Help Creating AeroScenery (aka Ortho4FS2)

  • nickhod - A suggestion for you. File and folder management can get a bit unwieldy with geoconversions. You could try and handle everything for people so that it outputs to the correct My Documents folder but sometimes with repeated conversions you want to do it manually. I'd recommend that the final conversion results in a single ZIP file so that people can move it to wherever they want, tidy up old stuff then unzip.


    Second request - a simple config file and perhaps command line options to go with it. This way people could show screenshots of a nice location and share config files and with a simple process anyone else could obtain the same scenery. In fact i could build autogenerated config files into http://www.fscloudport.com


    Your app could well be a gamechanger! IPACS should be stuffing $$$$ in unmarked bills into a safety deposit box for you!

  • File and folder management can get a bit unwieldy with geoconversions. You could try and handle everything for people so that it outputs to the correct My Documents folder but sometimes with repeated conversions you want to do it manually. I'd recommend that the final conversion results in a single ZIP file so that people can move it to wherever they want, tidy up old stuff then unzip.


    Second request - a simple config file and perhaps command line options to go with it. This way people could show screenshots of a nice location and share config files and with a simple process anyone else could obtain the same scenery. In fact i could build autogenerated config files into http://www.fscloudport.com


    Your app could well be a gamechanger! IPACS should be stuffing $$$$ in unmarked bills into a safety deposit box for you!

    Spit40 Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I'll give some thought to file output management. I was considering that it should optionally move final Geoconvert output straight to the user's AeroFly FS2 directory (bit harder to do with self elevated UAC). An option to zip up output would be easy enough though.


    Config file is a good idea. I'd make it a simple XML file that you can open / drag into in the UI. I'm trying to make this app as easy to use as possible.


    We can probably get a cross-over going between AeroScenery and FSCloudPort if you'd like. My UI could show FSCP airports and link to the airport page on your site. Your web app could give user uploaded config files to download the best available scenery near the airport.


    I wholeheartedly support the unmarked bills idea!

  • Today's progress ... finished up the multi-threaded image tile downloader.


    Still to do:

    • Algorithm to figure out a list of image provider tiles to download and their coordinates (the hard bit)
    • Convert jpegs to png on save
    • Generate valid AID and TMC files


    Beautiful ideas and very nice progress indeed!


    Why are you talking of jpegs? I'd suggest to work with BMP's instead and, of course save and keep the raw material (images) before geoconverting them.

    In most cases you'll need manual editing (color matching, masks, defects correction, etc.)


    Working with BMP's allows to do everything without loosing quality until you're ready for Geoconverting.


    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 3.20GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

  • Why are you talking of jpegs? I'd suggest to work with BMP's instead and, of course save and keep the raw material (images) before geoconverting them.

    In most cases you'll need manual editing (color matching, masks, defects correction, etc.)


    Thanks! Many image tile sources have tiles in jpg format only. I'm going to convert these to png as Geoconvert supports that and it's lossless but compressed


    If an image tile source offers lossless, we'll use that.


    For many parts of the world, Bing aerial images are good enough to use without manual editing.


    I'm snapping tmc file coordinates to AFS2 grid squares to avoid the need for transparency.

  • For many parts of the world, Bing aerial images are good enough to use without manual editing.


    I'm snapping tmc file coordinates to AFS2 grid squares to avoid the need for transparency.

    Unfortunately not. There's no aerial photos for most water surfaces. You have to manually create a mask. Addtionally there's still no water texture in AFS2, thus you'll have to manually paint and blend your water into the scenery.


    Bing material may look homogeneous when zoomed out (satellite pictures) but it's unfortunately not the case anymore when zooming into levels you'll use for scenery making.


    Scenery making is not just a matter of projecting raw orthophotos into AFS2, otherwise everybody would do it.

    Geoconverting may look quite tedious to those who haven't actually tried it out, but you just create an AID file for your aerial orthophotos and a tmc file for the zone and launch. No rocket science...

    Your tool will make this step easier, but cannot spare the manual editing... (;-)


    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 3.20GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

    Edited once, last by Trespassers ().

  • If this could autodetect coastline that would be amazing !

  • Scenery making is not just a matter of projecting raw orthophotos into AFS2, otherwise everybody would do it.

    Geoconverting may look quite tedious to those who haven't actually tried it out, but you just create an AID file for your aerial orthophotos and a tmc file for the zone and launch. No rocket science...

    Your tool will make this step easier, but cannot spare the manual editing... (;-)

    I think it depends of people's expectations. If you want commercial quality scenery, you'll have to manually edit things, if you want good enough scenery you can probably get away without.


    The person who downloaded the Channel Islands at 25cm pp from Google said he deleted it later, so I'm willing to bet not a lot of time was spent editing. To me it looks amazing.


    My motivation for developing AeroScenery is that I'd like to download a lot of the UK in that level of detail.


    Is this really possible to obtain with Geoconverter ?

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  • Trespassers made a good point about allowing for manual editing.


    My original plan was to just create an AID file for each 256x256 tile that I download. I can't see how it's feasible to do any manual edits with a load of tiny images though.


    I'm thinking of stitching things into 4096x4096 or 8192x8192 images first and running Geoconvert on those.


    Anyone have any thoughts on that?

  • Hi nickhod, a typical FEST picture is written concenated with a typical file size of 700MB, 13000 x 19000 pixel.

    This size can easily manipulated with photoshop or Gimp, even 5 of those at the same time. So I would make the pics bigger then 4096 pixels.


    You are indeed right, that those tiny pictures in a huge amount can not be manipulated sensful.


    So I would suggest:

    download the pics, concenate them, allow a stop for color correction (optionally) and then continue by converting them to AFS2 files.

  • Hi nickhod, a typical FEST picture is written concenated with a typical file size of 700MB, 13000 x 19000 pixel.

    This size can easily manipulated with photoshop or Gimp, even 5 of those at the same time. So I would make the pics bigger then 4096 pixels.


    Thanks!


    Pleased I realised this now. I've not done much with AFS2 scenery yet, so I'm doing this kind of 'blind'.


    I'll play around with stitching 48 tiles into a square image size of 12,288 px.

  • Exactly, you'd better stitch images together.

    Regarding image editing, the point is to leave the user the possibility of editing the stitched images if he wants to, i.e. not deleting them.

    Ideally, the GUI could have a switch to choose whether to automatically geoconvert or not after download, and another switch for clearing the images or not after geoconverting.

    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 3.20GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

  • Exactly, you'd better stitch images together.

    Regarding image editing, the point is to leave the user the possibility of editing the stitched images if he wants to, i.e. not deleting them.

    Ideally, the GUI could have a switch to choose whether to automatically geoconvert or not after download, and another switch for clearing the images or not after geoconverting.

    Cheers

    Antoine

    OK, I've made it so that each step of the workflow can be enabled or disabled. I think that should cover everyone's needs, and it's useful for testing.


    A beginner can just click "Start" and have some nice scenery installed. Someone who wants to edit can stop before GeoConvert runs, do the edits, then let it run GeoConvert and copy the scenery (or do that manually).


    Thanks for the input.


  • A beginner can just click "Start" and have some nice scenery installed. Someone who wants to edit can stop before GeoConvert runs, do the edits, then let it run GeoConvert and copy the scenery (or do that manually).

    That's a very important, and as I see you are getting it right. Make it as easy as possibe with a one-click-option with useful default settings for the average user. Plus, make it configurable for the expert. That's rather trivial but even big software houses don't get it always right.;)


    A good explanation of the options (quick baloon help or a separate help file) would make sense. Not every beginner knows what AID or TMC files are etc.


    Kind regards, Michael

    Intel i7-6700K 4.0 GHz / Asus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER / Kingston 32 GB DDR4 / Samsung SSD M.2 500 GB + Samsung SSD 1 TB + Intel SSD 500 GB (AeroflyFS2) + WD HD 6 TB / EVGA GTX 1080Ti 11 GB / LG 34UM95 3440 x 1440 / HP Reverb / Win 10/64

  • That's a very important, and as I see you are getting it right. Make it as easy as possibe with a one-click-option with useful default settings for the average user. Plus, make it configurable for the expert. That's rather trivial but even big software houses don't get it always right.;)


    A good explanation of the options (quick baloon help or a separate help file) would make sense. Not every beginner knows what AID or TMC files are etc.


    Kind regards, Michael

    Good point. Those with technical confidence can already geoconvert - the opportunity here is to make something that those nervous of opening a file in notepad can use without any technical terminology. Perhaps hide the extra stuff behind an "advanced" button.

  • Where can or where will we be able to download this from? And I will gladly donate for this tool!

    Thanks for the interest.


    AeroScenery is coming on pretty well. I have it downloading the correct tiles from Bing and stitching them together into larger pngs. I'm now planning to add support for Google from the start.


    I'm hoping to do a first release sometime next week. I'll start a new post here when it's ready.

  • Thanks for the interest.


    AeroScenery is coming on pretty well. I have it downloading the correct tiles from Bing and stitching them together into larger pngs. I'm now planning to add support for Google from the start.


    I'm hoping to do a first release sometime next week. I'll start a new post here when it's ready.

    Sounds really good. We need easy tools to handle for the average user. This will be the perfect fit to FSCloudPort.


    You probably know Google has the habit of modifying the API from time to time.


    Kind regards, and *thanks* for your work, Michael

    Intel i7-6700K 4.0 GHz / Asus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER / Kingston 32 GB DDR4 / Samsung SSD M.2 500 GB + Samsung SSD 1 TB + Intel SSD 500 GB (AeroflyFS2) + WD HD 6 TB / EVGA GTX 1080Ti 11 GB / LG 34UM95 3440 x 1440 / HP Reverb / Win 10/64

  • Thanks for the interest.


    AeroScenery is coming on pretty well. I have it downloading the correct tiles from Bing and stitching them together into larger pngs. I'm now planning to add support for Google from the start.


    I'm hoping to do a first release sometime next week. I'll start a new post here when it's ready.

    Very nice tool.

    I don't know if was mentioned before, but sometimes water areas do not have imagery in Bing (and sometimes in Google either) and the resulting images are shown in white in those areas. One should have the possibility of editing those images applying alpha layers and saving them after editing, all before the geoconversion process takes place.

    Cheers, Ed