the textures that>uses are from various sources, would I still be able to sit>this on top?No, you can't place mesh polygons on top of polygons created with AFW (or FSSC). The mesh scenery is always drawn first. So this would only work if you also have the ground polygon placed with mesh polygons.

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Ground2K was never intended or able to "do" areas as small as aprons. To make your local airport in FS9, which I presume is the version you are using, you should use G2K to change broad areas of the land surface in and around your airport. It's a brillaint program do use to do this. If you are more concerned with really nitty gritty detail, then G2K was never designed to do this sort of work. You mention another word "blend" - you have the start of the magic with that. You can blend G2K "BIG BROAD TEXTURES" with much more precise overlaid textures ((put in with AFCAD2 (best way to do it)) or AFW or with G2K itself)). Hey, it's a bit like painting, you have to experiment and find your own style. You won't find any one program that does it all the way you want to see it, Keep plugging away at it and keep trying to find new brushes to work with..........Tony

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Arno,Many thanks for helping out here, I am not an experienced scenery designer and forget things like that. I guess I figured everyone made their aprons with landclass texture, but not true, obviously. Everything from photorealistic to plain old polygons out there for aprons. So the answer for Paul would be to use a mesh scenery (VTP2 polygon) for the apron, but then I think that is difficult in AFW, or isn't it. Looked at that program, and decided it just wasn't as simple to use as FSSC or FS Architect. Doug Pouk is busy on the 2004 version of FS Architect, and hope to see it soon.Actually, Paul could edit the polygon name in the scasm file directly to make an easy VTP Polygon with PolyB, come to think of it.Best Regards,Jim

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Hi Paul,Be sure to read Arno's note and my reply to Arno. I am much less capable than Arno at this sort of thing.The only way to change that polygon name may be to directly edit the scasm file. In PolyB, after a reset or program start, the scasm file on the left is editable, but you will lose your changes with another Reset. If you edit the scasm file itself, however, that will work. It seems cumbersome, however, because you would have to reedit the file every time you changed something in AFW and wanted to go look at your scenery again. It may be in order to look at other programs. In the freeware category, maybe AFCAD or FSSC. I don't know much about AFCAD but it has a good reputation.You might make your apron polygon in FSSC, which is free, well written, and has a very short learning curve, and then used PolyB on it to get a VTP2 polygon. Then you would have a good base on which to place your AFW structures (after deleting the apron polygon in AFW)and other FSSC structures and polys, API macros, etc.Tony's comment about a number of brushes is very pertinent here (another voice of great experience speaking).Best regards,Jim.....off to work

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That is correct AFW (or FSSC or Architect) can not make mesh scenery at the moment (I think only AFW has a very limited capacity to do so, but not really easy). So when using one of these "old" tools you can not combine it with VTP polygons.Do you have more information on the new Architect? Is there a feature list or something like the available. I am curious if it will be a really Fs2004 format tool :).

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Hi Arno,In email conversations with Doug, he has said he is using the MS net framework, and pertinent to your question, XML. So it is obviously FS2004 compliance that he is working toward. FS Architect 2002 is a little quirky in Win XP, but is it sure darn easy to use and makes it all fun. So right now, doing the limited type of scenery I do, it is my main tool of choice. I am really looking forward to the new version.I am also starting to use FSDS, which has been more adapted to aircraft, which is not my main interest. So I'll see how that goes. I looked into GMAX before the FS2004 version came out and got a little frustrated. For some reason, I had trouble getting the FS2002 version to work, just got impatient, and moved to FSDS. But anyway, I got sidetracked on making PolyView and PolyB, and now I am back to making scenery and flying planes (much less stress, although flying the PMDG 737 takes a little learning).By the way, I have offered the landclass pictures in PolyView for other utility programmers to use, as long as they talk to me first (that's my reward). I can also make a new set from the originals in a different size, resolution, etc quite easily using a VB script in Photopaint, and I will also do that for free. I am making this available to both freeware and commercial endeavors. Just would like to see more convenient utilities for scenery design. Have already had some interest from Luis for SBuilder.Gadzooks, long winded answer, most not pertinent to your question:-)Thanks for listening,Best regards,Jim

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Hi Jim,since you mention PolyView (sorry for being off-topic here)...One thing I noticed about your helpful landclass previews (well, I knew this before but it got confirmed recently) is that they only show one season. Some of the classes, which appear identical in one season, are quite different in others. I'm not suggesting you work your way through the remaining four FS seasons (i.e., including "hard winter") but it's something to be aware of.Thanks again for this great tool!Cheers, Holger

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Holger,Am aware, and I do state in the help files that these are summer season. But, you are also right, I am not interested in doing all the seasons, unless someone really thinks that's important. That would make a large group of files to download, and a more complex interface.........but doable. Ah shucks, there I go again, thinking about programming when I was just starting to have fun :+ Regards,Jim

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Hi all, thanks very much for all the input here. You have certainly got my brain working overdrive. Couple more questions.I must admit to having the taste for scenery design now, will FS Architect allow me to get the blended feelAlternatively, I have both Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro 7, if I create the textures in them using alpha channels, would I get the blended lookJust a thought

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Paul,FS Architect 2002 is one of the "old tools". However you might find it more intuitive than AFW. You can name polygons what you want, and that allows you to make easy VTP polys with PolyB. It is what I used for the demo screen capture I gave you. It is a little quirky in Win XP, but quite workable. You can make runways and actually see, to some extent, the scenery you are working on, right in FS Architect. I would certainly download the program, since it works as a demo if not registered. Help is a separate file download. I have played with another program, LandClass Assistant, that has a short learning curve if you want to do landclass on a big scale.Look to someone else for the "blended look" with paint programs. From what I understand, reading the mail, the only true blending with any ease is using the VTP2 polygons, but I have no personal experience. I made PolyB to quickly make scenery that blends. My particular interest is small generic villages and adjuncts to other scenery.I have included a screen shot of FS Architect with the demo crumbling apron project in perspective view.Best regards,Jim

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Jim,Thanks for coming back to me...again:D I must sound a right dipstick. I may give that a go with Architect. The trouble is now that I have the scenery bug it is difficult to stop. My Airfied is coming together bit by bit its a mixture of Gmax, AFW and FSE 2004 so far, however every time I look I want to improve it and I would love to do bits of the surrounding area I live in (Evesham UK). I tried Ground2k again last night, the trouble is when I try to get the program to do what the tutorial shows..it don't happen :D You would not believe that such a small project ( the Airfield consists of 3 Hangers, some sheds and a wooden Cafe) could take so long, it's now becomea labour of love....I'm gonna have a go at central London next :D

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Jim,I have had a thought about this, having looked through the various posts about this. Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way. The land that the real Airfield sits on is in the middle of farmland (There is an Aerial photo in multimap, Post Code B50 4PD) and I am now wondering whether I should simply create a flat area and blend in a new Poly to to reflect the field itself rather than draw a separate polygon in AFW etc.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/74594.txt

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Paul,FSSC could easily put down a flatten. If you needed an apron to eliminate some field lines or autogen then build that in FSSC also, and convert it to a VTP2 Poly with PolyB. If you use FSSC, be sure to go into Tools_Preferences_Settings_Export and check "keep intermediate files" so that it generates scasm files (sca). Then plunk down some objects you have built in AFW, or eliminate your polygon in AFW and save it as a new project and then relocate it over your new test area, call it experimental.I would suggest making yourself an experimental area, and keep your experiments in a scenery folder that you can turn off all at once in MSFS. FSSC should probably be in everyones toolkit because it is so darn simple, free, and well written. I have played a little with LandClass assistant, and that is simple with a short learning curve for doing large ares such as Carson City in the tutorial.After doing those things, you will probably have a better idea of what you want to do, and your options for doing it. My experimental area is a veritable junkyard of runways, buildings, vehicles, demos, polys, etc.Best regards,Jim

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Paul,As an aside, I thought you must live somewhere on the other side of the clock, I am in Alaska. But would you believe, my current scenery interest is the Scottish countryside, way up North. We are coming to UK this August with some relatives and doing the quick tourist thing, which is not really my favorite deal, but compromises must be made (I like the slow intensive touring style, hitting the pubs and small inns). Maybe I'll see my scenery experimental junkyard up near Dunreay as I motor by :-wave . I got interested in Scotland after doing part of a flight tour, and adding mesh, Scotflight scenery, etc., partly as a geography lesson. Maybe I'll get a chance to photograph some buildings and use them to build a small village or airport up there. This hobby never ends, but I have to learn to keep it fun, that programming stuff like PolyB is a little intense. Scenery is a little less demanding.Oh, and do central London by all means, that ought to be simple, neat, and brief. :-hah Regards,Jim

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Hi Bob,I am completely stumped. I have followed the instructions in the 'beginners' tutorial but it seems different to the new version. I am not sure whether I am barking up the wrong tree, however what I am trying to do is place a large field for the base of a small airfield (co-ords N52.08.428 W001 50.853). That is where I start to get problems. I used slew to get to a top down view in FS9 and create the shape of the polygon from there. I use that as my bmp image. However I can't get G2k to accept NW or Se coord, a little box pops up saying searching but it does nothing. I will attach a few images so you can see what I am trying to achieve.I gotta be honest I thought Gmax was bad enough but this just seems so unclear, and yes it is very frustrating

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