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FS2004 PTSim - Larger Maps ?

Discussion in 'Ground2k4, SBuilder, SBuilderX' started by scottb613, 26/1/13.

  1. scottb613

    scottb613

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    Hi Folks,

    Question - I've downloaded maps from PTSim and can get them to work with both SBuilder and Resampler... My project is 3200x2400 which - at the zoom level I used - gives me a project area of about 9 tiles... Say for example I wanted to increase that to say 25 tiles - what's the best method to do this ? Do I have to download multiple 3200x2400 images and carefully stitch them together - mindful of the coordinates ? Then run them through either SBuilder or Resampler as a really large image ? It doesn't seem easy to specify the coordinates you want on the web site - to precisely clip the image... If I change the zoom level - I change the resolution as well - so if I zoom to 25 tiles worth - this image will be different from the one I started with... Do I just keep each map separate and generate a separate BGL's for each map I choose to use ? Any help appreciated...

    Regards,
    Scott
  2. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Scott:

    You might wish to take a look at the workflow that Dick Boleyd used via SBuilderX to get the aerial imagery from the background and output a *.txt geo-reference / "world" file for each image intended for use with SBuilder for FS9 / FS2004: :idea:

    http://www.ptsim.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3650



    Alternatively, the legacy method some folks used to place a tile of custom land class is seen in part of this tutorial: :rolleyes:

    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/islandtutorial.pdf



    FYI: SBuilderX reportedly can Append and save GeoTIFFs, and will output a FSX INF file (which must be immediately saved outside the SBuilderX work folder prior to grabbing / processing another background imagery map) ...when the BGL is compiled.

    Then one can examine the GIS Metadata for the GeoTIFF and identify the few additional explicit internal parameters needed for use in a FS9 Resample multi-source INF (derived from the FSX INF) using the GeoTIFF imagery converted to numerous FS9-format BMP tiles for FS2004.


    AFAIK, using a multi-source INF may eliminate a need to stitch all individual aerial images together into 1 big raster image for precessing by Resample.


    Hope these ideas might help with exploring your options. :)

    GaryGB
    Last edited: 19/2/13
  3. scottb613

    scottb613

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    Hi Gary,

    Always a pleasure - sir - you've been a great help with EVERYTHING... I've downloaded and installed SBX - but - I never finished the SDK setup required with the tools for FSX... Let me get back to that and I'll see if any of the above advice works for me... I had perused that island tutorial before - fortunately it comes with SBUILDER for FS9... Unfortunately - the help system doesn't work as it looks like it references a web site no longer present...

    I'll tackle this with trying to get your blend mask suggestions for FS9 to work... I've really got to figure out some method that works well as I can't live with the darn straight edge borders on my photo tiles...

    Have a good day...

    Regard,
    Scott
    Last edited: 26/1/13
  4. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Scott:

    Are you referring to the SBuilder for FS9 Help system ?

    Did you locate the included SBuilder *.CHM help file ? :confused:

    GaryGB
  5. scottb613

    scottb613

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    Hi Gary,

    Yep - the CHM file is present - I've tried it both by launching from within SBuilder and by the CHM file directly... I've got it on my home PC and laptop - same result... It looks like the CHM just linked to web based content... The topics are present in the navigator - but - none of the content displays...

    Regards,
    Scott

    Attached Files:

  6. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Scott:

    What version of Windows are you running SBuilder on ?

    GaryGB
  7. scottb613

    scottb613

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    Hi Gary,

    7 x 64 on both machines I have it loaded on..,

    Regards,
    Scott
  8. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Scott:

    < Just now got back to a Wi-Fi hotspot >

    I have not tried accessing the SBuilder for FS9 *.CHM 'Help' file since I recently installed SBuilder for FS9 into my Win-7 64-bit system.

    However, I will take a look at whether my configuration still works properly when I get back to that FS computer later tonight, and will post here as to the status of my own access to the SBuilder for FS9 Help file on that system.

    http://forum.avsim.net/topic/356554-scenery-half-done-now-im-stuck/



    In the mean time, may I inquire as to whether you have the SBuilder for FS9 *.CHM 'Help' file physically located inside a sub-folder under SBuilder for FS9 ...named "Html" ?

    If not, IIRC, you might wish to test this folder structure:

    [SBuilder for FS9 install path - main root folder name]\Html\[SBuilder for FS9 'Help' filename].CHM


    Also, IIRC, you may need to install a legacy version of the Windows Help file viewer engine into Win-7 to display that older SBuilder for FS9 *.CHM 'Help' file format.

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22163


    Hope this might be of some initial "help". :)

    GaryGB
    Last edited: 27/1/13
  9. scottb613

    scottb613

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    Hi Gary,

    Didn't check the help file again - but you are right - SBX sure seems to setup the images the way I need them... Downloaded two lined up adjacent maps with coordinates file and they line up and fit together seamlessly... The image is only 1792 pixels wide vs the 3400 I downloaded initially - but - since FS9 steps them down so much it might not matter... Working on setting up the Resampler INF now...
    ;)

    I'll check the help files again when I get a moment...

    Thanks...

    Regards,
    Scott
  10. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Scott:

    I do have the SBuilder for FS9 *.CHM 'Help' file physically located inside a sub-folder under SBuilder for FS9 ...named "Html".

    It does load and display properly within a Win-7 64-bit installation when it is either double clicked in Windows Explorer, or when I load it via:

    SBuilder for FS9 Menu > Help > "SBuilder Help"



    I have posted below, a link to the most recent such SBuilder for FS9 *.CHM 'Help' file that I am aware of having been released.


    Name_______ Size _____ Last Modified

    Sbuilder.chm..2,125,183..5/8/2005..11:00:00 A.M.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?si40s724x1mg6qm



    PS: Using "Transparency" as a query string on the SBuilder for FS9 *.CHM 'Help' file Search tab yields some particularly informative results. ;)

    ...And a few related links FYI:

    http://www.google.com/#q="PhotoCall...9,d.aWM&fp=94e32a4cea89f529&biw=1067&bih=705A


    Hope this helps ! :)

    GaryGB
    Last edited: 27/1/13
  11. scottb613

    scottb613

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    Hi Gary,

    Well - I figured out how to download better resolutions with SBX... My base image is about 500MB now (28 x 20 Zoom 13) and my 25 tiles look much better than my first run... Not sure if I download even higher resolutions - if it will make any difference on the Resampled result... I might give it a try...

    Strange - I believe I downloaded the last FS9 SBuilder from here -but - it didn't install a working copy of the needed help files... I'll try your files... Thanks !!! Then off to that transparency edge blending thing...

    Regard,
    Scott
  12. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Last edited: 6/3/13
  13. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi All:

    As an addendum to my post in this thread regarding access to SBuilderX documentation at:

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showpost.php?p=625295&postcount=10

    ...I am posting here a reconstruction of content by Luis Sa' in the SBuilder *.CHM 'Help' file, which was an 'incomplete' excerpt from an older post originally at AVSIM regarding "Land and Water Class Scenery" as it relates to the FS LOD / QMID grid system:



    The 'incomplete' excerpt can be read here:

    SBuilderX Menu > Help > Search Tab > Search String: "autogen" > click 'List Topics' > Land and Water Class Scenery > Further Reading


    The reconstruction of the original 'complete' post at AVSIM (...before it was "mangled" by forum archiving):

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...om...loads/lod_0.gif&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    http://forum.avsim.net/topic/78039-photo-mesh-and-landclass-sceneries-and-sampling/#entry538011



    "Hi, This an old discussed topic but there are few points that I would like to revise.

    The TMF Resampler programme, made available by Microsoft, can be used to create:

    - mesh scenery ( TYPE = ElevS16LSB )
    - photo scenery ( TYPE = Custom )
    - landclass scenery ( TYPE = ClassU8 )

    In all these 3 cases a BGL file is generated covering a region that we specify in the destination section of the INF control file. This region can not be smaller than a certain size. For mesh and landclass sceneries, This minimum size corresponds to 257 x 257 elevation points or 257 x 257 class_indexes. The elevation points and the class_indexes are the vertexes of LOD squares. In the Landclass case the class_indexes are the vertexes of LOD 13 squares (or Areas). Therefore the smallest region that we can have in Landclass scenery is a LOD 5 region. In the case of the elevations points it depends on the LOD.
    For example for a LOD 10 mesh, the elevation points are vertexes of LOD 18 squares.

    In this LOD table:
    "

    http://www.ptsim.com...ads/sdk_lod.htm

    [​IMG]



    "there is no LOD 18 entry. But it easy to see that for a LOD 18 the Span in Meters would be 38,15 in the N/S direction and 50,87 in the W/E direction. We conclude that the minimum mesh region that we can generate at LOD = 10 is, precisely, a LOD 10 square (9,8 Km by 13 km) with elevation points at the vertexes of LOD 18 squares (38,2 m by 50,9 m). For a mesh (at LOD = 10 resolution) covering (spanning) 2 x 2 LOD 10 squares, we need 513 x 513 points. We can realize this mesh with 4 BGLs each covering a LOD 10 square and having 257 x 257 elevation points. Or we can realize it with a single BGL with 513 x 513 elevation points covering the same 4 LoD 10 squares. The 2 situations will produce the same result if Point 257 on the left (upper) square is identical to Point 1 on the right (lower) square. This will be more clear with the discussion at the end of this post for landclass scenery.

    We saw that a landclass BGL spans a whole LOD 5 square (312 km by 418 km - so not really a square!). If we want to work a smaller area we use index = 254 (which is transparent) in the regions that we do not want to change. Consider this example:
    "

    Code:
    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/lod_0.gif
    [​IMG]



    "The big white squares are LOD 13 Areas. These Areas have small squares at the vertexes. In the figure we see 20 vertexes. For each of the vertexes we define a landclass index. We have 12 white (say white means index = 254 or transparent) vertexes and 8 colored vertexes. Since a vertex affects 4 squares we could expect a final result like this:"

    Code:
    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/lod_1.gif
    [​IMG]


    "But the final result that FS shows is much better. Firstly a square is displayed only if all their 4 corners have significant landclass indexes (different from 254). Secondly FS mixes the 4 textures that corresponds to the 4 landclasses and blends them in a manner similar to what is shown in the following figure:"

    Code:
    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/lod_2.gif
    [​IMG]


    NOTE: The SBuilder Help file documentation cited above ended here:

    "The rest of the post is in the AVSIM archives."


    ...but the original AVSIM post by Luis Sa' continued as follows:

    "There is an exception to the previous rule. The exception is index 253 (or 252). By using index 253 we can make a BGL to show photo scenery. We need to create separately the custom bitmaps with the Resample programme. These bitmaps are generated as slices of a bigger photo bitmap. Each slice has 256 x 256 pixels and has a unique name that refer to a unique LOD 13 square (example: 010232222222211Su.bmp). We were saying that index 253 had a different behaviour. In order to explain this behaviour consider the previous landclass indexes except for the 3th row 4th column where the black small square means 253:"

    Code:
    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/lod_3.gif
    [​IMG]



    "The difference is that all the 4 Areas affected by this vertex will be "custom" areas" independently of the other corner indexes. FS will show something like this (gray = photo tile):"

    Code:
    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/lod_4.gif
    [​IMG]



    "I now consider the case of a landclass project that spans 4 LOD 5 squares. An example is to define the landclass in 4 Areas around N45:00:00 W45:00:00. We need to define 9 vertexes as shown in this figure:"

    Code:
    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/lod_5.gif
    [​IMG]



    "If we make a single BGL with 513 x 513 indexes, the center greenish vertex, exactly at N45 W45, is Vertex(257 257). But if we make 4 BGLs for each of the LOD 5 squares, this same vertex is Vertex(257 257) for the LOD5_35_15 BGL as in:"

    Code:
    http://www.ptsim.com/downloads/lod_6.gif
    [​IMG]


    "and it is Vertex(1 257) for the LOD5_35_15 BGL, Vertex(257 1) for the LOD5_35_16 BGL and Vertex(1 1) for the LOD5_36_16 BGL. In all the 4 raw files for the 4 BGLs the green node should have the same value. If it has not we will loose the blending match that FS does very well.

    I am sorry for this long post and I hope that it does not contain errors.

    Kind Regards,

    Luis
    "


    Hope this helps ! :)

    GaryGB
    Last edited: 5/5/13
  14. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Again:

    An additional reference by Luis Sa' related to the topic(s) under discussion in this thread is found here (this is not discussed indetail in the SBuilderX Help file):

    "SBuilderX uses a Lat/Lon Geographic projection. When SbuilderX displays tiles downloaded from Tile Servers it re-projects the images from Mercator to Lat/Lon (and makes an adjustment equivalent to a local azimuthal projection). In order to achieve that, SBuilderX keeps an internal representation of the earth identical to most Mercator Tile Server systems."

    http://www.ptsim.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=58

    Hope this helps ! :)

    GaryGB
  15. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Last edited: 5/5/13

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