Making blended dirt?

I'm trying to make some mountain camps in British Columbia. Not making detailed airports. Just trying to clear the trees and default scenery out of fairly small areas to make a realistic looking dirt area to place cabins , equipment and vehicles. I use Google Earth to create polys and poly lines.I use FSX KML to create flattens, excludes,m tagged terrain (?). I use Whisplacer to place objects.

The .KML generated in GE and processed with FSX KML are pretty close to what I'm looking for. BUT what I'm trying to do is create a much smoother border for the dirt areas. My KML terrain is too sharply defined. It doesn't look very realistic. I've seen several tutorials showing the use of blend masks for adding photoreal airports and such
After having seen some of the beautiful photoreal airports that others have created, it seems like what I want to do would be child's play.

I guess my real question is: Is there a way to take the poly that I have created in GE and processed with FSX KML and blend it more realistically into FSX?

I apologize if this has been explained before. I've searched and searched for the answer and have come up dry. Thank you in advance.
 
I think so. It depends on the mapping technique you used to texture the poly. If you are not tiling the bitmap then you can add an alpha channel to the texture, and progressively cut out the borders. Remember, white is opaque, black is transparent. And grey is half transparent and half opaque :p You can use any greyscale color you wish.
I usually paint the whole canvas in black, then select the opaque area with the lasso tool in photoshop, and add a feather to the selection, and finally paint it in white with the color bucket or whatever it's called :p
 
I guess my real question is: Is there a way to take the poly that I have created in GE and processed with FSX KML and blend it more realistically into FSX?
Possible? Yes, I believe so. But it would entail a more advanced knowledge of the workings of the SDKs. Any distribution of the work might get complicated.
 

rhumbaflappy

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Staff member
Resource contributor
Hi markself.

Vectors are sharp-edged. The sim does a bit of blending at lower scenery resolutions. Here's an animation of 10 meter, 5 meter, 1 meter, and 7cm:



As you can see, the 7cm has virtually no blending at all.

So this calls for yet another work-around. :)

Your dirt ares can be made into a pseudo-photoreal. Resample allows us to use a blendmask with photoreal. We can use any rectangular texture for photoreal... we just need to know the rectangular bounds of the area where to display it.

A dirt texture can be found by taking the landclass texture, and extracting the level 0 mip with imagetool ( save it as 24-bit BMP ).

You may need to stitch a few of these together to get an area large enough to cover your dirt area, at the right resolution. IrfanView has a good stitching function. A single landclass tile covers only about 1200 meters at LOD 15 ( the normal landclass resolution for FSX ).

You can grab a real-world image of your dirt area via SBuilderX with one of the satellite image backgrounds ( use level 15 or 16 ), and make that into a photoreal. In SBX's \Tools\Work\ folder, you can grab the BMP and the INF file. Substitute a properly cropped-sized level 0 mip for the satellite BMP, and you have your dirt base.

You then need to make a greyscale blend-mask with a paint program, and save it as a tiff file. Gaussian blur is your friend for the blended edges of the mask.

Rewrite the INF file to accommodate the use of the blend-mask, resample, and the new pseudo-photoreal pops out. As a bonus, you can now use seasonal autogen on it.

It sounds more complicated than it is. What you're doing is making a texture into a photoreal. Take it step-by-step, and you'll get there. If you get stuck, come back to this thread for help.

I would try this on a test area first. Once you do one or two, the process goes pretty quick.

So... step one, extract some level 0 mips from landclass textures, determine the general size of the dirt areas you want in meters, and stitch together a large dirt texture with IrfanView.

Dick
 

rhumbaflappy

Moderator
Staff member
Resource contributor
Here's something I worked on recently:







There's some work with a paint program needed, and editing the INF file, and extracting suitable mips from the landclass textures.

The trees in the foreground are autogen I placed on the photoreal.

Dick
 
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