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Photoscenery?

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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby bugman » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:48 am

That sums it up. People speculating and complaining on the forum end up with a wishlist filled with conflicts, impossibilities, and ideas that simply won't work. And once you have such a wishlist, there is simply no Santa Claus to present your list to! Only those who go over to the development mailing list and put in the hard work will get what they want. If you are not prepared to put in the effort, I suggest having a read of the little red hen:

Image

Here is the text: https://books.google.de/books?id=_KRNAA ... &q&f=false

Regards,
Edward
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby V12 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:05 am

WoodSTokk wrote in Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:08 pm:
V12 wrote in Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:01 am:WHEN will be WS3.0 available ?

This is material regions edge :
Image


Bullshit. This is the edge where synthetic and photo senery will meet and has nothing to do with materials.


Sure bullshit ?
On that place, probably. But here is better example on material region border :

Image



BTW, I'm not MSFS2020 fan.
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby vnts » Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:11 pm

As I said before that: "Landclass borders can be made to blend in by matching soil colours e.g. link."

Image

You can see two different landclasses, with an edge if you look closely. If these were the material definitions in V12's screenshot above, there would be a bigg jagged polygonal edge between them when viewed from this close. But because they have matching soil colours they blend in, on a casual glance it's hard to see they are separate land-classes. Other than that, the problem will be reduced as landcover resolution improves (see Draconianx's Tenessee scenery where he was trying out higher resolution for a potential world re-build with WS 2.0), and even more so with WS 3.0 techniques.

Satellite photos will also mismatch when they are taken at different times/weather/season, or by different camera (instruments) or different filters. You can see on google earth/instantstreetview satellite images that as you zoom in the entire season sometimes changes.
V12 wrote in Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:01 am:http://wiki.flightgear.org/images/1/1e/ ... 2018.x.jpg
Synthetic looking rocks without any details.
Check any Terra Emergence video, all is better than procedural texturing. Ofcourse, payware ORBX is even better.

Thorsten wrote in Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:10 am:And well, we can all point to pretty videos from commercial products where they had the cash to buy imagery and hire graphic artists..

Comparison of the rock textures at LOWI from Orbx taken from videos using textures verus real world and FG techniques:

The Orbx is a paid addon specialising in just one airport. They have 5 texture sets for the same location at different points of the year - lot of attention. By contrast Flightgear's is not using regional definitions for LOWI area that are specialised, and the regional definitions are from an older era except maybe some overlays that were ported from Norway (compared to Norway, Spain etc). There's lots of room for localisation.

Summer-ish photo with rock visible, From google search [1]. That looks like granite rock.
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Flightgear rock textures (I didn't vary moss, snow, wetness or dust etc. in this screenshot)
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Orbx rock. This is a paid addon.
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Orbx rock in X-P 11 video
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Orbx rock in MSFS2020 video
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The rock textures are extremely low res even when viewed from far away. I could not find any google photos of LOWI rock with a clay like appearance so I couldn't put one up - the rock appears granite in real photo and FG. Rock from orbx is white-sh, like clay, chalk (cliffs of dover), or maybe just dusty - not snow as these are summer(?). The rock effect/textures in the new microsoft sim addon are actually worse than in x-p edition.

With FG's procedural approach there's room to customise the rocks in the Innsbruck area, and adapt the rock effect to exactly match the photo if desired - see rock types from wiki (link , http://wiki.flightgear.org/File:Rock-crust.jpg.

Kind regards
Last edited by vnts on Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby V12 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:51 pm

vnts wrote in Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:11 pm:As I said before that: "Landclass borders can be made to blend in by matching soil colours

On my last sample image and video is not landclass border, but material region border and it is very different thing.

Freeware Innsbruck scenery with TEP textures :

Image

Image
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:02 pm

abassign wrote in Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:36 am:certainly FS2020 has struck the hearts of FGFS users, giving them a strong sense of inferiority.

i cannot agree with this... in fact, when i watch FS2020 videos, i laugh a lot at the mistakes defects seen... mistakes defects like not having the proper buildings in place in certain areas and other similar defects...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby abassign » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:02 pm

wkitty42 wrote in Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:02 pm:
abassign wrote in Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:36 am:certainly FS2020 has struck the hearts of FGFS users, giving them a strong sense of inferiority.

i cannot agree with this... in fact, when i watch FS2020 videos, i laugh a lot at the mistakes defects seen... mistakes defects like not having the proper buildings in place in certain areas and other similar defects...


I know it is often not easy to translate non-technical concepts, such as the one that I have expressed in this passage, I try to explain it better because it seems to me, reading your post, that (for once ..) we have the same opinion.

I think a user of a flight simulator, when observing FS2020 may think its visual characteristics are unattainable for FGFS, but in reality I believe FGFS can come close, and lean overtake on some features of FS2020. The approach of FGFS to operate with a completely synthetic landscape, making deep use of OpenGL, is really interesting and allows you to apply very interesting effects. Then we have the important osm2city module that allows to obtain 3D elements for medium and low flight altitudes. This module, being completely opensource, allows it to be customized in various contexts. The cloud management system is not bad and it seems to me that it is slowly improving.
The points I posed were known to try to solve some problems, such as the lowland landscape, which is currently too repetitive, rivers etc.
I don't believe in "Santa Claus", I believe in the continuation of our work to improve our program more and more.
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby wlbragg » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:24 pm

certainly FS2020 has struck the hearts of FGFS users, giving them a strong sense of inferiority.

I sure hope my postings aren't coming off like that as I have no feelings of the sort. I'm merely using and testing the newest capability to introduce photo scenery into FlightGear. Learning as I go how well or not it works, what effects its overall look, such as material settings, scenery objects such as vegetation, buildings and roads.

The conclusion I rapidly came to is in some instances, all thing being equal as to effort put forth for a given area, that photo scenery can look impressive at mostly the higher altitudes. Also reasonable at lower altitudes if enough attention to detail is thrown at the area. And in some areas, probably not really going to work at all without considerable effort to tune the photos to existing colors (if that is even possible). These conclusions are subject to all the known pitfalls of photo scenery most of us are already aware of. As you go through the steps of testing this stuff you start to notice the shading issues between areas, the green and blue shift of the color pallet. The blurring of detailed areas that have no natural cover on them and nothing over them in the sim scenery data. Areas without lots of modeled scenery look horrible at low altitudes and like a picture at anything but the highest altitudes. I did some portions of SanDeigo County in Southern California, big city areas. Without OSM and better vegetation it is really not appealing at all.
I still think there could be a use for photos in the deep background, but then there is an overhead cost for something you could get using other methods.
The one thing I can't get away from no matter the rational is that your seeing the earth as it really is (albeit a picture representation). Unless I have a way to so customize an area I can virtually make it look like it does in reality, I will always be drawn to the photo scenery approach.
Thankfully we currently have the framework and the necessary tools to make an area look as it does in reality. It only requires time and artistic capability. I do fear the newest method on the table for scenery generation (WS3.0) may take us farther away from this capability. If it is implemented in a way that we still have the same customization tools available to us to use, then maybe it will only enhance what we already have.
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby Thorsten » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:55 pm

I think a user of a flight simulator, when observing FS2020 may think its visual characteristics are unattainable for FGFS, but in reality I believe FGFS can come close, and lean overtake on some features of FS2020.


I think as a developer of a flight simulator that anyone who expects that a handful of volunteers can seriously compete against a multi-billion dollar company with a commerically viable feature like visuals is, sorry to say this bluntly, delusional.

Over the last years, I did one (!) merge request for new landclass definitions - and that was tiny Jan Mayen island. So basically the current workforce working on artwork for regional landclass definitions is... pretty much one. Me. Who is not only working on the artwork, but also on the framework. And on weather. And the Space Shuttle. And on bug reports. To my knowledge, the total number of people working on WS 3 is two. Volunteers. Part time, they also do other FG-related stuff.

A single graphics artist, working full time, is investing easily 20x more work-hours per week into the product than I can. Moreover, unlike me, he's actually trained in things like extracting tree images from background etc. What is even more, he can simply take the first matching image he likes and buy it - whereas I have to spend hours looking for suitable public domain solutions. So that single guy beats my ability to pile up artwork for FG by a factor 100 easily. And do you honestly think they just have one guy responsible for artwork?

So - the visuals are unattainable for us, because we don't even remotely have the workforce. We'd need more workforce to get the same artwork because we can't buy textures, images, 3d work as needed - but if we had a hundred people churning out terrain textures, 3d artwork, trees, cloud textures - we'd have a shot. Of sorts. But we don't - instead we have dozens of people who spend their time linking payware videos and churn out ideas what could be done. Well - we know what could be done - what we don't know is who does it.

So thanks for the prep speech, but... no deal.

We have a framework that can (see Hawaii) deliver pretty good results if the underlying terrain is good. We have good terrain in many parts of the world - and better custom scenery coming - but right now the framework is - at best - used to 10% in most areas of the world. We can add to the framework - then it's going to be used at 5%. Does it strike you as funny that needle trees all over the world look exactly like in my yard? Because that's where I took the photos. Nobody is making tree textures for his part of the world - so they all look like in Finland. People could start actually filling our existing framework with local tree varieties, shrubs, you name it. Use a drone and make local agriculture textures or village textures. Customize the procedural rock to a different pattern.

No - everyone is happy pointing at payware and expecting Santa to come by. Well - he won't.



I believe in the continuation of our work to improve our program more and more.


I'm sorry - but who is 'we' referenced by 'our'? What is your contribution to FG terrain - did I miss it by chance?
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby wlbragg » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:51 pm

Nobody is making tree textures for his part of the world - so they all look like in Finland.

That is one of the easiest artistic endeavor one could learn and would go a long way. I did a couple trees for the Kansas area but only a few out of the set and so I never submitted them to fgdata. I was going to come back to it. But those things along with attention to material definitions for a given area would go such a long way. The building facades are another one.

Here is the Grand Canyon with some editing of the image to better match the cliffs that aren't covered. It's better, but still less than desirable.

Image

Image
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby abassign » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:27 pm

Thorsten wrote in Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:55 pm:We have a framework that can (see Hawaii) deliver pretty good results if the underlying terrain is good. We have good terrain in many parts of the world - and better custom scenery coming - but right now the framework is - at best - used to 10% in most areas of the world. We can add to the framework - then it's going to be used at 5%. Does it strike you as funny that needle trees all over the world look exactly like in my yard? Because that's where I took the photos. Nobody is making tree textures for his part of the world - so they all look like in Finland.


I understand what you write as I have the same problem for the G91R1B, for now there are two of us ... and we cannot start another project, like F104S. But at the same time I'm happy to work on the project (it's been 5 years now) as my "partner" who works in the graphics part is happy. It is normal, but do not believe that FS2020 (and even less X-Plane) have many developers actually operational. It's like cinema, a movie is claimed to cost $ 100 million, but it doesn't actually exceed $ 20 million ... in software it's exactly the same thing.
So don't get sad about it, however if you like what you are doing go ahead for what you can do, "Santa Claus" does not exist and this is a beautiful thing, otherwise we will have nothing to do and the fun, together with the joy of learning to do new things, it would drop to zero!
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby abassign » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:00 pm

In my opinion, after the work of these years, we are not so far from a result comparable to a commercial flight simulator. Obviously, as is natural for a job done by enthusiasts, there are points that are left behind. The reasons are many, all very justified, no one has a fault it is simply "the natural rule of the game we are playing".
Let's look at this image of a LOWI take-off for example ...

Image

It's a rich image, it won't be 90-100% true, but I only fly LOWI with FGFS and so I can't say that that specific house is missing with that style, or the mountain rock has an isolated peak that CORINE doesn't report. As a user this image is already very good, the 3D effect of the houses in the city is very good, the image is rich, I am sure, however, being a resident who lives 300 km from Innsbruck (beautiful city that I have visited many times ) ... I'm sure of some flaws in this image:

* The mountains have too rounded ridges as the slope is high and therefore erosion tends to break the walls and create large furrows, the ridge peaks have a more fractal aspect ... and in the hills, where there is no vegetation , there are deposits of rocks. These are information that can be obtained with good certainty only by observing the slope and the type of terrain (for example rock) marked by CORINE.

* Known the absence of a road network in the valley floor, we can insert it without problems OSG describes it, it does not fit because it takes up space, but we can generate it dynamically, as I have already tried for the Po Valley (Milan) to do it dynamically with Osm2City at resolution desired. The result was fantastic, a good road network greatly increases the sense of realism of the image. As soon as I have time (not now I'm working on the Full Canvas liveries in Multiplayer for the G91R1B) I can give you an example.

In the end, the concept I try to carry out is simple:
We can do great things, just organize yourself to face them, within our skills.

We are not very sure, but let's always remember that we do it to have fun and learn new things.
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby wlbragg » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:15 pm

OK, last comparison I'm doing.

This is a really good comparison between custom scenery for a particular Kansas area, comparing photo scenery with custom NLCD. Both comparable images use some customization of materials and trees. It is the same customization however for both methods.
You be the judge. My opinion is they both work well. The photo scenery in this area may require less work than creating custom texture for draping over NLCD. But to do it right for either option you really need to define custom material setting and masks for all techniques, vegetation, buildings, lighting, roads, etc.

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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby wlbragg » Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:08 pm

Oh, sat imagery with snow.
Image

With more snow.
Image

I somehow lost my winter set of trees it looks. There should be very little evergreens. Mostly dead looking sticks in this area.
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby V12 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:41 am

That snow is standard realtime FG snow, or did You edit sat images and added snow efect ? It looks very good.
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Re: Photoscenery?

Postby wlbragg » Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:03 am

It's standard FG snow over the sat image textures.
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