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FS2004 scenery in FSX

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Gurus, What's the news on the import of FS2004 style scenery into FSX?Any adjustments needed?Shez

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Hi Shez.I may have found out how to display FS9 VTP polys and lines in FSX ( thought to have been broken ). I'll need a few days to test it, but it looks good so far.Dick

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Dick,Good to hear that.Here is what I want to find out, do the following work in FSX,1) SCASM ground polys?2) GMAX ground polygons?3) SCASM ground scenery etc.?4) Library object file formats? MDL formats?Has anyone tried to use any of my scenery (KONT, KBUR, etc.) in FSX? That might give me a clue as to how much work might be required. If it is going to be a radical amount of rejigging I might abandon it all together...ThanksShez

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Item 4 works - FS9 mdl objects are rendered OK in FSX except for those containing pure color materials. Unless things have changed in the retail editions then those materials are rendered black and not in the specified color. The FSX MDL format is quite different than the FS9 one.

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Scasm buildings and 3D objects does seem to work, but must be 100% textured, e.g. no single color on the polygons or that poly will appear black.Scasm 3D objects with "tweaked" code = with nav_light, conditional jumps etc. also seem to work ok.Scasm ground polys - have to be tested more.FreeScasm compiled runways or objects - do not seem to work (= memory leak).Bjorn

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Thanks Planeman. It looks like elevation issues first of all and issues with the SCASM roads (easily fixed). I am sure someone will come up with the flatten for FSX one day. It also looks like the GMAX ground is not showing. Might also be flatten related.Otherwise the biggest issue I would assume would be fps related.Shez

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Hi Shez,All points on your list should still work, although there can always be small parts that work out different.For the SCASM ground polygons for example I found out that the layering works a little different, so I had to change the layer numbers I used. Same for the GMax ground polygons btw, as they end up using the same code (the tool you use to create it does not matter, it is the scenery commands that you use).>FreeScasm compiled runways or objects - do not seem to work (=>memory leak).What kind of runways are this? The compiler should not make a difference at all. If I use BGLC, SCASM or FreeSC, the BGL file created should all be the same (if I use the same commands of course). I have not found problems with Fs2002 style runway commands yet.

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Thanks Arno, sounds like I may not have to spend the rest of the year doing fixes after all :)Shez

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Like Holger said there are changes. The world is a new type Grid that uses alot of neat tools shipped with the SDK's.Elevations are no longer working the way FS9 did. A flatten does not work when compiled as a bgl. FSX uses a varible type flatten with the Mesh Resolution slider. When the slider is set to full left that is 305m and full right is 1m. If you look at Shez's KONT picture above you can see there is a elevation issue. At this point if the Mesh Slider is move to the right the groung texture will start to rise until it meets up with the airport textures.Where this is going to have a big impact is with FSX 3rd party scenery that try's to use a flatten under a runway texture. In the past if we added a taxiway or a Apron with AFCAD the ground texture rises up if needed and then we added a coded flatten bgl under the runway. None of this applies to FSX.If the Mesh Resolution is at a very low setting (305m) the ground shows very little definition. Any runway or taxiway will be suspended in the air if the actual default airport is a few meters higher then the scenery I am adding (a down hill slope). If the slider is moved toward 1m (right) the ground starts to take a much better shape and also rises upward to meet the new taxiways and runway textures.That is a moot point because a FS9 AFCAD file cannont be loaded into FSX because it destroys many parts of the way certain mdl's and GUID's are compiled. That is also another change in FSX.Some buildings like a control tower is part of and attached to the airport apron. This also applies to the new Jetways that FSX has for many airports. Any type new runway, taxiway and a new parking spot removes this type scenery and also deletes all airport ground traffic that runs around the airport.I did add SCASM runways to Atlanta overlaying the defaults with no memory leaks or problems. Both User plane and AI Traffic honor the BGLC op code runways perfectly.There are also missing dll's that the FSX.exe is looking for. I had to load MS Visual C++ 2005 to get the 3 dll's needed. Two are for FS.exe and one is for all the exe files that are part of the SDK's. Another small issue I am seeing is the simconnect.dll is bundled with the SDK's but all the exe files do not see it once everything is path correctly in the Sim.XML. The FSX BGLcomp compiler is the same as the one that is used for FS9 but the schema file as changed. The LAT/LON decimal format is now restricted to 2 types only. Because all my FS9 scenery is in Decimal (xx.xxxxxxxxxxxxx) I had to compile my bgl's with the FS9 compiler to avoid all the errors that said my airport scenery was more then 2000 meters from the Airport Reference Point (ARP).

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Jim,Thanks for the insights. So is there any way to flatten the ground at 1m resolution I wonder? If not then the only option is to abandon all ground scenery projects and concentrate on buildings only.The other issue is with your comment on the FS9 AFCADs. If these do not work then it could very difficult to do scenery for AI.Anyway, these issues have been tackled before on previous releases. I am sur ethe gurus will work on it. I also think ACES are more responsive and will help out.RegardsShez

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ShezI am still trying to fiqure out how to do many things. When I increased to 1m resolution the land came all the way up to the runway which was about 50 ft so it could match with the rest of Atlanta's elevaton. When the animated highway traffic reached the 50 ft increase in elevation of the runway it climbed up over the runway hill and went across the runway instead of under it.I am still tearing apart the SDK's to see how FSX uses a flatten properly in conjucntion with this new Mesh Resolution slider. SDK's are vaque in how things work in conjunction with each other. Holger and I spent a lot of time working out FS9 issues a few years back so we may have to pay each other another visit.Concerning AFCAD, I am seeing more problems then what we first expected. I am writting FSX xml (call it a Temp FSX AFCAD) so I can report to the fsdeveloper group that is working toward utility/scenery tools.At the present moment if the 3rd party airport is not going to use the FSX default animation then a AFCAD can be made in FS9 and copied to FSX. However there are some problems with that technique because the AFCAD program by default uses delete Airport element statements. This means when the AFCAD is designed using the FS9 AP*.bgl which is 5 year old data (freq., ILS data, companion approach data, runway numbers, taxiway designations, etc.) and copied into FSX it blocks all the current NAVAIDS, Jeppesen data, etc. and inserts what came from FS9. Some of if not all airports in FSX are using a more precise placement of scenery including ground texture aprons. So far, all the airports I have worked with are destroyed (airport texture scenery lat/Lon wise) if I copy a FS9 AFCAD into FSX. AFCAD is telling FSX not to use any of the default airport scenery (excluding approach, buildings, taxiway signs) and use what the AFCAD has on the grid. Everything at this point including taxiways/taxiway signs are no longer aligned as an example. I do see AFCAD working with many small GA type airports where there is no animation or moving Jetways because those type airports use minimum apron textures. Just copy over to FSX and then see what does not align.I am decompiling AFCAD's and piecing element statements into my bgl's so AI will work correctly at large airports like KATL. What we need more then anything else at the present time is a decompiler so we can see how FSX is constructed at the airport level. AFCAD's can be hand written in XML (waiting on tools) once we can see all the element statements in the Logical numbering of the scenery folders.There is another small problem and that is sorting through the Logical matrix grid that FSX now uses instead of a Region scenery type bgl file. I have the matrix fiqured out so I can find the airport files but it is tedious based on the FSX new world grid. Anyway, I do have alot of it sorted out and still waiting to see some of Reggie's work. The model data that we were compiling in FS9 such as your Jetway mdl's are not recoginzed by the FSX BGLCOMP compiler. Error messages are saying those are not FSX mdl's. The element line statements also require removing the name="b5dee8749cbd1c549016f1ad5c7f6a00" but the sourcefile= line must stay. My work around (as a temp) was to compile using FS9's BGLcompiler and then copy the scenery into FSX. That part still works.Its only been a couple of weeks since FSX hit the streets in some areas but I think airport scenery updates into FSX is going to take more time then designers first thought.

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Hello Jim,The grid that FS X uses is not very complicated and finding the location of any particular file is particularly easy.Launch TMFViewer and load the image-globe.bgl first. Then, just point the mouse at the region of interest and read the status bar for name and directory of the bgl file.I have not yet had any problems with AFCAD files in FS X, although, of course, they do not have the new FS X features like airport vehicles, jetways, fences, etc. But, that can all be added by hand.Nor have I had any problem with flattens, but then I keep mesh resolution at 38 meters. There really does not seem to be any reason to push this setting down to 305 meters - at the least, I would imagine that everyone would have it at LOD 9, and increase resolution according to need and desire (and computer performance.)By the way, the new BGLComp only recognizes GUIDs in registry format - that is {8-4-4-4-12}.Best regards.Luis

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So far:I have not yet noticed any adverse problems with FS9 AFCAD2 file in FSX at the one airport I have under construction. (ESSB).All runways, aprons and taxiways are generated from that AFCAD2 file.The FSX airport traffic, surrounding road traffic as well as the static airport vehicles all show up.Some of the default FSX static airport vehicles looks like they "sink" some 1-2 feet into the ground while others seem OK.Flattens compiled with scasm seems to work ok.Mesh res is set to same as Luis - 38m - it seems a slight overkill to use any denser if you do not have any extreme mesh installed.Sometimes there are problems with the taxiway lines, they become white instead of yellow on some PC:s, why I do not know.Also ground bitmaps with semitransparent textures seem not to work.XML taxiway signs compiled with the FS9 BGLcomp works OK, but get an ugly jet black backside. This might be easy to "repair" by instead compiling with the FSX BGLcomp.Bjorn

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It looks like there will have to be some workarounds and new tools to adjust the FS9 stuff to FSX. The good thing I see from your investigations is that the FS9 Bglcomp can be used in FSX. I guess it was too much to expect the FSX BGLComp to be compatible with FS9 stuff.Shez

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LuisThanksYes 38m seems to be the magic number and gives me something to work with for the flattens.BjornEvery airport I have checked so far including ESSB has been shifted in FSX by so many Meters or the entire world shifted and the airport remained stationary.In order to see the problems this creates you must 1. Set the slider for Airport vehicle Density to Maximum2. Set the slider for Scenery Complexity to Extremely DenseThese setting assure that all the airport scenery is displaying prior to making changes. Now when you copy a af2_ESSB from FS9 into FSX you will see it does not work.1. Control Tower is now gone2. Red Blast fence that sits on the center of the parking ramp is gone.3. All Airport Buildings are in the wrong place based on the af2_ESSB bgl that was made with FS9.4. All Taxiway signs no longer align and some are sitting in the middle of the runway. The windsocks are on the runway also.5. All the ILS GUIDS are no longer aligned with the threshold of the runways6. Many airport buildings are sitting on taxiways.7. Ground traffic tracks cause vehicles to drive right through buildings and on the grass textures8. Airplane parking stands misaligned9. etc.These are just a few of the visuals that no longer align or have been removed by AFCAD.If by chance a Airport has updated freq's, changed runway numbers, night apron lighing, changes ILS Navdata, etc. this is the unseen scenery and AFCAD blocks this and replaces the default FSX data back to what FS9 had.Also if someone tries to update a more complex scenery airport (using a FS9 AFCAD) like KATL, EHAM, etc., all the default animated Jetways are removed. This is because FSX links the Jetways to the parking spot and AFCAD knows nothing about that type parking spot or its XML data. I am not sure what you are working with but I can assure you a AFCAD for FS9 in most cases is not working correctly with FSX by using copy/paste.

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Hi Jim,>The model data that we were compiling in FS9 such as your>Jetway mdl's are not recoginzed by the FSX BGLCOMP compiler.>Error messages are saying those are not FSX mdl's. The element>line statements also require removing the>name="b5dee8749cbd1c549016f1ad5c7f6a00" but the sourcefile=>line must stay. My work around (as a temp) was to compile>using FS9's BGLcompiler and then copy the scenery into FSX.>That part still works.As already noted the GUID notation has changed (but that is only in the XML code, in the binary code they are the same). The major difference is that the GUID is stored in the MDL in the FsX MDL format. So that means it can be put in when the designers exports his object and he does not have to "find" a GUID when he adds it to the XML file.

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Jim,Thanks for your clarification.Very interesting findings.What may cause a problem for us is what you mention as the "unseen" scenery.But what I meant was that a revised FS9 AFCAD2 + an exclude seemingly work as usual at least what I can see visually.That is - you can use Lee Swordys AFCAD2 to create a new and revised runway/taxiway/apron system usable in FSX.I fully agree with you that you cannot copy/paste any FS9 AFCAD into FSX and believe to get any result :-)It was my intention to use such a method in conjunction with new recreated 3D objects including signs.This is neccessary since none of the 3D objects or signs shows up correct to the degree we want them with the exception of the taxiway/runway system.You made me think of another possible approach that might could solve the eventual problems with "hidden" features in the blocked FSX data. Is it possible at the moment to write an exclude that takes away all 3D objects and approachlights, but leaves the runways/taxiways/aprons intact? E.g. use the FSX efault "Afcad" for the airport "bottom".Bjorn

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Thanks ArnoI fiqured that the name= was put somewhere else so it no longer needed to be listed for the BGLComp compiler. I also read the other post on Mesh that helps me understand what FSX is doing with the Mesh Complexity. I missed that post completely.BjornWhat caught my attention was when you said you haven't noticed any adverse problems and this is ture if all the sliders are turn down in FSX.I am still trying to fiqure out how to revise a FS9 Afcad into FSX. Because we can't open a AFCAD airport in FSX there is no way of knowing where the taxiways or anything is placed. It is too hard to revise a FS9 airport using AFCAD then place it into FSX because nothing is going to align except the runway. Runway and Start Locations at most airports still use the same Lat/Lon that were in FS9.My testing is not about trying to make it work but when we start seeing FSX AFCAD's showup on Web Sites we will know it won't work until the fsdeveloper group get a tool working. Also if we know what AFCAD does to FSX the tool designers can work around those issues.Many scenery designers never consider the unseen scenery in FS9. The same thing is going to happen in FSX. Using a FS9 AFCAD in FSX just compounds the problem. Airport scenery controls the airspace within 110NM radius of the airport. This is some of what I mean when I say unseen scenery. Exclusions are honored by FSX if you just copy and paste the bgl. However, the BGLComp FSX compiler no longer allows for a decimal value to be used such aslatitudeMinimum = "33.6260341676548"If this type format is used the compiler creates a error code. There are utilities that use this decimal format. The SDK shows what formats are accepted. I personally prefered this format because based on the decimal place it was more accurate and drifting of scenery was minimual. I am looking at changing the schema file in FSX to accept this decimal format so I don't have to re-write every single bgl I have designed.

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Jim,"I am still trying to fiqure out how to revise a FS9 Afcad into FSX. Because we can't open a AFCAD airport in FSX there is no way of knowing where the taxiways or anything is placed. It is too hard to revise a FS9 airport using AFCAD then place it into FSX because nothing is going to align except the runway. Runway and Start Locations at most airports still use the same Lat/Lon that were in FS9."For me it does not matter - a revision is a complete redraw of the taxiways and aprons.This I can manage in FS9 with Afcad2 and e.g. a calibrated ortophoto "scenery" aligned correct with the runway.The new AFCAD taxiways/aprons will show at their exact locations as seen in FS9, since the runway end coordinates is the "calibration" tool and since it has not changed the taxiways and aprons in the AFCAD will be at their right coordinates too.But, true, when turning the FSX scenery sliders up or ticking the "airport vehicles" I do see some strangely placed tow-trucks and the like, so there is a need for a tip from someone more clever than me how to exclude those.Bjorn

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bjorn>a calibrated ortophoto "scenery" aligned correct with the runway.>Not familiar with this photo.Can you elaborate?

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However, the BGLComp FSX compiler no longer allows for adecimal value to be used such aslatitudeMinimum = "33.6260341676548"If this type format is used the compiler creates a error code.This is not my experience. I'm using decimal degreess just fine. Do you have a WindowsXP regional setting that is NOT USA?Can you zip and attach a couple of small XML files that do not compile with BGLComp for FSX?Dick

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Thank you DickWindows was the problemI thought I was going have to replace all my decimals with a different format but it is working now.

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