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New Photorealistic Scenery Technique

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Through the ideas of a couple of Fly!2 Community members, I've stumbled on a new technique for creating photorealistic scenery. I have to give credit to DonB for the idea to use the free USAPhotomaps software to download satellite imagery for any area in the United States (http://jdmcox.com). It works great and it is the easiest way to find US satellite imagery that I've found so far. I also have to credit Pascal for the idea to use Terrascene generated imagery to "colorize" the black and white satellite image. The result is a nice satellite image that you can send back to Terrascene for rendering and slicing easily into new Fly!2 scenery. Here are some screenshots of the results:http://home.earthlink.net/~finsdad/FlyII/p...ceneImage_A.jpghttp://home.earthlink.net/~finsdad/FlyII/p...ceneImage_B.jpghttp://home.earthlink.net/~finsdad/FlyII/p...ceneImage_C.jpghttp://home.earthlink.net/~finsdad/FlyII/p...ceneImage_D.jpgThese are medium altitude screenshots - I did not go higher than 3,000 feet above the ground for any of them. Remember, you're looking at black and white satellite scenery that I *did not* hand-color. The technique uses a Photoshop layer technique called "color". I'm going to put together a tutorial for anyone interested in using this to create nice US photo-realistic scenery. For any interested, this will also work with the less expensive, Photoshop Elements (I'm not sure about other tools).What do you guys think?

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It looks great!!! I think I'm repeating myself, but I'd like Switzerland to look like that, unfortunately there is almost no data for switzerland.cheers

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Thats Nice scenery!Will it be available for Paint shop pro?Are You going to start working with this and uploading to all of us to use?HOPE SO.Jeff Akinsaka: pilotsim7828:-eek

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Congratulations Dan!I'm glad that my suggestion worked!Thanks for showing the result. I was sure something would come out of this colorization technique, but couldn't find the time to try myself (too busy with developping new enhanced TS techniques).The farmlands seem the most difficult to get right. Here's the start of an idea about it: usually green fields are darker than yellow ones. This could be a rule to select and correct with the right colors. Again, I didn't try, it's just a suggestion.The mountains are really beautiful! I can't wait to fly there!For other people who want to try, you don't even need to buy Photoshop:http://www.gimp.orgThe Gimp! A powerful open source graphic package developped under Linux and ported to Windows!The layer managment is similar to Photoshop. Beware: it's not as efficient as Photoshop for very large files. Otherwise it's simply great!Cheers!Pascal

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Don,I would be very interested in your tutorial. I first thought the bottom picture was actually the hi-res textures from Fly II and not photoreal!

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Hi Dan,Would appreciate your tutorial in colorizing black & white photos using Photoshop. I'm currently painting the SFO area and it's its a bit tedious given the large area. There might be a efficient way of doing it.Thankschris

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Wow! :) So how exactly do you get it to colorize in Photo Shop? And I would be very interested in that tutorial!Jason

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Wow!Can't wait to get my hands on a tutorial! Nice work!Rich@KLEWBeige G3 233 MHz DT rev.1 G4 400 MHz NewerTech upgrade OS 9.2.2 /Jaguar384 MB RAM ATI Radeon Mac (PCI) Thrustmaster FCS/WCS

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I would appreciate a tutorial.I have Photoshop and I am familiar with layers.It's the Importing to Fly! that I need help with.ThanksJim Dillman

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It looks like you can do fairly large areas. Extremely interesting, I am looking forward to trying it out with your tutorial.

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Dan,Thanks for the acknowledgement, though hardly an original thought on my part. Glad to see you're putting together a tutorial and that it seems to be creating some excitement. Your screenshots do a nice job of showing everyone the potential of a fairly straight forward technique. Maybe we'll start to see some nice places for us all to Fly! If the scenery pods are too large maybe we could upload merged b&w satellite photos (using USAPhotoMaps and the associated big jpeg tool) that match TS globe tile coordinates. Then with instructions from your tutorial the user could render the appropriate TS globe tile and then merge the photo with the TS tga and color and reslice it on their own.Don

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I haven't been in SFO is my background color acceptable?(i was thinking of darkening it more)chris

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You're doing a good job, Chris. But hand-coloring takes forever! I know I've tried it before and given up. As an example, I've included an image below of the same area colored using the technique I've discovered. I only spent about 15 minutes on it, but you can see the potential. A little cleaning up would make it quite nice!http://home.earthlink.net/~finsdad/FlyII/p...FranExample.jpgI'm hoping to get the tutorial out soon, but in order to make it easy for everybody, there are some things I have to figure out. In the meantime, I suggest that people download USAPhotomaps (http://jdmcox.com) and begin to play with it. Also, there is a chance these files will be too large to upload to avsim. Right now I'm trying to convert a full tile and its hundreds of megabytes. I guess we'll see how it turns out. Thanks for your responses!

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