Ok, I got it now. I went back to 32bit greyscale, did not edit the file in Photoshop at all and just played with the scale and fractionbits values. The result is rather ok, after I turbosmoothed the mesh in Max and re-rendered it.
your problem was exactly the same than mine! Nice result you achieved finally! Very impressing!
What I would like to ask you is how exactly did you render the mesh in 3DS? I have been trying but didn't get it to work properly...
I modeled the island as a mesh with something around 10m vertex distance. Then I applied a gradient material (make sure you align it to "left" or "front" view), then I just had to render it from above. You should flatten the mesh before rendering it, though, or you'll get unwanted shadows or offsets because of the camera angle. I used a fixed camera view to render, so I could make sure I could render the object over and over again and get exactly the same result.
I saved the Image in 3DS as 16 bit greyscale png and then converted it to *.raw because I wanted to process it with TerraBuilder (It can't handle other image formats for mesh).
So it is necessary to convert it to 32 bit to make it smooth? I didn't find the option to do so in PS. How to switch to 32 bit?
Sure I an show you my image, but I'm not able to upload it here. May I send it via email?
This is a very interesting indeed. I wonder if there are any limit in the mesh solution by this method. I have been searching for the right method for making beautiful scenery of the southern part of Thailand. Would you mind writing a tutorial for this if it works? (Pictures from Panoramio)
Don't forget you cannot create "overlapping" terrain in FSX. Also, the more or less vertical rocks will look ugly as you can't map them vertically. The only way to create terrain like this is to model and texture it manually, just like MS did with the secret island models.
Indeed, use of 32-bit data appears to be necessary sometimes to achieve adequate smoothing.
Although traditional terrain mesh creation via resample from GIS DEM data "usually" can achieve adequate smoothing of terracing artifacts from 16-bit integer source data by using the FS SDK Resample "FractionBits" parameter, in some terrain scenarios it does not work well enough to eliminate visible terracing.
And indeed FS, like many other 3D world rendering programs which drape textures top-down onto a triangulated "ground", cannot render overhangs and/or caves etc. within the terrain system, so such objects must be made as 3D models.
FYI: Kobbe Farwick (aka "skubakobe") here at FSDevloper posted a tutorial on making a 3D terrain model using GMAX on his website:
I got it, thanks both Gary and Thorsten. But if I make it in Gmax, I still need to smooth it at the edge to the terrain of Flight sim. So, may be I make those high cliffs and James Bonds Island with gmax and the rest of it with your method. Both Gmax thing and terrain should have a smooth transition if the source of terrain data comes from Gmax file.
That's maybe the hardest part. Best way is to cover the edge between mdl and terrain by placing lots of vegetation. In this area, the vegetation should look pretty much the same at all times of the year, so you can place vegetation mdls, even if those don't switch seasonal textures.