FSX Editing Ground Textures for Updated Airport Scenery

Thanks guys for explaining these.

I think I have some better understanding of them now. I was wondering if the .agn files were autogen files and now I know. These files were located in my Texture folder of the KDFW or the Dallas Fort Worth airport scenery by fsdreamteam.

Hi,
I have a question regarding making changes to textures of airport sceneries that are out of date. This airport scenery is the Dallas Fort Worth International airport scenery by fsdreamteam.

I was doing a real world flight from KATL to KDFW and when I arrived, I ran the GSX program to select my gate number, C33, so that ground crew would be ready when I arrive at the gate. But there was no gate C33 in the list of selections in GSX. I knew then that this airport had to be outdated. I check the airport file in ADE and sure enough, there is no C33. I was planning to make these changes and come to realize that the gate locations are also written on the pavement, or the tarmac, and these are texture files which also have to be edited. I parked at gate C32, which should be gate C39. Going back to the year when FSDT released this product, there was never a C32 at the location of C39 and I don't understand why this was implemented. C32 is not the only one that is wrong. They're all wrong, except C4. I can edit the gate number in ADE to C39 but the problem is that C32 will still be written on the pavement until I make those changes in the Texture folder. Of course, I would have to find the file.

But I'm not sure how to edit and make those changes in the textures. So, could someone explain how to edit this? I won't make any changes in the ADE until I can make the changes in the textures.

Ken.
 
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PS: If you plan to publicly distribute your scenery modifications for use by anyone else, you should NOT edit default FS files, but instead learn how to "Exclude and Replace" default scenery content with custom content, as this would require end users to use your edited *.AGN files. :alert:
Hi Gary,
I hope I'm in the right thread. No, I don't plan to distribute my scenery. It's just for personal use. When you said I should not edit default FS files, I assume you're referring to the FSX default files. These files are not default FS files. They're from the fsdreamteam KDFW airport scenery. Just wanted to make sure that was clear. At first, I did not understand what the .agn files were, but I was told they're autogen files, and these files were located in the Texture folder of that airport scenery.

The FSDT KDFW airport ground polys for the parking spots are not correct. I know how to edit the parking gate in ADE, but I'm kind of puzzled as to how I make the changes to the ground polys gate number that's written on tarmac. Below is the current satellite image of parking gate at Dallas Fort Worth International. As you can see, it's C39, I can go back as far as 2007, and there's one photo that shows C39 in 2001. I've check each year and none of them show a C32 at this location.



KDFW Gate 39.jpg



You can see that it has C39 written on the pavement or tarmac. Below are 2 images of the fsdreamteam parking spot, which is the same location:



KDFW Gate 32 Top View.jpg






KDFW Gate 32.jpg




Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the C32 is a texture and I would have to locate the file to make that change. Or, is it a GP scenery? I've checked the ADE airport file and I don't see any ground polys nor is there a BGL file with the GP name in it. So, I assume this is a texture. But could it be an .agn file? The next thing is to find out how to make that change so that it matches the real location at Dallas. To look at the 2 photos above with the C32 on the pavement, it looks like a GP poly. But I did find a texture that shows a line and those with letters and numbers. I would not think so but does this require that I convert them into an xml file to make these changes?


Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

[EDITED]

It is likely that the airport marking in question is a FSX Ground Polygon (aka "G-Poly aka "GP" made with SCASM / ASM).


Based on information on the product page and certain product support forum threads, it is likely that KDFW was the first airport at which FSDreamTeam introduced FSX MDL-based G-Polys which are placed at specific elevations relative to a supplied local KDFW terrain mesh with the developers python-based "Couatl" 'Addon Manager' scenery object display controller, to minimize flickering in all views except Top-Down when all scenery package display requirements are configured in FSX according to the developers criteria.

This means a textured, FSX MDL-format 'flat' 3D model was most likely used for the ground adjacent to KDFW.

https://www.fsdreamteam.com/products_kdfw.html

http://www.fsdreamteam.com/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=7852.0

http://www.fsdreamteam.com/forum/index.php?topic=4066.0




Once the BGL is found, it is possible this object can be imported into Arno's ModelConverterX (aka "MCX") to ID the mapped texture.

If so, then one can copy the G-Poly, and map / substitute a custom replacement texture material for the original one.


That custom replacement BGL 'may' be compiled / placed using SCASM via MCX (...and not using BGLComp-type XML). ;)


I am not certain, however, if it is possible to prevent display of the original G-Poly placed via the developers python-based "Couatl" 'Addon Manager' scenery object display controller.

However, in theory, one 'should' be able to place a SCASM / ASM VTP custom replacement G-Poly 'above' the original by a few inches, and/or on a higher 'VTP layer number' ...to obscure the original FSX MDL-format 'flat' 3D model G-Poly from view. :scratchch


PS: A FSDeveloper forum discussion with the FSDT KDFW developer on this 'new' FSX MDL-format G-Poly technique:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/fsdt-new-ground-technique.19948/


GaryGB
 
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="GaryGB, post: 788865, member: 995"
It is likely that the airport marking in question is a FSX Ground Polygon (aka "G-Poly aka "GP" made with SCASM / ASM.

Since you say that it's a FSX Ground Polygon, I assume this texture won't be found in the fsdreamteam KDFW airport scenery. So where is it that FSX Ground Polys are found in FSX?


Ken.
 
I suggest that you install XnViewMP for Windows 64-Bit (aka "X64"):

https://www.xnview.com/en/xnviewmp/

...using this installer:

http://download.xnview.com/XnViewMP-win-x64.exe


After XnViewMP is installed, scan and create thumbnails for *.BMP, *.DDS or other textures in your:

[FSDreamTeam KDFW scenery package install path]\Texture sub-folder


You should find the texture mapped to the G-Poly within that same \Texture sub-folder.


To ID a BGL that contains the G-Poly, (or a MDL not packaged inside a BGL) you can try to import all BGLs / MDLS in ex:

[FSDreamTeam KDFW scenery package install path]\Scenery sub-folder

...to MCX (one-by-one, of course) to find the FSX MDL-format 'flat' 3D model G-Poly through process-of-elimination.


The MCX Material Editor will also ID any mapped textures used on the FSX MDL-format 'flat' 3D model G-Poly. :pushpin:


PS: Please note the recent edits to my post above:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/th...r-updated-airport-scenery.441812/#post-788865


GaryGB
 
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I am not certain, however, if it is possible to prevent display of the original G-Poly placed via the developers python-based "Couatl" 'Addon Manager' scenery object display controller.

Hi Gary,

I haven't been able to find any textures, a bgl file, or mdl file that indicates a gate location on the tarmac. Since you mentioned something about a "python based," there is a file in the Addon Manager/Couatl/KDFW/ with the name __init__.pye. I tried to open it but a message popped up that gave me the option to find a program on the internet. It linked to a program called Python. I downloaded and installed it but I don't think this is the correct program because it only runs in DOS. There's another program called File Viewer Pro, and I download and installed it and it opened the file but then it says I have to purchase the product to have full functionality of it. It show a bunch of numbers and stuff and I really don't understand it, and I'm still not sure if this is the correct program. It doesn't cost that much but I don't want to purchase it until I know for certain that this is the correct program, and I can edit it. I'm not even sure if this is what I have to have to edit the gate numbers on the tarmac. But I wanted to let you know about that file. Do you know of a program that opens .pye files?

Ken.
 
Hi Ken:

There is no need to attempt doing anything with the FSDT python-based "Couatl" 'Addon Manager' scenery object display controller to prevent display of the original G-Poly.

We must instead determine whether we can place a SCASM / ASM VTP custom replacement G-Poly 'above' the original by a few inches, and/or on a higher 'VTP layer number' ...to obscure the original FSX MDL-format 'flat' 3D model G-Poly from view.

GaryGB
 
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FSDT does exactly that....MDL based layering. The models for gate marking are there, so are the textures.
 
BTW, this is way too much trouble for a gate number that is continuously changing. DFW updates gate numbers at least once a year.
 
Hi again:

No doubt this may be regarded as a complex procedure when attempting to extract the entire G-Poly from the MDL. ;)

But if one is only making a 'decal' intended to cover up the original FSX MDL G-Poly with a FSX SCASM / ASM G-Poly, one might be able to more easily create a small VTP tile that obscures the "C32" marking with a opaque "C39" marking.


Ken:

Since this FSDT KDFW airport package has a free demo available, I downloaded and installed it.

I have now found that the info for the FSX MDL-based G-Poly scenery object of interest is as follows: :pushpin:


Path: [FSDT install path]\Addon Manager\Simobjects\Misc\FSDT_KDFW\model.KDFW_sett07_sf\KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl


Model Name: sfondo_kdfw_sett07

GUID: {597118d9-fcec-4bb9-b7a4-77eebc96d523}

Markings - Mapped Texture: KDFW_DET10.DDS


NOTE: The texture has "ready-to-use object images" which are mapped onto faces in the FSX 'flat' 3D Model apron surface

So, one may NOT swap out the mapped texture for that 3D Model with an edited texture having the same pixel dimensions and file name. :alert:

[EDITED]

Rather, a 'decal' intended to cover up the original FSX MDL G-Poly can be created in ex: Sketchup as a small tile that obscures the "C32" marking with a opaque "C39" marking.

The textures mapped as Materials (for your own purposes only) onto that textured 'flat' 3D model in Sketchup, may be the same alpha-numeric characters available in KDFW_DET10.DDS.

Additionally, you may wish to map any needed portions from other textures of the adjacent Apron area underneath those characters as are already used on KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl, in order to adequately conceal the original "C32" markings with the replacement "C39" marking G-Poly.

You may- or may not- need to fade the edges of that (COPIED, re-named, 'made unique') Apron texture mapped onto your 'flat' Sketchup 3D model into the underlying Apron texture of the FSDT FSX MDL G-Poly, ...by using a feathered gray-scale gradient 'blend' within the Alpha channel of your mapped 'unique' texture.

That textured 'flat' 3D model of the replacement "C39" markings can be imported into MCX G-Poly Wizard, then the Geographic coordinates and VTP Layer Number must be adjusted for proper placement and display at an 'effective' offset AGL in position, aligned with- but covering up- the original FSX MDL-based G-Poly "C32" markings.

The resulting object can be exported and compiled as a FSX SCASM / ASM G-Poly BGL.


CAVEAT: Be aware that any Specular and Bump mapping textures that may have been used in the original FSDT FSX MDL G-Poly of the Apron and/or markings ...will NOT be applicable to your own custom replacement FSX SCASM / ASM G-Poly BGL, as that legacy object type does not support those 3D object Material property display attributes.

However, if you have used Alpha channel transparency properly for your custom replacement FSX SCASM / ASM G-Poly BGL, it is possible that any Specular and Bump mapping textures that may have been used in the original FSDT FSX MDL G-Poly of the Apron and/or markings ...'might' still be able to display through to the top of your overlying custom G-Poly.

[END_EDIT]

Hope this helps ! :)

GaryGB
 
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="GaryGB, post: 788993, member: 995"
There is no need to attempt doing anything with the FSDT python-based "Couatl" 'Addon Manager' scenery object display controller to prevent display of the original G-Poly.
We must instead determine whether we can place a SCASM / ASM VTP custom replacement G-Poly 'above' the original by a few inches, on a higher 'VTP layer number' ...to obscure the original FSX MDL-format 'flat' 3D model G-Poly from view.
But if one is only making a "decal" intended to cover up the original FSX MDL G-Poly with a FSX SCASM / ASM G-Poly, one might be able to more easily create a small tile that obscures the C32 marking with a opaque C39 marking.

Hi, Gary

I think I would have to agree with you. That was my next step, but I was thinking about doing that in ADE using Ground Polys. But If I can do that in the model or texture, I prefer to do it that way.


I have now found that the info for the scenery object of interest is as follows: :pushpin:


Path: [FSDT install path]\Addon Manager\Simobjects\Misc\FSDT_KDFW\model.KDFW_sett07_sf\KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl

Model Name: sfondo_kdfw_sett07

GUID: {597118d9-fcec-4bb9-b7a4-77eebc96d523}

Markings - Mapped Texture: KDFW_DET10.DDS
Yes, I recall going over all of those mdl files in MCX but it failed to load the textures. That's why I did not see it. I do recall now that I need to set the path for the textures and I keep forgetting to do that. But I finally found it.
I was generally in the right place but I keep assuming that MCX will automatically load the textures.


NOTE: The texture has "ready-to-use object images" which are mapped onto faces in the FSX 'flat' 3D Model apron surface.
Yes, I see where these "ready to use objects" are mapped over the face of the model. Is it possible that I locate these ready to use objects, change the numbers, and replace them?


Thus, one may not simply swap out the mapped texture for that 3D Model with one edited that has the same name. :alert:
Well, can I change the name or something?


Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

See the edits to my post above:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/th...r-updated-airport-scenery.441812/#post-788993


PS: At this particular point in time, I recommend creating your G-Poly in MCX via the "Ground Polygon Wizard" rather than ADE - GP_Editor:

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


NOTE: The FSDT FSX-format MDL KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl cited above apparently contains a multi-level configuration which may confuse the filtering mechanism in MCX Ground Polygon Wizard that determines whether non-ground polygons should be removed from the object.

So, I recommend that in MCX Ground Polygon Wizard, you should NOT check "Filter out non-ground polygons" to prevent any of the multiple objects within that MDL ...from being removed during import of that MDL for purposes of inspection.

GaryGB
 
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Hi Ken:

See the edits to my post above:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/th...r-updated-airport-scenery.441812/#post-788993


PS: I recommend creating your G-Poly in MCX via the "Ground Polygon Wizard" rather than ADE - GP_Editor:

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


NOTE: The MDL apparently contains a multi-level configuration which may confuse the filtering mechanism in MCX Ground Polygon Wizard that determines whether non-ground polygons should be removed from the object.

So, I recommend that in MCX Ground Polygon Wizard, you should NOT check "Filter out non-ground polygons" to prevent any of the multiple objects within that MDL ...from being removed during import of that MDL.

GaryGB


Hi Gary,

Thanks for all your suggestions. I will try them out and let you know how it turns out. I've been reading over the tutorial "Creating High-Detail FS Ground Polygons," by Bill Womack, which I think goes back a few years, and another tutorial "How to makd high detail ground poly in 2014" Parts 1 and 2 by Jirayu Tanabodee. Hopefully, these will help me out.

Ken.
 

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Hi, Gary

I think I would have to agree with you. That was my next step, but I was thinking about doing that in ADE using Ground Polys. But If I can do that in the model or texture, I prefer to do it that way.

Ken.
You can use ADEx.

Load stock DFW airport....link to P3D. Move aircraft over the gate marking you want to cover. Make your texture sheet and load into ADEx. Place your gate number GP directly over the ground marking you want to cover. Add a P3D material setting, and make sure No_Shadow is set to true. Compile, and select an offset of 20mm. This should place the texture over the original GP.
When you compile, two files are created, select the one with the _GP.bgl and place in the scenery folder of your addon scenery.

However, the method Gary explained would work just as good, and probably easier. Make a textured model and just place over gate marking, edit material settings to oppress shadow.
 
You can use ADEx.
What is the "X"? Is that the ADE payware?


Load stock DFW airport.
It is not a stock. It's the one by fsdreamteam that I'm making changes to. The bgl and textures are located in the fsdreamteam Scenery and Texture folder. I believe if I use the stock KDFW and place the new texture over the old one, it will not place it in the correct location because the stock will not be correct anyway. When I compile it, it would seem to me that I would need to place the new textures and or bgl in the fsdreamteam Scenery or Texture folder, not in the Addon Scenery folder.


....link to P3D
Where are you getting "link to P3D"? Are you referring to the flight sim P3D? I'm using FSX, not P3D.


Make your texture sheet and load into ADEx.
I'm glad you brought this up because I'm still having a problem understanding fully about how to make this texture sheet. At first, I was trying to use the texture sheet, shown below from the original fsdreamteam KFDW texture, and make the changes from it. But I now believe that I'm going about that all wrong, and need to just create a new one. I was going to do that in Sketchup using the material editor but there is another problem, and that is I will need some type of template, or something, to make or draw these letters and numbers. For example, C32 is now C39 in the same location, and I know if I try to draw it freely, it will not look smooth because no one would be able to draw it as it looks in the original drawing free handed, and I know I could not draw it that smooth. And the other thing I thought about is to make the size of these letters and numbers exactly the same as those in the original textures. So how do I find out what size they are? I try to start on something and I never get it done because just simply saying, for example, "make a texture sheet," does not explain to me in detail every step I need to take to do it correctly because I've never done this before. So, does the material editor in Sketchup, or any other editor rather it be Sketchup, Gmax, Bender, 3DS, or whatever, come with some type of template to make the letters and numbers? And can they be sized correctly to match those in the original textures?

I would go to youtube and watch some of these video tutorials on how to create and do stuff like this, and I got to say that many of them simply do not have no teaching abilities. When they are showing you how to do something, they go about it at lighting speeds, not to mention they don't explain every step that they're doing and leave out lots of information that should have been mentioned in the video. These tutorials do not teach you how to do these things because they don't have any teaching abilites, and they go way too fast with the mouse and they run their words together because they're in a hurry. As a result, you have to rewind over and over and over and over and over and over repeatedly before you finally get it down path. The tutorial is not about how fast one can move his mouse and complete the project. It's about learning how to create the scenery, and that requires that the person making the video tutorial move about at a slow rate and explaining every step in detail. I've gotten so frustrated with the way they would go about it, especially when they don't take the time to explain everything in detail and run through it at lighting speeds and one never learns anything from it. I know I'm not stupid to the point that I cannot learn it. I could learn it very quickly if they had good teaching abilities.

Here's the Texture from the fsdreamteam. This texture is way darker than what it really is:


KDFW_det10.jpg



They other thing I've noticed is that why do they find it necessary to make the alphabets and numbers backwards? And they're also upside down.


Add a P3D material setting, and make sure No_Shadow is set to true.
Again regarding P3D, where are you getting P3D material setting?


Compile, and select an offset of 20mm. This should place the texture over the original GP.
How do I select an offset?


Make a textured model and just place over gate marking, edit material settings to oppress shadow.
I'm confused because you started off saying I can use ADEx, and ADE does not have a material editor, unless you mean GP Texture Editor.


Thanks for your tips

Ken.
 
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Ken a lot of your questions are very basic for what you are trying to accomplish. My suggestion is that you first learn how to create objects with Sketchup, texturize using whatever texture you see fit (perhaps your own), edit them and convert them with MCX, and place in the sim with an application such as Instant Scenery.

ADEx is ADE for FSX/P3D. If you are using FSX, then it is better to simply go the Sketchup route, object placement. The reason textures are inverted is just basic texturing knowledge, they are DXT5 with blended alpha. The reason they look lighter in the sim, is because of the alpha (transparency level).

Again, start with the basics.

Arno's MUST DO tutorial:

Texturizing basics:
 
My suggestion is that you first learn how to create objects with Sketchup, texturize using whatever texture you see fit (perhaps your own), edit them and convert them with MCX, and place in the sim with an application such as Instant Scenery.
I already know how to create objects and use the textures in Sketchup. I also know how to do all the things that Arno demonstrated in his video. I enjoy watching Arno's videos, but the other video I found to be very irritating because this person pans too rapidly and zooms in and out, in and out, on a repeated basis, and he did this for the longest before he finally got to the topic. This makes for a very lousy disturbing video. He's way too fast clicking and moving the curser with his mouse and he does not describe each step he is doing in the process. I'm sorry, but this person does not have the ability to make good tutorial videos. The only thing he did is apply textures to the building, which is something I already know how to do in Sketchup. These basics do not explain how to make changes with airport sceneries. I need a good video tutorial that explains, in detail, how to make changes to airport ground sceneries textures, like those in fsdreamteam, and there's just not many of them or they're hard to find.

I'm also working on anther fsdreamteam airport project, which needs to be updated, and that is KORD or Chicago O' Hare International. In ADE, I'm adding the additional runways and taxiways that have been constructed since 2010. It's has changed quite a bit since it's release but fsdreamteam never kept up-to-date with it. Looking at the satellite image, I can see that runway 28C is going to run right into a building that was once there in 2010. If I add the new runway in ADE, and compile it into the sim, the building will still be there because there's nothing I can do in ADE to remove or exclude it because it is not an ADE object or placement. It's a scenery model placement, and now I have to figure which texture file contains that building. The ground polys, or sceneries, are separate textures and have nothing to do with ADE. That means whatever changes you make in ADE, changes will also have to be made with the textures, or there will be conflicts. This is the area I'm trying to learn. Although the basic knowledge is important, it will not provide me the know how to make changes to textures and the steps required. Neither of the videos explain to me how to do this. I'm thinking if fsdreamteam were making the changes to update their product, they would probably use the same texture maps, but make another layer to lay over the tops of the originals. That is the part I don't know how to do, and this is not basic stuff.


If you are using FSX, then it is better to simply go the Sketchup route, object placement.
I like Sketchup because it's easy and simply to use. But it does not have the features of Gmax. I've been going over many of the Gmax videos, and I'm pretty much coming to understand how to use it.


Ken.
 

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ADEX is an old name for Airport Design Editor. For the past several years ADE is the shorthand for all versions of this application.
 
ADEX is an old name for Airport Design Editor. For the past several years ADE is the shorthand for all versions of this application.

Hi,

I knew that ADE stood for Airport Design Editor but I've never seen the X at the end before, unless he was referring to the ADEX_ file that one uses when creating a new airport file in ADE.


Ken.
 
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Hi Gary,

In your post above, you said you recommend that I create my G poly in MCX via the Ground Poly Wizard. Are you saying to begin creating my new texture in MCX? If so, I don't understand how I would go about creating my ground poly since there is no tool, that I know of, that allows me to draw the new markings in MCX. But you also said that I could use Sketchup to create a small tile, which is what I plane to do, and obscure the C32 marking. If MCX has this tool that allows me to draw the new marking, how do I open it? You probably did not mean to use MCX to draw the new marking.

If I do this in Sketchup: Correct me if my flow is not correct here. What I've done is measured the size of the marking on the tarmac in google earth, and measures 9.7' x 14.8' In Sketchup, I plan to draw a rectangle with the same measurements and place the correct letter and numbers inside that rectangle. But my question is that is there a tool, in Sketchup, that I can use to place the alphabets and numbers inside the rectangles, and also be able to scale and position if I need to?

Ken.
 
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