• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

MSFS Custom Aerial Scenery - trying to remove default land "detail" texture

Messages
827
Country
ca-ontario
Hi Everyone!

I created a custom Aerial Scenery, however, it comes with some default land "detail" texturing... for instance, on asphalt parking lot, there are huge cracks - it looks more like a Death Valley lake bed :rolleyes:. It makes the texture look messy and dirty. I would like to have a pure Aerial Texture, with nothing overlaid on top, as in no default detail texture overlays. Is there any way to remove these overlays?

I tried a bunch of things... ExclusionRectangle, which doesn't work for me whatsoever for any type of scenery (which is another topic altogether).
I tried creating polygons with different exclusion settings, but nothing works - it won't even exclude the roads.
To illustrate, in the attached image, the "details" I am trying to get rid of are the "crack" texture overlaid all over the aerial texture (for example, where the red arrow points). The aerial texture I have created here is a smooth asphalt texture with parking lines and traffic arrows... like they are depicted when a roadway is overlaid on top (green arrow).
Also, I tried excluding the parking lot roadways (green arrow), using the roads exclude polygon (purple arrow points to the polygon), but that didn't work. However, building exclusion polys work for me without a problem.

Any Idea how to remove these "detail" textures? Or - should I approach the design of such a detailed area using the polygons and materials, instead of aerial imagery?

MSFS2020AerialDetail.png
 
AFAIK the Detail Texture is not removable, and yes I would recommend using materials for the parking Lot if it's close to the Airport. Even high Resolution aerial images will look grainy from up close and also you can get rid of the cars in the aerial image by using an apron or polygon to cover up the lot. Otherwise you would have to edit the original aerial image.
 
Ya, you got a few things going on there. The blurry part of the pavement is the OSM street overlay, it can be kind of cool for making default pavement look "cleaner" and you can disable it. The cracked part is regional, I am guessing the location is mid or southwest, Like Edwards AFB and the desert? Well, there are no cracks in space, at least not the pavement type, but if this morass is keeping your feet on the ground, you could try a "projected mesh." Projected mesh is the most realistic way to create aprons and this image from the SDK demonstrates it can be quite large.

projmesh_obj_3_example.png
 
Hi Misho:

IIUC, you refer to the workflow cited in MSFS SDK Docs' SimpleAerial sample:

https://docs.flightsimulator.com/html/Samples_And_Tutorials/Samples/SimpleAerial.htm?rhhlterm=Aerial

"SimpleAerial

The SimpleAerial sample illustrates the process of creating a new package of aerial images to blend in with aerial imagery already in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Creating aerial image add-ons uses a combination of *.PNG files for the images and *.XML files to tell the game how to render the images. Note that images are not stored in the game as PNGs, but rather uses the propriety CGL file format, which requires defining in the XML for the package.

You can expand the link below to see the SimpleAerial file and folder structure:

File Overview

Code:
|---+ SimpleAerial
     |---+ PackageDefinitions
     |   |---- mycompany-aerial.xml
     |---+ PackageSources
     |   |---+ CGL
     |       |---+ aerial_images
     |       |   |---- 02123020101020302010.png
     |       |   |---- 02123020101020302011.png
     |       |   |---- 02123020101020302012.png
     |       |   |---- 02123020101020302013.png
     |       |   |---- 02123020101020302101.png
     |       |   |---- 02123020101020302110.png
     |       |---- my-cgl-info.xml
     |---- SimpleAerialProject.xml

Aerial Image Format​


Aerial image files are created at the highest level of detail, LOD20:

Level of DetailMap Width and Height (pixels)Ground Resolution (meters / pixel)Map Scale
(at 96 dpi)
20268,435,4560.14931 : 564.25


NOTE: You can find full details of the different LOD values as well as other things related to how map tiles are calculated here.

All image files for aerial images should be authored as 16-bit PNG with a fixed size of 256x256px, and the build process will automatically generate the images for the lower levels of detail. Note that the alpha channel of the provided aerial image PNG is used to blend between the image and the in-game aerial, where a pixel with alpha 0 means the in-game aerial pixel is used, and 1 means the provided aerial pixel is used. Any value in-between will create a linear interpolation between the in-game aerial and the provided aerial."


IIRC, FS2Kx required an Alpha channel and min. LOD-13 imagery to prevent fall-back to default land class display.

MSFS now requires use of Alpha channel and min. LOD-20 imagery to prevent fall-back to default 'land class' display (Bing imagery and/or projected mesh objects).


PS: I am curious if editing the gray scale value of a custom source Alpha channel eliminates display of a "detail texture" blended with MSFS' default in-game aerial ?
:scratchch


FS2Kx used a total of 256, 8-Bit gray scale values in the "Blend" channel.

MSFS SDK Docs seem to infer that it calls for use of "fractional" numeric gray scale values between 0 and 1 in the Alpha channel to enable blending. o_O

Is Asobo equating Alpha channel values of 0 with Pure Black and 1 as Pure White (aka a value of "255" in FS2Kx) ? :oops:

[EDITED]

AFAIK, Alpha channel values of 0 with Pure Black and 1 as Pure White (aka a value of "255" in FS2Kx) without "fractional" numeric gray scale values between 0 and 1 in the Alpha channel are used to enable either Water ('Hydro' surface attributes) or Land respectively, and thus define a 'Water-Land Mask' in the FS2Kx Resample SDK.

Can anyone here confirm that MSFS SDK has implemented a custom photo-real definition mechanism that now works 'Asobo-Backwards' (aka "As$-Backwards" ) ? :yikes:


I am not seeing sufficient 'detail' to explain the process in this Asobo Terrain Development slide show:



BTW: "Some" info on Detail Maps with MSFS default aerial imagery can be seen on Pages 84-90 in the above PDF. :pushpin:


One may wonder if "custom detail maps" can be used for more 'perceived detail' with "custom Aerial Imagery" at run time ? :stirthepo

If not, IIUC, one must otherwise use 3D glTF PBR textured TIN G-Poly (Sim-)Objects (...that require Z-Buffer Fighting mitigation) ? :rolleyes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulated_irregular_network

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tessellation


AFAIK, this is distinct from "Projected Mesh"; MSFS SDK Docs says 'that' is rendered on ground in 2D at default texture resolution:

https://docs.flightsimulator.com/html/Introduction/Introduction.htm?rhsearch=Projected Mesh

"IMPORTANT! When being rendered, projected meshes are baked into the terrain textures. This helps reduce the polycount and permits the element to be terraformed. However, it also means that the texture quality won't be any greater than the resolution of the terrain textures themselves. In general, this resolution is around 4cm/pixel at the equator, with the best/highest resolution terrain textures reserved for higher LODs so we have a better quality for airports. For users, they will experience the best resolution possible setting the "Terrain level of detail" option to its maximum value."


Regardless, 4cm (3.75 cm aka "LOD-20") is already a very high resolution.

Historically, very few custom- and no default- 3D models for FS used a 2cm (1.875 cm aka "LOD-21") or greater texture resolution.

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/flattens.425495/post-633002


Some practical considerations:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/airport-ground-poly-that-follows-msfs-dem-model.451670/


Who can / will post here, a worked "Proof of Concept" that is a true 3D model MSFS glTF (Sim-)Object 'TIN ' G-Poly ?

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/msfs-projected-mesh-looks-ugly.450563/


UPDATE: Dick had already posted a 'worked example" true 3D model MSFS glTF (Sim-)Object 'flat ' G-Poly ...in this thread: :wizard:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/custom-markings-using-projected-mesh.454932/



PS: Pete Beeby's perspective on this issue of Detail Maps with MSFS default versus custom aerial imagery:

.......@Risuali45,

Regarding your issue, I have looked into it closely and have decided not to pursue projected mesh ground polygons because of it.

I have been designing hi-res ground textures for years and am proficient in the required material properties for importing into FS2020, but in my view the end result is not satisfactory when using the ProjectedMesh technique.

As you say, when projected, the texture is “diluted” by the default “Detail” texture used by the Sims engine, selecting a different material type only changes the appearance slightly, but your custom ground texture will still have this washed out “Asphalt” look bleeding through.
There appears to be no setting that is able to turn the default “Detail” texture off.

I have noticed that when using XML for the creation of Airport Surfaces, along with the “DrawSurface=True” parameter, there is a “DrawDetail=True” parameter.
I am presuming this refers to adding the default surface type “Detail” material to the Texture.
I have found that even if you change the parameter to “DrawDetail=False” it makes no difference to what the chosen hard surface will look like in the Sim.

Asobo need to include a “Detail” map which can be aligned to a Surface Material, without it having any visual detail, ie blank.
In FSX, I seem to remember, they used two default “Detail” ground texture and if you used an enhancement package like REX for example, REX would replace those for “Blank Detail” textures so that the default detail would not interfere with their replacement ground textures.

In Short, we need Asobo to address this.


Here is Asobo's reply on Dec 15 2021, to yet another report on the issue of Detail Maps:


https://web.archive.org/web/2022051...-rid-of-surface-type-detail-map-textures.html


By comparison, here is related info on FS2Kx Terrain Design Procedures:

Some pertinent info: :teacher:


ACES' FSX Global Terrain expert Adam Szofran said:

https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/...-default-water/?do=findComment&comment=558800

"With the FS9 Resample tool, the water mask punched a hole in your image to reveal default water beneath.

With the FSX Resample tool, we wanted to allow more flexibility, so we changed how the water mask works and we also added a blend mask. Now the water mask triggers reflective and specular water effects, but it doesn't punch a hole in your image. The benefit of this is that you can now paint the water any color you want. For example, if your source imagery contains murky brown swamp water, you can now get the muck to show up in FSX with reflections and specular effects. If you'd rather just see the default water colors, you have to use a blend mask to punch a hole in your image to reveal the default textures below. Note, however, that the default textures revealed by the blend mask might not be water; they could very well be land textures! Therefore, if you want to guarantee that the blend mask will expose default water textures, you need to create a water polygon (a big square one will do) that covers the area where you want water to appear. For information about creating water polygons, look for the documentation of the shp2vec tool in the FSX SDK.

Good luck,

Adam"

Szofran, A. et al., "Microsoft ESP: Global terrain technology for Microsoft ESP," Jan. 2008, 22 pages

https://web.archive.org/web/2010102...FSInsider/developers/Pages/GlobalTerrain.aspx

https://web.archive.org/web/2010102...539214f2e/GDC2006_Szofran_Adam_Terrain_v1.doc

https://web.archive.org/web/2011082...2d7f6a45b36e/GDC2006_Szofran_Adam_Terrain.ppt

https://online.fliphtml5.com/yyld/cvaw/#p=1


PS: For a quick preview of what local scenery looks like with the Detail Map overlay disabled, MSFS SDK Docs explain this in Options:

https://docs.flightsimulator.com/html/Developer_Mode/Menus/Options.htm?rhhlterm=detail details maps&rhsearch=Detail Map

"Detail Maps: When enabled, detail maps will be added to the terrain to increase fidelity. Disabling this removes these maps. Mouse over the image below to see the difference (this option is on by default)."
Card Back

options_6_tin_enabled.png

[END_EDIT]

GaryGB
 
Last edited:
Just a "head's up" about relative resolution. Below is an image from Maxar, they claim is 15 cm/pixel. Now the picture is obviously a mashup, the inset is not zoomed from the larger picture, because it is of a much lower resolution. But presumably, they are showing us 15 cm and from my experience, it looks about right.

HD_15cm_Ship.jpg


Now if you zoom down into the larger image, you can see what looks like an automobile, heck it could be a crane, but it occupies about two pixels, or to be generous, I will estimate possibly about the size of the letter "H" that is clearly visible in the zoomed inset. I took the liberty of borrowing Mischo's screen capture and I superimposed the inset from the Maxar site. I removed everything except the painted lines and made the "H" as big as a car. The end result is as you'd expect, representational, but it will not show ground details, like the H or number 512, any more clearly than the directional arrows in the background.

Mash.png


Finally, if you want to go for ultimate detail, Dick and Mamu, Rhumbaflappy and Federico Pinotti, recommend 3d objects placed as polygon.

notice03-png.80720


Now I think the "3" in the upper left is absolutely fine, but Mamu suggests projected mesh has the same 14 cm constraint as aerial (he writes 4 cm) also, 3d model as polygons will not conform to ground, aerial and projected mesh do, polygons can have z flashing issues with the ground plane if the are set low enough to not show on the tires. With a small image like Dick's sign, that flashing would not show before the sign itself was invisible, but placing this red cross as a 3d model, for example, required some compromise, because it was large enough to be seen at z flashing distance. I suppose a solution would be to make LOD models that are gradually set closer to the ground as distance reduces.

poly material.jpg
 
Ya, you got a few things going on there. The blurry part of the pavement is the OSM street overlay, it can be kind of cool for making default pavement look "cleaner" and you can disable it. The cracked part is regional, I am guessing the location is mid or southwest, Like Edwards AFB and the desert? Well, there are no cracks in space, at least not the pavement type, but if this morass is keeping your feet on the ground, you could try a "projected mesh." Projected mesh is the most realistic way to create aprons and this image from the SDK demonstrates it can be quite large.

projmesh_obj_3_example.png
Thanks Rick for your response! So, OSM can be disabled? How?

Yes, the cracked part is actually Florida, this is a section of a parking lot beside Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building. I am working on the scenery for this, I can't believe that the largest building in the world by volume was "AI resolved" to a 2 story shopping mall with the same footprint :rolleyes:

So, can the regional detail overlay be removed from the aerial map?

As for "no cracks in space", I assume you meant that those are not visible when flying, yes, correct. But I did want a "feet on the ground" type scenery. It looks to me as if the aerial imagery is not well suited for "feet on the ground" type scenery, and I may consider using it only as a template and a guide to overlay polygons with stock materials - I did some testing and the results are indeed spectacular looking, but quite a bit of work is required to make it look like a non-generic area.
 
Hi Misho:

IIUC, you refer to the workflow cited in MSFS SDK Docs' SimpleAerial sample:

https://docs.flightsimulator.com/html/Samples_And_Tutorials/Samples/SimpleAerial.htm?rhhlterm=Aerial

"SimpleAerial

The SimpleAerial sample illustrates the process of creating a new package of aerial images to blend in with aerial imagery already in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Creating aerial image add-ons uses a combination of *.PNG files for the images and *.XML files to tell the game how to render the images. Note that images are not stored in the game as PNGs, but rather uses the propriety CGL file format, which requires defining in the XML for the package.

You can expand the link below to see the SimpleAerial file and folder structure:

File Overview


|---+ SimpleAerial |---+ PackageDefinitions | |---- mycompany-aerial.xml |---+ PackageSources | |---+ CGL | |---+ aerial_images | | |---- 02123020101020302010.png | | |---- 02123020101020302011.png | | |---- 02123020101020302012.png | | |---- 02123020101020302013.png | | |---- 02123020101020302101.png | | |---- 02123020101020302110.png | |---- my-cgl-info.xml |---- SimpleAerialProject.xml

Aerial Image Format​


Aerial image files are created at the highest level of detail, LOD20:

Level of DetailMap Width and Height (pixels)Ground Resolution (meters / pixel)Map Scale
(at 96 dpi)
20268,435,4560.14931 : 564.25


NOTE: You can find full details of the different LOD values as well as other things related to how map tiles are calculated here.

All image files for aerial images should be authored as 16-bit PNG with a fixed size of 256x256px, and the build process will automatically generate the images for the lower levels of detail. Note that the alpha channel of the provided aerial image PNG is used to blend between the image and the in-game aerial, where a pixel with alpha 0 means the in-game aerial pixel is used, and 1 means the provided aerial pixel is used. Any value in-between will create a linear interpolation between the in-game aerial and the provided aerial."


IIRC, FS2Kx required an Alpha channel and min. LOD-13 imagery to prevent fall-back to default land class display.

MSFS now requires use of Alpha channel and min. LOD-20 imagery to prevent fall-back to default 'land class' display (Bing imagery and/or projected mesh objects).


PS: I am curious if editing the gray scale value of a custom source Alpha channel eliminates display of a "detail texture" blended with MSFS' default in-game aerial ?
:scratchch


FS2Kx used a total of 256, 8-Bit gray scale values in the "Blend" channel.

MSFS SDK Docs seem to infer that it actually calls for use of "fractional" numeric gray scale values between 0 and 1 in the Alpha channel to enable blending. o_O

Is Asobo equating Alpha channel values of 0 with Pure Black and 1 as Pure White (aka a value of "255" in FS2Kx) ? :oops:

[EDITED]

AFAIK, Alpha channel values of 0 with Pure Black and 1 as Pure White (aka a value of "255" in FS2Kx) without "fractional" numeric gray scale values between 0 and 1 in the Alpha channel to enable either Water ('Hydro' surface attributes) or Land respectively, and thus define a 'Water-Land Mask' in the FS2Kx Resample SDK.

Can anyone here confirm that MSFS SDK has implemented a custom photo-real definition mechanism that now works 'Asobo-Backwards' (aka "As$-Backwards" ) ? :yikes:


I am not seeing sufficient detail to explain the process in this Asobo Terrain Development slide show:


[END_EDIT]

GaryGB

Hi Gary!! Thanks for your response! Indeed - I am using Simple Aerial process straight from SDK, however, you are correct, the MSFS2020 SDK info on how to create this is severely under-documented. Luckily, we have this wonderful community, and the solution is in this guide put together by Augustin Winther. The whole workflow is described there, and I used it to create a huge Simple Aerial scenery that covers the whole of Mt. Kilimanjaro, as the MSFS2020 has a complete lack of Bing texture coverage in that area, and is using generic ones. Check out my Mt Kilimanjaro project page here. I am now just waiting for the MS Marketplace to allow ingesting multi-project packs to release it (there are severe size limitations for individual packs so I had to wrap it into a package, but that's beyond the scope of this topic). Regarding alpha, all the imagery is exported as PNG which allows for an 8-bit alpha, but that is only used for blending to surrounding default terrain. I've blended the Simple Aerial scenery without any problems.

I have NOT noticed any removal of default regional detail maps (like the cracks I was mentioning), but for this project, it works well because it is intended to be viewed while flying, from large distances. Sure, I landed on top of Kilimanjaro a few times, and you can observe these detail overlays up close, but they work well in this case, because it IS bare ground there, rocks and dirt. If there was a parking lot there, and I saw dirt and cracks all over it, then it would be a problem. ;)
 
AFAIK the Detail Texture is not removable, and yes I would recommend using materials for the parking Lot if it's close to the Airport. Even high Resolution aerial images will look grainy from up close and also you can get rid of the cars in the aerial image by using an apron or polygon to cover up the lot. Otherwise you would have to edit the original aerial image.
Thank you! I have been actually using photoshop to remove all unwanted elements from the imagery (cars, as well as shadows, which is an even larger annoyance), but more I look at it, the more I see that Simple Aerial is not suitable for "feet on ground" scenery of this type. However, I still would like to disable these detail textures if there was a way.
 
Thanks Rick for your response! So, OSM can be disabled? How?
In the image I posted above you can see the checkbox for "Exclude roads."

So, can the regional detail overlay be removed from the aerial map?
Not really. The only thing that can completely conceal it is material applied aprons and possibly polygons, although polygons will not exclude default grass as aprons will. So if you wanted realistic looking ground, you'd have to come up with that as a material you could apply to the aprons or polys.
 
@=rk= thanks for the heads up in the above messages

@Misho according to my findings, to remove the OSM overlay the excludeStreet with Polygon is not enough. The property infact removes only the car traffic
The grey overlay can be removed by adding an Apron (with maybe an asphalt material) and setting the Apron opacity to zero.

Inviato dal mio Mi 9 Lite utilizzando Tapatalk
 
In the image I posted above you can see the checkbox for "Exclude roads."


Not really. The only thing that can completely conceal it is material applied aprons and possibly polygons, although polygons will not exclude default grass as aprons will. So if you wanted realistic looking ground, you'd have to come up with that as a material you could apply to the aprons or polys.
Yeah, I tried this with polygons, and it simply doesn't work for me... I'll test again with rhumbaflappy's material settings.


Here I removed the road overlay with a Material type polygon (zero opacity). The polygons don't need to be tied to an airport and it's radius.
View attachment 86491
Interesting. I tried to do the very same thing, with a polygon, and it didn't work. Perhaps it is the material... I will try to test with these settings.
 
So, from the discussions so far, I'm slowly establishing the "big picture" of the workflow, and what I am trying to accomplish:

  1. For the "boots on ground" scenery, Simple Aerial type is simply not sharp enough.
  2. However, Simple Aerial scenery can be used as a guide, to precisely overlay the parking lots, roads, etc.
  3. Polygon element is NOT the best element to use for overlaying existing scenery, as it suffers from several drawbacks: The default vegetation shows through, and it doesn't allow the use of Painted Hatched Area or Painted Lines objects overlaid on them. Polygon objects should be used only as small patches of localized scenery.
  4. Best element to use for overlaying is Apron, because it gets rid of roads and traffic, it allows for overlay of Hatched Area and Painted Lines objects, and it masks default vegetation.
  5. Another neat feature of Apron type object is the option ground merging, which allows for features of default Bing imagery OR Simple Aerial scenery to "show through", adding additional detail and breaking up monotony of texture material.
  6. The disadvantage of Apron object is that an Airport has to be defined for that area, and all Apron objects can then be used within 2000m radius of Airport object. For non-airport sceneries, this Airport object must be defined as some kind of a "dummy" airport, but it will still show up as an Airport in the FS database.

    Any thoughts on this?
 
It sounds like you don't want an airport, but maybe a different kind of port that has no runways. Perhaps you plan to spawn "in situ," but an airport with a ridiculously small runway and no parking can have any test radius, I set mine to 5k to cover an entire South China Sea island.

So with this airport, you have the unlocked developer features and a spawn point, you can designate it with a "star" on the world map, you could try to obscure it, or make it a feature of your project, like a place to spawn a rescue chopper or a nearby grass strip, or maybe a viewing stand. Chase planes have to land somewhere too.
 
Here I removed the road overlay with a Material type polygon (zero opacity). The polygons don't need to be tied to an airport and it's radius.
Confirmed - I used that particular material (PaintRough01) and it did hide the road - however, not all materials do that. In fact, the material right after the PaintRough01, RR_road_tile02, DOES NOT hide the road for me. For example, Asobo_Ground/GrassGround03 covers it, but Asobo_Ground/GrassGround04 does not. Not sure what parameter in the material is responsible for that.
 
It sounds like you don't want an airport, but maybe a different kind of port that has no runways. Perhaps you plan to spawn "in situ," but an airport with a ridiculously small runway and no parking can have any test radius, I set mine to 5k to cover an entire South China Sea island.

So with this airport, you have the unlocked developer features and a spawn point, you can designate it with a "star" on the world map, you could try to obscure it, or make it a feature of your project, like a place to spawn a rescue chopper or a nearby grass strip, or maybe a viewing stand. Chase planes have to land somewhere too.
Something like that. I want to create a scenery with a lot of detail, but not necessarily an airport. I don't need to spawn there, no runways, aprons or anything else. For example, what if I wanted to create a detailed harbor cruise ship terminal? In my particular case, as I mentioned, I am creating Kennedy Space Center scenery - in detail, but NOT as an airport (It just happens that KSC has an airport - Shuttle Landing facility nearby, so I am lucky with this one). With all the car parking lots around there, (as shown in my original screenshot), I would love to use HatchedArea and PaintedLines objects to create all the detail for car parking lots, but again, hopefully without this scenery showing up as an Airport on any search lists or on the globe.

I am seeing some Airport parameters such as closed airport and delete command options that might help with that.
 
So, from the discussions so far, I'm slowly establishing the "big picture" of the workflow, and what I am trying to accomplish:

  1. For the "boots on ground" scenery, Simple Aerial type is simply not sharp enough.
  2. However, Simple Aerial scenery can be used as a guide, to precisely overlay the parking lots, roads, etc.
  3. Polygon element is NOT the best element to use for overlaying existing scenery, as it suffers from several drawbacks: The default vegetation shows through, and it doesn't allow the use of Painted Hatched Area or Painted Lines objects overlaid on them. Polygon objects should be used only as small patches of localized scenery.
  4. Best element to use for overlaying is Apron, because it gets rid of roads and traffic, it allows for overlay of Hatched Area and Painted Lines objects, and it masks default vegetation.
  5. Another neat feature of Apron type object is the option ground merging, which allows for features of default Bing imagery OR Simple Aerial scenery to "show through", adding additional detail and breaking up monotony of texture material.
  6. The disadvantage of Apron object is that an Airport has to be defined for that area, and all Apron objects can then be used within 2000m radius of Airport object. For non-airport sceneries, this Airport object must be defined as some kind of a "dummy" airport, but it will still show up as an Airport in the FS database.

    Any thoughts on this?
Polys can delete vegetation. A material poly needs to be duplicated, and the copy used to set vegetation scale and density to 0. But lines and hatched areas won't show over them. Polys get rid of traffic and can get rid of the road overlay as I showed above.
The airport radius can be enlarged to thousands of meters if needed for aprons. Just make a stub of the airport nearby and enlarge the radius amount. I'm not sure of the maximum distance allowed, but 20000 meters seems possible:
XML:
    <Airport groupID="1" groupGenerated="FALSE" state="Wisconsin" city="Delavan" name="Lake Lawn" ident="C59" lat="42.63412501662970" lon="-88.60113054513930" alt="296.56999999999999" magvar="2.000000" trafficScalar="1.000000" airportTestRadius="25000.00000000000000" applyFlatten="FALSE" isOnTIN="FALSE">
Untitled01.png


The airport stub leaves the underlying airport code intact (doesn't change a thing), but allows you to add aprons, objects, and other items to default or addon airports.
 
Polys can delete vegetation. A material poly needs to be duplicated, and the copy used to set vegetation scale and density to 0. But lines and hatched areas won't show over them. Polys get rid of traffic and can get rid of the road overlay as I showed above.
The airport radius can be enlarged to thousands of meters if needed for aprons. Just make a stub of the airport nearby and enlarge the radius amount. I'm not sure of the maximum distance allowed, but 20000 meters seems possible:
XML:
    <Airport groupID="1" groupGenerated="FALSE" state="Wisconsin" city="Delavan" name="Lake Lawn" ident="C59" lat="42.63412501662970" lon="-88.60113054513930" alt="296.56999999999999" magvar="2.000000" trafficScalar="1.000000" airportTestRadius="25000.00000000000000" applyFlatten="FALSE" isOnTIN="FALSE">
View attachment 86498

The airport stub leaves the underlying airport code intact (doesn't change a thing), but allows you to add aprons, objects, and other items to default or addon airports.

Hi Dick:

Bearing in mind the practical limitations for display distance of high resolution 4cm (3.75cm aka "LOD-20") resolution textures on ground as seen from the user A/C cockpit and/or with an in-sim Avatar's "feet on ground" as addressed in the 'lively' discussion ...here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/3-5cm-per-pixel.21121/

... and in consideration of the discussion ....here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/msfs-scenery-lights.455868/post-906887

...if Misho is satisfied with the resulting display quality of custom Aerial Imagery textures "baked into" underlying MSFS default ground textures rather than using 3D TIN G-Polys, is there a minimum airport test radius required to allow rendering of LOD-20 resolution imagery when MIPMAPs are used ? :scratchch

GaryGB
 
Last edited:
Hi. I first thought of opening a new thread titled Custom ground material plopping on and off, with transparency.
When at the end of my post I asked whether maybe I'd better change from using the material slot to aerial imagery, I searched threads again for that topic. And came across this thread that contained many interesting remarks which could possibly help me with the material problem (e.g. use of alpha channel in PNGs).
So I decided to rather attach my problem right here and get to the right people.;)

I work on a historic scenery (NOT airport, but vicinity) where I need to remove lots of buildings and override the default satellite textures with meadows and farmland (in the material slot). As @rhumbaflappy somewhere here advised I do this with two separate polygones: one to exclude buildings et al. and also remove the default biome's vegetation, the second poly for the new ground material alone.

Now, while I am in dev mode everything works and looks fine. But when I compile and go for a VR test flight, many of the ground textures are not there. Or they look like transparent, a mix of satellite and my custom texture. Some - especially at some distance - have a very distinct dark blue-grey tint. That said, while flying over I often notice a life change, but not necessarily to the good when I come closer and lower in.
The fact that sometimes I'm able to provoke a change by switching to VR could hint at graphic settings, maybe LOD?

I experimented with a lot of parameters, both in my project (e.g. poly priority) and graphic settings, but none would help. My custom textures are 2K PNGs (no alpha channel).

Meanwhile I wonder if I'd better gone thru an Aerial Imagery/Projected Mesh process (acquiring and then photoshopping the default tiles) as - again - @rhumbaflappy demonstrates in this thread?
Any hints or advise?

Here 3 screenshots to illustrate:
a) how custom textures look when correctly showing up
ground tex okay.jpg

b) how custom textures look when not okay, that is semi-transparent
ground tex not okay.jpg

c) this is a snapshot of a flyover change: lower part okay, upper part not okay.
ground tex half-half.jpg
 
Back
Top