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saabpilot

Progress on replacement to Annotator

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Well, the program is coming along great. Got over some very challenging hurdles on all my desired features and have added a few more. Here's the list of things that are now working in it:(sorry I don't have screen shots but I'm posting this from work and don't have the program in front of me.)1. Simple treeview-style user interface for identifying and opening (or creating) the appropriate .agn file for a selected .bmp tile. When browsing through your scenery areas, the DXT files are displayed as viewable images to make your selection easier. Ones that already have an associated .agn file created are clearly identified. 2. Once selected, the image is displayed as a 10240 x 10240 zoomed picture for editing. 3. To the right of the image are sliders and entry boxes for the various defaults such as building height amounts, vegetation types and sizes, densities, etc. When opening a new image that doesn't have an associated .agn file defined, these sliders and amounts will remain set to the same amounts as the previous image you just edited. When closing the program, those defaults will be saved to a user .ini file as preferences and will be the default when starting up with a new file.4. These are the editing buttons at the top of the screen and their functionality: - Simple horizontally/vertically aligned house button. Box is created using standard button press, move cursor to opposite side of rectangle, and release. - Angled house button. Box is created exactly as in the current version of Annotator. - Simple horizontally/vertically aligned multiple house creation button. User creates a rectangle as in horz/vert house process. Next button press defines the distance from the first set point to indicate the width of each house. Program automatically creates multiple houses within the defined box along the longest width of that box with spacing between them determined by a slider to the right of the image. - Angled multiple house creation button. User creates an angled rectangle. Next button push sets point as above to determine house width. Program creates multiple houses aligned with the defined angled box. - Simple horizontally/vertically aligned row house creation button. Same as hor/vert house but creates row houses instead. - Angled row house creation button. Same as angled house creation but defines angled row house instead. - Freeform vegetation area button. User traces out a freeform area they wish vegetation to be placed. When button is released, program calculates the rectangles that best fit the area. - Rectangular vegetation area button. Same as old Annotator program for simple or very small areas. - Undo button. Removes the results of your last action. - Select button. Next on programming list. User can draw box around an area on the screen and do various actions on the objects defined in that area such as delete and move.This morning I successfully saved an agn file I had loaded in and all of the defined areas that had been identified as being important in the earlier hacks of the file format, saved exactly as the Annotator program did. There are however, a few byte sets that the hacks listed as unimportant that I'm really wondering about. Nowhere in the format is there any place to save the selections shown in the current Annotator program that define the house styles such as Urban Small, Rural Medium, etc. It's my suspicion that those unidentified bytes may just have that info in them. If anyone reading this can help in this identification or can help rule out that theory I'd be eternally grateful. I'm going to do some serious experimentation but not knowing what to look for could be daunting.Screenshots coming soon.Art Martin

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Alright, great job. I'm sure you understand what I went through then trying to figure out how to define the squares inside your defined shapes. Man that was a challenge. I went a few steps farther though and actually took the squares that overlapped the edges and trimmed them back to where they no longer did. I then found any squares I could combine into larger ones. You'll see once I post the screenshots. I figured that if you had too many small vegetation areas defined it might slow down the simulation. Great job though. Any trouble figuring out how to write to the .agn file? Did you make any more sense of those few undefined byte sets that the original hackers labeled as unimportant?Make me a promise though if you release this to the public. Put in your user license agreement that it's free to everyone except for Microsoft scenery designers. I think they deserve to pay for giving us such a lousy tool and not releasing the file format witht the SDK.Art Martin

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Hi Art,The reason I use the same size rectangles (squares) was due to the feedback I got from people using the current annotator. They found that it was better to use smaller rectangles to ensure an even coverage see http://www.visualflight.co.uk/forums/topic...ll+I+can+expect The other thing was to ensure that there are no more than the maximum of 600.>> Did you make any more sense of those few undefined byte sets that the original hackers labeled as unimportant?No, I just used the values I found in an existing agn file. BTW, I think the mention of "hackers" in this context is a little inappropriate.Keep up the good work,George

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Had I been the one who "decoded" the original file I would've been fine with the label "hacker". Certainly didn't mean to offend anyone. I just couldn't think of an appropriate term to replace it. Just meant they hacked the file to come up with the format. To me, there's no good or evil associated with the term but I can understand how others might view it.Art

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Hi Art,That screen shot looks great :( I can terminate my attempt right now.George

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Nah, don't terminate. The more the merrier.By the way, made a new tool cause when I was creating multiple houses for neighborhoods, found many curving streets so I put in a freehand multiple house tool.Art

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Art.Ive been following your thread with great intrest and anticipation and would like to ask if this tool would also cover the Library type autogen objects ? if so, would this allow placement of objects in the Default.XML file by guid per texture file to have some form of control over the random placement used by FS.looking forward to the finished project.rgds jeff

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I second that. I like the idea of the vegetation tool as well, and can see designers using both. The difference ways which vegetation areas are defined, size-wise, may make all the difference for great results.I'd love to test -- I have a large 70x80km major city area just crying out for some autogen a lot quicker than I can deliver at the moment:)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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This looks like a real nice app to me !!!I have been waiting for a similar one as I have a few large photo real projects ready for release, but now I stall them to include autogen. With "annotator" it is just too much work.Hopefully we will be able to d/l it real soon.Best,Bjorn

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