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AFX - Airport Facility Designer disappointment

Discussion in 'Airport Design General' started by lordofwings, 11/8/07.

  1. lordofwings

    lordofwings

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    I was trying to get up to speed on the subject because I find it extremely frustrating that the airports I want to improve are so bad in FS2004 and FSX.

    Tried and infinite amount of tools that crash and burn. The closest I ever was to little success was with AFCAD to add lights and to create a new one that "floated" above ground (could not get that fixed).

    I thought this AFX from Flight 1 was going to be fantastic. Saw the video and their adverts and thought, wow! maybe I can finally edit my airports and make them as they should!.

    Well, WRONG!!!! AFX appears to be nothing but a pure copy of AFCAD 2.21 with FSX support. Lucky me, I almost shell out $30 for something that is not worth it, I wonder why they want to charge $199 for a commercial license? that is outrageous!!!

    Quite honestly, I tried AFX Demo and it does not cut it. It is just a mildly improved AFCAD 2.21, you can't get/edit properties of Markers so that you can position them to a coordinate of your choice, you can only create rectangular coordinates so if you need a diagonal rectangle (I didn't want to get the default lake partially excluded) then you are out of luck as well. Then with the demo version you cannot "view" any of these "wonderful" changes on FS..

    The FSX scenery of my home country is so AWEFUL that I don't even use FSX to fly there, I stay with FS9 because it is less aweful in that region (and has better performance). So my plan was to first do FS9 airports but no luck.

    I woudn't spend $30 on AFX when apparently good old AFCAD does the same, at least I could not see or feel the difference. Even the UI is the same with its drawbacks as well.
  2. rf360m

    rf360m

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  3. lordofwings

    lordofwings

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    Thanks, I was aware of that one already but at the moment I am concentrating on FS2004 scenery because FSX has very poor performance on my 3.0GHz, 1GB PC.
  4. warmingham

    warmingham

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    Hi, me again. Perhaps you should invest $49 in FSDSv3? You can make lights of all sorts with it. Ramplights - Beacons - Spotlights - whatever you want - apart from the fact that it is mainly for designing objects. You just need to learn how first! That's the biggest problem - scour the FSDS forum for ideas first.

    FSSC which I think you have would do to improve your scenery.
    I have just recently used it in conjunction with AFCAD to do an aiport which is not ready yet! One day it will be. I also use EZ-Scenery to place the objects I make with FSDS of course, but there are other programs for placing objects.

    Have a look at this pic I have attached. The airport area is made with AFCAD - but the tree line in the back is with FSSC - the metal fence is made with FSDS.
    Last edited: 28/8/07
  5. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    That is not something you can blame the tool of. The BGLComp XML format only allows rectangular excludes. Check the SDK for details.

    And these excludes will never exclude a lake, you will have to make mesh/terrain excludes for that with shp2vec (or VTP excludes in Fs2004). These mesh excludes can have any shape you want btw.
  6. lordofwings

    lordofwings

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    Spent most of the day with SceneryGenX (something like that) and SBuilder, except this time for FSX. No luck so far.

    I think most of these tools are great as long as you are dealing with a flat area, otherwise you are in for a lot of surprises.

    In my new trial I tried to create the "path" to ever implement the island airport. So I took the archipelago where the 3 islands are. I took the norternmost island (just forest, no humans, no airport) because I thought it would be the easiest way, to simply erase it and then re-design the island in its proper location with just forest.

    So, I created a 5-edge polygon around the island and marked it as "Exclude All Terrain", what I got as a result was a huge square land mass (much greater than what I selected) in somehere in the middle the "disappeared" island. Not good.

    Then I tried to change it by adding a new polygon enveloping the "exclude all" but marking this one as "hydro ocean perennial" in hopes that the huge land mass would go away. Wrong! the huge square landmass (which covers most of the two southernmost islands) was still there but somewhere in its middle I could distinguish my original 5-edge polygon but drawn as water. So now I would have been able to draw an island on top of it but then I could not get rid of the huge square landmass.

    So, SBuilder is not taking me anywhere either and the documentation from the author (the site is poor as well) is just missing. By programmers for assembly programmers LOL.

    Now I have just downloaded FSX_KML and FSArchitect and see if I can get anywhere with those two.

    Basically the easiest at this moment (yet not accomplished yet) is to redesign the islands WITHOUT the airport.
  7. meshman

    meshman

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    The SBuilderX comments indicate FSX (of course) so I'll try to shed light on that. FSX is the opposite of FS9, in that the world is all land based and the water added in. So when you make your exclusion, thinking it's going to get rid of the island in the middle of the water, what you're really doing is "clipping" the water areas that have been added in and they get excluded. Thus the massive land area that shows up.

    There are a couple of tutorials for SBuilderX, that will help make the concepts and implementation aspects a little easier. But there's still some geek in there also!

    http://library.avsim.net/download.php?DLID=100997
    http://library.avsim.net/download.php?DLID=105771
  8. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    Instead of tool hopping around all available tools and saying that none works, it might help if you explain us what you exactly want to do. What changes are you trying to make to the default scenery?

    There is no exclude that will completely remove an entire island. The elevation (DEM) data and the landclass will always remain visible. You can exclude VTP lines (e.g. roads) and VTP polygons.

    So what exactly are you trying to change, then we might be able to give some tips to get you going.
  9. lordofwings

    lordofwings

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    If a program blows crashes and burns with "Return without Gosub", or produces an exception message and then it blows up out of my desktop then I would say it is a program failure, let us not disguise that.

    Anyway, in my post I explained what I wanted to do but here it is spelled out again in another form:

    1. Default scenery in the area of interest is horrible.
    2. The island at N 8* 37.740' W 79* 2.06399' also misses a very interesting airport.
    3. I installed the Terra-something world mesh to improve on the elevations of my area of interest
    4. I want to take those four islands, remove them and re-design them in their proper shapes
    5. Then I want to add the airport to the island with the given coordinates, it is named Contadora Island.

    The last tool I tried is the one I am most pleased with so far. It is FSX_KML. I used Google Earth following the instructions in one post, namely. They appear in that order of priority so that the actions are correct (per FSX_KML):

    1. Create a larger square polygon that encapsulates the 4 islands and marked it with the "Exclude All Terrain" class
    2. Created another polygon of the same dimensions in the same place next in the list. This one is marked with "Hydro Ocean Perennial"
    3. The rest of the items that follow in that list is the contours of each of the four islands and are marked as "Polygon Hole" so that the earth shows up.

    Now, I have not done the other things such as specifying forests, flatten areas or airfield. At this point I wanted to stop spending time on things that did not work so I left it as mentioned here.

    Then I compiled the BGL (attached here if things went well) and deployed in in the AddOn Scenery/scenery directory and let FSX rebuild its cache.

    Only I see the four islands, two of which are shown as sand banks. So, I can't see the result of my BGL there :(. However that can perhaps be explained by what you say about the terrain mesh. Bear in mind that FSX_KL* does do the shp2vector:

    Build started
    Processing E:\Program Files\UnManaged\FSX-KML-Builder\Data\FSX-MinorPearlIslands.kml
    Writing Shapefile F:\Flight Simulation\My Scenery\FS-X\EXXFSX-MINORPEARLISLANDS
    Writing Shp2Vec XML file - F:\Flight Simulation\My Scenery\FS-X\EXXFSX-MINORPEARLISLANDS.XML
    Writing Shapefile F:\Flight Simulation\My Scenery\FS-X\HPXFSX-MINORPEARLISLANDS
    Writing Shp2Vec XML file - F:\Flight Simulation\My Scenery\FS-X\HPXFSX-MINORPEARLISLANDS.XML
    Writing BGLCOMP XML file F:\Flight Simulation\My Scenery\FS-X\FSX-MINORPEARLISLANDS
    Running Run_SDK_Tools.bat
    Build completed


    Environment Kit\Terrain SDK\Shp2Vec" "." "FSX-MINORPEARLISLANDS" -ADDTOCELLS

    and then copies the file to the AddOn Scenery.

    ANyway, obviously there are still other basic steps needed so that my BGL shows instead of the default scenery. The AddOn scenery folder is in priority 1 of the Scenery configuration settings.

    Any help is appreciated, I am kind of tired of going around like a chicken without head and not getting anywhere with this.

    Attached is both the BGL that I created and the Google Earth KML with the polygons and their tags so that you guys can get a better idea of what it is I am trying to accomplish. Once MY islands show I can bother about the airport.
    Last edited: 5/9/07
  10. solid

    solid

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    Hola Pana...............

    I agree with Arno, your "hopping" around with all tools is not helping you at all. You have to learn to use each one until you are sure its does not do what you want..SBuilder both for FS9 and FSX is a great tool. I have found that all design tools "do not provide you with super Help files and you have to sweat it out but that´s part of the fun in scenery design".....I particularly use FSDS, Sbuilderx, AFCAD, AFX and EZ-Scenery and they all do what they are supposed to do (with some quirks here and there).
    I suggest you concentrate in one until you master it, then proceed to another...otherwise you will continue to be tangled in a "salad of tools" to your dissadvantage.....and Contadora won´t get the treatment you are looking for.:eek:
  11. Mace

    Mace

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    I have already made Contadora Airport in my sim. (!) as well as the northern Pearl islands.

    I did not add any 3D objects to CTD yet. Only the runway, islands, beaches on Contadora, and Air Panama and Aeroperlas AI flying into the airport.

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