Posts by nickhod

    Can I use AeroScenery to create AFS2 scenery from files I used to download with FSET?

    No, unfortunately not. I save an "aero" file of metadata with each tile AeroScenery downloads or creates. It needs those to process things.


    An 80 x 80km area shouldn't take too long to re-download with AeroScenery if you have a reasonable internet connection, even at zoom level 18.

    I think the payware scenery landscape has changed. Yes, it's harder for companies to sell packages like "Germany Parts 1 to 4" because everyone can download that with AeroScenery, Ortho4XP, FSEarthTiles or whatever.


    What's really changed is that free Google, Bing and USGS imagery is now better than many paid alternatives. ASTER GDEM v2 elevation data is now free and better than stuff that cost five figures to license a few years ago.


    There's still a market for highly detailed smaller regions, cities and airports though. I've already bought a couple of the Orbx packs.

    So while I am a fervent advocate of open source, I am afraid it is not going to happen. Let's hope IPACS surprise us!

    No I don't expect it to happen either, but mainly because IPACS seem so busy with other development.


    Remember that LR document every X-Plane file format in detail. Ortho4XP actually creates XP scenery directly without LR tools. On balance, if they want to support 3rd party development, the file formats should be open.


    I agree, a proper bug tracker, at least for SDK tools, would be welcome.


    Whilst I don't hold out much hope for open source, I do hope IPACS find the time to fix some of the bugs and limitations with GeoConvert.

    Not a good result unfortunately. Textures misplaced upon the topography. I tried to do the Inverness, Scotland area. Loch Ness is on the mountaintops instead of in the valley. Too tired to try again tonight, will give it another go tomorrow and see what happens. I tried four tiles, might just do one instead. Thanks for your efforts.

    Quick update. I had a chance to create some scenery for the Bristol area of the UK and fly around today.


    I think AeroScenery is working fine and the issue is the low resolution terrain map for areas that don't have scenery.


    Looks like terrain generation is a higher priority than I thought.

    You can already do this manually (although seems pretty time consuming). See the other thread in this forum on the subject.

    In testing GeoConvert 1.4.3 with AeroScenery I frequently see the following issues


    1) The UI will not show any progress even though files are being written. It appears stuck at 0.000% / Level 1 of 2 / Tiles 0 of 16 etc


    2) If (1) occurs it will complete all tasks, then show num tiles 0 of 0, not the green success text. It will then (according to the log) start processing everything again but doesn't write anything (according to the file timestamps).


    3) If (1) didn't occur it will sometimes complete all tasks then go back to the beginning and start overwriting everything again


    4) The number of tiles shown in the UI is usually wrong. The actual number being output is shown in the log.


    (Log and tmc file attached. You can see on line 96 of the log how it started again)


    Also, in case anyone from IPACS reads this, there are two features that would help with AeroScenery


    1) A TMC file setting to make GeoConvert exit when done

    2) A TMC file settings to make GeoConvert also output the log to std out and write a log entry for each tile written

    Files

    • tm.log.txt

      (44.72 kB, downloaded 105 times, last: )
    • g_17_stitch.tmc.txt

      (1.01 kB, downloaded 118 times, last: )

    Hi Tom,


    Thanks for testing and attaching the log. Unfortunately nothing in the log so this is a hard crash. Pretty frustrating.


    See my earlier post for why it's not easy to just send a few files to GeoConvert. Plus GeoConvert doesn't actually exit, I've got to figure out some why of knowing when its done, then kill the process. Every thing can be hacked around, it's just a case of time.


    I've now tested AeroScenery and GeoConvert a lot and I can't reproduce it crashing. Even tried a level 15 run with 1000s of tiles. It soon used up all 16gb but didn't crash.


    Only things I can suggest at this stage are:


    1) Do a MemTest86. A bad stick of RAM would cause what you're experiencing

    2) Update your NVidia drivers

    3) Try a clean boot and then running GeoConvert manually against the tmc file in the stitched images folder

    4) Post in the pinned "Having trouble with GeoConvert" thread, see if IPACS have any response.


    Might be one or two weeks before I have a chance to code up something that can run GeoConvert in small batches.

    1) Yes, just click to select each one, double click to deselect. At the moment, multiple GeoCovert instances will be opened because GeoConvert doesn't close automatically when finished. That's not ideal in terms of using up system memory. I'm hoping to figure out a workaround for this.


    2) You'd need to look at cultivation, yes. I don't now much about that myself yet, but I would like to integrate it into AeroScenery eventually


    3) I think integration with FSCloudPort would be great. One for Spit40 to consider


    4) You possibly didn't select "Choose Which Actions to Run" and just let it run the default actions, which will do a GeoConvert run.


    From what others have said, the scenery might be misaligned to the elevation data. (This is pre-release software :))

    If that is the case, hang on to the images that you've spent time downloading. A future version will work if this one doesn't.

    Not a good result unfortunately. Textures misplaced upon the topography. I tried to do the Inverness, Scotland area. Loch Ness is on the mountaintops instead of in the valley. Too tired to try again tonight, will give it another go tomorrow and see what happens. I tried four tiles, might just do one instead. Thanks for your efforts.

    Thanks for trying. I haven't done much testing with multiple squares at once, so yes, please try just one.


    Misalignment with the height map is either a coordinate issue on my side or the default Aerofly heightmap not being accurate enough to create pleasing results.


    Edit: My AID file coordinates appear to be accurate down to the pixel, so it's either the "steps_per_pixel" value or the default Aerofly heightmap that's letting things down.


    Can you let me know which grid squares you were working on so I can test myself?


    Hopefully I'll be able to get the heightmap feature into AeroScenery pretty soon.

    I'm trying out this tool for the first time now, usually use geoconvert helper. A quick question, since it does not send files to AFS2 directly, where will the map files be located so I can find them and move them manually? So far I can't find them!

    It creates an AeroScenery folder in your Windows Documents folder. If you go Settings (in the toolbar) it's the first item, "Working Folder". You can set it to where you want. The grid squares you've worked on are in there under AFS2 type names.


    In the toolbar above the map there's a "Open Image Folder" button. This will take you to the folder of the selected grid square (if there is one) for the current orthophoto source and zoom level.


    I'll be writing some docs and doing some tutorial videos when I have some time next week. :)

    Thanks for this great tool, 0.4 version worked great, no problem running actions. It didn't install scenery into AFS2, but I moved the folder and had no problem loading it. Now I'll check how to add vegetation and objects. :)


    Thanks

    Alex

    Hi Alex,


    That's great to hear. I haven't written the "Install scenery action" yet, it'll be in the next version.

    TomSimMuc 0.4 should fix the problems when stitching.


    I've also made the default stitched image size smaller. This is now configurable in settings.

    GeoConvert seems to handle this better. I was able to do several successful runs of level 12,13, 14 etc


    If you experience the same GeoConvert issues with these smaller stitched images, please attach the tm.log file from the GeoConvert folder.

    Has anyone from the IPACS team approached you about this wonderful tool of yours and offered assistance in getting it off the ground?

    Would imagine IPACS have to keep at arms length any projects that use Google and Bing orthophoto servers. Their T&Cs do have exemptions for downloading images for personal cache, but it's a grey area.


    That said, if anyone from IPACS reads this, there are a few simple tweaks to GeoConvert that would really, really help me out. Feel free to message me :)


    cc drhotwing1 (IPACS)

    How do you stitch images before geoconverting ? Are you maybe stitching them into too big images? A size compromise must probably be found...

    Geoconvert can handle a multitude of smaller images, you just need an AID file for each of them.

    The smaller the source image, the smaller the size of the mask at the image edge...

    Thanks.


    I think the stitched image size is a factor. In the next version (0.4) I've made that user configurable and also tweaked the default image size down to 8000px square.


    I tested GeoConvert with that size for a few hours last night. I can't make it fail outright, but it still has its quirks.

    The number of output tiles seems to have an effect. The higher, the more likely things will go wrong.


    Sometimes it completes the run then goes back to the beginning and does it all over again for no reason. (Others have reported this).

    Sometimes it writes files but doesn't report any progress on the UI and seems 'stuck'.


    Doing smaller runs is probably the answer, but it's not so easy to achieve.

    GeoConvert doesn't actually exit after a successful run, it stays open showing a success message. I'm going to have to poll the GeoConvert log to know when it's exited.


    The "Do smaller GeoConvert runs" feature will probably be in v0.5 and will be a user setting as it might not affect some users.

    Can you also incorporate a limit, how many tiles shall be geoconverted at once?

    The exact amount before geoconverter crashes seems to be depending from memory sise and tile size.

    It's not totally straightforward, but I'm looking at something like that...


    When the tile download and stitch is done I have the stitched images and coordinates for one (or more) level 9 AFS tiles.

    The stitched image sizes don't match the AFS grid, they had to be just a sensible multiple of 512px.


    I'm setting the coords of the level 9 square in the TMC and GeoConvert figures out how many tiles to make based on the specified levels (11 and 12 in your case).


    To get GeoConvert to process less in one go, I'd need to generate several TMC files with the Level 9 grid coords subdivided.

    Of course the extreme option is to run a new GeoConvert process for each tile.


    If GeoConvert can always handle 16 tiles, that would look something like this:


    Level 9 - 1 tile to process

    Level 10 - 4 tiles to process

    Level 11 - 16 tiles to process

    Level 12 - 64 tiles to process (split into 4 GeoConvert runs)

    Level 13 - 256 tiles to process (split into 16 GeoConvert runs)

    Level 14 - 1024 tiles to process (split into 64 GeoConvert runs)

    Level 15 - 4096 tiles to process (split into 256 GeoConvert runs)


    It's a shame that their tool seems so flaky and this is necessary.


    I'll do some testing this weekend.

    However when geoconverting started, it only did the first 2 Tiles, then died without message.


    Cheers,

    Thomas

    Thanks for testing.


    It's good that the download and stitch stages are working, but a shame that GeoConvert is dying.


    In the GeoConvert folder there should be a tm.log file. If you can reproduce the problem could you attach the GeoConvert log here.


    I'll have to look at copying the contents of the GeoConvert log into the AeroScenery log to make error reporting like this easier.


    I'll add some options GeoConvert options in the AeroScenery settings (masks, create raw files etc)

    Version 0.3 is now released with GeoConvert working. https://github.com/nickhod/aer…ry/releases/tag/v0.3-beta


    It should be possible to generate scenery that works in Aerofly with this version. Let me know how you get on.


    If you experience a problem, the log file is in the app folder. Just attach it here for me to look at.


    Coming in version 0.4


    - Ability to select a different grid square sizes (9, 13 or 14) so that you can download images for airports in at higher zoom levels like 18 and 19

    - Automatic clean up of downloaded image tiles if required

    - Latest version check on startup

    TomSimMuc Finally it lives! Thanks for you help.


    I was contemplating giving tfw a try but then in your other screenshot I noticed that I have an extra square brace in the top_left line.

    This is why IPACS should be using real XML.


    I also wasn't negating the steps per pixel y (makes no sense why, but, hey, if it works).


    v0.3 coming tomorrow with


    - Geoconvert process working

    - Removed all localisation of decimal formatting

    - Logging

    I did not read the full history of the app but maybe it could be a good idea to provide an up to date status

    Hi Vince,


    Take a look at my other post in this forum. I've just started releasing the first few versions of the app for testing.


    Currently having a problem getting GeoConvert to output anything but after that you should be able to easily create all scenery of Belgium that you need.

    Laminar Research open source all their scenery tools for X-Plane. I believe IPACS should consider doing the same to encourage community development projects.


    If Geoconvert was open source under GPL or MIT I could bundle a custom build with AeroScenery and make the end-to-end experience seamless.


    Secondly, in my work writing AeroScenery I'm finding Geoconvert a pretty frustrating tool to deal with. It will happily tell you that the run was successful, but no output is generated and the logs give no clue as to why. If the tool was open source I'd have hung a debugger on it and stepped through the code by now ;)