Making Water

#1
Is there a step-by-step, almost idiot-proof tutorial out there to make water (lake) in FS9? Also, what program is the best to do this with that will match the tutorial. Thanks!!

Don
 
#2
Hi Don:

I'd recommend using SBuilder 2.x for FS9:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/downloads.php?do=file&id=68


One should create the water body as a polygon by clicking to create the vertices clockwise.

The shoreline (if created separately from the hydro poly) should be created as a poly-line by clicking to create the vertices in a counter-clockwise direction.

Alternatively, with SBuilder (or separate utility if needed), just make a copy of the hydro poly, split the end open to make it into a polyline, then reverse the sequence of the vertices from clockwise to counter-clockwise.



If you wanted to use Google Earth ("GE") as your background imagery instead of bitmaps grabbed and geo-referenced into SBuilder as "background maps", you could create your polygons and poly-lines there in GE, then save to a *.KML file.

You could then open that *KML file in FSX-KML, copy out the vertices in the "XML" view, and paste them into NotePad.


http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6366


In NotePad, edit the vertices to create a *.BLN file; then you can "Append" the *.BLN file in SBuilder to edit further and create your FS9 - compatible LWM hydro polys / VTP shorelines as desired.

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16937



Hope this mini-overview helps ! :)

GaryGB
 
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#3
Hi Gary! Long time no see! I will have to examine this information very carefully. It sounds tough, but I am sure it is not that bad once one goes through it one time. Thanks, buddy! I appreciate the help. I wish it was as easy as it was for FS2000! :)

Don
 
#4
Hi Don:

I forgot to mention a few things in relation to using X,Y,Z coordinates extracted from an external program source like GoogleEarth ("GE") via a KML file opened in FSX-KML: :idea:


GE --> *.KML file --> FSX-KML --> "XML View" Tab --> Copy X,Y,Z coordinate sets into NotePad


...rather than clicking coordinates directly into SBuilder using a "background map image", one can create a *.BLN format file for SBuilder to "Append".



To do this, paste your X,Y,Z (Lon/Lat/Elevation) coordinates for each vertex into NotePad, and edit as needed, so your X,Y,Z coordinates for each vertex are on (1) line apiece


NOTE: Each line is a "record"... with vertex X,Y,Z coordinate data as "fields".


Next, "copy" the top-most line (Record) of X,Y,Z coordinates and paste them at the bottom to become the last line (Record) in that NotePad file


NOTE: This properly aligns vertices and allows one to "close" a vector shape made of vector coordinate "points" or "nodes"; if not done, the data will remain an incomplete "triangle" poly and/or poly-line, so a completely "square" poly or poly-line can't be made.

FYI: The FS scenery utility used (ex: SBuilder for FS9) must set the attribute for FS SDK BGLCompiler that makes the data into a FS9 LWM water poly so that the vertices are "joined" into a true polygon, rather than a FS9 VTP poly-line.


Then count the (current) total number of lines of vertex X,Y,Z coordinates (Records) you have in the Notepad file.


Now put that number for the total current number of lines of vertex X,Y,Z coordinates at the top in the Notepad file above your existing top line of X,Y,Z coordinates.

That number for the total current number of lines of vertex X,Y,Z coordinates will then become the 'new' first "Header" line in the file; it must now be followed by a single comma character (",") like this (comments in RED are for explanatory purposes only... do NOT include them in your NotePad file) :


EXAMPLE *.TXT POLYGON file in NotePad

These are X,Y,Z Coordinates for vertices of a square water poly (CLOCKWISE):

-123.082982475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- NW [Top Line - is also COPIED to bottom]
-123.082966475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- NE
-123.082966475264000,47.526407035940100,190 <- SE
-123.082982475264000,47.526407035940100,190 <- SW
-123.082982475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- NW [vertex overlap "closes" polyline to make it a polygon]

[EDITED]
NOTE: I believe tabs or spaces can be used as delimiters between X,Y,Z coordinates instead of commas, but the comma and "0" (zero) after the X,Y,Z total line count is required for a "simple format Surfer blanking file" *.BLN file.

Also note that in a "simple format Surfer blanking file" *.BLN file, in addition to the required "Header" with a comma and "0" (zero) after the X,Y,Z total line (Record) count, commas are used as delimiters between X,Y,Z coordinates (Fields) on the "Vertex" (Record) lines.


There are (5) lines of X,Y,Z coordinates, so one edits the NotePad file to now read:

5,0 <- Numeral for total number of X,Y,Z coordinate lines followed by a comma and a "0" (this is a 'Header' line)
-123.082982475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- ("Vertex" line #1)
-123.082966475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- ("Vertex" line #2)
-123.082966475264000,47.526407035940100,190 <- ("Vertex" line #3)
-123.082982475264000,47.526407035940100,190 <- ("Vertex" line #4)
-123.082982475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- ("Vertex" line #5)


Finally, in NotePad, click File > Save As, and set "Save as type" to "All Files", enter your desired file name (being sure to use a "BLN" 3-character file extension) and save your file.


The *.BLN file can now be "Appended" to SBuilder for FS9 or SBuilderX for FSX for further processing.

CAVEAT: Be sure to use the latest versions of SBuilder.

In older versions of SBuilder for FS9, to append BLN files, "header" lines were required to be customized by use of a number other than "0" after the comma to define the intended line width for polylines.

Newer versions of SBuilder for FS9, and SBuilderX now assume BLN "Header" lines will have after the X,Y,Z total line count, a comma and "0" (zero); that terminating "0" is no longer customized in the BLN file itself, and definition of intended line width for appended polylines is done via a SBuilder pop-up dialog during the append process.

However, note that SBuilder allows definition of the delimiter between X,Y,Z fields in appended BLN files by editing the SBuilder.ini file located in the main root folder where SBuilder is installed.

NOTE: A comma is the default BLN field delimiter (separator), but one can also substitute the word "tab" for the comma "," character:


[BLN]
- BLNSeparator=, - This is the separator used between fields in BLN files.


[END_EDIT]


FYI: If making a shoreline for the above water polygon, the coordinate line (Record) sequence ('winding' direction) for the poly-line must be reversed (

BTW: Some FS Scenery utilities (ex: FSX-KML) and GIS applications off a feature that can reverse the entire vertex X,Y,Z coordinate line (Record) sequence / order ...to save one having to manually edit them ! )



EXAMPLE *.TXT POLY-LINE file in NotePad

These are XYZ Coordinates for vertices of a square water poly-line "vector path" (COUNTER-CLOCKWISE):

-123.082982475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- NW [Top Line - is also COPIED to bottom]
-123.082982475264000,47.526407035940100,190 <- SW
-123.082966475264000,47.526407035940100,190 <- SE
-123.082966475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- NE
-123.082982475264000,47.526423035940100,190 <- NW [vertex overlap "closes" polyline to make it a polygon]


Remember to click File > Save As, and set "Save as type" to "All Files", enter your desired file name (being sure to use a "BLN" 3-character file extension) and save your file.


FYI: The FS scenery utility used (ex: SBuilder for FS9) must set the attribute for FS SDK BGLCompiler that makes the data into a FS9 VTP poly-line so that the vertices form a full-length line, rather than a FS9 LWM water poly.


Hope this helps orient you to the basics of that option in the process ! ;)



Oh, and I wanted to be sure you knew the legacy of wonderful AK/PNW SCASM API Macros you made/placed might be ported to FSX via Arno's ModelConverterX: :wizard:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=87


Happy Tinkering ! :cool:

GaryGB
 
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