Posts by Easton Williams

    I am not sure if this is the best way to go about it, I have seen a lot of videos of where people make roads in Photoshop and they do it in a section so the entire road is tiled. I think a road would be the same as a runway but I would just go over the rest of the model in Max with a lot of custom decals and add it to the mesh so that it blends in and looks like a believable runway.

    What do you guys think about an approach like this?

    I was thinking about that video a lot today, and I think, or at least what it looks like is that he created the airport in sections. It looks as if he took that section of the airport and unwrapped that separately from the rest, then exported that out to Photoshop to texture, then after creating the other parts of the airport and got finished texturing them I would assume he snapped them back together as more of a building blocks of sort. At least that is my only conclusion to that...

    If this were the case then I think I could model the runway in chunks of 100 meters or so until I hit a part that needs special textures then change it up again, for example the runway markings (but I could actually just add that in Max I believe) then snap the pieces together. This way I would not have to use many decals (I would still have to use a lot) and I could get max texel density for the textures. The only problem I see with this is making the runway or any other connecting parts seamless.

    I guess I did not really specify...I know tire markings and lines need to be decals but I am focused more on the extreme wear and tear of the runway, are those decals too?

    If I get my base asphalt texture down, and then the outskirts of the runway being concrete, how would you add those little cracks and everything, even the texture changes like toward the bottom of the screenshot around the runway crossing where it is heavily worn?

    I assume this would be done in Photoshop but do not know how.

    This is an Orbx airport:

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    no matter how many times I watch this video I do not know how I would recreate this process...I know he creates the airport in Max, then he moves the airport to Photoshop to texture, from what I have seen in all of the Aerofly tutorials and videos they just use ACD3, just the modeling software to add textures. It looks like he has his UV grid setup and he is able to just paint and add his textures the way he wants, if I go into 3ds Max then the furthest I would get is adding decals.

    Hi guys,

    I am figuring things out surely but slowly, now I am looking at this satellite imagery and wondering how in the world someone would texture this:

    I don't want to just use the imagery as a texture as it is extremely low resolution, I would like to create my own tiled textures by going to the airport as it is in my hometown, but even then I would not know how exactly to do it.

    When I make a 10x10 tiled texture map I cant add any other details besides my asphalt, is there a way to get all of the varying textures in?

    I found out how to add the tiled textures to a runway, however I was not aware that adding these 10x10 meter tiles was not going to let me individually paint them or add detail to them, unless I am doing something really wrong...

    When I add paint or decals in my texturing software it only add it to one tile and repeats it throughout the runway. How would you add decals and other details?

    Hey hey, that door knob took me a while to unwrap lol. In all seriousness you are right, I'm just adding as much detail as I can for now at a low poly count just to see what happens. What I will probably do is go max everything and if it does not run well then I can just remove some things rather than add onto it.

    I should have the textured finished version ready by tomorrow or a few days, hopefully, it is taking me an eternity right now because I have never made tiled textures, I am going to use an excessive amount of normal details to make up for poly counts.

    Here is the finished model:

    I think it has around 500 polys, the door is missing because I am going to texture the one on the right, then copy it over with the textures to the left when I am done. I think what I will do is unwrap all of the doors as separate models so I can get the texel density bigger and normal details would be easier to add, then just place them in Max when I am done as more of a modular building.

    I'm not able to give you any quantified answer, but as a general rule try always keeping as low on polys as possible. 300 polys for a hangar sounds huge to me whatever the graphic engine. This building can easily be greatly simplified, many details cannot be seen from an aircraft cockpit, or can be featured with an adequate texturing.

    The fact that a graphic engine is powerful and can swallow heavy things should not be an excuse for not trying to optimize and reduce poly counts.

    The computing/rendering power wasted with excessive polys is not available for something else...



    I honestly wouldn't know haha, for something like UE4 or Unity I have seen buildings with easily 10,000 polys, but I am sure the simulator can not handle that. What you say is true, I shouldn't use extra performance and take away FPS or RAM if it is not making a difference. When I was texturing an object the other day I noticed that while I could see the difference between 1k, 2k, and 4k textures up close, from a distance like what you would probably see in a flight sim the difference was hard to see, I guess I wouldn't want to 4k texture a fire hydrant that is 100 meters away from the person haha.

    This question cannot be answered, it depends on an enormous amount of factors.

    It really depends on how the object is being used. If you use the hangar on your airport lets say 1 to 5 times, there is no issue using 2000 polys for it. If you use this hangar 100 times on a single airport you might want to reduce the poly count. Also if adding more polys gives you the chance to maybe save on a few textures, this is also a consideration.

    As always, you should consider your overall project and ensure the total polygon count is within reasonable limits, e.g. 100000 to up to 1000000 for complex airports.

    I am just trying to get a general idea or recommendation. If someone is already familiar with buildings in the sim then they would have some sort of idea as to what is just right. What you said is basically what I was looking for though.

    With less polys you get less realistic buildings or objects, I was thinking if I only have maybe 20 buildings then this many, or even 1000 polys wont be an issue. I will probably stick to small airports because of that reason.

    From what I understand textures don't affect performance? I am still a newbie to game design and am still learning but as I recall you could use 4k or 8k textures at a good texel density and it shouldn't affect FPS, just VRAM and RAM. Then there is the issue of disk space, not sure if someone would want to download a 10gb airport lol.

    Right now I am just trying to get some general ideas as to what is reasonable or realistic, if I can build hangars that have enough polys to make it look realistic and really high res textures to make up for a low poly count then I'm happy.

    When I finish unwrapping and texturing this building I will post some pictures here to see what you guys think, if it may be excessive, could be better etc.

    How much do polygons eat up performance in Aerofly FS2? When I ask about polys I mean what is a limit for say a hangar, 1000, 10,000, 100 polys? Reason I ask is because I would feel really stupid creating buildings that cant even run in the simulator or getting 10fps when it would rather be 60fps because of double the polys.

    I am not sure how anyone would answer this though, basically 10 years ago 10,000 polys for a game character was cutting edge, now it is millions, what about flight sim? Or is this mostly to do with hardware? All I know is that I need to try to work with the least amount I can but who knows what that actually is...

    Here is a building I am working on:

    The building when I am done will have around 300 polys. From looking at many Orbx airports I can guess they have close to the same or less on their buildings. Basically if I have 20 buildings with 500 polys how much of a performance hit would there be if any?


    No hard and fast rule for repeating textures, what ever looks good in the sim. I stick to 15*15 on runway and 10*10 on taxiway/apron but thats just my preference.

    Use the standard UVMap modifier for taxiway and aprons. Open the gizmo tab to adjust the rotation and placement and set the U and V repeat sizes in the modifier itself


    Ok, I still can not find out how this is done, I have googled everything, read everything, cant find videos, the tutorial doesn't explain it.

    This is a picture of a simple plane, and I am trying to make a UV grid on it but cant... I was told elsewhere that the image should look like this:

    This is mine:

    How do I make my plane look like the one above? Supposedly each one of those grids is its own UV

    Also, I am still not sure how to UV map this. I am only used to Unwrapping, this is something completely different right? How do I setup the UV on a plane like the runway? I have never heard of anyone mapping in a grid of meters, am I skipping over this in the tutorial or is it not mentioned?

    Where I am still confused is my UVs are all over the place so I have to Flatten map them, then that splits them apart.

    The other picture is what I am confused about, what am I supposed to do to UV it?

    What is the smallest you could, or should I say would, UV it?

    One more question, if I want to texture all of it in Photoshop can I just export the entire base of the airport out and do that instead? I have never used Max materials, I know how to set them up but so far I only use Photoshop because it lets me get more detailed with projects. I think I just have to export it into PS and it would be fine, then work away at it.

    I am probably going to take some pictures of a road tomorrow over an overpass as a quick simulation so I get the hang of the process and pretend that is my runway and go through everything the same and see what happens, maybe even add a building off to the side or something.

    I will keep this in mind and come back to this post in the near future while I start on my airport, thanks!

    Hi Easton

    Follow the instructions as outlined in the various tutorials for the airport poly, it works.

    Forget making several 4K textures and trying to stitch them together. At ground level they are pretty useless and as you approach they really don't add to anything, again, follow the excellent tutorial. As for taxiways, a single texture is probably best, I use 15*15 mts repeat in the UV ( not uv-unwrap just standard uv), maybe down as far as 10*10. You can make the airport mesh with runways, aprons, taxiways and then detach these to separate objects. Do your UV-ing at this object level then re-attach. remember to re-weld all the verts so its a single mesh again. This way gives you easy access to UV-ing and it keeps it all when you re-attach. I apply a single background bitmap, use this to make the runways, taxi, apron and background and then detach. You will need to add an individual material ID from a multi-subobject texture to each set of polys. In the up-coming Leeds Bradford I'm using 7 or 8 texture slots in the multi-subobject material so don't think you just have to use the amount suggested in the tutorial. Use bump mapping to give that extra feeling at ground level but don't over do it. Specular can be ok but I found on EGGP it caused massive glare as its all east/west, so tried to remove it.

    You can add a transparent png over all the runway, taxiways and apron as one large 4K texture to add extra detail ( yep uv-unwrap for this). ie grime and tarmac repairs, concrete bay colouring etc. must be a transparent PNG. I used a copy of the airport mesh just remove all the background and keep it as a single 4K texture, see attached


    I am going to follow some of the videos, try to do it in Max rather than ACD3 soon.

    I was planning on making extensive use of Mimapping for the 4k textures, I fly at 4k and love the look of 4x the resolution, it just feels way more realistic to me. I don't think it will cause any performance decrease as it is just textures. What exactly do you mean by using 15x15 meters? Just your tiled textures? Or do you mean having the UV that is encompassing the entire runway in 15 meter chunks? If so how small could you go?

    Ok, so I would UV the runway and the taxiway, etc. separately. When you say you apply a background bmp. you mean your imagery right? But what would be the best way to UV it? I don't think it is using an Unwrap but rather a Map instead correct?

    I did not know that was a way to add decals. So the background would be transparent but the parts you want to show would not be, how do you take the tire markings but leave the rest of the asphalt or concrete underneath it behind so it is not visible? Also, if I wanted to would it be possible to add the individual decals instead of adding a huge chunk of them? I was thinking it would be possible to do one at a time, like take one of the runway lines after taking pictures from the ground, then adding that one line X however many more I need. Sorry about all the questions, some of this stuff is not really covered all that well, or if it is it doesn't go into as much detail and other workflows.


    I am at the point to where I am about to start building my airport, I have all of the modeling skills in line and essential texturing skills, but am confused about one thing. How exactly would I create the airport into a poly for texturing?

    I am going to mostly use tiled textures, and I want to use 4k scanned textures to get that extra detail but keep getting stumped on how exactly I would do this. I have read some of the tutorials but it does not mention UVing the runway, taxiway etc specifically getting it ready for textures, it just goes over using the imagery as your textures.

    From what others elsewhere have told me is that I would have to either go into PS and create slices of 4096x4096 and then texture it somehow that way (still not sure how this works exactly), and/or go into 3DS Max and create a UVW Map instead of an unwrap and apparently that will create a grid that has my 4k UV's within the grids so I can just take the entire thing into PS and texture it either with my imagery and/or my tiled textures and decals.

    Also, how exactly would something like 1cm resolution be used for me to paint over and tile with textures? Do I just trace the airport in Max with poly lines from the imagery, UV (how?), take it into PS, then back to Max to add my buildings on it?

    I can model the buildings fairly well, which are pretty easy as they are just cubes for the most part and low poly, I can texture them well, I figured out how to insert it into max to view, and now I am learning aerial photography, imagery, and photo scanning, I just need to figure out how exactly to UV the airport base for the imagery and textures.



    Don't know much yet about FS2 but in terms of flight sims in general and especially P3D they take forever to update. For example P3D just recently went to 64bit, which is sad. Now we are waiting for DX12 and PBR which at the rate that they take may be obsolete by the time they update it.


    I am looking for some sims to develop scenery for later on, maybe next year, and I think I have zeroed in on P3D as a market and Aerofly FS 2 but I have some questions about it.

    I think Aerofly doesn't have autogen, is this correct? And if so from what I have seen it does have autogen specifically for the dedicated sceneries for sale right?

    From my perspective it wouldn't make sense to build an airport that has no autogen in the given area, but I was wondering if autogen will become available on a global level. I don't really know if or how this would be possible though given that the scenery is photoreal.

    Are airports made for P3D able to be ported over to Aerofly easily?

    Does Aerofly use PBR?

    How similar is the process to create an airport compared to P3D?

    Not related to scenery or my topic, but will Aerofly have A2A develop or port over aircraft in the near future?

    Also, from what I have seen it doesn't seem like Aerofly is marketed towards the same consumer base as P3D, from what I have experienced P3D is the rich mans sim so to speak as a lot of money is spent on it. I don't know if there is the same market or will be in time with Aerofly but if I can port over sceneries easily then it will be worth it regardless, even for a lower price.

    These are just a few questions that I was thinking about in order to prepare a little bit and find out what I need to get ready for.