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Autogen Creation program has problems in the install.

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Well, I should know better than to use my development machine as my testing machine but definitely had some program problems masked. My new Autogen Creation/Editing program is posted in the library now but got immediate feedback on install problems. First of all, I'm using Martin Wright's excellent MWGFX dll's to decode DXT bitmap files and included the dll that ties into VB but forgot to manually include the MWGFX.DLL. If you download his dll package that problem should be solved until I upload the next release. A few other VB dll's are showing up as out of date but I don't believe they'll be show-stoppers. Simply keep your newer ones during the install. The last booboo I made was in putting a hard-coded path in my program during it's early testing and never going back and revisiting that code to make it portable. It looks for a D:Temp directory which may or may not exist on your computer. If you have a D: drive that's not a CD or DVD then simply create a Temp directory on it and all should be well. I'll upload the fixed package soon after waiting for a bit more input. Hate to create too much work for the library managers. Art Martin

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Just a quick prelim note. Did one texture/agn ok. Next one gave runtime error 13 when saving. Will check further.Very nice program !!!Dick Boley @KLBE

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Thanks, I'm working feverishly trying to squash the bugs. Waiting until I have a good list from the initial reviewers before uploading a patched version since Avsim has made it clear they don't want too many versions of a beta program. I understand that completely. Will upload a new version tonight after some more testing.Thanks for the understanding and help.Art

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The fixed install package is now in the Avsim library and I believe I've addressed all the problems that people have sent to me. Please let me know if there are any more problems. 845 of you have downloaded the flawed version. I'm hoping that the fact I've only received a dozen or so emails with problems is indication it's working for some. Made a new improvement today to the program that allows the user to save a desired width for the multiple house generation tools so that the process is much quicker for defining a row of homes. That will end up in the final release.For the questions about defining custom textures, I do intend to address that in the future. It simply wasn't important to me right now in my tasks. The structure is in place within the program to define them and save that info. Only thing I'd have to program is the UI.Art Martin

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Suggestions:Add ability to allow the user to assign AGN files to your program and open them when double clicking on any AGN file.Allow drag & drop of AGN files to the display area for auto-opening.Probably do not need both.Dick Boley @KLBE

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I've been using the flawed version and despite the bugs it was really marvellous. The freehand tool allowed huge swathes of trees to be laid down very quickly - I think I made 150 tiles in a few hours.I won't report on the bugs as you may have killed them with the upgrade. I'll get that first and see what the changes are.Many thanks Art. I know that feedback tends to be low for any releases online - maybe 5% of downloads if you are lucky - but I must say that this is going to be one very powerful tool.boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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Oh man, you don't know how badly I need to hear that. Up til now all I was getting was that the install simply didn't work. That's really scary when you see that almost 1000 people have downloaded something you know is truly flawed. I'm still getting a few emails about install problems even with the lastest version and I'm suspecting it may have to do with the fact that my development machine is XP SP2 and the problems are occurring on SP1 machines but will need more feedback until I can track it down. Will begin work this week on adding in the ability to define custom texture sheets for houses and row houses and implement a few of the suggestions I'm getting back.Thanks for all the help,Art

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Dick, I'll look into that. I found that dealing directly with the .agn files made my eyes cross since the file names are so long and tough to differentiate between especially when working with hundreds of scenery tiles at a time. By giving a visual representation of the actual .bmp tile, I was able to keep track of what area I was working in. Perhaps I'll add in a second listbox of just the .agn files on the file open dialog box so that users wishing to deal with them directly can do so. Another idea for the future would be the ability to string together all the tiles in a directory onto a large mosaic image of tiles with lines across their boundaries. Then one could see how the tiles actually fit in on the full scenery. One then just has to click on the mosaic to choose the tile they wish to work on. I'm going to have to really bone up on my graphic programming skills to attempt that one. Thanks for the ideas,Art

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Art,You program has made a tremendous impact on the autogenning of the UK VFR photographic scenery.I wouldn't do anything more on creating a mosaic as all the users will know exactly which tiles they will be working on by using TCalc in conjunction with FS. In fact, most will already have created a subsetof their current area in a separate folder.Thanks again for creating such a wonderful tool.George

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Many users are now reporting that the install works for them. A few, most running XP SP1 are still unable to install using the package as downloaded. We did find that if a user having problems goes into the SETUP.LST file and removes the reference to SCRRUN.DLL that the install will go ahead. I'll see if I can exclude that from the final install version. Some great suggestions for additional features such as expanding my multi-house generation tools to the GUI objects. Art Martin

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Hey! Nice and much avaited tool, will give it a real try soon on a current project.Installs without prob'sNeeds to have "dot" as decimal delimiter, otherwise "Run-time error '380': Invalid property value"So we international types need to change from , to .That's what I found so far.Regards/Bqt

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First never had an install problem. Standard systems usually do not.Is it possible to create a process to display a large area of BMPs to allow freeform installation of autogen. The example I am thinking about is photoreal scenery that does not have "natural" autogen. It must all be applied by hand to each individual tile/bmp. Being able to see several BMPs at once would allow more efficient placement of autogen and to also permit a more realistic placement since the autogen must properly continue to adjacent tiles.Photoreal stuff is usually inferior to synthetic textures in my view unless you are at a high altitude which I am not.The autogen adds enough detail to make it interesting.Dick Boley @KLBE

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It probably would be possible to create a program to do as you ask but there'd be real limitations on the number of tiles you could display at one time and of course the system would still have to save each .agn file individually. Not sure there's any way an object you created in one tile could extend over into another.Had an interesting email from one user who at first complained about lockups in my program when he'd browse into one of his texture directories. He figured out later that the program wasn't locking up but instead just furiously processing the 15,000 .bmp files he had in that directory into my file selection listbox. I never imagined anyone having that many tiles in one scenery directory and of course representing those tiles in a mosaic would overtax any system. I thought I was pushing the limits having 300 or 400 .bmp tiles in some of my photoreal texture areas. Art Martin

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Hi Art,The guy with 15000 files in his folder also had another 11 folders each with another 15000 :( When you consider that each tile is only about 1Km square, the numbers soon build up. The way I operate is to copy a subset of su files to a temporary folder whilst working on them.George

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I also have the same 15,000 textures to load on startup and I'm glad I upgraded to a P4 3.2 CPU recently. :) The Editor copes very well with this huge number of bitmaps and it only takes about five seconds to load the lot.First project now about 75% complete with 450 AGN files run off in a couple of days. Tree coverage in this region isn't exactly dense but is certainly fiddly to make. With Annotator it was taking forever..boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/110708.jpg

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Wow, that's amazing and I was whining about my project having a lot of tiles to edit. I bow humbly at your feet. Obviously much of your photoreal scenery is countryside where the project I'm working on is tile after tile of house rows in a valley nearly the size of Los Angeles. I've also divided up the scenery into areas of the valley and that has cut down the number of tiles in each directory to the hundreds instead of the thousands. The rural areas within my area are pretty much devoid of vegetation other than some occassional scrub brush and cactus and are often mountainous so there's very little need to throw any autogen on them. Art

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Does the program display existing autogen elements? I do not see them and suspect that I need the original annotator to see the current element placement if I want to use the new program for changes.Dick Boley @KLBE

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Photo scenery is good in that above 2500ft the scenery can look incredibly 3D - especially if the sun throws shadows from tall objects and that has been captured in the photograph. At lower levels the coarse pixellation tends to blow the optical illusion apart - and this is where the autogen comes in handy.The photo scenery gives you a real world "map" on which to base the autogen so you are plonking down trees where they really exist. The one problem here is that I have to use very small tree sizes as the default values produce objects well out of scale with the actual scenery. This is one reason why I am not touching the buildings yet - most of the default objects are a good 200% oversize. Here I'll be using Library objects - when I've made them!This work shows how well two entirely separate FS utilities complement each other to give a really excellent effect. boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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Art,Just a clarification - I am not being critical of the program. Just wanted to know if I was missing something. I mayy take another shot at some low and fuzzy photoreal with your program to give it some covering deatil.Thanks,Dick Boley @KLBE

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Dick, existing elements should show up, at least they better after all the hours I spent making them line up exactly as the Annotator did. My program requires that the .agn file be in the same directory as the .bmp tile for the existing elements to be shown. That's the only thing I can think of that would prevent that unless there's something unique in the .agn file I haven't decoded yet. I never did test one with a custom texture sheet in it but I believe I coded for its existance and saving it back properly. I'm going to get into that next. Art

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Art - should I be able to manipulate the existing elements? I get the BMP and select EDIT.Dick Boley @KLBE

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Art,Just went looking for this program - has it left the library? A search for you as the author did yield anything. Nor did "annotator"...strange. I swear it was there yesterday!BEst,sg

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sg, see my post in the General Discussion Forum. Apparently a few user complaints about a missing file in the BETA version of my program caused the library staff to remove it. Amazing that people don't understand the concept of beta.I'm not having a very happy night.Art Martin

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Don't worry about them, Art - I appreciate your hard work as do many others. Stick with it, your util will prove very useful to many.It is a sad state that people EXPECT so much from those who are developing these things for FS in their free time, then complain about what they get for free - it really takes a lot of the fun out of it.Rest assured, I've been there, as have many of us here. Often, all it takes to bring it all back to perspective is one heart-felt THANK YOU - so here it is. Scotch helps me too. ;)If it all possible, I'd love to test your next build. My email address is in my sig.Best,sg

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Scott..... I think I got it before it was pulled. I played with it a bit before the "remodeling" started and I went down for the week. Art..... Thanks for this program. It will certainly make a big difference in compiling Autogen.Joe W.

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