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Conversion questions using the Flight Toolkit

Discussion in 'Microsoft Flight' started by FS-Tester, 9 Jul 2015.

  1. KavindaJD

    KavindaJD

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    I remember FS-Tester asking for a couple of things but the main tool I require is something to spit out the animations from a .model file so that animation info can be adjusted and placed back into the model. I'll work on a quick list now...
     
  2. KavindaJD

    KavindaJD

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    • "Installed" pane on the Addon Manager --> sorting of the list of content by category type (aircraft, mission, scenery, etc), installed/not installed, and name.
    • I believe FS-Tester gave you a list of additional variables to include on the SimDataEditor
    • Ribbon on Addon Builder to show file currently being processed - helps to identify a defective file whilst refreshing
    I'll keep adding to this list later - if I manage to remember!
     
  3. FS-Tester

    FS-Tester

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    I have a DCR list - just not on this PC. :(
    I'll post it either next week or the week after when I'm back in town.
     
  4. dave hoeffgen

    dave hoeffgen Resource contributor

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    My FSX base scenery conversion lacks terrain detail maps because it uses its own LandClass definition (without the detail masks) instead of the core content and sharedLC ones.
    Which is the best way to make it use the definitions in these packages instead of the converted FSX ones?
     
  5. FS-Tester

    FS-Tester

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    Hi Dave,
    I've not an expert on scenery conversion, but I'll try to give you a few pointers that might help you.

    First, if you (or other readers) have not done so already, I recommend reading Stonelance's post on the Flight terrain system: http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/flight-docs-terrain-system.431225/

    It sounds like you are already familiar with the terrain system in FSX, including its lookup & terrain files, but if not (or other readers of this post are not), you can read up on it here:
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc527025.aspx

    If the -FSX mode in Flight Toolkit contentconverter is not converting your custom landclasses or waterclasses, you will need to create your own custom lookuplc.bgl & lookupwc.bgl files for Flight.

    Basically, there are two steps required (though both steps have quite a few parameters that you need to set):
    Add a landclass-to-texture (or water-class-to-texture) mapping entry that maps a specific land or waterclass to a texure id.
    Add a texture id entry that points to where the textures can be found.

    LCLookup has changed in Flight to include the stuff that used to be in the FSX terrain.cfg. You can use the toolkits sceneryconverter to de-compile any of Flight's lclookup.bgl files (for example, in the core-content, Hawaii or Alaska packs) to XML & then open the file either in Notepad or an XML reader app (e.g. XML-Notepad) to see how the new lclookup & wclookup files work.

    I've been working on creating a new scenery pack that does not rely on FSX-World. I have created test UI, APX (airport), CVX (vector), DEM (elevation), LC (landclass) & WC (waterclass) scenery files, plus a custom lookup.bgl file for Flight & successfully used addon manager to add the .fsaddon, so I know that it can be done with the various tools in the toolkit (v32). I don't have any files on this computer that I can share with you today, but will try to remember to copy some & send them to you when I'm next online.

    regards,
    FS tester
     
  6. dave hoeffgen

    dave hoeffgen Resource contributor

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    Thanks for that explanation.
    Meanwhile I came to a different point after I've actually seen some detailmaps in the FSX world: As far as I understood this till now the FSX world depends on the shared LandClass DLCs because it uses the textures from there.
    I've seen content errors in a log file pointing to these packages and reporting missing [...]DL textures (the detail lookup map)
    Can they just be created and inserted there? (I can extract an existing one for the format)
    Or is there a way to submit them to the packagaes author to update ist?
    Also is there some reference somewhere so I can look up which value is which detail map?
     
  7. stonelance

    stonelance

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    The FSX conversion tries to use Flight textures when they are an updated version of the FSX ones, but there are lots of FSX land classes that were never available in Flight, so in those cases I believe it just uses the FSX files without detail maps (since FSX didn't have detail maps). If you want to make or copy detail maps for the FSX LCs, it is possible, but I'm not sure how much work. You might be able to copy them to FSX and have the conversion pick it up, but I'm guessing that won't work. You might be able to copy them to the Temp folder during conversion and have them included as well, but that might not work. The .pak files in the generated FSX World addon can be opened with any zip program, and you could add the DL textures in there, and it might pick them up. I don't remember if it just tries to find them by name, or if the lclookup bgl needs to be modified as well.
     
  8. FS-Tester

    FS-Tester

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    Hi Dave,
    Frankly, I'm clueless when it comes to the detail maps that are included in Flight. I don't know what they do. I'm guessing that they are the texture files ending in "DL" (e.g.: 016b2su6DL.dds), but I've not been able to open any of these files with my programs that usually open .dds files to see what they look like.

    For what it's worth, enclosed is an example of a test custom Flight lookup file that I created that maps both landclass and waterclasses to textures.
    It currently has a single LandClassToTextureSet that adds the Flight-specific Cliff textures to the default Tropical Rainforest landclass, four waterclasses to display near-shore ocean textures appropriate to tropical waters (these particular mappings are not in the default Flight or FSX-World lookup files), and a couple of vector shapes that draw reef line and beach-line textures. I'm creating my custom LC & WC files using SBuilderX v3.13 for FSX by Luis Sá & PTSim, then converting them with the tools in stonelance's Flight Toolkit (v32).

    Because ContentConverter does not have a specific mode just to convert landclass or waterclass files, I'm using the -fsx mode to convert my custom FSX LC & WC bgl files to their Flight equivalent. You can avoid converting the entire FSX world every time you want to test one of your LC or WC files by creating a "test" FSX installation that only contains the files that you want to test. I've included instructions on how to do this in the enclosed zip file. I then take the converted LC/WC files and add them to a custom flightaddon, thus avoiding any dependency on FSX-World, or having to have to modify that conversion process.

    Note that these instructions are just to allow you to test the ability to convert your custom LandClass definitions and see if they display correctly in Flight. You might need to unselect FS-World in Flight Addon Manager to avoid possible conflicts - without knowing the specifics of your files, I can't say for sure. Obviously, I'm not converting any detail maps since, as stonelance says, FSX didn't have detail maps.

    I have not tried this, but if a detail map that is included in the various Flight .pak files from Microsoft is compatible with one of your landclass files, I think you should be able to use it by copying the file to the texture folder related to the scenery folder that contains your converted landclass file, and reference the texture in your custom lookup file.

    Since I've not been able to open a detail file, or know what they do, I don't know how to create one!:confused:

    Alternatively, Flight should find a (detail) texture file that comes with the product just by making your custom flightaddon dependent upon the Microsoft .pak file that holds the texture. e.g.:
    [Product]
    DependsOn ={c9bf8c37-3a8f-4f55-b141-cdff7be74a43} ; Core
    DependsOn.1 = {7FCFA469-0694-424D-9B90-3A9A1E8A0CF2} ; GUID for the Gridded_Urban_LC that contains the detail texture that you want to use.​
    My test addon depends on some textures in the core pak, and Flight has no problem finding them, so I only include the first line above.

    w.r.t. your question: "Is there a way to submit them to the packages author..." - you could ask the author, but if the author was Microsoft, then obviously they will not do this as they stopped development on Flight a long time ago.

    w.r.t. your question: "Is there some reference somewhere so I can look up which value is which detail map?" Not specifically, as far as I know. I've been using the information in the FSX SDK, the content errors log file, decompiled lookup files and FSX texture folders to figure out how to create the new mappings in my custom lookup file.

    Couple of questions for stonelance:
    • DoesTextureSet id need to be unique within Flight, or just unique within a lclookup.bgl file? If unique within Flight, is there a master list of ids, or a convention for setting the id so that it will be unique across lookup files within various DLCs?
    • Is the data in the PopulationDensity.bgl file actually used for anything, as Flight does not support highway traffic, recreational boat traffic on lakes, etc? If not, can it be omited from a scenery pack?
    Hope this helps,
    FS Tester
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 8 Jun 2017
  9. rhumbaflappy

    rhumbaflappy Moderator Staff Member Resource contributor

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    Regarding vector scenery, an entire QMID11 area needs to be replaced as Flight does not allow adding vectors, only replacing. Vectors automatically exclude the QMID11 area.

    Patrick Germain's CVXExtractor can be used to extract the vectors from an unzipped Flight BGL's QMID area needing change. Then that data can be altered by SBuilderX or some other GIS program, and the result recompiled with the combined data. It's awkward but can be done. I believe landclass and mesh can just be added.
     
  10. dave hoeffgen

    dave hoeffgen Resource contributor

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    What I found out so far:
    In the core content pak archive under scenery\world\texture there is a file called "detailAtlas.dds" which contains all the detail maps present in the terrain, arranged as a grid of 8x8 cells within the image.

    The *DL.dds files are the detail lookup maps described in this post by @stonelance under "detail textures":
    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/flight-docs-terrain-system.431225/
    They are 8 bit greyscale where each value corresponds to a certain detail texture, though I don't yet know which value is which cell in the detailAtlas mentioned above.
    I also couldn't open them in DXTBmp but GIMP with the dds plugin did it.

    I could still try to make such DL files and insert them in the converted FSX scenery and compile this as a custom addon using addonBuilder instead of using the automatically generated FSX world "DLC"
    Maybe I get the time some day, then I'll report back how that turned out.
     
  11. stonelance

    stonelance

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    FSTester:
    TextureSet ID - I can't remember and don't have time to try to dig it up right now. My best guess right now is they are specific to the specific lclookup bgl, but not 100% sure on that.
    Population bgl - Very likely unused.

    Dave:
    All texture atlases used in Flight are numbered from top left to bottom right. For an 8x8 texture atlas, the first row would be 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Second row would be 8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 and so on for all the rows.
     
  12. dave hoeffgen

    dave hoeffgen Resource contributor

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    Thanks for the clarification, I already thought it was like that.
    I tried to repackage the FSX world using AddonBuilder and added an experimental *DL.dds but for some reason the exprt fails with an error message like "can't access the file ...\Local\Temp\(guid and no extension) because it is used by a different process"
    I have no idea what's wrong there. Is the FSX world simply too large for the addon builder?
    Should I try and go with the LC only?
     
  13. stonelance

    stonelance

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    Yeah, the FSX world is probably too large. The pak files are just zip files though, so you should be able to modify them manually with any zip editor.
     
  14. dave hoeffgen

    dave hoeffgen Resource contributor

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    Yeah, that's what I tried first. I inserted my experimental DL.dds texture into the FSX world using 7zip. Sadly Flight reprted a content error on startup and then closed.


    Another approach I was thinking of:
    making a scenery package only with the Landclass and the necessary stuff, depending on the FSX world and the packages the FSX World depends on. Only including the customized LC textures.
    will this landclass be dominant over the FSX world one?
     
  15. rhumbaflappy

    rhumbaflappy Moderator Staff Member Resource contributor

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    If re-zipping paks, be sure to use no compression.
     
  16. stonelance

    stonelance

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    dave, in the long run if you want to share it with other people, then making a separate addon would be best. You might need to make sure you use the same virtual path that the FSXWorld addon uses so that to Flight the files appear in the same relative path. I think I describe the virtual path system in one of the threads. When you use addon builder the first directory name under the addon directory is the name of the virtual path that is used. You can find the virtual paths used by the FSX World addon by looking at the FileLocator config files in the DLC folder.