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Next-generation scenery generating?

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Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby D-ECHO » Mon May 30, 2016 5:22 pm

Hi,
I have an idea about scenery making and would like to ask you what you think of it. Please, don't feel offended in any way as I know that scenery generation already caused a lot of flamewars.
After our faithful mapserver went down some time ago, we have no more host of landclasses and height data what makes short-time scenery development much more difficult and I know there are alternatives like v0-data hosted on FGMEMBERS but that way you have to always download the full world (please correct me if I'm wrong). On the other hand, we have terrasync and the world scenery. The problem with world scenery is the time it is generated. It isn't much encouraging to develop in scenery which will only be visible in a year or even more. But custom sceneries aren't also the solutions as there are problems like visible boundaries and incompatibility.
Now, the idea is to have a server with a full set of v0 and corine landclasses or so and a kind of stream from the gateway and osm as well as SRTM. Via an interface or a git(svn)-like application, new data created by developers (e.g. pretty new landclasses :D) could be uploaded. Then, on the server there would be a terragear program which nightly (or so) generates the data uploaded the day ago and adds it to a full scenery set generated once at the beginning. This set could be linked (or could be) terrasync, downloadable in-program.
Advantages of this concept are that contributed work would be much faster online without having difficult-to-download third-party solutions and flamewars between people being more for fast solutions and ones that are more interested in long-term solutions.
Please tell me what you think of this.
Regards
D-ECHO
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby bugman » Mon May 30, 2016 5:45 pm

Have you read the TerraGear roadmap for WS3.0?

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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby D-ECHO » Mon May 30, 2016 6:00 pm

Yes I have :-)
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby bugman » Mon May 30, 2016 6:59 pm

Any such ideas would have to be integrated into the WS3.0 toolchain, so it is useful to understand the roadmap and know each component, and work out how you could contribute there. For the v0 data, this is public domain, and can be googled and downloaded very easily. I believe that the plan for the automated scenery generation is that the base public domain data will be fetched from the upstream sources and not stored as a copy, but then the intermediate files will be stored.

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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby D-ECHO » Mon May 30, 2016 7:09 pm

So pre-generated (ogr-decoded) data could be stored on that server
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby www2 » Mon May 30, 2016 9:35 pm

Is a good idea to start a collaborate between us and openstreetmap to crate a open source/free data project for land class database and hight maps?
And the size of Vmap0 is under 5GB (compleet world)
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby psadro_gm » Tue May 31, 2016 2:23 pm

Keeping the intermediate ogr-decoded data would be one way to start a quicker world scenery release.

The issue is - you probably need to delete all tiles a new update changes, and regenerate from both the unchanged and changed shapefiles for the extents of each shapefile changed.

I don't see any difference between this and our current plan of merging submitted landclass changes into the database, and rebuilding the extents of the changes from scratch. You still need to decode all tiles with changes made.

As for the 'height maps' - we have a very good dedicated license friendly source in Johnathon at viewfinderpanorama. If you want to fix an issue with the elevation data, I'm sure he would be very glad to fix it.

Once we have infrastructure in place to handle landclass merging, we could move away from X.0 scenery releases, and would only need to regenerate the entire planet if a new feature is added to the toolchain itself. Unfortunately, this is 'mostly' not a toolchain, or feature problem, it's an infrastructure problem :)
8.50 airport parser, textured roads and streams...
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby Thorsten » Tue May 31, 2016 3:26 pm

This may or may not become an outlook at the structure of WS 4 - but we're contemplaing moving away from vector landclasses and utilize shader compositing instead.

The advantage is shown here:

Image

(the text is drawn in a different landclass...)

Unlike for vector seams, you can blur boundaries as you like (also using biased mixing functions,...). Also, the vertex count can be kept low because no subdivisions for landclasses need to be made.

So the format and the requirements may change rather drastically.
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby psadro_gm » Tue May 31, 2016 6:06 pm

Ss the question arises? how do you encode the landclass? Is it a texture lookup? If so, I would rather start down this path now, rather than later. So much of the complexity ( and problems ) in the terragear toolchain has to do with the landclass polygon clipping. Generating a raster image for a texture lookup is orders of magnitude easier :) I already have the capability to generate this raster in tg-construct.
8.50 airport parser, textured roads and streams...
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby Thorsten » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:37 am

It is a texture lookup, yes. The encoding to be used is what I'm trying to research at the moment. I'm aiming for some experience with the rendering part so that I know what's needed, useful and not relevant before stating potential requirements for the scenery creation.

Generating a raster image for a texture lookup is orders of magnitude easier


Curt mentioned something like this, yes. We may want to add complexity to the raster image though - specify what pattern to use for the transition for instance, store information about roughness and height-mapping,...
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby Thorsten » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:21 am

More proof of concept - we can select a texture from a palette based on the info encoded on the meta-texture and draw landclass boundaries hard, smooth or noise-distorted as desired:

Image
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby curt » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:28 am

Cool stuff Thorsten!
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby erik » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:01 am

This sounds very exciting.
If there's no drawback memory wise this would fit well with the airport layout draping I think and then maybe it is a good idea to create a test area using this method.

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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby jaxsin » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:09 am

wow, I really like what I see with that proof of concept. Nice work Thorsten
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Re: Next-generation scenery generating?

Postby D-ECHO » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:45 pm

Looks great Thorsten but what about Frame rates? I for example get only 8-10 fps on my high end computer with landmass and transition Shader max. Will it also that intensive? And can the same Raw data as today can be used?
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