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wsieffert

FSImports and default runways

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I've noticed on a few Simflyer's airport conversions that it is better to leave taxiways deselected since the taxiways in the Simflyer's scenery usually do not appear. You can tell the difference by the concrete texture. Simflyer's is completely different than the default. Deselecting taxiways will usually allow the default Fly II taxiways to appear. The problem is that occassionally at least one runway is displaced from it's location related to the default taxiway. So the question is, why is it necessary for FSImports to change the default runway database, in effect repositioning runways at some airports? It also affects the ILS and NAVAIDS pods which I understand is necessary if the runway is being moved but I'm curious why all this is necessary if all we really want are the 3D scenery models.

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Dean:As you know, I converted two of Simflyer's demo sceneries and all taxiways appeared. You have to select taxiways AND yellow. At least that's what I did.Is that how you're converting them?Take care,Alejandro AmigorenaCheshire, CTAthlon XP 1800ABIT KR7A-RAID768Mb RAMGeForce 3 64MBSB Audigy GamerCH Flight Yoke USBCH Pro Pedals USB

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At the outset, I just wanted to generate 3D models. However, I quickly came across the problem that they are misplaced relative to fly! runways and taxiways. Another problem is that many fly! airports have no taxiways and there are reports of fly! runways being badly placed.Previously, I released two converted sceneries for which I had to move the 3D models by hand and generate taxiway files using Peter Jacobson's taxiway editor. However, this is a lot of work. I do not think that most end-users will want to do this by hand using FSI.I (we) decided to rely on the runway/taxiway/ils/navaid info in BGL files. If a scenery area has ALL these infos present, then the resulting conversion synchronise. To do this, the information must first be present in the BGL files, this must be extraced and converted into 3 fly! databases plus a BGR TMS pair for each airportencountered. This is absolutely non-trivial!Some ADD-ONs rely on FS default BGLs for runways/taxiways/aprons and others "paint" and "dot" taxiways and aprons which are not as easy to detect as the standard BGL commands.BGLs also have it "easy" - they can add or replace models, taxiways, runways, ils, navaids, etc.I use FSI myself to generate ready to fly! sceneries with updated databases and taxiways where present and that was my intention.I accept any offsets at present.Padraic (Podjoe) Morgan.

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>Dean: >>As you know, I converted two of Simflyer's demo sceneries >and all taxiways appeared. You have to select taxiways AND >yellow. At least that's what I did. >>Is that how you're converting them? >Alex,I have converted Simflyer's Orlando, Newark, Phil. and Dulles without a hitch, not D/FW though.:-( I have done the conversion process with the taxiways a number of different ways and my results are the same everytime. Of course my experience is limited to about 6 major airports with complete and fairly accurate taxiways in the default fly scenery. If I select taxiways and yellow, I end up with Fly default taxiways. If I select neither I also get Fly taxiways. If I select just taxiways I usually get nothing. Are you certain you are looking at Simflyer's taxiways and not the default? If you have FS2002 and look at the same scenery in it, the concrete texture on the taxiways and aprons is completely different.

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Padraic,Thanks for the response. I'm not complaining about this, BTW. I've only done about 6 airports and they all had relatively accurate default runways and taxiways but I did notice some runway displacement after conversion. I was just curious why it was necessary to move runways during the conversion process. On another topic, Simflyers indicated in an email to me they are going to look into supporting using your tool to convert their scenery for Fly II. I think Alex may have touched on this in the beta forum also.

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Thanks, I got that mail, and am considering the points raised.If the BGLs for an area replace ALL then the chances of AUTOMATIC Fly! synchronisation are higher. There were still a few unknowns which we tried in the BETA to overcome - unfortunately we did not test on enough different PCs and operating systems etc. For example: do PODs in the MAPS folder have priority over the those in the TAXIWAYS folder ? If FSI actually generates a taxiway system (BGR+TMS) for an airport it PODs it and copies the POD to the MAPS folder. If this folder does not have priority then the BGR+TMS will not be loaded from the new POD. The only alternative then is to copy BGR+TMS files into the fly DATA folder. I am considering this as an FSI option. The POD solution is cleaner but seems not work on all systems.FSI generated taxiways are easy to spot in Fly! as they have no yellow edge lines and the lighting is a bit erratic.The "Yellow" checkbox tell FSI to look for taxiways and aprons which are "drawn" in BGLs with paint-like commands. BGLs can also paint the entire taxiway/apron system by tiling bitmaps together and add "dots" for lights at night. FSI filters out these large polygons on the ground as they may interfere with the underlying Fly! scenery and taxiways/aprons.Remember that the actual runway being displayed does NOT come from the BGR+TMS pair but is drawn by Fly! based on entries in the SYSTEMRUNWAYS.POD database. Thus, to actually move a runway the databases must be updated. Why move runways ? - to synchronise with BGL positioning of models and taxiways since the FS scenery designer has synchronised his models, axiways, runways, ils, navaids.So, FSI does the following per global tile:3D Scenery checked? makes models using BGL postions pods moves POD to SCENERYFS_SCNRYDXXXZZZ folderTaxiways or Databases checked? generates runways/ils/navaids info using BGL positions keeps this info in FS_IMPDBDXXXZZZ.TXTTaxiways checked? makes taxiway files BGR+TMS using the info file pods BGR+TMS moves POD to MAPS folderDatabases checked? merges ALL these info files into new databases overwrites SYSTEM databasesThe files resulting from conversion are described in the readme.txt for v1.02.Thanks again,Padraic (Podjoe) Morgan.

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Many thanks again for your hard work on this program. This program has been a "goldmine" to us. After our learning curve I think we will end up with one of the best programs available in Fly II creation, if not already. I have hit a few problems, but I expect it, anyway the feeling I get when I first see each scenery creation is worth the odd problem on some airfields.All the best Padraic & keep up the good work.PS Any more programs in the pipe line?

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Hi and thanks,When FSI is more stable I may consider dreamin' up new ideas.At the moment, I am looking at the decompression of textures which some FS static aircraft use. I know the curve is steep but I had to release knowning that end users would encounter bugs that I never met. For example, here is a snippet from the new README.TXT for v1.03===========================================================>== FSI from version v1.02 to v1.03===========================================================> A number of bugs were removed and features added between v1.02and v1.03. Areas whose path included a full stop (period .) character werenot recognised. This bug has been removed. An empty line was needed at the end of "scenery.cfg". The lastarea was ignored if there was no empty line. This bug has beenremoved. The parameter file "fs_scnry.dll" is now defaulted like theother ones - if it exists, it will not be overwritten by installingthis verion. BMP files with 32-colours (rare) were not converted correctly.This has been fixed. A few more messages are generated into fs_impms.txt indicatingpotential errors. An new internal BGL code (0x0E) was implmemented. This meansthat more BGL files are accepted for consideration. Generic buildings were accidently generated with only half theprogrammed height. This has been corrected. Some BGL files have exaggerated ranges in their headers. Theaffect is that too many tiles are converted for a single area. Thisversion caclulates the tile ranges of all BGL files based on thecontents of the files and no longer relies on inaccurate BGL headerinformation. The FSI dialog has a new button "cfg" which effects the sortingorder of the drop-down area menu. See under the heading GROUP"Select Tiles". The scenery loading DLL has an improved FPS monitoringalgorithm. It gives priority to tall and wide objects. Very smallobjects are only displayed when close (approx 2000ft) and the eyeis below 250ft. It has been tested on sceneries with more than120000 polygons. A new FPS decision is made after all models have had a bite atthe cherry. Thus the parameter is no longer needed and isonly used as a safety measure. There were a few reports of Fly! crashing with the message box"WINRUN.CPP line 165". Some tests have shown that these still occureven after removing all FSI generated files and the loading DLL.Forum postings have pointed out that desktop shortcuts to Fly!ii(or FlyStart) should select the "Properties" "Compatibility" fieldto be "Windows 98".Padraic (Podjoe) Morgan.

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>Taxiways or Databases checked? > generates runways/ils/navaids info using BGL positions > keeps this info in FS_IMPDBDXXXZZZ.TXT >>Taxiways checked? > makes taxiway files BGR+TMS using the info file > pods BGR+TMS > moves POD to MAPS folder >>Databases checked? > merges ALL these info files into new databases > overwrites SYSTEM databases Padraic,It appears then that if I do not select "databases checked? or Taxiways checked?", the 3D scenery would convert but the existing Fly II taxiways, if present, would be used and the default runway position would remain unchanged? I'll give it a try.Thanks for the tool. I have been able to convert several different scenery areas by essentially just point and click operation and they have really made a difference in the enjoyment of Fly II. Nice to hear you are continuing to improve FSImports. I'm looking forward to trying 1.03

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Padraic:Looking forward to 1.03!!!Thanks a lot for this fantastic tool and for continuing to enhance it.Alejandro AmigorenaCheshire, CTAthlon XP 1800ABIT KR7A-RAID768Mb RAMGeForce 3 64MBSB Audigy GamerCH Flight Yoke USBCH Pro Pedals USB

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Thats what I wanted - point and shoot conversion.You can also simply "Delete" previously generated taxiways and/or databases.The "Delete" button works on the tiles (areas) selected AND the "Output" checkboxes. This way you can delete previously generated 3D scenery, taxiways and/or databases by checking the approriate boxes before pressing "Delete".If you do not want taxiways or databases in future conversion then deselect the boxes befoe pressing "Generate". I am afraid that on startup the checkboxes are selected again as their state is not saved !The fs_scnry.txt parameter file has the parameter which is usually 0 since it assumes that everything has been synchronised during conversion. If you want to use the default Fly! taxiways and databases then you can try setting this parameter to 1. In this case the loading DLL attempts to move models using runway info if present.It does not synchronise as well as with a "nice" area which has all info in its BGLs.Padraic (Podjoe) Morgan.

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Padraic, any chance that fsi could import the many taxi signs available, but not necessarily with the sceneries?tony

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Version v1.03 is nearly readyHere is part of the updated readme.txt ...===========================================================>== FSI changes from version v1.02 to v1.03===========================================================> A number of bugs were removed and features added between v1.02and v1.03. Areas in "scenery.cfg" whose Local= path included a full stopcharacter (period .) were not recognised. This bug has beenremoved. An empty line was needed at the end of "scenery.cfg". The lastarea was ignored if there was no empty line. This bug has beenremoved. In "scenery.cfg" areas, FSI interprets the lines "Fs_imp=TRUE"or "Fs_imp=FALSE" to override the "Active=" line for the area. Ifused, then it must appear before the "Active=" line for the area.This might be useful when you want to have sceneries available toFSI but not for FS and vice versa. For example, ADD-ON versions ofdefault FS sceneries then use "Fs_imp=TRUE" and "Active=FALSE". Ifyou have some FS scenery areas active that you do not want FSI toconvert then use "Fs_imp=FALSE" and "Active=TRUE" for these areas. Many stages of conversion are performed indirectly using batchfiles. These are handled by the operating system commandinterpreter (COMMAND.COM or CMD.EXE). This interpreter may"accidently" convert some characters (German Umlaut, French graveetc) in filenames depending on the operating system languageoptions. FSI now passes filenames to SCM2FLY.EXE indirectly througha file. This keeps command lines short and prevents such"accidental" character conversion. The parameter file "fs_scnry.txt" is now defaulted like theother ones - if it exists, it will not be overwritten by installingthis verion. BMP files with 32-colours (rare) were not converted correctly.This has been fixed. A few more messages are generated into fs_impms.txt indicatingpotential errors. An new internal BGL code (0x0E) was implmemented. This meansthat more BGL files are accepted for consideration. Generic buildings were accidently generated with only half theprogrammed height. This has been corrected. Some BGL files have exaggerated ranges in their headers. Theaffect is that too many tiles are converted for a single area. Thisversion caclulates the tile ranges of all BGL files based on thecontents of the files and no longer relies on inaccurate BGL headerinformation. Static aircraft (eg SimFlyers sceneries) which do not usetextues called name.?af are now recognised. It is assumed thatthese textures are already shaded. When converting aprons (ramps) previous versions of FSI testedthe NAME of texture files (conc, asph, asfa, apro, ...) to decide.Now, if the NAME does not match FSI takes a sample of the texturefile contents. If this is "grey" then it is assumed to be ataxiway/apron bitmap. This has increased the number of scenerieswhere aprons are recognised. In such cases, a message is generatedthat says: Guessed that "filename" is an apron bitmap A bug was discovered which was largely responsible for theeffect that large portions of aprons disappear depending on viewingangle. Taxiways should be generated for such areas again. some thintriangles may still disappear too "early". Taxiway lights, apron edge lights and taxiway markings areconverted better than before. The "Yellow" checkbox now defaults asselected to reflect this. The FSI dialog has a new button "cfg" which effects the sortingorder of the drop-down area menu. See under the heading GROUP"Select Tiles". The FSI dialog now uses a second application (build.exe) toperform the conversion tasks. This behaves as before but needs onlyone small console (DOS box) and so does not flicker as much. The scenery loading DLL has an improved FPS monitoringalgorithm. It gives priority to tall and wide objects. Very smallobjects are only displayed when close (approx 2000ft) and the eyeis below 250ft. A new FPS decision is made after all models have had a bite atthe cherry. Thus the parameter is no longer needed and isonly used as a safety measure. There were a few reports of Fly! crashing with the message box"WINRUN.CPP line 165". Some tests have shown that these still occureven after removing all FSI generated files and the loading DLL.Forum postings have pointed out that desktop shortcuts to Fly!II(or FlyStart) should select the "Properties" "Compatibility" fieldto be "Windows 98". This may help in some situations. Installation on top of previous versions is easy. ALL otherexisting files MUST be overwritten to keep them all compatible.Parameter files and setup information from previous versions willbe automatically retained.===========================================================>and a few screenshots (640x480x16)

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Padraic:That's a pretty long list of fixes. I have a couple of "stubborn" sceneries that fail to convert. I'll try this new version when it is released and see if now it works. If it doesn't I'll let you know to see if you can figure it out...Thanks a lot and Happy Holidays!!!Alejandro AmigorenaCheshire, CTAthlon XP 1800ABIT KR7A-RAID768Mb RAMGeForce 3 64MBSB Audigy GamerCH Flight Yoke USBCH Pro Pedals USB

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