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Guest snowmanf

Noobie Isle

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Ok, I know this is a slippery slope that starts with one small step. I want to create a small island (fictitious) with a couple of small hills on it. I created an appropriate simulation of the terrain in the Terragen package. I exported the file as a black and white raster image, 257 x 257 pixels. I then took it into Photoshop and did some tweaking and once again saved it as a non interleaved raw format raster file. After that I used GRISES50 to generate a .dem At least a file was created. I then used the Terrain SDK tools to create a bgl. Put the file in an addon folder in the scenery sub folder. Added it in FS9 settings. Restarted FS9 and saw the adding scenery status bar indicating a new file. So, I go to where I think the terrain might be and see nothing. Do any of you pros see any flaws in my process? I know there are a lot of places I could have gone wrong including the .inf parameters. This is the first mesh I have tried to create having spent all of my time in the landclass world. (Florida Landclass was mine and Joe Watson's contribution to that world) Any kind words of advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated. So far all I have done is learn how little I know.It would be nice if there were a tool for fictitious terrains similar to John Cillis' Landclass Assistant but I guess that is wishful thinking. Most mesh creation is probably to simulate real terrain not fictitious terrain.Bob

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Hello Bob,There are not really a lot of differences between creating fictitious and real altitude meshes, except for the source.There are many possibilities when trying to find what went wrong, but it is always good to consider the most simple and obvious first. For example, are you sure that your coordinates are correct? Have you taken a look at the mesh in either the Micrososft TMFViewer or in Jim Keir's LWMView? This will show you right away if you have anything in the bgl and if it is in the right place.Please let us know how it all turns out.Best regards.Luis

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>Hello Bob,>>There are not really a lot of differences between creating>fictitious and real altitude meshes, except for the source.>>There are many possibilities when trying to find what went>wrong, but it is always good to consider the most simple and>obvious first. For example, are you sure that your coordinates>are correct? Have you taken a look at the mesh in either the>Micrososft TMFViewer or in Jim Keir's LWMView? This will show>you right away if you have anything in the bgl and if it is in>the right place.>>Please let us know how it all turns out.>>Best regards.>>Luis>Thanks Luis. I will take a look at the bgl with the tools that you suggest. I was not aware of the use of those tools. Thanks again. I will let you know what I find out.

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Luis,It appears that something worked. The shape of my island is certainly correct according to the attached image. This is what it looked like when viewing using tmfviewer. I am not sure how to interpret what I am seeing except that the shape and orientation seem to be exactly correct. I am guessing that I must have generated the bgl with no elevations. Any advice or guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.My inf file is below:[Destination] LOD = Auto DestDir = "C:TERRAIN" DestBaseFileName = "birdisland" UseSourceDimensions = 1 [source]Type = ElevS16LSBSourceDir = "C:TERRAIN" SourceFile = "birdisland.dem"CellType = S16LSBNullCellValue = -9999 Lat=56.25Lon=3.75NumOfCellsPerLine=257NumOfLines=257CellXdimensionDeg=0.0146484375CellYdimensionDeg=0.010986328125ScaleinMeters = 1.0Bob

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I regenerated the dem from my raw file with different parameters. Resampled and converted to bgl. Viewed the file with tmfviewer and I can see some terraced elevations. When I try to view it with LWMviewer I get an "unsupported file type" message. Still no visible terrain even when installed in FS9.

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Hi.Try changing the "Type" value to "ElevS16LSB" - you've got it as "S16LSB". Also, try using resample from the FS2000 SDK; the newer ones have occasional hiccups.Jim Keir

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Ok. Did that. The bgl generates ok. TMFviewer shows it. Still not visible in FS9. My .inf for resampler is below. Do I have to do anything to mask the land water surface to make this thing visible? [Destination] LOD = Auto DestDir = "C:TERRAIN" DestBaseFileName = "birdisland_mesh" UseSourceDimensions = 1 [source]Type = "ElevS16LSB"SourceDir = "C:TERRAIN" SourceFile = "birdisland_mesh.dem"CellType = S16LSBNullCellValue = -9999 Lat=56.54Lon=6.14NumOfCellsPerLine=257NumOfLines=257CellXdimensionDeg=0.0146484375CellYdimensionDeg=0.010986328125ScaleinMeters = 1.0

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No. I was adding it like I would any other add on scenery in its own /birdisland/scenery folder. I will try that. Remember as I said in my original posting that I am totally new to this. I will try that.

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Hello Bob,As I mentioned, it is often the simplest things that can cause trouble.You may not be aware that geographic coordinates use a Cartesian grid (x,y) with the zero point at the intersection of the Equator and the Greenwich meridian.This means that latitude above the Equator is positive and below the Equator, it is negative.In the same manner, longitude that is East of Greenwich is positive, while if it is West of Greenwich, it is negative.So, your mesh is probably showing up somewhere in the Eurasian continent at the moment.To remedy this, simply indicate your longitude with a negative sign (for example, -6.14).Let us know how it turns out. Screenshots are appreciated.Best regards.Luis

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Thanks Luis. My intention was for the island to be just west of the coast of Norway. I believe my coordinates may therefore be correct. My intended coordinates are Lat=56.54 Lon=6.14. The inf file I used to resample looks like this:[Destination] LOD = Auto DestDir = "C:TERRAIN" DestBaseFileName = "birdisland_mesh" UseSourceDimensions = 1 [source]Type = "ElevS16LSB"SourceDir = "C:TERRAIN" SourceFile = "birdisland_mesh.dem"CellType = S16LSBNullCellValue = -9999 Lat=56.54Lon=6.14NumOfCellsPerLine=257NumOfLines=257CellXdimensionDeg=0.0146484375CellYdimensionDeg=0.010986328125ScaleinMeters = 1.0I have surely done something wrong here somewhere. To try to find my lost island, if it exists at all, I used AFCAD2 to place a runway at that location and a start point. When I place my aircraft at that location I am on runway with nothing but water all around. I am totally new to this mesh business and sincerely appreciate everyone's patience with me as I try to gain the basic skills necessary to create some fictitious islands. To reiterate the process I used was:1. created raster grayscale image of terrain. 2. saved it as a 257 x 257, indexed color, non interleaved, raw format3. used GRISES50 to generate a dem usinggrises50.exe birdisland.raw birdisland_mesh.dem 100 04. resampled the resulting dem using the inf file above.5. placed the resulting bgl in an addon scenery folder and added it in FS9.6. rebooted FS9 and saw the status bar progress as it added new scenery.7. created a runway at the desired location using AFCAD28. restarted FS9 at that location9. result............no island mesh.Maybe it does exist somewhere but I have even flown search radiuses around the intended location but nothing shows up.Oh, and I verified the bgl using tmfviewer and it showed an island, (screenshot posted above in the thread.)Have mercy on this poor noobie and help him find his lost island. Just kidding. Thanks for your patience and assistance.

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Hi.If it's *just* off the coast, there's a chance it's being clobbered by one of the default files. Try loading it into LWMViewer, then point at the center of the island and select 'Load this area' from the popup menu. If your island gets hidden by LWMs, that's your problem.HTH,Jim Keir.http://www.jimkeir.co.uk/FlightSim/

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When I load the file in LWMViewer I get all blue. I guess that means that a default water file is overlaying it? What do I do now? Thanks guys. You are great for helping me out.

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I went throught the process from start to finish again to be sure that I had not missed anything. I found one small thing in the .inf file that might have been a problem when generating the bgl with resampler. the attached jpg. I still cannot see the island and suspect as Jim pointed out that it might be covered by default LWMs. While waiting for the answer on how to solve that I will ask another question. In the .inf file used to generate the bgl is the lat long in the source section the center of the terrain that is generated? ...and probably an even more basic question is how is the size of the island determined? Is that the LOD number? (please remember that this is my first terrain project)[Destination] LOD = Auto DestDir = "C:TERRAIN" DestBaseFileName = "birdisland_mesh" UseSourceDimensions = 1 [source]Type = "ElevS16LSB"SourceDir = "C:TERRAIN" SourceFile = "birdisland_mesh.dem"CellType = "ElevS16LSB"NullCellValue = -9999 Lat=56.25Lon=3.75NumOfCellsPerLine=257NumOfLines=257CellXdimensionDeg=0.0146484375CellYdimensionDeg=0.010986328125ScaleinMeters = 1.0

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Hi.OK, if you're getting all blue in LWMViewer with only your file loaded, then the file is being created OK but it's all between 0 and 1m elevation. If it shows up as various shades of green and only disappears once you select 'Load this area', it's being overridden by the default files. You can check this by switching off the LWM tickbox - your land should reappear.The lat/long in the .inf is the position of the top left pixel of your data. The LOD represents the Level Of Detail; higher numbers show more detail. The highest that's usable in FS2004 is ... uh ... 10 or 11, can't remember off the top of my head. However, judging by the CellX/YDimensionDeg values you're using, you'll get something like LOD5 which is roughly one point for every kilometer. You're redefining a 257x257 Kilometer area. I guess these are the values you were using for landclass?So there are a few different things to fix:- Check your RAW file contains the right numbers. If you're using an image editor that's capable of working in 16-bit grey mode you don't need to go through the long conversion process, just save as 16-bit grey, RAW, little-endian (PC). Depending on your editor, you may need to reduce the range of the image before saving. If your island goes from being totally flat to a vast tower with satellites dinking off the top, you've hit this problem.- You don't have to work in 257x257 chunks, the source data can be any size you want. This can lead to problems where the south and east sections of your mesh don't get generated, but there is a very easy workaround for this.- You can change the CellX/YDimensionDeg values to anything, so pick something that best matches the mesh you've drawn. They represent the width, in degrees, of a single pixel of your data; in other words, CXDD = (east long - west long) / pixels across etc.OK, sorry for the lengthy post but hopefully this should get you a step closer :) You'll probably hit the clipping problem but if you search this group there should be plenty of references to that.Cheers,Jim Keir

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Jim. Oh boy does that help me. Thanks a bunch. You have given me a lot to chew on but even on the first read it makes sense to me. Some key things that were enlightenment to me were the fact that the source does not have to be 257 x 257 chunks and secondly that you can change the CellX/Ydimensiondeg values to anything. Also, it is liberating that I can work in a 16 bit image. You can easily spot the fact that I come from the landclass world can't you? So, it is a little bit of trial and error as far as getting the real earth location right? Using the upper left corner one must then calculate the area covered and use that to position the island in the original raw file?I did find evidence of my island in FS when I flew towards a suspicious looking area using the top down view. When I switched back to a cockpit view I could see the ocean welling up in the shape of my island. However, instead of being a small island it appeared to be huge. At least something was there.Thank you very much for taking the time to type such an informative and helpful posting.I will experiment some more but you have given me a great boost. Thanks Jim.Bob

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Hi.No worries, glad it's sorted. Your huge island will probably be the result of the large CellX/YDim values. If it's ocean, it could be covered by LWMs, or it could be that there's no landclass in the area - back on your territory, I think :)As long as you have fixed coords for at least two points on your island (maybe from a map and preferably as far away from each other in both lat and long as possible), a bit of arithmetic should get you decent CellX/YDim values. Then you can work out the top left coords of the image using the cell dimensions and the known pixel and geographic location of one of your points.Cheers,Jim

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Thanks Jim. I am getting there slowly. If the ocean is covered with an LWM water, which I suspect it is, do I use a tool like Ground2K4 or similar to remove it? I vaguely remember doing that a long, long time ago with a project.

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Hello Bob,Sorry about the mixup concerning coordinates - my mistake.A short comment concerning default water - in Flight Simulator, all ocean water is set to an altitude of 0 meters (that is "metres" for our British, Australian, and New Zealand friends.) We do not have any easy way to remove this limitation (although it is possible - see below) so if you create an altitude mesh on top of this default water, you will not see any elevation. The Water Mask (L/WM = Land/Water Masks) overrides your altitude mesh and keeps everything at sea level (0 meters in the FS world.)If you really insist on creating an altitude mesh in this location, you can remove the Water Mask there by modifying the default bgl that controls it. Jim has provided the possibility with his LWMViewer so that you can export the source of that bgl and then delete the section that you want. Then, just recompile and replace the default bgl with your modified version. The Water Mask will no longer exist and your altitude mesh will appear.However, do not forget that you must: 1) draw a Land Mask for your island, and; 2) assign land class values there.Otherwise, you will see the water following your new relief, but no land.Or, as an alternative, you could consider modifying an existing island where a new altitude mesh will appear without having to go through all this effort for a fictitious island.Best regards.Luis

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Thank you Luis. You guys are so helpful and I want to be sure that you know I appreciate it greatly. It appears that I still have a lot to do to make my little island look right but it is a wonderful learning process thanks to you guys. I may have to put this little project on the back burner for a bit because we have house guests coming but you have given me some excellent guidance and instruction. There is enough information in this discussion thread to keep me busy for a while. I will probably start working on it again next week and when I get some results I will post some screenshots for everyone.

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Howdy,now I am confused ;-)Luis said: "A short comment concerning default water - in Flight Simulator, all ocean water is set to an altitude of 0 meters" I thought only those areas defined by LWM code are set to 0m elevation. Attached is the LWMViewer image of Bob's area of interest (white circle), which is part of LOD5 section 49x12. The dark blue is undefined as LWM, only the light blue areas near the German coast are defined, i.e. set to 0 meters. (obviously, the other coasts have similar fringes of LWM code but they are in different LOD5 sections not shown in the screenshot). All undefined areas should have mesh show up, and the mesh should show as land, if it is declared as such via landclass. Or am I wrong here...Cheers, Holger http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/82169.jpg

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Or, I am wrong, Holger. It would not be the first time. Thanks for the correction and for bringing this up.Best regards.Luis

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Just popping in for a quick check, our house guests are here. If I understand correctly, and it makes sense based on what I have seen, the terrain exists but only needs some landclass definitions to make it visible as something other than mounded up water. I also need to get the island in the right place and the right size which is something my feeble brain is wrestling with. Thanks again everyone.

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Hi.I think that's it. If the island is in the place shown on Holger's map, it's probably got landclass set to "water". Check in LWMViewer :D Load your mesh, select 'load this area' then switch off the other mesh files that get loaded (dw*.bgl) . Alternatively, find and drop the file "worldlc.bgl" onto the window. Make sure you've got the landclass display switched on, you'll be able to see what class is there.So... landclass for your island will make it appear as land. However, it will also make the surrounding ocean appear as land. You need to create LWMs - Land/Water Masks - to make your coastlines. The LWM is a vector object - the ones in lighter blue with black outlines in Holger's screenshot near the coast to the south. I believe Ground"k$ is the tool of choice for these. You should be able to use LWMViewer (again!) to create a georeferences background image for Ground2K4 which will let you draw your coastlines in.After your guests depart, that is :)Cheers,Jim

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Thanks Jim. Got up early this morning and took a quick look. Here is the top down view of my island in FS9. I drew the yellow outline on the screen capture with my graphics program. Everything you guys are saying now makes sense. There is evidence of a version of my island as you can see in the attached image. It is gigantic and way too large but shaped right. It also has terraced elevations instead of smooth rounded ones. It shows as water because there are no landclass categories designated for it. The good news is that I am learning and there is something out there.

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