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Guest pecrowther

Hill With Cliffs: How?

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This might belong in the mesh section, but I'm hoping there's a way to do this without getting into mesh editing. (I don't even know if it can be done with mesh editing.)I have to create a peculiar little terrain feature, which I can best describe as a small low hill that has been carved away on three sides (apparently by human efforts) so that now it's partly surrounded by sheer bluffs. You could picture it as looking like a great big ramp, I guess.The whole thing is not very big - I'd say roughly three city blocks by two - and about 25 to 30 feet high where the bluffs are highest.It may not sound like much; you might wonder why I'm bothering. But it happens to be a vital part of the terrain at this particular point, because it's right up at the border of the airport; it determines the layout, and in fact without it the arrangement of the hangars, taxiways etc. makes no sense. In all the photos it is easily the most noticeable natural feature.I can create a thirty-foot rise of ground easily enough, of course, with a simple flatten. But that results in a gentle rise, which would work fine for one side of the hill but doesn't give me the sharply-rising bluffs I need on the others.I tried putting a second flatten up next to it but that didn't work. I tried creating an elevated polygon and that did produce the shape I was after but it looked lousy - for one thing I couldn't get the textures to look right - and I suspect it would have hit frame rates.So I'm asking for guidance. Understand that I know nothing about terrain editing; I've never had occasion to get into that. I'm OK on things like coastlines and runways and objects, the usual stuff, but this is way out of my area of experience. And so I need to know the simplest way to do this, and I would appreciate it if any responses were kept very simple - as in Total Ignoroid; use short words and wave your hands a lot - so I can have some chance of understanding.I'll be grateful for any help you can give me. I'm in so far over my head I'm Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner.

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I think that trying to accomplish this via meshpoint tweaking is maybe not the best way to do this. IIRC, you can run into a lot of problems with crashing on users' systems due to differences in their terrain_max_vertex_level setting in the fs9.cfg file.I might suggest that you try to create this hill using GMAX? It would be easier in GMAX to create the shape you wanted, but texturing the object could be tricky. also remember that I have no idea about how to do GMAX, but have seen people create small hills and such in gmax before (as an alternative to doing it via meshpoints).Does this object need to be landdable? Do aircraft need to be able to go up/down the slope?HTH- just trying to come up with some alternatives?Ruahrc

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No, it's just scenery, doesn't have to be functional. I would have LIKED to be able to drive cars on it - the view is going to be great - but then that's always iffy; even with the default scenery, you can easily wind up fender-deep in mesh.I don't know any more about GMAX than you do - probably less, if you've seen it done - but I did come up with a somewhat similar method involving a combination of a high flatten and a raised polygon. The flatten gives the basic elevation and the sloping part of the hill, then you use an elevated poly to build the cliff into the slope of the flatten. It sounds very weird, and it IS weird, but it does work surprisingly well in some respects. The big advantage is that you can texture the base poly in dirt color, and that creates a surprisingly realistic looking bluff or cliff. (At least it looks a lot more convincing than a vertical green surface!)The one big problem is in texturing the upper poly. You've got this narrow but still noticeable strip running along next to the top of the flatten, and it needs to match the texture of the flatten pretty closely.And then too it needs to be a seasonal texture, and I don't know how to install that and get it to work - at least my efforts so far haven't been successful. It's possible you can't get the FS9 seasonal textures to work on a poly.I'm thinking of trying an LWM poly on top. I don't know if it will work or not but it seems worth a try.So eventually I'll probably come up with something that works, but it's all so uncouth and inelegant. I was hoping there was some better way to do it. Seems there ought to be some way to steepen the sides of a high flatten, but there doesn't seem to be.Anyway thanks for the response.

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Hello,In Sbuilder you can make sloped polygons.You can give every polygon point a height information.For the texturing:You can draw vtp polygons and fill it with named, class and assemble textures.Horst

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Well, that's essentially what I'm doing already - instead of a set of sloped polygons I just created a single dirty great one, and its sides are in effect sloped polygons; comes out to the same thing really.And the cliff surface came out all right; all I had to do was set the base poly to "dirt" and that worked perfectly.But I haven't been able to get those vtp polys to work yet. I put them in but there's nothing there. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong (if I'm doing anything wrong; could very well be Airport being cranky again, wouldn't be the first time) but no doubt I'll figure it out.Probably I need to start using Sbuilder, but I already started this project in Airport and it's too late to change over now.Anyway thanks for the replies.

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You can create the hill as an FSDS or GMAX object. If you want to drive on it, both FSDS and GMAX allow for hardening of surfaces. In FSDS, you could probably harden only the flat top of the hill. In GMAX, you could harden averything.Phil

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