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Channel Islands first flight

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I tried Andre's new mini-region today and it works a treat ;)A few pointers:* Set AI to zero* Turn off distant mountains* You may have to remove your OUTTERR folder if you have OT installed.Once running, I went for a quick tour in the S6T. Up and out of EGJJ Jersey, heading NW towards Sark:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/188880.jpgA quick spin around Sark and past Herm (the big one) and Jethou (the smaller one) towards sunny Guernsey:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/188881.jpgA flyby at EGJB, then turn NE, climb to 3000 and head across the lonely ocean towards Alderney:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/188882.jpgLand ho! And a short spin around Alderney, before descending into a long final into EGGA (where the avgas is tax-free...)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/188883.jpgThe S6T pulls-up way short (as usual). Only 28 minutes, 11 seconds from takeoff to stop:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/188884.jpgThanks, Andre ;) Best FU3 day I've had in ages :-wavePS Sorry about the image quality. I had to squeeze 10 shots into 5 files and it didn't look that fuzzy on my desktop!Regards,Jon Point

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Wow, that was fast :-) I've got to point of joining 92 MB map sections to obtain Gurnsey with the small islands to the east, Aldersey and Jersey. Since there are several 10s of kilometers between these islands, how do you know where to place them in relation to each other?For a final result I'm going to spend some days / weeks cleaning up the maps but I could certainly make a flyable region before I do that. In any event, I know how to work with images so that's no issue. The question is how to decide where these islands are supposed to go before I attempt to make megatiles. How do you decide their relative position -- in other words, number of megatiles, exact placement on each megatile and how much water to put between them?A second question, since this region should fit as a logical extension of the UKS I wonder how to go about that. This may not be feasible though without shifting the entire range of megatiles since the Channel Islands may be below the starting point.Hans Petter

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Oim quick sometimes (when the kids are away and Dana's marking papers...)!As to placing them, I would work backwards on that. Andre's kit works with the downloaded maps and stitches them together quite nicely. Everything just 'happened' ;) The region.cfg file places everything in the right spot, FU3 does the rest!Now that I have a region and a set of editable maps, I (we? ...better work out who's doing what...) can then fix-up individual tiles to make them fit better, colour-wise - there are only 9 L0's. They fit together terrain-wise quite well, although we must flatten the strips and fix a few cliffs here and there. Actually, there's few really 'bad' spots, except Sark needs a new coastline in the middle.My recommendation is to just download the textures and run the script. After that, copy/remove files, edit the cfg file and try it out - that's what I did ;)The only thing I did differently I suppose is that I copied my standard FU3 to a new folder, but only copied the files I was retaining (i.e. I didn't copy the sanfran and seattle folders and no OT - and a planes).I did originally copy the OT but I kept getting errors about missing tiles in the outterr folder, so I removed it! The resulting FU3 version is only ~520MB!The texture download was painful and took me numerous attempts through one evening and onto the following day. Google kept on cutting off, and I can't change my IP address. VE to work - but nothing downloaded :-grr You just keep on trying and it works, eventually. I ended up with 3472 files vs. Andre's 3464 but it just uses what it needs - make sure you switch off (uncheck) "Borders with smaller resolution" ;)Wish I knew why VE didn't work...Either way, IF you can get the tiles OK, the rest is easy. Just delete the flt3.cfg file and upon starting FU3, switch to "Airport" and set the region, then the airport, back out, go to "Options" and set AI to 0 and turn off distant mountains (might be an OT thing...) and it should work fine! :-waveRegards,Jon Point

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My bad ;-)I didn't follow the instructions since I believed I knew what I was doing. I downloaded each island, renamed the TilesCache to the name of the island (eg "Jersey") and made a separate folder named island_tga (eg Jersey_tga). Then I did a batch convert with my installed copy of IrfanView and subsequently ran Andre's good old MegaPatchPlus2 to obtain a range of 92 MB maps that I combined to cover each entire island.Forget all of the above!This upload is totally run by batch files. To anyone else, please follow each step to the letter and make sure that your entire folder structure is the way Andre says it should be. If it's not, the string of batch commands won't work. ALL tiles for all three islands should stay in the TilesCache. Then, when you click the first batch file everything else is totally automated. Just lean back and watch or go make yourself some coffee :-)However, I've still got a question: Since I intend to touch up the megatiles where would I enter the loop of commands again to convert the targa files to FU3 tiles and overwrite the existing ones? This may very well be a manual conversion job. What would be nice is a string of batch files that takes it from edited targa maps and creates all levels of all FU3 tiles from there automatically, just like it did for the "raw" maps. In any event, I'm ready to fly!

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Hoich Pea,"However, I've still got a question: Since I intend to touch up the megatiles where would I enter the loop of commands again to convert the targa files to FU3 tiles and overwrite the existing ones?"Once created, you never have to do it again. Just operate on the L0 TGAs generated during the process. Each of these consists of a heap of the 256x256 files stitched together. You can edit them, then use GenQuadrant to create the L0-4 bins. Use Level57Maker to create the L5-7 tiles.Make a backup of your existing binfile set first. Modify an L0 TGA, create the L0-4 bins and copy them over the existing set. Go and check it in FU3. Only run Level57Maker after you are happy with the L0 edits but delete the existing L5-7s first (you make a backup?).And again, Andre - thanks :-waveRegards,Jon Point

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I'll repeat - thanks, Andre :-)I just made my first flight in a stand-alone Channel Islands version of FU3. It works fine even though the backup copy of FU3 that I used to set it up contained the outer terrain. But then, I emptied the outerr folder to get rid of the unwanted airports. I still see the western US in the large map and UKS in the close-up map but that can be fixed. Regarding editing of map files it looks like the main thing will be to fix the water. It comes in darker and lighter hues and the transition to FU3 default water is rather obvious.Hans Petter

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Glad ho hear that's it's working in your game too. :-)In the zip are new command line programs - much easier to use as the first windows versions. Open the batch script with a text editor and look how the tiles are generated. All resize / cut are defined by parameter.when you modify a tile - L0abae.tga then just run the command GenBinTile abae this will generate L0abae.bin, L1abae.bin, L2abae.bin, L3abae.bin, L4abae.binto do this place L0abae.tga and GenBinTile.exe in the same workfolder.then copy the 5 .bin files into the /Channel/maps/ folder of the game.Inside the maps folder copy the program GenLevel567.exe used by the script FU3TileBuilder.bat and make the following scriptrem Channel Islands tile build, May 2008GenLevel567.exe san aaaa ahah 8 8pauseexitthis script will replace the call to Level57Maker.exe and GenBinTile is a replacement for GenQuadrant.exeA call to the 4 new utilities will give a short help info about the parameters used.D:ProgrammeMaps2Bglfu3>MegaPatch2cUse: MegaPatch2c 15 16176 11144Subtile selection: Block=15 Long=16176 Lat=11144Files 15_16176_11144.tga must exist in same folderD:ProgrammeMaps2Bglfu3>TileCutUse: TileCut x0 y0 wx wy xp yp xxyyx0 y0 upper left corner start in mega.tgawx wy size of area used in mega.tgaxp yp upper left corner insert into tilexxyy as tile nameFiles L0blank.tga must exist in same folderD:ProgrammeMaps2Bglfu3>GenBinTileUse: GenBinTile acajTilename: acajFile L0acaj.tga must exist in same folderD:ProgrammeMaps2Bglfu3>GenLevel567Use: GenLevel567 pal aaaa ahah 8 8pal: san or sea as game palette selectionaaaa from lower left cornerahah to upper right corner8 8 number of tiles x and y min.=8this program must run from the maps folderThe 3 airports of Channel region are flattened but they have no special runway texture and no models, lines, lights.There are no night tiles for Channel region. And at last, how to find the location of the island inside the tile ?First I have computed the elevation mesh (geos) using the program and NASA SRTM data I had from the UKS elevation project. So the Channel tiles was generated with the same raster than UKS. This is why Alderney is not in one but 2 tiles.:-waveAndre

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Hi Jon,Airports are flattened and Sark location was moved in the geos to get a better fit - even still bad. We will have to use GMAX to make it better.The small pass in the center of Sark is very narrow and so we have few elevation points to create a good profile.Sark has no airfield.:-waveAndre

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Andre,The airports are certainly landable but I might hand-texture them to remove clouds, define edges etc. As for Sark, I might actually try editing the mesh. If it's not too good, it may be simpler to make a separate model for it. Like the Farallon Islands?That way, we could have any details we want - just gotta keep it below 2000 polys ;) This could also work for the many rocks sticking out of the water between islands too.I've been looking at doing a set of ntrees for the area, but the profiles are all wrong (there are very few tall, slim trees on the islands), so I may dig through my tree files and come up with something more appropriate."Sark has no airfield."Yes, but I might put a seaplane base there ;)Oh, and thanks again!Regards,Jon Point

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Last night, I did some editing and redid the BIN files. As Andre says, just make sure the TGAs, GenBinTile.exe, GenLevel567.exe and the batch file are in the same folder, then run the batch file - takes ;)Here are the contents of my simplified batch file - copy this to a text file, rename it to 'build.bat' and double-click - easy :-waverem Start scriptrem Channel Islands TGA2BIN build, May 2008GenBinTile.exe acagGenBinTile.exe adagGenBinTile.exe aaaeGenBinTile.exe abaeGenBinTile.exe acaeGenBinTile.exe acacGenBinTile.exe acadGenBinTile.exe adacGenBinTile.exe adadGenLevel567.exe san aaaa ahah 8 8rem Finish scriptIf you only want to recompile one TGA, simply put 'rem' in front of the other lines starting with 'GenBinTile.exe...' (with a space after, like above). For example, to just recompile L0AAAE, put 'rem' infront of all of the others, except the line starting with 'GenLevel567.exe...' like this:rem Start scriptrem Channel Islands TGA >> BIN build, May 2008rem GenBinTile.exe acagrem GenBinTile.exe adagGenBinTile.exe aaaerem GenBinTile.exe abaerem GenBinTile.exe acaerem GenBinTile.exe acacrem GenBinTile.exe acadrem GenBinTile.exe adacrem GenBinTile.exe adadGenLevel567.exe san aaaa ahah 8 8rem Finish scriptThis will give you a new set of BINs for AAAE, as well as rebuilding the 5s, 6s and 7s to suit ;)Regards,Jon Point

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Hi Jon,Thanks for the detailed tutorial.This is the new way to edit tiles for FU3The only use for GenQuadrant today is making a tga from a bin tile.Run Genquadrantopen the wanted L0xxyy.binclick the button with 1 green disk will save the tile as L0.tgayou must then rename it to the correct name.From now you can modify the texture and compile back by GenBinTile:-waveAndre

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