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Improved scenery for France

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Improved scenery for France

Postby elmaxo » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:09 pm

Hi all,

I have been working on custom scenery for France for a while.

EDIT:First release of this custom scenery covering all of continental France is available here: http://www.mguillaud.net/fg/custom-scenery-france-v1.tgz

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

There is also a wiki page about this scenery.

The improvements consist in:
- use of accurate landcover information (Source : European Union, SOeS, CORINE Land Cover, 2006 - http://www.ifen.fr/index.php?id=88),
- landmass according to CORINE data,
- digital elevation data from Jonathan de Ferranti for the alpine area (http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/dem3.html),
- fitting of the elevation data with 20m accuracy ("terrafit.py -e 20"),
- Road and rail information from OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/).

Pictures are probably more convincing than those technical details, so here are the good ole' after/before shots:
(new scenery left, scenery from terrasync on the right).

This one is around Grenoble:
grenoble.jpg


And this one is looking south from approximately the same place, towards the Trièves. We can see the nice Mt. Aiguille ("needle") sticking out.
trieves.jpg


Note that this scenery relatively "heavier" than the default scenery, and that old machines might not like this.
Any kind of feedback about possible quirks, etc, is very welcome !

Happy testing !

elmaxo
Last edited by elmaxo on Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby Tuxklok » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:25 pm

Beautiful! Don't ya just love the depth proper land cover adds to the scene?
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby NicQ » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:48 pm

Looks amazingly good from the little I've been able to see so far :)
As I'm getting an application crash near Grenoble (can't start at Grenoble's airports and couldn't complete a flight from Lyon St-Ex to Grenoble), possibly in Terrain/e000n40/e006n45/3056097.btg (happens while loading those files)
Will try to get your more info, as things develop.
Thanks for your hard work, c'est superbe !
Cheers !
Nic
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby elmaxo » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:33 am

Thanks for the comments ! The crash that you mention might be related to the fact that I used a modified materials.xml file with a separate cover type "Rock". You can get my file here http://www.mguillaud.net/fg/materials.xml.

Another quirk that I noticed is small gaps between certain tiles (their edges are at slightly different altitudes). This happens between tiles that were generated during one single run, and I don't know why. Ideas ??
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby NicQ » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:25 pm

elmaxo wrote:Thanks for the comments ! The crash that you mention might be related to the fact that I used a modified materials.xml file with a separate cover type "Rock". You can get my file here http://www.mguillaud.net/fg/materials.xml.


Sounds plausible, seeing as the call stack in the debugger after the crash was right in the effects and techniques part of SimGear/OSG :)
Will try with your materials.xml (well, once i merge it with mine, since I have other custom mappings ;))

Another quirk that I noticed is small gaps between certain tiles (their edges are at slightly different altitudes). This happens between tiles that were generated during one single run, and I don't know why. Ideas ??


That I don't know, albeit I think you can alleviate that with certain terragear settings : I remember mention of a tool setting to help "smoothing" tile edges, but not sure on the details.
Maybe someone who's been through the whole process of scenery creation can help with this one :)
Cheers !
Nic
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby NicQ » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:52 pm

It's indeed the missing Rock mapping. As Helijah suggested on our native language forum (sourire), you should just tell people how to modify the relevant mapping, maybe by including a before and after in a code tag right here on the forum :) (edit : did it myself, hehe. See end of post)
Rather than posting your full materials.xml, and having users do merges by hand (or worse, overwrite their own files and lose existing custom mappings)
Now, to do a build of FGFS with the new effects and fly to Grenoble.
Vraiment une belle job, comme on dit par ici ;) (Really a nice travail (job), as we say in these parts, a Quebec slang formula, for those who don't speak or read in Moliere's language and its variants)

Cheers !
Nic

Edit : Et un gros, gros merci pour ton travail fabuleux, ça va me faire moins mal de me poser en Métropole après des vols en Corse custom ;)
A big, big thank you for the fabulous work, it's going to hurt a lot less to land on Metropolitan French soil after flights in Custom Corsica ;)


Materials.xml Needed edit for things to work : Look for Barren Cover in the file, and as you can see from below, you simply need to add a line with <name>Rock</name>

Before :
Code: Select all
   <material>
 <name>BarrenCover</name>
 <name>Lava</name>
 <name>Dirt</name>
 <name>OpenMining</name>
 <texture>Terrain/rock.png</texture>
 <xsize>500</xsize>
 <ysize>500</ysize>
 <solid>1</solid>
 <friction-factor>0.9</friction-factor>
 <rolling-friction>0.1</rolling-friction>
 <bumpiness>0.3</bumpiness>
</material>


After :
Code: Select all
   <material>
 <name>BarrenCover</name>
 <name>Lava</name>
 <name>Dirt</name>
 <name>OpenMining</name>
 <name>Rock</name>
 <texture>Terrain/rock.png</texture>
 <xsize>500</xsize>
 <ysize>500</ysize>
 <solid>1</solid>
 <friction-factor>0.9</friction-factor>
 <rolling-friction>0.1</rolling-friction>
 <bumpiness>0.3</bumpiness>
</material>
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby elmaxo » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:28 pm

Thanks NicQ, yes the change to the materials.xml is the one you pointed out above.

Indeed, I would be happy to see "Rock" in materials.xml by default, as hinted from this page http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/LandcoverDB_CS_Detail, mentioned in this old thread http://www.flightgear.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3247&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=2ba496b4631f79bcfd1b2600dd1297da.

It doesn't matter if it maps into the same texture as Dirt initially (as is the case in my file), but having it in materials.xml by default would mean that people like me doing scenery could start to use it, and when a nice specific Rock texture is integrated, it is used without having to rebuild the scenery...

Thanks also for your remark about "smoothing" the tiles. A search with this keyword pointed me to the solution: stale data in the "Shared" subdirectory (which is generated automatically during the build process) had to be deleted.
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby alva » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:59 pm

Nice work.
I only noticed something wrong with the Etang de Berre, which has got sand instead of water.
(Airport LFML)

Cheers.

alva
Last edited by alva on Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby elmaxo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:36 am

Hi all,

I am pleased to announce that the first release covering all of continental France is ready !

The download link is here: http://www.mguillaud.net/fg/custom-scenery-france-v1.tgz (beware: 781MB file).
No changes to data/materials.xml are necessary anymore, so if you tweaked it to try the previous version of this scenery, you can revert back to the old file. If you track CVS and modified your materials.xml file, you should remove it and refresh your CVS tree, otherwise it will not get updated anymore.

Among the recent improvements: there are no more small gaps between the tiles, tunnels are now handled properly, and Corine type 521 is now mapped into lakes (this should fix the issue with Etang de Berre).

Everything inside the administrative boundaries of France should look quite nice. However, everything just outside those boundaries currently has piss-poor detail (likely less than the default scenery - there is even a massive hole in the landmass in parts of Switzerland). Just avoid cross-border flights for the moment :wink:.
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby alva » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:37 am

alva wrote:Nice work.
I only noticed something wrong with the Etang de Berre, which has got sand instead of water.
(Airport LFML)




To illustrate my previous mail, snapshots over etang de berre ( take off from LFML )
http://www.humyo.fr/F/9687257-1025914811

http://www.humyo.fr/F/9687257-1025919407

The last bild shows that a tiny part of the area is with water.

The ground which is under, is identified by FG being solid not water, do we must conclude that the original land cover datas are wrong? or being an anticipation of what will be France in the future :) ?
Last edited by alva on Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby elmaxo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:46 am

Hi alva,

Thanks for the feedback. It is fixed in the latest release that I just put online (see 2 posts above).
The trick is to properly map the lancover types of CORINE into Flightgear textures. I am now mapping all coastal lagoons into lakes, which fixed the problem you reported, but may look less realistic in other places.
I will try to put the details of my hand-tuned mapping online when I have time for those interested.
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby 2011futuremarine » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:17 pm

Really, really nice looking :)
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby NicQ » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:12 pm

elmaxo wrote:
Everything inside the administrative boundaries of France should look quite nice. However, everything just outside those boundaries currently has piss-poor detail (likely less than the default scenery - there is even a massive hole in the landmass in parts of Switzerland). Just avoid cross-border flights for the moment :wink:.


Massive hole ? I don't understand why that should be, as CORINE covers the whole of Europe, doesn't it ?
And if you're doing custom scenery, you have to do it 1x1 degree tiles completely, as having "bad" data prevents users from loading alternate tiles, as FlightGear will load a missing tile from one scenery directory from the next one in the list.
But only full tiles : National or administrative borders don't really exist in FGFS, the only border being tile edges :)
You simply can't stop the modeling at arbitrary borders, chaos and user madness lies therein (hehe).
Or use official scenery to finish the tile, so at least there is no hole, if for any reason you can't use CORINNE to finish the tile in question.

That said, looks like you had a busy weekend with Terragear & co, thanks for all the hard work,
Cheers !!
Nic
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby statto » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:52 pm

NicQ wrote:Massive hole ? I don't understand why that should be, as CORINE covers the whole of Europe, doesn't it ?


If I may make an informed guess, I know France has better data, and I know it's hard to create accurate layers in mountainous areas...
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Re: Improved scenery for France

Postby elmaxo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:17 pm

NicQ wrote:Massive hole ? I don't understand why that should be, as CORINE covers the whole of Europe, doesn't it ?

The massive hole is simply due to a bug in my landmass database that I did not care to fix since it was outside my area of interest... we can stop the speculation here guys !

As for the CORINE data, yes the survey covered the whole of the EU (sorry, not Switzerland!), but the resulting lancover database is distributed individually by each country, with different licenses (this is true at least for the latest "version 2006" of the database). I am using the one for France which is free (in all senses). This is not the case for all countries
(see this thread: http://www.flightgear.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5105&sid=27f4cd39675cf2587acae98adfbf04a2).

My toolchain is now quite robust and could certainly be used for other countries as well. If you are interested, please google for "corine landcover" together with the name of your country, and report back about the licensing terms. Complain to your government if you are not allowed to use the data that you paid for with your taxes.

NicQ wrote:And if you're doing custom scenery, you have to do it 1x1 degree tiles completely, as having "bad" data prevents users from loading alternate tiles, as FlightGear will load a missing tile from one scenery directory from the next one in the list.
But only full tiles : National or administrative borders don't really exist in FGFS, the only border being tile edges :)
You simply can't stop the modeling at arbitrary borders, chaos and user madness lies therein (hehe).
Or use official scenery to finish the tile, so at least there is no hole, if for any reason you can't use CORINNE to finish the tile in question.

I know all this... I just couldn't wait. Also, don't forget: release early, release often :wink:

NicQ wrote:That said, looks like you had a busy weekend with Terragear & co, thanks for all the hard work,


Thanks a lot ! Initially I started working on this for my personal enjoyment, after returning from a hike in the mountains and not being able to recognize the area in FG. But I am all the more happy if other people enjoy it !
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