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Hi Folks!As you have noticed, I have been fairly innactive in the last few months. This is mostly due to my father's illness. I have also just returned from Netherlands where I was visiting my 8-month old nephew!I am now back and hard at work. The new version is well under way, although I will have to make a few shortcuts in order to have some features that I wanted. There are also a few questions I haven't had answered:Where exactly do we get Elrond's latest image conversion utility (FSTexConv) and how do we use it to produce water? This is what is holding the tutorial up, because I would really like to have the tutorial include this functionality.If someone could answer this for me, I'd greatly appreciate it...Thanks,Misho

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Misho, I don't think Elrond Elvish ever "released" his app, but the links he provided in his forum threads still work. Search on the logical keywords on this forum and you'll find it. If you need it, I can send it to you, but you'll have to give me ur email.As far as how it works to make water, its very simple.You just make a second version of your project, using almost exactly the same inf file. The only difference is the source file name is changed so that you can slice a bmp that is designed as an alpha channel with black 0,0,0 as the water and white 255,255,255 as the "not water".Those slices need to be stored somewhere different from the main image slices. FSTexConvert asks you where the alpha slices are, and where the main slices are, and will convert them both into dxt1+alpha.That's about the size of it!Bob Bernstein

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Bob,thanks for the info.I found the link in the past threads; it is actually broken and now there is no way of getting his app. If you have a link that works, please let me know as I need to include it in the tutorial.I have the app, but obviously I cannot post it on my web site, unless he gives me permission.I am sure it is simple to use it. But I want to, of course, automate the process so that the creation of the second project is not needed. For that I would need an actual command-line string, because TB processes everything on the command-line level (i.e. I don't want to "open" FSTexConvert). There is no command line reference so I would have to poke around for a while to figure it out. If you have it, let me know.

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He did supply command line access, but I think it had a bug or two. Its at home and I can send it to you.Elrond is still around in other forums, and he seemed genuinely pleased to respond to one of my posts recently, but he would not respond to my question of "what the heck happend" to change his interest and communication with the scenery design world.Jim Kanold referred obliquely to it with no detail either, and while its none of my business, it seems odd that you are unable to make progress due to a need to reach Elrond when he's hanging around.Have you tried to contact him directly? I know that at one time he was quite interested in helping you.B

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Bob,Yes please, send it to me: terrabuilder@hotmail.comI wouldn't blame him for losing interest - things sometimes crawl to a standstill and other things take priority. I can speak from experience. I'm back with a vigour, though :-) and ready to rekindle!I'll contact him directly once I have TB working the way I want to. There will be a switch to specify image converter and the string associated with it, so user will be able to choose ANY converter of its choice.Misho

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Mishoif You want to study alpha with command-line please askPatrick Fogarty and download his ACT scenery.He has done a big work. Look for him in this forum.http://members.ozemail.com.au/~paeet/paeet@ozemail.com.au All dxt1+alpha concertion at least comes from Martin Wright.Please read all his latest comments in this forum.Peterwww.petercie.de

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MishoElrond`s converter (at least when Alpha is requires) works by using 2 resampled images. One is the "normal" visible texture as 24 bit and the other is a greyscale Alpha map of the same size with the water areas marked in black. I`m not sure if he has this greyscale as 24 bit or 8 bit but it needs to be in 8 bit when it is passed to my dll for conversion to DXT1 (I think he may have them in 24 bit but converts each sample to 8 bit when passing it over for conversion)Depending on how Terrabuilder is doing the resampling it should be possible to code up something to call the DLL directly.

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Martin,I remember there was a dll bug after converting some hundred slices (in ACT). Is this solved?Pit

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Yes.......Part of the major revision of the DLLs a few weeks ago was to cure the memory leak that made things gring to a halt after a few hundred images.

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Sorry Guys for the absence here. I try to do a forum-wide search on my name every week or so to make sure I don't miss any posts directed at me, but I seem to have slacked off doing this for a while... Thank heaven this thread isn't months old :-).Pit: As for the memory leak, indeed Martin was very kind enough to track it down and it is completely solved on his end with his new DLLs. Since the interface to the fixed DLLs changed a bit however, a newer revision of my tool needs to be released ( has been in the library here at AVSIM since Feb. 20th). I have been so swamped with work the past month that I missed the immediate release of that version which supports the new DLL's... I'll remedy that and whip up a package tonight - v1.03 - and post it here as well as to the library.As for commandline access, here is the text directly from the included readme of v1.02 in the library (nothing will change here with the new version):---Commandline InterfaceYou can optionally use FS Texture Converter as a commandline driven utility. In this mode, FS Texture Converter will process the textures automatically and without user interaction. The interface may be displayed or hidden in this mode as well. Upon successful conversions, the utility will automatically exit and provide an ExitCode so you know what has occurred. To use this mode, call FS Texture Converter with these arguments (you can use either - or / when specifying the arguments and case is not important for the arguments specifiers):FSTexConvert.exe -b:"Base Texture Path" -o:"Output Texture Path" (-a:"Alpha Texture Path") (-t:1..9) (-v:y or n) (-?)Commandline argument details:-b:"Base Texture Path" (REQUIRED) - Provide the existing path to the base textures. Path and textures must exist.-o:"Output Texture Path" (REQUIRED) - Provide the path to create the converted textures in. Path will be created if does not exist.-a:"Alpha Texture Path" (OPTIONAL) - Provide the existing path to the alpha textures. If provided, path and textures must exist.-t:1..9 (OPTIONAL) - Specifies the type of texture format to convert to. If not supplied, will default to DXT1 with Alpha (FS2K2 Method). The conversion format can be any of these types (specified by the preceding number): 1: DXT1 with Alpha (FS2K2 Method) 2: DXT1 with Alpha (NVidia Method) 3: DXT1 Opaque 4: DXT3 with Alpha 5: DXT5 with Alpha 6: Extended 16-bit Opaque (0-565) 7: Extended 16-bit with Alpha (4-444) 8: Extended 16-bit with Alpha (1-555) 9: Extended 32-bit with Alpha (8-888)-v:y or n (OPTIONAL) - Specifies whether the interface is visible or not. Y to for visible, N for invisible. Defaults to Y if argument is not provided.-? (OPTIONAL - Should only be used to see the arguments) - Displays this list of Commandline argument details.Commandline example:FSTexConvert.exe -b:"C:TempBase Textures" -o:"C:TempOutput" -t:5 -v:n---To save some space here, the ExitCodes are listed in the readme (as well as a sample batch file that demonstrates its use in commandline mode).Misho: feel free to post the tool on your site as you see fit. Feel free as well to include the tool along with the freeware version of TerraBuilder if you desire - no charge of course. The commercial version can't include the tool directly though, since all of my public software is commercial free. Feel free to include a direct download link to it in the commercial version however, if thats of use to you.I'll get back here tonight or early tomorrow...Take care,http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gif[link:flightontario.cjb.net]http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Hi Bob,I'm always more than happy to talk with you anytime I see one of your posts. You and the vast majority of the people like Martin and Misho in the dev forums like this one I share a great deal of respect for.The reason why I didn't respond to the post about "what happened" though, is for exactly that reason. I have too much respect for the developers who spend so much of their personal time and energy in the FS addon field. My personal reasons for moving on (back, actually) to other game genre's with my hobby work can be seen as fairly contentious to some people, and I don't want to create the least bit of ripple or bad will from others against any freeware/Free Software developers like yourself. There's no reason to do so, and it would be bound to cause a rucus: specially when there are so many that are primed and ready to pounce on such a topic for their own perverse enjoyment.I still lurk around all the fligh-sim related forums and if there is anything that I can ever help with, without jumping back in with both feet (like this thread), I'm always more that happy to do so.So please forgive me for seeming to ignore your early post on the topic. It was in respect to you and so many others that I consider friends here that I did/do so.Take care,http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Thanks Elrond!I will provide all neccessary links to your tool in my tutorials - Thanks again for providing this - this is a great step forward!I have produced water-scenery with your tool without any problems. Now I'll automate TB to run INF twice (one normal and one ALPHA) so that extra steps can be eliminated. I'll also include switch for the night lightmap!Nothing can stop us now! :-)

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ElrondNothing wrong with moving on (or back ;^)The main thing is enjoying what you are doing. When the fun goes out of it (for whatever reason) then its probably time to try something else. You can always come back later.....

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