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Guest luissa

Sbuilder: Where are the alpha bitmaps?

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I am new to scenery builder and am trying to work out how to lay photoreal terrain with the alpha map to merge into the surrounding default terrain.I can get the photobitmap slices and bgl to generate, and show up in FS9, but where are the alpha bitmaps?For my test project, I create two folders in the scenery builder

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Hello Scott,Thank you for using SBuilder. It seems you are doing OK. Look to the size of the photo bitmaps. If all are 43KB then they are all opaque. If some are 81KB these are the ones with different levels of transparency that accomplish the blending with the default textures.One thing that you must check is this - the alpha map must be an 8-bit (256 colors) bitmap and all the colors must be grey! I use PaintShopPro (old version 5.00) and I use the command "Grey Scale". Every entry in the pallete must have the same values for R G and B!Regards, Luis

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Hi Luis,I checked my alpha map. It is greyscale (produced by paintshoppro) in 8/256 format with all RGB values equal, and is exactly the same size as the summer map. The bitmaps produced for wi,fa,su etc are all 42.7kB, but I still can't find the alpha bitmaps, and in FS9, the scenery shows up as sharp edged. There are no errors during bgl compilation.The first attachment shows the summer map, and the second the alpha map.Any other ideas as to what I might be doing wrong?Thanks

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Hi,>Any other ideas as to what I might be doing wrong?May be you are doing OK and the problem is with SB. I do not have ideas. The only thing that I can do is to check your files if you could send them to me. Regards, Luis

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Hi Luis,I am still keen to crack this one, but my files are too big to send to you.My background bitmap is 2000p x 2000p, 24/16million colour, resolution 200p/inch. The scale is 4.8m/pixel. My background alpha bitmap is 2000p x 2000p, 8/256 colour, greyscale, resolution 200p/inch. I also tried a resolution of 72p/inch but it made no difference.In Sbuilder, photo, I select 9 LOD13 squares as phototiles.When I compile the bgl, the scasm dos window appears briefly and my pc takes about 40 seconds to complete the process. When I look in the Sbuilder tools/work folder I get a bgl file and 54 .bmp slices, i.e. 6 for each LOD13 square and with names ending in su,fa,wi,hw,sp,Lw. Each .bmp is 42.7kB in size. The phototiles show up when installed in FS9 with no problem.I am expecting to see an alpha .bmp for each LOD13 square, but nothing shows up.What "alpha" .bmps should there be, and what name ending should they have? Do they need to be in a folder named "alpha" within the scenery file?Is the size of my background map an issue?Have you managed to get the alpha function to work? If so, can you tell me the exact properties of the background maps you used so I can try on my pc?Thanks

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Hello Scott,As I said before it looks you are doing OK! Yes! At least 2 persons (one is me!) got SB to produce the 8 bit alpha bitmaps!SB does this:- if there is no alpha bitmap it produces 43KB bitmaps- if there is an alpha bitmap it reads all pixels that fall on the slice it is generating. If all pixels are completely white it produces a 43KB bitmap- if at least one pixel on the alpha bitmap is not completely white it generates a 32 bit intermediate bitmap file with the alpha value on the 4th byte. It then uses imagetool to convert to 8-bit dxt1 bitmap which will appear as a 82KB bitmap.Send me an email and I will send you a small project and bitmaps for you to see that SB generates the bitmaps. May be by looking at the files you will discover what is wrong!Reagards, Luis

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