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  1. Photoscenery_Tutorial_SH1.pdf Here's a basic rundown of how to create Photoreal (PR) Scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, which will be the same as creating it for Prepar3D, the only difference being each program's own Software Development Kit (SDK) should be used depending on which simulator the scenery is being created for. What you will need: FSX SDK - Available on the FSX Gold discs or it can be downloaded from Microsoft or elsewhere on the net. The latest version (according to what FSX version you have installed) should be installed. IrfanView - Graphics Editor - Good for converting image files and opening image files some other editors can't. Available online for free. GIMP - Or some other graphics editing program. GIMP is good and it's free. There are also a huge number of plugins (addons) available from the GIMP Plugin Registry. This will be used to alter colours of the image files and to create blend masks and water masks to blend the scenery in to the surrounds. An image - Should ideally be in BMP, TIFF or GEOTIFF format. Images can be acquired from many sources on the internet and they can be acquired for free or they can be purchased. There have been many programs created for the purpose of downloading satellite and aerial imagery both for Flight Simulator scenery design and more general purposes. For FSX design there is SBuilderX, FSEarthTiles, TileProxy and probably many more. Then there is Google Earth, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, USGS, SIX maps etc. Geographical Information about that image - You will need to know the left and right boundaries and the top and bottom boundaries of the image in degrees. These will need to be in Decimal Degrees (eg 146.35245623). If you have coordinates in Degrees, Decimal Minutes (eg -32 Degrees 7.32') they can be converted to Decimal degrees: Eg. 146 degrees 55.27 minutes The minutes in degrees work the same as minutes in an hour with regards to time; ie there are 60 minutes in 1 degree. So, 55.27 divided by 60 = 0.921167 =146.921167 You will also need to know the xdim (Size of each pixel in the X direction (Longitude) in degrees), and ydim (Size of each pixel in the Y direction (Latitude) in degrees). Again these can be calculated. Eg. Image Size: 23552 x 24832 pixels Left Longitude download=146.898193359375Right Longitude download=147.15087890625Top Latitude download=-36.5780409982876Bottom Latitude download=-36.7916906158468 Note: The minus symbol indicates this latitude is South of the Equator. First work out the size in degrees by subtracting one boundary value from another for x Longitude and y latitude. xdim: 147.15087890625-146.898193359375= 0.252685546875 0.252685546875/23552(number of pixels in the x direction) = 0.0000107288360595703125 ydim: 36.7916906158468-36.5780409982876= 0.2136496175592 0.2136496175592/24832(number of pixels in the y direction) = 8.6038022535115979381443298969072e-6 This xdim and ydim will give about a 1 metre per pixel resolution. Note: A vital source of information regarding the Resample tool and photo scenery is the FSX SDK manual. All of the relevant information can be found under: Environment Kit - Terrain SDK - Terrain and Scenery - The Resample Tool. There is a table in this section showing QMID, LOD and Pixel Degrees values. According to other sources and my own experiences, these values should not be used as they tend to produce inaccurate results. The table can be used to roughly work out what resolution the imagery is according to the xdim and ydim values, but you should either work out the values as shown above or if applicable, use the values provided in a world file downloaded with the image. Note: If you have a GeoTiff, all of the above information is already in the GeoTiff, and does not need to be worked out. The Process: Basically you create an INF file (Setup Information File), which is like creating and filling out a form, which will tell the Resample Tool what image to process and how to process it. There are many parameters available (see fsxsdk.chm), but they are not all required. The following are two sample INF files, one for a single image and one for a multisource (multiple images) INF. If you plan on having blend mask, water mask, seasons or night then you will need to use a multisource INF file. Create an INF file by opening a new text document in Windows Notepad, and either copy the following or start from scratch. Now save the document with .inf replacing .txt. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sample Single source .INF file---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [source] Type = BMPSourceDir = "."SourceFile = "Melb_Nth_BL2.bmp"Layer = ImageryVariation = AllNullValue = ,,,,0ulxMap = 144.912410ulyMap = -37.733835Xdim = 5.364418029770934e-6Ydim = 0.0000042847196375PixelIsPoint = 0SamplingMethod = gaussian [Destination] DestDir = "C:\Users\Scott\Desktop\GSMD_Projects\bgls"DestBaseFileName = "18_Melb_Nth_BL2_gsmd"DestFileType = BGLCompressionQuality = 85LOD = Auto ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sample MultiSource .INF file---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [source]Type=MultisourceNumberOfSources=4 [source1]Type = TIFFLayer = ImagerySourceDir = "."SourceFile = "MtBuffaloEast1Z17a_SpringandFall2.tif"Variation = March,April,May,September,October,NovemberChannel_LandWaterMask = 3.0Channel_BlendMask = 4.0ulxMap = 146.89812854588318ulyMap = -36.57760630018873Xdim = 0.00001072883606Ydim = 0.000008592024045PixelIsPoint = 1NullValue = ,,,,0 [source2]Type = TIFFLayer = ImagerySourceDir = "."SourceFile = "MtBuffaloEast1Z17a_Winter2.tif"Variation = December,January,February,June,July,AugustChannel_LandWaterMask = 3.0Channel_BlendMask = 4.0ulxMap = 146.89812854588318ulyMap = -36.57760630018873Xdim = 0.00001072883606Ydim = 0.000008592024045PixelIsPoint = 1NullValue = ,,,,0 [source3]Type = TIFFLayer = NoneSourceDir = "."SourceFile = "MtBuffaloEast1Z17a_Water_96dpi11px.tif"ulxMap = 146.89812854588318ulyMap = -36.57760630018873Xdim = 0.00001072883606Ydim = 0.000008592024045SamplingMethod = GaussianPixelIsPoint = 1NullValue = ,,,,0 [source4]Type = TIFFLayer = NoneSourceDir = "."SourceFile = "MtBuffaloEast1Z17a_Blend_96dpi11px.tif"ulxMap = 146.89812854588318ulyMap = -36.57760630018873Xdim = 0.00001072883606Ydim = 0.000008592024045SamplingMethod = GaussianPixelIsPoint = 1NullValue = ,,,,0 [Destination]DestFileType = BGLDestDir = ".\bgls"DestBaseFileName = "MtBuffaloEast1Z17a_260514"CompressionQuality = 85LOD = AutoMaxAutoLOD = 16 Going through the sections of the Multisource INF file: [source]Type=MultisourceNumberOfSources=4 Required when there is more than one source Type = TIFF Can be Tiff, GeoTiff, BMP, RAW, TGA Layer = Imagery Imagery for photo scenery in sources containing imagery you want to appear. None for Blend mask and Water mask sources. SourceDir = "." Directory on PC where the file is located. "." indicates file is in the same folder as the inf file and Resample tool. This could also be written as the full location of the directory where the source (image) is located. eg "C:/Users/Admin/Desktop/Metropolis_Photo_WorkFolder" SourceFile = "MtBuffaloEast1Z17a_SpringandFall2.tif" Name of the image file, including the extension (.bmp, .tif etc) Variation = March,April,May,September,October,November Can be a month to represent a season, Day for any daytime, LightMap or Night for night, All to appear at all times. Channel_LandWaterMask = 3.0 Indicates the source number and band number of the water mask channel. Should come before Channel_BlendMask. Channel_BlendMask = 4.0 Indicates the source number and band number of the blend mask channel. ulxMap = 146.89812854588318 Left (West) boundary coordinate in Decimal Degrees. ulyMap = -36.57760630018873 Top (North) boundary coordinate in Decimal Degrees. Xdim = 0.00001072883606 Size of each pixel in the X direction (Longitude) in degrees. Ydim = 0.000008592024045 Size of each pixel in the Y direction (Latitude) in degrees. PixelIsPoint = 1 Can be either 0 or 1. 0 indicates top left coordinates given are at the top left corner of the top left pixel. 1 indicates the top left coordinates given are in the middle of the top left pixel. Usually 0 if coordinates are manually acquired or Left, Right, Top, Bottom coordinates are used. 1 if coordinates are acquired in that form via a world file or similar. NullValue = ,,,,0 Sample value for each channel indicating that there is no data in the current pixel. For imagery sources use a comma-separated list: red,green,blue,[,land/water[,blend]]. The 0 represents black.Above value is generally regarded as most common and can reduce the size of the final bgl file. SamplingMethod = Gaussian Used when using a blend mask or water mask. CompressionQuality = 85 Value between 0 and 100. 100 is maximum quality and file size. 85 keeps most quality but reduces file size quite a bit. LOD = Auto Level Of Detail -Indicates the final output resolution. Can be Auto or a range of values. eg 6,17 will give a file with LOD minimum 6 and maximum 17. It should never be a high number only, as the scenery would only appear at the high LOD when the user is very close. MaxAutoLOD = 16 A number can be used here to limit the maximum output bgl's LOD if LOD = Auto is used. Reducing the maximum LOD will reduce file size and also quality. How to make a Blend Mask: Open the image you want to blend with an image editing program. Select the area to blend out using free select tool etc. Try to follow boundaries in the scenery; ie roads, rivers, treelines, fencelines etc to make it appear natural. Use the bucketfill tool to fill the area youdon't want to appear in FSX with Black. Invert the selection and fill the area you want to appear with white. You can use a guassian blur effect or feathering to blur the transition from black to white. This can be used to soften the edge of the photo scenery, making it appear more naturally in the surrounding landscape. Any grey area in the blend mask will make the scenery partially transparent in that area, the level of transparency being dictated by the darkness of the grey. This can be saved as a greyscale (grayscale) image. How to Make a Water Mask: Open the image you are working on with an image editing program. Select any water with the free select tool etc. Fill the water areas with black. Invert the selection. Fill the land area with white. There is usually no need for any blurring with a water mask. It can just be black and white. This can also be saved as a greyscale image. Now the easy part: Open a new work folder. Take all the images you want to run through the resample tool to create your scenery bgl. So to have a scenery with 4 seasons, night, blended, and with a water mask, you would have 7 images, requiring a 7 source INF.Make a copy of resample.exe from the FSX SDK and put it in your folder.Fill out the required fields in an INF file with the appropriate number ofsources. The water mask and blend mask should always use the last two sources.To start the process, just drag the inf file on to resample.exe and it should start to process. An even better way is to create a batch file with the pause command, so if any errors occur, the program will pause so you can see what the problem is. Just type the following in a new text document: resample.exe NAMEOFINFFILE.infPause save this file as resamplelog.bat Now just open this (double click) to run the resample tool with the inf file you specified. This is also very handy if you're processing multiple inf files as you can run the batch file and it will run resample.exe as many times as you have listed it. eg. resample.exe NAMEOFINFFILE.infresample.exe NAMEOFINFFILE2.infresample.exe NAMEOFINFFILE3.infresample.exe NAMEOFINFFILE4.infPause Please feel free to ask anything or add anything regarding photo scenery in this thread. Cheers,
  2. G'day fello flight simmers. Today I would like to share with you something new and special for the Australian flight simulation community. For many years the demand for PR sceneries and detailed airports and regions has been constantly growing. Now little know developer Norm Gibson from Gibsonsceneries has been toiling away for many thousands of hours to bring us all his first commercial software addon. Like many of us, Norm wanted more from his flight sim experience and has taken his passion to the last frontier of Australia. The Northern Territory. This product is compiled from resampled from 15m Landsat 8 Satellite Imagery produced by Earthstar Geographics, the same Imagery is used in various Commercial and Military Simulators. The goal of Gibson Sceneries is to cover large areas of real scenery at economical prices for the flight simulator enthusiast or professional whether it be for simulating fast Tactical Jet Fighters, Military Transport flights, Commuter and Domestic Airline flights or General Aviation Aircraft flying at medium to high altitudes.The scenery is perfect for enroute flight simulation. Take-off from a detailed airport, climb and fly en-route over "real" world scenery then descend into one of your other detailed airports. This is PR only, so Airports or autogen are not included. But I can say that Aussiex, Ant's, Aerosoft & Orbx sotware package addons work perfectly with this pr. The blends are extremely welldone. The scenery is not suited for low level VFR flights in slow aircraft, although the scenery is acceptable in low and fast Tactical Fighter aircraft.The scenery adds to the realism of simulated flight whether it be for recreating historical missions, commercial airline flights, military training or general aviation interest. This is best suited at this point in time to High altitude flying, be it IFR or VFR as thats where you will get the best and the most out of this package. Shallow coastal water imagery is blended with the simulated water to give a natural look to the coastlines. The PR also shows every real world and existing Airport, airfeild, farm or private strip throughout the entire Northern Territory. This initself allows for the increased development of Third party airfields to be included into this fantastic Package. The PR covers border to border coverage and shows some of the most spectacular locations across the NT. I have spent many hours flying the NT package and throughouly enjoyed every minute of what I see out the window of the aircraft. I love the fact that I can see clearly every creek, river, mountian, key locations such as Kakadu, Lichfeild national park,Mines, Bush fires and the list goes on. If you do decide to do a low level run up one of the many creeks and rivers, just watch out for the crocs.. Ok so lets look at which platforms are supported with this awesome PR package.The PR package is ready for purchase and Downloading for Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX & SE, Lockheed Martin Prepar3d v1, v2, v3 & v4. You can get it buy simply going over to http://www.gibsonsceneries.com and purchasing the NT. The pricing is very reasonable $19.95 USD. If you want to see more of Australia get the PR treatment, then do yourself and your flying experience a favour and get over to Gibson Sceneries and not only support Norm, but also the growth of the Australian flight simulation community. I firmly believe that this is a worthy investment for my flight simulation experience and realistically the $19.95 USD will never cover the cost of the thousands of development hours that has been put into making this package for all of us. Below are a whole series of pictures that I took whilst I was flying all around the NT. These are not the Developers images and do not reflect the quality of his fantastic images that he has taken to showcase this product. Like the old saying is for the NT, If you never never go, you will never never know and no greater statement could be said for this PR package. For those of you who are skeptical about screenshots, there is also a link below which I loved. QANTAS Promotional https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=127&v=qAWNhqI6BWI RAAF C-130 Promotional https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rT58DxRBgIg&t=255s I throughly look forward to getting your feed back and comments on my first impressions of this PR package and certainly look forward to seeing the other states and territories of Australia being done. Remember buy purchasing this product, this not only supports Gibson Sceneries and the Global flight simulation community, but it also significantly contributes to the purchase of more PR for Australia. If there is enough support for the Product, Gibson sceneries may even be able to purchase a much higher Resolution PR supply to truely make our flying experience "As Real As It Gets". A Special Thanks must got out to Norm & Gibson Sceneries for creating a fantastic product.
  3. Hi, Here are a few pics of a project I have been working on for several months. It is a PR scenery of France, and will also include Switzerland and Luxembourg. I started this project late last year as I found some freeware PR for Italy, Spain, Belgium, and of course the Netherlands (NL2000). I also found a lot of freeware airports, autogen and 3d models done for France, but limited free PR, so I decided to make my own. I have been downloading tiles for most of that time, but I now have the entire area done without water masking and blend masking. I have discovered several shortcuts by using batch files and command lines to, for example, change the name of files in a folder, and certain text, using a command line. I have also recently discovered (with the help of Gary and Arno at FSDeveloper) a method of using shapefile data to create a watermask. I was originally only going to watermask the coast, but now I have found a fairly good waterways shapefile for Europe, and have started doing the lakes rivers etc too. I amm still doing a rough blend mask by hand, but this isn't very hard as I'm blending out in the ocean. I am seeing problems with the coastline shapefile, as it's not completely accurate, but it looks ok until you look really close. I am actually going to see if I can find a more accurate coastline shapefile before I continue with the coastal water masking. There is a 20+GB shapefile download available from Open street map and Geofabrik ( http://download.geofabrik.de/), which I am hoping may contain a more accurate shapefile. I am not too sure if it can be done completely accurately with a shapefile though, as the coastline will always be changing shape and length due to the tide, waves etc. Anyway, here are a few pics of my progress so far: Cheers,