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LIPY airport - now less scary at night

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LIPY airport - now less scary at night

Postby bigstones » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:09 pm

Up to date information available on the wiki article for Falconara Airport. Here are some recent screenshots.
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Hi to everyone, this is my second post.
I made the 850 layout for LIPY, placed some standard objects both on it and in front of it (there's a refinery right on the coast), and made the xml file with the parking places. Actually I put them also in the .dat, but genapts seems to ignore them.

The objects are shared, but while I was looking for resources I've found that some fellows from FS modelled LIPY at an incredible detail level. I guess somebody who's good at 3d modeling could use their material, if they are willing to share it. They seem to have plenty of real, self made pictures (they say the airport people let one of them in and accompanied him to take all the pictures he wanted even with a car!).

Here some pics from my efforts (I hope you have not yet looked at the previous link or these won't make a great figure):

<<old pictures removed>>

In OSM the area also has a lot of electric lines. Is it planned to make an automated tool to import them? Is it ready? I'd love to add them, but maybe I should not waste time. So, now I need to email the .dat to Robin and upload my .stg lines, right? if anybody models the real buildings, my objects will be replaced without problems, right?

I'd like to model also the AI related stuff but I'm not sure I'm able to do that. Would it have any use anyway?

EDIT: I forgot one thing: the painted lines (all of them, white, broken, yellow...) seem to flicker as if they sometimes get submerged into the taxiway. I'm on Linux, with geforce 9800 and nvidia drivers. Is it my video card or I can fix it in some way?
Last edited by bigstones on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:27 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby psadro_gm » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:23 pm

Flickering line data should be fixed soon. The issue is genapt generates triangles for the pavement, and triangles for the lines. Then we cheat and tell the video driver to pull the line triangles forward when rendering. Unfortunately, this really only works when the triangles are truly coplanar. Currently, they are not. I have some fixes so that when you regenerate your airport, the lines will truly be coplanar.
8.50 airport parser, textured roads and streams...
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby f-ojac » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:14 am

Hi,
bigstones wrote in Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:09 pm:In OSM the area also has a lot of electric lines. Is it planned to make an automated tool to import them? Is it ready?

Yes, the tool is done and ready, probably a little be more brainstorming to be sure of the impacts. So don't waste too much time on this.
Push the added parts of the .stg files to the massive import form at scenemodels.flightgear.org and don't worry, if someone makes it better one day there'll be no problem.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby Bjoern » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:04 pm

bigstones wrote in Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:09 pm:The objects are shared, but while I was looking for resources I've found that some fellows from FS modelled LIPY at an incredible detail level. I guess somebody who's good at 3d modeling could use their material, if they are willing to share it. They seem to have plenty of real, self made pictures (they say the airport people let one of them in and accompanied him to take all the pictures he wanted even with a car!).


Is the FS scenery freeware? They you can ask for permission to use it anytime, but be advised that the creators are potentially not willing to license their materials under the GPL.

If the FS scenery is payware, being granted permission is much less likely.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby bigstones » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:04 pm

Bjoern wrote in Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:04 pm:Is the FS scenery freeware? They you can ask for permission to use it anytime, but be advised that the creators are potentially not willing to license their materials under the GPL.


I mailed the .dat to Robin. Will it be in TerraSync only after the scenery rebuild? I'm reluctant to upload the object positions because current apron and taxiways are quite wrong and objects would look displaced, and because I still hope to use models from the scenery I linked above.

It's freeware, but I should ask about GPL as the readme states they want to keep it free (as in money). However the technical part of it worries (and intrigues) me more. I've found a nice conversion tool (ModelConverterX) that can even do batch conversions, supports many formats, I also managed to show the textured *.ac files in flightgear (although there's a scaling issue, ~10x, and in AC3D it's all upside down) so I know it works, but the buildings seem grouped by detail level instead of single buildings. That is, the buildings are spread across three big .bgl files that include them all, the first with base primitives and the others, like "diffs" with incrementing details. Then, all trees in the airfield are in a file, and so on.

I could merge these files, but having objects of the whole airport as a unity means that I can't adapt it to the slightly different airport layout I have here instead of theirs. I'd have to split objects by areas at least, to place them singularly. Also, the details are really a lot, a merge would mean a huge number of triangles. Has FG a way to handle this complexity? Leaving details out means there would be evident gaps in the structures when looked from the ground. This would mean a lot more adaptation work. I guess that's what the faq means when it says "the toolchain is too different".

Do you feel it is a doable work for an unexperienced modeler? Would it be faster just borrowing the textures and modelling everything almost from scratch? And above all, could this possibily be helpful to learn how to import (GPL compatible) models, and change a bit the answer to that faq? I'm asking this because I've read in that thread that it is partially possible.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby Bjoern » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:22 pm

bigstones wrote in Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:04 pm:It's freeware, but I should ask about GPL as the readme states they want to keep it free (as in money).


Free as in "free of charge" usually collides with the "anything goes" GPL.

I'd contact them about the conversion in any case.

...but the buildings seem grouped by detail level instead of single buildings. That is, the buildings are spread across three big .bgl files that include them all, the first with base primitives and the others, like "diffs" with incrementing details. Then, all trees in the airfield are in a file, and so on.


That's the way it's done in MSFS. Any object sharing a material is mashed together into a single object upon compilation. Model Converter is an independently developed tool and thus will probably never be able to divide these "superobjects" back into individual ones.
Different levels of details, the "diffs" you're seeing, are pretty much the standard for non-user aircraft and objects in MSFS. They improve visual performance as far away objects do not need to be detailed and basically only clog the GPU's vertex pipeline if they are.

Has FG a way to handle this complexity?


FG supports LODs. The main difference between it and MSFS is that FG's LOD switching is based upon distance from the user aircraft (or camera?), while MSFS switches whenever an object is a certain size (in pixels) on screen. That's why you probably get objects like [name]_LOD_400, [name]_LOD_180, etc...

Do you feel it is a doable work for an unexperienced modeler? Would it be faster just borrowing the textures and modelling everything almost from scratch? And above all, could this possibily be helpful to learn how to import (GPL compatible) models, and change a bit the answer to that faq? I'm asking this because I've read in that thread that it is partially possible.


Well, tearing up the scenery into single models and placing them in FG is probably the quickest solution, especially since you'll need the buildings' dimensions if you want to recreate them. And those are bit hard to come by...

I'd, however, start slow until you have a definitive answer from the original creators regarding modification and licensing.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby f-ojac » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:40 pm

bigstones wrote in Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:04 pm:Will it be in TerraSync only after the scenery rebuild?

Before any world scenery generation, we of course grab the latest apt.dat from XPlane. So if your .dat is included at that time, then it'll be in.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby bigstones » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:23 pm

Bjoern wrote in Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:22 pm:Free as in "free of charge" usually collides with the "anything goes" GPL.

I was just preparing the email when I had a doubt: do they need to use GPL license on their own original content, too, or they can just permit a GPL conversion? I mean, the conversion is a derivative work and lives on its own, provided it's authorized by the original owner, right?
When this is clear, I'm ready to click "send".
FG supports LODs.

It does?! I couldn't find a wiki for that, only messages discussing LOD proposals. Where do I find an example? I suppose it's in XMLs associated to the AC files.
Well, tearing up the scenery into single models and placing them in FG is probably the quickest solution, especially since you'll need the buildings' dimensions if you want to recreate them. And those are bit hard to come by...

I'd, however, start slow until you have a definitive answer from the original creators regarding modification and licensing.

Yes, right. Well, heights would be the only problem (base dimensions are in OSM), but I live 15 km away from the airport and could go and make an esteem. I'll stick to your experience of course.

Thank you all guys!
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby Bjoern » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:21 pm

bigstones wrote in Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:23 pm:I was just preparing the email when I had a doubt: do they need to use GPL license on their own original content, too, or they can just permit a GPL conversion? I mean, the conversion is a derivative work and lives on its own, provided it's authorized by the original owner, right?
When this is clear, I'm ready to click "send".


I don't know.
Might just be best to ask if you can generally publish a FG scenery using their models and textures.
Then ask if you can also upload it to FG's official scenery repository, but clarify that sceneries in there are licensed under the GPL.
If they're not cool with that, but still allow you to publish the scenery in general, you'll have to distribute it with a hosting service.

It does?! I couldn't find a wiki for that, only messages discussing LOD proposals. Where do I find an example? I suppose it's in XMLs associated to the AC files.


Uh...it has a general LOD dialog in the simulator settings, but I have no idea how it works on a per-model basis.
Try to find a model that uses LODs and see how it switches between them.

Yes, right. Well, heights would be the only problem (base dimensions are in OSM), but I live 15 km away from the airport and could go and make an esteem. I'll stick to your experience of course.


Well, you can also use the heights of the MSFS scenery's models.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby bigstones » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:37 pm

I just got their (his) answer. It's ok for him, but the programs he used were free only for non-commercial use, and I'm pretty sure that extends to derivative works. I guess that's a no-go for GPL, unless I do it all from scratch (and I don't think so, he said it's a year of work).
Bjoern wrote in Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:21 pm:Uh...it has a general LOD dialog in the simulator settings, but I have no idea how it works on a per-model basis.
Try to find a model that uses LODs and see how it switches between them.

I've found it: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Howto:Animate_models#Range
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby Bjoern » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:58 pm

bigstones wrote in Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:37 pm:I just got their (his) answer. It's ok for him, but the programs he used were free only for non-commercial use, and I'm pretty sure that extends to derivative works. I guess that's a no-go for GPL, unless I do it all from scratch (and I don't think so, he said it's a year of work).


Well, that's good news!
And I'd say that the non-GPL part is but a minor inconvienience. You can still get the scenery out and about.



- Edit:
Glad you found it. It'd have never occurred to me to look for a "range" entry.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby bigstones » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:14 pm

Bjoern wrote in Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:58 pm:Well, that's good news!
And I'd say that the non-GPL part is but a minor inconvienience. You can still get the scenery out and about.

Actually I really wanted to make it part of the official FG scenery.
...and here are better news: I asked him what program did he use. It's GMax. I checked the EULA, it says nothing about restrictions on content produced, and actually I see it's been used on this forum before :D
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby Bjoern » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:11 pm

bigstones wrote in Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:14 pm:
Bjoern wrote in Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:58 pm:Well, that's good news!
...and here are better news: I asked him what program did he use. It's GMax. I checked the EULA, it says nothing about restrictions on content produced, and actually I see it's been used on this forum before :D


GMax was specifically made for the freeware market. It's old and fairly limited, but it still does the trick.

Did he say something about GPL'ing the textures?
(I'd say that they are the most important issue in this case.)
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby bigstones » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:26 am

Bjoern wrote in Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:11 pm:
bigstones wrote in Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:14 pm:Did he say something about GPL'ing the textures?
(I'd say that they are the most important issue in this case.)

Yes, he's fine with that, but he didn't use a clear full statement (like "I grant you permission to publish the conversion of this scenery under GPL"). What he said was like "the problem is not me with paid sceneries, but tools and satellite imagery" (that I don't need). If it's needed I'll ask him when I'll have some screenshots to show him.

BTW, I'm at a good point with separating the objects, and improved the airport layout (in/from OSM). I also just discovered Rembrandt and it makes a huge difference. I'm trying to comply with it and I will try to remove shadows from textures, but alpha seems to be a problem. Pylons and gratings have a black border that from far makes it all look black instead of transparent. Happens also with gratings from shared models... so I guess it's a known issue. More on that on another thread, if I can't figure it out.
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Re: LIPY airport

Postby Gijs » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:14 am

Airports: EHAM, EHLE, KSFO
Aircraft: 747-400
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