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Flatten Scenery areas

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Hi,My name is Tom and I'm new to this forum. I want to say hi to everyone. I have no programming experience so all of this is new to me. Please be patient. I recently decided to try and construct my own airport. The programs I used are: - "AFCAD2" by Lee Swordy - "ExcBuilder" by Paavo Pihelgas - "FSTflatten" by Steve Greenwood I also have the necessary programs and files to use with the above mentioned programs.After I inserted the runway I checked it in FS9 to see what it looked like. There were a number of trees and houses That were in the way so I used ExcBuilder to generated an exclude bgl file which I placed in the Addon/Scenery/Scenery as instructed in the user guide. This worked great - got rid of the trees and houses so I could construct the taxiways and airport apron.The runway had two areas that were "covered" by the default terrain (I have no scenery addons). I used the FSTflatten program using the Area16N method - it seemed the easiest and most straight forward. I followed the instructions and created my polygon then created the bgl file. I checked in the FS9 Addon Scenery/Scenery and there were three files: the bgl file, a SCASM file, and a text file. I checked in FS9 and even more areas of the runway were now covered. I had obviously done something wrong. I reread the user guide and tried again. This time, FS9 would not even load the scenery - I got an error message.:-(I decided to delete everything with this scenery and start over again.Soooooo - that's where I am - back at square one.My problem seems to be my attempts to use the FSTflatten program. I thought I might try and "flatten" an area before I insert an AFCAD runway. I also don't understand some of the programming terminology.:-hmmm Sorry for the long post but I wanted to try and make myself understood as to what I was attemting to accomplish. Any help and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.Tom:-zhelp

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Can I suggest that you do not use the folder Program FilesMicrosoft GamesFlight Simulator 9Addon Scenery. Create a new folder say "My SceneryScenery" and save all of your bgls here. Now in the FS Settings/Scenery Library, add a new area by browsing to "My Scenery".If you have created your afcad by modifying the stock afcad, did you save this or did you save it with a new name?WRT FSTflatten, you can check for errors by running the .bat file from a DOS box. This will show the progress messages from SCASM.George

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To add to this, are you sure you are using the correct altitude for the flatten? If you measure it in slew mode in FS you are seeing the altitude of your aircraft, not that of the ground. For a Cessna that means you are about 3 ft to high. Using the wrong altitude for your flatten can give such results.

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>Can I suggest that you do not use the folder Program>FilesMicrosoft GamesFlight Simulator 9Addon Scenery. Create>a new folder say "My SceneryScenery" and save all of your>bgls here. Now in the FS Settings/Scenery Library, add a new>area by browsing to "My Scenery".>>If you have created your afcad by modifying the stock afcad,>did you save this or did you save it with a new name?>>WRT FSTflatten, you can check for errors by running the .bat>file from a DOS box. This will show the progress messages from>SCASM.>>George>Hi,Thanks, George, for your reply. I'll do as you suggest and create a new folder for my scenery. I inserted a new runway and named it "My Runway." Also, how do I get to a DOS box and how do I run the *.bat file?Thanks again. Appreciate your patience with this :-newbie Tom

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>To add to this, are you sure you are using the correct>altitude for the flatten? If you measure it in slew mode in FS>you are seeing the altitude of your aircraft, not that of the>ground. For a Cessna that means you are about 3 ft to high.>Using the wrong altitude for your flatten can give such>results.Hi,Thanks, Arno, for your reply. What I've been doing is use slew mode to position the aircraft and then get out of slew so the plane settles to the ground. I then use "Shift-Z" to read the altitude. This is the altitude I use. Would it be better to flatten an area "before" I insert(place)an AFCAD runway? Thanks for your patience.Tom:-)

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Hi Tom,The altitude you are reading now if the altitude of the reference point of your aircraft, not of the ground level of the scenery. For a Cessna this gives a difference of circa 3 ft.If you already have an AFCAD file for your scenery, I think it is best to check the altitude that has been set for the airport in that file, and use that in your flatten as well. When the flatten and the AFCAD have the same altitude your problems should be gone.

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>Hi Tom,>>The altitude you are reading now if the altitude of the>reference point of your aircraft, not of the ground level of>the scenery. For a Cessna this gives a difference of circa 3>ft.>>If you already have an AFCAD file for your scenery, I think it>is best to check the altitude that has been set for the>airport in that file, and use that in your flatten as well.>When the flatten and the AFCAD have the same altitude your>problems should be gone.Hi,Thanks for your response, Arno. I don't have an AFCAD file for the scenery. I live in Georgia and I just picked an area(in Georgia)in FS9 that looked relatively open and flat. I am trying to build an airport from scratch - nothing there except default scenery. It's just a project that I wanted to do - make my own private airport for my virtual air charter service which at the present time consists of two aircraft: The Eaglesoft Cessna Citation II S/P and Cessna Cj1.I appreciate your help.Tom:-)

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Hi Tom,But you wrote you had already placed a runway. I assumed you had placed this with AFCAD, but it could also be you used a different program of course. You must have placed this runway at a certain altitude and you need to put the flatten at exactly the same altitude.

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Tom,When you run FSSTflatten, it creates three files, 'yourname'.sca, 'yourname'.bgl and flatten.bat in the folder which contains FSTflatten.exe.To check the compilation, click on "Start"/"Programs"/Accessories"/"Command Prompt" then type:CD "pathname" where pathname is the full path to the FSTflatten folder, eg:CD TERRAIN_TOOLSSteve GreenwoodFSUtilitiesprogramsFSTflattennow type:flattenThis will run SCASM and you will see whether it compiles correctly.George

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>Hi Tom,>>But you wrote you had already placed a runway. I assumed you>had placed this with AFCAD, but it could also be you used a>different program of course. You must have placed this runway>at a certain altitude and you need to put the flatten at>exactly the same altitude.Hi,Arno, thanks for your response. I think I'm beginning to get the concept of the flattening file - Thanks to you and George. I had placed a runway but since I was having problems I deleted everything - the AFCAD scenery included and am starting over. That's why I thought it might be best to flatten an area "before" I placed another runway.Tom:-)

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>Tom,>>When you run FSSTflatten, it creates three files,>'yourname'.sca, 'yourname'.bgl and flatten.bat in the folder>which contains FSTflatten.exe.>>To check the compilation, click on>"Start"/"Programs"/Accessories"/"Command Prompt" then>type:>>CD "pathname" where pathname is the full path to the>FSTflatten folder, eg:>>CD TERRAIN_TOOLSSteve>GreenwoodFSUtilitiesprogramsFSTflatten>>now type:>>flatten>>This will run SCASM and you will see whether it compiles>correctly.>>George>Hi,George, thanks much for your detailed response - it will help for sure. like I told Arno, I'm beginning to see the light thanks to you guys. I really appreciate your help. I'm learning some good stuff from doing this project of mine.Tom:-)

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