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How-to on adding lightmaps to photoreal scenery?

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Ok, have looked around in forums and almost everything I read about lightmaps are in regard to objects and aircraft. Here's what I need to do. I've created photoreal textures that have been installed as addon scenery and in the texture subdirectories of each are the DXT1/Alpha tiles for each LOD square. Because of the enormity of the area I'm doing I've only created summer textures (the ground doesn't change that much from season to season in Phoenix anyway). I've also taken on the huge task, using the Annotator program, of defining autogen buildings and vegetation for the hundreds of texture files I've created.What comes up missing is when I fly over the new scenery at night. The autogen buildings I define have lighting but you really miss the lights on the roads that truly define the grid you're above. I could go in and place light poles all over the landscape but what a chore and my guess is I'd take a serious FPS hit. I tried creating a single lightmap file for a tile to see if I could figure this out on my own but obviously something's missing. Here's what I did. Using one of the raw tiles (before it has been converted to DXT1 format), I created a duplicate layer image and dropped the brightness on that layer until it was essentially black. Adding a bit of transparency to that layer I could still see the image below and I penned in some white dots and streaks that matched the roads and any other areas I wanted a light in. I removed the transparency, saved the file with the format XXXXXXXXXXXlm.bmp (the X's being same numerical name as the original tile), converted it to DXT1 format, and moved it into the scenery texture folder.Flying over that area at night, none of my lights showed up so I guess I did something wrong. Any ideas?Thanks,Art Martin

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You get 2 choices with photoreal -- just the summer texture on its own, or ALL the seasonal textures and night texture. That's why some of the larger photoreal sceneries limit you to flying in summer -- supplying one seasonal texture and the night texture means that any other season will show up untextured.Because you have this choice, there has to be a 'switch' in the BGL file. Your current BGL won't display any other texture even if they exist.You need to recreate the BGL file with 'BuildSeasons = 1' in your INF file.Of course, you will then have the problem of having to supply all the other seasons as well -- the simplest way is to copy the Su textures to all the other seasons.

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Oh man, that sucks big time. I've got about 8 different areas now that I've created for the Phoenix valley and some of their texture files have over a hundred summer .bmp files in them. If I were to copy those files to all the other seasons I could have maybe 700 files. I'd like to be able to distribute this darn thing without a 3 day download. Well, I'll have to experiment with one of the areas and see what kind of directory sizes I get. Am I better off for packaging this thing to create one giant addon directory out of all my areas or to stick with the way I developed this and leave them separate? Seems that the separate way allows the user to install or turn on only the parts they're interested in. The drawback will be in the installation where the user will have to add in each separate area and ensure the priorities are set properly. I know I have some overlaps but they seem pretty seemless when flying over them. One added question: I have USA Roads installed and it appears that photoreal textures are added on top of that package. I've tried changing priorities but think I read somewhere where that doesn't do any good. Any tricks for getting around that? The roads have night effects to them and it would solve my dilemna above. Thanks,Art Martin

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Yeah, full seasonal photoreal gets a bit big:) I usually distribute mine on CD. Some ideas, anyway:I've considered (but not done so yet) including a batch file which copies the summer textures to all the other seasons. That means that your download only has to include 2 sets of textures.I know others have different ideas, but I normally have a separate folder for each separate area -- but my areas tend to be separated geographically, anyway. (My scenery normally ranges from 30x40kms up to 90x 80kms.)Partly this is so users can mix and match, or uninstall parts if they want, but I think that sooner or later you'd have problems with too many files in a folder.'Normal' photoreal sits on top of roads etc -- I find this a blessing:) -- but you might want to experiment with the type of photoreal which SBuilder produces -- from memory I think roads and other polygons can sit on top, but I've always had display problems with this type of scenery. Anyway, it may be a better idea to include some autogen light poles.Visit the Windowlight forum on Avsim... everything you need to know about New Zealand flightsim sceneryhttp://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...forum=203&page=

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Thanks for the great tips. Here's a recent screenshot of the scenery.Art Martin

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Art you are doing a fantastic job with the Phoenix scenery!! :) Looks like payware to my eyes.Tim

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Hi!The photoscenery produced by SBuilder does indeed allow roads to be displayed on top of it, but not the default roads (thanks for that!). It

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Yeah I had someone confirm that their roads showed up at night over my photoscenery which was cool... I think it depends on the priority level of the vector data...

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