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Best way to create ground polygons for MSFS

Messages
37
Country
us-florida
What is the best way to create ground polygons for MSFS. (Lines, tire marks, etc) then insert them as projected mesh?
 
Messages
158
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unitedstates
What is the best way to create ground polygons for MSFS. (Lines, tire marks, etc) then insert them as projected mesh?
My first 2 titles I made with projected meshes, but after the number of bugs, I'm now doing it all via the built in tools and it works great, just have to get creative with it. The key is LAYERS. Stack on layers (base, grunge, another grunge, etc).. play with the opacity of each and even colorize them. I'm really happy with the results and don't foresee going back to PMs as the extra work is not worth it. Plus, with the built in tools, you can tweak it all in realtime vs having to reload textures, etc.

Give it a shot!
 
Messages
266
My first 2 titles I made with projected meshes, but after the number of bugs, I'm now doing it all via the built in tools and it works great, just have to get creative with it. The key is LAYERS. Stack on layers (base, grunge, another grunge, etc).. play with the opacity of each and even colorize them. I'm really happy with the results and don't foresee going back to PMs as the extra work is not worth it. Plus, with the built in tools, you can tweak it all in realtime vs having to reload textures, etc.

Give it a shot!
You add them as aprons?
 
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158
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unitedstates
You add them as aprons?
Indeed :)

1640593118824.png
 
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118
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unitedstates
@peacefarm, those are beautiful aprons. Can I ask how you achieved the variations on your taxiways and runways? Obviously, you have a separate texture (or colorization) for the dark asphalt border versus the lighter asphalt taxiway. Is the variation within the dark or light asphalt as well as dirt and cracking due to a layers of transparent/semi-transparent apron textures?
 
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158
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unitedstates
@peacefarm, those are beautiful aprons. Can I ask how you achieved the variations on your taxiways and runways? Obviously, you have a separate texture (or colorization) for the dark asphalt border versus the lighter asphalt taxiway. Is the variation within the dark or light asphalt as well as dirt and cracking due to a layers of transparent/semi-transparent apron textures?

Hi there, thank you. Indeed, I have my base concrete, which is just a clean concrete texture, an alpha overlay with a bit of directional streaks, another alpha overlay for cracks, then another alpha overlay with grunge. I then play with colorization, falloff and opacity to blend them all together.

The dark edges (I call it edge dust 😆) are simply achieved by drawing aprons along edges with a dark, dark brown with a high falloff just blended into all the layers above.. it's the highest.

I was inspired by the way flytampa and flightbeam layer theirs, but instead of going through the traditional ground poly and projected mesh route, I did so via the in sim tools and its worked rather well.

Hope that helps!
 
Messages
37
Country
us-florida
My first 2 titles I made with projected meshes, but after the number of bugs, I'm now doing it all via the built in tools and it works great, just have to get creative with it. The key is LAYERS. Stack on layers (base, grunge, another grunge, etc).. play with the opacity of each and even colorize them. I'm really happy with the results and don't foresee going back to PMs as the extra work is not worth it. Plus, with the built in tools, you can tweak it all in realtime vs having to reload textures, etc.

Give it a shot!
I have done all my projects with the built-in tools but it gets overloaded and having to click 10 times on top of something just to select the item you want is too much work. I also can't use one image with all my numbers/markings as a template and just select the area I want for each apron. I have to create a material for each number. When you work on a major airport with 100+ numbers, you can go crazy just creating a material for each.

I figured out how to make the GP for the numbers/markings. I still gotta learn how to make the lines in blender
 
Messages
158
Country
unitedstates
I have done all my projects with the built-in tools but it gets overloaded and having to click 10 times on top of something just to select the item you want is too much work. I also can't use one image with all my numbers/markings as a template and just select the area I want for each apron. I have to create a material for each number. When you work on a major airport with 100+ numbers, you can go crazy just creating a material for each.

I figured out how to make the GP for the numbers/markings. I still gotta learn how to make the lines in blender
I understand where you're coming from. I used to do everything via Blender, but now only do the lines and markings for the reasons you pointed out.

Highly recommend Bill's tutorials on how to do ground poly/line work.

 
Messages
37
Country
us-florida
Messages
234
Country
unitedstates
I understand where you're coming from. I used to do everything via Blender, but now only do the lines and markings for the reasons you pointed out.

Highly recommend Bill's tutorials on how to do ground poly/line work.

I am struggling back and forth right now on Projected Mesh vs Aprons and it's killing me. I see the amount of time saved. So are you saying that you are basically doing your base asphalt/concrete work for all the surfaces plus your edge work, cracks, dirt etc. also on aprons. But then you are doing your lines and surface markings/paint via projected mesh in Blender? This sounds like the way to go....a combination of both?
 
Messages
158
Country
unitedstates
I am struggling back and forth right now on Projected Mesh vs Aprons and it's killing me. I see the amount of time saved. So are you saying that you are basically doing your base asphalt/concrete work for all the surfaces plus your edge work, cracks, dirt etc. also on aprons. But then you are doing your lines and surface markings/paint via projected mesh in Blender? This sounds like the way to go....a combination of both?

I feel your frustration. On my first title, I did *everything* via ground poly's (PM) - to include lines. On my second title I did all the pavement via ground polys, but lines through dev mode. Now working on my third title and am doing *everything* via dev mode. Unless you're flattening the airport and placing the ground poly *just* above the ground (to prevent z fighting issue), there is ZERO plus and quite few disadvantages to going with the projected mesh route. Reasons include ongoing bugs (they seem to break often due to updates), TIME to produce them, and no difference in quality.

I found that using the colorization and opacity options, I'm able to a few different materials that create what I think looks like a good looking pavement. In the example above I have 3 layers ... 1) base texture 2) grunge lines 3) dirt/cracks

Hope that helps and again, I feel your pain, but this is something I've lost sleep over and hopefully this saves you some pondering time. Mind you, there are some who swear by the ground poly method, and that's fine, but I'm not going back to them until there is a CLEAR advantage to using them.

Good luck and reach out of you need any more help!
 
Messages
234
Country
unitedstates
I feel your frustration. On my first title, I did *everything* via ground poly's (PM) - to include lines. On my second title I did all the pavement via ground polys, but lines through dev mode. Now working on my third title and am doing *everything* via dev mode. Unless you're flattening the airport and placing the ground poly *just* above the ground (to prevent z fighting issue), there is ZERO plus and quite few disadvantages to going with the projected mesh route. Reasons include ongoing bugs (they seem to break often due to updates), TIME to produce them, and no difference in quality.

I found that using the colorization and opacity options, I'm able to a few different materials that create what I think looks like a good looking pavement. In the example above I have 3 layers ... 1) base texture 2) grunge lines 3) dirt/cracks

Hope that helps and again, I feel your pain, but this is something I've lost sleep over and hopefully this saves you some pondering time. Mind you, there are some who swear by the ground poly method, and that's fine, but I'm not going back to them until there is a CLEAR advantage to using them.

Good luck and reach out of you need any more help!
Thanks. The other advantages I'm hearing of PM is the ability to save texture space which definitely comes into place with Xbox and getting into the marketplace from what I understand. Your apron method looks great in the sample you showed. I'm sitting here thinking of all the custom materials I would need to be using for aprons only and that's alot of texture space and memory potentially used? I am coming at this from zero ground poly/projected mesh experience. I am just trying to really make my next project super high detail and part of that is the ground. My goal being to get it into the marketplace for both PC and Xbox. So I will need to be careful how I go about the ground work to save texture space and memory. The other thing is I am using Substance Painter and while I have the gist of using it with 3D models, trying to look ahead and how I would texture a ground poly (PM) in Substance is already a headache. I'm coming at this with tutorials that are outdated and built for FSX/P3D and zero info about using Substance for this kind of thing. Right now I have gotten as far as making a plane for my runway and EOR ramp just to see how it lines up in the sim but the SDK keeps crashing with my PM. Go figure....
 
Messages
158
Country
unitedstates
Thanks. The other advantages I'm hearing of PM is the ability to save texture space which definitely comes into place with Xbox and getting into the marketplace from what I understand. Your apron method looks great in the sample you showed. I'm sitting here thinking of all the custom materials I would need to be using for aprons only and that's alot of texture space and memory potentially used? I am coming at this from zero ground poly/projected mesh experience. I am just trying to really make my next project super high detail and part of that is the ground. My goal being to get it into the marketplace for both PC and Xbox. So I will need to be careful how I go about the ground work to save texture space and memory. The other thing is I am using Substance Painter and while I have the gist of using it with 3D models, trying to look ahead and how I would texture a ground poly (PM) in Substance is already a headache. I'm coming at this with tutorials that are outdated and built for FSX/P3D and zero info about using Substance for this kind of thing. Right now I have gotten as far as making a plane for my runway and EOR ramp just to see how it lines up in the sim but the SDK keeps crashing with my PM. Go figure....

If I made that current pavement via PM, I'd still have to load up 3 different textures. Whether I inject them via PM or via an Apron, it makes not a bit of difference, and if it does, it's negligible. I've had 2 products on the marketplace, and one has a SLEW of combinations (as I was testing out different methods). Take what you hear with a grain of salt. A lot of folks have "theories" with no real proof of their "theories".

If you want, we can set up a time so we can screen share on Discord so I can show you the basics on how to go about texturing PM's in Substance. My time is going to be extremely limited but let's make it happen if you want. Feel free to PM.
 
Messages
37
Country
us-florida
If I made that current pavement via PM, I'd still have to load up 3 different textures. Whether I inject them via PM or via an Apron, it makes not a bit of difference, and if it does, it's negligible. I've had 2 products on the marketplace, and one has a SLEW of combinations (as I was testing out different methods). Take what you hear with a grain of salt. A lot of folks have "theories" with no real proof of their "theories".

If you want, we can set up a time so we can screen share on Discord so I can show you the basics on how to go about texturing PM's in Substance. My time is going to be extremely limited but let's make it happen if you want. Feel free to PM.
I'd love to learn about using texturing PM with substance. I understand you have limited time but I learn quick. I'll send you my discord details via PM
 
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