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Guest Giordano45

Some TS-Questions from a Mac Newbie ...

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Hellosince I'm the proud owner of a new G5 Dual 1.8 with a nice ATI Radeon Card and the new Virtual PC 7 I'm finally able to explore TerraScene :-) I've already rendered some Carolina projects offered by Randall Rocke (thank you!) and it worked fine. Now I've had a look in the TS Manual and I have some (probably silly) questions:1. What is the difference between working say with the Fontana Lake material from Randall Rocke and rendering the same area just with the automatic download by TS?2. Randall Rocke offers a complete set of folders (data-files, output and projects), which makes it extremely easy to create the scenery. The Florida Scenery material of James Burn contains just the data files, but no output and project folder. What do I have to do to be able to work with this material in TS?I'm really happy to have finally the possibility to work with TS on my Mac, as with the G5 the framerates are much better then before.Thank you for your help in advance (and as usual: excuse my approximative english ;.)Max

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Hello Max,Your English is very good - you really wouldn't want to see my approximations of other languages! ;-)I'll answer to the best of my ability re: my material in comparison to automatic TS production. Though I am familiar with James' work, and have had the pleasure of corresponding with him on occassion, I haven't yet downloaded his projects - I certainly plan to in the future, but until I see how it is packaged, you'll need to check with James.Now, to the difference(s) btwn my material and regular TS:1. Though I used the base render pack for most of the Carolinas, which means that an auto render would come out with a similar result, that is not always the case. For instance, in my latest Carolinas project offering, I made some changes to the base pack that allows roads that cross waterways to become bridges. Also, projects such as Sedona and Pheonix contain custom render packs and textures to more accurately represent the actual terrain.2. The USGS data is very accurate, but most of it dates to the 1990s - I believe the latest data is from 1994. There have been a lot of changes since then: cities have expanded, new neighborhoods and towns have developed, parks and recreation areas have been built, new waterways and lakes have been established, and, of course, all of this requires new highways and byways. My render packs include Tiger Census shapefile data, updating many of these items to the year 2000. Using TS automatically will allow you to produce fairly accurate scenery, but only what existed prior to 1995.3. There are small errors here and there in the USGS data - when TS renders such data, tears and gaps are sliced into the resultant scenery. I edit as much of these out as possible before slicing. If the flaws are large, I include the edited images in output folders, or add "repair packs" that include my edits as an option.4. Water masks are especially vulnerable to errors, as USGS water data isn't designed to fill in the whole ocean. Once it's obvious that everything beyond a certain point is water, the data stops. This causes TS to get no data for some water areas and produce swamps in the middle of seas. This is easily handled by editing the water mask images - especially since they only contain two colors: white and black. I include the edited water masks with my packs.5. Some people just don't like to learn how to use a program like TS (though it's fairly easy) and don't want to have to make area and option selections. With my prepackaged data and edited material, they can simply place the files in the apropriate folder, start the render process and walk away. Also, in many cases (though not all), the scenery will be created without having to connect to the Internet (at least, after the data is downloaded).The reason for folders:1. If I create a scenery project, it can't be used by others unless they have the project file. Some people may know that the .TSP file is that file, but by placing it in the proper folder, there are less chances for an error.2. There must be a data-files folder, as that contains most of the USGS and other data. I can't imagine that James uploaded the data without including the subfolders for that data. If not, then you would have to change the settings for TS and point it to wherever you placed James' data files (the specific folder).3. The output folder exists for the edited or customized images (corrections, water masks, etc.). If James edited anything, then you would need to locate any image files (.TGA files) and place them in the output folder.I hope these answers have been helpful.

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Randall, How do you make a .trp file to be used in the load render option rather than the default FLY2 texture e.g. new red canyons? BTW I used your sedona ts project pack and chaged the texture by using the new ts texture by jak.Thankschris_CA

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Chris,Go to the Options menu. Open the Land Types (day)..., (or whatever texture or line type you want to change), and reassign the types to different texture or line files. Save your project.Then, select Options, Save Render Options..., give your new render pack a descriptive name and a file name. Now, whenever you want to use your new texture set, go to Options, Load Render Options... and choose your new render pack.

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Hello Randallmany thanks for your detailed answer. I feel that the next step will be the careful lecture of the whole Terrascene manual (I only read the first few pages ...). As I've bought the new HITW textures, I would like to learn in depth how to use it for the best results. So be prepared to get some new questions during the next weeks :-)Max

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Hello Randallhere I am again. I've had a look into the TS manual, but I was not always able to really understand some issues. My main question deals with the choice of textures:Let's say I want to render a scenery of Seattle and its surroundings.So I'm going through the new project steps. In step four I choose "Base Fly!2 Generic textures". Then a map with the covered area is displayed.Now my first question: Does TS choose automatically the appropriate land types and its textures for the chosen globe tile, or do I have to go to "options / landtypes / textures" and choose it manually?But if so: What are the rules for choosing the appropriate types and textures.Second question: If TS chooses automatically the appropriate land types and textures, and I want to replace it by the new HITW textures, what do I have to do?Sorry for my slow comprehension of TS :-)Max

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>Now my first question: Does TS choose automatically the>appropriate land types and its textures for the chosen globe>tile, or do I have to go to "options / landtypes / textures">and choose it manually?TS uses the texture pack that you choose. If you haven't created any custom packs of your own or installed any other textures or render packs, then you need to use the base pack. Will it be an exact match for all areas? No. But, it will be acceptable. The render pack that Todd created for general use with these textures matches up well with general farmland and eastern US scenery (green grass, mountains with greenery, green fields, etc.). This render pack will make a place like the southwest too green, however, and would make the northwest area less rocky than it really is in appearance.There are planty of excellent textures in the base texture set for all areas, but you would have to make your own render pack of a set that matched the area you want to render, as per my previous instructions on making a custom render pack. For instance, I made a custom render pack for my Phoenix TS pack, calling it Southwest Browns. It uses the base textures, but uses a different set of them than Todd's default to give a more desert-like appearance.>>But if so: What are the rules for choosing the appropriate>types and textures.Just choose a texture that "looks right" for the area. For instance, when looking at the texture assignmment for Forest-Mixed in the Day Land Types for the base render pack, you will note that Todd has assigned the texture forest-mixed.jpg for that land type. You can see this by selecting the land type, then clicking the Select button. This opens the Texture Library in a separate window where you can see all of the choices and see what that texture looks like. For instance, for the Seattle area, you might want to replace this with forest-ridges-mixed.jpg for a more rugged appearance. Once you make all your changes, save the render pack under a new name and you can use it for future projects in that area.>>Second question: If TS chooses automatically the appropriate>land types and textures, and I want to replace it by the new>HITW textures, what do I have to do?I haven't downloaded the new versions yet, but I have the old HITW sets. Jak included a number of "ready-to-go" render packs for his textures and has probably done the same with his updated set. If you choose the Mountain Country render pack, then you will probably get a good match for the northwest.

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Hello Randallas usual many thanks for your immediate and precise reply :-)) It's great to have people like you helping all the time. Now I feel definitely prepared to try by myself... but there's another question: As a result of my last rendering exercise I had a .pod file and another file which I guess is the .scf file - but there was no .scf ending. Is that okay?Best regardsMax

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Max,Windows sees SCF files as Windows Explorer Command files, and removes the extension. They function properly.

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