Sign in to follow this  
Holger

LWM/VTP help needed

Recommended Posts

I need some help with a small problem with some revised LWM/VTP scenery for my Tacoma Narrows Bridge project.I was just about to package the project for some beta testing when I decided I was going to test it in a default install of Flight Simulator. I have two installs on my PC, one is a default one for screenshot comparison purposes, and the other is the one I use. Each install is on a separate harddrive.When I went to test it, I had noticed that the modified LWM polygons and VTP shoreline scenery was being "eclipsed" by the default shorelines, and that the terrain mesh I included in my package was being flattened by the default LWM/VTP data.I modified my LWM/VTP scenery in SBuilder. I'm afraid that if I created an exclusion in my scenery package, it'd exclude all LWM/VTP data, even the modified data I supply in my scenery package. Is there a way to do this, or a workaround so that I can exclude the default LWM polygons and VTP shoreline scenery and include my modified stuff?I also want to make my scenery (Sanderson Field, Tacoma Narrows, Mt. Rainier and St. Helens) compatible with Holger Sandmann's CR Gorge scenery since it uses the same default data.Additionally, I want to make this a stand-alone scenery package that doesn't rely on default BGL file modification (Sanderson Field has three modified default BGLs as part of its package)Let me know if there are remedies to my aforementioned scenery design ills._Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Hello Steve,it is easy and save to use your own exclude files to hide the default scenery. In my opinion it is way better than to modify the defaults.To exclude default (or other) scenery elements, the excludes and other scenery files need to be in a folder, which is in the Scenery Manager in a position above the default scenery (smaller number).To *not* exclude your own data in the same folder, the name of the scenery folder must come first, if you sort them alphabetically (sp?).I usually start the name of the exclude file with an "_", so it comes first (i.e. "_exclude.bgl", "scenery.bgl", ...)Hope this helps,Edgar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,editing default LWM/VTP files has become really easy but ensuring compatibility and providing support to confused users remains a big issue, in my experience.Thus, I would first consider other options, particularly if the area in question is not very large. Slartibartfast offers an automated re-mesh option, which Jon and I used for our recently released Victoria area enhancements (VICENH05.zip). For smaller areas, G2K4 and (I believe) SBuilder offer manual re-mesh options. Or, you could base your own work on an existing (commercial) replacement, such as Ultimate Terrain USA.If you decide on changing the LWM/VTP files anyway here are two suggestions:1. ALWAYS work with complete LOD8 grid cells, don't just change a few LOD13 Areas here and there.2. Break up the edited default files into several sections of LOD8 Cells. Those sections should follow geographic areas that are likely to, or already have been, replaced by other projects. Thus, you could have a section of cells of my Columbia River Gorge project (see my CRG docs for the cells covered), one for the upcoming Portland/KPDX scenery by Vauchez, one for the area east of the Cascades, one for Seattle, etc. Depending on what packages a user has installed he/she can disable the corrsponding edited default section you provide.Still, even with all those individual sections the problem of support remains, as many users will get confused by file names and projects and end up with duplicate shorelines etc. IMO, one should only upload a project with complex installation if one is willing to provide support for many months to come.Actually, you may want to get in touch with the authors of the Freeflow projects, as they are considering a LOD5-wide replacement for the two LOD5 sections in that area. Cheers, HolgerP.S.: Edgar, the other option to exclude and replace within the same folder is to use different layers for the replacement VTP lines than the default does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>P.S.: Edgar, the other option to exclude and replace within>the same folder is to use different layers for the replacement>VTP lines than the default does.Hi Holger,you are right. But this makes it difficult in my opinion to build your own mix of sceneries - use two extension sceneries, where the second scenery would overwrite only parts of the first one. If I overwrite the road layer 6 I do expect that all roads in the sceneries beneath mine are gone. To find and hide extra lines/polygons on special layers is a long task. :)But I admit, it is easier to play with the levels of vtp polygons to get a polygon on top, when the "Imbrication" algorithm of G2k not works...Regards,Edgar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,I find the default layering system way too restrictive and have developed my own set of layers for specific line types. However, Edgar does have a point and it reminded me of another important suggestion I forgot to include above:Whenever you do something other than the "FS default way", such as editing default files or using different layers, please document what you did and include that documentation with your package. It makes it much easier for other developers to ensure compatibility with their own work and can also serve as a learning tools for "newbies".Cheers, Holger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok.. Holger, if I get this straight, I would have to work with complete LOD8 cells, right?Does that include adding every road and modifying every shoreline? I wouldn't normally mind, but I didn't initially plan on my scenery being a total "overhaul" of Washington State or large portions of it, and if I remember correctly, the modified LOD8 cells in your Columbia Gorge stuff were pretty large. My main goal was to replace the default scenery with a more realistic rendition, and only the generally immediate areas around Tacoma Narrows and Sanderson Field respectively. Having to modify rather large LOD8 sections would extend the development time on these projects considerably and as it is I've already spent close to six months on them. My main beef with that idea is that by and large, the default LWM/VTP data for much, if not all of Washington State is inaccurate. In many cases, shorelines and entire waterways are off by as much as a mile. I created enormous flatten switches and managed to pull rather large georeferenced screengrabs of Megascenery PNW (The flatten switches were utilized to not only flatten the terrain - the obvious reason, but to remove land shadows and distortion caused by the "Top Down" view). When I applied those bitmaps in SBuilder, and overlaid the default shoreline data, the Narrows was off by a quarter mile and Hammerseley Inlet and Oakland Bay near Shelton was off by a mile and a half!Anywho.. I digress.If there's a way or workaround so that I could release this package sooner rather than extending development time, I'd greatly appreciate it.You also said to use different layers instead of default as the other option when excluding and replacing in the same scenery? If you could, could you explain this a little further, please?_Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Steve,Holgers advise about the LOD8 cells as minimum scenery size was for the approach of changing default scenery files.If you leave them intact, but create your own exclude files and VTP files, you can choose the size for yourself. Smallest unit is the area, where you can add or hide something.An other thing about MS data being around a mile off the correct location: This is quite far. In my experience the data for the Berlin area is around 100-200 m off. Just make sure that your own refernce points are in the correct (WGS84) coordinate system.Other experts here might give you better information about this topic than I can.Regards, Edgar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to experement with the exclude method you mention and try the different layer method for my scenery LWM/VTP files that Holger suggested and used in his Columbia Gorge scenery pack.However, is there a way to exclude the default LWM data in small portions?For the most part I'm finished with Tacoma Narrows, and a few more objects need to be added to Sanderson (and some framerate issues - there's some severe stutters near one of my hangar buildings) before these two are completed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Steve,sorry but we cannot exclude active LWM data at all. We can either remove the "problem area" completely (with the difficulties that creates for compatibility and installation as described above) or we can turn water into land or land into water. The first option will remove the associated flattens of the default LWM data the second method will not. If your area is small and you want to get rid of the flattened areas along lakes and coasts then re-meshing is your only option. Re-mesh files are tiny (two-point) LWM polys that re-build the terrain in areas it has been flattened by conflicting LWM data. Unfortunately, you need lots of them to make it look realistic, which is why I suggested using the automated method provided by Jim Keir's "Slartibartfast": http://www.jimkeir.co.uk/FlightSim/Autogen/index.html Worked really well for our Victoria project except that our area was too large and the complexity of the re-mesh files - there must have been tens of thousands of re-mesh polys - can lead to crashes on slower computers (interestingly, there's no observable frame rate impact). Cheers, Holger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this