Newbie SBuilder questions

JonPatch

Resource contributor
#1
Folks, I'm just starting with SBuilder. I did the Island Tutorial and that was fine, up to the point of creating the BGLs. Some questions:

Background Map
- When I create my map, the result at the edges doesn't exactly match the LOD13 gridlines in SBuilder. It's slightly smaller. See image. Why is this?
- When cropping the image, it's not clear to me why it should be cropped at the inside edge of the LOD13 gridlines, rather than in the middle. Isn't the middle more accurate? Regardless, whichever way I do it my result is still slightly smaller than the SBuilder LOD13 lines

Output creation
- for some reason, when I select my lines and polys, click the BGL button, tick the "copy files to BGL folders" checkbox and click "compile" I get no output. I've defined my folders in the project properties, but nothing appears there.

Impact of modifying terrain/shorelines adjacent to existing info.
- I'm assuming I should NOT make land/waterclass polys as I am only making minor adjustments to existing shorelines, and the existing class is fine. Correct?

Creating land/watermasks
- it's also not clear to me how to easily make LWMs: sure I can outline an area in poly mode, but that can be quite tedious to ensure that the resulting polys respect shorelines. In coastline maker, I could simply outline an area and fill it, ensuring that VTPs and poly boundaries aligned nicely. Is there an easier way to do this?

Jon
 

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arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#2
Hi Jon,

JonPatch said:
- When I create my map, the result at the edges doesn't exactly match the LOD13 gridlines in SBuilder. It's slightly smaller. See image. Why is this?
Did you convert the image from a certain coordinate system to another? In that case it can be that the edges change a bit.

JonPatch said:
- for some reason, when I select my lines and polys, click the BGL button, tick the "copy files to BGL folders" checkbox and click "compile" I get no output. I've defined my folders in the project properties, but nothing appears there.
I have noticed some problems before. When I selected an output folder outside of the SBuilder folder I had trouble as well.

JonPatch said:
- I'm assuming I should NOT make land/waterclass polys as I am only making minor adjustments to existing shorelines, and the existing class is fine. Correct?
Yep, that sounds correct.
 

JonPatch

Resource contributor
#3
Thanks for the reply, Arno.

arno said:
Did you convert the image from a certain coordinate system to another? In that case it can be that the edges change a bit.
Nope, the image is just a direct FS9 screenshot

arno said:
I have noticed some problems before. When I selected an output folder outside of the SBuilder folder I had trouble as well.
OK, I'll try using the SBuilder folders. My request for program developers is that they consider respecting the difference between program and data space. Data is best stored in document folders, not in the program folders. This makes data backup easier, and makes it much easier to consolidate development data that comes from multiple programs. /rant off ;)

Anyone else have answers to the other questions?

Jon
 

bpahe

Resource contributor
#4
Hi Jon!

Backgrund map: Placing images SBuilder is not an exact science. I do assume that you have calibrated the image, it is possible to adjust the size that way. Note the location of the mouse crosshair in SBuilder and use those coordinates to define the corner placement of the image.

Output creation: Again, I assume that you have downloaded the SCASM-tool and placed it in the SBuilder Tools-folder. I have noticed that the compilation does not always work, or at least the copying of the object to its correct location. Open the Tools/Work-folder and see if the compiled objects can be found there. Also, make sure that you, when defining project folders, select also the Scenery-subfolder. It might be a bug that objects are not copied otherwise?

Next... "I'm assuming I should NOT make land/waterclass polys as I am only making minor adjustments to existing shorelines, and the existing class is fine. Correct?" Yes.

Creating Land/Watermask: Select a poly and right-click on it to open the object properties. You´ll find a button named "make line" (if your objects is a poly, and vice versa), press it and a line matching the poly is created.

Another way, useful if you have a lot of polys - or lines - is to export the scenery as Surfer BLN-file. You can then import that file and specify that you want to create for example polygons out of every (closed) line that can be found in the scenery. This creates shorelines in no-time.

Hope this is helpfull. I´ve :banghead: a lot with SBuilder, but so far it´s been worth it in spades! :)

/hans
 

JonPatch

Resource contributor
#5
Hi Hans,

Thanks for the informative answer, and I'm glad to hear you're finding SBuilder worth the effort.

- yup the image is calibrated, and I can muck about to make it more precise. I'll see how the boundaries look to adjacent cells that I'm not modifying first

- when I use the "make poly" function I get the result shown in the attachment: you can see the resulting land poly includes only part of the land I want, and includes water that I don't want in that poly. I tried your surfer-BLN suggestion, but it doesn't fill this area, maybe because it's not enclosed. See the attachment with red lines.

- Another question: once I've created a shoreline, and done some other work, how can I come back and extend the line if I forgot a piece? I know I can break the last segment of it and move the points, but is there an easier way?

Jon
 

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JonPatch

Resource contributor
#6
Yup, I was missing SCASM from that folder, thanks for the tip. Now I get the following error, whassup wid dat? I'm just compiling one little island...

Jon

Error in line 12
-> VTPPolyCount( 1 )
-> parameter expected!
Error in line 16
-> VTPCPoint( 2 0 )
-> unknown command
Error in line 17
-> VTPCPoint( -4 11 )
-> unknown command
Error in line 18
-> VTPCPoint( 2 3 )
-> unknown command
Error in line 19
-> VTPCPoint( 5 0 )
-> unknown command
Error in line 20
-> VTPCPoint( 0 -7 )
-> unknown command
Error in line 21
-> VTPCPoint( 3 -6 )
-> unknown command
Error in line 22
-> VTPCPoint( -4 -1 )
-> unknown command
Error in line 24
-> VTPCPoint( 0 2 )
-> unknown command
Scasm compilation status: error(s) 9
 

bpahe

Resource contributor
#7
Hi Again!

JonPatch said:
- when I use the "make poly" function I get the result shown in the attachment: you can see the resulting land poly includes only part of the land I want, and includes water that I don't want in that poly. I tried your surfer-BLN suggestion, but it doesn't fill this area, maybe because it's not enclosed.
Well, that´s what you get when filling an open line. :) What you can do is a) use AreaFill instead of polygons, although that may lead to other difficulties, or b) using the Poly-tool, insert new points by holding "I" and clicking on the line/edge where you want a new point inserted. Then drag the new points away from the coast, inwards land, so that you get a correct coast and some kind of filled shape - in your case to the left of the coast.

JonPatch said:
- Another question: once I've created a shoreline, and done some other work, how can I come back and extend the line if I forgot a piece? I know I can break the last segment of it and move the points, but is there an easier way?
The anser is in a way given above, use I to insert new points, B to brake lines, J for joining. So to extend f. ex. a coastline, I use to either move the last point (to the new endpoint location) and then insert points to create the lengthened line, or create a completely new line which I then join with the old line.

/hans

EDIT:

A whole lot of errors? What version of SBuilder are you using? Where did you place the SCASM.exe? Did you get at least version 2.95? :confused:
 
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JonPatch

Resource contributor
#8
Well, that´s what you get when filling an open line. What you can do is a) use AreaFill instead of polygons, although that may lead to other difficulties, or b) using the Poly-tool, insert new points by holding "I" and clicking on the line/edge where you want a new point inserted. Then drag the new points away from the coast, inwards land, so that you get a correct coast and some kind of filled shape - in your case to the left of the coast.
Indeed, I felt I was on shaky ground (no pun intended) filling an open line. I'll muck with this, thanks.

I do wonder now with the land poly created, how do I create the adjacent water poly?

A whole lot of errors? What version of SBuilder are you using? Where did you place the SCASM.exe? Did you get at least version 2.95?
Aha, i was using v2.90 of SCASM, and moving to 2.96 fixed this. O Happy Day.

Good progress, thanks Hans.

Jon
 

JonPatch

Resource contributor
#9
OK, here's what I did:

- enclosed the area completely with the shoreline. So I had a part of the shoreline running on land. I then created the land poly from that line, then deleted the couple of lines on land that were needed to complete the poly
- created a water mask for the cell

That mostly worked. But the land overlaps over the shoreline in places (see screenshot), I think I need a water poly to fix this. How can I create a water poly without redrawing a line which follows the shoreline?

Jon
 

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bpahe

Resource contributor
#10
JonPatch said:
That mostly worked. But the land overlaps over the shoreline in places (see screenshot), I think I need a water poly to fix this. How can I create a water poly without redrawing a line which follows the shoreline?
Hi Jon!

I guess that you mean the couple of meters that the landmass overlaps the coastline - I don´t really think that you need to define a separate water-poly for this. Do some tests with the width and placement of the shoreline.

If you need to make 2 separate polys (one land, one water) based on the same shoreline, just follow the procedure outlined above. Make Polys of the coastline, add points and move these to create a "square" on land, and the same for the water-fill except that you move the square towards land... :)

/hans
 

JonPatch

Resource contributor
#11
Hey Hans,

I'm really happy with how quickly this is going, I've been able to overcome a slew of newbie hurdles which I don't need to mention :tapedshut , and you are filling in the gaps nicely.

I"m still not 100% clear that I followed your instructions, although I got the result I wanted for the land poly with a bit of fudging. Doing the same thing for water would require me to create a lot of fake lines, then delete them. See the attachment for what I did.

Step 1A - I enclose the polygon by adding one or two lines that match the edge of the cell.

Step 1B - with this line selected, I make a poly and convert it to a land poly

Step 2 - I delete the extra line so that I don't have a shoreline running through the land. I also move the end and start points away from the edge of the cell so they don't overlap on the next cell and cause that cell to not display shorelines.

Is this what you intended?

P.S.: the shoreline width and the exact location of the shorelines are parameters I would prefer not to change as they are reasonably accurate.

EDIT: I created new water polys by creating new lines duplicating the shoreline, then enclosed the water. This corrected most of the problem with terrain overlapping the shoreline. It's rather crude, but as I'm only doing such a small area (4xLOD13), it was no big deal. As a bonus I saw that I could redo my flatten and excludes with SBuilder, so I did that.

So I've got my shorelines fixed in a just a few hours, after struggling unsuccessfully for a long time with an older tool. And I like the other capabilities of SBuilder, so I'm a fan.

Hans and Arno, thank you for your help.

Now to complete this project I have only one more major hurdle: getting some specific data I need. The hunt resumes tomorrow.

Jon
 

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bpahe

Resource contributor
#12
Hi again Jon!

Glad you found our help usefull. If I can find the time I´ll try to write down some kind of tip-list/guide. Someday. :D

/hans
 
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