Issues with ground polygon creation

arno

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#1
In this thread I would like to make an inventory of the issues and problems that developers now have with the construction of ground polygons. Please add the issues that you feel are most annoying!
 

arno

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#2
One issue I would say is that developers need to use the FS2002 gamepack for ground polygons. Even installing this gamepack can already be a lot of work and it makes the workflow more complex. Besides that the tweaks required in the ASM file also form an additional barrier to making such polygons.

So one idea that I have is that the tool can read a FS2004 or FSX MDL file, extract the ground polygons from these and then create the proper (FS2002 gamepack like) output for ground polygons. During this process even the cutting into smaller pieces for the FSX earth curvation can be done automatically, so that the developer does not have to worry about this in GMax anymore.

An interesting question here would be if users prefer to make their ground polygons in GMax or that a ground polygon tool should also have the possibility to draw them directly in the tool. For example with a background image of the airport. Making sure that the GMax coordinates line up with the world can be difficult as well. I would like to know how others think about this.

Let me know if there are more issues you would like to add...
 

spotlope

FSDevConf team
#3
One of the bigger pains I have with FS8 ground polys is how they eliminate autogen within their area. It may be that it's not possible to stop this, but if we could, it would be an enormous help.
 

spotlope

FSDevConf team
#4
Another issue that I had with Tongass Fjords X is that it seems adding night textures to stacked FS8 ground polys results in drawing errors in the DX10 preview. I was trying to do some splashes of light on an apron, but in DX10 it came out as a blank, untextured block. Once I removed the night texture variants, the problem was resolved, but then I couldn't do my lights. Again, not sure if anything can be done for this, but it's a problem.
 

arno

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#5
One of the bigger pains I have with FS8 ground polys is how they eliminate autogen within their area. It may be that it's not possible to stop this, but if we could, it would be an enormous help.
I think it might be possible to minimize this if the code produced is setup cleverly, although completely preventing it might not be possible. I'll put that one on the list as well.
 

arno

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#6
I have setup a Wiki page where I will keep track of the issues mentioned and I will update it as the discussions go on.
 
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#7
Its been some time since I messed with this, but at that time we had to create seperate polys every 100m or so, to avoid distortion due to round earth.
 

arno

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#8
Its been some time since I messed with this, but at that time we had to create seperate polys every 100m or so, to avoid distortion due to round earth.
Yes, that is still the case. Automatically doing that in the background is also on my idea list :).
 
#9
What about being able to make light pool polys with transparency that can be set on or off at different times of day or month or year? Basically putting a time condition on the poly.
 

arno

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#10
What about being able to make light pool polys with transparency that can be set on or off at different times of day or month or year? Basically putting a time condition on the poly.
Thanks, that is a nice idea as well, to help in the construction of night sceneries.
 
#11
Been thinking, insteed of trying to shape the poly to the ground, maybe we could completly flatten to ground?

Could this be done?
Or just have one flat poly with one flat platform under it. Although depending on how much the earth falls you might see the edges lifted off the ground.

nick
 

arno

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#12
Hi,

I don't think flattening would work, you would still have the curvation. And for a polygon of a few hundred meters you will easily see that at the edges.
 
#13
An option to fork the process to make FSX ground polys would be nice...

Biggest problem I have with those at the moment is coplanar taxi lines and drawing order (ie they are invisible in a project that I'm working on). It would be nice if the tool could either rename materials and/or set all the correct parameters to have the taxi-lines both appear as they should and not z-fight with the GP. Also making them curve properly with the GP when you deform it for earth's curvature, and calculating/ setting that curvature would be nice.

Automating the application of precipitation and other FSX effects might be handy too if we're looking at making it possible for everyone to make a GP easily without knowing too much of the nitty gritty.

EDIT: Some other things I just thought of:
- Manipulating huge files (PSB and/or BigTIFF) as even a regional airport can have a source image >2GB and 30000 pixels in any direction
- Keeping the scale between the GMAX model and the source image can be a challenge when applying UVW maps.
- Some method would need to be defined to define a cut-out area and scale parameters so that the tool knew how many pixels were in a set distance. Some sort of image registering system might be required to set out pixels/meter, runway orientation, etc.
- Automating creation of the 5-8 pixel border around the edges of the tiles to prevent the seams showing at the tile edges.
- having the ability to output to a format that can be edited to refine the textures and do some post-processing before compiling, and to tweak the LODS on an FSX poly is necessary which would be hard to automate.

cheers

Bungo
 
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