What is the best way to develop LARGE cultivation scenery?

  • Hi all,

    I am a FSX/P3D scenery developer and I found Aerofly FS2 very good to manage orthophoto scenery with cultivation.

    What is the best way to develop large cultivation scenery? If I have a 1000 x 1000km area to "cultivate", I think that I have to subdivide the scenery into small cells.

    Otherwise I risk of incurring in a memory corruption. I don't know how Aerofly FS2 loads and releases the cultivation in scenery.

    Anyone can explain me?

  • Aerofly in general can handle quite a lot of cultivation data, however, it's best to still spread out cultivation between sectors using airport TSC files. However, we have just rebuilt the graphics engine to handle much larger cultivation files from only one airport TSC.

    If you opt to make one large TOC file make sure that you remember to edit the size of the 'size' parameter located in the TSC file as that it the distance in which Aerofly loads that airport and its data into memory. For example; 'size=5000' allows for Aerofly to load that data from an area 5000 meters from each direction of that airport.


    Be sure to take a look at out tutorials on our WIKI under 'scenery development. Cultivation will be found under 'video tutorials'

    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 for the reply.

    For example; 'size=5000' allows for Aerofly to load that data from an area 5000 meters from each direction of that airport.

    I tried smallest size (size=1) but Aerofly still loads all cultivation.


    it's best to still spread out cultivation between sectors using airport TSC files


    Do these sectors have special characteristics? Or can I decide their characteristics (dimensions, place, etc...)? What happens if there are more sectors overlapping?

  • If you are using OSM you can split up your coverage areas. Let's say that you have two airports in your scenery, you can take half of your coverage area defines in OSM and put that in airport A, and the other half in airport B

    Measure out the distance that your cultivation extends in meters and place that number as 'size=' in your TSC file.


    As for using size=1, if you are sitting at that airport then yes the cultivation will load, but if you are flying into that airport you won't see any cultivation until you are 1 meter away doing what you did.

    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

  • Jeff, is there a max number of objects allowed in a toc file before void patches are visible in your cultivated area or are the voids a combination of both toc objects and PC memory?

  • As for using size=1, if you are sitting at that airport then yes the cultivation will load, but if you are flying into that airport you won't see any cultivation until you are 1 meter away doing what you did.

    Using size=1 or size=10 or any size I set, Aerofly shows all cultivation at all distances. It seems that the parameter "size=" has no effect to the simulator.

  • Jeff, is there a max number of objects allowed in a toc file before void patches are visible in your cultivated area or are the voids a combination of both toc objects and PC memory?

    With our latest update you can pack in much more cultivation. We don;t have a max number set but if the toc is too large you will begin to see floating houses/buildings. With a very large cultivation file it's best to split it up and adjust the 'size' parameter to the distance in meters from each airport that matches the toc file in each.

    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

  • I develop a tool that tests Aerofly FS2 cultivation performances.

    I noticed that when Aerofly loads from hard-disk a cultivation region it introduces stuttering. There is a solution to maintain fps without stuttering?

    This is actually dependent on a few factors, one being memory in your PC. The other factor is how many models and cultivation is getting loaded into memory once the file is triggered. Aerofly can now handle a fairly large cultivation file but for better optimization you should still split up your cultivation data between two or multiple TOC files like I mentioned in my response earlier.

    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

  • (...)

    If you opt to make one large TOC file make sure that you remember to edit the size of the 'size' parameter located in the TSC file as that it the distance in which Aerofly loads that airport and its data into memory. For example; 'size=5000' allows for Aerofly to load that data from an area 5000 meters from each direction of that airport.

    I think by default the visibility is rather 30 km radius around the center point of the TSC file.

    The size parameter is a markup in [m] for that radius. For instance, size=5'000 means a visibility radius of 35km.


    The best strategy IMO for large cultivation coverage is to split it in multiple "reasonably small" TOC tiles and call each tile with a distinct object TSC file. You may add several layers for a same tile.

    More to it later.


    Exclude all aerodromes (AD) since they may interfere in the future whenever anybody decides to model one of them. For that purpose, I use Google Earth to draw a simple polygon shape around everything I want to exclude and save it as a .KML file. When done with as many exclude polygons as you want, you may either call them all in your ScenProc settings (if you're using ScenProc, which I can recommend), or you can merge them all in Google Earth as a single KML file and use it in ScenProc.


    You may use the polygons to specifically cultivate the AD zones, so that each AD has its own zone that may easily be modified or cleaned up in the future.


    I generate TOC files with ScenProc, and made my own tools to clean them up, merge overlapping regions, automatically generate TOC files and the TMC file for binary compilation.


    Attached below is a sample of TSC file. Since the latest release, there's no more need to add a dummy object for AFS2 to load the cultivation. Note that this TSC file calls 2 layers of cultivation : buildings and vegetation (each layer is a separate TOC file, but covering the same tile. You may want to add several buildings layers, each using a different set of building textures. You may also add a layer of lights...


    France_N4118_E00905_N4124_E00912.zip


    Regarding the "reasonable" tile size, I've been using so far splitgrid steps of 0.1° x 0.1°, which corresponds to some 8x11km tiles for the zone I'm covering.

    I noticed a few floating buildings though and of course some hickups when inspecting my scenery with the dev cam.


    I'm currently testing splitgrid of 0.05° x 0.05°, thus 4.2 x 5.6 km tiles for the zone I'm covering. Still compiling... wait and see!


    The heavier the TOC tile, the longer the stutters when loading, so it tends to go down in size.

    But when there are too many too small tiles, AFS2 will start constantly reading from the disk.

    So, there's an optimum to be found, I still don't know which one is the best and it probably depends on your disk.


    For a comparison, FS autogen tiles are in LOD13, thus approx 1.2 x 1.2 km tiles, but it was developed 20 years ago.


    Cheers and don't hesitate to share your experiences


    Antoine

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  • I've tested on my pc (core i7, NVME HDD):


    1x1km: too many files -> long loading times

    5 x 5km: good compromise -> many micro stuttering

    10 x 10km: best for my pc -> low micro stuttering

    100 x 100km: it requires too much memory


    To solve stuttering Aerofly FS2 should load toc files in background process. The use of multitasking should be improved.

  • To solve stuttering Aerofly FS2 should load toc files in background process. The use of multitasking should be improved.

    I was just thinking about that. Hopefully it's doable.

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