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stevekasian

Major Problems With Making Photo Scenery

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Hi. I have been attempting to make photoscenery projects for almost 9 months now, and it just doesn't ever seem to come together for me.I started with PhotoScenery Maker, but when it became to impossible to deal with the odd varieties of coordinate systems out there (decimal, degrees or H:M:S, "-" symbol or N/S/E/W, etc), and have to worry about weather I was inputting the proper coordinates or not, I finally gave up. Every project I compiled into scenery would appear 3 or 4 times to big in the simulator, and I simply assumed it was because I had not gotten the coordinates entered properly.Then I found TerraBuilder. And when I did, I thought all my photoscenery making woes would be over with. I figured out the 4.8 M/px rule, and about the LOD13 grid, and how Terrabuilder would discard any related overflow, and I thought I finally had a chance to get it right.But now I am ending up with the exact same problems with TerraBuilder as I found with PhotoScenery Maker: The resulting scenery is about 3 or 4 times too big in the simulator - every single god forsaken time.I have gone through the tedius task of obtaining images, figuring out their scale using "Google Earth"'s measuring tool, cutting them at exactly 4.8 meters per pixel, stitching them together in ULead PhotoImpact and creating an exactly 4096x4096 canvas behind them (just to make a temporary fit for testing purposes), then loading the final 24Bit True Color .BMP image into a TerraBuilder project.But it keeps sizing my project about 81% larger than it should be according to my measurements I made of the original images. So I have reduced the source image to 29% it's original size, based upon the discrepancy which occurs every time I attempt to set the coordinates - even though I know for a fact i am not the one in error.It goes in fine, and the image appears on the project screen. It even has close to the proper scale now, for whatever reason! So I'm all excited, and ready to start making some real headway now.And suddenly, MORE trouble: When I click the Scenery Issues button, I get the error message "Could not open the file for writing." Whenever I attempt to compile it, it gives me a "Couldn't open INF file." error. Then a "No sources present. Please define sources first." error.I don't get it. I've looked all through these forum threads and haven't found any posts describing experiences even remotely similar to what I am experiencing, so apparently I'm the only one having these problems, and I don't understand why.I am totally lost and need some intensive help. I think I'm going to need some emotional and psychological help after this as well! Sheeeesh. Nothing can just be 'easy' with this photoscenery stuff, can it??Any help is MUCH... MUCHMUCHMUCHMUCH appreciated!!All the best,Steve

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"Major" is a pretty major word... All I can say is that, when set up properly, TerraBuilder works fine. It has been and still is, used by many scenery designers including myself. Often, users report "major problems" only to come back and declare "oops, sorry, missed a step...". So, I will assume that there is something that you missed in the setup or the design steps. Check the tutorial carefully, and start from the beginning - and I mean the very beginning, with the Niagara Falls tutorial.Also - the "odd" ways of specifying degrees are actially very simple... Just think of it in terms of time: Three and a half minutes is?... three minutes and 30 seconds right? One and a quarter (1.25) hours is?.... one hr and 15 minutes...and NSWE thing is simple also - basic Geography. South is "Down" on the map, so it is -ve, below equator. West is left, so it is also -ve, past the 0 meridian.... nothing too scary?

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Steve,Did you complete the sample Niagra Falls scenery ok? If you can't complete the sample Niagra learning demo than there's not much use going farther.All I can say is this program rocks. After finishing the Niagra Falls demo with no problem I started in with Google Earth and mapped the entire San Luis Valley in Colorado. 120 miles long by 60 miles wide. Stiched up the photos and within minutes had the scenery installed in FS9 with no hiccups.Can you post a screenshot of something that is 4 times bigger than normal. I can't even imagine that 4x times bigger than normal thing happening.In other words you are saying a normal city block is now one mile long??Here is a shot that shows half FS9 and half Terrabuilder. The bottom left corner is Alamosa, Co. and it extends about 14 miles to the upper right corner.MW

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>>I have gone through the tedius task of obtaining images, figuring out their scale using "Google Earth"'s measuring tool, cutting them at exactly 4.8 meters per pixel, stitching them together in ULead PhotoImpact and creating an exactly 4096x4096 canvas behind them (just to make a temporary fit for testing purposes), then loading the final 24Bit True Color .BMP image into a TerraBuilder project.But it keeps sizing my project about 81% larger than it should be according to my measurements I made of the original images. So I have reduced the source image to 29% it's original size, based upon the discrepancy which occurs every time I attempt to set the coordinates - even though I know for a fact i am not the one in error.<

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I hope I'm wrong, but you probably miscalculated the resolution of Google Earth image. In order to get the proper Google Earth Zoom level 4.8 m/pix ( Altitude above earth), do the following:- In Google Earth, set to NORTH (N Button in navigation)- Zoom out to an altitude of approx 20,000 ft.- F11 Full screen the Google Earth- Draw a distance line, horizontal, with the following length in meters:(Your horizontal screen resolution)*4.8- Zoom in and pan around Google Earth so that ends of the line are as close to the edges of your screen as possible. Use ALT + and ALT - for very fine zoom adjustments.When the edges of the line are touching edges of the screen, read off the altitude. That's it - that's your altitude, at which you must take ALL of your imagery screenshots. I use a 1280x1024 screen resolution, so the screen is 1280 pixels wide (horizontal res). There fore, according to the above calc, the line I need to draw is 6144 METERS long, and the Google Earth altitude at which I will observe this resolution is 17966 ft.Check that with your numbers.

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>Did you complete the sample Niagra Falls scenery ok? If you>can't complete the sample Niagra learning demo than there's>not much use going farther.Steve, I forgot one thing. If you did complete the Niagra Falls demo scenery instructions ok how does your stitched BMP google earth photo compare size wise to the niagra bmp photo?Street wise and distance wise they should be 99.9% similar. If your bmp is off 70% or more before processing it I would hazard to say this is your problem (challenge :) ) Do like Misho says about the resolution of your monitor x 4.8Myself, I use a 1600 resolution monitor setting. 1600 x 4.8 is 7680. I draw a line 7680 meters long and at 1600 res that means my altitude in Google Earth works out to 29397 feet. I start to copy screenshots into PSP (paint shop pro) and then stitch them up into one big bmp file.>>But it keeps sizing my project about 81% larger than it should be according to my measurements I made of the original images. What resizes it 81% larger? Terrabuilder?? Terrabuilder does not resize my bmps 81% larger. Methinks somehow you are not giving Terrabuilder the correct lat and long coordinates. If those are wrong then the photo may be resized, I'm not sure because I have never inputted incorrect lat and long numbers. Maybe Misho has some thoughts on what happens when incorrect lat and long numbers are inputted.MWP.S. It's like Misho says, when you will discover what is going wrong you will say "Oh yea!, why didn't I do that the first time!"I would also suggest reading the instructions again over one or two cups of coffee. I tried all the programs and by far Terrabuilder is the easiest no-brainer solution to making your own custom photo-real scenery. Before FS9 was bland. Now I can fly over my house and even land if I want to on my street. (I live in the sticks so that's possible :) ) All the local landmarks come alive. Unfortunately for the time being FS9 cannot contain the entire world as photo real. Maybe in FS23 when hard drives are 900 terabytes then we will be able to fly photo real everywhere. Hopefully MS will increase resolution to 1M on FS10.

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Well, I totally blew it!Thank you all so very much for your input. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to read any of them until now. I screwed up something with my preferences, and all the replies became sort of "hidden" at the bottom of my screen each time I came back here to see if anyone had posted a response. So I assumed nobody had responded!Sounds like another example of my many "oops!" moments here. :-)I did, however, figure stuff out. One of the problems I was having, and still do from time to time, was that at least one of the SDK tools doesn't recognize filenames larger than x amount of characters, so I would always end up with empty folders after I attempted to compile my scenery, with no idea why."SUGGESTION FOR FUTURE BUILDS": When this happens, it would be very helpful if TerraBuilder displayed an error message telling about filename length, so people can more quickly figure out what went wrong.The other issues I slaved over with stubborn determination, and finally figured them all out. I was, in fact, absolutely WRONG with regard to the issue that I "knew I was right about" - the whole image resolution thing. Google's measuring tool is WAY off base... don't trust it! I did, however, finally end up finding the proper altitude.Thanks again for all your responses - I wish I had been able to read them before now!!SK

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>Sounds like another example of my many "oops!" moments here.>:-)There - I told you that user's inexperience and lack of understanding will result in "OOPS" moments. Please refrain in the future from using apocaliptic subject headings :)>>I did, however, figure stuff out. One of the problems I was>having, and still do from time to time, was that at least one>of the SDK tools doesn't recognize filenames larger than x>amount of characters, so I would always end up with empty>folders after I attempted to compile my scenery, with no idea>why.>>"SUGGESTION FOR FUTURE BUILDS": When this happens, it would be>very helpful if TerraBuilder displayed an error message>telling about filename length, so people can more quickly>figure out what went wrong.Hmmm... "from time to time" doesn't sound like a sure thing. Can you tell me exactly how to reproduce this? I will then for sure warn users about it...>>The other issues I slaved over with stubborn determination,>and finally figured them all out. I was, in fact, absolutely>WRONG with regard to the issue that I "knew I was right about">- the whole image resolution thing. Google's measuring tool>is WAY off base... don't trust it! I did, however, finally>end up finding the proper altitude.Takes a good-natured fellow to declare he was wrong, and in caps to boot! In fact, Google's measurements are absolutely precise. I use it to map jogging routes and then check them with the GPS - down to a meter. Not sure what you are talking about.

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>Hmmm... "from time to time" doesn't sound like a sure thing. Can you >tell me exactly how to reproduce this? I will then for sure warn >users about it...Just try compiling a scenery using a .bmp called "losangelesphotoscenery.bmp" located in: C:My ProjectsPhotosceneryTerrabuilderProjectsLos AngelesThe pathname and filename will be too long, causing Terrabuilder to skip the texture processing altogether, without telling you. It will end up showing the end result in the viewer after it is "done", but there will be no textures and no .inf file created... only empty folders.An inexperienced user will assume the processing is complete with no errors, but will find nothing in the created folders. Upon attempting to reprocess it manually from the display screen, they'll end up with a "no .inf file found" type of error... and rightly so, because there will have been no .inf file created.'Hope this helps.SKp.s. I said "from time to time" because I haven't taken time out to test for the maximuim number of characters allowable in the filename and/or path - instead, I've just been saving my projects into a folder located in the root directory, having only 3 characters in it's name, containing a .bmp file with only 3 characters in it's name, to be sure that it works properly every time.

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Hello Steve,Like many DOS console-based programs, Resample, the program that creates the ground tiles, does not seem to work correctly if there are any "spaces" in the directory path.Notice how your directory is "C:My ProjectsPhotosceneryTerrabuilderProjectsLos Angeles" -- perhaps you could try changing that to "My_Projects" and "Los_Angeles" and then everything should settle down.Of course, this may cause you to mess up all internal paths to programs and documents, so you may want to install Terrabuilder again in a different directory (with no spaces in the name.)Best regards.Luis

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Thanks for helping Luis. I sent you an e-mail re: lclookup.bgl... I was wondering if you could help me out with that one...

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Thanks Luis! That certainly would explain it. So I guess it's not the lenth of the pathname or filename that is a problem then? Just the presence of spaces in the path or filename that causes a problem? Please confirm.Cool... now maybe I can start organizing my sceneries in a more logical manner... I hate having lots of folders in my root directory!SK

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