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USAPhotoMaps - BigJPG - Urban Color Photos

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Hello again...I am learning a new respect for those who do scenery design, and do it well. It is VERY apparent that good scenery design takes TIME - which is exactly what us relative-noobs don't get right away.Anyway - I am working on some photoreal scenery based on USGS photos, snagged via USAPhotomaps. (Fantastic program!) These are the .25m/pix color images, and they take up a hellish amount of memory when I try to splice together a useable section via BigJPG. Aside from investing in more RAM (which my mobo probably can't support anyway), are there any tips or tricks to get a large color BigJPG out of the program when it's yelling at you for being out of memory? (aside from making the image smaller, of course. :) Colormatching the MSFS world is a DIFFICULT TASK! -Greg

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I don't have an answer for you Greg, but I do have a question... how do you get USAPhotoMaps to use the urban color photo sets? I've tried, but it still wants to download the older b&w sets when I enter a location for which there's a newer urban set. Do I have any old version of PhotoMaps or something?thanks,

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Hi Greg,Why would you want to process 0.25m/pixel photos? Using the mesh techniques you can never get them with such a high resolution in FS. Even if you place them with non-mesh techniques I think this high resolution is not useful.I tried to place 0.16m/pixel photos once on an airport and the only thing my PC did while flying there was swapping for memory. It was impossible to fly because it had to load 1 GB of textures for the airport.So I think it would be better to resize them. To lets say 1m/pixel or even 4.8m/pixel, depending on the way you want to place them in the scenery.

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Bill:I am using the latest version of USAPHotoMaps - but the changelog shows it's been available for a little bit. You can press "U" to switch into Urban Photo mode, and then start the download ("F"). It downloads in the full 0.25m/pix cells.As a test, try the city of Providence, RI - I am working there and I have downloaded over 2.0 GB worth of the imagery for use so far - with more to go. You have to fetch the images manually, but I'll cut it to DVD once I have it all to store it away.Arno:Yeah, I do plan on resizing them - but the problem is that BigJPG doesn't allow you to specify the output size - it only takes the raw cells (at 0.25m/pix) and stitches them together for you. Hence the memory problem when I try to output a large region - even though I know I'll be shrinking them down. There *IS* apparently a way using VTP2 polys and "custom" texture classes to use high-resolution (>4.8m/pix) textures, but I don't have the tools (or knowledge) to do it nicely. TerraBuilder uses a different method which limits you to 4.8, but it is darn easy and it keeps the disk space requirements down. All:What I have taken to doing is zooming out to the max "wide-angle" view possible, which is 2.0m/pix, and manually saving the screen image. I am then manually stitching the screens in Photoshop. It's not 100% perfect and it does take effort, but it's making more effective use of my diskspace because I know I can't use the full resolution.The hard part is colormatching and getting a non-washed out appearence on the photo scenery. While the aerial pictures look good when you download them, they get pretty washed out in the sim. Anyone have any color tweaking tips for that problem?! :) -Greg

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Hi Greg,>Yeah, I do plan on resizing them - but the problem is that>BigJPG doesn't allow you to specify the output size - it only>takes the raw cells (at 0.25m/pix) and stitches them together>for you. Hence the memory problem when I try to output a large>region - even though I know I'll be shrinking them down. OK, sorry, I did not notice you already had the error while getting your image. In that case my suggestion indeed does not help :).>There *IS* apparently a way using VTP2 polys and "custom">texture classes to use high-resolution (>4.8m/pix) textures,>but I don't have the tools (or knowledge) to do it nicely.>TerraBuilder uses a different method which limits you to 4.8,>but it is darn easy and it keeps the disk space requirements>down.Nope, it is impossible to get VTP polygons with a resolution of more then 4.8 meter/pixel. That is just a limitation of the scenery engine.If you make the polygons in SCASM or GMax you can get a higher resolution, but then they will no longer follow the mesh. So you need to pay special so that it matches the mesh (or you need to flatten the mesh).

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>Nope, it is impossible to get VTP polygons with a resolution>of more then 4.8 meter/pixel.Not to question your knowledge - as it is far greater than mine... but it looks as though MegaScenery's Northwest US package will have resolutions greater than 4.8... (see the city screenshots!)http://www.megascenery.com/vol4-us-full.htmI got the sense that it was possible from a variety of posts here in the forums such as this one...http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...4&mesg_id=14554Perhaps people have figured out a way to cheat the system without having to use gMax... (shrug?)Oh well - I'm probably wrong, but I've got to walk with TerraBuilder before I can run with the big dogs. :) Thanks for the hand!-Greg

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>Not to question your knowledge - as it is far greater than>mine... but it looks as though MegaScenery's Northwest US>package will have resolutions greater than 4.8... (see the>city screenshots!)I find it hard to tell from the images which resolution they have. But it could be that they use the "other" techniques to place the city areas.>I got the sense that it was possible from a variety of posts>here in the forums such as this one...It is possible to place photos with a higher resolution, but unfortunately not with the mesh techniques. The scenery engine just ignores all mips above 256x256.When using non-mesh polygons it is possible to get any resolution you want, as I wrote above.

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Looks as though I am mistaken. :) I did some more digging, and the MegaScenery "technology" they are employing simply uses higher-res source images, which are sampled down to the constraints of MSFS (4.8)http://www.megascenery.com/enhancements.htmMy bad! But I must say that the scenery does look much better than the original Megascenery offerings in the past. I guess their source materials were pretty low resolution.-Greg

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The power of marketing, eh!I'll bet most of us have been using "megacity technology" for quite a long time.B

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Thanks for the reply, Greg. Apparently I'm using an older version, as the "u" option for the urban photo sets isn't in mine; just "p" and "t". I'll grab the new version pronto!

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For those in a like situation as mine...USAPhotoMaps seems to leave a small black borderline on the bottom of the "screengrab" files it creates. This becomes a bit of a problem when stitching together!BigJPG doesn't do that - So, I am now doing lots of BigJPGs and stitching THEM together. I have manually created a grid of Northings and Easting coordinates which I will be driving BigJPG with - All told, I am incrementing the files 3000 "units" in both directions. This gives me a 12,000x12,000 pixel (3 km sq) photo. I'm just editing a BigJPG txt file with the proper numbers, and renaming the output file as I go. With the northings and eastings known, I can calculate the precise borders of the resultant image. In my experimentation, the MSFS SDK Resample tool blows chunks. VERY ugly output if the pictures are not in perfect 4.8 scale. Elrond's Resample Tools (with the special filter) looks one heck of a lot better. Would I be doing any "damage" to my files if I cut them in size with Photoshop up front to a less troubling resolution (like 2 or 4 m/pix) then had Elrond's filters finish it off? Or would I be better letting Elronds filters do the whole job?Following all this, I'll be playing with the annotater. :) -Greg

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Photoshop provides pretty fair resampling also...yes I like Elronds tool the best. Your choice, thou... photoshop also blows resample.exe away.Why would you resample more than once? Bob B

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Just thought I'd add that GlobalMapper has a nice feature that makes this much easier because it does not always have to download the 0.25 m/p images. If you're zoomed out, it only downloads 10 or 20 m/p images, for example. This lets you zoom way out, which USA Photomaps doesn't do. Then if you want to download the color aerials, you just highlight the area you want to download and then tell it what resolution in meters per pixel you want and it will output the image at that resolution. So don't have the memorey issues that USA Photomaps has.Matt

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Son-of-a.... :)Can you give it exact extents? A precice measure of lat/long to match up with a the MSFS LOD tiles? Can you get it to download AND reproject into the geographic layout that MSFS uses?Holy heck - I spent hours stitching in Photoshop and WAITING for the sawp file to catch up. If I could download an image block all at once in 4.8 m/p AND reprojected... (dreaming)-Greg

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>Son-of-a.... :)>>Can you give it exact extents? A precice measure of lat/long>to match up with a the MSFS LOD tiles? Can you get it to>download AND reproject into the geographic layout that MSFS>uses?>>Holy heck - I spent hours stitching in Photoshop and WAITING>for the sawp file to catch up. >>If I could download an image block all at once in 4.8 m/p AND>reprojected... (dreaming)>>-GregIn theory yes, you can give it exact lat/lon and tell it what resolution to download. However, it's not perfect. It dowloads the tiles as JPGs and then stitches them together and the default compression seems to be pretty high. So to get decent image quality I've been downloading them at 2 or 3 m/p. It also seems to bog down if you try to download too big of an area. I was able to grab a 2 m/p shot of the greater downtown sacramento area which is probably about 25 square miles in one JPG. Much larger than that seems to freez up....I think it has problems if terraserver is slow.Have you tried http://gisdata.usgs.net/website/seamless/viewer.php ??I've been having good luck with that. Last night I was able to get what look like about 1 m/p color aerials of the entire SF peninsula, from the GG bridge down to SFO. Better have a fast connection because each tile is about 60 to 80 megs.Matt

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