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Terrascene and elevation adjustment?

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When I uploaded Hawaii in early July the TS pod I uploaded included the elevation data set at the TS default, which I assume may also be the Fly!2 default, of 4 and 500. My question: since elevation data can be imported and changed with the Fly! editor, does it override the elevation data in a TS pod or will the scenery pod automatically change the elevation data back to the pod settings? (I could try this myself I guess but maybe somebody knows.)If the TS pod does overide the new Fly! settings then are we better off leaving the elevation data out of the pod and instead leave it to the user to set whatever elevation detail they would like through the Fly! editor? Or am I missing something here? Thanks for any enlightenment.Don

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Don,As I understand it, the elevation data (USGS DEM only) in TS will over-ride Fly!II's elevations. That is appropriate, as the USGS data is more accurate than the Fly!II default elevations and will also add beautiful shadings to the scenery textures that improve the appearance of depth.As you are aware, you can customize these settings and bring out detail beyond the defaults, but I would do this carefully and only where you think it is absolutely necessary to bring out missing details. Using lower subdivide tolerances will increase detail in some areas, but will also add greatly to file sizes and can reduce frame rates substantially.Whenever you can provide elevation data with a scenery package, do it. You will provide more accurate elevations and much better appearance.

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Randall,Thanks for the response. I guess what I'm wondering is that when uploading scenery, if a TS pod that includes elevation data will always overide whatever elevation data (default or newly imported in a separate pod) then should we consider not podding the elevation data in the TS pod but, instead, leave it as default and, perhaps, provide more detailed levels of elevation data or leave it to the user to import their own to use with the TS scenery at whatever level of detail they like. Moreover, is this even possible, i.e., if we don't provide the elevation data with the TS textures does the data then get sliced with the default elevations and the user is then stuck with it, regardless of subsequent attempts to import more detailed elevation points? That is probably the way it works. I'm being really confusing here. Sorry.Don

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Don,Here are my musings on these things and scenery-making in general:1. Uploading entire scenery packages just isn't much of an option anymore - the files are far too large at Fly!II's resolution setting. You did some really nice work with the Hawaii package, but I don't see Avsim allowing many more uploads of that size. They were probably willing to do so because you had done custom texture work and Hawaii is a special scenery area (which was missing USGS data).2. Because of item number 1, people really need to get in gear and start using TS to create their own scenery - at least in the continental U.S. For the ROTW, I would recommend that scenery creators consider uploading the shapefiles they've gathered and adapted as part of the package. The end-user would then load their shapefile data and render the scenery themselves - ditto with converted elevation data.3. Customized images create the file size problem mentioned earlier. If people really want these hand-retouched areas, I'm proposing that they be output to CD or DVD sets and maybe sold through the Avsim store.4. If you render a USGS data area for distribution (however that is done), and it doesn't include elevation data, you will remove much of the quality and "3D-feel" of that scenery, as it will lose its depth-shading. I believe that wouldn't be as much a problem if the scenery was rendered from shapefiles in a non-USGS area (as there will be no shading). I also believe (not sure on this) that the import of new elevation data with existing TS scenery would over-ride the original elevations as long as DEM data had not been included with the original TS scenery. If the TS scenery included DEM data, however, I think you would have to remove the pods for other elevation to take hold.However...why would anyone ever want to import other elevation data if the original contained USGS DEM data? It's going to be the most accurate. Also, the image texture enhancements are superb.5. I'm working on a new set of TS sceneries for the Carolinas. Though the scenery will be too large to upload, I will upload project packs to make it easy for people to render themselves. For other areas I will include custom textures the end-user can load. The one special item I will include will be custom water masks. As the water masks will include only a few shades of grey, black, and white, all 800+MB will compress to 2.5 - 3MB! I think people will be willing to download that relatively small amount to get improved water effects to go with the rest of their scenery their own system can generate. For areas that require custom painting and additions, I would go the route of distributing on CDs.I hope some of this makes sense. :-)

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