Creating rivers in SBuilderX without LWM polys - question Mount St. Helens Pre-1980

#1
I am wracking my brain here... I have been working on creating the experience of what Mount St. Helens looked like prior to May 18, 1980 but I have been running into a difficulty I can't figure out.

In the process of reshaping roads and streams (and the pre-1980 Spirit Lake area), I have been attempting to reshape the pre-1980 Toutle River. However, I have been struggling to create it using vector lines. The original river from Spirit Lake to the vicinity of Camp Baker/Kid Valley was a narrow stream not exceeding a few dozen feet in width. The best way to recreate this I believe, is to use vector lines in the same way roads are constructed in SBuilderX. When I use the line tool, I have tried multiple combinations to make the river look like it should, however the only line that works is "Stream Lines Perennial" but it displays so small that at 1,500' AGL they almost become invisible.

Is there a different way of doing this without having to use LWM polys?



1553682829376.png
 
#2
Hi Steve:

Indeed, a CVX vector line made using a "Stream_Lines_Perennial" land class texture is limited to a strip width of 64 Meters per Terrain.Cfg:

[FSX install path]\Terrain.Cfg


// Stream Lines - stream lines / unknown / perennial
[Texture.0]
Name=Stream_Lines_Perennial
Color=FF01A2FF
guid={2D3FC985-A72B-473D-B23B-D78E72E63B53}
LegacyId=1024
Textures=RiverSU.bmp
Layout=3_PLUS_1
StripWidthMeters=64
Size=4
FlattenMode=offset
FlattenOffsetMeters=-1
FlattenPriority=11000
LandClassRemapType=none
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=51000
Water=No

https://prepar3d.com/SDKv4/sdk/refe...les/terrain_configuration_file.html#texture.n


FYI: OrbX FTX Israel's Farm scenery has "braided rivers" you may wish to study. :idea:

https://orbxdirect.com/product/wa56




To have CVX vector polygon 'water class' (color) textures inside the surrounding shoreline polygon land class textures to create a "braided river" appearance, in SBuilderX, you can first trace shoreline polygons as the full width of the Toutle River waterway over the imagery background.

Then you can superimpose a water class (color) texture polygon for the Toutle River water body superimposed on top of the waterway shoreline polygon.

Next you can create a "Hole" in the Toutle River waterway shoreline polygon to allow the water class (color) texture polygon to show through to the top.

This should allow an exact alignment of polygon vertex points for the (2) polygon types (as 'Parent' and 'Child') ...to avoid water class and land class texture display anomalies at run time.


This is somewhat comparable in concept to creating an island with a water body inside it, except here the 'island' (a shoreline polygon) is being placed within a land area rather than within a large surrounding water body, then a water body polygon is being nested inside that.

Sand / gravel bars can also be inset within the nested water polygons to make the "braided river" look even more realistic. ;)

[EDITED]

BTW: As an alternative to the process of creating polygons by tracing the boundary of the water way and manually setting vertex points on both shorelines of the water way, one can assign a custom line object width for use only in SBuilderX' work-space, then set a single line of vertex points along the middle of the water way. :idea:

One can then convert that line into a polygon (line = hollow as 2 poly-lines; closed at ends = polygon) via Line mode menu.

One can also convert a polygon into (2) solid lines via Polygon mode menu


CAVEAT: Converted 'Lines' must be mapped to static "StripWidthMeters=" CVX vector objects in Terrain.Cfg ...for use in FSX


Note that SBuilderX' extra features to modify "Appended' vector objects are available only in the Line or Polygon tool 'modes'

...as previously discussed here: :pushpin:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...th-display-after-compiling.444927/post-818354


See: SBuilderX Menu > Help > {Search} Tab > query string: Polygon > click [List Topics] button > click:

"Working with Points, Lines and Polygons"



However, the methods described above would effectively be limited to CVX vector objects with irregular shoreline and water polygon area shapes as custom width lines mapped with 'class' (color / image) textures only.

Note that this is due to the Terrain.Cfg definition parameter value: "Water=No" for many such Stream and River textures for these particular "texture only" object types (...even though they have "Hydro Polygons" within their title string). :pushpin:

[END_EDIT]

To also have FSX "Living Water" with specular Hydro attributes etc. superimposed on the above CVX vector polygons, you could use "transparent custom photo-real imagery", requiring a gray-scale Blend Mask allowing only the Toutle River water way areas to show through, and a Land-Water Mask with pure Black (RGB 0,0,0) for the Hydro attributes in "water-only" areas of the river water way image.


BTW: If a Blend Mask is adjusted 'properly', underlying land class Autogen shows through on top of "transparent photo-real imagery".

This would eliminate a need to use SDK Autogen Annotator on the "custom (transparent) photo-real imagery" textures.

[EDITED]

CAVEAT: When custom land class such as transparent- or visible- imagery BGLs made via SDK Resample are used with Blend and Land-Water Masks, Hydro areas must be superimposed over (additional and separately created) Water Class (color) texture polygons, otherwise one will have Hydro ('Living Water') attributes superimposed over land class textures in FSX at run time.

[END_EDIT]

Feel free to inquire further if these options are of interest to you, and more explanation might be helpful. :)


GaryGB
 
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#3
Hi Steve:

Indeed, a CVX vector line made using a "Stream_Lines_Perennial" land class texture is limited to a strip width of 64 Meters per Terrain.Cfg:


// Stream Lines - stream lines / unknown / perennial
[Texture.0]
Name=Stream_Lines_Perennial
Color=FF01A2FF
guid={2D3FC985-A72B-473D-B23B-D78E72E63B53}
LegacyId=1024
Textures=RiverSU.bmp
Layout=3_PLUS_1
StripWidthMeters=64
Size=4
FlattenMode=offset
FlattenOffsetMeters=-1
FlattenPriority=11000
LandClassRemapType=none
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=51000
Water=No

https://prepar3d.com/SDKv4/sdk/refe...les/terrain_configuration_file.html#texture.n


FYI: OrbX FTX Israel's Farm scenery has "braided rivers" you may wish to study. :idea:

https://orbxdirect.com/product/wa56




To have CVX vector polygon 'water class' textures inside the surrounding shoreline polygon land class textures to create a "braided river" appearance, in SBuilderX, first trace shoreline polygons as the full width of the Toutle River waterway over the imagery background.

Then you can superimpose a water class polygon for the Toutle River water body superimposed on top of the waterway shoreline polygon.

Next you can create a "Hole" in the Toutle River waterway shoreline polygon to allow a water class polygon to show through to the top.

This should allow an exact alignment of polygon vertex points for the 2 polygon types to avoid water class and land class texture display anomalies at run time.


This is somewhat comparable in concept to creating an island with a water body inside it, except here the 'island' (a shoreline polygon) is being placed within a land area rather than within a large surrounding water body, then a water body polygon is being nested inside that.

Sand / gravel bars can also be inset within the nested water polygons to make the "braided river" look even more realistic. ;)


However, this method would effectively be limited to CVX vector lines with irregular shoreline and water areas as 'class' textures only.


To also have FSX "Living Water" with specular Hydro attributes etc. superimposed on the above CVX vector polygons, you could use "transparent custom photo-real imagery", requiring a gray-scale Blend Mask allowing only the Toutle River water way areas to show through, and a Land-Water Mask with pure Black (RGB 0,0,0) for the Hydro attributes in "water-only" areas of the river water way image.


BTW: If a Blend Mask is adjusted 'properly', Autogen of underlying land class shows through to the top of "transparent photo-real imagery".

This would eliminate an otherwise required use of SDK Autogen Annotator on the "custom (transparent) photo-real imagery" textures.

Feel free to inquire further if more explanation might be helpful. :)


GaryGB

I may have to do some rough experimenting, then, meaning I might have to "fake" the appearance of the Toutle River based on aerial photos. I wonder if there's any other way to do this? There has to be.
 
#4
Hi Steve:

Here is yet another option to reduce the work-load for this task in SBuilderX, which can provide accurate results that AFAIK, should be sufficiently visible from 1500 Feet AGL (...and probably much higher as well). :idea:

FYI: This would be an alternative to the above described "transparent custom photo-real imagery", requiring a gray-scale Blend Mask and a Land-Water Mask ...to provide custom-shaped water bodies having FSX "Living Water" with specular Hydro attributes etc..


From this GIS web portal:

https://www.arcgis.com/sharing/rest...adata/metadata.xml?format=default&output=html

1.) Download Washington State Hydro ESRI *.SHP data:

https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/adminsa/gisdata/datadownload/state_hydro.zip

[EDITED]

2.) In QGIS:

a.) Sub-set a smaller area of data to an exported ESRI *.SHP file for required tasks in the Mt. St. Helen's region (original = BIG !).

b.) Import that data sub-set *.SHP file to an empty project

c.) Re-project that data sub-set *.SHP to a warped GIS format ex: (EPSG:4326) aka "Geographic / WGS84"

https://docs.qgis.org/2.8/en/docs/user_manual/working_with_projections/working_with_projections.html

https://developers.arcgis.com/documentation/core-concepts/spatial-references/

http://spatialreference.org/ref/epsg/wgs-84/

https://www.sharpgis.net/post/2009/02/06/Why-EPSG4326-is-usually-the-wrong-e2809cprojectione2809d


3.) Export Polygon / Area / Feature data separately from Line data in multiple *.SHP files

4.) Append all QGIS exported Hydro data *.SHP files to a SBuilderX project as 'primitive' water vector objects to be edited

5.) Select each water way or Hydro vector object and assign a required land class, water class, or Hydro poly GUID attribute

6.) Edit water way vector objects in Polygon or Line 'mode' to a required 'position' / 'shape' / 'size' over a background map image

7.) Select all Polygon and Line CVX vector objects, then Compile to BGL(s) and test in FSX. ;)


NOTE: This latter option of using CVX vector Hydro polygons should provide custom-shaped water bodies having FSX "Living Water" with specular Hydro attributes etc..


FYI: CVX vector polygon object types that display FSX "Living Water" with specular Hydro attributes etc. available in the default Terrain.Cfg include: :pushpin:

[FSX install path]\Terrain.Cfg


// Hydro Polygons - Default - Perennial
[Texture.194]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_Default_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={CB2D5672-CCBC-429B-BA43-2EA24E37EF4C}
LegacyId=1209
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
Size=4
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes

// Hydro Polygons - Generic Bay/Harbor - Perennial
[Texture.195]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_Generic_Bay_Harbor_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={8F1CD843-CAB1-434A-9E78-A6A1DAD4ED2E}
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes

// Hydro Polygons - Generic Lake - Perennial
[Texture.196]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_Generic_Lake_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={BCD5C182-9C8B-4C57-97BD-272CF492CBFF}
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes

// Hydro Polygons - Generic River - Perennial
[Texture.197]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_Generic_River_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={E5DD8B66-8E86-4E7E-BE58-6E94A91C8FF0}
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes

// Hydro Polygons - Generic Canal/Channel - Perennial
[Texture.198]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_Generic_Canal_Channel_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={C4E055AB-0855-4D5C-8FB9-3318E1C8AB8A}
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes

// Hydro Polygons - Generic Ocean - Perennial
[Texture.199]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_Generic_Ocean_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={2D103429-89EB-4CB3-A61E-E188E79C77E7}
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes

// Hydro Polygons - RockSlope - Perennial
[Texture.386]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_RockSlope_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={CB2D5672-CCBC-429B-BA43-2EA24E37EF4C}
LegacyId=1209
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE
Size=4
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes

/ Hydro Polygons - RockSlope - Perennial
[Texture.386]
Name=Hydro_Polygons_RockSlope_Perennial
Color=FF2938FF
guid={CB2D5672-CCBC-429B-BA43-2EA24E37EF4C}
LegacyId=1209
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE
Size=4
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=41000
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=81000
Water=Yes


CAVEAT: Add-on scenery that utilizes 'custom' types of CVX vector objects defined by ex: the "Modified Terrain.Cfg" installed by default via SBuilderX, also requires installation of the same definitions by end users ...to enable FS display of custom CVX vector objects, such as: :alert:

// Legacy_LandWaterMask_Water_Flatten
[Texture.380]
Name=Legacy_LandWaterMask_Water_Flatten
Color=FF416BAB
guid={F4775962-DA14-4BF6-9C70-672420752870}
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
FlattenMode=slope
FlattenPriority=40000
LandClassRemapType=none
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=80000
Water=Yes

// Legacy_LandWaterMask_Water_NoFlatten
[Texture.381]
Name=Legacy_LandWaterMask_Water_NoFlatten
Color=FF638AC2
guid={5835459A-4B8B-41F2-ADC1-DEE721573B28}
Textures=OCEAN_SEA_LARGE_LAKE_0
FlattenMode=none
LandClassRemapType=none
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=Yes
RenderPriority=80000
Water=Yes


Thus, using only above 'default' CVX vector Hydro polygon object types eliminates a need for end user Terrain.Cfg edits.


Note as well, the information at the top of the "Modified Terrain.Cfg" after installed via SBuilderX:
"
//------------------------------------------------------------------------
//This modified FS X terrain.cfg is the result of discussions among
// various scenery designers during testing of Flight Simulator X.
// The modifications are the work of
// Richard Ludowise and Luis Feliz-Tirado.
// November 2006
//------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Modifications include the following:
//
// - 3 new land class values added:
// 252-custom seasonal,
// 253-custom non-seasonal,
// 254-transparent
//
// - VTPLayerRenderPriorities
// changed 7=30000
// to 7=20000
//
// - all FS9 legacy shorelines 2-109 now have a GUID
// and a StripWidthMeters added,
// making them usable with Shp2Vec
//
// - wave effect removed from
// dry water body shorelines 10,28,37,64,100
//
// - wave effect added to
// lake urban perennial shoreline 41
//
// - legacy airport backgrounds (obsolete) 167-185
// changed FlattenMode=flat
// FlattenPriority=50000
// to FlattenMode=none
//
// - land class polygon white coral beach 192 now references
// coral texture, value 132
// instead of tansand, value 137
//
// - all default fs x hydro polygons 194-199 now reference
// non-rocky water, ocean_sea_large_lake_0
// instead of ocean_sea_large_lake, value 100
//
// - legacy water flatten and mesh-clinging water polygons 380-381
// now reference non-rocky water, ocean_sea_large_lake_0
// instead of ocean_sea_large_lake, value 100
//
// - added FS9-style land class polygons 383-385
// referencing
// 252-custom seasonal,
// 253-custom non-seasonal,
// 254-tranparent
//
// - added hydro polygon rockslope 386 that references
// rocky water, ocean_sea_large_lake, value 100
//
// - added wave effect without a shoreline texture, 387
//
// - added utility without grass corridor, 388
//
//------------------------------------------------------------------------
"
[END_EDIT]


CVX vector Hydro polygons can be utilized as 'Holes' inset within surrounding CVX vector land class polygons

This may eliminate the complexity of positioning CVX vector objects as superimposed Area layers in the Scenery Library GUI.

IIRC, when CVX vector Hydro polygons are created as 'Holes' inset within surrounding CVX vector land class polygons, the land class polygons may have their vertex Geographic coordinate sequence (winding order) reversed automatically by SBuilderX.


Water Class polygons can be made from copies of Hydro Polygons having a proper GUID attribute with no reversal of vertex Geographic coordinate sequence (winding order).

Shorelines can be made from copies of Hydro Polygons with a proper GUID attribute after Polygon conversion to Line, and "reversal" of vertex Geographic coordinate sequence (winding order).

https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/291576/how-are-the-coordinates-for-multipolygons-arranged

https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/48747/polygon-creation-clockwise-rotation-or-not


Also, SBuilderX' extra features to modify "Appended' vector objects are available only in the Line or Polygon tool 'modes'

...as previously discussed here: :pushpin:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...th-display-after-compiling.444927/post-818354


See: SBuilderX Menu > Help > {Search} Tab > query string: Polygon > click [List Topics] button > click:

"Working with Points, Lines and Polygons"


For a more detailed tutorial on procedures for implementing the above described CVX vector objects, refer to:

"Drawing_a_Hydro_Polygon"

...and:

"Drawing a shoreline"

as well as:

"Make_an_island"

...in:

Terrain Design


File Description:
Terrain Design for Flight Simulator X

This simple illustrated document explains the basic concepts in Flight Simulator X terrain, and how to change them using SBuilder for FS X. Make new water bodies, roads, vehicle traffic, airport flattens, remove autogen, add more detail - anybody can do it easily and quickly.
My most sincere apologies - I am unable, for lack of free time, to offer support of any kind. For questions or problems, please post in the Avsim scenery design forum.

Filename: terrain_design_for_flight_simulator_x.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 14th December 2009, 13:29:15
Downloads: 16648
Author: Luis Feliz-Tirado
Size: 3991kb

https://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fsxsd&DLID=141643


Hope this helps a bit more. :)

GaryGB
 
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