A few observations on AeroflyFS2 scenery design

  • I would like to share a few experiences from my attempts of scenery design. Sorry if this grew too long. Let me start with a few shots.


    [Blocked Image: http://fsfiles.org/flightsimshotsv2/images/2018/02/01/aeroflyFS2_EDBJ.jpg]

    [Blocked Image: http://fsfiles.org/flightsimshotsv2/images/2018/02/01/aeroflyFS2_EDBJ_1.jpg]

    [Blocked Image: http://fsfiles.org/flightsimshotsv2/images/2018/02/01/aeroflyFS2_jena_2.jpg]


    These sceneries were made by someone who has been simming since 1991 but never did any serious steps into scenery design, except a hand full of Ortho4XP tiles. Given this was a low-res AeroflyFS2 pixel desert before, I think they speak for themselves, and I would sincerely thank Karl-Heinz "Rodeo", Arno Gerretson (probably not around here), Phil "Spit40", Jeff "drhotwing1", Uwe "admoore63" and all the others for their tools, bright ideas and tutorials.


    I also would like to stress IPACS' superior display engine providing an amazing atmosphere and landscape experience, and all this with 120 fps without blurries or stutters - in my mind the best engine we have for a civilian sim today.


    What I did was creating my homebase EDBJ, a smaller (27 km x 72 km) area of photoscenery around it and making cultivation for a larger part of it. Here are a few more technical questions and hints I collected during the making which maybe someone can answer. Please bear with me, I have been following the forum more or less from the beginning of AeroflyFS2 but certainly missed a lot.


    Geoconvert


    1. FSET worked 3 h and Geoconvert 8 h for making the photo ground with 1 m/pixel. This is fine, however, my next project was my home state Thuringia being one of the smaller German states. After running more than a day I stopped as I extrapolated to need around 4 days for Geoconvert to finish. I might take the burden but not just for me but if I could redistribute/share the result for free. That's the same dilemma as with Ortho4XP, it's such a waste of resources having ever new people doing this stupid number crunching over and over. I am pretty sure there is no legally usable map material available from the German "Landesvermessungsämter" - or is it?


    I didn't do a strict comparison, but I am under the impression Ortho4XP is "a bit" more speedy in calculating (comparable) ZL17 tiles.


    2. I noticed the hard disk working quite heavily under Geoconvert, and much more than under Ortho4XP. I even got a bit worried and I certainly will not task one of my SSDs with Geoconvert. Maybe there is room for optimizations reducing the IOs?


    3. Why is it necessary (or at least suggested) to make all the resolution levels of 9, 11, 12, 13, 14? When I create Ortho4XP sceneries for XP I only make ZL17, and maybe ZL 18 around the airports. And, btw., it would be lovely to have a similar possibility to define higher resolutions for certain regions like e.g. airports without having to restart the process.


    Cultivation


    4. I understand I can select a certain area on OSM for export, but this is rather restricted (by OSM). Is there a way to export larger regions?


    5. Why have Cultivation patches to be bound to airports (or at least dummy airports) at present? Wouldn't it by better to just define an arbitrary anchor point?


    6. While the first impression on the images is overwhelming, a closer look shows the variance of objects being quite limited. In general, there are quite a number of non-fitting (mostly too large) buildings. There are rows of (larger) apartment buildings concatenated to just one large one etc. Is there someone working on extending and differentiating the object library? (And to begin with, I didn't even find who maintains it :))


    Simple airports


    7. I just foresee this to populate the AeroflyFS2 world quite quickly after people get used to it. There is certainly room for extensions like adding VORs, ILS, and the like. In the beginning, these might be simple, a VOR just needs an anchor point and a couple of frequencies - or is it more?


    What is missing?


    8. Have a look here.


    https://commons.wikimedia.org/…trum_Jenas_2008-05-24.JPG


    That is a major landmark and it is badly missing in Jena. This is the question of general landmarks as Günther Kremp creates them for X-Plane. Now the models are all in the Warehouse, but I am afraid, contrary to the tools above, there is nothing available for a layman like me to convert them into AeroflyFS2. I would even be willing to spend a few Euros and learn something new but AC3 is without reach for me. Any chance I could import the Warehouse model of just that business tower?


    I tried to understand the intended scenery creation workflow at this point. As far as I ses the idea is to


    1. Make a low resolution larger Ceoconvert area, say something like 100 km x 100 km


    2. Make an airport you are interested in within it


    3. Build a higher-resolution (say 10-20 km^2) area around that aiport, add cultivation to the area


    Finally: I do not at all intend to become a scenery designer but just want to understand how things work and, perhaps, help testing stuff. Nonetheless, I will try to pay back a bit in reporting in a few fora (not the technical issues, but the results, of course) as a little support for AeroflyFS2. However, given two updates for Prepar3d and FSW are pending and distracting people right now I'll better wait a few days.


    Kind regards, Michael

  • Very good observation and equally very nice work that you did with our tools.


    In time all of this will improve. We just wanted to get this out to the community so that they can, well, do exactly what you have done.

    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

  • Tangential to this, I have been experimenting with Orthos in X-plane for the first time: Downloading them and some overlays and experimenting with the sim in vr.


    One of the first things I've found is that there are some absolutely spectacular high resolution orthos out there, covering entire states, and even multiple states, and the quality is of a type I never even knew was available. https://forums.x-plane.org/ind…ile/36327-us-orthophotos/


    It's eye opening to drop right down to ground level and still have a crisp image!


    The question it brought to my mind, is that if these images are already out there, spruced up and beautifully color corrected, is there a way for Aerofly users do download these existing fast torrents and use them in Aerofly?


    For instance, I know that Drhotwing has good orthos of certain areas, but is still exploring the ability of sharing them. Yet from the linked site I quickly retrieved wonderful images covering New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut!


    It would be awesome if we could use these, but does FSET allow this? And If not, how hard would creating a converter be?


    It seems this could open up a world of available orthos to users, and also allow us to help the Xp user community by joining and expanding the seeders for such torrents.


    I wonder what Ipacs would think of this?

    Devons rig

    Intel Core i7 8700K @ 5.0GHz / 32.0GB G.SKILL TridentZ Series Dual-Channel Ram / ZOTAC GAMING GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan / Sound Blaster Z / Oculus Rift VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / Windows 10 Pro 64-bit /Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Motherboard

  • Good qestion, HiFlyer, that source is "only" the US, but as I understand the material can indeed be freely used and redistributed. I think there is similar ortho material freely available for e.g. NZ.


    Kind regards, Michael

  • Another good idea is, to let your expensive video card let do the conversion job, not the cpu.

    The cuda program nvcompress converts a jpg file into dds. It takes about 3.4 seconds for a 4096x4096 jpg square. Maybe these can easily be converted into the ttx files?


    aerofly.com/community/index.php?attachment/7330/

    That's what I did from jpeg to dds. But I hear Aerofly uses Png's?

    Devons rig

    Intel Core i7 8700K @ 5.0GHz / 32.0GB G.SKILL TridentZ Series Dual-Channel Ram / ZOTAC GAMING GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan / Sound Blaster Z / Oculus Rift VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / Windows 10 Pro 64-bit /Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Motherboard

  • Hi Michael,

    yes you can download a complete sub region from geofabrik.com. (osm.bz2)



    to not overload ScenProc you should limit the area of cultivation like this:

    ImportOGR|d:\OSM\obb.osm|11.481467;11.868759;48.170115;48.407074|*|NOREPROJ

    The maximal recommended area is 1° x 1°. You do need a (dummy) airport in each region.


    Regards,

    Thomas

  • Thanks Thomas, exactly what I was looking for. There's so much knowledge collected here, it's just a bit overwhelming to find it all. This one could well go into the Wiki.


    Kind regards, Michael

  • Hi Michael,


    many thanks for your report, I appreciate this very much.

    And therefore I want to contribute some answers.


    Geoconvert:

    1.+2. Geoconvert may block your pc for many hours or even some days. If possible, run it on a separate pc. I use a laptop with external harddrive.


    3. Aerofly uses different image levels for different flight levels. So it does the processing before running the sim. This will give you high performance during your flight.


    And of course Geoconvert allows different resolutions for certain regions. You have a specific area definition in the TMC for each level. So just specify smaller areas for higher levels in the TMC.


    Cultivation:

    4. In openstreetmap.org use the function Overpass API to export larger areas. Obviously this is rather unknown although shown in my video tutorial. Another solution has already been suggested above by TomSimMuc.





    5. This is the current status and may change in the future.


    6. I suppose the building sizes are the results from scenProc and may be addressed there.


    Another topic is the variety at all. We need more complex building footprints, different roof shapes etc.


    Additionally I suggest we create and share new building textures, we already have the example library and the converter tool. Up to now only few people modified the texture library.


    7. I'm looking forward to see a stunning tool published by Spit40 to easily create airports.


    8. Major landmarks.

    I absolutely agree that these are so important for the scenery immersion. If you can get buildings in any 3D format, there is a good chance that we get this converted into aerofly. Please check the large sketchup library. But we cannot work with proprietary formats from other simulators.


    9. USGS imagery

    Nobody seems to care about the USGS data viewer, which offers aerial images with 1m resolution. And even more, they can be freely distributed by giving credits to them. We could offer a similar map for aerofly as shown in the x-plane forum, at least for the USA!!!



    If you ended up here, thanks for reading all these lines ;):):thumbup:

    Rodeo

  • The problem is, do these things have night textures? I suspect not.

    Devons rig

    Intel Core i7 8700K @ 5.0GHz / 32.0GB G.SKILL TridentZ Series Dual-Channel Ram / ZOTAC GAMING GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan / Sound Blaster Z / Oculus Rift VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / Windows 10 Pro 64-bit /Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Motherboard

  • Adding lights to any object is as simple as taking the _color texture file and making a duplicate of it as _light with edits of what you want lit on it.

    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

  • Thanks so much for taking your time, Rodeo. I'll go through this, but need a bit of time. You'll hear from me.


    Kind regards, Michael

  • I tried the JenTower (on top of the other Geoconvert/Cultivation scenery I made), but it does not show up. I placed the files of "eddp_leipzig.zip" (like my other airports which work) under


    C:\Users\[profile]\Documents\Aerofly FS 2\scenery\places\DE\eddp_leipzig


    Coordinates seem to be okay, anything else required?


    Kind regards, Michael

  • Hi Michael,


    I included 2 zips into my download zip, did you use the correct one for the places?

    Did you unzip the file? Sometimes windows baffles us with these zips.

    Try it directly under \places.

    Does the airport eddp_leizpzig show up in your map?

    The Jentower is at it's real position, so you have to fly to Jena.

    Do you have another airport EDDP so aerofly mixes them up?

    Do you have another airport closer to Jena? Please move this directory outside the aerofly folders, just for testing purposes.


    I think, you have done most of these points, since you are familiar with the structures.

    These are just the things I would check.

    I can offer you to do a teamviewer session today from now on until about 16 o'clock.


    Regards

    Rodeo

  • I included 2 zips into my download zip, did you use the correct one for the places?

    checked, eddp_leipzig


    Did you unzip the file? Sometimes windows baffles us with these zips.

    checked


    Try it directly under \places.

    tried


    Does the airport eddp_leizpzig show up in your map?

    yes


    The Jentower is at it's real position, so you have to fly to Jena.

    yep


    Do you have another airport EDDP so aerofly mixes them up?

    all removed now


    Do you have another airport closer to Jena? Please move this directory outside the aerofly folders, just for testing purposes.

    I had EDBJ, removed now


    Still no visible, now I'm at my wit's end I even removed the photo scenery...


    I can offer you to do a teamviewer session today from now on until about 16 o'clock.

    If you really will take your time that would be very kind. I'll send you a PM for contact.


    Kind regards, Michael