Elevation capture for SBuilder X

Hi guys,

Probably because I'm using the wrong terms as usual, I've been unable to find the name of a utility that I'm told allows you to slew to a given point, hit the tab key and have the elevation at that point transferred to a corresponding point in an SBuilder flatten poly. At least that was my impression of how it worked and it sounds really slick. Ideas?

Thanks much,
 
Hi Larry:

FSUIPC is used by SBuilderX and most other FS utilities to read the FS internal value for ground surface elevation directly below the user aircraft.

Rhumbaflappy's Terrain Calculator X (aka "TCalcX") version 3 is sometimes used to report on-screen the ground surface elevation and a few other values, and AFAIK is also used to insert those values into SBuilderX via "Point from Aircraft".

http://www.ptsim.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6226

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/resources/tcalcx.93/


NOTE: The compiled executable TCalcX_003.exe is in the un-ZIP-ped folder path:

[path]\TCalcX_003_source\TCalcX_003\bin\x86\Release\TCalcX_003.exe


IIRC, the method I recently described in another thread using SBuilderX for deriving elevation from the user aircraft coordinate Lat-Lon position actually inserts the terrain ground surface elevation into a terrain poly vertex point rather than the aircraft datum flight Altitude AGL or MSL (...and AFAIK ADE9X does the same).

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/th...ground-textures-to-a-3d-terrain-model.436776/


It has been a while since I used that feature in SBuilderX, so I don't recall if that process actually requires one to force and keep the FinneyGround CrossHairs Plus (aka "CH+") on-ground first via the {F1} function key on one's keyboard ...in FS slew mode.

FYI: I instead personally use that excellent "CH+" aircraft scenery tool all the time via a proprietary executable utility which manually or semi-automatically also derives and logs the aircraft flight and ground surface altitude, Geographic coordinates, True heading and Magnetic variation, as well as various other FS internal values from FSUIPC offsets, and converts them to 13 decimal place floating point numbers.

That data is then processed for various uses as FS SDK source files via other utility functions in proprietary and commercial GIS software. ;)


Hope this helps encourage a further test of that workflow to read / write the ground surface elevation into a FS utility work-space dialog. :)

GaryGB
 
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Thanks Gary! TCalcX rings a bell! (I should have been taking notes; I can't remember my own name sometimes.) It was my impression that one slews the aircraft along the ground surface while in the F12 view. Once the vehicle is on the ground it should stay on the ground. And yes, 'point from aircraft' in SBuilder was part of the procedure. I wonder where the reference point of the aircraft is -- datum of the aircraft? It does not really matter to me because I use a customized camera as a vehicle anyway, and I can adjust it as needed. I'm told this procedure allows very complicated flattens around the periphery of an area of scenery with a minimum amount of hassle. Basically SBbuilder does all the work.
 
I wonder where the reference point of the aircraft is -- datum of the aircraft?
[EDITED]

Yes; that is why one may need to use the FinneyGround CH+ on the ground surface with some FS utilities depending on whether they read the aircraft datum flight altitude versus terrain ground surface altitude ...from ex: FSUIPC and/or SimConnect in FSX.


PS: Geographic coordinate winding direction / sequence clockwise (= N>E>S>W) versus counter-clockwise (= N<W<S<E) of terrain vertices / points is important in both GIS and FS SDK source file creation ...when making your Triangulated Irregular Network convex polygons (aka a "TIN") for the sloped flatten.

"In Direct3D, only the front of a face is visible. A front face is one in which vertices are defined in clockwise order."

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb173380(v=vs.85).aspx

...also see:

https://www.google.com/#q=site:www....Triangulated+Irregular+Network+convex+polygon

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/flattens.425495/page-2

[END_EDIT]


Have fun with the 'polygon creation process' (or as Holger sometimes calls it, the "click-fest") ! :)

GaryGB
 
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Gary, I've at least found one way to make this work. I suspect there is an easier way, but this is what I figured out so far:

Start TCalcX.

Start FSX with FSUIPC installed.

Click Connect in TCalcX.

TCalcX reports ground altitude, so that problem solved. Start SbuilderX and select 'show aircraft'. Draw a rough flatten poly outside the main scenery area where it will be needed. Activate FSX. Fly the aircraft to a point on the desired outer margin of the flatten. In TCalcX hit tab until Ground Altitude is highlighted. Hit cntl C. In Sbuilder, drag a point on the rough poly over the crosshairs showing the aircraft position. Select the properties of the point, click on the elevation box and hit cntl v. Then do the next point in the same manner and so on. For the points of the flatten that are adjacent to the main scenery area, just enter the desired elevation of the scenery at that point.

I must be missing the way to do this in a more simple fashion.
 
You can use "point from aircraft" within SBuilder (select a point, right click, point from aircraft) for that but the problem is the gear height will usually add a meter to the elevation, you can either use an "aircraft" where the reference point is at ground level or you can declare an offset in the SBuilder.ini to compensate. I've actually had the best luck using the aircraft linked above and just getting the elevation value from the supplied scenery gauge (Shift+2).
 
You can use "point from aircraft" within SBuilder (select a point, right click, point from aircraft).....

Thanks for this JR! And just now I got the same thing from the horse's mouth. :)

Should others read this in the future, if you use SBuilder, you don't need TCalcX. The full procedure is that you select any point on an existing flatten poly, right click on it and choose 'Fly Aircraft Here' (with FSX running of course). Then you right click again as per JR's post above. That imports the data. Except that from what JR tells us, you have to adjust for the gear height one way or another.
 
Many thanks again to Jim Robinson for his additional work with updating the Gary Mills' excellent FinneyGround CrossHairs Plus (aka "CH+"), and for sharing his work-flow via SBuilderX. :wizard:


You can use "point from aircraft" within SBuilder (select a point, right click, point from aircraft).....

Thanks for this JR! And just now I got the same thing from the horse's mouth. :)

Should others read this in the future, if you use SBuilder, you don't need TCalcX. The full procedure is that you select any point on an existing flatten poly, right click on it and choose 'Fly Aircraft Here' (with FSX running of course). Then you right click again as per JR's post above. That imports the data. Except that from what JR tells us, you have to adjust for the gear height one way or another.
To expand a bit more 1 of the options Jim described above, one can determine the datum elevation of any user aircraft above terrain ground surface level and enter that into the SBuilder.ini file for use during a work session, but one must remember that although we can utilize many different project files saved as SBX files and SBP files, there is only (1) SBuilder.ini file.

That SBuilder.ini file is always read and written to for purposes of configuring SBuilder during any new start-up of SBuilderX, and until certain parameter values are changed manually, they will continue to determine how SBuilder operates; so one must take care to review those setting when starting each new project.

IMHO, it is preferable to utilize the FinneyGround CrossHairs Plus (aka "CH+") as a user aircraft, because it actually was modeled so that its 3D MDL "base" is at the datum position, and thus its elevation is already precisely aligned upon FS terrain ground surface level when spawned at a Start location. ;)

When FS slew mode is active, one can force and keep the FinneyGround CrossHairs Plus (aka "CH+") on the local ground coordinate position via the {F1} function key on one's keyboard ...immediately before capturing point data from the CH+ user aircraft position. :pushpin:

GaryGB
 
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You can use "point from aircraft" within SBuilder (select a point, right click, point from aircraft).....

Thanks for this JR! And just now I got the same thing from the horse's mouth. :)
So IIUC, a "forum lurker" sent you a PM on that work-flow, thus incurring the above 'equivocally-honorable equine acknowledgement' ? :scratchch


For a moment there I wondered whether you were innovating a new work-flow with "Wilbur": o_O

http://www.fracterra.com/software.html



...or perhaps had received an FS SDK insight via ..."you-know-who"::laughing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mister_Ed

< Just kidding, of course ! :D >

< Uh-oh, that reminds me of this: "A horse is a horse, of course, of course..." :duck: >


GaryGB
 
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