GAME OVER for detailed airport ground ? UPDATE 5

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CX 747-400
Posts: 125

Post by CX 747-400 » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:25 pm

Just a quick question about something that I dont understand. I keep hear everyone talk about how bad FSX is for Add-on scenery; then how is it that Cloud9 is building a all new Orlando Internation Airport exclusivly for FSX? Are they only adding the buildings, and using the default ground texture?
Sorry to mention another company here, but I am still trying to determine if I want to buy FSX ASAP, or wait a year or 2. From what I am hearing from almost everyone is that FSX is not that great, other than a few new visuals. :?
aarskringspier
Posts: 181

Post by aarskringspier » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:29 pm

CX 747-400 wrote:Just a quick question about something that I dont understand. I keep hear everyone talk about how bad FSX is for Add-on scenery; then how is it that Cloud9 is building a all new Orlando Internation Airport exclusivly for FSX? Are they only adding the buildings, and using the default ground texture?
Sorry to mention another company here, but I am still trying to determine if I want to buy FSX ASAP, or wait a year or 2. From what I am hearing from almost everyone is that FSX is not that great, other than a few new visuals. :?
Read their forums the specifically state they will use all default ground textures.
george[flytampa]
Site Admin
Posts: 3472

Post by george[flytampa] » Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:20 pm

arno wrote:Hi Martin,

I think you have described this problem very well in this thread.

Maybe some future research into this subject can change it, but for the moment I have indeed also come to the conclusion that FsX offers a lot of improvements, but MS has forgotten to give us a good alternative for making ground layouts that look better than the default XML ones.

I think no serious scenery design would care that he has to stop using these old Fs2002 techniques, if there was a proper replacement for them. A technique that allows high resolution and good control over the texture mapping. Unfortunately I have not seen that yet...
Hey Arno,

Your website got me started in all this scenery design stuff btw. Thanks.

I think a good solution for the ground problem, at least for now, would be a new flatten type that overwrites the flat earth curvature but also provides a falloff at the edges to prevent cliffs. I don't know if anyone has the power to make it outside of Microsoft. That might be something that can only be authored at a very low code level.
bob.bernstein
Posts: 6

Martin, et al....my idea

Post by bob.bernstein » Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:50 pm

First of all, those who don't know me, I'm the author of Harvey Field, an fsaddon title for fs9. Otherwise, my work has been freeware dating back to fs98.

Scenery and airport design is my thing also.

I believe that the answer to this problem lies in having the ability to decorate a shape file with the high res phototexture, as the shp2vec.exe tool will draw the shape file as a mesh hugging polygon.

The problem is that shape files will not display over photoreal "resample.exe" imagry.

That can be changed! Not by us, but by Microsoft.

I don't know what prompted it, but someone made a strong impression on Microsoft that the development community want the photoreal to exclude shape files, so they aquiesed, and made it so. Thus, they could make it not so also.

I suggest a strong write in campaign to the "tellmicrosoft" webmail, and to any other connections we may have to lobby for an "option" we could employ to display shape over photoreal, or not to. That should take care of the people who wanted the exclusion of shapes to occur with photoreal.


Best,
Bob Bernstein
windchill
Posts: 7

Post by windchill » Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:06 pm

george[flytampa] wrote:
arno wrote:Hi Martin,

I think you have described this problem very well in this thread.

Maybe some future research into this subject can change it, but for the moment I have indeed also come to the conclusion that FsX offers a lot of improvements, but MS has forgotten to give us a good alternative for making ground layouts that look better than the default XML ones.

I think no serious scenery design would care that he has to stop using these old Fs2002 techniques, if there was a proper replacement for them. A technique that allows high resolution and good control over the texture mapping. Unfortunately I have not seen that yet...
Hey Arno,

Your website got me started in all this scenery design stuff btw. Thanks.

I think a good solution for the ground problem, at least for now, would be a new flatten type that overwrites the flat earth curvature but also provides a falloff at the edges to prevent cliffs. I don't know if anyone has the power to make it outside of Microsoft. That might be something that can only be authored at a very low code level.
George,

Very interesting.

I was going to comment on something similar.

While still living in the UK, I was associated with the building industry. Due to lack of optimal land do build new homes, many UK builders have become experts in building new homes in very challenging ground conditions. As in the building trade....for FSX, is it possible, as you suggest here George, to build a "raft" or flat bed or platform that takes away the curves and bumps associated with the new FSX SDK. On top of your new flat platform you can build your scenery.....

I might be a million miles from make a positive contribution here as I am totally ignorant on scenery design, and I am very discouraged by the decisions Microsoft has made and hope that solutions will be forth coming so we can enjoy new FlyTampa sceneries.

Cheers
Brian
martin[flytampa]
Site Admin
Posts: 5195

Post by martin[flytampa] » Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:14 pm

CX 747-400 wrote:how is it that Cloud9 is building a all new Orlando Internation Airport exclusivly for FSX? Are they only adding the buildings, and using the default ground texture?
From what I read and saw at their website this appears to be the case.

A high resolution aerial image as Photoscenery baselayer
default XML type ground detail (aprons, lines etc)
default jetways (the FSX ones do at least "work")
default apron vehicles (that also move and work)
nicely modeled custom buildings

This "formula", apart from the custom vehicles and perhaps jetways appears to be what we and every other designer will be "forced" to use now.

While the results will certainly be better then the default airport without the addon, I have a feeling that the overall picture will have a default-ish look. I'm not saying this to bash on Cloud9, the results would be the very similar if I or anyone else did this airport using these methods. Basically FSX has "standardized" airport ground design, there is very little that designer A can do better then B now. Some of course will argue that standardization is a great thing. For a businesman it is great anyway, FSX airports using these methods will require waaaay less work which means quicker development cycles and so on.

From an "artist" perspective however standardization of any kind is never a good thing. Its like taking all paint away from Picasso and Monet leaving them only with blue and red crayons.
Last edited by martin[flytampa] on Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
martin[flytampa]
Site Admin
Posts: 5195

Post by martin[flytampa] » Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:31 pm

arno wrote:I think you have described this problem very well in this thread.
Thanks for dropping by Arno. I second what George wrote, your contributions have helped the scenery community unlike anyone else.
Last edited by martin[flytampa] on Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
martin[flytampa]
Site Admin
Posts: 5195

Re: Martin, et al....my idea

Post by martin[flytampa] » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:22 pm

bob.bernstein wrote:First of all, those who don't know me, I'm the author of Harvey Field, an fsaddon title for fs9.
Thanks for dropping by Bob, no introduction needed :)

I too recall the SHP over Photo discussion and the decision that was taken probalby makes sense in the overall scope of things.

What most airport scenery designers like myself really wished for, is that the FSX Modelling SDK was kept exactly the way it is (because it is far from being bad), but with the added ability to export "2D/flat" ground polygons that behave within the new "round earth" the same way XML groundwork does.
bob.bernstein
Posts: 6

Post by bob.bernstein » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:51 pm

but with the added ability to export "2D/flat" ground polygons that behave within the new "round earth" the same way XML groundwork does
Hi Martin, isn't this what we have with the shape file?

I'm unsure how your hopes and my suggestion differ. Do you understand the position taken by MS differently than I to make their decision feel appropriate? I haven't reached that point myself yet, but it could be because I lack certain facts.

Bob
bob.bernstein
Posts: 6

Post by bob.bernstein » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:09 pm

New learning here, I've just learned that the sampling method used to display imagry on shape files may render them not-useful as the "new age" ground polygons I was hoping for.

Perhaps I'll return to my drawing board.

:-(

Bob
Dillon
Posts: 110

Post by Dillon » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:18 pm

Guys keep making scenery for FS9 until people get pissed enough to demand something get's done about this. You take FlightZone's new Portland scenery for example, let another scenery like that get produced for FS9 with no hopes of it working in FSX people will have 10 cows. Martin understand its products like yours that help sell Flight Simulator in general. It would be to Aces best interest to take care of you guys. I hope this is not another example of what we saw back in the days of FS98 where Aces was trying to stamp out add-on aircraft developers (FS98 originally had no compatibility with third party aircraft, that got changed with enough protest). FSX has just been released, there's plenty of us still using FS9 where a profit can still be made. We are either holding out or can't afford new hardware at this time. If you keep FS9 products going now while most still have a full blown version of FS9 on their systems we may get Aces to resolve this problem which would benefit all of us in the future. All you guys (OSS, FlightZone, FlyTampa, etc) will have agree to come together in protest on this issue...

I only say this because it seems obvious from the tone of this thread that diplomatic talks between developers and Aces produced what we're currently dealing with. There's little hope Aces will resolve this without heat from the community but I could be wrong (I hope I am).

:|
martin[flytampa]
Site Admin
Posts: 5195

Post by martin[flytampa] » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:38 pm

Dillon wrote:There's little hope Aces will resolve this without heat from the community.
This is one of the reasons I decided to take the "risk" associated with people misreading my post rather then just shutting up and putting a shiny X on our website.

I believe Microsoft is aware of the issue and even if it is too late to fix it for FSX, we need to politely point these things out so there is hope for FSXI.

As far as sticking with FS9, that is not something we want to do right now. Neither do we want to "hack" FS9 style airports into FSX if that becomes an option.
skydvdan
Posts: 2121

Post by skydvdan » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:45 pm

This totally brings all my scenery design plans for FSX to a screeching halt. I guess I wait to see what comes of it.
OSS-J.Nielsen
Posts: 51

Post by OSS-J.Nielsen » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:50 pm

Actually Dillion ACES are trying to help beef us up. We're now all listed on the FsInsider site.

I'm not sure how this happened, but I'm sure they didn't do it to spite us. We'll work with them I'm sure. I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression. :)
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