• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

Alternate work-flow for producing this type of complex sloped flatten scenery object (Moved)

Hi Gary, I meanwhile proceeded a little bit further by throwing a Satellite Image on to the created Terrain for checking of the consistency. The following Image tells me, there is more work for me to do as you can see!

Akutan Harbor Flatten-2.jpg

Texturing the Terrain, I followed the following procedure:
  1. Above your terrain, create a single plane of geometry, the same size or a bit larger than the terrain.
    Paint the plane with the texture (Satellite Image of the Terrain).
    Edit the texture transparency so you can see through it to the terrain below.

  2. Set the camera in Top View and Parallel Projection.
    Position the texture in relation to the terrain as needed.

    Position Texture Tool
  3. When the texture is in the proper position, right context click on the face > Texture > Projected
    Turn off hidden geometry.
    Smooth the terrain if necessary. It must be a Surface … Not individual Faces.

    Soften Edges Dialog Box
  4. Open the terrain group for editing.
    Note your texture on the plane above is grayed out when you open the terrain group for editing.
    No worries … the texture is still there.
  5. Sample the projected texture with the Paint Bucket + Alt
    Click the paint Bucket tool on the surface of the terrain.
    Close the terrain group.
  6. Done.
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Hi Conrad:

Looks you're making good progress. :cool:

I hope to get some time free this weekend to examine your latter attached files above.

BTW: For results of above worked examples to be utilized as compiled FS scenery, additional procedures are involved.

Since we are working with topo-bathy data for the Akutan Harbor in this elevation data set, we will eventually need to derive X,Y,Z data to make a P3D SDK-compiled CVX vector Hydro polygon at 0 Meters AMSL (...aligned precisely with vertices of the surrounding sloped flatten and textured 3D multi-level G-Poly objects).

We will also eventually need to blend this elevation data set with surrounding terrain mesh.

To do this with greater detail, I propose that a custom local terrain mesh be derived with updated 1 Arc-second NASA / JPL / USGS / local elevation data, and some other regional surveys compared / combined with the above Hughes "multi-beam bathymetric survey of the harbor / topographic survey of the surrounding basin", to be compiled to BGL via P3D SDK Resample as a worked example of P3D's new "under water" navigability. :idea:

When I get time, I plan to test derivation of a 32-bit gridded elevation data set for use with FractionBits. :coffee:

I believe that when the resulting derived data set is ultimately aligned to the FS terrain quad grid vertices, your existing data set will be fully updated to yield an even more precise interpretation and 3D rendition of Akutan Harbor ...if / when you may be compelled to do so. :scratchch

Again, keep up the nicely detailed work ! :)

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Hi Gary, thanks for your reply and comments, but please, relax and enjoy the coming Weekend, thats more important!!!
Hi Conrad:

Here is a test of the Hughes topo-bathy data set derived as 32-Bit elevation values compiled to mesh via SDK Resample.



UPPER LEFT X=-165.8314754963
UPPER LEFT Y=54.1322890858
LOWER RIGHT X=-165.8236943203
LOWER RIGHT Y=54.1269565316
WEST LONGITUDE=165.83147550° W
NORTH LATITUDE=54.13228909° N
EAST LONGITUDE=165.82369432° W
SOUTH LATITUDE=54.12695653° N
PROJ_DESC=Geographic (Latitude/Longitude) / WGS84 / arc degrees
PROJ_UNITS=arc degrees
COVERED AREA=0.3005 sq km
PIXEL WIDTH=0.0000136 arc degrees
PIXEL HEIGHT=0.0000136 arc degrees
MIN ELEVATION=4.758 feet
MAX ELEVATION=185.511 feet
SAMPLE TYPE=32-bit Floating Point
PHOTOMETRIC=Greyscale (Min is Black)
SAMPLE_FORMAT=Floating Point
ORIENTATION=row 0 top, col 0 lhs
PIXEL_SCALE=( 0.00001360345464, 0.00001360345464, 1 )
TIEPOINTS=( 0.00, 0.00, 0.00 ) --> ( -165.8314754963, 54.1322890858, 0.0000000000 )
MODEL_TYPE=Geographic lat-long system
RASTER_TYPE=Pixel is Point
VERT_DATUM=None Specified

As the data set is not yet aligned with surrounding terrain mesh grid vertices, 'spike' anomalies are seen where the FS run time rendering engine cannot properly assemble a ground surface that 'blends' with contiguous elevation data points. :alert:

Also, the data set used has not yet been combined with any other existing 1 Arc-second NASA / JPL / USGS / other regional survey elevation data.

Bearing in mind this disclaimer on the Hughes website:

"Scope of Project

In the fall of 2011 the Corps of Engineers, through the Indefinite Term Contract, requested Hughes & Associates to perform (a) multibeam bathymetric survey of the harbor, topographic survey of the surrounding basin, and verification of the survey control of the Small Boat Harbor in Akutan, Alaska. At the time of the survey the harbor was still under construction and was not completed until 2013.

Additionally, bearing in mind this info from the Lynden website:

"Dredging/Harbor Project
Akutan Navigation Improvements

Location: Akutan, Alaska

Project Dates: 2010-2012

Owner: US Army Corps of Engineers

Contract Amount: $33,184,764

Status: Complete

Project Details: Provided a safe and functional harbor for the Bering Sea commercial fishing fleet and the City of Akutan. The 15 acre harbor basin included a 100-foot wide entrance channel with two 700-foot long deep water rubble-mound breakwaters; and a 18 ½ foot deep turning basin and 16 ½ to 14 ½ foot deep mooring basin. The new harbor was excavated in an area of environmentally sensitive wetlands. Additional work included the installation of navigational aid markers, spill containment eyebolts and removal of previously identified contaminated soils."

Thus, a base elevation value correction of the data set relative to real world Altitudes (as a negative number of Meters AMSL) must be assigned in the source data, or via a parameter value in the *.INF file. :pushpin:

Since we are working with "incomplete" topo-bathy data for the Akutan Harbor in this elevation data set, we will subsequently need to:

* 'Update' the source data set

* 'Blend' this elevation data set with surrounding terrain mesh (...at quad grid Area point vertices)

* Derive X,Y,Z data to make a P3D SDK-compiled CVX vector Hydro polygon at 0 Meters AMSL (...aligned precisely with vertices of the surrounding sloped flatten and textured 3D multi-level G-Poly objects) ...which represents the Akutan Harbor in its "completed" state.

I thought you may find this interesting as a test-of-concept, and a way-point in the terrain scenery development. process. ;)

More to come ...as time permits. :)



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Hi Conrad:

Here's another test of the above 32-Bit data set combined with 1-Arc Second SRTM version-3+ as a terrain mesh.

However, a base elevation value correction of the Hughes data set relative to real world Altitudes (as a negative number of Meters AMSL) has not yet been assigned in the source data, or via a parameter value in the *.INF file. :pushpin:

Additionally, "terracing" seen in spite of FractionBits=3 use in the *.INF merits error-checking of this work-flow. :scratchch

UPDATE: Yes, I 'goofed' and ticked "Signed Integers" instead of "Floating Point"; corrected info to follow soon. :duck:



UPPER LEFT X=-166.1160418827
UPPER LEFT Y=54.2711035079
LOWER RIGHT X=-165.6525993901
LOWER RIGHT Y=53.9875939098
WEST LONGITUDE=166.11604188° W
NORTH LATITUDE=54.27110351° N
EAST LONGITUDE=165.65259939° W
SOUTH LATITUDE=53.98759391° N
PROJ_DESC=Geographic (Latitude/Longitude) / WGS84 / arc degrees
PROJ_UNITS=arc degrees
COVERED AREA=951.41 sq km
LOAD TIME=19.83 s
NUM ROWS=20842
PIXEL WIDTH=0.0000136 arc degrees
PIXEL HEIGHT=0.0000136 arc degrees
SAMPLE TYPE=Signed 32-bit Integer
PHOTOMETRIC=Greyscale (Min is Black)
PIXEL_SCALE=( 0.00001360345464, 0.00001360345464, 1.0 )
TIEPOINTS=( 0.00, 0.00, 0.00 ) --> ( -166.1160418827, 54.2711035079, 0.0000000000 )
MODEL_TYPE=Geographic lat-long system
RASTER_TYPE=Pixel is Point

FYI: This composite data set replaces / enhances the terrain mesh for all of Akutan Island ;)

More results tomorrow pending some available free time. :)



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Hi Gary, I am once more beaten-up (ment as an exageration of "overwhelmed";)) and overwhelmed by your hard-working efforts and precise Information you deliver. Also, I estimate the Information for the aware reader of this forum, you had inserted regarding the construction of the Harbor.
This looks increasingly promising, by the way, you can use my SBuilderX exported Project file "7AK Akutan Harbor.SBX" to make it look more real, which includes all Excludes and Flattens, as well as the Harbor-Road and the placement of the jettys, (not perfect yet, but I'm working on that). The main target of this project is not to earn Money, gain any reputation or something like that, the main target for me is keeping, as a Pensioner, my brain and mind trained and busy and to put theory into practice (as long as I'm capable to do this), since I turned more and more into a theoretician in the last years!

In my opinion, if I'm correct, Fredo6 TopoShaper could also be used to correct the terrain created by TopoShaper, an essential Tool, as well as Freedo6 Curvizard for the Terrain-builder. There are some good Videos on Youtube regarding those two Tools:

I'm currently (for the x-nth-time) watching the two Videos to gain an enhanced knowledge about the functions! Gary, I will keep you informed what is going on on my side!
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Hi Conrad:

I am impressed by the further enhancements that Fredo6 has made in Curvizard since I last looked at it years ago.

I also had done some testing with Fredo6' TopoShaper years ago:


However, most of my personal projects were so complex, that the Ruby scripting routines took an inordinately long time to finish, so now I process most of my complex tasks in Global Mapper, which uses code written in programming languages that (successfully) complete such tasks much more quickly by orders of magnitude.

BTW: Please be assured that I also post info here at FSDeveloper "not to earn Money, gain any reputation or something like that", but rather with a primary intention of trying to help others to achieve their goals through a better understanding of how FS works, using work-flows that are less demanding on their time, energy, and finances.

Thus, I certainly advocate non-payware applications such as Sketchup utilizing free plugins that may require running overnight but which could be a preferable option for some developers, even if I personally use payware applications in my own work. ;)

I must admit I had some outstanding concerns about what you sought to convey in your latter post immediately above even after having attempted to compare translations to and from English and German using Google Translate: :oops:

As I saw your thread today on the current 'build' of your scenery in the Showroom Forum, and seeing your statements that "I never wanted to become a scenery designer", I thought it might be best to confirm whether you may still have an interest in proceeding further with the discussion underway in this thread ...which involves a greater level of complexity than some (most ?) folks may care to implement in their scenery projects. :scratchch

Since you already have a working version of Akutan Harbor, please let me know if you wish to proceed further. :)


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Hi Gary, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding I caused. My english used to be very good since I was mainly working for international compagnies, where we communicated daily in english, but now I do not have the opportunities anymore for english conversation. In German we have sometimes a sentence: "Sein immens grosses Wissen hat mich fast erschlagen und mich klein und unbedeutend erscheinen lassen", which can be tranlated somehow into: "His immensely big knowledge let me appear almost small and insignificant!". It is in fact an exageration of overwhelmed! Thats what I ment with "beaten-up" :) And when I sayed, I dont want to earn any Money with my projects, I didn't want to say, that you want to earn money with your contributions. What I really ment is, there is no Copyright on my material, anybody can take it and provide a better solution than mine! I think we both want to achive the same target, enable other People to learn from experience. Of course, I'm still very much interested about your solution and your immensely big knowledge, but I need some time to follow your instructions and guide lines in order to understand the detailed proceeding. When I sayed: "I never wanted to become a scenery designer", I really ment considering myself as not being anymore capable doing this complex work! (This as consequence or result of the fact, that entrepreneurs tried to always persuade us, beginning at the age of 55, that we are unusable and therefor our wages are much too high ;)) The most frustrating thing with scenery design is:

  • getting rid of flickering objects (Z-Fighting)
  • the Problem with the flattens (not the flattens itself, this are somehow Peanuts), ist the transitions to the surrounding landscape and to get rid of craggy edges, cliffs etc.
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Hi Gary, I had to go over the books again! That means, I had a Revival with the Terrain SDK and Resample Tool as well as with Global Mapper. I also was again searching through the FSDeveloper-Forum back to 2004 for the Terrain-Design, and again, I was amazed to see, that the most comprehensive and competent Information and guide lines came from GaryGB :alert: So, meanwhile I was doing my first attempt to reproduce the same results as yours above, I first had to figure out the *.inf-file-Parameters and the proceedings and this produced the following result:

First unsuccessfull attempt.jpg

I still need to dig deeper into the subject to comprehend and understand the methods involved what Gary has done so far and I will create a detailed documentation! Have a nice evening!!!!
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Hi Folks, while I'm digging deeper into this subject to comprehend and understand Gary's proceeding, I came across this interesting Video regarding Global Mapper, but the process requires Global Mapper V20 and upward:

Hi Gary, just a small hint, not more! Am I digging into the correct direction in order to combine those two meshes, do I need to use Global Mappers "Combine/ Compare Terrain Layers"? Just a small hint, because I want to work this out myself, otherwise I'm not going to learn something.
Hi Conrad:

When you state: "combine those two meshes ", are you referring to interpolating / re-gridding the Hughes-derived and the NASA / JPL SRTM 1-Arc Second Version 3+ void-filled" elevation data sets?

If so, the Global Mapper work-flow for that is described in this post (...in explicit detail): :idea:


See: "SRTM Worldwide Elevation Data (1-arc-second Resolution, SRTM Plus V3)"

Please let me know if I understood your inquiry correctly; if not, feel free to elaborate. :)

I shall otherwise continue to minimize work-flow details for you in the process of discovery so you can "Do It Yourself". ;)

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Hi Gary, thats exactly what I ment! Gary, its not that I dont want any help or advice from you! The Problem is, that I must learn this as much as possible by myself otherwise the learning-effect is very minimal! My professional experience as IT-Professional whas based more on experiences in the banking-business, the machine-industry and telecommunication. I had no experience at all in the Architectural-, Landscaping- and Geodesic-Environment, that Knowledge, I had to learn parallel to learning Scenery-Design. For a Senior, thats an awfull lot to learn, above all, when the brain starts to do capers.

Thanks for the short hint above! :)
Hi Folks, when I started to become a senior-junior scenery-designer (strange sentence) three years ago, I had made a Survey of Tools and Software available or what can be used for that purpose. I have put this into an Excel-Spreadsheet, this list is more or less chaotic but might the one or other can gain some Profit from it. It is by far not complete! I'm not in any form affiliated with any Person or Company in the list.


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Hi Gary, I proceeded according the above mentioned post and combined the two Elevations in Global Mapper. The product is seen below:

Second unsuccessful attempt.jpg

I must have missed something! :mad: But, only through harming, one becomes clever, or as we say in German: "Nur durch Schaden wird man klug"! I will need to go again over the books! Have a nice evening.


Meanwhile, Problem recognized, I had to use Meters opposed to Feet as specified in mentioned post above! But need to reduce Altitude for Bathymetry:alert: Not done yet.

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Hi Conrad:

Keep up the diligent efforts, and let me know if any further procedural hints are required. ;)

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Hi Conrad:

You may wish to review this PDF as a reference for the intended configuration of Akutan Harbor upon completion: :idea:


Also, here is additional info on plans for the Akutan Harbor Road and Airport:

Let's not forget about the Akutan Seaplane Base:

< Having flown IRL for years in an amphibian, I just had to post these videos in the Grumman G-21A Goose at Akutan ! > :cool:

...Or the Akutan Volcano:

...and the nearby hot springs. ;)




Hope this helps a bit more. :santahat:



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Hi Gary, cordial thanks for the Information you are providing, I wish you a relaxing end enjoying Weekend!:)