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P3D v4 Terrain flattening at LPMA (and GP)

Discussion in 'Airport Design General' started by Gerald Krutsch, 7 Aug 2017.

  1. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    Hello guys,

    I'm also new to Airport Design and I think the newest member in this forum. So hello to all.

    We all know about the issues at LPMA (Madeira). The airport sits on a wrong elevation ~400ft to high. This was only "partially" annoying since the surrounding terrain is also kind of wrong. I recently bought FS Global Ultimate NG. This amazing SW deals with the terrain issue (partly) but leaves the ARPT at the wrong elevation on a protruding piece of land. Neither the AFM2 SW has the correct information.

    Now I thought I could correct this issue with ADE and also wanted to correct all taxiways, gates, but I unfortunately encountered 2 issues:
    1. I created a ground poly to flatten the ground around the airport, which unfortunately does not work entierly (it partly works on half of the scenery towards the end of RWY 23, the other half stays at the default wrong high elevation). Sitting at the end of RWY 05, I see some thin walls going up. If I take of, I see exactly the piece of protruding landmass from the default airport.
    2. The second issue is that I can't see any of my GP (e.g. Taxi lines or markings).

    Could you please advise? Thank you.
    BR,
    Gerald
     
  2. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    Any love with this topic? Can't believe it's already 3 weeks old with no answer at all. C'mon guys help me to create some content for P3D.

    Regards,
    Gerald
     
  3. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi,

    You have to use Tools > Change airport reference data> fill in the elevation you would like your airport to have and save and compile. ADE will put a 'stub' called ADE_LPMA_ALT.bgl in your scenery\world\scenery folder.
     
  4. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    Hello @robystar ,

    tried it and did not work (thats why I applied also the flattening thingy).

    Regards,
    Gerald
     
  5. robystar

    robystar

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    Where did you save your ADE bgl(s)? Is the scenery folder you saved it in, activated in the scenery library? Make sure it is above the FS Global Ultimate NG in your scenery library.
    Did you delete the default flatten and put in a new flatten for the whole airport?
     
  6. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    Hi,

    1. Since I'm using P3D v4, I saved the scenery files in a folder outside the sim. I then created the "add-on.XML" launch file inside \Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\LPMA containing:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <SimBase.Document Type="AddOnXml" version="4,0" id="add-on">
    <AddOn.Name>LPMA Scenery</AddOn.Name>
    <AddOn.Description>LPMA Scenery</AddOn.Description>
    <AddOn.Component>
    <Category>Scenery</Category>
    <Path>E:\Custom Scenery\LPMA</Path>
    <Name>LPMA Scenery</Name>
    </AddOn.Component>
    </SimBase.Document>

    Upon launching V4, it automatically asked if I would like to activate the added scenery which I answered with YES (v4 updated the scenery files after this and the changes where visible in the sim).

    2. I have no idea how the layering works in V4 but since the ground around the ARP is lower then the ARP itself, I think the layering is correct.
    3. Yes! I first changed ARP elevation but the results where not 100%. At many places there were leftowers of the higher ground (thin sheets of terrain going up in the sky. I then proceeded and added a GP folowing the ARP outlining fence. The results have improoved but some of the thin terrain sheets are still there. I then extended the GP and actually see it's larger boundary. Still a thin sheet of ground is splitting my RWY in 2.
     
  7. robystar

    robystar

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    Looks like you left out the flatten covering the area around the new ARP elevation (and at that elevation) if there are still spiky leftovers. Unless your scenery is on a layer below this FS Global Ultimate NG in your scenery library (I know this can be a problem in P3Dv4, that is why I use the old addon scenery way)?
    What layering are you referring to? The scenery layers or the GP layers? The scenery layers are (roughly?) the same as in FSX, the GP layering is negative (i.e., e.g. -4 comes underneath -8).
     
  8. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    First of all let me thank you for trying to help me!
    Now to your questions:
    LPMA sits way to high in all sims. Adding the correct mesh, it will lower the terrain and leave the ARP on a "flat top mountain". The mountain walls follow the rough outline of the ARP (you actually could open the DEF LPMA ARP and the outher black line will represent the edge of the mountain).
    1. I deleted this outline and added another one (with the GP tool from ADE to add the flatten) thats considerably larger then the previous outline.
    In the SIM, hovering higher then the wrong ARP ELV, i can see the ARP splitted in half: one half has the new and corrected ALT (with RWY, TXW, ...), the other half shows the top of the mountain with it's walls that follow the previous outline I actualy deleted. This part shows only terrain textures since RWY, TXW are below this level.
    Around this mountain edge I can see the larger flatten I inserted but inside my new flatten, lays the mountain...

    If I take Bob for a ride on the wrong RWY end, I can see some spikes rising into the sky. Walking towards those spikes (and reaching one of the sidewals), Bob makes a quick jump on the mountain top and falls down on the outher layer of the mountain to the corrected elevation. Beeing "outside" the mountain, I can clearly see the sidewall of the mountain (the spikes look like a graphic glitch when positioned inside) -> the mountain is a SHELL with verry thin walls!.

    2. With layering I was refering to your information: "Make sure it is above the FS Global Ultimate NG in your scenery library." I have no idea where to check this because my v4 does not have the "Scenery" option anymore.
     
  9. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Gerald:

    What are your goals for this project ?

    * Correction of airfield elevation as an entirely 'flat area' (required for AI traffic and misc. ground vehicles to operate in MSFS / P3D)

    ...or:

    * Correction of airfield elevation as a 'multi-level' area (may disable AI traffic and misc. ground vehicles to operate in MSFS / P3D)


    Generally speaking, the Airport Reference Point (aka "ARP"), AB Flatten, and the RWY / Taxiway / Apron altitudes must all be identical values AMSL.


    Additionally, be aware that 'Ground Polygons' in FSX and P3D require perfectly "flat" surfaces


    In some cases you may also need to make a Airport altitude adjustment "stub" (*_ALT.BGL) that may be placed by ADE into the P3Dv4 equivalent of:

    [FSX install path]\Scenery\World\Scenery

    https://scruffyduck.screenstepslive.com/s/help_docs/m/20268/l/210825-what-bgl-files-can-ade-create



    Are you aware that if you change the FS default airport altitudes that you may also be compelled to change the FS "Approach" data ?


    FYI: The sloped LPMA terrain elevation starts at 44 Meters at the SW RWY end, then rises to 58 Meters at the NE RWY end:

    http://charts.portugal-vacc.org/files/LP_AD_2_LPMA_01-1_en.pdf


    Additional LPMA info:

    http://charts.portugal-vacc.org/#LPMA


    The best publicly-available terrain mesh source data for the LPMA location is AFAIK only 30 Meters between elevation data points, so 'most' of one's visually effective 'corrections' may be configured to work around that relatively low-resolution data set, via individually assigned elevations for vertices used in making CVX vector Airport Background (aka "AB") terrain and/or Hydro polygons. :pushpin:


    I suggest that you use either swap between multiple 'precisely' Geo-rectified aerial imagery background image tiles added to ADE, or IMHO, better yet, that you use SBuilderX to have a more continuously scroll-able / pan-able / zoom-able aerial imagery background from the aerial imagery / map tile server of choice ...for that large LPMA airport terrain area during creation of CVX vector polygons. :idea:

    You must be very precise when cutting holes in a AB and/or flatten CVX vector polygon, and the vertices of the surrounding "Parent" polygon hole must align exactly with the perimeter vertices of the "Child" polygon ...in order to avoid terrain spikes, pits etc..

    Achieving the required level of precision for CVX vector polygon "holes" in ADE is very challenging, although some here have reported being successful in doing some of those tasks using ADE.

    Additionally, one should never "overlap" adjacent AB CVX vector polygon edges.


    IMHO, it is easier to use SBuilderX for making these types of terrain-related CVX vector polygon scenery objects. ;)


    But for all other airport-specific tasks, your installation of ADE would be abundantly useful. :wizard:


    PS: I would also suggest posting some screenshots so we can see what you are describing.

    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 7 Sep 2017
  10. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    Hi Gary, from your questions I conclude that you are way more experienced then I :).

    The purpose was to correct the elevation (somewhere between 44 and 58), to correctly position all the TXW, Aprons, Taxi links and naming, add some of the parking spots and some generic buildings all of which to be positioned using a background source image from SBuilder -> so I think that answer 1 suites my project.
    There are some freeware LPMA sceneries available but from their description I understood that they are only ELEV corrrections. Since some of them are realy old, I did not want to search for the owners to get their permissions to modify the ARP and wanted to start my own little project.

    I did not want to make different elevations as in real life whith vector roads... so just a plain correction with some extra stuff.

    But I'm stuck with that odd montain shell...

    Regards,
    Gerald

    PS: I uninstalled P3D v4 due to lack of add-ons (e.g. no BUS'es) and I'm back to FSX:SE. I will try to make the same modifications to see if it works but it will take me some time.
    PSS: I still have the generic problem in V4 that I didn't see any handmade markings (so GP lines)...
     
  11. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    You may wish to search the FS Developer forums for info related to the ADE GP features that assign a (negative) Z-Bias for MDL-based polygons.


    BTW: With non-MDL-based legacy SCASM/ASM Ground Polygons (aka "G-Polys aka "GPs") one must be aware that certain types of ground markings are only displayed properly- or at all- when they are assigned to specific VTP layer numbers.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=site:http://www.fsdeveloper.com+gadgets+GP+visibility&oq=site:http://www.fsdeveloper.com+gadgets+GP+visibility&gs_l=psy-ab.12...4251.4251.0.5948.1.1.0.0.0.0.80.80.1.1.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0.Dkw95MNmqHk


    [EDITED]

    It would be helpful to review the more recent versions of the ADE GP manual(s) created by author Don Grovestine (aka "gadgets"), as well as some of these topically-related threads on ADE GP visibility:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=site:www.fsdeveloper.com+gadgets+ADE+GP+visibility&oq=site:www.fsdeveloper.com+gadgets+ADE+GP+visibility&gs_l=psy-ab.3...7457.17277.0.17669.20.20.0.0.0.0.150.2259.0j17.17.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..3.0.0.svKl5cuLBfc

    [END_EDIT]

    Also, if necessary, it may be helpful to review the German ADE Manual version created by Helli Hauck:

    http://www.scruffyduck.org/download/i/mark_dl/u/4012602701/4612708618/Manual_Deutsch_v1.51.zip


    Misc. ADE info:

    http://www.scruffyduck.org/downloads/4584110854


    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2017
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  12. robystar

    robystar

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    The first thing to do is to make sure that you change the airport elevation like I explained before. You must have a LPMA_ALT.bgl in your scenery\world\scenery if you have done that correctly. ADE will now also mention LPMA with a 'revised altitude' at the top of the screen.
    If that is the case, then draw a flatten (but NOT with the GP tool but with 'add polygon') that covers the whole airport (though maybe not the extended part of the runway that is on bridge struts*).
    Now you can add ground poly that will be visible in the sim.
    In P3Dv4 you do have a scenery library. Once you have started your flight, go to world>scenery library.

    *: this could be tricky because when you draw a flatten there it will drag the mesh up to the elevation of the runway and when you do not, aircraft will sink through and groundpoly will not show up. Maybe a solution could be the use of an 'ocean flatten' explained in some other threads on this forum or else draw the flatten covering the whole airport and mask the terrain with a scenery object (a model) that gives at least the illusion of the runway being built on struts.
     
    Gerald Krutsch likes this.
  13. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    Thank you for the links. I thought that the manual beeing older, it will not solve my issue with the markings (GP lines). I already created one ARP for FSX:SE and all went well. I imported the same BGL in the newest v4 supporting ADE and compiled it to use with v4. All is there (buildings, RWY, TXW) but the GP Lines and all other GP (eg. parking lot) is not showing.
    Will have a good reading of the manuals again and come back on a later time (when I reinstall v4) to talk of the results.

    Thank you.
     
  14. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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    Hello robystar,

    I did change it but newer looked if the LPMA_ALT.bgl was in the correct location (I assume it was since the new ARP layout was definately on the new ELEV).
    I added the flatten with that "Terrain Poly Tool" where I could also select the type of flatten and exclusions.

    I like the trick with the object to simulate the struts...newer thought on that. For me it would have been good enough to lower the ARP and to have the terrain supporting it where the struts are (the mesh draged up).

    At this point I don't have v4 installed anymore. Since v4 is my first P3D version, I had no idea where to look for the "Scenery library". Thank you!
     
  15. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Roby:

    I believe that your latter idea may prove the most successful, as one can create a 'flat' 3D model of the textured RWY surface and attach a Platform with a "hardened Concrete attribute" to an AttachPoint on the MDL. :scratchch

    I would assume that use of the same MDL may be possible with a Z-Bias Material Property required to make a 'flat' G-Poly for P3Dv4. :idea:

    This would enable creation of other 3D and terrain scenery objects which function normally in the open 3D space under the RWY surface and in between the support pillars etc., with normal terrain elevation on a ground surface that allows normal SDK compliant navigation by user-pilot-able SimObject vehicles as well as AI ground traffic vehicles etc..;)

    The extent of 3D platforms used in the Aerosoft payware of LPMA is seen in this review:
    http://www.simflight.com/2011/12/12/aerosoft-madeira-x-updated-for-fsx-review/

    Madeira Airport – LPMA

    [​IMG]




    Aerosoft Madeira X product page:

    https://www.aerosoft.com/en/fsxp3d/flight-simulator-x/sceneries/1673/scenery-madeira

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also see 2:24 (at the very end) in the Aerosoft Madeira X product video: :pushpin:




    ...and the Ground Vehicle animations at 2:19 in this 3rd party video:


    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 7 Sep 2017
  16. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi Gary,

    I have a feeling that they used the same method as what I tried to explain with these ocean flattens (for 'carrier' airports to allow AI).
    What you call a platform is in my terminology a LPMA airport with a flatten, runway, taxiways, etc. at the airport altitude plus an addon fake airport at a lower altitude that consists of only a taxipath with the length and the width of the area that you want flattened underneath the runway. This fake airport has to be put on a higher priority in the scenery library for it to work.
     
  17. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Roby:

    Possibly you are referring to methods discussed in these threads ?

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/taxiway-over-water.70703/page-2

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/how-to-make-a-tunnel-underneath-a-runway.12977/

    http://www.simforums.com/forums/afx-invisible-airports_topic22204.html



    Actually, there are important differences between what you are describing as a: :pushpin:

    "fake (aka 'stub') airport at a lower altitude that consists of only a taxipath"


    ...and what I described as a:

    "a 'flat' 3D model (MDL) of the textured RWY surface"

    ..to which one will:

    "attach a Platform with a "hardened Concrete attribute" to an AttachPoint on the MDL."


    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=ModelConverterX#Attached_object_editor


    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&q=site:www.fsdeveloper.com+GaryGB+platform&oq=site:www.fsdeveloper.com+GaryGB+platform&gs_l=psy-ab.12...7498.65253.0.70234.43.43.0.0.0.0.113.2954.41j1.42.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.4.396...0j46j0i46k1j0i131k1.f_vBpByWLrI


    [EDITED]

    Also, there are significant caveats as to where and when one may incur undesirable results if a 'taxipath' is used as a flatten. ;)

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/th...terials-other-than-in-ade.436308/#post-734046

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/gp-textures.426362/page-2

    [END_EDIT]

    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 8 Sep 2017
  18. Gerald Krutsch

    Gerald Krutsch

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