P3D v4 Annotator; Selecting a Tree or House?

#1
Hey all,

I seem to have a problem figuring out how to select an item to place on a scenery in Annotator. I see in the Editor you find the files and lists, I find the world supply of palm trees and things, but getting that into the window of the Annotator Strip window is not working for me. I have the 'default.xml' in the main folder with Annotator.exe. I can bring up that and other files in the Editor File/Select just fine. I can bring up lists. But for some reason, I cannot transfer selections to the Annotator interface. I click GUID, nothing, except 'you must use a valid GUID' or no message at all. I try to copy/paste the name of the model into the model name slot, nothing will copy in. Shows a roof name in the slot.

I was able to get it to select things yesterday, but they didnt show in the Annotator strip window, and yet I was selecting them fine from a mini Editor window. Today, no such luck.

I seem to be missing something that isnt in the manual. I have Luis manual (PDF) on how to work the Annotator, but missing something.

I also have been playing over and over the tutorial on Autogen in YouTube that is in another language. I have to run it on Mute as the words have no meaning to me. But I can watch the cursor on the screen and his selections. For some reason, he can select a bush or tree and it enters into the Annotator strip fine. Not on mine.

I have P3D V4.5 latest version Annotator and SDK pack. I also tried (earlier this morning) on the original FSX SDK (Accelleration version) Annotator and that did the same thing. So I know I am doing something wrong, missing some little tidbit...

Any idea's?

Any blue and white DANG buttons I should know about?
 
#3
Hi Bill:

Have you reviewed these threads ? :coffee:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/annotator-crashes-on-every-attempted-use.374381/

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/autogen-sdk-annotator-guid-error.3984/


FYI: Certain add-on scenery packages copy, edit, and substitute new info- for default info- ...in several Autogen files..

If these add-ons are installed, we must modify our SDK Autogen Annotator work-flow, as stated in Autogen SDK docs:

Press the < PgDn > key (2) times from this URL:

http://www.prepar3d.com/SDK/Environment Kit/Autogen SDK/autogen.html#Library Object Texture Sheets


"Autogen Configuration Editor

The Autogen Configuration Editor tool can be used to edit many of the files that define the Autogen procedure. In the Prepar3D\Autogen folder there is the default.XML file, and the other files listed here are in the Environment Kit\Autogen SDK\Autogen source xml folder (if these files are edited, then place the new files in the Prepar3D\Autogen folder to be read by Prepar3D®)."

[EDITED]

CAVEAT: Make a ZIP backup of all "default" SDK *.SPB and *.XML Autogen files in that folder before allowing add-on packages to place 'custom' Autogen files therein. :alert:


Also, if 'custom' object changes are made to any Autogen files, SDK Autogen docs compel additional considerations:

http://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv3/LearningCenter/simobjects/panels_and_gauges/creating_xml_gauges.html#Update Objects

"...some Autogen files can either be in XML or SPB (Sim-Prop Binary) format.

If an XML version of a file is found in the same folder as an SPB file, the SPB file will be loaded in preference to the XML file as the binary format is faster to load that its XML equivalent.

Because of this it makes sense to move an SPB file out of the folder where editing work is being done on its XML equivalent."

[END_EDIT]


PS: IIRC, since you are an advanced user of 3DSMAX with the FSX / P3D SDKs, you probably already know about this: ;)

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...-feature-needed-in-mcx-plz.444210/post-812067


Hope this info helps. :)

GaryGB
 
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#4
oh man...

Thanks Gary for the heads up.


One more question. In the Library window of the Annotator Strip window, how do you know what you are selecting in the window if the name of the file is to the far extreme right? The names of the files are hidden... No way to widen the strip window to see the names of the files. Or perhaps your fix above will repair this.
 
#5
Hi Bill:

Are you referring to the "Control Strip" dialog with an object list that appears directly below the [Library] button ? :scratchch


If so, that dialog requires a minimum 1280x960 Windows desktop resolution.

If instead you are referring to the Right pane of the Autogen Configuration Editor, I'll see what that involves upon my return tonight (on the road at this time). ;)


UPDATE: Try this totally awesome freeware utility to control 'custom' Window sizing (and a number of other functions): :wizard:

AltMove windows & mouse manager

http://www.deskex.com/Altmove/index.asp


NOTE: It worked great on SDK Autogen Annotator Control Strip and other windows :D


Some alternatives: :idea:

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/how-to-resize-an-unresizable-window-or-dialog-box/view-all/


GaryGB
 
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#7
Is there someone that knows the exact procedure of what to click in the Annotator / Configurator system to get a house to show up on the scenery?

I have read the PDF's and seen videos in foreign languages... I still do not see the exact click layout for how to select a house in the Autogen Annotator.

I have tried countless variations of clicking the Building button, Library button, Set GUID buttons in the Annotator as well as clicking versions of the Configuration windows. Nothing is working for me. I need an exact click layout, it seems, and I am missing the point, missing the order, missing which buttons to push to get a house to show up.
 
#8
Hi Bill:

Sorry for the delay in responding to this latter inquiry.

I tried to get P3Dv1.4x version of SDK Annotator to work (unsuccessfully), so I re-loaded FSX SDK from DVD's :banghead:


If you explain in more detail what type of "House" you wish to place as an Autogen object via SDK Annotator, perhaps we could better help identify the work-flow to do that. ;)


Are you wanting to place a custom 3D model, or just a basic "Legacy" format Autogen object from the pick-lists ? :scratchch

If you want a type of "Legacy" format Autogen house object, these are identified by their "Roof" type. :pushpin:


In "Using the Autogen Annotator" tutorial by Luis Feliz-Tirado (aka "LFT_Agn_Tut") scroll down to find ex:

Buildings > Roofs Flat Walled right side

1556744793284.png


Example work-flow:

Control Strip: Click [Library] button


Autogen Configuration Editor: File > Open > RoofDescriptions.xml


Building Roof Groupings: Legacy House Roofs > Legacy Roofs > North America Southwest > Roofs Gabled_ALL


I hope this helps with what, IIUC, you were alluding to above. :)

GaryGB
 
#9
That helped massively Gary. Got scenery into the sim right off and did quite a bit of successful experimenting.

Its a shame that one doest have photos of everything, like you do in SimDirector, as it shows a rotating model, but at least I am now able to select things, save, and check them out in the sim.

I went to make apartment complexes, all with the same style of building, with Annotator, and found out that Autogen 'change's things, so buildings like houses, that you put in a field, though they are all the same style, copy/pasted, will all appear different. So it was with my apartment buildings, so I had to use SimDirector for that, which turns the Autogen models into actual BGL models.

Breakthrough. Nice.... :)

Thanks again Gary and thank you for your amazing patience.
 
#10
It is hard to believe there are so many trees. I think that is overkill. My goodness. In my humble opinion, I would simplify things in the trees department.
 
#11
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/annotator-selecting-a-tree-or-house.445266/post-821490

That helped massively Gary. Got scenery into the sim right off and did quite a bit of successful experimenting.

Its a shame that one doesn't have photos of everything, like you do in SimDirector, as it shows a rotating model, but at least I am now able to select things, save, and check them out in the sim.

I went to make apartment complexes, all with the same style of building, with Annotator, and found out that Autogen 'change's things, so buildings like houses, that you put in a field, though they are all the same style, copy/pasted, will all appear different. So it was with my apartment buildings, so I had to use SimDirector for that, which turns the Autogen models into actual BGL models.

Breakthrough. Nice.... :)

Thanks again Gary and thank you for your amazing patience.
Hi Bill:

'Scenery library object' placement via BGLComp is an option if / when one limits the number of such placements to minimize impact on run time rendering performance.

A general goal may be to limit the number of such placements to no more than 4 per LOD-15 (64 per LOD-13) quad.:pushpin:


It is preferable to place "Library" objects as Autogen, since it is more efficient for FS run time performance. :idea:


Example work-flow: ("Default.XML" copied from [FS install path\Autogen] into same folder as SDK Annotator .exe)

Control Strip: Click [Library] button

In "Control Strip" dialog object list that appears directly below the [Library] button, scroll down to find ex:

By Place/[location]Housing/Style [##]/[description]

...and/or:

Housing/[style{###}]/[description{###}]

...and/or:

Urban Townhouse {style {footprint size in meters}]

...and/or:

XP European Apt. {style {footprint size in meters}]

...and/or:

XP MedApartment_[{## style} description {footprint size in meters}]


FYI: Such objects are defined in Default.XML. :pushpin:

Most of the above objects are additionally: ;)

* Compiled via XtoMDL as MDLs

...that have also been:

* Compiled via BGLComp as 'Scenery library objects'


Bearing in mind that it is preferable to place "Library" objects as Autogen, most if not all the above objects may be conveniently viewed in their 'compiled' format, using Lamont Clark's visual guide ...on web pages here: :coffee:

http://lc0277.gratisim.fr/sceneobjects/

http://lc0277.gratisim.fr/sceneobjects/autogen/index.html

http://lc0277.gratisim.fr/sceneobjects/buildings/index.html


Hope this helps a bit more. :)

GaryGB
 
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#12
Many many thanks Gary.

Wouldnt it be nice if we could expand that strip selection window of library objects so we could read the last part of the sentences? Or is there a way to do that? Can one somehow read the long library locations/objects that go under the edge of the window strip?


Bill
 
#13
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/annotator-selecting-a-tree-or-house.445266/post-821509

Many many thanks Gary.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could expand that strip selection window of library objects so we could read the last part of the sentences? Or is there a way to do that? Can one somehow read the long library locations/objects that go under the edge of the window strip?


Bill
Hi Bill:

Perhaps you missed my UPDATED reply posted above, on how to solve this 'custom' window re-sizing ? :oops:

Hi Bill:
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/annotator-selecting-a-tree-or-house.445266/post-821293

Are you referring to the "Control Strip" dialog with an object list that appears directly below the [Library] button ? :scratchch


If so, that dialog requires a minimum 1280x960 Windows desktop resolution.

If instead you are referring to the Right pane of the Autogen Configuration Editor, I'll see what that involves upon my return tonight (on the road at this time). ;)


UPDATE: Try this totally awesome freeware utility to control 'custom' Window sizing (and a number of other functions): :wizard:

AltMove windows & mouse manager

http://www.deskex.com/Altmove/index.asp


NOTE: It worked great on SDK Autogen Annotator Control Strip and other windows :D


Some alternatives: :idea:

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/how-to-resize-an-unresizable-window-or-dialog-box/view-all/


GaryGB
Download and run AltMove.exe

http://www.deskex.com/Altmove/index.asp


In the AltMove dialog:

Click the 'Play' button to enable "Size Windows by left Ctrl Key and Left Mouse"

Click the [ 'Maximize' ] button to configure "Size Windows by left Ctrl Key and Left Mouse"

Assign Keys: Left Mouse Button


Un-check: "Ignore children" (sub-dialogs launched by a 'Parent' dialog)

Check: "Size children" (sub-dialogs launched by a 'Parent' dialog)

Un-check: "Only when parent is not resizable window" ('Parent' dialog that launches sub-dialogs)

Discontinuity: default=0


Un-check: Homing Mode: (...Move with mouse cursor on Window title bar instead ?)

Sight Lines: default=50

Sight Lines Lifetime: default=1500


Now 'minimize' (...do not Close / Exit :alert: ) AltMove ...so that it continues running on the Windows Task Bar


Otherwise:

AltMove icon > right-click menu > Options > Settings > {Common} Tab


Startup:

'Check': "Startup with Windows"

'Check': "Run Hidden" (


'Check': "Always on top"

Opaque: default=100

Mouse:

Wheel Speed: default=16


On close button (X):

'Tick' radio button: "Hide" ('minimize' to Windows Task Bar 'System Tray' instead)

View Style:

'Check': Inactive actions are gray


Click SDK Autogen Annotator "Control Strip" Window title bar to select it as the 'focus' for an intended action

Press & hold down Left <Ctrl> Key, then Press & hold down Left Mouse Button > Drag Window edges to re-size.

You should be able to see the entire line for each listed item in the "Control Strip" pick-list. :wizard:


I hope this brilliant utility solves that- and other- 'custom' dialog size / visibility issues for you (...it did for me !) :cool:

GaryGB
 
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