FSX SbuilderX and AB_ExcludeAutoGen Poly

#1
Hello, I'm trying to remove autogen buildings from the commercial Mega airport Amsterdam in FSX. I'm using SBuilderX's Help and Scott Smart's Tutorial. The problem can be seen here:



and here:




These autogen buildings appear in EHAM only when I use custom european land class packages, either from Scenery Tech or Cloud9 (though in different locations on the field). When I remove them from the library, the autogen buildings also go off EHAM scenery completely. For what it matters I have also GEX installed but I don't think it's a factor in this.

I'd like to continue using LC from SceneryTech so, following some advices on the forums, I created a 4-point AB_ExcludeAutogen POLY in SBuilderX and placed it roughly on EHAM's scenery covering its area. I assigned altitude to all the points in meters (-3.3528m which is -11ft) and then compiled the bgl.
After that I copied my cvx_EHAM1.bgl into a new scenery layer, that I tried to place under SceneryTech (just above Addon Scenery layer) or between SceneryTech and Amsterdam Schiphol X. Nothing has helped so far, the autogen buildings are still there.

I'm out of ideas, please help, I think there's something else is needed to get rid of those pesky buildings.

Thanks,
Sabre.
 
#3
I guess my question is, are we sure this is autogen? "Normally", the autogen is determined by the terrain landclass texture. The landclass bgl assigns the texture and the texture has an accompanying .agn file which specifies the autogen. Now as far as I know, when custom terrain (photo terrain where the texture and placement are in same bgl created by resample) is used, its autogen will be used, not that from the landclass texture. (Not exactly sure if there is blendmask used, but doubt that is the case here).

So first I would look at the agn files for either the photo bgl (I doubt there is one) or the underlying landclass texture (look at your Scenery Tech or other source in tmfviewer to determine what landclass is called and then one of the landclass to texture filename lists to determine the textures).

But my first guess is that it isn't autogen rather an object placed with xml code.

scott s.
.
 
#4
But my first guess is that it isn't autogen rather an object placed with xml code.

scott s.
.
Scott, it may very well be as you are saying. I mentioned there, that the buildings only appear when either SceneryTech or Cloud9 European LC packages are installed (and added to the library).

So if they are in xml code, where can I locate the lines to remove from xml? I'm moving on a very thin line of understanding here, so please bear with me where I sound completely ignorant.

Thanks,
Sabre.
 
#5
Hello Dirk,

Thanks for writing. I have to agree with Scott - that is not autogen, so an autogen exclusion will not eliminate the buildings. (You can even see that there are no other autogen buildings or vegetation in the immediate vicinity, so the AB-Autogen Exclude is working correctly.)

Try a simple object exclude instead (use the Exclude Tool) - I guess those are either some kind of custom objects or perhaps generic buildings (although I don't recognize the textures at all.) But, either way, if you select "Exclude All", you should be able to get rid of them.

Best regards.
Luis
 
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#6
Hello Luis,

A few more questions: What is a better exclude strategy (fps-wise etc): one big exclude, or a number of tiny ones for each building in the wrong place on the airfield? Also, sorry I'm confused already, where should I place the exclude layer in the library in relation to Amsterdam X, above or under it? Say, Amsterdam X is Layer 135 and EHAM_Exclude is layer 147 (in scenery.cfg), is it correct? I understand altitude is no factor when using the exclude tool?

Thanks for your attention and help.
Dirk.
 
#7
Hello Dirk,

I would guess that one exclusion is better than thousands of small instances, but perhaps there is not much difference in performance when dealing with only a dozen or so. Since I have never tested this, I couldn't give you any advice.

As for the exclusion, you want it loaded in FS after the scenery to be excluded has been loaded. FS will process the elements in the order they are loaded, so it makes no sense to load an exclusion before a scenery object.

Best regards.
Luis
 
#8
Hello guys,

I tried the Exclude tool today but it also failed. Please see the screenshot:



What to try next?

Many thanks for your comments.

Sabre.
 
#9
I've just noticed something, not sure if it is relevant:

When I tick all the boxes except All Objects (Exclusion Rectangle Properties) the bgl compiles ok.

When I tick All Objects only the bgl also compiles ok.

But when I tick All Objects + other separate boxes the compiler returns Error:





Thanks,
Sabre.
 

rhumbaflappy

Moderator
Staff member
Resource contributor
#10
The easiest way to determine if an object is autogen is to turn autogen off in the simulator display settings. If it disappears, then it is autogen, and needs an autogen exclusion. Otherwise it is an object and needs an object exclusion.

Autogen exclusion polys can be large with no problem. Object exclusions should be only large enough to take out the object's refpoint, or the exclusion can cause problems.

Dick
 
#11
The easiest way to determine if an object is autogen is to turn autogen off in the simulator display settings. If it disappears, then it is autogen, and needs an autogen exclusion. Otherwise it is an object and needs an object exclusion.

Autogen exclusion polys can be large with no problem. Object exclusions should be only large enough to take out the object's refpoint, or the exclusion can cause problems.

Dick
Good idea, Dick. I checked first with Autogen density @ None - the stray buildings went away with the rest of autogen scenery:



When I set it only @ Sparse they pop back up immediately even though the rest of the autogen in the distance is almost non-existent yet:



Thanks,
Sabre.
 
#12
Even though it might seem from the post above, that those stray buildings are autogen (based on the experimentation with autogen slider @None in FSX), I've managed to finally remove them with the Exclude Tool in SBuilder (Exclusion Rectangle Properties : All Objects box is ticked only). For that I created a huge excl rectangle covering half of the airport, now the AmsterdamX buildings are gone with those stray ones. Don't know how to interpret it.

Huge Exclude rectangle (smaller one didn't work):


Rectangle properties:


The main terminal is gone at EHAM:


The stray buildings are also gone:


Out of ideas again.

Thanks,
Sabre.
 
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#13
Ok, seemingly at this moment those buildings can only be removed with the Exclusion Tool in SbuilderX when:

1) In Exclusion rectangle Properties "All Objects box" is ticked (others don't exclude)
2) When the Exclusion rectangle huge enough that it also affects the main scenery buildings.

What can I try else?

Thanks,
Sabre.
 
#15
Rest assured, Dirk, that is not autogen. Definitely.

So, an autogen exclusion will not remove those buildings. Only an object exclusion, as you found, will do that.

Please note that exclusions do not operate on the object ifself, but rather on its Reference Point.

What is a Reference Point? It is the point in the modeling program where the x/y coordinates are at 0. Normally, an object is created more or less centered on this point, but not always.

For example, those buildings might (note, I say might) be part of the terminal building objects. That is, they might have been modeled within the same file, so when the terminal is placed, the other buildings also will display in game.

If that were so, then the only way to remove those buildings is to create an exclusion around the Reference Point, which would be that of the terminal! There would be no other way to remove them... except by decompiling the file, loading in gMax, removing the extra buildings, and recompiling the terminal.

To check if this is what is happening, simply load that bgl in Arno's ModelConverterX, available right here in this web site.

Then, you will see a visual display of the contents of that file and can determine if the buildings are part of the terminal and also the location of the Reference Point.

Oher than that, you could contact the author of the scenery and ask. This is probably the fastest and easiest solution.

Best regards.
Luis
 
#16
Rest assured, Dirk, that is not autogen. Definitely.

So, an autogen exclusion will not remove those buildings. Only an object exclusion, as you found, will do that.

Please note that exclusions do not operate on the object ifself, but rather on its Reference Point.

What is a Reference Point? It is the point in the modeling program where the x/y coordinates are at 0. Normally, an object is created more or less centered on this point, but not always.

For example, those buildings might (note, I say might) be part of the terminal building objects. That is, they might have been modeled within the same file, so when the terminal is placed, the other buildings also will display in game.

If that were so, then the only way to remove those buildings is to create an exclusion around the Reference Point, which would be that of the terminal! There would be no other way to remove them... except by decompiling the file, loading in gMax, removing the extra buildings, and recompiling the terminal.

To check if this is what is happening, simply load that bgl in Arno's ModelConverterX, available right here in this web site.

Then, you will see a visual display of the contents of that file and can determine if the buildings are part of the terminal and also the location of the Reference Point.

Oher than that, you could contact the author of the scenery and ask. This is probably the fastest and easiest solution.

Best regards.
Luis
Luis, those stray buildings can NOT be part of AmsterdamX for sure, as I stated earlier they only appear there when I install Land Class either by Scenery Tech or by Cloud 9 (slightly in different locations but also in the wrong place on the airfield of AmsterdamX). I repeat they couldn't be modeled within the files of AmsterdamX as they are all gone when I remove Scenery Tech or Cloud9. (But sorry if I missed something in your explanation).

Thanks,
Dirk.
 
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#17
OK. Dirk, please let's take this point by point:

1. There can be no autogen on airport grounds because there is always an autogen exclusion present there. This is valid for each and every airport in FS. So, those buildings are not autogen.

2. Please step out of the airport and have a look at the buildings in the surrounding urban area. You will see that they are very different from what you have on the airport grounds. Not one of the autogen buildings will have either the shapes or the textures of the buildings that you want to eliminate. This is because they are not autogen.

3. If you will please take a look at this tutorial (that I wrote a number of years ago and that was even featured on the official FS X web site):

Using the Autogen Annotator
available in the Avsim library
http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?&DLID=140537

I systematically went through all the autogen buildings and vegetation and made pictures of a large number of them, and you will not find anything resembling your buildings. The reason is that they are not autogen.

4. They are not Generic Buildings either. If you will take a look at both the SBuilderX Help file (that I wrote) and the Generic Building textures folder (that I provided for Luis Sá), you will see that your buildings cannot be made as Generic Buildings and that their textures are not among the Generic Building textures. So, not only are your buildings not autogen, but they are not Generic Buildings either.

5. There is only one possibility left, and that is that they are custom-made objects. In addition, you were able to easily eliminate them, not with an autogen exclusion, but with an object exclusion and this is another proof that they are not autogen.

We can continue to discuss this for as long as you wish, but you will quickly find a solution if you will simply attempt to load any and all of those bgls in Arno's ModelConverterX. Once you find the right file, you will see your buildings there.

While you believe that a land class add-on can only display autogen buildings, you have not yet investigated whether the airport files also contain custom objects, particularly buildings. This is the step you must take if you wish to solve this problem.

Best regards.
Luis
 
#18
OK. Dirk, please let's take this point by point:

While you believe that a land class add-on can only display autogen buildings, you have not yet investigated whether the airport files also contain custom objects, particularly buildings. This is the step you must take if you wish to solve this problem.

Best regards.
Luis
Luis, of course I'll follow your guidelines, thank you. But let's make it clear in this part: I don't believe that a land class add-on can only display autogen buildings, where did I say that? Besides I'm not qualified / knowledgeable to make such strong statements.

What I wrote was that those buildings couldn't be in AmsterdamX scenery files because they are not observed without SceneryClass installed. My guess-work is that SceneryClass may scatter additional objects around and some in the wrong places.

Otherwise, on a side note, these buildings somehow remind me of korbygen (I don't think I tried to install those in FSX) or some other custom-made textures for autogen or generic buildings, is this a possibility why you don't recognize them? I mean, I recall there were some custom textures for autogen, perhaps for generic buildings too, what if I had installed one of those packages? I'll investigate in this direction and I'll definitely need to study Autogen Annotator and play more with SBuilderX. Please rest assured I'm generally in good control of my FSX installation, I always write down my steps in FSX setup. But maybe I should roll back with Acronis and install only FSX+AmsterdamX+SceneryTech and see what happens too.

Thanks,
Sabre.
 
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rhumbaflappy

Moderator
Staff member
Resource contributor
#20
At this point, I would remove all addons and systematically reinstall them, to find the problem. Make some notes as you reinstall.

This is obviously a conflict with addons. I suspect it is caused by a GUID number duplicated by an addon. For example, a GUID for a windsock could be compromised by using the same GUID for another type of object. Just a guess, as I do not have that combination of addons.

Don't think GEX is not causing problems, as it may well be the source of the conflict, as could any of the addons you have.

It could also be caused by a bad airport bgl. In the past, I have had issues with bad airport bgls causing problems at scenery areas many kilometers away. So the problem may not be at EHAM at all, but at some other airport ( which might explains why such a large exclude rectangle is needed).

I don't think you'll get any more help than has already been offered. It's very hard to solve these types of problems, as no one else has your combination of addons.

Dick
 
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