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Terrain Sculpture Pro V0.1.09 compilation problem

Good day ladies and gentlemens

after Triangulation in an Terrain Sculpture Pro Project I'm receiving an error message when exporting the Project to FSX/P3D.

TS Pro Error Message.jpg

The from Terrain Sculpture Pro produced Shape-file contains indeed the following XML-Statements:


When I manually remove the two:

< SlopeX>0</SlopeX>
< SlopeY>0</SlopeY>

Statements the compilation to the Shape-file works perfectly, producing some shape files by just dragging the shapes.xml file onto xml2shp.exe just for test purpose. TS Pro
somehow adds these statements to shapes.xml.

You find all relevant files here in the download!

Kind regards from Switzerland and many thanks in advance!

Conrad F. Staeheli
Senior System Engineer


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Hi, Conrad. Thanks for the report.

I've got some personal things going on at the moment, so it may be a few days before I get an opportunity to investigate. I'll get back to you when I have an explanation/solution.

Hi Don, just dont hurry! My Problem is not so important and relevant at the Moment, I can wait.
Please find attached some more informative files I have not included in the previous zip-files.


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I have just posted Development Release 0.1.09(a) to http://stuff4fs.com. It seems to fix the problem.

It appears that HydroPolys do not require the <Slope> parameters, so I have removed them
Hi Don, first of all, many thanks to your great efforts, I appreciate your tremendous work!!!

I just downloaded your latest Version of TS Pro and did run a test. The compilation terminated without an error, but i'm not sure if the result is correct, it looks a bit different as I'm used to, because I miss all the flattens.
I just discovered a new problem, because the Triangulation process gets stuck when I proceed as follows:

1. Start TS Pro
2. Open Project
3. Clear Profile
4. Clear Blend Points
5. Load Profile
7. Load Blend Points
8. Triangulate

Strange, it seems to be an alternating problem with the hung Triangulation process, sometimes it gets stuck, sometimes not!
I have included the by TS Pro V1.09a produced BGL-file for viewing in TmfViewer.


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i'm not sure if the result is correct, it looks a bit different as I'm used to, because I miss all the flattens.
Is this a problem or just an observation. If the former , what's different?

the Triangulation process gets stuck when I proceed as follows
I have followed your procedure without difficulty. Being an intermittent problem and not knowing the "trigger", I can only make "stabs in the dark". That being said, why would you use such a procedure? The end result (prior to compilation) should be identical to a newly loaded project. It's possible that something is not being properly initialized when you clear the profile and blend points. But, at the moment, I'm deeply involved in another project and, since this seems to be an unnecessary/unusual procedure, I don't feel it warrants putting the other project "on hold" for the time (and effort) it would take to diagnose and resolve the TS Pro issue.
Don thanks very much for your efforts. Please consider the problem for the moment as solved, perhaps once more, the problem might be the fact, that the problem is sitting in front of the Computer!
I have at the moment some personal issues, "The tooth of the time gnaws at me!" I need some rest for the moment. Should there definitiv be a problem with TS Pro, I will come back to you .
Thanks again for the efforts!!!!
Hi Conrad:

If / when you have an interest in learning an alternate work-flow for producing his type of complex sloped flatten scenery object, feel free to open a thread in the Sketchup forum, and I will show you the semi-automated process one might utilize via a few plugin Ruby scripts. :idea:



PS: Depending on how much precision is wanted, one can use the 3D model as a CVX vector sloped flatten via MCX to blend into surrounding terrain, and as a source for flat G-Poly surface areas to conceal underlying terrain quad edge aliasing.

The 3D model (sur-)Faces can also be "smoothed" in specific areas where desired. ;)



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Hi Don, I have got two news for you, a good one and a bad one!
First, the problem with the hung program was definitive an error of mine! The described procedure above is definitive not the one I normaly use, the desription above was the result from a test I have made in order to correct an altitude. It definitive works when following the appropriate procedure:

  1. Triangulate
  2. if the Triangulation did not provide the requested results, so: Clear Triangulation
  3. Modify the altitude(s), Save
  4. Triangulate
The here desribed procedure does not lead to a hung program! When I say hung, I ment that just nothing happended before, no message nothing or the Progress Dialog was displayed with nothing going on and could easely be terminated by clicking on "Abort".

The bad one is: TS Pro produces the following Output viewed in TmfViewer:


TS Pro Triangulation Result.jpg



Akutan Harbour.jpg

Above is the Picture of the real Akutan Harbor I try to modell. It might be still a problem based on my marginal knowledge of using Terrain Sculpture Pro, who knows.

Don, this is by no means an urgent Problem, I can wait, just carry on with your other important Project!!!!!


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Thanks for the update, Conrad.

When I say hung, I ment that just nothing happended before, no message nothing or the Progress Dialog was displayed with nothing going on and could easely be terminated by clicking on "Abort".
Sure sounds like something is not being initialized properly, and I will get to it sometime. As for the mysterious rectangle, I'll try to free up some time this weekend.

Hi Gary, super-duper, I allways love and appreciate your advices. I already tried some methods utilizing SketchUp. I will come definitive back to you in the near future about this, I am plagued through tiredness-appearances and concentration-problems momentarily, I have been to much and too long on the Computer during the recent weeks! Taking the problems into the bed perpetually twisting the problems without sleeping.

Thanks very much Gary!!!!!
Hi Don, thanks for your feedback! Please dont hurry, no need for that, better enjoy the coming weekend and relax! I dont want that the same fate happens to you as it happened to me!!!!

Have a nice and relaxing comming weekend!
Hi, Conrad. I've finally freed-up a few minutes to take a look at your problem.

I can report that I have been able to duplicate the issue. But, otherwise, the news is not good. That water poly is not being applied by TS Pro. An examination of the shapes.xml file - which is the last stage generated by my code - shows that the poly is not in the data prepared by TS Pro. So, I can only conclude that it's being added by one of the downstream processes - either xml2shp.exe or shp2vec.exe. xml2shp.exe is a very old, third-party process that appears to be no longer supported. (The latest version I have found is vintage-2006) shp2vec.exe is a SDK process. I can only surmise that the combination does not handle water polys properly.

So, it would appear that TS Pro is not capable of correctly generating your project.

Sorry the news is not better.
Hi Don, cordial thanks for your expenditure and the great effort. The problem is not in any case more so important since I strive for another solution with Gary.
Have a nice day and thanks again!
Don't give up just yet. In re-reading the xml2shp documentation, I've discovered there are some special conventions for water polys and islands therein. I now suspect what is happening is that the poly is specified (by TS Pro on submission to xml2shp) in the wrong direction resulting in not an error message but rather, with the poly being drawn as land and everything else in the sector as water,

It will take me a few hours to investigate. I'll get back to you later today.
That was it. I simply reversed the order of the vertices in the water poly and, magically, the water poly appeared. However, the previous water rectangle is now replaced by a flattened landclass poly. (Like I said above, an onion) Clearly, it's in the output of xml2shp. I've just got to figure out how to get rid of it.

I'll keep at it.
Many thanks, Don for your ongoing efforts with development- and further enhancement- of TS Pro. :)

Hi again. Don:

You may have already reviewed this info, but I thought I'd post this initial group of links ...in case it proves useful: :pushpin:


[This is a reply by Doug Matthews to a quoted post by Luis Feliz-Tirado in the 'early days' of sorting out FSX' RTM SDK.]


Posted November 16, 2006


The texture flag in the xml defines the attribute block - it is not the texture itself, but just tells shp2vec to expect a texture definition, I imagine. The developers would have to be the ones to give a technical explanation of this. I wouldn't>dare for fear of being shouted at.

Doug: Yup. Note that "texture definition" is a loose term.

Luis: The slopex and slopey in the dbf confused me a lot at first. They are not the same as the elevation of the shape in the shapefile. Shapefile elevation is a z-coordinate that is contained within the shapefile itself.

The slopex and slopey fields in the dbf tell shp2vec how to>apply a slope - the values should be vertical slope in meters per degree, and have fun figuring that out. I prefer to use>the mesh-clinging water, myself.

Doug: The slope values are not used by Shp2Vec itself. It is just pre-computed data (to save time at runtime) that Shp2Vec passes through to the game.



Terrain Design


File Description:
Terrain Design for Flight Simulator X

This simple illustrated document explains the basic concepts in Flight Simulator X terrain, and how to change them using SBuilder for FS X. Make new water bodies, roads, vehicle traffic, airport flattens, remove autogen, add more detail - anybody can do it easily and quickly.
My most sincere apologies - I am unable, for lack of free time, to offer support of any kind. For questions or problems, please post in the Avsim scenery design forum.

Filename: terrain_design_for_flight_simulator_x.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 14th December 2009, 13:29:15
Downloads: 16648
Author: Luis Feliz-Tirado
Size: 3991kb

"- HPX - Hydro Polygons (water)


This table illustrates an interesting feature of FS X water. It can have a slope defined for it. You should please note that the slope of the water polygon is not the same as its height. The height value is part of the shapefile itself - water, for lakes or the ocean, can have a uniform height defined there. In that case, the database file can indicate a slope of 0. However, in the case of rivers, a slope for the polygon can be indicated here, and should be understood as follows:

SlopeX = Slope in vertical meters per degree of longitude

SlopeY = Slope in vertical meters per degree of latitude

This can become excessively complex and lead to the creation of many small Hydro Polygons with varying slope values (as can be seen in the default rivers.) You will perhaps prefer to use mesh-clinging water (GUID = {5835459A-4B8B-41F2-ADC1-DEE721573B28}) for your rivers instead. "


[This is a reply by Doug Matthews to a quoted post by Luis Vieira De Sa' in the 'early days' of sorting out FSX' RTM SDK.]

" DougMatthews
Posted November 17, 2006

Luis Sa':

Hello Doug,

In FS9 we could make slopped flattens using LWM3 polygon>types. In the past I had a tool to set the altitude of all>points of a polygon so that the points were in the same 3D plane. That was sufficient for getting sloped surfaces in FS9.

Shall I set the altitude of the points plus these SlopeX and SlopeY ?

In other words, will we be able to make sloped surfaces in FSX?

Kind Regards,


Doug: Yes, you will be able to make sloped water surfaces in FSX. The points of the polygon should be in the same 3D plane. The slopeX and slopeY are the pre-computed (to save runtime) normal to that plane. They are used in extrapolating the plane of the water surface onto the terrain grid.



"We compute those slopes within our water sloping code. We have broken the water polygons up into sloped triangles and dissolved adjacent triangles with very similar slopes into the shapes you can see examining the default CVX BGL files in TmfViewer. We determine the unit normal of those result polygons and convert to be meters per degree.

The first part (breaking the source polygon up) may be difficult to do with off-the-shelf application.

I recommend trying two things:

1) If you have achieved 3D polygonal water already, try just setting slope x and y to 0. See how it looks. These values are used for extrapolating flattening to nearest mesh points. At reasonable terrain setting it may turn out to be acceptable.

2) If you have NOT achieved 3D polygonal water already, try using the texture Dick pointed out in this thread to drape your water on the terrain. See how it looks.


Hope this helps. ;)

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