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Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

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Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby AzulProfundo » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:05 pm

Hi Folks,

I am returning to FlightGear simulator and their user community after a stop of almost one year. I noticed there were some developments meanwhile, namely in the base scenery via Terrasync. This is much better now, compared to the version I had before.

I am willing to contribute to updated scenery, concerning just the following points:
    Airport Ground Scenery: Runways, Taxiways and Parking;
    Related markings and signs;
    Airport Ground Network for AI: Parking positions and traffic routes.

Currently I am running FlightGear (about to update to 2020.3.8 ) on a Ubuntu 20.04 64bit machine. For what I have read so far in this Forum and also in Wiki pages, in order to update such scenery items I have to install the following set of tools:
    Terragear, to include the new Airport layout in the basic scenery. Optionally, there is also a GUI to ease the work (for those not accustomed to a CLI);
    WED, to modify or create the airport layout. With an empty folder list to mimic X-Plane structure, and no submission at all to the X-Plane Gateway;
    FGAirport, to update or create the items required for AI aircraft.

Is this OK? I would like to hear from you, specially if you have already such set in a similar OS, and using the latest available versions of those software.

My current plan, if I achieve a working development platform, is to update a set of airfields in the Azores, and include also the regional commuter airline SATA in order to have some AI Traffic around the updated airfields.
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby Johan G » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:56 pm

As the Azores are islands, there is the potential that when you are done updating the airport layouts and have rebuilt the scenery using TerraGear, they could replace the islands currently in the TerraSync scenery. Rebuilding only part of a landmass would leave visible seams between new and existing scenery tiles, but if you rebuild the entire landmass of an island you would not have that problem.
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby wkitty42 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:11 pm

Johan G wrote in Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:56 pm:Rebuilding only part of a landmass would leave visible seams between new and existing scenery tiles, but if you rebuild the entire landmass of an island you would not have that problem.

true... the seams around islands are then found in the ocean where they are generally out of the way and not so visible... those operating water craft might run into them... literally ;)
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby AzulProfundo » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:55 pm

Thanks for the reply. Johan G. points to a issue I was not expecting. My idea was simply to edit airport layouts, and not to make any edits to the basic terrain mesh or the landclass. And not to modify objects, also. And the updates would be kept in a custom folder. I think there should be some kind of an update procedure, but I do not know it (or whom to contact, for that matters).

Flying around the Azores this weekend, I could confirm that, just as wkitty42 notices, there are indeed some seams in the ocean, near the islands.
What would be the correct procedure to avoid this, in such case?

Reading more about scenery development, I found out that there is a world scenery 3.0 in the making, which will replace the current one. This new scenery is done in a different way and terragear will become obsolete, being replaced by a "Virtual Planet Builder" tool.

Also, on the issue of updating the ground network for AI Traffic, the FGAirports tool is at a very initial stage (version 0.0.30) and there are still no binaries to install it, just the source through GitHub, which is great for developers, but not for a user like me.

For the time being, I will just gather more data about those airports, and later, when these tools are available, I will contribute with the updates. Which is not much work, giving that these airports are rather small. :D
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby pb321 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:04 pm

Just want to make sure you saw this:https://github.com/Portree-Kid/flightgear-airports/releases/tag/v0.30.0. This is on the FG Airports Github page under "releases". It includes executables for Windows, Mac and Linux. Also, while the release number may indicate a "development" release, it works quite well for groundnet development.
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby portreekid » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:15 am

Flightgear Airports is still being maintained. I'm just focussing on the C++ AI code at the moment. If there were to be any major glitches they would be fixed.
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby AzulProfundo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:46 pm

Thanks, pb321, for the link. I did not found those files when looking at the GitHub page. In the "Code" button, it pointed just to do a git clone for the development version.

I have downloaded the AppImage version and it is working on my Ubuntu 20.04 notebook. :D

So, the updates to the Azorean airports concerning the ground network are back to the TODO schedule again. The plan is to add parking positions, pushback links and taxiways, and then to try out with a few traffic added for the azores regional airline SATA. For the moment, I will keep the modifications with me...

When I am happy with the tests, I will share it through this forum (or any other way you might show).

And many thanks to portreekid for this tool and the efforts in maintaining it free of "any major glitches". :wink:
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby Johan G » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:58 am

wkitty42 wrote in Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:11 pm:true... the seams around islands are then found in the ocean where they are generally out of the way and not so visible... those operating water craft might run into them... literally ; )

Oh. I have actually noticed seams in the ocean before, but not given them a second thought.
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby WoodSTokk » Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:35 pm

I dont have looked in the code, but i think the problem of seams in the ocean is that TerraGear and FG uses different formulars.
If TerraGear build a BTG file of an island with ocean surounding, it calculates a default set of vertices for the ocean surface.
If FG want load a BTG file but doesnt find a file, it creates a default ocean tile. For that, it calculates also a grid of vertices.
I think TerraGear and FG uses different formular to calculate the default grid and thats the cause of seams in ocean between BTG files and default ocean.
Best way is that both (TerraGear and FG) uses exactly the same formula to calculate the vertices of standard ocean surface.
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Re: Airport Scenery Development Tools - 2021

Postby AzulProfundo » Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:33 pm

I have been doing a few tests on FGAirports, which is working fine and is a great tool for editing the AI Traffic part of an airport.
I am having some newby issues with the layout of the groundnet. FGAirports checks is complaining about my poor work. I have read the wiki about AI Traffic, and I think where (at least) part of the problems reside.
However, some of the issues could be due to a lack of sync between the data extracted from the apt.dat, and the one downloaded through Terrasync.

As some of the issues can be specific to the airfield, I am posting them in a new topic, called "LPFL Flores with FGAirport". I will add a few screenshots.
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