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Guest John Young

Mesh outside the default land area

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I am trying to correct the port area of Castries on St Lucia (TLPC) in FS9. I have successfully reshaped the harbour with Coast_Line_Maker, changed the Landclass with EZ-Landclass and created a new Mesh with FSDEM. It was quite a learning curve but worth the experience. All is well apart from one feature in the mesh. The Vigie peninsula, actually a large hill on the north side of the harbour, is too small in area in the default scenery and I have pushed the correct coastline further out into the sea. This new area has a water mask to the new coastline and a land mask on the other side. The enlarged area shows up fine in 2-D, but the new mesh will only follow the line of the smaller default coastline boundary, despite placing elevation values for the enlarged area in FSDEM. As a newcomer to Mesh and coastline design, I am obviously missing something. Could someone tell me what I have to do to enlarge the mesh coverage area please? John Young

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Hello John,The default HP files (HP931270 and HP931260 for this area) define the coasts.The have the important property of setting water altitude to sea level (0 meters) to prevent the altitude mesh from raising the water.While you can cover the land with water (or vice versa), there is no way to exclude that altitude, so your new land will be flat if it extends beyond the default.The only solution so far is to modify the HP files directly. This was complex and difficult, but now it is simply a matter of using SBuilder, appending the HP file, deleting the parts of the Water Mask that are wrong, appending your new ones in their place, and saving the bgl.We are awaiting a more convenient solution in the next version of FS.Best regards.Luis

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Hello Luis,That was really usefull, thank you. I managed to find, install and update SBuilder to the current version and have a look around. It certainly looks a great program. I even managed to discover how to get at the grass layouts of the default airfields that has always been a puzzle to me.Thanks also for identifying the two needed files for me. I manged to import (append) the one I needed and changed the coastline. It was easy to see why Microsoft had really screwed up Castries Harbour. However, when I came to compile the .bgl file the menu screen was totally greyed out except for "Run FS9". I have obviously missed something in my eagerness to get at the coastline but what was it? Also, the Help file recommends that I isolate the LOD8 cell to be worked on and do a reverse highlight and save. Because I need to modify and replace the default .bgl (LOD 5 presuambly), I should perhaps not isolate the LOD5 - is that right please?Really appreciate your help with my learning in ths new area.John

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Hello John,Congratulations, it seems that you have advanced quite a lot.It is a shame that St. Lucia has to fall on the border of those two files; it makes things just a bit more complicated.For Sbuilder to work, it needs SCASM; this is Manfred Moldenhauer's Scenery Assembler that takes the SBuilder file and converts it to a bgl. You can get SCASM at:http://www.scasm.de/and simply place it in the SBuilderTools folder. You should be good to go.I think that you are correct about the LOD5 business; don't pay too much attention to the Help file.Anything else, don't hesitate to ask.Best regards.Luis

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Sorry, John, it just came to me that there might be something else.SBuilder lets one choose which elements are to be compiled to a bgl. If nothing is selected, then everything will be grayed out in the compilation window.Since the HP files only have Water Masks (polygons) and Fills, then you can select everything for compilation. Go the the Select menu and choose Select All, then click on the bgl icon.Best regardsLuis

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Luis,Your remedy is spot on! I did have SCASM in the "Tools" folder so I thought it might be something in the operation. The .bgl has now compiled but I haven't yet tested to see what it's done. I only have a few minutes to play with today and I am tied up until Tuesday. I will have a go then to finish the test properly and let you know how I get on.Thanks again for your great help.John

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Hi Luis,It worked very well. I now have the expanded coastline and wall to wall mesh! In fact I could do the whole exercise with SBuilder and take out the erroneous sand bar across the harbour with the VTP/LWM edit of the same default files. It's a great pity that polygons can't be split because that would make the exercise very easy. I only needed to modify the HL931270 (VTP) and HP931270 (LWM) files. Is there any way I can transfer the redrawn shape of the coastline in the VTP file to the LWM file please so there is an exact register? It would obviously save re-drawing it again by hand?Again, many thanks for your help.John

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Hello John,Glad that it helped. Everything does really look much better, doesn't it? I am working on the islands from the Leewards on towards the West and it is very pleasing to fly the region now.It is possible to append the VTP file in the HP and then use that line as a guide to pull the default coast out to the proper place. But, don't forget to delete the VTP line when you are done. You may have to insert some points in the polygon, but that is easy enough.I always exclude the default beaches and place new shorelines in their proper place. After all, the islands are not completely surrounded by beaches. The only reason why all default coasts have beaches is because there is no worldwide database of beaches, so instead of not putting down any beaches, the FS Team put beaches everywhere. But, it looks more realistic when beaches are in the right place. However, if that suits you, then don't hesitate.Best regards.Luis

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Hello Luis,Thanks again. Yes indeed it does look better and I want to do a bit more to refine what I have already. As you say, not all the coastlines have beaches.The whole exercise has been interesting and it's added a new set of tools to my scenery design folder. I have been designing airport scenery for about 7 years now. I live in the UK and visited St Lucia this year on holiday, flying out of TLPC (very dramatic departure to avoid the high ground to the north) and on to Barbados. Although I have the "Fly to Carib" scenery of TLPC I managed to grab quite a few pictures of the airport and I may yet have a go at it myself. I just wanted to first check that I could get the surroundings right and in particular take out the ridiculous sand bar that Microsoft placed across the harbour.John

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