New FSX scenery design tool using Google Earth

#23
Hi, I tried to use the program with a very simple kml file. The file was loaded as a project and displayed correctly. With the build command I tried to produce the shape-file(s), the program told me that build was complete - but I could not locate the output, there seems to be none. So I wonder where I made a mistake.
For reference I add the contents of the kml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://earth.google.com/kml/2.1">
<Placemark>
<name>Test</name>
<description>Airport_Backgrounds_ExcludeAutoGen
</description>
<Polygon>
<tessellate>1</tessellate>
<outerBoundaryIs>
<LinearRing>
<coordinates>
-62.84759644455114,17.90551495539929,0 -62.84661301974133,17.90321543292274,0 -62.84392619619135,17.90323474327987,0 -62.84029733092051,17.90376327191325,0 -62.84118338041994,17.90547132955849,0 -62.84759644455114,17.90551495539929,0 </coordinates>
</LinearRing>
</outerBoundaryIs>
</Polygon>
</Placemark>
</kml>

Could you explain?
Winfried
 
#25
.......<snipped>
I will upload a alpha of this tool over the next week or so. In the meantime here are a couple of screenshots showing before and after shots from the FSX beta 3 from South West Rocks (NSW, Australia).

Comments will be much appreciated.

Thanks
MS.
Nice work in enhancing the default scenery as shown in the screenshots Mathew. I am very interested in your development of this tool. We, The Freeflow Team, used GE extensively in the development of our latest release, the Bahamas, coming out in the next week or so. Not having time or talent to develop a tool such as yours we relied extensively on creating calbrated images in GE as documented on our forum at http://www.fs-freeflow.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1376.0

However, Scott Gridley and I have talked extensively about the need for a tool exactly like the one you are working on here. We are still working in FS9 but will likely be porting our sceneries over to FSX in the future. A tool such as yours would have been fantastic but we are beginning to wrap up the Bahamas. I think it will be extremely useful in the future for refining our work.

Bob Brown http://www.fs-freeflow.com/
 
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#26
Hi, I tried to use the program with a very simple kml file. The file was loaded as a project and displayed correctly. With the build command I tried to produce the shape-file(s), the program told me that build was complete - but I could not locate the output, there seems to be none. So I wonder where I made a mistake.
I just tried it and seems to work ok... You should see something like this in the output log:-

Build started
Processing W:\issues\2\test.kml
Writing Shapefile FLXTEST
Writing Shp2Vec config file - FLXTEST.XML
Running Run_SDK_Tools.bat
Build completed


I called my file Test.KML so it created a file called cvxTest.BGL

Also... in FSX KML does it show the "test" row in RED ? if so you will need to select a valid tag, highlight the test row... then click on the description cell... and press F2, and select the tag again.

If you cant get it working... can you please post your Test.KML file so I can debug?
 
#27
Scott Gridley and I have talked extensively about the need for a tool exactly like the one you are working on here. We are still working in FS9 but will likely be porting our sceneries over to FSX in the future. A tool such as yours would have been fantastic but we are beginning to wrap up the Bahamas. I think it will be extremely useful in the future for refining our work.
Bob Brown http://www.fs-freeflow.com/
I've seen your work and its very nice!!!

I hope FSX_KML will encourage a lot of freeware scenery to be created and I will continue to enhance it.

I've been thinking about creating some type of global scenery project website. A place where a concerted development effort of free worldwide coast, river and landclass scenery using FSX_KML could be coordinated. If there were say 50 FSX_KML users working to plan think of how much accurate scenery could be created! Major rivers, highways, coastlines & beaches, cities, national parks etc. Could really pump up the realism in FSX.

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Global_Scenery_Project

What do you think?
 
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#28
I've seen your work and its very nice!!!

I hope FSX_KML will encourage a lot of freeware scenery to be created and I will continue to enhance it.

I've been thinking about creating some type of global scenery project website. A place where a concerted development effort of free worldwide coast, river and landclass scenery using FSX_KML could be coordinated. If there were say 50 FSX_KML users working to plan think of how much accurate scenery could be created! Major rivers, highways, coastlines & beaches, cities, national parks etc. Could really pump up the realism in FSX.

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Global_Scenery_Project

What do you think?
I think that is a very interesting idea. One could have a Google Map index where you could see the coverage for various geographic areas. It would take a lot of coordination but could be quite interesting. I hope people go to your Wiki and join in the discussion.
 
#30
Would it be difficult to adapt the tool to FS9 or is it only feasible using the FSX SDK?
The FSX terrain SDK is much easier to use than the FS9 one and basically all I needed to do was make FSX KML generate the appropriate Shape Files and let Shp2Vec (FSX SDK tool) do the rest.

It would be quite difficult to make it work with the FS9 SDK. Unless you have any ideas?
 
#31
I think that is a very interesting idea. One could have a Google Map index where you could see the coverage for various geographic areas. It would take a lot of coordination but could be quite interesting. I hope people go to your Wiki and join in the discussion.
Having a google maps catalog of released scenery is a good idea. And also mapping areas that are currently in development or areas that need to be developed.

For example, a "subproject" of the Global Scenery Project could be "Worlds Great Rivers". This subproject might have 100 rivers in it. The google map could show which rivers are released, which are currently being developed, and which rivers need to be worked on.

That might be all the "coordination" thats required. Anyone who wants to help, picks an item needing work, its assigned to them, shows up on the map, so others dont duplicate the effort.
 
#32
The FSX terrain SDK is much easier to use than the FS9 one and basically all I needed to do was make FSX KML generate the appropriate Shape Files and let Shp2Vec (FSX SDK tool) do the rest.

It would be quite difficult to make it work with the FS9 SDK. Unless you have any ideas?
I probably didn't express that properly. I should have said that if one has FSX and the FSX SDK that comes with it, then would it be possible to use the tool for FS9 work? I don't have a copy of FSX yet but is the structure of the data so fundamentally different that the tool could not work with FS9 assuming one possesses FSX and the FSX SDK?
 
#33
I probably didn't express that properly. I should have said that if one has FSX and the FSX SDK that comes with it, then would it be possible to use the tool for FS9 work? I don't have a copy of FSX yet but is the structure of the data so fundamentally different that the tool could not work with FS9 assuming one possesses FSX and the FSX SDK?
Im not sure, but I dont think so. I think BGLs generated by the FSX SDK are slightly different to FS9 BGLs, and as such you can't use them in FS9.

However, I haven't actually tested it so I might be wrong.

I'm no scenery expert, there would be others here that know far more about it than me.
 

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#34
Im not sure, but I dont think so. I think BGLs generated by the FSX SDK are slightly different to FS9 BGLs, and as such you can't use them in FS9.

However, I haven't actually tested it so I might be wrong.

I'm no scenery expert, there would be others here that know far more about it than me.
They are different. There is a description of some of the differences on the Wiki:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Structure_of_Airport_files_in_FSX

and Winfried Orthman has been working on a de-compiler. The lastest version and a discussion are here:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3017

The differences in the bgl structure would stop it working in FS9 I think
 
#35
Great works :)

For italian user change in the international setting (XP) the decimal separator,

From "," to "." (point) to remove the floating point error
 
#36
As you've already got the code working to make shp files, it should be pretty simple to convert from kml to a format that could imported by SBuilder (sbx,mp) and edited, or compiled by scasm directly. That would achieve FS9 compatibility.
 
#37
Hi,
the problem was solved with your advice, it was indeed an invalid description. Maybe you should put in your manual a warning that when the line is in red there is something wrong, and how to obtain a valid description. BTW, I think it is easier to do that within your program than to enter a correct description with GE.
Comparing the cvx file produced by shp2vec with the original shx file gives me the impression that it woud be a very time-consuming and difficult task if someone would try to develop a program to reverse the process, i.e. to produce one or more shx files from a cvx file :( . But since we can use TfmViewer to see what MS has done in some part of the earth we are interested in, I think we can do without such a program.
Thanx
Winfried
 
#38
As you've already got the code working to make shp files, it should be pretty simple to convert from kml to a format that could imported by SBuilder (sbx,mp) and edited, or compiled by scasm directly. That would achieve FS9 compatibility.
But of course Scott. Get them to shp files and that would do it. Sounds like that would involve just adding an option to produce shp files only. Good idea. I think Luis is adding a shape file import capability to the new Sbuilder.
 
#39
I have the tool working just fine but the Tag discription like Winfried says can be misleading if you don't copy it correctly. Even though the compile says complete the shp files are not generated if the tag discriptin is not exact.

However, there are additional problems that are in FSX and I don't see anyone addressing these issues.

These problems relate to the flatten and elevation.

The tool works perfectly when adding additional poly ground texture if a airport is close to sea level or does not have a lot of terrain elevation change.

My example would be Atlanta GA. The elevation of the airport is 1024 ft. They added a new runway south of the main Terminal and outside the flatten bounds of the default airport. The terrain is at 940 ft where the new runway will sit.

Once I add the new runway and all the taxiway's by default these will flatten the terrain up to 1024 ft once attached to the exsisting runway. Everything appears to look ok at this point until the grass texture/flatten/remove auto gen TAg is compiled from a KML file.

Now everything from the new runway back to the Atlanta airport default flatten looks like the Grand Canyon. It does not matter what tool I use to add a new texture for the airport border this occurs. Holes every where that go all the way down to 0 ft. from 1024 ft.

If I start moving the 3 scenery sliders to change the mesh and terrain it only amplifies the definition of the canyons.

It does not matter what type tool used or what airport I try to add a airport ground texture border too thay all are greating canyons in the ground based on the way FSX is handling flattens.

Several weeks ago I reported on this problem and how flattens in FSX appear to be a varible. I thought this new tool would handle the issue but I still get the same results.

pictures available if needed
 

rhumbaflappy

Moderator
Staff member
Resource contributor
#40
However, there are additional problems that are in FSX and I don't see anyone addressing these issues.

These problems relate to the flatten and elevation.

The tool works perfectly when adding additional poly ground texture if a airport is close to sea level or does not have a lot of terrain elevation change.

My example would be Atlanta GA. The elevation of the airport is 1024 ft. They added a new runway south of the main Terminal and outside the flatten bounds of the default airport. The terrain is at 940 ft where the new runway will sit.

Once I add the new runway and all the taxiway's by default these will flatten the terrain up to 1024 ft once attached to the exsisting runway. Everything appears to look ok at this point until the grass texture/flatten/remove auto gen TAg is compiled from a KML file.

Now everything from the new runway back to the Atlanta airport default flatten looks like the Grand Canyon. It does not matter what tool I use to add a new texture for the airport border this occurs. Holes every where that go all the way down to 0 ft. from 1024 ft.

If I start moving the 3 scenery sliders to change the mesh and terrain it only amplifies the definition of the canyons.
You have to study the terrain.cfg. Any "Texture" that has a flatten mode will revert to 0.0 meters elevation if no z coordinate is added to the shape file.

The default terrain.cfg has this:

// Airport Backgrounds (FSX) - MaskClassMap + ExcludeAutoGen
[Texture.166]
Name=Airport_Backgrounds_MaskClassMap_ExcludeAutoGen
Color=FFFFFF00
guid={594E70C8-06A5-4E3F-BE6E-4DBF50B49D11}
FlattenMode=none
LandClassRemapType=airport
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=No
RenderPriority=20000
Water=No


It is standard maskclass mapping with no flattening.

If you desire a specific landclass, without autogen, beware of the "Legacy Airport Backgrounds" as they have mistakenly been given flattening... this is what ruins most FS9 imported airfields, in the manner you described.

To get a specific landclass for an airport background, you need to apply "Land Class Polygons"in one poly, and then exclude autogen with another poly:

// Airport Backgrounds (FSX) - ExcludeAutoGen
[Texture.264]
Name=Airport_Backgrounds_ExcludeAutoGen
Color=FFFFFF00
guid={6C0C6528-5CF1-483A-A586-2C905CF2757E}
FlattenMode=none
LandClassRemapType=none
ExcludeAutogen=Yes
RenderToTexture=No
RenderPriority=200000
Water=No


This is the standard exclude poly definition for excluding atuogen.

Dick
 
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