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Islands

As FSX made a mess of the area of Port Alberni, Barkley Sound and Tofino I thought I would start fiddling with FSX KML. I have version 1.08.

I have been trying to make an island in Barkley Sound and unfortunately not having much luck.

I followed the following steps that I found here.

1) Draw a polygon around the island (make a little bit larger than the island) and mark it as Exclude__WaterPolys. This will "erase" the existing water and hence erase the existing island.

2) Copy that polygon and mark it as Hydro_Polygons_Generic_Ocean_Perennial. Now you have a new patch of water.

3) Trace the new island shoreline and mark it as PolygonHole. This will make the island.


Everything seems to work until I try to use the KML of the island and mark it as a polygonhole. FSX KML tags it but when I run the build all I see in the SDK Tools. bat is "Press any key to continue ...".
It has not done anything.

Obviously I am doing something wrong. Anyone have any ideas?


Mac.
 
As FSX made a mess of the area of Port Alberni, Barkley Sound and Tofino I thought I would start fiddling with FSX KML. I have version 1.08.

I have been trying to make an island in Barkley Sound and unfortunately not having much luck.

I followed the following steps that I found here.

1) Draw a polygon around the island (make a little bit larger than the island) and mark it as Exclude__WaterPolys. This will "erase" the existing water and hence erase the existing island.

2) Copy that polygon and mark it as Hydro_Polygons_Generic_Ocean_Perennial. Now you have a new patch of water.

3) Trace the new island shoreline and mark it as PolygonHole. This will make the island.


Everything seems to work until I try to use the KML of the island and mark it as a polygonhole. FSX KML tags it but when I run the build all I see in the SDK Tools. bat is "Press any key to continue ...".
It has not done anything.

Obviously I am doing something wrong. Anyone have any ideas?


Mac.


Did you try pressing the 'any' key ?

Also, check that you specified the right directory paths for your copy of 1) fsx, and 2) the sdk.

When you get the 'back box' "press any key", you know that the build was ok :

eg :.

If your project is called FALKLANDS...

Processing EXXFALKLANDS.shp

Processing HLXFALKLANDS.shp

Processing HPXFALKLANDS.shp
...
Processing PKXFALKLANDS.shp
...
Processing RDXFALKLANDS.shp

Processing STXFALKLANDS.shp
.

Writing vector data to .\cvxFALKLANDS

DONE (706 shapes)

Compression statistics
Type Count Bytes in Bytes out
Null (raw data) 0 0 0
Predictive Delta 2880 1660776 466496
Quantization 1738 91184 45248
1 file(s) copied.
Press any key to continue . . .


Now go look in the fsx addon-scenery scenery folder....

Your project will have produced a cvxFALKLANDS.bgl file.

Gotchas :

Where are you tagging - in fsx xml or inside google earth?

For simplicity tag first of all inside of FSX KML - that way you know that you are picking the right 'tag', that you are spelling it correctly, and that it is the correct 'case' polygonhole does NOT equal PolygonHole, in xml files...

Once you know how it works, putting your tags into the description field of your poly in google earth is 'quicker' (maybe).

Try duplicating your exclusion zones :

as well as Exclude__WaterPolys, you may need to loose, shorelines, roads, streams, general ocean... etc

once you have excluded the existing sea, roads streams etc, you can cut your polyhole ...
(to see the ground beneath the sea, if you see what I mean ;-0)

So exclusions listed BEFORE poly holes, listed before polygons of rock, ice, whatever... (ALL inside a folder called falklands so that holes and fills ).

If you are having no joy, start on a new simple project where the different polygons are just squares :

proj one 'exclude(s)' only. Try this out on a portion of land somewhere...
proj two excludes and polyholes
proj three excludes, polyholes and 'land fills'
proj three excludes, polyholes 'land fills' and shorelines


Good luck.
 
Thanks for the reply.

My paths in FSX LMS are as follows.

FSX Folder = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Terrain SDKa = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Terrain SDK

BGL compler SDK = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\BGL Compiler SDK

Output folder = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Addon Scenery\BarkleySound\Scenery

In the build progress box all that is showing is :

Build started
Processing C:\+++ Work Area\FSX\fsx_kml\KML\IslandPoly.kml
Running Run_SDK_Tools.bat
Build completed

It runs but does not make a BGL file. When I put on any other tag it works properly and builds the bgl.

Every other kml file works properly as long as I do not attach the Polygonhole tag.

By the way, I have put the upgrade into FSX (SP1) and SDK (SP1a).
 

MatthewS

Resource contributor
Would it be possible to upload the .KML file? That will make it easy to see what's happening.
 
Thanks for taking the time to try and help me.

I was just about ready to re-install SDK to see if that made a difference.
Mac

Have had some success. I put all three files into the same kml file and tagged them there. Then ran FSX KML. Now the polyhole seems to work and even though there is nothing that shows it worked, I do have an island.

Hopefully I will now be able to put a lot of islands the same klm as there must be 100 to 200 islands in Barkley Sound.

I guess it must be something in the SDK that will not let a polyhole bgl be built from it's own KML.

Will do some further testing and hope I don't run into any more problems.

Then on to shorelines. I'm sure I can screw something up there. LOL
 
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MatthewS

Resource contributor
Have had some success. I put all three files into the same kml file and tagged them there. Then ran FSX KML. Now the polyhole seems to work and even though there is nothing that shows it worked, I do have an island.

Hopefully I will now be able to put a lot of islands the same klm as there must be 100 to 200 islands in Barkley Sound.

I guess it must be something in the SDK that will not let a polyhole bgl be built from it's own KML.

Glad you got it working.

Here is a quote from the manual:
http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=FSX_KML#Creating_a_river_with_islands

"Polygon holes must be placed after the polygon. In other words, the polygon hole is associated with the preceding polygon. Additionally the polygon and polygon hole must be in the same KML folder"


ie, in the same KML folder in the one KML file
 
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Thanks for the help.

As usual the problem arises because people (me) don't read the instructions carefully.:eek:

Sorry to have taken up your time.

Mac


Do have one more question though. As I have a lot of islands to put in Barkley Sound, obviously I woun't get them done in one sitting. Is there a way to lock the tags so they do not need to be entered every time I save a file from Google. Because it is overwriting the KML I image the answer is no, however, as I know nothing about these matters thought I would ask. It will be a bit of a bother adding the tags every time I add some islands.
 
Last edited:

MatthewS

Resource contributor
Do have one more question though. As I have a lot of islands to put in Barkley Sound, obviously I woun't get them done in one sitting. Is there a way to lock the tags so they do not need to be entered every time I save a file from Google. Because it is overwriting the KML I image the answer is no, however, as I know nothing about these matters thought I would ask. It will be a bit of a bother adding the tags every time I add some islands.

No need to "lock"... what I do is click on the "Open in Google Earth" button and FSX KML will attempt to open Google Earth and pass it the KML file.

So you should see all of your tags come up in Google earth, and when you save from Google Earth back to a KML file the tags should still be there.

After saving in GE make sure you click the "Reload" button in FSX KML to reload your updated KML file from disk into FSX KML.

It would be painful to have to re-enter your tags every time you want to update the KML in GE. :)
 
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Or, could do it like I do and leave FSX_KML open and copy the tag I need from the big old list and put that in the properties of my shape/line. Or even manually type it if you know it exactly, like PolygonHole.
 
:D :D :D
The more I work with this program the more I like it.

Thanks for the great program and all the help from everyone.

Might be able to get this project done in a couple of years, I think that's how long it took me with grnd2k4 for fs9.;)




Boy! Computer literate I am not.
When I open GE from FSX KLM where should the tags show in GE?
The only place I can see they would be is in the description box. Nothing there.
 
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Hi Mac,

OK, I'm not too sure what your 'workflow' is, but here's mine.

Step 1) In GE click to highlight Temporary Places.

Step 2) RightClick and say 'Add Folder' - give it a happy name eg 'Barkley Sound Islands'

This does two things - it means that fsxkml will create a single output file, AND it means that your polygon holes tie up with your exclusion zones. See the manual for more info.

Step 3) In GE create an 'exclusion zone' - in the description field type in Exclude__WaterPolys. My exclusion zones tend to only contain 4 or 5 points as a 'blanket

Step 4) Save this puppy as your kml file. Rightclick the folder 'Barkley Sound Islands' your project name remember, and choose save as , remembering to select kml, NOT kmz (the default setting).

Step 4a) You can now try out your new shiney ocean, by opening fsxkml, opening your 'Barkley Sound Islands' kml file, and choosing build. you will get your 'Barkley Sound Islands' bgl file produced for you.

Step 5) You need to put all your exclusions into your project first. In my case I am excluding WaterPolys, Shorelines, Roads, Streams, etc (I found that the exclude__everything tag did not work).

Step 6) You can now build your BASIC islands. These polygon shapes are the POLYGONHOLES, and they need to be listed AFTER the exclusions. Think of the polygon holes as a cookie cutter removing the ocean !!! Give the polyholes as good a name as you can - eg 'Swan Island', 'Bleaker' etc...

Step 7) IF YOU NEED to ALTER THE LAND TYPE THAT SHOWS THROUGH

Say the 'Swan Island' and a bunch of others are savanna grass islands...

A tip here is to create a 'sub folder', eg 'Savanna Grass Islands' and then put your island polys in here - the point is - you ONLY need to place the attribute 'LandClassPoly_Savanna_Grass' into the description of the FOLDER, not each individual island polygon (In the manual too ;-) ).

How do you redraw all those lousy islands ? Just click on the 'Swan Island' Polygon hole, copy it, and paste a copy into your new folder. Remember to edit the properties and remove the polygon hole tag - it overrides the definition you put into the folder.


Step 8) Repeat step 4...



You'll notice that I am building the project almost uniquely in GE. I tend to only edit and change things in fsxkml when trying to test some tags before I settle on the one that looks right. Then I copy the tag, go back to GE, and paste the tag into the 'relevant folder' description.

Have a hunt for the posts I have made - I have been going through the same pain that you now have - and there are some screen shots. I have built WAY too many islands using this method.

Good luck.
 
Thanks for the steps.

That will save me a lot of trial and error. Unfortunately I have not used GE before either, so am trying to wrap these old grey cells around a lot.:confused:

I hate doing a whole lot of work then loosing it because I did something stupid.:mad:

Now I need to divide an area of approx 5000 sq miles into sections so I can handle it without going crazy.

Mac
 
Thanks for the steps.

That will save me a lot of trial and error. Unfortunately I have not used GE before either, so am trying to wrap these old grey cells around a lot.:confused:

I hate doing a whole lot of work then loosing it because I did something stupid.:mad:

Now I need to divide an area of approx 5000 sq miles into sections so I can handle it without going crazy.

Mac

I'm doing the Falklands, so I know your pain.

I do recommend getting yourself a graphics tablet.

Also as you say, trying to do the 'whole' thing in one is not that good an idea.

If I was starting again, I would basically make the island as slices in a cake.

Maybe 6 or 8 pieces, so that the crinkly bits are not too overwhelming.

I did the whole of the main islands in one go. Nightmare... GE starts to slow down big time, keeping track of a 30,000 point polygon !
 
You sound very busy.
I did the area around Tofino, Barkley Sound and Port Alberni with grnd2k4. I'm fine as long as I can just draw lines.


"I do recommend getting yourself a graphics tablet."


Ok I'll bite.:D

What is a graphics tablet and what does it do?:scratchch
 
You sound very busy.
I did the area around Tofino, Barkley Sound and Port Alberni with grnd2k4. I'm fine as long as I can just draw lines.


"I do recommend getting yourself a graphics tablet."


Ok I'll bite.:D

What is a graphics tablet and what does it do?:scratchch

The tablet I bought, replaces a mouse for drawing...

Helps prevent your arm catching fire when building the Falklands ;)
 

MatthewS

Resource contributor
The Wacom tablets are very good. I have one and its much easier than using the mouse.

Also, your kids will love it for painting etc.
 
Hi Mac,

OK, I'm not too sure what your 'workflow' is, but here's mine.

Step 1) In GE click to highlight Temporary Places.

Step 2) RightClick and say 'Add Folder' - give it a happy name eg 'Barkley Sound Islands'

This does two things - it means that fsxkml will create a single output file, AND it means that your polygon holes tie up with your exclusion zones. See the manual for more info.

Step 3) In GE create an 'exclusion zone' - in the description field type in Exclude__WaterPolys. My exclusion zones tend to only contain 4 or 5 points as a 'blanket

Step 4) Save this puppy as your kml file. Rightclick the folder 'Barkley Sound Islands' your project name remember, and choose save as , remembering to select kml, NOT kmz (the default setting).

Step 4a) You can now try out your new shiney ocean, by opening fsxkml, opening your 'Barkley Sound Islands' kml file, and choosing build. you will get your 'Barkley Sound Islands' bgl file produced for you.

Step 5) You need to put all your exclusions into your project first. In my case I am excluding WaterPolys, Shorelines, Roads, Streams, etc (I found that the exclude__everything tag did not work).

Step 6) You can now build your BASIC islands. These polygon shapes are the POLYGONHOLES, and they need to be listed AFTER the exclusions. Think of the polygon holes as a cookie cutter removing the ocean !!! Give the polyholes as good a name as you can - eg 'Swan Island', 'Bleaker' etc...

Step 7) IF YOU NEED to ALTER THE LAND TYPE THAT SHOWS THROUGH

Say the 'Swan Island' and a bunch of others are savanna grass islands...

A tip here is to create a 'sub folder', eg 'Savanna Grass Islands' and then put your island polys in here - the point is - you ONLY need to place the attribute 'LandClassPoly_Savanna_Grass' into the description of the FOLDER, not each individual island polygon (In the manual too ;-) ).

How do you redraw all those lousy islands ? Just click on the 'Swan Island' Polygon hole, copy it, and paste a copy into your new folder. Remember to edit the properties and remove the polygon hole tag - it overrides the definition you put into the folder.


Step 8) Repeat step 4...



You'll notice that I am building the project almost uniquely in GE. I tend to only edit and change things in fsxkml when trying to test some tags before I settle on the one that looks right. Then I copy the tag, go back to GE, and paste the tag into the 'relevant folder' description.

Have a hunt for the posts I have made - I have been going through the same pain that you now have - and there are some screen shots. I have built WAY too many islands using this method.

Good luck.

Awesome instructions. I have followed them to the "T" and I have three islands now showing in FS off of the Oregon coast. My only (*two*) issues are these -- how do I make it "landable" (*not sink through the ground*) and how do I edit elevations? (*would that have to be a separate SbuilderX project?*)

EDIT -- "Last Activity: 08-05-2008 15:58" -- that's not good for the home team... :)
 

MatthewS

Resource contributor
Awesome instructions. I have followed them to the "T" and I have three islands now showing in FS off of the Oregon coast. My only (*two*) issues are these -- how do I make it "landable" (*not sink through the ground*) and how do I edit elevations? (*would that have to be a separate SbuilderX project?*)

EDIT -- "Last Activity: 08-05-2008 15:58" -- that's not good for the home team... :)

You can't edit elevations in FSX KML so you would need to use some other tool to create a "mesh" for that area. SRTM2BGL would do it if you have access to the NASA SRTM data or failing that some other tool that lets you "manually" edit the mesh data (SBuilderX???).
 
I totally made these islands up as part of a testing system (*away from everything else, no interference, etc*), so SRTM would not be useful at all. I figured SbuilderX - my concern is how do I get my islands there so that I'm not redoing everything... I've got an hour before work, so I'll play around with it a bit :)
 
I am also an island maker and in my last project (unfinished) I had no luck :( will try with these instructions.

I use a freeware mesh (FSX Terrain Mesh South America) and therefore I use those elevations that are much better than the default.

As for the landable (also my last project) you need to make the airport background tag on one polygon and there was some special exclude or something like that with Flatten+LandClass and other stuff in the same tag. Well, I have to try it on my island but haven't got more time for the moment, I hope to get it working.
 
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