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Guest GCBarni

Mesh scenery and building elevations...Help please...

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Guest abent

I've designed a number of sceneries with GMAX and they are just fine in FS with the default mesh. Some of my beta testers are reporting sunken or floating buildings after they have installed Mesh file add-ons.My question is is there some way to have the buildings appear at the proper elevation without reexporting? And...if I install the mesh before exporting, will the buildings be at the proper elevation ie not burried or floating. When MakeMDL exports, does it read the mesh in FS to place the building on the ground? Will the addition of mesh prior to exporting be taken into consideration for placement?Sorry for the rather convoluted questions.Thanks in advance, Adam

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Hi Adam,I don't know which gamepack you are using.In the Fs2002 gamepack the buildings are placed with a RefPoint 7, this means that they are always on the altitude of the terrain.In the Fs2004 gamepack you have an option to set the altitude to AGL in the XML file, this is also on by default.One important things to note it that the altitude is only matched for the 0,0 point of GMax. If your building is position far from the origin in GMax this can give trouble. Therefore all buildings should be on the 0,0 spot.

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Guest abent

Hi Arno, I'm using the 2002 gamepack. I will try re-exporting with the buildings at 0,0 and see how that works.Thanks for the help.Adam

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So if you have multiple buildings in one GMax file, but the terrain on which there are placed is not flat, it might be better to make one GMax file for each building and export them to the desired coordinates.

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Guest abent

Thanks Arno. I learned that lesson some time ago. Do you remember all that trouble I had with the dreaded "blurries", well that was solved by using the export selected option and creating a bgl for each building. I do all structures at an airport in one scene and export each separately.It seems to be working fine. I've got some mesh for northwest Ontario and the buildings are snapped right to the ground. So I guess from now on I may have to make 2 versions - one for default and one for mesh. OR...just tell people to get the mesh. :7 Thanks again,Adam

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Hi Adam,As long as each building is on 0,0 there is no problem with the height. If you use export selected each object will still get the same reference point and the mesh altitude is always matched for that point only.That's why I in general advice not to collect to much object in one scene, it is better to give each object his own scene. Only if the area you are working in is completely flat it will not give trouble (altough the performance is always better when exported around 0,0).

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Guest abent

Thanks Arno and sorry for the delay in responding - away on a 4-wheeling trip for a couple days.I have another query for you.I want to make some small hills in my latest scenery. They are very small, 1-2m in height and maybe 50-100m long on which some of the airport buildings sit. I know I could make them in gmax but would then have the problem of losing seasonal textures. Is there another way to make small hill - like alter the mesh to acheive small hills such that it would automatically display the correct seasonal texture?I'm attaching a pic to show you the effect I want.Thanks in advance, Adamhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94675.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94677.jpg

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you could try with ground2k remesh feature to alter the ground altitude, but it will be a lot of work to line it all up. Thats the only way I know to do it, unless you were ready to try a custom dem.Bob Bernstein

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Guest abent

Hey Bob, Thanks for the response. Ground2K...hmmm...had a go at that some time ago without much success. What's a custom dem? I would be happy to try it in GMAX but again, I have no idea how to assign the seasonal textures.Thanks, Adam

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Guest GCBarni

FSUtilities contains a 'flatten tool' which allows for extremely accurate and detailed work in small spaces. I used it to 'fix' the banks along the St John River in N.B. The tool works by linking with FS; thus one can do pretty fine work, such as raising the spot of ground depicted in your shots.I don't have a link to the *.zip, but a search of the Library or Google should put you in touch.

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Making a small flatten for this building is probably the easiest way to raise the ground indeed. But I don't know if this also works if you already have a flatten for your airport, it is worth a try anyways I think :).

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Guest abent

Thaaks a lot gents! I've always appreciated your help Arno.GCBarni, I live in Fredericton, just moved back from Manitoba. Ofcourse the St. John River runs right through town. I go sailing regularly on the river. I got a maritime mesh by Gilles Gautier. Assuming you're not said person,LOL, I'd be interested in checking out your file. I haven't done much flying here lately, along the river, but did notice some major anomilies with the default scenery, one major "tidal wave", I call them, right by the airport.Incidentally, I've been met with some opposition trying to get into CYFC to take pics. I'd love to do the airport. No prob getting into larger airports like CYWG. Fredericton is so uptight lol.Are you from the area?ttyl,Adam

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Guest abent

Hey guys,I tried FSTflatten and I could get a 2m hill but it was much too large at the base, covering up my apron and part of the runway no matter how tightly placed the verticies were. I'm guessing that it links the verticies in FSTflatten to those in FS and the nearest were quite far away hence the very broad base to my hill. I don't think I can achieve my goal with this program. So, if anyone could make some more suggestions as to how I could assign the proper seasonal textures to a GMAX model of a hill, that would be great.I'm sure I saw an airport somewhere that had snowbanks, though these must be triggered to show up only in winter.Thanks again,Adam

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Hi Adam,actually, the problem with the spatial precision of any LWM or Area16N flatten file is the limited horizontal resolution of the terrain mesh. With Terrain_Max_Vertex_Level in the FS9.cfg set to the default value of 19, the horizontal res is a mere 76 meters. Setting it to 20 raises it to ~38m, and, at the max. value of 21, to ~19m. Unfortunately, increasing TMVL has other (global) "side effects", such as very steep road and stream cutbanks, higher demand on the display engine, etc. Plus, every user needs to have the same setting as the designer and thus there's great potential for chaos and confusion.I don't have much knowledge about 3-D design but I believe it is your best choice for these kinds of small "pedestals".Good luck!Cheers, Holger

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Guest Tatu

Hi!>I'm sure I saw an airport somewhere that had snowbanks, though>these must be triggered to show up only in winter.Yes, I have done that for example. And hills as well because the flattens and remesh were not precise enough. The link Arno posted has good instructions to get seasons show and change correctly.I think small hills in important places (like airports) are best done with gmax, just make sure you don't use hundreds of polys. :-DI did this with Rovaniemi. As you can see there are two layers actually. First few meters up from platform to the parking place. And behind that is another hill, you can see reindeers on the top of that one. All done in gmax and I think it works ok. And in this case it was the only solution to do all in gmax.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94808.jpgOh and I tricked the autogen trees to grow through the gmax hill with a "dummy rotated call", I rotated the object around itself 0 times. This trick keeps the autogen around the object and finnish forests keep growing. ;-)Tatu

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Guest abent

Thank you all three. This is some excellent advice/suggestions. I will preceed with GMAX to make my model - keeping the polygon count low. I will have to do some study to learn how alter the code that you mention, Arno. Not even really sure how to open up that source code. If I run into trouble, do you mind if I track you down again?Tatu, your scenery looks great. What you have acheived is very similar to I would like to do.Holger, I use your wonderful mesh sceneries. BC look so much better now than default. I especially like what you've done with Castlegar. One of my favorite airports to fly in and out of.One quick query, obviuosly I will have to make 4 different textures, maybe 5 for hard winter. Could I use default FS textures? I don't know if they are 256x256 or 512x512. Also, it will obviously have to be tiled so the texture is not stretched too badly. Is there some ratio, say 256x256 texture, for every x number of meters that FS uses?Thanks again you guys. This is extremely helpful! :D Adam

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>I will have to do some study>to learn how alter the code that you mention, Arno. Not even>really sure how to open up that source code. If I run into>trouble, do you mind if I track you down again?Hehe, no problem at all. Tbat is what these forums are for. In the Fs2002 gamepack you can just press the option "keep files" during the export to save the source code as well. In this file you make the tweaks then.>One quick query, obviuosly I will have to make 4 different>textures, maybe 5 for hard winter. Could I use default FS>textures? I don't know if they are 256x256 or 512x512. Also,>it will obviously have to be tiled so the texture is not>stretched too badly. Is there some ratio, say 256x256 texture,>for every x number of meters that FS uses?FS uses a 256x256 texture on an area of circa 1.2x1.2 km, this gives the famous 4.8 meter resolution. But mesh textures are displayed different than object textures, so they might not look completely similar.You can very well use default textures if you want, these are in general 256x256. But if you want you can also use 512x512 textures.One warning, it is not possible to use HW textures in 3D objects. These are triggered in FS by the snow and the scenery can not see the state of that. But you can add a snow texture during certain period of the year of course, especially when there is snow often over there (which is not really the case for the sceneries I made :)).Last thing, the tutorial uses the season variables (6F8), but it is probably better to use the day of the year variable. That way you can get the season switch completely the same as the mesh scenery. The season variable just splits the year into blocks of three months, which is not how the seasonal textures are changed on the mesh.

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Guest GCBarni

Hi Adam,No, I'm not from N.B. at all....I live in Windsor, ON. But I have a copy of some mesh that when used creates some very artistic effects in some places and the river from Fredericton to the sea was one such place. This mesh was "loaned" to me to see if a correction could be made, and I won't say any more than that, except to hazard a guess by saying that my 'fix' would probably not be beneficial to you since we're talking about two different add-on's.When I decided to redo London, ON. Airport, I emailed the administrator with a request to access the apron side of the terminal in order to get photos. I included info about myself and referred to the Avsim link so that they could confirm that I was who and what I claimed.....and not some sort of nefarious criminal or terrorist.I had a response in about 2 weeks with an "OK" and we set up a date whereupon I was escorted through security and spent a few minutes taking pics. We came back inside and sat for a few moments over coffee and a chat. I felt welcome and completely at ease and thanked them profusely.At Sarnia, I visited on short notice, on a Sunday and was denied access to the active side of the terminal. I should have given advance notice and a regular work day might have helped because supervisors would be on duty. On a Sunday, no one wanted to risk their position....can't blame them really. Luckily, one of the security staff, who was off on that particular day, is a simmer and he was able to get the necessary photos for me.For Windsor, I sent a written request in mid-August....to date, no reply! I even included the bit about visiting London and how they treated me! Apparently, it carries little weight. I've been over and got photos of everything else.....on a Sunday since parked vehicles and other obstructions are less than a working day.....except the active side of the terminal. I haven't given up however, and intend to drop in some day and ask to access the apron out front. There's no real panic yet, as I have enough material to keep me busy...the terminal can be done last. Besides, better results when the trees are bare!

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