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agtim

High precision elevation mesh for Seattle using NASA SR...

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Using the 1 arc degree NASA SRTM_V2 elevation we can set the elevation for the 64m FU3 grid starting from a 30m SRTM grid with best results.http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/e0aaajoldnew.jpgLeft the original LookingGlass elevation and right the new SRTM_V2.I have just built the north west corner (tiles aaaj,abaj,aaai,abai)and here are the pictures of the first test flight.http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3022.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3023.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3024.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3025.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3026.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3027.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3028.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3029.JPGhttp://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/FLT3030.JPGbut be warned, all models are floating or in the ground.Airport area is not flat.a more realistic landscape but a lot of work ahead ! :-wave agtim

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Sensational! Its worth repositioning the models to get this much improvement. Love it! I flew over that same river gully just a few days ago (in the sim) and the difference is staggerwing.

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Now just a quick load of tools into the library before my visite at Meigs airport, will be back in 2 weeks.you will have to create flat area by painting classification map with yellow color (palette entry 4) http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/yellowarea.jpgHere you can compare both versions. Left original LG and at the right the new SRTM elevation. http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/P1.JPG http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/P2.JPG http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/P3.JPG http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/P4.JPG http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/P5.JPG http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/P6.JPGthe tool for the elevation can be used for SanFran or other region too. Just the tile name in the center must be entered. http://www.agtim.ch/fu3/images/UTMGeos.jpgA step by step tutorial is for later. :-wave agtim

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I hereby give permission for anyone to reposition all of the models in my Seattle 2005 pack. Just don't expect ME to do it ;-)Chris Low.

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The lakes and the shorelines are really the proof that this is worth the hassle. I remember being slightly disappointed years back when I spotted shorelines with seawater creeping up the hills.A slightly naive question -- when the elevation is improved why do we get bumpy (unreal) runways? I'm convinced that the answer is that we're still dealing with a limited number of measured points and interpolations between them. Thus, the flattening that wouldn't be needed if the mesh were 100% correct is required to get the airport areas right. But, what about mountain lakes? Unless they're properly flattened they will end up looking better when viewed from the air yet they'll have minor aberrations just as the landscape. So, lakes should be flattened too, at least if you want to land there with a floatplane. However, the flattening might introduce some funny shorelines again. In any event, each and every region will be more fun with a better mesh and this is particularly true for mountainous regions.Hans Petter

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I have used the UKS one extensively now for a few days, and Petter is correct on both counts - in my view some of the water areas can get bumpy, but certainly less bumpy than they were before. For example, the Severn river does a big loop just upstream from the estuary, and the water was not level before, and is not level after. BUT, it was MORE level afterward. Of course, whether or not you can land on it in the Renegade depends on the classification, not the bumps. I think this will be true in Seattle as well - so many lakes there had bumps all over them, and I think its possible that with the greater accuracy of this new data, that effect will be reduced.But its SO worth it (as my favourite daughter might say) - the extra convolutoryanism of the landscape makes it so much more interesting to fly over. I think having this extra detail would be enough to tempt me back to the earlier regions (Seattle and San Fran), but especially Seattle and the mountains.In a way, agtim is pointing us back to the real hero of this whole sim, which is the reason I bought it in the first place - the extraordinary scenery, developed at a time when MSFS was using tiny bits of photorealistic landscape, large amounts of generic tiling on pretty flat terrain, and megascenery hadn't been invented (Chris will correct my history if I've got that wrong). Most of us even rejected the outer regions in FU3 because it was so wonderful to fly over the photorealistic stuff, so that apart from the Grand Canyon and between region flights, it was not interesting. A lot of what we do now is to try and enhance this, but the basic thrill of flying to me is the view out the window! IMNSHO.Robert.

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A coupla comments:Petter - I think the extra bumps may be due to the super-accuracy of the NASA data, as I commented in a previous post. I suspect it includes buildings. So if there are buildings near the runway (eg terminals) then the scenery counts them in its estimate. Not a problem - the reclassification by yellow paint removes the issue. (Although why this doesn't work on my lawn I'm not sure. I bought 6 cans of No 4 yellow paint on the weekend, did the whole lawn, and NUP. Nothing. Nada. Still as bumpy as ever. But it looks weird).Chris - I'm doing the UK scenery (I made the sceneries for a few of the airports) and its difficult but possible. I just finished Fretherne and Gatwick over the weekend - both had over a thousand models and I've got RSI in approx 250 joints. Heathrow next - should be easier. Its iterative for me - I fix a few hundred, fly, find the ones I've missed, back to FLED, fix, fly, fled, fix, fly fled fix.... And of course every so often its fix fly fled crash, refix, refly, refled ... Those rotten models on boundaries are the worst. But its given me a chance to fix some of the earlier work a little (sometimes a lottle).Cheers all,Robert.

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Now I am back and if there are questions you can expect a quick response :-)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/158555.jpgWe will still see water on a ramp at the shoreline. This is due to the fact that FU3 has 16 texture pixels between 2 elevation posts. If the water area is using 8 pixels between the post on lake level and the post above shoreline, then you will see 8 pixel on a ramp above lake level. Perfect fit is possible when shoreline and lake elevation post are at the same location only. :-wave agtim

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I just downloaded the new elevation data and will implement it ASAP. I think the most important question now will be how to distribute a complete set of readjusted airports and models. Surely, each one of us may flatten airports and "wiggle" models in Fled to make them "sit" but wouldn't it be a better idea to do a part each and upload a totally revised version? Hans PetterBy the way, nice picture :-) I see a long-distance jet with winglets and a couple notches of flaps preparing to land or maybe a heavily loaded one taking off?

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Hi Hans,It was taken from a Lufthansa 747 short before final to Chicago OHare.You can see Meigs airfield left from the leftmost tower.There was no action until now. I think mostly it is used to do a flight and look at the landscape but no one started a conversion.May be a lot are now focused on FSX :-mad :-wave agtim

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Regarding other sim distractions I'm going to stick to FU3 and FS9 for a long time. Actually, FU3 will stay no matter what. I'm looking forward to purchasing a more powerful computer and the reason is that I want to run my current sims to the max. In other words, I'd find it futile to consider switching to another "hog" before I see excellent performance with everything maxed out with my current ones.FU3 is performing quite well on my current system. Still, I'd like to see even better performance in areas where we've put a large array of models. For once I'd like to stay ahead in the hardware department rather than burdening my current system with more demanding software. A flight simulator is all about smooth performance -- it doesn't matter much to have an outstanding scenery when the aircraft stutter rather than fly.But then, to the point: When someone starts converting the airports / fix floating or buried model it would be nice to share the work. Otherwise we'll all have to do the job on each separate installation. I might be able to contribute to some extent in the near future.Hans Petter

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Fear All.. er, Dear All,I actually typed 'fear' first, so I left it in :-lolFear? Steep learning curves or what? Well, Andre, I see what you've been up to recently!..."When someone starts converting the airports / fix floating or buried model it would be nice to share the work."I took it upon myself, after a phone conversation with RobD, to have a go at some of the Cascades strips (Forest Falls, Lewis Creek, Ranger Creek, Easton for now) and see if I could flatten them and reset package heights (I also want to do Harvey, coz I've got a ripper new package for it). So far, I've done Ranger and Lewis Creek ('coz they're my favourite gliding spots) but I'm gradually working through them. If someone would like to try their hand, please do - I'm a complete novice here!If we just do the strips initially, then people can adjust packages as they use them, then post the 'fixed' ones. One problem is that you can't really keep trashing the same tagfile, so each contributor should upload or pass on his CL5****.tif file(s) for someone to centrally combine. Otherwise you'll leave craters, like I did :-rollHere's some Ranger shots. I actually did this a few days ago and had to prune the package back a bit. I have some photos from a certain Wenatchee resident who flew there a few years ago. It DOES need more trees and I'm working on some new ones (???), which you may see (somewhat out of color)in the background. 12 trees, 8 polygons - how does he do it? More of that later...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160507.jpgNote the river and hummocky hills at the mountain bases.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160508.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160509.jpgNote the river gully behind the apron. THAT was really tricky.It's quite a simple layout really - even FU3's original lines and lights are a bit of overkill for a strip that's only open for 3-4 months of the year. And I'm removing the car(!) because they were banned from the strip in 2005 - and so have motorbikes and 4WDs.Now, I mentioned craters before. To the uninitiated, if you modify (flatten) terrain, you MUST use a fresh tagfile (i.e. not flattened before), or you get weird 'compound' effects - like this 6m deep crater in the middle of the runway at 6WA8 :-lolhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160510.jpgIt's all fun :-waveRegards,Jon Point

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Hi JonWell done :-)This is a good way to get the new Seattle Version.Now to the Geos...1. You can have one yellow area in a tile only2. if there are 2 airports in the same tile you must create 2 classification maps, one for each airport and import each subsequently. So each airport can have his own height. The yellow area convert to red after the import. The yellow area is defined by me and not by LG so they can't be stored in the structure, because this type of classification does not realy exist.3. The Geos structure has 3 levels (same as the maps with 7 levels) The flatening of the airfield area (yellow classification = palette entry 4) will modify the the level 5 only, so level 2 and 0 remains unchanged. At the subtile border (8x8) you will have strange craters or pyramides because the corner values between the levels are not adapted. To avoid this you must. a) first import all classification of the tile and enter the airport height. then check if the overall aspect is ok, else repeat.:( choose level 5 map xxyy export elevation e0xxyy.tga and now select the node xxyy and just reimport the same file. This will synchronize all levels. now the corner values are synchronized and there are no more craters on the airfield ( I took about 2 year to solve the corner value problem )The elevation file are named e0xxyy but they are related to the same level than the classification (level 5). This is an old error sorry but we have to live with it. Anyway there are just 1 file type for the classification and elevation - not created by LG but by me :-)hope this will help in progress of the new scenery.There is no problem to do the same with the SanFran area, just let me know. :-wave agtim

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Thanks, Andre ;-)Yes, I fudged around and reloaded and it disappeared. In hindsight, I did pretty much what you recommended!These changes have made the Cascades backcountry come alive IMO. I'm really enjoying just pottering around the lakes and mountains (as you can see by my screenshots recently..).BTW, I'm having trouble getting the yellow parts just right. At the moment I use trial and error but it would be lovely to just export a tile of scenery and match that up. Is this possible? Using the exported terrain maps is somewhat confusing, especially with low difference in altitudes. A picture would paint a thousand... metres of flattened airstrip :-lolYou will notice that I took tonight off from landscaping to do a floatplane version of the Staggerwing. I reckon I'm getting this 3D model thaing down-pat now :-lolThanks again for your efforts :-waveRegards,Jon Point

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Hi Jon,When I do airport flatening the I use L3Map6x5.exe it's in the geostools.zip at the avsim library, my last upload.enter the tile you want and generate.cut a 512x512 part of the upper left corner, reduce by 50% then you get the wanted tile as 256x256 tga picture.paint using Layers as e.g. with GIMPsecond methode:use Genquadrant, open L0xxyy.bin you want then you can save the original texture using the green diskette button at the right. This will generate L0.tga a 16MB file ! 4096x4096 you will have to reduce this to 256x256. :-waveAndre

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Thanks, Andre ;-)I was wondering whether or not we can modify the ground under lakes and rivers???After a few nights pottering around in the Staggerwing floatie, I have noticed a slight issue with water edges - many are now too shallow to allow one to get real close. Now, the fact that the SD17S(!) is not amphibious makes it impossible to taxi onto land, so I'd like to be able to tie-up to a jetty (like at Pillar Point in Sanfran) but, try as I might, I rarely get very close to the edge before I hit 'rock bottom'.Interestingly, Forest Falls is now better, with much of the lake usable, where before it had shallow parts everywhere. Unfortunately, I can't get near the jetty :-(Where is this all going? Well, whilst I'm having fun doing my backcountry strips, I've decided to do a couple of floatplane packages and it would be nice to be able to ensure I had clearance underneath! Bumping Lake is one I'd like to do (a small eco-tourist development with a few log cabins, some mountain bikers and horseriders etc - and of course, a couple of HUGE bears, running around scaring people :-lol ).I assume that if I 'level' a piece of terrain, it instantly becomes 'urbanised' (i.e. dry and hard - not good for floatplanes). Is there a way? I don't care if it makes the lakes bottomless or 40ft deep - I'm not concerned about the accuracy of lake-bottom terrain at all! PS Do we have any other takers for modifying Seattle strips? I have only done Ranger Creek and Lewis Valley but was going to attack Easton State next, if nobody else is doing it.Regards,Jon Point

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Hi Jon,Water or urbanised has nothing todo with elevation but with classification maps only. As long your plane is in a blue area you can move even on a mountain - like a big wavw you must apply full power, but you can move on it. Classification shares the same grid as elevation (it's the last 2 bits of the elevation field - so the values for it can just be 0, 1, 2 or 3). 1 such pixel is valid for a texture area of 16x16 pixels = 64mx64m ! Lake shore will never fit exactly.Use FLED to check and modify classification - yes FLED can this :-)Choose show classification this can help to prepare airports too.watch the pattern and compare it with the cl5 mapClick on classification wich change it (blue becomes green only). You will just see blue, green and transparent = red. This function looks unfinished but in certain cases it can help to locate places. After modification you must save before exit FLED. Later when you check the tile with GeoTilsViever you can see the modification. If you cant click from gree to blue then first paint the lake over his size with blue import classification with GeoTilesViever then change to FLED and edit with the mouse clicks.Actually I don't modify Seattle strips. :-wave agtim

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Andre,"Actually I don't modify Seattle strips."Yes, but I don't have the Swiss region any more :-violinRegards,Jon Point

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Switzerland region is still unfinisht, built one more airport last week :-wave agtim

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Hi Jon,Because of the coarser fit, the classification will never match the scenery map exactly. If you want to tie up at the jetty, you may have to fudge the classification on the landward side. Or build a longer jetty! :-hah BTW, love the reflective effect in the side view of the Staggerwing. Care to share the secret? Or is all just plain old skill, craftsmanship and dexterity?CheersBruce H

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Hi Bruce,I realise about the coarse fit, but look how steep I got the river gully behind the Ranger Creek strip. If I can get that steepness at the water's edge (or near it, with judicious placement of models), I'll be happy! I can always build a looooong jetty ;-)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160815.jpgAs to the 'reflective effect', which view were you referring to? Don't confuse what the 3D program gives:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160816.jpgWith what you get in FU3! The shaders etc in FU3 are DX8 vintage :-(http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160817.jpgIt IS possible to employ some effect in textures, however, one must be careful not to overdo it - or the paint only looks believable at midday on a bright, sunny day ;-) Here's an example:The cowl shading looks great on a sunny day.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160819.jpgBut loses effect somewhat with the sun at a different angle.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/160820.jpgWe just have to compromise :-waveRegards,Jon Point

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Hi Jon,Didn't take long to build that jetty! Re the reflections.... in your "Thanks Andre" posting, (the sentiment of which I most heartily agree with) you had some left / right shots of the Staggerwing, and the wings looked like that had been done in two pack (very cool :-kewl)I don't think I have seen another model in FU with the same level of "real life" toning. Is that a DX effect, or something you have built into the view? Great job anyway.I can see I'll have to get some scenery to you, and keep you busy in Oz for a while. :-) Cheers,Bruce H

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Bruce,The jetty is the outer part of Berkely Pier, done for Chris Low's 'Sanfran 2006' package set. Whilst not a 5-minute job, it took an evening or so ;-)The internal side views in the D17S are made from photos - hence the 'reflections'. Tom (Staggerwing) Beech knows someone with a G17S in the US and can get access for photos - of which I have a few... I am hoping that he can get some more 'quarter view' shots for me to complete the plane with but I'll be releasing it without quarter views for now ;-)As to Oz scenery, I'm practising levelling airports and lake edges in Seattle right now, using the new elevation files. This will be necessary for OZ too. Just one question, what image resolution are you using for the terrain? I have been playing with a few packages in MSFS (shhhh) and I'm really disappointed by some of the ground textures. Sydney is just a blur :-( In the US, there seems to be a mix of 4, 5, 10 and 30m resolution - making some areas as bad as OT (IMO). I mean, for GA usage (what this sim is great for), one generally sees the ground from zero to about 10kft, no more. The more interesting parts are the climbouts and approaches, with 4m/pixel looking pretty plain under 1500ft, but usable. My trial of X-Plane ended when I realised that all those great screenshots were taken at 10kft+. On approach to SFO, the only details I could pick out were the airport and a few surrounding models :-erksMeanwhile, I'll go back to cleaning-up my edges and putting water back into the rivers. Now, if one overshoots Harvey to the north, if you manage to plough through the trees along the river, you'll fall into it!Regards,Jon Point

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