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Is there a grass placer thing?

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unitedkingdom
I am considering making a library of grass and vegetation and I was wondering if there is a grass placer program for FSX, FS9 etc?
 
if you got P3D V4 you can use Simdirector, and later compile sxml file with fsx bgl compiler, though I am not sure about FS9
 
Cheers, yeah I know of sim director, I'm just wondering if there's a stand alone program that will work for the other sims too :) I unfortunately no longer have my P3Dv4 only v3 and V5 on the newer PC as well as the older sims haha v4 was lost to my old PC that is now living in a cupboard
 
Cheers, yeah I know of sim director, I'm just wondering if there's a stand alone program that will work for the other sims too :) I unfortunately no longer have my P3Dv4 only v3 and V5 on the newer PC as well as the older sims haha v4 was lost to my old PC that is now living in a cupboard
P3D V5 gonna work too, you can also use software developed by Sode called SODE placer
 
Yep I use IS3 to place stuff as it is, it seems to be the most effective way so far. and yes it is compatible with FS2004, FS, and P3Dv3, sorry I just realised I wasn't exactly clear in the original question. I should have asked is there a bulk placer or something that places around AFCAD scenery reducing the workload greatly
 
IIUC, you want to place numerous patches of grass as scenery library objects on top of the airfield land class polygon(s) ?

Or are you trying to place 3D grass inside area defined by a ex: *.KMZ or *.SHP file ? :scratchch

GaryGB
 
IIUC, you want to place numerous patches of grass as scenery library objects on top of the airfield land class polygon(s) ?

Or are you trying to place 3D grass inside area defined by a ex: *.KMZ or *.SHP file ? :scratchch

GaryGB
By the sounds of it he just wants a tool to place grass.. how hard can it be to understand that?
Since there are obvious tools which can do that, I'm assuming he wants something more "automatic" that will adjust rotation and scale so he doesn't have to do it manually as with all other tools.

The answer is, unfortunately there is no such tool which can do this. You (@Soarfly Concepts ) may want to try use 3ds max - but this will be on flat ground - but is the only tool to quickly cover an area with a single model with random rotation and scale so it doesn't all look the same. It's called Object Scatter. If you do this method though, it may be wise to split up sections of the entire grass, it will cost hundreds of thousands of verts. Use LODs and place them wisely and you can achieve a very realistic looking field of grass that doesn't kill VAS/FPS.

Remember, say you have 1 grass model using 1 texture, place that 5000 times at an airport with Instant Scenery and the sim will be loading 5000 drawcalls - IS3 DOES NOT merge - you can do the same in your modelling software with more control, much faster and of course since you export from modelling software, it will be 1 drawcall - which is good for small amounts of grass, not so great for a large amount which is why I mention breaking it up into sections. Remember, IS3 will allow you to export files which you can open with MCX to merge all placed library objects in to one mesh to reduce the drawcalls.

Good luck mate!
 
By the sounds of it he just wants a tool to place grass.. how hard can it be to understand that?

Perhaps less 'hard' than it may be for you to acknowledge an increasingly rude demeanor in the latter of your (14) posts to date ? :rolleyes:

"Pride comes before a fall". :alert:



IMHO, it would not only be an error in judgement to advocate FS developers invest the money and time it takes to purchase, learn, and become proficient in use of 3DSMAX, when other (free) 3D modeling applications that may already have been in use for years, provide most- if not all- pertinent functionality required for working with FS content...in conjunction with Arno's ModelConverterX (aka "MCX").

Suggesting a FS developer drop a 3D modeling work-flow they used for years, to instead use 3DS(&)M ...is unlikely be heeded.


I happen to have an acquaintance with the existing work-flow of Soarfly Concepts 'founder' (aka Mark Piccolo) that uses Sketchup, and was seeking a reply from Mark prior to your post seeking to steer the topic into a discussion involving 3DSMAX.


That said, I do agree that there is value in your idea for merging multiple custom placed instances of vegetation into larger 1-piece 3D models for use in FS.

But, even with such a reduction of complexity, placing multiple larger 3D models via BGLComp placement methods can still kill FPS.


A more FPS-efficient method for placement of 3D vegetation models would be Autogen objects annotated onto custom land class.

Other more involved methods would be required, however, if the scenery utilized 3D models as Ground Polygons.

Since there are obvious tools which can do that, I'm assuming he wants something more "automatic" that will adjust rotation and scale so he doesn't have to do it manually as with all other tools.

The answer is, unfortunately there is no such tool which can do this. You (@Soarfly Concepts ) may want to try use 3ds max - but this will be on flat ground - but is the only tool to quickly cover an area with a single model with random rotation and scale so it doesn't all look the same. It's called Object Scatter. If you do this method though, it may be wise to split up sections of the entire grass, it will cost hundreds of thousands of verts. Use LODs and place them wisely and you can achieve a very realistic looking field of grass that doesn't kill VAS/FPS.

Remember, say you have 1 grass model using 1 texture, place that 5000 times at an airport with Instant Scenery and the sim will be loading 5000 drawcalls - IS3 DOES NOT merge - you can do the same in your modelling software with more control, much faster and of course since you export from modelling software, it will be 1 drawcall - which is good for small amounts of grass, not so great for a large amount which is why I mention breaking it up into sections. Remember, IS3 will allow you to export files which you can open with MCX to merge all placed library objects in to one mesh to reduce the drawcalls.

Good luck mate!

Knowing Mark uses Sketchup, I shall recommend that he consider use of a Sketchup plugin Ruby script (released in 2008): ;)

Didier Bur's "Compo Spray"




The resulting user-specified output result can be utilized as needed depending on what scenery type is the target for placement.


If the airport uses default or custom land class, Autogen methods can be used to place merged 3D vegetation models.

Assuming 3D vegetation models are kept in ex: 500 m extent sizes, they may work OK on flat / level airport surfaces.


If sloped surfaces are used at an airport, additional special procedures may be required, with smaller extent sizes.

As Sketchup has Geo-location features built into *.SKP and *.KMZ file 3D model formats, it is easy to edit merged object extents.

3D models that are already Geo-located can be automatically placed if their Geographic coordinates are utilized via the FS SDK.


PS: If you did not already know, Mark has considerable experience working with the concepts and methods mentioned here: :teacher:


GaryGB
 
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@GaryGB - You're quite something aren't you? so you think I shouldn't give advice just because I have 14 posts? - once again (we have spoke before) - I've been in FS development for over a decade, including this forum, I'm not new and I do have experience and knowledge to share, so I will do exactly that and I take no regards what-so-ever for your ridiculous number of post=respect ideology. Last time you wrote on my post, I told you multiple times I know what ADE does and MCX etc and yet you seemed to ignore that and continue to tell me how them programs work - IMO, that is also demeaning, it's like explaining the basics to a professional - it comes across as ignorant and arrogant.

Where did I say "Go and invest in 3DS Max"? I never said that so why are you fantasizing? I never once told him to use 3DS Max, I just mentioned 3DS Max as it's what I use and what the SDKs are intended for and..most importantly.. advise on a method which 99% of the time can be translated in to other software.

Neither did I tell him to drop an entire work flow for 3ds max
Neither did I turn the discussion into 3ds max

Consider getting your facts right before bashing away at your keyboard and you'll realise (hopefully) that I just wanted to help, so I gave numerous methods.

Got anything more to say, PM me.

---------BACK TO TOPIC-----------

I wouldn't recommend placing grass via Autogen - there is very little means for fine tuning, ie, making it appear dense and following narrow paths...Autogen will NOT do that - it is perhaps the worse method.
Yes, grass models can take a lot of verts even when splitting into merged sections, this is why I mentioned using LOD which means Level Of Detail - which allows models of lower definition to draw when the user is further away. (This works on SCREEN SPACE and not physical distances) - MCX can do this automatically working from the model with the highest LOD, in this case the original. I, however, prefer to do it manually as it gives more control. I had 4 LODs per grass section, 1-off 2-low 3-med and 4-high.

If you did not already know, mark was asking for a better and quicker way to place lots of grass, and the method I mentioned is perhaps the best...well the best for me which has ended up on several products by several developers including but not limited to:

FSDT
Aerosoft
Gaya
Orbx
IDS
Just Flight
Flight1

Remember - the biggest FPS killer in FSX was the VAS - texture usage attacks the VAS - a texture is a drawcall. Use autogen tools to place thousands of single models it will again use a drawcall per model resulting in thousands. Trust me, the sim would be much happier with a giant model that has a single draw call over thousands of models each using a drawcall. Unless they have a really good GPU, the users would get constant Out Of Memory crashes within 30 minutes of loading in.

"Volumetric Grass" was a feature I had to add to ALL of my projects, some small, some massive so I myself have already been through the headaches when it comes to grass and again, it turned out the best method to place the grass is as I mentioned, place with IS3 or modelling software and use LODs Off > Low > Med > High but I always preferred to place grass with IS3, instant results with maximum control. Another good thing about using IS with small airports is that you can create your LODs as you place them, you just go around the airport placing the minimum amount of grass you want to see..click "Save As" and call it Grass_Low, continue to place until you have the desired "medium" amount of grass and "save as" Grass_Med and so on. These can then be merged in MCX to give you a single grass model with the LODs.

Next time, @GaryGB , don't assume someone is a complete noob or not worthy of giving advice/input just because of low posts..it really is pathetic and "elitist"
 
I'm locking this thread. Personal attacks are against the rules of FSDeveloper. All parties involved here need to heed this as a warning.

@Swan-UK seems to have given the definitive answer.
 
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