Agreed - I have been reading and posting a lot over on the Orbx forums re: this - hardly a word about Meigs!
It's virtual earth that's the limiting factor here. FSET will happily download tiles from virtual earth no matter what the content is. However, you'll find the map services stop providing tiles very close to shore as you head out to sea.
When using FSET with Fsx-based sims, you create water masks by using vector-based tools, with one path drawn for the water-land interface and a second drawn a bit out from shore to represent the deep water, which allows a gradual blend from photoscenery to sim water. It's actually a pretty simple process. It would be excellent if the same water masks that FSET can create could be used for masking in FS2/Geoconvert as well. It's only a theoretical issue at the moment, as FS2 does not have any water that can be revealed by creating a hole like this in the photolayer. But photoscenery looks great from down low when you have water that can give reflections of the sun and the surrounding terrain.
Well, that opinion is subjective. It's very sharp on 2.00 for me. And a world of difference between 1.00 and 2.00 is confirmed on the Oculus Rift.
At 1.5 it's ok, but at 2 I can read the PFD and ND in the 747 cockpits clearly enough to make them fully useful tools.
Flying with a DK2, though have been seriously looking at a CV1 this week. I've sprung for a 1080TI, partly so I can run at 2.00 with more confidence (it works on my ftx 970, but not quite as smooth as I'd like).
Anyone flying with a. Vive?
That's good to hear. So I can stop worrying about all those other settings on the left (like mask, scenery, auto mode, what flight sim its for etc), and just start downloading.
The main thing is to turn off resampling in FSET - will save you a bunch of time, and then your sim choice setting is irrelevant.
Masks is only relevant if you are going to the trouble of drawing the guides they are based on - for P3d, I draw a coast and deepwater path in Google Eart, and export the KML file into FSET.
This produces a mask file that is useful in FSX/P3D, as there is underlying vector water data to display. As this isn't present in AF2 (AFAIK, it certainly isnt visible) it is of no use to you now - BUT it would be useful to know if the mask files would be useful on the future for AF2 once water is added, in which case it would be worth brewing them with your .bmp and .inf files now.
i'll try to answer some of this for you. The GeoConvert tool can handle just about anything that you can throw at it. Your limitations will be how much virtual memory you have in your computer, and of course the amount of available HD space you have to build your project. I have already converted sceneries that were over 120GB and though it takes a while for the conversion process to complete, it completed just fine with no errors.
In general, i'm getting the best graphical results using the following method: Use BMP files that are 0.50m (0 in FSET), and only go to level 14 in the GeoConvert tool (this will be explained once the tool and tutorials are released). The outcome will be like you see in the images that I posted in the other GeoConvert thread.
I don't believe that there are any ways to reverse already converted BGL files and this tool will not support that.
The elevation mesh of Aerofly FS 2 is already there so there is no need to worry about elevation during the conversion. The result of the scenery that you get once the files are converted is outstanding. The trees will populate onto your scenery as well, and it looks really realistic.
I have experimented with some water masks by using a specular layer technique in Gimp and by creating an alpha layer where you can erase the "ugly" water seen in some photoscenery and add in your own, then shine it up using the specular layers. The result is really nice however, it takes some time to carve it all out.
There will be a couple of stand-alone tools once this is released. The one tool will take all of the inf files that are associated with the BMP images and make the tfw files that are needed. You then just run the tool and there you have it, perfect scenery for Aerofly FS2 with very little work.
HD space - New 6Tb drive on the way for the Af2 project
120gb - how big is that lat/long?
0.50cm = 0 in fset - that means youve got resampling/compression on (not sure if that's the right word, but I change the setting in the .ini so 0 is 0.25cm, a touch sharper but bigger files). Do you think that would work just as well at level 14 geoconvert? Priority is quality, don't care about space or time to build. Also, have you tried changing this setting?
I don't fully understand what you're doing with water there, but it sounds impressive! I'll probably wait until aerofly 2 has water til I worry about what to do here.
Ok, so I run tool 1 with a bunch of inf files, get a chance few file and then use that in a second program with the matching bmps, as many as I want. 1 degree lat/long square at 50cm (non resampled) is around 70 bmps, so 2 by 2 squares - a good size - would be 280ish bmps. Sound reasonable?
Have you already learned the basics of FS Earth Tiles (FSET) and downloaded the area of interest at maybe 1 meter per pixel. Getting the imagery ready and maybe fiddling with the brightness/color using GIMP or equivalent is a large part of the effort. Once you have the imagery and their associated INF files, the rest of the effort using Geo_Convert is the easy part - although it will take 100% of your PC for several hours. Also, to let you know, I had to break up my beta test effort into strips (instead of a large square area) because I only have 12 gb of RAM.
several hours I can live with. I once put my computer outside - scared it would catch fire - and ran it for five weeks with a FSET project while I was away on holiday. Happy to spend some time on this project!
I've got 16 gig of ram, sounds like the more the better, maybe an upgrade is required. I'll start with what I have, unless anyone tells me differently. I'm hoping to build 1 degree lat/long squares, as mentioned. I'm hoping you can have multiple squares activated in scenery at one time, so there would be no advantage in bigger areas?
I haven't been modding the source imagery, but it would be pretty easy to batch it through photoshop to sharpen/contrast/brightness etc. anyone doing this? Any further comments on the best fset settings during the bmp creation stage (brightness and contrast, as per my question above - or are you guys just leaving it on the -6/12 defaults?)
Downloaded area of interest: yes, that would be all of CONUS and Western Europe, just don't have the bmps, but I do keep the downloaded tiles so I'll recompile some new bmps and inf files from those.
How big was your beta test area that you had to break up?