I believe SBX can do this with the blue zones being black zones.
Many do this with Max (or such) and the terrain is given a layer number.
You would need to start learning about doing a terrain area, both from reading the SDK and also things like SBX.
I am of no help as I am a plane maker, but I did some some mountains for FSX/P3D and I used SBX and it worked AWESOME... and fast...
It uses a MASSIVE amount of disc area though, so find a drive that you can use large area's in to save the files to as you work on it.
@jyarddog I just brushed this aside the first time I read this but since Bill commented I'll put my two cents in. You have been around long enough to do the research and study to figure some of it out. I'm an aircraft guy but if I decided to make some scenery I would have something working before I asked such a question. I'll probably get static for this but that's just me.
Thanx- things to consider. Been doing scenery for quite some time, but always wondered how to do this process. Looking at this there are layers which gives and nice 'feel' to the grass and such. I would assume not only in layers but partial trans of the higher layer so the lower one can show through just a tad. Perhaps this si then applied to a blend mask in a photoreal. .... just some ideas.
Tim- It sure is. I've seen this process many times. Started to learn it long ago then got busy doing other things.. pracicing bass, doing airports, fly fishing, hunnie-do list things. ya know... anything that can interrupt one's learning! hahahaa. This was done by John Young. Designer extraordinaire. willing to learn it.
John doesn’t do scenery any more (he’s employed fulltime on AI aircraft), and Wattisham was done when he was part of the ACG syndicate. I imagine the airfield background is a satellite image compiled with SBX or its predecessors, as Lionheart mentioned. There is a whole forum here for that software - clicky.
Tim I went to that link. I do not know enough to know what to search for. Perhaps it is farther back, I went through 3 pages, maybe what I should look for is father back. See. I do not kn ow what to call this procedure... layering? photoreal enhancement, other?
Assuming the screenshot you posted was from MCX it most likely is a groundpoly and you make those in a modeling program, ie gmax, sketchup, blender, etc. There are a dozen tutorials available to show you how.
FSDS works wonderfully as well. I guess I can do some things there the go to mcx put them in as layers, but maybe easier to go to my paint program PSP and do layers there. I've done that recently and blended two or three items with various transparency and turned out very well.
Perhaps starting off with a photoreal I make then add textures I want, but would I do that on the bmp or the blend mask?
I guess you'd have to do it on the .bmp, the blendmask will only give you one level of transparency and the landclass textures would show through anything that was blended partially transparent. You can't layer one photoreal overtop another in the sim like you could layering one image (or 10) overtop another in PSP. You can with a groundpoly though.