How do I create a ground poly for texturing?

  • Hi,

    I am at the point to where I am about to start building my airport, I have all of the modeling skills in line and essential texturing skills, but am confused about one thing. How exactly would I create the airport into a poly for texturing?

    I am going to mostly use tiled textures, and I want to use 4k scanned textures to get that extra detail but keep getting stumped on how exactly I would do this. I have read some of the tutorials but it does not mention UVing the runway, taxiway etc specifically getting it ready for textures, it just goes over using the imagery as your textures.

    From what others elsewhere have told me is that I would have to either go into PS and create slices of 4096x4096 and then texture it somehow that way (still not sure how this works exactly), and/or go into 3DS Max and create a UVW Map instead of an unwrap and apparently that will create a grid that has my 4k UV's within the grids so I can just take the entire thing into PS and texture it either with my imagery and/or my tiled textures and decals.

    Also, how exactly would something like 1cm resolution be used for me to paint over and tile with textures? Do I just trace the airport in Max with poly lines from the imagery, UV (how?), take it into PS, then back to Max to add my buildings on it?

    I can model the buildings fairly well, which are pretty easy as they are just cubes for the most part and low poly, I can texture them well, I figured out how to insert it into max to view, and now I am learning aerial photography, imagery, and photo scanning, I just need to figure out how exactly to UV the airport base for the imagery and textures.



  • Hi Easton

    Follow the instructions as outlined in the various tutorials for the airport poly, it works.

    Forget making several 4K textures and trying to stitch them together. At ground level they are pretty useless and as you approach they really don't add to anything, again, follow the excellent tutorial. As for taxiways, a single texture is probably best, I use 15*15 mts repeat in the UV ( not uv-unwrap just standard uv), maybe down as far as 10*10. You can make the airport mesh with runways, aprons, taxiways and then detach these to separate objects. Do your UV-ing at this object level then re-attach. remember to re-weld all the verts so its a single mesh again. This way gives you easy access to UV-ing and it keeps it all when you re-attach. I apply a single background bitmap, use this to make the runways, taxi, apron and background and then detach. You will need to add an individual material ID from a multi-subobject texture to each set of polys. In the up-coming Leeds Bradford I'm using 7 or 8 texture slots in the multi-subobject material so don't think you just have to use the amount suggested in the tutorial. Use bump mapping to give that extra feeling at ground level but don't over do it. Specular can be ok but I found on EGGP it caused massive glare as its all east/west, so tried to remove it.

    You can add a transparent png over all the runway, taxiways and apron as one large 4K texture to add extra detail ( yep uv-unwrap for this). ie grime and tarmac repairs, concrete bay colouring etc. must be a transparent PNG. I used a copy of the airport mesh just remove all the background and keep it as a single 4K texture, see attached


  • I am going to follow some of the videos, try to do it in Max rather than ACD3 soon.

    I was planning on making extensive use of Mimapping for the 4k textures, I fly at 4k and love the look of 4x the resolution, it just feels way more realistic to me. I don't think it will cause any performance decrease as it is just textures. What exactly do you mean by using 15x15 meters? Just your tiled textures? Or do you mean having the UV that is encompassing the entire runway in 15 meter chunks? If so how small could you go?

    Ok, so I would UV the runway and the taxiway, etc. separately. When you say you apply a background bmp. you mean your imagery right? But what would be the best way to UV it? I don't think it is using an Unwrap but rather a Map instead correct?

    I did not know that was a way to add decals. So the background would be transparent but the parts you want to show would not be, how do you take the tire markings but leave the rest of the asphalt or concrete underneath it behind so it is not visible? Also, if I wanted to would it be possible to add the individual decals instead of adding a huge chunk of them? I was thinking it would be possible to do one at a time, like take one of the runway lines after taking pictures from the ground, then adding that one line X however many more I need. Sorry about all the questions, some of this stuff is not really covered all that well, or if it is it doesn't go into as much detail and other workflows.

  • Yep 15*15 is the UV units I use, you can do what ever suits the runway, apron etc. Runway and taxiway textures are normally a repeatable map, I use the default ones as they are well made. What I have done is to add a 1 pixel line around the edge to give the impression of a boundary, just erase bits of this line to make it look better so its not so in your face.

    Adding decals and grunge as I call it are 2 different things. Decals for taxi lines, bay markings etc are added as per the tutorials, it works very well. I also add another decal which are priority 8 and 9, the highest so last applied, which is the grunge layers. This can include tyre markings, oil spills, tarmac repairs, concrete colour changes etc. I do however apply the tyre markings as a separate decal and map for better placement and more detail, This way you can do 2 tyre markings for individually ends if you wish. As these are normally a single bitmap for a large are they do look blurred in FS2, hence the reason for adding other decals as per the tutorials, its great for grunge not taxi lines etc

    Background image is normally the fset image at a high zoom, do remember if you plan to upload the airport to the website you will need to remove this image from your project as IPACS will not allow it. If you have followed the instructions about vertex colouring the background image will not show anyway.

    Not sure if FS2 uses mipmapping on ground for the developers to answer

    Best tutorial is the written one for max

    There is also a post by Antoine about things appearing misplaced in FS2 if you wonder why this may happen to you


  • Forgot to add,

    If you do use a transparent PNG file keep the colouring to a very small percentage, I use between 5 and 10 percent. Its hardly noticable in the PNG file, you need a white backgroundto see it in the paint program but stands out like a dogs what nots in the sim. remember not to include the white background in the final PNG file else it won't be transparent.

    Tried to attach a png example but it doesn't show correctly,


  • If you plan on using 3DS Max you can start by following the step by step tutorial in the wiki HERE

    It will show you in detail each step.

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    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.



  • What is the smallest you could, or should I say would, UV it?

    One more question, if I want to texture all of it in Photoshop can I just export the entire base of the airport out and do that instead? I have never used Max materials, I know how to set them up but so far I only use Photoshop because it lets me get more detailed with projects. I think I just have to export it into PS and it would be fine, then work away at it.

    I am probably going to take some pictures of a road tomorrow over an overpass as a quick simulation so I get the hang of the process and pretend that is my runway and go through everything the same and see what happens, maybe even add a building off to the side or something.

    I will keep this in mind and come back to this post in the near future while I start on my airport, thanks!

  • Also, I am still not sure how to UV map this. I am only used to Unwrapping, this is something completely different right? How do I setup the UV on a plane like the runway? I have never heard of anyone mapping in a grid of meters, am I skipping over this in the tutorial or is it not mentioned?

    Where I am still confused is my UVs are all over the place so I have to Flatten map them, then that splits them apart.

    The other picture is what I am confused about, what am I supposed to do to UV it?

  • HI

    No hard and fast rule for repeating textures, what ever looks good in the sim. I stick to 15*15 on runway and 10*10 on taxiway/apron but thats just my preference.

    Use the standard UVMap modifier for taxiway and aprons. Open the gizmo tab to adjust the rotation and placement and set the U and V repeat sizes in the modifier itself


  • Ok, I still can not find out how this is done, I have googled everything, read everything, cant find videos, the tutorial doesn't explain it.

    This is a picture of a simple plane, and I am trying to make a UV grid on it but cant... I was told elsewhere that the image should look like this:

    This is mine:

    How do I make my plane look like the one above? Supposedly each one of those grids is its own UV

  • I found out how to add the tiled textures to a runway, however I was not aware that adding these 10x10 meter tiles was not going to let me individually paint them or add detail to them, unless I am doing something really wrong...

    When I add paint or decals in my texturing software it only add it to one tile and repeats it throughout the runway. How would you add decals and other details?

  • you add decals using, errr decals, read the tutorials that Jeff has written.

    It is possible to add extra detail over the top of a runway, apron etc using a errr decal. I add tyre marks this way. i also add grime and surface repairs this way. Just copy the mesh where you want this to be, make it a decal and apply the texture , I use a transparent PNG ( not a PNG with a alpha map) . Keep the colours weak in the PNG as they are quite strong in the sim

    So my up on decals