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Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby iamzac » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:26 am

It seems that there is a severe miscommunication here.
I posted here in the "Development > New features" as a suggestion (NOT a request, just a suggestion) in case anyone is interested in implementing this solution from x-plane that improves realism (it looks more spherical/circular and not square or with straight lines at the horizon) and reduces resource usage (since you don't have to load so extreme LOD ranges anymore).
I also thought that what is needed might already be in the flightgear code base, I am referring to the space view of the earth globe which I was thinking that maybe could be adapted to this.
I assumed that people would already know what I am talking about, I assume you already follow development of other flight simulators for ideas.

This was NOT a message for requesting support, those screenshots are NOT how my flightgear looks like, this is how my flightgear usually looks like, with a LOD range of 160km.
It doesn't look as great as Thorsten screenshots but this is the maximum my PC can handle.
After using both x-plane and flightgear I feel that the solution from x-plane looks better and more realistic and uses less resources.
It's more obvious if you actually use them both, in screenshots it's not that obvious.

I made those screenshots with those settings because that is the default flightgear LOD bare range and also because it was similar in range with the "official" xplane screenshots I found after a quick search and also because it shows the difference in a more obvious way.

So this was not about me requesting support or about xplane vs flightgear.
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby wkitty42 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:27 am

iamzac wrote in Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:28 pm:I have been asked for screenshots to explain what I mean so after finally getting all the scenery here they are:
[...]
The square is more obvious if you are looking around and rotating the camera around, in the screenshots it's less obvious but the straight edge in front is one of it's sides and you can see the left and right corners .

you really should try my settings that i posted... if you don't like them, you can simply remove them... when i'm at 35000ft flying at 500-1000 kts, i can barely see the new tiles as they load... especially if they are already loaded and i don't have to wait on terrasync to pull them in... in fact, waiting on terrasync is about the only time i see a delay in tile loading... that and when flying faster than 5000kts...
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby Thorsten » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:13 pm

I posted here in the "Development > New features" as a suggestion (NOT a request, just a suggestion) in case anyone is interested in implementing this solution from x-plane that improves realism


Well, the point is that it really doesn't... If FG is instructed correctly, it renders decent visuals from high altitude. I know the textured globe sounds tempting, but it's really the elevation mesh which you see from 36.000 ft in the far distance, not the texture at sea level.


The X-plane screenshot is impressive, but not what you get to see for any typical weather from 36.000 ft - I've done lots of traveling all across the world, I always request window seats, and I've never ever seen a visibility that good. In that sense, i suspect it's to some degree deceptive as a comparison.

I frankly don't like rigged comparisons - I'm fairly certain I could easily come up with a similar shot for FG and post it on a blog, and if I had X-plane, I could probably tweak its settings to make it look worse. If you take screenshots from a development blog, you're unlikely to see the major blunders, you're likely to see something selected to look good.

The flight gear issue the bothers me most is that whenever flying at high altitude, with an airliner for example, I am flying above a big square and I see small squares being loaded in front of me while other small squares are removed in the back and this really ruins the immersion.


... and that damn sure sounds like a support request for a problem report to me.
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby abassign » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:12 pm

iamzac wrote in Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:28 pm:I have been asked for screenshots to explain what I mean so after finally getting all the scenery here they are:

X-plane (from their dev blog post at http://developer.x-plane.com/2015/03/extended-dsfs-in-x-plane-10-40/) at KSEA with extended LOD range:

Image



I did some tests by setting the LOD to 600 Km and the UFO flying at an altitude of 60,000 meters on the area of KSEA.
The settings used are those, as does X-Plane I removed the clouds:

Image

Image

The result is this:

Image

In the case specified in the post mentioned, the image is quite similar:

Image

But unfortunately it is definitely very "sad", lacking the details that make it so enjoyable VFR flying with X-Plane. As mentioned in a previous post, I do not think that "huge" changes are necessary. A lot of information which can help enrich the views are present for example in Open Street Map. But, for strange reasons, they have disappeared, or at least not directly activated. For example, the layers of the roads no longer seems to me visible, at least in this area, because?

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/FlightGear

If someone tells me that this urban area view is nice ... I have doubts about his soundness of mind :roll:
Image

Some scenery (2015 February) looks better, but lately they are no longer able to get similar results, and new scenarios do not seem, especially in urban areas, up to one done by the French in 2015,

Image

Image

This is an example of the French customized scenario http://pattenflightgear.wifeo.com/textures-du-terrain.php :( :

Image

Image

A well established way to enrich the scenarios and make the city not ridiculous (as currently ...) is used http://wiki.flightgear.org/Osm2city.py which can be used not only to draw 3D objects, but also on streets and night lighting.

Image

What I want to explain in this post is that there are lots of things done, and done well, but lacks the will to integrate them, and hardly ever there are licensing issues. Integration with OpenStreetMap is easily doable, time ago I made a test script in python for self-loading, while the plane flight over a certain territory, the OSM objects via the Osm2city functions.

I now expect a critical from of the usual "knights" of FGFS, they will say a lot of things, but never go down to the crux of the matter!
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby Johan G » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:21 am

abassign wrote in Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:12 pm:I did some tests by setting the LOD to 600 Km and the UFO flying at an altitude of 60,000 meters on the area of KSEA.

Hmm, I wonder what that would look like from this viewpoint though (data from the X-Plane development screenshot):

  • Latitude: -122.3 deg
  • Longitude: 47.48 deg
  • Elevation: 10,000 ft (=1 * 10^4)
  • Heading: 165.3
  • Pitch: -6.505
  • Roll: 0.901

abassign wrote in Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:12 pm:But unfortunately it is definitely very "sad", lacking the details that make it so enjoyable VFR flying with X-Plane. As mentioned in a previous post, I do not think that "huge" changes are necessary. A lot of information which can help enrich the views are present for example in Open Street Map. But, for strange reasons, they have disappeared, or at least not directly activated.

My first reaction though was "Wow! Beautiful horizon... and river!", unfortunately shortly followed by "But, where are all the land classes?!". Though it might look better from lower altitude, the landclasses seem missing or are very similar, or something.

abassign wrote in Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:12 pm:A well established way to enrich the scenarios and make the city not ridiculous (as currently ...) is used http://wiki.flightgear.org/Osm2city.py which can be used not only to draw 3D objects, but also on streets and night lighting.

I would probably not be able to fly there (like Paris or Berlin). Also, it have only been demonstrated on a few different cities as of yet. ;)
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby abassign » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:16 pm

Johan G wrote in Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:21 am:
abassign wrote in Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:12 pm:
  • Latitude: -122.3 deg
  • Longitude: 47.48 deg
  • Elevation: 10,000 ft (=1 * 10^4)
  • Heading: 165.3
  • Pitch: -6.505
  • Roll: 0.901



Is necessary to change Longitude with latitude and elevation is 10.000 mt ... ;) this is the confront:

X-Plane

Image

FGFS

Image

I think there are many things to ponder ...
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby Johan G » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:09 am

I am starting to think that this is 80% about the lack of detail in the landclassing.

I will speculate a bit on why below, but I think I am rather correct at large.

When that area of scenery was created it looks like the only source for the land classes was Vector Map Level 0 (vmap0). It is available for the entire world and is not covered by copyright (since it was developed by a US government agency), which means it could be used in FlightGear's scenery and distributed under a GPL licence.

The downside with the vmap0 data is that it primarily is digitized from 1:1,000,000 scale aeronautical charts, the operational navigation charts (ONCs).[1] At such a small scale there is not all that much detail, and the detail there is is probably more focused on the needs of navigation (hydrographic features, larger cities, larger roads and railroads). At the time the architecture of FlightGear's scenery was developed OpenStreetMap was either much less complete or did not even exist yet.[2] On the other hand, and in stark contrast to OSM the vmap0 quality is pretty much the same everywhere across the globe (and works very well for navigation with freely available aeronautical charts :) ).

There was work on much improved and more detailed landclassing for USA,[3] but that probably ended when the mapserver went down as Martin left the project.

[1] Vector Map Level 0, US National Geo-intelligence Agency (NGA)
[2] According to the English Wikipedia article (perm) the OpenStreetMap project was started in July 2004.
[2] See the forum topic Automated US Land Cover Vectorization
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby Thorsten » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:43 am

I am starting to think that this is 80% about the lack of detail in the landclassing.


Yeah, there used to be a Pacific Northwest custom scenery of just that area which had this resolution:

Image

- I have a screenshot series from the SR-71 flying from Seattle down the coast of the area, and it looks pretty much like the X-plane thing (and that was before procedural texturing...), but I can't seem to find it.
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby abassign » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:58 am

Johan G wrote in Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:09 am:I am starting to think that this is 80% about the lack of detail in the landclassing.
There was work on much improved and more detailed landclassing for USA,[3] but that probably ended when the mapserver went down as Martin left the project.


... However, my idea is simple, just rae look at this project based on the information from OpenStreetMap (OSM):

https://world2xplane.com/

This is some screenshot:

Image

Image

https://world2xplane.com/screenshots/

Unfortunately, the app does not GPL, but I think it's just for a cultural problem ;) ... However, this example allows you to understand that it is possible, from OSM, get all the necessary information to have a good representation of our world.

For some time I think it is not necessary to the map server for FGFs, but only extract the data from OSM server and process it appropriately!

Certainly the data for aerodromes and other items not mentioned in the OSM, will always be needed, but that's just to do a merge with traditionally present in FGFS data and the result of years of collaboration.

We put forward to build a process that, on the fly, build 3D maps of the territory flown over and put into a storage area to be re-used in subsequent flights. I had done experiments in which, via a python process, read the flight of the aircraft coordinates by LAN and I built the maps on the fly through the python http://wiki.flightgear.org/Osm2city.py project applications. Unfortunately python is not performing on the type of data used in the MDGs, it is much better to use Java or C ++. In Java there are many programs, such as: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM-3D (OSM-3D project) that allow the construction, on the fly, 3D objects.

It would be interesting to see if anyone wants to collaborate on this project, and then open a specific post on this. I work often with Java, but very little with Python (python I consider unsuitable in complex collaborative projects, but this is only my personal opinion).

The generation of the maps would, at this point, a network process, parallel to the process that is running FGFs, and relatively little impact on the frame rate (of course if you have machines with 2 or more CPUs).

Anyone have any better ideas to solve the FGFS sad scenario ?
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby abassign » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:01 am

Thorsten wrote in Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:43 am:
I am starting to think that this is 80% about the lack of detail in the landclassing.

I have a screenshot series from the SR-71 flying from Seattle down the coast of the area, and it looks pretty much like the X-plane thing (and that was before procedural texturing...), but I can't seem to find it.


You can send more examples to understand and configurations taken in order to do further investigation, thank you :)
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby wlbragg » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:13 am

If I understand what all is being said in the last half of this topic, we are already capable of most of what is being "wished" for. We already have all the tools in various forms. I've said this more than once, "we are not using the tools we already have to the best of their capability"!

Image
The above is completely "un-massaged" custom FG scenery. Made up of NLCD, OSM, SRTM, SWBD, raw, with no editing, smoothing or anything else. To this we could also add osm2city structures, textured roads (already possible) and have some incredibly hi-res data. Add a couple hundred hours of new land class texture work, some more custom modeling and WOW!

We already have the capability, what we don't have in abundance is dedicated man hours.
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby Catalanoic » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:10 pm

wlbragg, how can we have the same result as your shot but for the Barcelona area (LEBL as main airport) for the next FG release? Buildings and roads from OSM are an extra-feature.
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby wlbragg » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:41 pm

how can we have the same result as your shot but for the Barcelona area (LEBL as main airport) for the next FG release?


Find a GPL compatible source for decent resolution land cover shape files for this area or make them ourselves = manpower.
Download the OSM line, building and shape file data for the area, if there isn't already complete coverage of that area add it into OSM by hand using OSM interface = manpower.
Create new land class textures including road and rail where needed = manpower.
Use QGIS to put all the shape and line data together (this step is potentially not necessary but probably helpful) = manpower.
Use osm2city to convert the downloaded OSM building and object data to FG objects (models) = manpower.
Use TerraGear tool chain to build the shape file and line data (include the textured road switch), airport data into the new scenery = manpower.
Put it all together and distribute it.

It's all doable, but takes lots of manpower and time!
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby benrob0329 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:33 am

Where do I start?

I don't know anything about scripting FG, but I have both the computer and internet to do mass conversions or data (i7 5930k) and I can probably to do more if pointed in the right direction :-)
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Re: Global low resolution textured sphere/mesh earth base

Postby wlbragg » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:22 am

Where do I start?


I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you wanting to know where to start in respect to creating detailed scenery for Barcelona LEBL or something else?

There is already someone working on the TerraGear tool chain to upgrade its versatility.

There is another person working on a world wide shape file database that will have various levels of detail depending on the available data for any individual area. This effort will allow for us (individual users), and the project as a whole to easily obtain the data to make our own custom scenery and also the next generation of FlightGear world scenery.

If you just want to make your own custom scenery, then probably a bunch of reading of various wiki articles will be in order to learn the specifics of the FG scenery generation process. If it were me wanting to get involved, I would start with the TerraGear tool chain, get it set up and working and then go from there.

There are MANY forum discussions and postings related to this. If you have something more specific in mind just ask and I'm sure users that have done this before you will help guide you when they can.

As far as specific links to the documentation and discussions, I can't really help, I am inept at searching through the wiki and the forums, which takes time I don't have. But I know it is all there as I have found and read most of it at one time or another.

You just have to dive in. :)

P.S. the general outline in my previous post is not a bad summary of the process that will need to take place to produce scenery. Technically you could take it one step at a time and learn what each step means in relation to the whole process.
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