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LWMViewer Crash - Edit LandClass ?

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LWMViewer 9/23/04 buildRight click over a landclass and you get a popup that has a line for Edit Landclass. When clicking on that the program crashes.Dick Boley @KLBE

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Hi, Dick.Er, yeah. Sorry. I posted that version with a bugfix for a problem with a specific BGL, and forgot to disable the menu item. The program was in the middle of some fairly extensive edits which I hadn't expected to interrupt and I just forgot to disable that menu item.So the cat's out the bag :) I started adding landclass editing a while ago. Bits are there, bits aren't, but that menu item is most definitely not connected to anything - so it crashes. I *think* I uploaded a new version with the menu item disabled a couple of days after that.Just out of interest, are there any other feature requests? Every so often I come across messages saying it'd be great if LWMViewer could do X, but nobody ever emails and asks :-hmmm No point in adding stuff if I don't know if folks want it. I do have other plans for it, but I'll keep them to myself for now until I know I've got time to actually make good on some of them :DCheers,Jim Keir

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Well, landclass placement/editing is a big plus. Are excludes and flattens also appropriate? I am messing with Hawaii and some FS2004 airports end up in the water when using USGS shoreline info. Allowing a structured set of possible alterations to an airport would be nice. Obviously you need to allow for synchronized relignment of the background, the flatten, and the runways/taxiways together, or optionally do them seperately. I would only allow repositioning of items of this nature since resizing, alignments of individual items (runways, etc.) is best handled by the several programs in existenceSince you can offer a pretty good view of the actual environment as seen by FS2004, the "adjustment" of items (move, rotate) would be nice so one does not have to leave LWMViewer to do somthing simple and then return. With "shoreline/roads/rivers/lakes" creation programs now available some of the builtin FS2004 "stuff" just does not fit and needs moved/rotated to fit the new real environment.Dick Boley @KLBE

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Hello Jim,Her is a small one, but not for scenery designer.Very often I think user do not know the LOD Level of the mesh file, they have installed in an area.Developer do not give the information sometimes and install the product somewhere.Is it possible to see the Level somewhere?Of course, for people not very familiar to your tool.So the user can find out, where she/he should move the mesh file to see it in the FS.Kind regardsHorst

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Hi Jim.There is a very strong need for a program that can accurately place objects with the newer XML code. ScenegenX has moved in this direction, but the rectification of a background map in that program is not very good for sceneries spanning more than a few dozen meters.Your program would be well suited for the placing of objects, as it has IPC interaction with the sim, and it also can read roadlines... with newer sceneries also depicting accurate road and street placement, it could speed the placing of objects considerably.You may also consider the representation of runways and taxiways. It could even display rough object footprints if a 'MDL reader' could scan for the bounding box for the GUID used, and view the placing BGL for orientation and location.Dick

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Hi.Good ideas. I should be able to do the simpler ones - file information for example - fairly quickly. The others will probably take some time, I'm really busy right now and I'm also about to move to a different country :-rollI'd certainly like to add object placement and some other things. I want to change some of the internals of the program to make this kind of change easier. Currently it decodes the BGLs every time it refreshes the display; I want it to decode them once into the same internal point format that Slarti uses, and then work from there. Should be faster to display, and much easier to add new export formats.It already reads the XML-based airport facility files to show the nav features, so displaying runway/taxiway data is possible. Slarti already has code to associate flattens, VTP polys and runways (used to automatically assign new elevations which match the mesh) - maybe a feature where an entire airport can be picked up and dropped nearby complete with navaids, runways, polys, flattens, buildings etc. would be useful :) In the meantime, is there any way I could maybe make it easier to use SceneGenX? I'm afraid I haven't tried it - time, again - but maybe something other than a background map which seems to cause problems. For example, can it import BLN or other vector files? I intend to add BLN and SBuilder SBX export functions to make editing default files easier. I've already got this code written as part of [a href=http://www.jimkeir.co.uk/FlightSim/AutoGen]Slartibartfast[/a], so it should be fairly quick to add to LWMViewer if it would help.There are already some very good design tools out there, it would be nice to find ways of working more closely with them rather than writing the same functions again. Even if I do end up adding some of the same things, I'd still like to be able to work with the other programs so that people can continue to use their preferred tools. One of the luxuries of writing your own programs is that they *always* work exactly the way you want them to :DCheers,Jim

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Working with maps and the various datum designs is a pain and the weakness of most programs that support placement of "things". With LWMViewer you could do two things.One, would be to allow items to be placed or manipulated within the program. That can be extensive in terms of coding. Several "map bound" programs do this now, why duplicte. Landclass is an exception since you currently show the generic landclass LWMView is in a unique position to illustrate a before and after. All landclass placement programs I have seen do not show what is there now, unless they placed it.The other is to offer an overhead screenshot from FS2004 with the extents in a small associated file. This combination would replace the cumbersome map process now used to place objects. The user sets up the overhead view in FS2004 and shoots a bmp. "If" you can get the extents of that view from FS2004 the accompaning extents file could be automatically read by the scenery program an thus no fidling with maps, copying extents from placed markers, and the usual typing mistakes and arcane processes that befuddle the user.

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Hi nudata.There are currently 2 programs that use background maps to allow the placement of objects with the newer FS9 code: SceneGenx and SBuilder.Sbuilder does allow the correct registration of background maps, but is tied to the development of SCASM and is now shareware.SceneGenX does not allow the correct calibration of background maps. Maps covering very small areas do not suffer as the distortion of position is not as evident. We now have needs of covering much larger areas ( > 1km squared ), and as such SceneGenX does not meet our needs concerning background maps.LWMViewer, by showing the exact position of roads, streams, rails and water polys, as they appear in the sim, is a great platform for the eventual placement of objects... no background maps are needed as the background is generated from the actual BGLs.In this sense, there is no duplication of function for accurately placing objects, on either a small scale or a large scale.I do note that LWMViewer may go payware in the future, as has Slatibartfast. I also note that Tom Hiscox may eventually adjust the method by which maps are calibrated and registered in SceneGenX, thereby allowing accurate placement on a map over great distances. But neither of these things have occured just yet.But for now, there is no freeware solution concerning accurate map-based object placement that creates XML code. My suggestion to Jim is that LWMViewer is a very good platform using elements from the sim to allow a map-like placement of objects.This isn't ignoring the sim itself! Latitude, longitude, heading and elevation can be derived from the sim ( I use TCalc2004 ). Those numbers can be copied and pasted using notepad to create XML code... with no need for any maps.Dick

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Hi Jim and Nudata,It is good to hear that you may add SBuilder SBX export to LWMViewer as you did for Startiblast. If you are going to do it please note that there is no size limit, now, on the number of polygons or lines or points (in lines or polygons). I just made an overall change from short to long integers in the programme.One thing that SBP (the binary format of SBuilder files) does and SBX does not, is export/import arrays of LandClass and WaterClass indexes. Nudata is referring to "editing landclass", but I am not completely sure if the demand for "edit" is a real one. What I mean is that the transparent index allows complete power on the final product. Still, I can add class scenery to SBX.Hi Dick,Registration of SBuilder is only needed when you open BGL files and Polish Map files. It is possible to place objects with the unregistered and future versions. Regarding the intermediate stage of SCASM/XLM, I could add a switch, for the files to be generated through SCASM or XLM. I wonder if you think there is also a need for the VTP/LWM case as well.To Jim again,I spent some time trying to figure out decompression of BGL DEM files without luck. I have seen terrific photographic sceneries that use more than 4.8meter/pixel resolution. They can be done using normal 3D textured triangles that follow the mesh. Therefore, these sceneries are tied to a particular mesh. The textured triangles also need to be painted from the texture (higher resolution) used in making the photo scenery. The reason is that you would need some kind of multiresolution mechanism like mip maps. Distant regions would use the basic photoscenery and closed regions would switch to textured triangles. If the base textures are the same, the switching will be negligible. So, in my opinion, this kind of scenery is tied to both an accompanying (or default) mesh scenery and to an accompanying (made with resampler) photo scenery. May be you could think in a way to do that with the need to disclose the contents of the DEM file.Kind Regards, Luis

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Hi.> may add SBuilder SBX export to LWMViewer as you did for StartiblastIt would be much nicer to edit visually than to muddle around in Notepad, I think :)> that there is no size limit, now, on the number of polygonsThat's great. I was splitting the files at around 25000 points before, just to be on the safe side. Having everything in one would be easier, so I'll remove the splitting code.The landclass editing I'm adding is more 'creation' than 'editing'. It won't allow you to save modified copies of existing BGLs. Instead, you will be able to create new land/waterclass layers and paint on them, then save them as RAW+inf . Any other landclass could be displayed in the background, along with the LWMs etc. so it should allow for accurate changes to fix the odd missing square around coastlines. FYI there's no reprojection done - yet - in LWMViewer. The maps are coordinate maps, not geographic maps. Once I'm finished the restructuring it should be fairly easy to add geographic or other projections if it were needed.I don't have any intention of making LWMViewer shareware. Slarti is a different story; it reached a point about six months ago where I was thinking of new ways to use it faster than I could write them. It was round about then I decided to have two versions, a free one and a payware one, because I realised I was going to be spending a *long* time working on it :) I'm still tweaking bits to get it as reliable as possible, and possibly even a new function or two (Hi, Holger :-wave ) . I already have some cool ideas for the *next* version, too, and I've not even uploaded *this* one to the library here yet :)Anyway, thanks for the interest everyone. I'll post here and on the LWMViewer mailing list when I get any significant changes made. Object placement will come eventually, but not quite yet - sorry!Cheers,Jim

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Hi all,This is becoming an interesting thread.First my ultimate wish would be that we have one design tool that can show the default scenery (so read all the landclass, VTP and LWM elements, default airports, placed objects etc). While it can also create new scenery for both mesh (VTP/LWM) and airports (XML). This would prevent the trouble you now have to line up scenery made in different program properly.I do understand that such a tool is very complex and might not be here soon, as it would certainly be a lot of work to create it, but it is good to have some dreams for the future :).>This isn't ignoring the sim itself! Latitude, longitude,>heading and elevation can be derived from the sim ( I use>TCalc2004 ). Those numbers can be copied and pasted using>notepad to create XML code... with no need for any maps.True and for people that only want to place a few object or so (and don't want to bother with calibrating a map, etc, etc, I am also still working on ObPlacer XML. This tool will create XML code and allow you to slew through FS and place objects while you slew basically.Now that I have got CAT almost finished I should have more time to work on ObPlacer XML again.But i agree that when you are working on a bigger project it is easier to have a map where you can place the objects on.>Regarding the>intermediate stage of SCASM/XLM, I could add a switch, for the>files to be generated through SCASM or XLM. I wonder if you>think there is also a need for the VTP/LWM case as well.I personally think using XML would be better. The BGLComp compiler is already there and supports all commands as given in the BGLComp SDK. Sure SCASM can create the same sort of BGL files, but it would take some time before everything is supported. Therefore I think it would be more logical to use BGLComp, as it is also supported/provided by MS.

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Hi Luis.I do think Sbuilder would benefit from being able to use either SCASM or XML code as an intermediate step... as well as ASM code for the terrain features ( roads, streams... ).The only objections I have for using SCASM is that it is dependant the development of SCASM, and then requires us to know another format of coding if we want to intercept or alter or decompile our own code.Is SCASM is done with it's FS9 development? ASM and XML seem to be complete, now.SBuilder is already quite remarkable.Dick

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Hi Dick,Thank you for your comment. I think that I will start by implementing XML in the objects coding. Then I will go to the ASM for vtp/lwm. In this last case, I never needed to examine the intermediate SCASM file except for debugging. But I admit that there are situations in which an intermediate editable file is very useful.Kind Regards, Luis

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