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Guest mtom

M-Files

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G'day all.Is there someone out there that know a thing or two about editing m-files, you know the long, thin, 8-bit bmps that blend the ground tiles together. Always been a mystery to me. Can't see how they work. If anyone's any clues I'd really appreciate the feedback.Cheers,Matthew.

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I think I read somewhere that some one on a German site had them figured out, but I have never seen anything (at least that I could translate into english) on this. It might be the same guy who developed the revised lclookup.bgl.scott s..

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Hi there,Scott is talking about Joachim "Jobia" Buhre, who posted the patch for the incorrectly programmed blending masks on his homepage: http://www.jobia.de/ The file in question is Terrainmask_patch.zip and it contains an html document with some basic information about the mask files.Basically, Joachim works by building specific test files and then carefully examining their display in FS. He states that the mask files contain eight sections each for the blending of adjacent ground textures. Which one is used at each boundary to a neighbor is determined by the classes themselves via a lookup table. This ensures that the correct effect is achieved. For example, fields and subdivisions are cut out along their straight borders instead of gradually blended like forests or bare texture types.We can open those m-files with a basic photo editing tool but Joachim claims that there's more to them than meets the eye. However, he doesn't go into the specifics about those special components.Cheers, Holger

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Thanks Holger --I thought you were the one who clued us into that, but couldn't remember for sure and too lazy to search the archives.scott s..

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Hi all.Yes, I've contacted Joachim briefly and done a few test in last couple of days. Unfortunately, the html document is in German, so I can't make sense of it. Sounds like I'm using a similar test strategy. Very time consuming. Yes, there are eight sections per m-file strip, each with a different pattern emphasising specific borders. Black constitutes opaque (those sections of the tile that display). There appears to various levels, some mesh and some overlay. For example, 030b2 (LC102 dry urban grid) appears to overlay 068b2 (LC? rural grid). Implies that urban tile mesh with each other, rural tiles mesh with each other, and urban tiles overlay rural. It's be nice to examine the lookup table. Have not investigated this yet. Yes, I've opened and edited some m-files. 8-bit 32x? grey scale maps. I've made 24-bit 256x? versions and used a visual ground tile as a template and painted in back segments according to the basic boundary patterns for each segment, and reduced them in size back to 32. I have to trim one pixel from all right-hand edges and recover some blending along the non-square edges. Occasionally, something goes wrong and I get multiple thin stripes across the tile in FS. Don't know why.BTW, these don't do the FSX demo any justice either. Same files are used. Groundtiles are 1024* and therefore more detailed, but this makes the meshing properties look even rougher. Real pity, as the groundtiles look fantastic!Cheers,Matthew.

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Hi.A bit more info: Black does NOT necessarily constitutes opaque. This appears to be a random selection process. Can't tell what determines it. probably in the lookup file, but I can't read what's in it. Another strange thing is how boundaries are resolved at the 256* level. One pixal in the 32* mask constitues eight pixals in the 256* tile. When the working file is resized from 256* to 32*, it makes for pretty rough meshing. However, close inspection of the default tiles in FS suggests that the meshing boundaries are resolved at the 256* level - that is, I can much finer meshing as compared what I getting with my edits. Can't tell waht causing this.Cheers,Matthew.

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Thanks for working on this. I don't have any direct need, but allways interested in how the things "tick".scott s..

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I'll keep adding to this as I learn more, if I don't give up :-DCheers,Matthew.

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Hi.I did a small experiment in FS9 the other day replacing the 32 Pix files with 256 files. It was only with one set of ground tiles, but I did not notice an adverse effects on performance. Cheers,Matthew.

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