Scenery Loading Distance

  • I never use mask, in fact I omit the line pertaining to mask altogether. Using masks are problematic and there could actually be a bug in Aerofly with using them.

    I guess i'll have to test with them. Give me a little bit here as I look more into this, but since I don't use mask and have never seen pop-up of scenery then I suspect it's causing some type of problem with your sceneries.


    The goal for geoconvert to be successful is to make it as simple as possible.

    Thanks Jeff. I forget where I got it from. I think Rodeo advised it at some point when I was having trouble. A month or two back now.

  • I am going to start over with my scenery. I just did a large area, but to save time I did it at 2m per pixel. Looks bad. I did all levels though, and did not see any pop ups. So back to the start with all new 1m per pixel. Might take me a couple of days to get a large area. I will keep you all updated.


    Andrew

    There is no pause feature for Geoconvert, is there? I hate giving over the computer to do large areas at high resolution because I lose the computer for so many hours.

  • Well, I just did an area of about 40x40nm. Followed the directions to the letter, with the exception of doing level 10, which I did despite the wiki saying not to. All masks set to off. Levels 9,10,11,12,13 and 14.


    I am still getting pop up about 10-15nm out.


    So, what should I try next?


    Andrew

  • There is nothing worse in the simulation world than a problem some people get and others do not. It leads to real frustration for everyone. At least IPACS believes us about our problem, even though they don't seem to see it themselves. I have been in situations where the developer refuses to believe problems exist when only part of the user base is reporting them.

  • There is nothing worse in the simulation world than a problem some people get and others do not. It leads to real frustration for everyone. At least IPACS believes us about our problem, even though they don't seem to see it themselves. I have been in situations where the developer refuses to believe problems exist when only part of the user base is reporting them.

    It is interesting for sure. I am still not sure if it is a problem, or something I am missing. You are right though, IPACS has been great about addressing our issues.

  • I believe you but I just can't see it or even make it happen.

    Just to rule everything out, are you making the TMC manually or are you using the geoconvert helper?


    Everything that I've run I set the TMC manually and run the conversion by command line.

    I have never used the helper once so I can't verify if I get different result using it but I have never seen any scenery pop in throughout my testing of the tool.

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • Same issue here:


    <[file][][]

    <[tmcolormap_regions][][]

    <[string] [folder_source_files][./input_aerial_images/]>

    <[bool] [write_ttc_files][true]>

    <[string8][folder_destination_ttc][./scenery/images/]>

    <[bool] [write_raw_files][true]>

    <[string8][folder_destination_raw][./scenery/images_raw/]>

    <[bool] [always_overwrite][true]>

    <[bool] [do_heightmaps][false]>

    <[bool] [write_images_with_mask][false]>


    <[list][region_list][]


    <[tmcolormap_region][element][0]

    <[uint32] [level] [9]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_min] [159.03 -31.49]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_max] [159.11 -31.60]>

    <[bool] [write_images_with_mask][false]>

    >


    <[tmcolormap_region][element][0]

    <[uint32] [level] [10]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_min] [159.03 -31.49]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_max] [159.11 -31.60]>

    <[bool] [write_images_with_mask][false]>

    >


    <[tmcolormap_region][element][0]

    <[uint32] [level] [11]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_min] [159.03 -31.49]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_max] [159.11 -31.60]>

    <[bool] [write_images_with_mask][false]>

    >


    <[tmcolormap_region][element][0]

    <[uint32] [level] [12]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_min] [159.03 -31.49]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_max] [159.11 -31.60]>

    <[bool] [write_images_with_mask][false]>

    >


    <[tmcolormap_region][element][0]

    <[uint32] [level] [13]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_min] [159.03 -31.49]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_max] [159.11 -31.60]>

    <[bool] [write_images_with_mask][false]>

    >


    <[tmcolormap_region][element][0]

    <[uint32] [level] [14]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_min] [159.03 -31.49]>

    <[vector2_float64] [lonlat_max] [159.11 -31.60]>

    <[bool] [write_images_with_mask][false]>

    >

    >

    >

    >

    Windows 10 64bit | iCore7-7770K| ASUS STRIX Z270E |KHX2400C15D4 - 32GB | Gigabyte Ge-Force GTX 1080Ti| SSD Intel 520 Series | 40" Philips BDM4065UC/75 4K - Oculus Rift

  • I have made the TMC files both ways. Same effect both ways.


    Would it have anything to do with video memory? I have a 1060 6GB card.


    Andrew

    Same here, made no difference and I doubt very much its the video card.

    Windows 10 64bit | iCore7-7770K| ASUS STRIX Z270E |KHX2400C15D4 - 32GB | Gigabyte Ge-Force GTX 1080Ti| SSD Intel 520 Series | 40" Philips BDM4065UC/75 4K - Oculus Rift

  • I absolutely hate to bring this up, because it is an old can of worms, but this didn't happen for me until there was an update several months ago. It is too long ago to remember which update. I think it was supposed to help with the black and blurred areas between adjacent tiles. It did eliminate the black areas for me, but since then I have had the pop in scenery effect. Sometimes the scenery will pop in when it is quite far away, sometimes when it is just a few miles ahead.


    Anyway, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since that update, but that is when it started for me.

  • Well, I am now having this issue too. The really weird thing is, I converted an area of scenery back in Sept last year, and I get no loading pop ups with any of that. I just converted some more scenery yesterday, and I am seeing the problematic pop-ups with the new areas. The old area still works perfectly.


    I also notice that when viewing the Location map, the texture fill-in of the old (working) area appears more quickly than the new areas. In the map view, the new areas don't appear until I zoom in further, and sometimes they are still unreliable even after zooming.


    I converted the newest stuff with the latest SDK. As a test, I then re-converted one of the areas with the old SDK I used last time. Comparing the file hashes of the output files, they are identical, so it appears to be unrelated to the version of the geoconvert tool.


    I tried it with both the GeoConvertHelper tool, as well as manual command line conversion. I checked through the .tmc file carefully and everything looks correct. The scenery was converted with levels 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14. I also tried re-doing it and including level 15.


    Another thing that seems to be happening is that after I launched AeroFly, and flew into the areas where the new textures should have been, they would appear when I finally got close enough. After I finally got them to 'pop-in', most of them continued to be visible even after flying away from the area. Even more strange, it seems like this persists after exiting the sim and then re-launching. Is there a persistent cache somewhere of map info that is storing the loading information? If so, perhaps this is somehow causing or is related to the issue. This might also explain why my old scenery is still working while the new stuff pops-in...?


    BTW, I did find a bug with the GeoConvertHelper in the process of doing all this checking, but it's not causing my problem. When it creates the .tmc file, if you are using the "Advanced TMC File Settings" tab instead of the "Detail Level" tab, it swaps the coordinates for [lonlat_min] and [lonlat_max] in the tmc file. It does not have this issue when you just have the Detail Level tab selected. Since I was using the detail level tab, this issue wasn't present in my tmc file, and just to be sure I also tried re-converting the area manually and double-checking the .tmc file and it didn't help. After more testing I can't get this to happen again. Possibly I had some invalid entry somewhere that was causing it to happen, but as far as I can tell now it seems to be working correctly and I'm unable to reproduce what I saw.

  • You described my situation exactly. Anything I made before the late November program update does not do this. Stuff made after that update does.

    Yeah, it's very strange. Honestly if I wasn't seeing this behavior on my own setup I'd have a hard time believing it ^^ The fact that it seems to not happen with scenery created/added before a certain date, even though the tools being used for conversion give the same output now as they did then, is really bizarre. That's why I suggested maybe there is some sort of 'map loading cache data' hanging around somewhere that could explain it, although I've dug around in all the typical folders where this sort of thing might live and haven't found anything outside of the aerofly folder in My Documents. I've tried removing the config files within that folder so it can rebuild them, which had no effect.

    I will keep poking around until I find something that can explain what's going on. It seems too strange a coincidence that both you and I have previously-converted scenery that doesn't have this issue, so I will keep focusing my troubleshooting on what's actually different with the older files. I have a couple more ideas to try that might sort it out.

  • Ok, I'm pretty sure I figured out the issue, and it does indeed have to do with the masks. But the problem isn't that you *shouldn't* use them. The problem is that unless you're converting a huge area, if you don't use the masks, you might not end up with any level 9 imagery converted, and only a fraction of the level 10s you need as well. This causes you to see the 'popping' scenery because the long-distance images (level 9) simply don't exist.


    I may have some details wrong, since I'm guessing at the inner workings of AeroFly, but I'm pretty sure this is the run-down of the whole issue:


    - AeroFly has its own world mapping divided up into separate rectangular segments, which are *quite* large at level 9.


    - When you run geoconvert, it builds the scenery at each level [9-15] into separate files. If it doesn't have enough image area to fill an entire tile, it won't write anything for it in the output scenery, unless you DO have masking enabled. In other words, you might tell it to geoconvert at levels 9-15, but you only end up with tiles at levels 11-15 because your land area wasn't large enough to fill an entire level 9 or 10 sized tile.


    - If you don't have any level 9 tiles as a result of the above, you won't see any scenery texture until you get close enough that it starts using tiles from the higher levels. That's why it doesn't appear until you get close, and why it "pops in."


    If you do use masks, you won't have this issue, it will work. This is because if using masks, it will convert partial areas of a level 9 tile, and then create a mask file to 'hide' the rest so the default AeroFly texture shows through.


    BUT... it's still not quite so simple, because the masks themselves can create problems if you convert one area with masks, and then add adjacent scenery later again using masks. This is because (for example) if you already had a mask that blocked out the upper half of a level 9 tile which was previously incomplete, and then you add new scenery to the upper half of that tile which is also incomplete with its own corresponding mask, you'll end up with two masks which now block out the whole piece. End result, you again see nothing for level 9 and only get the scenery popping up after you get close enough to see the unmasked higher levels. (This doesn't quite happen this way in reality, because those two masks would have the same file name and it would only load one of them, but you'd still then have an area that was blocked by whichever mask it actually loaded, leaving an untextured band in the middle of your converted area until you got closer).


    So what's the fix? I think there are two options:

    1) You can choose to never use masks. But, you need to check the output in the scenery folder after your geoconversion, and see if you even have any level 9 tiles at all after conversion. If you don't, you'll need to grab an even larger region of imagery using FSET, and then redo at least the level 9 conversion with the same coordinates using the larger set of imagery. This will be a little bit of a guessing game to find the image area that is large enough to generate all the level 9 tiles you need without using masks. The other consequence of this is that you will have areas at the edges which only have level 9 imagery, without the higher levels, unless you re-do all of you levels every time.

    2) You can choose to use masks, which actually seem to work fine in AeroFly as far as I can tell. However, if you do, you will run into issues if you convert adjacent areas at different times. This is because you will now have mask files that will block out portions of the adjacent areas where they meet, and I can't think of any clever way to remedy this. Since the texture for a given tile will always have the same file name, if you converted up to the edge of your old area and again used masks, you'd now have duplicate file names and duplicate masks, and AeroFly will pick one or the other when it loads initially. The end result is you'll have an untextured stripe between your two adjacent converted regions, and you can't get rid of it unless you reconvert those tiles with masks disabled and then delete the mask files.



    I'm pretty sure what I've written here is all correct, based on my testing and observations, but if any of the devs with more in-depth knowledge can clarify further please do so!


    EDIT: anybody reading this and having the same troubles, see this post by the one and only Rodeo: Scenery Loading Distance