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creating smooth, classy taxiways/runways

Discussion in 'Airport Design General' started by marcusp, 1/11/04.

  1. marcusp

    marcusp

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    hey guys,

    What's up?

    I've done scenery design before and am now restarting again but there is one doubt in my mind: How to render the taxiways and runways the same classy and cool way FlyTampa does and now ImagineSim seems to be doing. The ones done in today's programs FSSC, SCC, Architect, AFCAD2, etc.... none come close to looking so neat and smooth. Any ideas how I can acheive a similar outcome? Thanks guys.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    The only way to get runways that look like that is to not use the default runway command, but build it completely on your own using polygons, etc.

    This also means it can not be done using any of the design tools directly. When doing it in GMax for example you will need to tweak the code a bit to get real ground polygons.
  3. Pilon

    Pilon

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    Think of these great looking airports as one big jigsaw puzzle.
    You should simply ( Nothing simple about that :)) creat multiple
    custom textures and lay them using FSSC or similar prorams.
    One way of doing that is creating a large file using photoshop.
    Insert aerial photograph in the first layer so it will be used
    as a guide. Next you need to draw the asphalt/concrete/
    taxiways etc' by hand. Do this on different layers so
    you can always delete and redraw. Next step, simply
    divide this large file into 512X512 textures.
    Under all that you still need AFCAD file.
    (AFCAD textures and lines will always be under your custom textures)

    well...at least thats the way I'm working on my scenery.

    Neal
  4. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    As FSSC does not allow you to map your texture I don't think it is a good idea to use FSSC (or Airport which has the same problem) to place this kind of ground textures.

    It is much easier if you use a program that allows you to map your texture, like GroundMaker or one of the 3D object design programs. These last require some code tweaking to get correct ground polygons out of them.

    When I made such a grid for Schiphol (EHAM) I wrote the code myself in SCASM. That way I could use the floating point commands (none of the programs like FSSC, Airport, etc supports these, all use the Fs2000 style commands). But I guess writing it by hand is only an option if you are familiar with SCASM code a bit already :).
  5. Pilon

    Pilon

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    Arno is right about fssc.
    However, Im placing the textures as background bitmaps
    with the "visible in flight simulator" checked.
    FPS is even better than when I used the default AFCAD
    textures. For GroundMaker...I'm Unable to see the textures inside
    the polygons unless I use GM textures. Still not sure why.
    For none-scasm programers Gmax is also a good choice.
    I used The Zbias_ prefix and the kill_shadow thing, but
    I could not make anything cast shadows on the ground polygons.

    Neal
  6. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    True, that is also an option. That allows you to map exactly one bitmap on a polygon.


    I think this is because GroundMaker is rather old and not able to display DXT textures. So only normal bitmaps and other old textures can be displayed.

    With the Fs2004 gamepack that seems indeed hard to do. Making ground polygons works a lot better with the Fs2002 gamepack. Doing a little source tweaking there (see the tutorials section :)) allows you to make code that is truely for a ground polygon.
  7. marcusp

    marcusp

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    thanks guys. I thought it was chunkes of ground polys but I downloaded the demo of flytampa's scenery, cant remember whic, I think sfo, and the ground texture has no-where near detail as it is when looking from FS. What I think it's that on top of the ground polys chunks, he makes regular polies and the texture is not a ground texture, but a detail texture with alpha channel simply to add the tarmac/concrete details. With regular poligons on top, I guess it makes it easier to make the taxilines, otherwise you'd have no reference to place the lines in an editor like FSSC and FSArchitect.
  8. Pilon

    Pilon

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    Hello Arno

    I must have missed something. I cant find the source tweaking (FS2004 )
    for Gmax polygons. :(
    Anyway, now I have another problem. Placing taxi lines above my custom
    textures the FSSC way, doesn't have the look I want. They also disappear
    from view way too soon. I was trying to use roads and other 2D objects
    but they appear to be under the polygons. :banghead:
    I remember reading ( SDK ) about LINE_ prefix in gmax ?. Not realy sure
    what that does.
    Using the textured polygons with the lines already drawn in them is not
    an option becuase of the low resolution.
    Is there a good solution for this issue ?!

    (sorry for my poor English )

    Neal
  9. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi Neal,

    That is exactly what I was saying. You can better use the Fs2002 gamepack and do the source tweaking there.
    In the Fs2004 gamepack we can not tweak them anymore. One more clear indication that GMax is a program to make 3D objects and not ground polygons. The scenery engine seems to be moving into a direction where the ground polygons and 3D objects are really split into different coding.

    Roads are always on layer 16, so depending on the layer used for your photo they will appear on top of it or not. If you use the Fs2002 style taxi markings then you can place them on any layer (I think 40 is the default layer for them).

    The line_ prefix makes you model like a wireframe object. So it can not be used to make taxilines in GMax.

    The only alternative is to make them as polygons, but that of course is a lot of work, as you need to draw each line as a polygon in that case.
  10. Pilon

    Pilon

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    Thanks Arno

    5 hours after your reply I had all my ground / approns
    ready. This time I placed them using GroundMaker.
    Although GM's taxilines are not as pretty as those curved lines
    made by AFCAD, at least I have them now!

    Two things I have discoverd about GroundMaker:
    1- It will only show 256 colors 256X256 bitmaps inside the textures.
    2 - I recently changed my video card's driver and I could finally
    see the textured polygons...just somthing to remember if it happanes to
    any of you guys.

    Neal
  11. Jouvarn

    Jouvarn

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    Okie okie..
    Im kinda mixed up here. Whats the best way to display your taxiway
    as good as flytampas ? Explain plss. ^_^
  12. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Using GMax and tweaking the code or write your own code completely.

    The simple answer is that there is no tool that is and easy to use and gives you such a nice result.
  13. Jouvarn

    Jouvarn

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    Okie.. how to tweak the code?
    can give an example or tutorial?
  14. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    This tip describes how you can make true ground polygons using GMax and the Fs2002 gamepack:

    http://www.scenerydesign.org/forum/showthread.php?t=92

    For making a ground layout with this detail I would not advice you to use the Fs2004 gamepack, as it is more limited.

    This of course leads to the question what the future will bring and I think using XML code for the ground layout is the future. But (at the moment) that can not be combined with the amount of detail you are looking for.
  15. dianna78sg

    dianna78sg

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    I'm sorry for bringing this post up (I guess continuing old thread is much better than having too many threads on the same subject)...I really would like to create my own ground texture (like those payware sceneries) for the airport I created..so I understand it could be done using FS2002 gamepack..do I have to have Fs2002 installed together for just to have the gamepack or could I just only installed the gamepack ?..
  16. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    You can also only install the gamepack. The only thing you need is the Fs2002 Pro CDs, as part of the gamepack files are only on the CD.
  17. Bluewolf

    Bluewolf

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    As a rule of thumb, how much land should a 512x512 bitmap cover?
  18. dr_psyser

    dr_psyser

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    Mate it really depends on what the overall airport size is. I use similar techniques (using tweaked gmax files) for all of our airports, but the resolution I use depends on the airport size. The smallest airport that I have done to date is Murrayfield (YMUL) - and I have used 0.2m/pixel resolution ground textures. The biggest airport is our current project - Perth Intl - for this I am using 1m/pixel resolution textures (with a few other tricks to make it look sharp enough). I tried 0.5m/pxl but it effected perfomance too much.

    Try it out for yourself with a few different sizes, find out what gets the most acceptable detail vs performance figures.

    Cheers

    Jarrad
  19. dianna78sg

    dianna78sg

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    what about this new Terrain SDK by Microsoft..is it could help us creating custom ground much easier (without using Fs2002 Gamepack anymore) ?
  20. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    You can place custom photos with that, but the resolution is limited to circa 4.8 meter per pixel. That is not really the resolution you want on your airport. Therefore a lot of designers try to make ground polygons with GMax.

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