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Some thoughts about Fly!II and Terrasceneries.

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Dear friends of Fly!II,I decided to post this article not because I have a problem with Fly!II, I post this article because I am afraid, that this great simulator will lose more and more influence in the Simulator-market. Just some days ago, I read a post here in the forum, were another Flyer had announced, that he will quit Fly!II. That makes me very sad.I often think about the old Fly!1

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Your idea is terrific. For US sceneries, uploading the TSP's and any other custom render settings should be sufficient, since the remainder of the TS build is fully automated so long as one has a modem or other Internet connection. For non-US, the process appears more complex, and so I am hopeful that readers of this post will agree to contribute.You may want to make sure Todd Klaus see's this post, as I bet he some great TS scenery files in TSP format he can upload.Looking forward to contributing and obtaining good ground scenery for Fly!II.-DK----Fly! II v230Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 512MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v28.83, WinXP Home Edition.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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Hi Holger,I have terrascened several areas including Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Chicago Area, and St. Louis area. I have quite a few others on my To do list as well.I would be happy to upload these, but they are huge. My Chicago Scenery which is approximately a 50 Mile complete Radius around Joliet, Illinois took me 40 hours to do, and is 866mb large. St/ Louis is 260mb large.http://ftp.avsim.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboa...rum=DCForumID14So I would ask, should I upload files that large. They are one pod, not broken up, and I am not interested in breaking them up. Because I do not know how, and I am not sure what goes into it, so maybe someone can show me the best way without creating much additional work on my part. I like picking the area, click render, and go to sleep. I wake up and bingo, I have a POD. I think it is such an easy process that people should be able to do this themselves.I have an 80gb hard drive, so size does not matter to me right now, but Roads, rivers, and lakes do. :-)Now, if people desire these, I will upload them, but in all honesty, those that download them will need high speed access, and for them, It is probably just as easy for them to terrascene the areas themselves.Those are my thoughts as I have many more projects I plan to do, but its spring and I coach my son's baseball team, and that takes precedance right now.So I ask, Upload or no Upload?Regards,Joe :-)http://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Holger,I am afraid that the size of TS files is exactly where the problem is. Even assuming Avsim will be willing to host them there will be very few willing to download this stuff or even (assuming they have fast internet) put on their computers. What is needed is completely new technology (ala LandClass in FS) where a tiny download (say 2 MB) is able to completely transform the area as large as the state of California.Michael J.

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Holger,I agree with you but I think things are not so bad. For the US users it is very easy, they can create wonderful sceneries using USGS data on the fly without doing any complex work at their side. The rest of the world is different and requires a lot of graphical skills in order to make it work. There is also a learning curve involved for those who are trying to contribute to this process. I take myself for example where it took me a couple of months to just understand the inside of Fly and get going in producing my first scenery. I did that because I wanted to have something better and decided that if I don't start now it may never happen! We can see that things are getting there slowly and they get better every time. Allen just released a new TerraModels with some additional features that help create new scenery faster and better.Colin has TerraShape in beta which may in reality become the solution to your problem of getting more realistic scenery outside of the US by just downloading a 500K file making distribution and creation for non graphical gurus a breeze. The ROTW group is improving things everyday by changing the boundaries of what can be done with Fly. It took me a while to realize what makes Fly! different than the rest, its architecture. This makes it such an interesting product to work and fly with. I have been simming now for almost 20 years and can say that this is the first flight simulation runtime architecture I have come to know which is open in its design and can interface practically with anything. The challenge today is that it behaves like a mean chain saw with no handles to grab. This however is changing everyday and I am sure that by the end of the year things will look different when developers and just one day scenery designers will contribute some of their time.Fly III? Who needs that, I can make my own!Mannie

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Michael,I am still not a big fan of LandClass. I purchased the entire US. It is an improvement no doubt, but still no match for TS IMHO. What I really like about TS is the road layers.When I fly over the DFW area with TerraScenery I always seem to know exactly where I am. Even with landclass, the DFW area still looks alien to me.I still agree with you that a LandClass strategy is better for the majority. But, I am spoiled by Terrascenery.By the way, I try so hard to be a FS2002 fan. I have purchased LandClass, 75m mesh (I love this mesh), additional aircraft, airport scenery, planners, and others. Yet, I am still not fulfilled with FS2002. Each new version seems awesome at first, then I quickly get bored. This is not a slam on FS2002. It is just something that baffles me every time I fire up FS2002 :-doh Allen

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the first flight simulation runtime architecture I have come to know which is open in its design and can interface practically with anythingYou NAILED it with this statement Mannie.Allen

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Allen,Lets not compare FLYII to this other sim - it is not allowed here. ;-)I was talking in absolute/relative terms. There is no way in the world I would put 800 MB worth of scenery on my PC to cover 50 mile radius of terrain. At least not for what I get now from TS. Even if someone gave me the ready CD. If the scenery was '10 times better' maybe I would. Just a matter of cost-benefit on my part.Michael J.

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Holger,There is no doubt in my mind that the file sizes would be too large for all but a few persons. (And I don't believe Avsim would accept them either). If there is custom texture painting done (as with Paul Van Roy's great Netherlands scenery), his marvelous technique of compressing the images to JPEG makes sense. I am going to be experimenting with this technique this summer to see whether I can obtain acceptable results for both U.S. and European scenery - if it works, I'll certainly upload it.In most areas of the U.S., the readily available data files make that unnecessary. The data, project and TSP files can be supplied - the enduser simply loads them into Terrascene and the new sceneries are waiting for you in the morning. I know that this takes "a little" more work than copying in someone elses scenery pods, but Todd has made it about as easy as can be.In the ROTW, it may be possible to provide the custom shape files in download packages - then you render them yourself.Some of us also talked about making Custom Terrascene scenery sets and putting them on CD. Then we would attempt to reach an accomodation with the Avsim store, whereby you could purchase these CDs and have them shipped to you. The price would cover the COST of manufacture, Avsim's posting, and of course, shipping.

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>By the way, I try so hard to be a FS2002 fan. I have >purchased LandClass, 75m mesh (I love this mesh), additional >aircraft, airport scenery, planners, and others. Yet, I am >still not fulfilled with FS2002. Each new version seems >awesome at first, then I quickly get bored. Allen,Ditto. I never understood why I couldn't get hooked with all the terrific looking 3D models but I sure tried. I think ultimately it is because of TS2 and the general feel I get in the cockpit. I just like the way Fly handles the views both inside and out. Now that the dust is settling on Texas' new emission testing program I'm looking forward to spending some time with the new TM release.

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> I think >ultimately it is because of TS2 and the general feel I get >in the cockpit. I just like the way Fly handles the views >both inside and out. >And I'm just the opposite! Both cockpit & view wise. Just comes down to what we're used too, I suppose. Havn't used enough T2 will FLYII to make an observation.L.Adamson

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Truthfully I spend more time dinking around with TS2, TM2.2 and the editor than I do flying. That may be a major reason I didn't get hooked on "the other sim". If all I could do in Fly II is fly, than I would probably be bored with it too.

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I like the scenery sets on CD (and/or DVD in TerraScene's case) a great deal and would gladly pay for them.I'm relatively new to Fly!, but I've been able to create a TerraScene area around my home airport (KROA) that I use for VFR flights. I was amazed at the road detail and the detail of the coastline of our local Lake (Smith Mtn. Lake). But the POD file is 680 MB, and I can't afford too many of those on my drive.In addition to the scenery sets, it would be nice to have a utility that would allow you to select and install the detailed scenery/airports of your planned departure and arrival areas and remove other areas from your drive before the flight to help save space (though this could done manually for sure).Just my $0.02-hoo

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Allen,One thing you could try for FS2002 is using Terrascene Scenery with Terrabuilder... I've done this with great results for Lake Tahoe and parts of California north of the Bay Area. It's not difficult--you convert the Terrascene .tga to a bitmap, then use FS's resample or Terrabuilder to slice and dice it for FS2002. A 40x40 mile project takes a bit over an hour, and the end result is the road and visual coverage that has already made the Fly!/Terrascene combo such a VFR winner... I usually use a 7.5 M setting when building the .tga files....Until I learned how to do this, Fly! was my sim of choice for VFR flying. Now, Fly! is my sim of choice for skimming the clouds, but that's another story...John, KPHX

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There is a way to break up one file into equal parts of many files. The process is also simple. You run this program and tell it which file you want to chop up, then you can either tell it how big you want each parts to be (say 50mb) and it'll chop the file into 50mb pieces, which gives you 6 files. Or you can tell it how many parts you want, say 5 and it'll chop it evenly into 5 parts of 52mb.It'll be named like scenery.1 scenery.2 scenery.3 and so on.It also generate a .bat. Put all files including the .bat in a same folder, run the .bat and it'll stitch the files back together into one original file.It's that easy.Drop me an email if you're interested.Preston

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Hi Preston,Thanks, but I have reservations on the average end user being able to successfully stitch it back together again. Too much room for errors on the average user again.Then again, we here in the Fly!II community seem to have some very bright people, eh?I am still learning the programs nuances, so I may upload smaller chunks beginning with my St. Louis Scenery, and if there is eneough demand, I'll take it from there. I have what I consider a good system for doing these.If I do a projetc I will just do smaller pods to upload, which the user can then choose.Thanks Again,Joe :-wavehttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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