GeoConvert Tool coming soon

  • For those of you who don't know this yet, there is a new tool that will be in your hands shortly that will allow for you to add your very own scenery to Aerofly FS2. This tool will make it easy for just about anyone to define an area that you want to fly over, obtain hi-res aerial imagery from applications like FSET (FSEarth Tiles), use the easy to use GeoConvert tool that IPACS has worked very hard to make as easy as possible, take the resulted image files and simply drop them into Aerofly FS 2. Want more? How about having access to the IPACS model library? Still want more? How about improved and easier tools to make your own airports, building models, add lighting, and add your airports to the location map. You don't even have to worry about the elevation layer, the conversion results will drop your scenery right over the existing elevation model of FS 2, instant and precise mountains, valleys, and water edges.


    Tutorials and easy to understand step by step instructions will be available to you, and of course much support from your friends here on the forums.


    Are you excited yet?


    Here are some sneak peeks of what can be achieved using this new tool. The results are spectacular:

  • and hopefully we can download and simply drop in these improved flying areas to our HD after the users upload their masterpieces to our User Download section.


    Regards,


    Ray

    A steely-eyed Sierra Hotel record setting F-15E Strike Eagle simulator pilot. 8o
    Out now: Hawaiian Islands 8) Part 1: Kauai + Niihau v2 and Part 2 Oahu Island.

    On short final Part 3: Molokai, Maui, Lanai, Kohoolawe + Molokini Crater



  • This is very exciting! I am very much looking forward to getting creative with some scenery!


    Will this download the GoogleEarth tiles to our computer so that we can manipulate them, or will this simply be a link to GoogleEarth that downloads tiles 'on the fly'?

  • Wow Jeff, we knew the GeoConvert tool was coming but all the other extras? Just what many were hoping for... thanks for the great news! Can't wait to get started on my home area; I don't know how good I'll be at it but looking forward to giving it all a go. Please let the IPACS team know how much this is appreciated by many AFS2 fans who love this sim.

  • Thank you in advance IPACS for this great new converter tool and access to the libraries, looking forward to testing it all.


    How are priorities handled with existing sceneries ? Just by resolution ? Or the order in the folder ? I think for instance to the Geneva and Leman area where the Swiss DLC is wasted by the lack of French ground textures.


    To give a general reply to other question, FSET has been a reference for some 10 years now in FS world to build ground scenery textures by downloading orthophotos from web services like Google Earth, Bing, Virtual Earth, etc.
    The tool is easy to use and provides nice features like watermask and seasonal textures generation, but the biggest amount of work is to manually rework the orthophotos to get a consistent and homogeneous result. The rest is pretty much automated.


    Last but not least, downloading orthophotos from these web services is in clear violation of copyrights. As long as you keep it for you at home and don't advertize too much on it nobody will bother you, but you should forget about sharing stolen material, or even worse making money with it.
    Add-on editors who publish sceneries purchase expensive orthophoto licences.


    Cheers
    Antoine

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  • Work in progress!
    These screenshots demonstrates what IPACS had to be done for our requests.


    1) The aerial images use the existing elevation model
    2) The images have to be blended into the existing aerofly ground textures
    3) Even the map display had to be reworked
    4) When defining an runway, IPACS uses a polynom of the 5. degrees to smooth the ground and avoid step or peaks.

  • Just for your information: The dark areas in the images by rodeo will not be visible in the final version. An option for converting your own higher resolution elevation data will also be available in a future version, however currently think about improving our global elevation data so this step is not necessary for most cases, unless you intend to model LUKLA.

  • Hehe,


    as I said: Work in progress. Just wanted to show how hard you had to code! ;))
    And I tried LUKLA already...


    Trespassers:
    You are right.


    Aerial images grabbed with FSET from web services like Google Earth, Virtual Earth, Bing cannot be distributed over the IPACS forum and will not be hosted on the IPACS servers. And of course any commercial use is forbidden.


    But to make this clear:
    IPACS Geoconvert does not grab any web service data. It converts any existing imagery into the aerofly ground textures!


    There exist several sources of free aerial images for private and noncommercial use (especially in North America).
    FSET however is a widespread tool in the flight sim community. Tutorials are published at youtube and in many other places.


    Rodeo

  • Exactly, these are different tools.


    The GeoConvert tool will enable add-on editors who purchased aerial pictures to make a photo ground carpet.
    The upcoming elevation compilation tool will allow them to provide top-level mesh.


    When tools become available to compile object, buildings and vegetation coverage from databases, editors will be able to propose consistent and very enjoyable flight regions.
    And we'll also be able to add the 3D coverage that is currently lacking to the existing DLCs.


    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.

  • Really exciting news chaps, this is why early access is so much fun, you see the project grow and mature before your eyes, and the constant feedback for the devs has to make the final product better too. Gone are the days when devs slave away for three years hoping that their vision will be a hit, then release a title and hope that they were right. You have an endless army of potential testers whose time and effort are freely given, which has to benefit everyone in the end.

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  • To give a general reply to other question, FSET has been a reference for some 10 years now in FS world to build ground scenery textures by downloading orthophotos from web services like Google Earth, Bing, Virtual Earth, etc.
    The tool is easy to use and provides nice features like watermask and seasonal textures generation, but the biggest amount of work is to manually rework the orthophotos to get a consistent and homogeneous result. The rest is pretty much automated.


    I've never used this tool before - but I'm testing it now. I see that it first creates small "jpg-cliparts" - and then puts the "jpg-cliparts" together into a big "bmp-orthophoto". This big "bmp-orthophoto" can be imported to Photoshop for refurbishment if necessary. This is what you think will be the biggest part of the job? Then we use the GeoConvert tool to transfer this large "bmp-orthophoto" to Aerofly FS2. Is this the right process?



    Last but not least, downloading orthophotos from these web services is in clear violation of copyrights. As long as you keep it for you at home and don't advertize too much on it nobody will bother you, but you should forget about sharing stolen material, or even worse making money with it.


    My intention is to create freeware (not just for my own hard drive only). Is it possible to get some good suggestions for websites where we can download good FREE aerial photos?


  • There exist several sources of free aerial images for private and noncommercial use (especially in North America).
    FSET however is a widespread tool in the flight sim community. Tutorials are published at youtube and in many other places.


    Rodeo


    I appreciate if you link to good free sources. :)
    For example, there is a good source for Norway:


    https://www.norgeibilder.no/

    But "FSEarthTiles" does not work in this case. Any suggestions?

  • Great news but I see a few problems: it is very hard and sometimes impossible to find good source material (unless you don't mind about huge differences in color) and you can't share the work you have done. I doubt but you can legally distribute files generated from norgeibilder for instance. But even if you could: we are talking about end if not hundreds of gigabytes here. How would you host that?


    My main problem however is the lack of autogen/3D objects. And obviously the lack of airports. Creating a small region that looks at least a bit okay and realistic will be a daunting task. I am in this hobby to fly, not to spend days or weeks on creating scenery.

  • Great news but I see a few problems: it is very hard and sometimes impossible to find good source material (unless you don't mind about huge differences in color) and you can't share the work you have done. I doubt but you can legally distribute files generated from norgeibilder for instance. But even if you could: we are talking about end if not hundreds of gigabytes here. How would you host that?


    Good points.


    "Disse finner du gratis på ”Norge i bilder". ---> These can be found free of charge on ”Norge i bilder".
    http://www.kartverket.no/geoda…sentralarkiv-for-flyfoto/


    I am in this hobby to fly, not to spend days or weeks on creating scenery.


    Then I have to make it for you.... :rolleyes:

  • Let me further clarify something. Being a government CIO has it's advantages of having access to a host of solicitors and lawyers, and i took the liberty to have the use of FSET vetted to see how it could be used in conjunction with the IPACS GeoConvery tool, and some of what was said is in fact true; you can't use any scenery derived by FSET for profit nor host for advantageous trade (meaning that you can't host data on webservers for the use or potential use of trade for profit). With that said, most aerial imagery of the USA is in fact public accessible and free for download, therefor it is perfectly legal to use this service for creating personal scenery areas for Aerofly FS 2. On the other hand, there are some countries that do provide this data but only for a cost, these are the sceneries that you should be mindful of (those such sceneries are not available in FSET anyway).


    Now, for ease of use; FSET makes larger BMP files as well as inf files and smaller thumbnail files. All you need to make scenery for FS2 is those larger BMP files and the inf files that goes with them. The GeoConvert tool does all of the heavy lifting here. You will simply need to run a small program called inf2tfw and this tool makes the tfw file with all of the coordinates needed (from the inf file), you then take the BMP files and those created tfw files and place them into a specific folder inside the GeoConvert tool, define your total scenery area in the TMC file and run it. That's all, you will have the files for your scenery. You can't get much easier than that. It takes around 15 minutes of actual work to make large areas with this tool. Most of the time it takes comes from the time for FSET to make those BMP files and the time it takes for the GeoConvert tool to do its job. There is no piecing together tiles, no trying to align tiles, and no guess work here.

    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

  • So does the .inf file contain all the details about what's a road, what's a building, bridge etc? Kind of making sense of the bitmap image?

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