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Guest Olve

General questions (Photo scenery, gmax, Ground2k4....)

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I'm very new to this and I am trying to get into scenery development for FS9.I have a fairly good idea about every single aspect, but not the whole lot together. And it's fairy hard to find proper tutorials covering all subjects in relation to eachother. So I hope to get some help here. :)Say; I want to project a satelite photo onto the ground of a whole city. I guess I'll do this in MSN Terrain SDK; or is there a better option? Will it tile the background automagically? And what will happen to the coast if my background crosses the default coast; will the water be textured with land?I also want to correct the coastlines and add some roads and rivers. Here G2k4 is the thing, but will it include my photoscenery, or do I have to fix that afterwards?And I can change the mesh here, can't I (like add some hills and so on)?Finally I want to throw in some buildings from gmax. Now.... if FS9 is already displaying a building that I want to redo; how do I get rid of the defaultmodel? And how can I get certain areas autogen-clean in this scenery?And finally; can I squeeze all this into one single scenery and texture folder for easier distribution?Many questions. I really hope someone would be so kind to help me out so I can get going. :)

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Hi Olve, I'm not sure that I can answer all of your questions but I'll do my best.I use the FS2004 Terrain SDK to make photoscenery and it works just fine. Before you can compile it, you have to cut the edges of your image so they line up exactly with the LOD13 rectangles that you want your photoscenery to cover, and you must know the northwest and southeast corner coordinates. Once you do that and complete the .inf file, you can compile it and it will chop your image into individual LOD13 areas automatically. The best way to completely understand this process is just to read the SDK and try it out yourself. As for the coast, once your photoscenery is placed it will cover up any default coast, water, or anything else except specially placed 3D objects. In order to get the reflective water to show in your photoscenery you must create an alpha transparency where the water should be. To do this, I use Martin Wright's ConDXT available at http://fly.to/mwgfx/. If you want to make a G2k4 scenery in the same area as your photoscenery, I believe the photoscenery will be on top of whatever you create in Ground 2k4. Mesh can be included along with these other types of scenery in the same folder. However, if you are implying that you want to manually edit the mesh (with the Ground 2k4 re-mesh function or something similar) be warned that this is definitely not the best process to use, especially for large areas. The way most people create mesh is by downloading digital terrain data from the internet. This data is usually collected via satellite in a grid pattern, with an elevation reading taken for a set area, such as 10 square meters, 30 square meters, or 90 square meters. Data taken at smaller intervals is, of course, more accurate. You just have to compile this data with the terrain SDK in much the same way that you make photoscenery to get a mesh scenery. Once you place an object with Gmax, all autogen objects immedietly around the Gmax object become excluded. If you want to get rid of an airport building, custom object, or an area of autogen, you need to make an exclude file and in it define what you want to remove. This process is described in the BGL Comp SDK. And lastly, you should be able to put everything into one folder as long as you don't have new landclass files; those need to go in a seperate folder. Hope this helps! -Scott

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Cheers!I actually found a very nice thread here covering most beginner issues after I posted this.Just a few additional questions to a few unclear things:- I can't find ConDXT on the site; is it called something else?- Does this mean that whatever I make in Ground2k4 afterwards will be shown on top of the photoscenery. In that case; I guess I can create the coastlines in G24k and I wont have to bother about alpha transparency water in the photo scenery.... or am I completely far out here now?- If I don't adjust the mesh (altitude) anywhere; in g2k4 for example; will it use the default; or will everything be flat?- If I find a satellite image from the area I want to make (it's very hard to find something decent from outside USA); how will it deal with borders between my mesh and the default mesh if the difference is huge?

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>"I can't find ConDXT on the site; is it called something else?"To find ConvDXT, click on the Beta Programs button on the left side of the page. It should be the 4th one down.>"Does this mean that whatever I make in Ground2k4 afterwards will be shown on top of the photoscenery. In that case; I guess I can create the coastlines in G24k and I wont have to bother about alpha transparency water in the photo scenery.... or am I completely far out here now?"You have this part backwards. Whatever you make in Ground 2k4 will be covered up by the photoscenery. In fact, nothing will show up on top of your photoscenery except airport objects and other custom 3D objects. Not even autogen (unless you use the autogen annotator SDK). In short, photoscenery will cover up all normal terrain, including water.>"If I don't adjust the mesh (altitude) anywhere; in g2k4 for example; will it use the default; or will everything be flat?"The default mesh will not be affected by Ground 2k4. Keep in mind that Ground 2k4 really has nothing to do with mesh. The re-mesh function of Ground 2k4 does not actually add new mesh or alter the existing mesh; it just places small flattened spots at your desired elevation, and when used in groups it can be used to make hills and such. Again, I don't recommend this method unless you are just making a little hill or flat area at an airport or something; real mesh is the best way to go.>"If I find a satellite image from the area I want to make (it's very hard to find something decent from outside USA); how will it deal with borders between my mesh and the default mesh if the difference is huge?"Photoscenery will simply lay over whatever mesh it covers, whether it is custom or default. If the default mesh is very low detail, like 1k, and your mesh is very high detail, say 19m, there will be a distinct line where they meet, and there will probably be sharp elevation changes between the two. Just like the regular terrain textures, your photoscenery will become blurred or stretched-looking at these steep points because it is layed over the ground from a top-down perspective.Hope that all makes sense. It can be tough to quickly get a grasp of how all this stuff works together, but after a while it becomes pretty clear. Regards,Scott

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Thanks!It's quite a lot to get into, true.So if I make a photoscenery; how would I then manage to add roads and rivers (as in G2k4) if that covers up the whole lot?How is CoastLineMaker btw compared to Ground2k4?

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Howdy,here's a great source for worldwide satellite imagery, which work very well as background images (but are pretty grainy for use as photoreal textures): http://glcf.umiacs.umd.edu/index.shtmlWhy would you want to add roads and rivers on top of a photoscenery? After all, the point of the photoreal textures is that they already contain all the real-world features in their correct places. You can, however, create landable water inside your photoscenery. This works via binary alpha channels and is discussed in many older threads here in the forum. Cheers, Holger

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Hehe, good question.I guessed it would've been nice with a few 3D-roads to get a bit of depth. But then again; it's not really a point. :)Thanks for the link!

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