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Ferry traffic

Messages
5,214
Hi the both of you,

Although I did not convey my findings straight away, here they are:
In the default scenery with the route and FP but with a 90m ferry, I find that:
- the ferry leaves and docks in Laxo and Symsomething at exactly the spots George II (sorry George for calling you II) showed in his pictures;
- it hardly pushes back;
- opening your KML in GE, the 1st waypoint is on land;
- the default ferry over there DOES dock exactly at the ferry docking site (scenery object);
- calculating in ADE the difference between the 1st waypoint and the spot where the ferry stops in Symsomething (sorry) is some 90 m!?! But maybe I have made a mistake?;
- your ferry route makes a twist about halfway but maybe that is because it was on a collision course with the default ferry.
Would you mind explaining what a mesh clinging hydro-poly is? The one you make with FSEarth tiles\mask?

Conclusion: no conclusion yet:eek:!

Roby
 

GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
Hi Roby,

A mesh-clinging hydro-poly defines water which is not at sea-level but relies on the underlying mesh to define the coastline and water height.

A normal hydro-poly defines both the coastline and water to be at a given height (normally sea-level).
 

GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
George,

Now why do you use a mesh clinging one then?

I don't Roby, it is a commercial product and producing accurate hydro-polys for all of the coastlines of the Orkney and Shetland Islands would be a huge task.

OK, here are my latest findings from a track which works.

Firstly it is necessary to have the first waypoint on land in order to have the ferry start at the correct position



Secondly, on the return journey, the ferry doesn't stop at the same position that it started from, it is closer to the first waypoint.



For information, the overall length of the ferry is only about 21 metres so any inaccuracy in the FSX positions are critical, especially when used with 60cm photo scenery.
 
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Messages
299
Hi George , Hi Roby ,

l may be wrong but l think that unless we clear out how each one of us is working boat traffic we'll keep going in circles .

It is a fact however that whatever approach oner uses , FSX coastlines are not just inaccurate but in some cases the terrain is unrecognizable . Coastlines in Greece are just unacceptable .

With that in mind l personally make my own ports using water polys , drawing with ADE , my cargo ship docks and/or liner berths and/or ferry terminals and have no problem at all . In actual fact the placing of my starting/first waypoint is so precise , that a small ferry comes in and once stopped it's animated ramp is lowered exactly on the dock .

One might say that l make it sound easy . Yes it is easy as far as l am concerned , if one does not take FSX coastlines and co-ordinates for granted and work the area he/she chooses with ADE .

@ George

Why don't you try a kml with 4 waypoints in some open sea area . One starting point/first waypoint a second waypoint nearby for turning a destination point/last waypoint and one waypoint before the last . l am certain you will see that the boat will start at the first , stops at the last and return exactly at the first waypoint.

PS For what is worth TCalcX's co-ordinatates differ slightly from ADE's . A few meters perhaps , but don't ask me which is right .(see picture)
 
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5,214
Hi Georgie,

Well, you know how I make AI boat traffic:
I use GE for the main waypoints and then switch to ADE for the final couple of waypoints. I cut and paste the whole bunch into a former GE produced model because the latest versions of GE do not work.
I never noticed much difference in the first/last waypoint because my ferries berthed parallel to the pier.
I know you downloaded and discussed my (geographically wrongly placed) Ceuta port scenery and I never had any problem with 'docking' the ferry alongside the quay.
But in the meantime, and as an unfortunate result of George GHD's remarks about the geograhic location error, I started over and am trying to put in photoscenery using FSEarthTiles.
Besides the fact that my previous efforts in making one huge GSU photoreal textured port scenery object (including all the quays and quaywalls and stretching some 3km) failed because of the FSX round earth issue, I am now using FS Earth Tiles for modifying and placing the Ceuta scenery.
And as you could have imagined already, I run into all kinds of troubles but my photoscenery is OK and nice.
But there is a but.
I do not seem to be able to convert the photowater to FSX water through the FS Earth Mask.exe and I wonder if that has to do with the newer version of GE (FS Earth Tiles is not updated anymore!) where the kml file layout or code has been changed or whether it has to do with some wrong ini settings.
Anyway, the result at this moment is that I have a nice photoreal scenery of Ceuta but still with the 'climbing water' problem (though not as bad as before) and on top of that the same problem as George encountered in his Shetland ferry traffic, namely that the ferry is docked but not at the first waypoint but halfway the second and that the ferry disappears after a short while.
I know for sure that the reason for it disappearing is due to the fact that the water mask is not correct. The water is no water but land and you could take off on it with an airplane (effects show dust and pebbles).
Remains the question of why the ferry is not at the last waypoint and I do not know that yet. Perhaps all is related but I need some more time to figure it out.
A helping hand would be welcome.
I am uninstalling FS Earth Tiles and will install it again and read the documentation once more to see whether I can find an answer (one of the things that took me a day to find out was that, the same as with AIBTC but there it was mentioned, your KML file needs to be saved as a number i.o. a name like coast or deep water, otherwise you get an xml error upon reaing the kml).
But I guess I am digressing because I even don't know if FS Earth Tiles is still
a valid program.
To sum it up:
- Even with the default scenery I find some slight difference between the coordinates of the first waypoint and the coordinates of where the ferry stops but maybe I shoould use another program than ADE to check it;
- In photoreal scenery water is no water (at least for the time being and in my case) and so the ferry is grounded and will disappear as long as the water is not water for FSX
- the docking distance away from the first waypoint has defintely something to do with the stern position of the ferry/sim object but have not found out yet what exactly (stern position in the sim.cfg + deviation from the first waypoint = 0).
So far and what it's worth.

Roby
 

GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
Hi Roby,

FSEarthTiles is great for making photo scenery, but, to create water, you need to create an 8bit tiff file of the same size as the bmp and make the land black and the water white. You then need to modify the .inf file to use two sources, the bmp and the tiff.

To create hydro-polys you need to use SBuilderX, delete the default hydro-polys and add new ones. I usually use the water mask tiff as a background in SBuilderX and draw the polygons at the black/white boundary.

 
Messages
299
Hi Roby ,

Firstly pls drop me a line with the latest , you know what l mean .

l see that you embarked in a deep water situation with photoreal scenery and whatever difficulties that brings in . A new challenge you might say when one masters everything else he cares about in FSX . Maybe , but l haven't seen any photoreal project that includes boat traffic to impress me and probably tempt me to give it a shot (l would like to see one) . That of course will mean starting from scratch , since l've got no clue , but again there is plenty of help around , only this is the wrong time of the year with the weather settling down rapidly (24 C today) and everything .
l see you still fight with the "climbing water" . l was under the impression that you had adopted my solution of the "hard surface box" which l used in the Oropos port which looked acceptable and realistic .
With regards to co-ordinates , like l mentioned in a previous post l dont use GE anymore but l get the coordinates from ADE to fill in the kml file . Better still will be the use of TCalcX (which l tested against ADE) where you can copy and paste the co-ordinates with ease .
 

GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
Hi Roby,

I have downloaded Ceuta at 0.5m per pixel. I'll make the blend and water masks and create the required hydro-polys but it will take a few days.





I'll send them to you when finished.
 
Messages
5,214
Hi George Geobas,

Will send you some less bad news soon, I hope.
No sweat here yet with respect to the weather (14ºC and cold wind).
Regarding the hard surface, sure I want to use it but I would still have to make a huge scenery object (the port, quays and piers) which gives me altitude differences because of the round earth in FSX.


Hi George GHD,

I would be extremely grateful if you would do that.
On the other hand I already made a Tiff file but seem to be unable to have it compiled by fsearthtiles. Each time I launch it and start the program, it makes a new inf file and does not take the tiff file into consideration. No entry is found to change things in the ini.
That would mean I would have to compile it manually and that is a bit over my head for the moment.
Maybe you can enlighten me.
I have the BMP (more or less same as yours, 0.5 m/px) and the TIFF (black land and white transparent water).
Oh, and I used an ADE exclude general, added a ocean perennial hydropoly and a shoreline vector and rebuilt the coastline.

Roby
 
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GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
No problem Roby.

I have almost finished





Send a PM with your email address and I'll send it on.
 
Messages
5,214
Hi George,

Yes, I have them, thanks a million.
Still, your cvx eliminates my shore line wave animation, I have not the faintest why. When I delete yours and add my own, the waves are back.
The crux of the problem seems to be in the FSearthtile ini or inf.
Noticed that in your screenshots you put in a default runway texture?
Trying to avoid that but when making scenery objects instead, I have the "flickering" problem. There are some threads about it so I'd better check them to find a solution.

Roby
 

GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
The crux of the problem seems to be in the FSearthtile ini or inf.

It has nothing to do with FSEarthTiles which produces only the photo textures.

I deliberately removed the default shorelines and didn't re-define them because I think they look ridiculous on photographic shores. I did define the water areas so you will see the water effects.
 
Messages
299
Hi George ,

l attach a boat traffic for your perusal .
The boat is berthed (1st waypoint) at the inner side of the North breakwater of Tynemouth , starts from there and sails to Sunderland , berthing at the south breakwater and returns and berths EXACTLY (1st waypoint) where she started from at Tynemouth .
If there is any problem please try the attached boat .
 
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GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
returns and berths EXACTLY (1st waypoint) where she started from at Tynemouth.
Well, not "EXACTLY", but it is much closer than I can get with the very small ferry.

I placed an object on the bow at each start point and took a pic at the start and end of each trip.

Start at Tynemouth



End at Tynemouth



Start at Sunderland



End at Sunderland



I am guessing it is because you have a much greater distance between your waypoints than I have in a very restriced harbour.

Incidentaly while watching the trip I noticed my house on the screen :D

 
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299
What can l say .
If the bo'sun left the fore line slack and heaved up the aft spring too much that would result the 60cm difference at Tynemouth . l'll have a word with him .;)
As for the berthing in Sunderland , the skipper probably had a couple before sailing from Tynemouth at the Percy steet pub .:D

St.Peter's Ave. , isn't it ? l didn't do it on purpose :eek:
 
Messages
558
Country
newzealand
No, all of the default hydro-polys and shorelines have been excluded and a blanket "mesh-clinging" hydro-poly applied.

I've only just started looking at ship AI and stumbled across this thread- This post seems to be the culprit although I've not had time to properly read everything....so the discussion may have moved on (apologies if so)

Since that a 'mesh clinging' water poly is a depreciated type of water polygon and others don't seem to have issues with their default (FSX style water polys) or replacement water polygons (FSX style water polys) then surely the older style of water poly is the issue?

At a guess, since boat traffic doesn't have a associated height file like aircraft AI do with the airport bgls (and neither boat or aircraft actually read the terrain mesh to obtain their proper placement in the Z axis) they rely on a 'solid' water polygon in order to set their height- The older style 'mesh clinging' water polygons cannot provide this height and so the ship bobs about somewhere else (below the surface?) until it reaches an area where it can obtain height information? (ie default data or....GPS water polys?!)

I dunno....
 

GHD

Messages
12,198
Country
england
At a guess, since boat traffic doesn't have a associated height file like aircraft AI do with the airport bgls (and neither boat or aircraft actually read the terrain mesh to obtain their proper placement in the Z axis) they rely on a 'solid' water polygon in order to set their height- The older style 'mesh clinging' water polygons cannot provide this height and so the ship bobs about somewhere else (below the surface?) until it reaches an area where it can obtain height information? (ie default data or....GPS water polys?!)

Would that that were true Timmo.

Don't forget that hydro-polys do not flatten, they only force the mesh to zero on the polygon boundary.

I have been experimenting further using photo textures in conjunction with hydro-polys at the Ceuta peninsula.

Overall view



As explained earlier, I use Afcad2 to create waypoint positions then convert these to KML for use by AIBTC. This enables me to check the position in FSX against the waypoints in Afcad2.

First waypoint



Position in FSX



The position of ferry centre is just forward of the funnel



Hydro-poly at the pier in SBX



And in TmfViewer



The full QMid11 in TmfViewer



So, again, the ferry doesn't start/end on the first waypoint but about a half ferry length before the waypoint.

I have also determined (using the mesh-clinging HP) that FSX does recognise the presence of photo-textures such as the outline of a docked ship and considers this as land even if covered by a hydro-poly.
 
Messages
3,278
Country
spain
Hi George, could you send me the photo textures as I can't do it for my self, I am making that scenery too, though my first intention was to do the scenery with landclass and fsxkml, (don't like to lose the traffic on the roads) I'd like to see it with photo texture, the question is who will finish the scenery before if ever ?:rolleyes:
Very interesting the ai ships traffic, would be great to get the ai boat traffic docking with more accuracy. and not by trial and error.
 
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