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Landclass and how it effects what you see

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rks9093 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rks9093 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2009 at 1:53pm
This has got to be the single best FSX thread on any forum.  It has been very helpful in teaching me WHAT to do, but I am still left with a few nagging questions regarding the WHY.

First, I don't fully understand why we sandwich non-UTX landclass products between the UTX Urban and Vegetation layers.  I assume that the idea here is that for any given piece of terrain, FSX is going to see if some UTX landclass applies, and it will try in the order these landclasses are in the scenery library.  If there were no other LC products wedged in there, then I am guessing that the UTX vegetation LC ends up being the default or fallback LC (the one that always gets used when nothing else fits).  But when we DO wedge other products in there they get a shot at being used before FSX defaults to UTX vegetation.  Is that assumption close?

If I am on the right track, then I don't understand why it is important that only one of the non-UTX products is enabled.  It seems to me that FSX is going to go through the priority order and simply use the first applicable LC it can find.  After finding that one, it would quit looking and never even get to a subsequent enabled LC product.  That seems to me what the whole point would be of having a priority order in the scenery library. 

Along those same lines, I am confused in a similar way with terrain mesh products in the scenery library.  Why can't all mesh products be enabled (presumably with the highst resolution ones having higher priority) and then FSX would use the first applicable one it gets to as it goes down the priority list.

And finally, I really don't fully understand how mesh products should be prioritixed relative to LC products.  They seem to be two entirely different things, so I don't understand why they are handled in the same scenery library.  Should all mesh products be above all LC products?  How does that work?

Thanks for whatever assistence anyone can give me to help this addled brain make more sense of this.
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NickN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2009 at 5:36pm

 

 

 

You are assuming there are "holes" or "spots" that one landclass will appear through the other of identical location and coverage area.. that is FALSE

When you enable a landclass above another which is made for the same coverage area it will completely remove ANY influence the landclass below it has
 
Therefore you can only enable ONE landclass at a time which covers the same area however you can enable/disable them on the fly in-game through the menu/scenery library to see which one appeals to you over another in different locations. I sometimes use Xclass instead of SceneryTech in the USA as UTX only covers urban and the sim needs a better defined landclass outside of those areas.


At the same time I can place Xclass USA above SceneryTech NA and enable both Xclass USA (covers only USA) and SceneryTech North America (covers all of North America including the USA) but leave Xclass Canada disabled and allow Xclass to cover the USA overriding SceneryTech in the USA but once I cross the border into Canada SceneryTech has control.
Understand?
 
You gotta figure out what works best for you. There are times when I use FSGenesis USA Landclass over all others. It depends on where I am flying and which one I think looks best to me as none of them are perfect. Some cover an area better than others... <---- that statement does not mean one has 'HOLES" not covering the area it means the textures one landclass calls may be better than another for the same flying location.

In Europe that is different with the UTX Veg layer. In the USA the UTX veg layer is not as well defined as it is in Europe. Their Europe Veg layer covers the entire EU area the same as the rest of their product covers so if you enable ANY Europe landclass above that veg layer it will REMOVE any influence of the UTX veg LC. I find UTX does the best job in the Alps in Europe where I find SceneyTech tends to do a better job over the UTX veg layer in other places such as the mountains/hills in Scotland. When I fly there I enable SceneryTech Europe over the UTX Veg layer (as I do in several places in Europe) and disable it when I fly elsewhere.
 
Mesh does not matter unless you are installing multiple mesh products for identical locations then you need to make sure the mesh you wish to see is higher in the list. If one mesh covers more area than another but you only wish to see parts of it and use another for the rest then you layer it based on the smaller are coverage above the larger area and enable them both so when you fly out of the smaller area the larger area reflects the other mesh product. However there is NO reason to install multiple mesh components which cover the same exact area.


I use FSGenesis and I do not use the scenery library. I let it install automatically and it shows automatically because it has a higher resolution that the default mesh. Anything added to the Scenery Library in the way of mesh will then override FSGenesis for the area it covers such as FSDreamscapes mesh. They both work fine together but you must understand how the system works to be sure what you wish to see takes priority

All photoscenery products automatically override both GEX and UTX. Where every photoscenery products show they take 100% priority in FSX over UTX and GEX

 So the rule of thumb is... if its above another item and enabled in the Scenery Library list it will completely override anything below of equal location/coverage

 

 Smile

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2009 at 7:28pm

"So the rule of thumb is... if its above another item and enabled in the Scenery Library list it will completely override anything below of equal location/coverage"

Nick's above statement is true, and is the basic "logic" you use in prioritizing your Scenery Library entries.  But I'd like to add to it, as newer releases of products that contain both Terrain Mesh AND airport data can make it "false" sometimes.

Just as with every release of Flight Simulator where addon developers recommended to "put these .bgl files in the Addon Scenery\Scenery folder" (which eventually would cause scenery conflicts if you ended up with multiple .bgl files for the same geographic areas), the same problems can occur with newer Terrain Mesh releases.  The reason is many of the newer Terrain Mesh addons are of much higher resolution, and therefore also require "Airport Elevation Fix Files" for them, or the airports have major plateau problems.

The trend with installation instructions for terrain mesh "Airport Elevation Fix Files" that come with (or are released later for) the terrain mesh is to install them to the FSX "Scenery\World\Scenery" folder...the same place where SOME of the default FSX elevation data is located.  That would be fine...until you get two or more terrain mesh addons that, like Nick said, cover the same geographical location, AND THEN add those "Airport Elevation Fix Files" to the Scenery\World\Scenery folder.  The problem?  These "Airport Elevation Fix Files" are in a lot of cases new "AFCAD" type files, made with the newer "AFCAD" programs like AFX, ADE, etc.  If you end up with DUPLICATE "airport elevation fix" files for the same airport, in the SAME folder, you have the "duplicate AFCAD" problem again in FSX.  Scenery conflicts, airports that look wrong, etc.  This can easily happen, as FSGenesis, FSDreamscapes, and other Terrain Mesh developers have "airport elevation fix files" designed SPECIFICALLY for the airports for the resolution of their own terrain mesh products.  So, if you are going to use multiple terrain mesh products...especially the higher resolution\geographically smaller coverage area ones...you have to "manage" each product's "airport elevation fix files" separately also.  You can't just "drop" them ALL in the default Scenery\World\Scenery folder without eventually experiencing conflicts.  For instance, if you install VFR+ Utah 5-meter terrain mesh in FSX, and you want to be able to Enable\Disable it, you SHOULD also make sure you can Enable\Disable the associated "airport elevation fix files" that you install with it.  CAN'T do that if you installed them in the default FSX Scenery\World\Scenery folder.  CAN do it if you installed them in a SEPARATE folder, enabled that folder in the FSX Scenery Library, and LAYERED it appropriately in the Scenery Library.

Just another obsevation for consideration. 

Rick

PS for Nick:  I had a couple tutorials on AVSIM for this, but ever since they changed the forums over there, I can't get to any of my older posts.  Is there a secret to pulling up those older posts?  None of my links to them work anymore (like to my post Phil added to his blog about Scenery Library management). 

 

          

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2009 at 7:50pm

 

 

Yea.. that SCENERY and TEXTURE folder inside the root of 'Addon Scenery' should NEVER be used at all. The user should separate things like that to be sure they have the right priority with the layer system.


So in essence the 'rule of thumb' does apply. The user should never assume some scenery company has everything figured out. Unless they are directly replacing their own files correctly in a patch or update and NOT using the standard dump 'Scenery' folder the user needs to understand how the library works to be sure what they are installing or updating will display correctly.
 
FSG Updates I install directly. I have never found any of Justins mesh to interfere with anything and since it will override FSX mesh automatically anything I add to the library in the way of mesh will override FSG mesh
 
now.. One thing Justin is doing right now with his Alaska/Hawaii updates as he builds IS using that standard dump scenery folder which I wish he would not. Every time I install one of his incremental updates I have to manually move all the files to a folder I made myself FOR those updates which sits in the scenery library list correctly where it belongs.


The thing is.. once he finishes those changes he will eventually import them into the main files which means the incremental update folder will no longer be needed.
 
So yea.. I understand what you are saying about how that may not always be true.. but in the sense that the user needs to look at what they are doing, not assume the addon company knows what THEY are doing LOL! and get the priority right for their addons be them primary or incremental, it still holds.... what ever is higher on that list for equal coverage location and space is the top dog.

 

 


 

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FalconAF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2009 at 7:58pm

Agree.  I was just offering other considerations.

Get back to work on Heidi!  Tongue

Rick 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2009 at 8:08pm

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-05-2009 at 9:21pm

Wow!  You wear glasses that look just like mine! 

I'm off to work now.  I wonder...why do blackjack players expect the cocktail waitress to come around for a new drink order every 5 minutes?  And get mad when she doesn't?  That would be 12 drinks per hour.

If you go to a bar, do you order\drink 12 drinks an hour? 

Life's continuing mysteries....

LOL

Rick

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rks9093 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 9:49am
Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

You are assuming there are "holes" or "spots" that one landclass will appear through the other of identical location and coverage area.. that is FALSE

When you enable a landclass above another which is made for the same coverage area it will completely remove ANY influence the landclass below it has
 
Therefore you can only enable ONE landclass at a time which covers the same area however you can enable/disable them on the fly in-game through the menu/scenery library to see which one appeals to you over another in different locations. I sometimes use Xclass instead of SceneryTech in the USA as UTX only covers urban and the sim needs a better defined landclass outside of those areas.

So I guess my real problem is that I don't understand how UTX is working.  If all those UTX layers are enabled above any non-UTX LC products (all UTX layers except veg layer) then why don't they always (assuming we are in a geographic area covered by UTX) overrule everything else?  And when we are not in a UTX covered geograhic region then it seems there would be no need to do this sandwiching between the UTX urban and veg layers.  An area not covered by UTX would simply use whatever other LC product that does cover that area and has the highest priority, I would think.

Furthermore, it would seem that any of these non-UTX LC products that are sandwiched between UTX urban and veg, would always override UTX veg.  If there aren't "holes" then it seems UTX veg would NEVER be used (unless we are outside of UTX coverage in which case I don't see how it would matter where these non-UTX LC products are in in the library in relation to UTX).

Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:


I use FSGenesis and I do not use the scenery library. I let it install automatically and it shows automatically because it has a higher resolution that the default mesh. Anything added to the Scenery Library in the way of mesh will then override FSGenesis for the area it covers such as FSDreamscapes mesh. They both work fine together but you must understand how the system works to be sure what you wish to see takes priority

All photoscenery products automatically override both GEX and UTX. Where every photoscenery products show they take 100% priority in FSX over UTX and GEX

I just want to make sure I am absolutely getting this part.  I want to be very clear.  FSX will ALWAYS use the highest resolution mesh regardless of where it is in the scnerey library (or even if it is not in the scnery library as in the example of a default install of FSGenesis et al).  Is this accuate?

I apologize if I am being dense.  I feel like I am very close to my AH-HA moment, but I need just a little more help to get there.  I appreciate the help you (and Falcon, too) are giving.  Thank you.

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 12:33pm

 

 

 

You answered your own questions except for the last which I explained below

 

 If all those UTX layers are enabled above any non-UTX LC products (all UTX layers except veg layer) then why don't they always (assuming we are in a geographic area covered by UTX) overrule everything else? 

TRUE: They do. There is no ROAD, WATERCLASS, RAILROAD, BRIDGES, LIGHTS or special polygon data in SceneryTech and others. LOOK at the names of those layers. Each of those layers perform a different function and the ones that cover special URBAN override the sandwich LC in the urban areas from the 3rd party LC. There is no data outside of those target UTX urban areas and therefore the layer below will show. Those urban layers ONLY cover the areas they are targeted to.. you would not see a suburb in the middle of a forest, correct? And we want to be sure the mentioned list of items has no interference from another LC product and will show, correct? So we place the 3rd party LC in the list as shown in order to display

I only said the 3rd party LC's were 'blankets' for the entire area they are designed to cover. Most of those UTX layers are not designed to perform the exact same function as those 3rd party LC's but they must have priority over those LC's to be sure they appear correctly.

Past this explanation you need to understand how the sim works and that is something you will need to download the FSX SDK's and learn. There is a reason why the UTX people placed the use of 3rd party landclass location in the scenery library in their instructions. They know how their system works and how to allow other products to work correctly with it.

 

 

Furthermore, it would seem that any of these non-UTX LC products that are sandwiched between UTX urban and veg, would always override UTX veg. 

TRUE: They do. Why do you think I said the user can enable/disable them and see what they prefer... 3rd party LC1, LC2, LC3, or UTX and you can even disable the UTX Veg layer and go with DEFAULT FSX outside of urban areas if you wish.

As mentioned the UTX VEG layer in the USA/Canada is no where near as well defined as Europe, therefore, use of a 3rd party LC in Europe is not needed (as much) as it is in North America. However, in that sandwich you can only have ONE enabled for the same coverage area.. so what ever you choose will override the one below it even if all of them enabled which goes back to your original question. Only enable ONE.

The special circumstance I pointed out was where one covers North American from the tip of Texas through Alaska and another covers a single area or just one country. At that point you can get creative and enable both but layer them the way you wish them to display. (Canada/Alaska over USA or visa-versa)

 

FSX will ALWAYS use the highest resolution mesh regardless of where it is in the scnerey library (or even if it is not in the scnery library as in the example of a default install of FSGenesis et al).  Is this accuate?

FALSE: FSX only uses the highest resolution INSTALLED MESH like FSX Genesis which places itself INSIDE the same folders as the FSX DEFAULT mesh. The sim will default to the highest resolution mesh installed in the main SCENERY folder (and respective sub directories) with the FSX default mesh files. Anything in the SCENERY LIBRARY LIST TAKES PRIORITY over that.

In example, FSGenesis covers Hawaii however I installed another mesh product for Hawaii into ADDON SCENERY and activated it in the library and it will OVERRIDE the FSG mesh regardless of the DEM. If I uncheck that layer FSG then takes over. Alternate: If I installed FSG manually into the ADDON SCENERY folder INSTEAD of its normal way, directly into the SCENERY and its sub folders, I must then make sure it sits in the list based on any mesh I wish to see take priority for the same coverage area above it and enabled in the list.

 Wink

 

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NickN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 1:55pm

 

 

 

and to add to this and to follow up on what Rick was saying...

 

ANYTHING that installs to:

ADDON SCENERY\scenery <------ this folder

ADDON SCENERY\texture <-------  this folder

 

Is a NO NO

Simply because more often than not this may not set the correct priority for what is being installed. It depends on what else is installed and how it works and its MUCH EASIER to keep things in order so you know where they are and how they are being used.

The user should MAKE their OWN FOLDER for addons that attempt to install BGLs and textures into those folders

MY ADDON NAME\scenery <---- Move ALL BGL files to this folder

(The same directory)\texture <----- Move ALL textures to this folder

Activate and layer it correctly in the libary MANUALLY based on correctly overriding other installed scenery for the same area

 

MESH is the wire frame base

TEXTURES cover the mesh

LANDCLASS tells the sim what TEXTURES to cover the mesh with which is why one may be better than another depending on how well it was defined.

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 2:49pm

Nick is correct (as usual).  Let me clarify why I choose to install my FS Genesis Terrain Mesh in a separate folder (as shown in my tutorial about it earlier in this thread) instead of the default FSX folder.

I started "managing" my FS addons this way long before FSX.  I did it with FS9 before FSX.  Back then, the ability to make a complete "Disk Image" of a home computer was a lot more expensive than it is today.  Storage space requirements for an additional hard drive (internal or external) to keep it on, etc.  Without having a complete Disk Image of a hard drive where FSX was installed, if your FSX installation quit working, or you had to re-install your Operating System, it could take weeks to re-install everything you had for FS also and get FS back to the way you had it before.  So if FS Genesis was installed in the default FS folders, you had to re-install it also...a rather long process.  But if it was installed in it's own folder outside FS, you could re-install FS, then just add the entire FS Genesis folder back to FS using the Scenery Library.  Saved a lot of time, and this worked for any SCENERY addons you had installed this way and not directly to the FS folder.  Note this ONLY works if the addon will LET you do it.  Something like UTX MUST be installed directly to FS, because of the complexity of the addon (note the number of individual Scenery Library entries that are produced by the UTX installation, even though it installs directly to FS).

Today, I make regular Disk Images of my entire computer.  It is cost effective, and I could lose an entire hard drive and just have to replace the drive and re-install the entire Disk Image in one step to get EVERYTHING on the hard drive back...my Operating System, all my programs, all updated drivers, all the Registry entries for everything, and an entire FSX installation that may have taken months to get it exactly the way I wanted it to work.  But even short of that "total catastrophe" scenario, I still like having the ability to enable\disable ANY addon that will allow me to install it OUTSIDE of FSX.  It just gives me more options on "managing" what FSX uses, in case I need to troubleshoot something in FSX.  It also lets me disable a possible "conflicting product" if I am beta testing something comparable, which is a good thing.  It would be an injustice to end up reporting "Product X" doesn't seem to do what is states it will do, when in fact the result might be due to a different similar product that is already installed in FSX and is causing a "false" result for "Product X".

Neither Nick's way, nor mine, of where to install FS Genesis is the "Holy Grail" of the installation for it.  That also applies to most other addons.  It's up to the end-user to decide, except in cases like with third-party Landclass installed with UTX.  If the UTX developers say, "You need to sandwich it *here* if you want it to work...", then that's what you need to do.  They know how their product is designed, and how it will (or won't) work with other addons that may "duplicate" some of it's functions.

Rick  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolgerS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 2:51pm

Hi there,

"I just want to make sure I am absolutely getting this part.  I want to be very clear.  FSX will ALWAYS use the highest resolution mesh regardless of where it is in the scnerey library (or even if it is not in the scnery library as in the example of a default install of FSGenesis et al).  Is this accuate?"

That is, in fact, accurate: FSX will read the headers of all active terrain mesh files and will display the one with the highest compiled resolution, regardless of its position in the scenery library. In other words it's not possible to place a lower resolution terrain mesh file in an add-on folder and have it override a higher res mesh file in the default Scenery\World\scenery folder.

Also, the default terrain mesh (i.e., Scenery\World\scenery) is part of the scenery library; it's the "Default Terrain" entry at the very bottom of the scenery library menu.

The only time you can influence the priority of terrain mesh display is if two or more mesh files that overlap spatially have the same compiled resolution, say 38m. Then, in FSX, the file with higher display priority in the scenery library menu will normally be displayed (in FS9 it's the reverse). I state "normally" because the spatial extent of the mesh file plays a role as well so the desired priority can get temporarily reversed depending on your flight path.

Cheers, Holger 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 3:27pm

Holger,

Agree.  But I still submit there are times when it is beneficial to install terrain mesh addons outside of FSX and have the ability to enable\disable them in the Scenery Library.

Example:  You have FS Genesis installed, and FS Dreamscapes 5-meter California terrain mesh also installed.  Currently, there are no "airport elevation fix files" for the FS Dreamscapes 5-meter California mesh.  This causes massive "plateau" problems at almost ALL California airports when the 5-meter mesh is enabled\used. 

Now, if I am flying in California in FSX and want to see the 5-meter terrain mesh for things like mountains, valleys, canyons, etc, I can just keep the terrain mesh enabled in the Scenery Library.  Then when I get close to the airport I want to land at, and don't want the plateau problems, I can simply open the Scenery Library, disable the 5-meter mesh entry, FSX reloads the scenery, and my airport is fine.  Works in reverse also...disable the mesh for initial taxi and takeoff from an airport, then enable it for the rest of the flight, then disable it prior to landing.  I can get the best of both this way...5-meter mesh resolution DURING the flight, and proper airport elevations during takeoff, landing, and taxi phases of my flight sessions.

I can do the above as long as I have a Scenery Library entry for the mesh product.  Can't do it if I install it ALL to the default FSX locations...FSX "takes control" and makes decisions on what mesh to use in that case.

Rick

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 3:40pm

 

 

I have to question that as well.. I have a few different mesh products I use and toy around with for Hawaii and I layer them all for a reason.. I have seen not only issues but strange priority overrides when the products were not associated with the library list regardless of their resolution

The best way to deal with products that overlap is to place them in the library and only enable the one needed at the loaction in use as needed to ensure full user control.

At the same time there is really no reason to have 2 "full coverage' products except in circumstances like what Rick outlined in the same area running at the same time, I am speaking more to full global or country mesh though.

There can be more complications involved than just making a blanket decision to say 'they will override" correctly.

 

 

 So a better answer to #3 would be true and false depending on the circumstances and the other products installed, and, how they are installed

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolgerS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 3:50pm

Hi guys,

I absolutely agree that you should keep any add-on mesh out of the default folders and make a separate entry in the scenery library for it. There's nothing "wrong" with having them in the default Scenery\World\scenery but you will not have the option to selectively activate or deactivate them, for testing or otherwise. I just wanted to point out that we cannot force active display of terrain mesh files like we can for land class or other scenery add-ons unless the terrain mesh files are of the same compiled resolution (and even then it may not work if they don't overlap fully).

Nick, I haven't come across an issue where a lower compiled res mesh would override a higher res mesh but "never say never" is my approach to viewing the workings of the FS terrain engine ;-)

Cheers, Holger 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2009 at 3:56pm

 

 

 

I know Holger.. but I pulled my hair out assuming too many things with this sim (including that Hawaii setup I mentioned) and it never fails to present something different from time to time none of us expect

Which is why I said above, a better answer to #3 would be true and false depending on the circumstances and the other products installed, and, how they are installed. None the less, the design dictates higher res/priority just as photoscenery takes priority. Why I have seen different over the last several years in spots I do not know, perhaps a result of the product design however I do not decompile others work to look for reasons.

 

I come across things that go against the grain or 'norm' all the time.. or require some type of special setup to circumvent the issue of combined package installs

 

Of course the issue we all agree on is that it is best to keep things in priority order in the scenery library with their enabled/disabled status based on what other addons may dictate and what we want to see.

 

And I see no reason to install multiple duplicate resolution mesh products for the same exact coverage area as the redundancy only takes up disk space but of course there can be excpetions to that as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I lost power here while posting this message about 1/2 hour ago so I edited it for context

 

 

 

 

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Hi Holger...

I just looked that mesh situation over again.. I can see where the higher res mesh is taking priority however what is happening is the mesh product above it which has a lower resolution still interpolates with the higher res mesh when enabled.. meaning both products are showing elements of each other in the visual result around airports and other places. I do agree the higher res mesh is being shown as the bulk of the render, however when I switch off the layer above it with the lower res mesh the interpolation ceases and the areas around airports and a few other places displays completely different. In some places by quite a leap

So even though the sim is by design displaying the higher res mesh another lower res product still has influence. I am seeing a similar effect around hills in some places.. not sure if lclookup.bgl has a hand in that as I know that file will effect dirt/ice around rock face but none the less when I switch the lower res mesh layer above on and off there is a distinct change that takes place.

 

 

So to the OP and the question at hand.. Holger is correct and yes, higher res mesh no matter where is it installed/listed the sim will place priority on it, however that does not mean another mesh product may have no influence at all on what is rendered. Although the bulk of what may be displayed will be the higher res mesh certain details such as around airports and other formations can still be altered by another mesh product depending on how it is designed as well.

 

 

 

 

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Thank all of you!!!

I've been doing this WRONG since I got into FSX in '07!

I paused the sim and compared UTX, FSG, and ST detail one at a time in an area I know and have flown over, Nags Head, NC.

Each was different with ST close to the real thing.

Interestingly, at my home field, KFCI, UT was the closest.

Now this layering makes sense!

Thanks again.

Jack S.

 

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Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

There is no ROAD, WATERCLASS, RAILROAD, BRIDGES, LIGHTS or special polygon data in SceneryTech and others. LOOK at the names of those layers. Each of those layers perform a different function and the ones that cover special URBAN override the sandwich LC in the urban areas from the 3rd party LC. There is no data outside of those target UTX urban areas and therefore the layer below will show. Those urban layers ONLY cover the areas they are targeted to.. you would not see a suburb in the middle of a forest, correct? And we want to be sure the mentioned list of items has no interference from another LC product and will show, correct? So we place the 3rd party LC in the list as shown in order to display

AH-HA!  I think I got it.  I think a major part of my confusion was a misunderstanding of what LC does as opposed to other vector scenery.  I was originally thinking that roads, water, bridges, etc. were all a part of landclass.   I was thinking, essentially, that any given piece of land would be marked as being forest, dirt, rock, city, road, railroad, water, etc. and the purpose of an add-on LC product was for these classifications to be more accurately applied realtive to the real world. 

But now I think that I was confusing the role of LC with other vector parts of the whole rendering engine.  I need to look into this more to gain a fuller understanding, but I think I am on the right path now.

Unless I am totally on the wrong path, in which case someone yell at me.  :)

Thanks again for all the patient help.

 

 

 

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Sorry if I missed this in this incredible thread but I have one lingering question regarding placement of an FSX ADDON folder outside of the main FSX directory.

Here's my scenario:

 Vraptor 150 (C:\) for the OS

 Vraptor 300 (D:\) for FSX  (formatted as Logical at 64KB )

 WD 500 Black (E:\) for everything else.

All 3 run off a AMCC 3ware 9650Se 4L SATA II RAID controller.

My initial notion is to put the FSX ADDON folder on the 32MB cache WD Black (E:\).

Should I do that, or just created it on the FSX drive (D:\) but outside of the FSX directory?

Regarding performance What would you do?
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It depends on how full the Raptor is...

Please see this post:

http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?s=&showtopic=247277&view=findpost&p=1563828

 

I am sure you can see when its time to move a performance database to another drive and optimize it by defragging the data to the edge of the platter.

 

With a Raptor, my personal 'fill' limit is 65% but that can go to 75 on those hot little drives.

 

You also need to keep in mind regardless of the drive speed, its access specs will play into the file calls.. however since you are using that card, guess what.. you dont have to worry about it as much as someone who is on the motherboard SATA ports because that card WILL take advantage of the larger drive buffer where the motherboard ports basically ignore it unless its a sequential read... and that database would be considered 'random read' Smile

 

 

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Well, my 279GB FSX Vraptor has only 47.5GB used which by my calculation equals about 17%.

So I will nix the plan for the E: drive and create the FSX ADDON folder on the FSX drive itself but out of FSX.

Thanks again Nick and unless I misunderstand this there is no need to reply as I'm sure you are busy enough with EU.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-08-2009 at 5:58pm

One other thing to keep in mind about creating "addon" folders outside of FSX...and I only mention this because there may be  FSX users who have read previous "tutorials" here I wrote and might be a little confused yet.

In the case of having both 10,000 and 7200 RPM drives available to do it, you would really only want to put addons on the 10,000 RPM drive that FSX will be accessing DURING your FSX sessions.  For instance, it makes no sense to waste drive space on the 10,000 RPM drive by installing something like GEXn in an "FSX Addon" folder on it.  Put GEXn on the 7200 RPM drive.  When you run it, it will install the textures INTO FSX, which is on your 10,000 RPM drive, then access those textures from that drive DURING your FSX session. 

In other words, when it comes to SCENERY-type addons...if you DON'T have a Scenery Library entry for the addon, there usually is NO REASON to put that addon on the 10,000 RPM drive.  FSX isn't accessing it "real time" if the addon is used to "install or uninstall" textures, etc to the main FSX program on the Raptor drive.

Rick    

 

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Thanks Rick

Got it i think.  

But then what would you do in the case of FS Global 2008?

It does appear in the scenery library and it insists on installing into the FSX folder but it has been my understanding that you can install what amounts to its data base anywhere you please.

After we sort this out care to figure how many angels can reside on the head of a pin? Evil%20Smile
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I don't use FS Global, so I can't be positive about it's install options.  But if it is Terrain Mesh, it is "scenery" that FSX will access DURING your FSX session.  So you would want it installed ON the Raptor drive where FSX is, so it will be accessed faster than if it was on another slower drive.

For instance, Nick installs his FS Genesis terrain mesh in the default FSX location.  It's on the same drive as FSX, so that's where FSX will "call" it from.  I install my FS Genesis in a separate folder, then make a Scenery Library entry for it so FSX can "find" it on my computer and "call" (or "use") it from there.  If I had a Raptor (I don't), I would put both FSX and that FS Genesis "separate folder" on the Raptor drive to get the benefit of the 10,000 RPM access speed.  I wouldn't put the FS Genesis folder on a separate 7,200 RPM drive then have FSX access it from there.  Access times for the FS Genesis files could be slower.

Make sense?

PS - As for the other question...it depends on how big the pinhead and the Angels are.... Wink 

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So....

FEX, GEX, on the 7,200

SceneryTech, UTX, FS global on the 10,000

Where would you put FS Water Configurator?

On and on it goes.  but I got you as far as the scenery library test goes.

Thanks Rick I understand now.


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FEX, GEX on the 7200...YES.  Why?  They are programs that ONLY install TEXTURES to the main FSX program.  Once you run the FEX and GEX programs, the textures are IN the FSX folder, ON the 10,000.  EDIT:  GEX will also install a few other files besides textures, like some landclass files, but these will ALSO get installed to the main FSX folder on the 10,000, so it all works out OK. 

FS Global...is it Terrain Mesh?  If YES, then it needs to go on the 10,000.  You either install it DIRECTLY to FSX, or put it in a folder on the SAME 10,000 drive where FSX is.  FSX needs to USE the FS Global files in "real time" while FSX is running.

FS Water Configurator:  It's the same as FEX or GEX.  You run it BEFORE your run FSX and it replaces files IN the main FSX folder ON the 10,000 drive.  So put FS Water Configurator on the 7200, run it from there to install the new textures or settings INTO FSX, then FSX will use them in the FSX folders on the 10,000.

UTX:  MUST be installed in it's default location in FSX.  Just put it where the UTX installer wants it to go.

Scenery Tech:  Landclass files that FSX uses in "real time" during your FSX session.  If installed in separate folders, they should go on the 10,000 drive and "pointed to" with a Scenery Library entry.  FSX then "uses" them from the Scenery Tech folder which is ON the 10,000 drive.

Keep asking if any of the above isn't clear yet.

Rick

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Roger Rick,

FS Global is indeed terrain mesh and FYI it automatically must install a bit into FSX. The terrain files may be installed on your choice of drives.  But not your choice of directories.

I just copied the directory structure to where I wanted it (D:\FSX ADDONS\FSGX)

Then in Scenery Library I pointed it to the new copied directory structure, deleted the original and it works just fine.

I haven't had much time to really put it to the test but I will tell you my load times have noticeably sped up...and I haven't even defragged since all the changes.

This bit of file management coupled with the Vraptors on the 3ware controller is definitely CAVU.

Thank you so much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2009 at 2:37am

Sounds good.  Just be aware that many "addon" type programs create automatic "uninstallers" for them in case you ever want to uninstall the addon.  But these uninstallers won't work anymore if you change the directory (folder) name, location, etc of the addon AFTER you install it.  The "pointers" in the Windows Registry and other places will no longer point to the original folder names and\or location of the install.  It's not a major problem...it just means you have to manually uninstall the addon if you want to later.  That's why I always try to get the addon to let me change the original location of the installation to a folder of my choice first.  Then all the uninstallers will still work.

Rick

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markturner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2009 at 3:41am

Been following this with interest! A quick question regarding the water configurator tool arising from what Falcon just said. Once you have run it, is that it, are the water textures and settings in FSX then until you change it? Or do tyou have to run it each time you run FSX?

The other thing I was thinking about, was maybe it would be a good idea someone ( I was thinking of doing it, but do not know if I have the time) To compile all of this knowledge together into one thread, succintly, rather like the fantastic install and tuning thread, but for scenery, landclass and addon installation. At the moment its all spread out over various threads and forums and rather difficult to gather the full picture.

Thx, Mark

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Visions of an FSX Monk toiling away by candlelight in the wee hours...compiling the compendium of wisdom from Saint Nick and Saint Rick only to reveal it in LatinLOL


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Originally posted by markturner markturner wrote:

Been following this with interest! A quick question regarding the water configurator tool arising from what Falcon just said. Once you have run it, is that it, are the water textures and settings in FSX then until you change it? Or do tyou have to run it each time you run FSX?

Mark,

Your question is a good one, and illustrates how easy it is to get confused with all the different things "addons" can do with\for FSX.

The "quick" answer to your question is "Yes, once you run FSWC, the settings are in FSX for good until you change them again."  BUT....

It's important to understand WHAT was changed whenever you use an "addon" to "change" something in FSX.  In the case of FSWC, you have changed a Direct X Shader file.  This is different than actually changing or replacing a TEXTURE file, or a LANDCLASS file, or a so-called "SCENERY" file.

Open up FSWC and click on the HELP button.  You will get a window that explains what FSWC does.  Note there are TWO clickable items at the top of the window called "Introduction" and "Basic Guide".  The Introduction explains that FSWC makes changes to the Direct X Shader file in FSX, which affects things like level of reflection, sun lighting, moon lighting, and base texture saturation levels.  On the main FSWC screen, those are the things that are getting changes with those 8 available sliders...things like the titles of them say..."Horizen Reflection Intensity", "Sun Specular Reflection Intensity", "Moon Specular Reflection Intensity", "Moon Glow Reflection Intensity", etc.  By using those sliders, you are changing "intensities" most of the time of the Direct X Shader file in FSX.  Note these changes will affect WHATEVER water TEXTURE files you have installed in FSX.  THIS IS A KEY POINT TO UNDERSTAND !!!!  Why?  Because many OTHER addons you may have will allow you to change the WATER TEXTURES in FSX also.  But FSWC is NOT changing TEXTURES...it is only changing the "level of reflection", "sun and moon lighting intensity", "base texture saturation levels", etc, of WHATEVER WATER TEXTURES you have installed.  The TEXTURE FILE is NOT being changed!  Only the "Direct X Shader" properties in FSX are being changed, which results in a different "picture" of the texture.  This isn't a bad thing...it gives you almost unlimited opportunities to have a variety of results by using different addon's water textures and FSWC.  But it ALSO means that it is impossible to have a "one size fits all" answer to any of this.  If you are using FSX default water textures, and I am using FEX installed water textures, then even if we both use the same slider settings in FSWC, we will see different results as far as colors of the water, etc.  Your inland rivers and lakes may be blue, while mine are green or brown because I installed green or brown inland water textures (using another "addon" like UTX, FEX, REX, etc). 

Click on the "Basic Guide" click spot on the FSWC Help screen.  This gives you a "list" of how to use FSWC.  An interesting part of it is how FSX rebuilds the Direct X Shader file after you make a change using FSWC.  Depending on whether you are running FSX in Full Screen or Windowed mode, the method is different.  My guess is many people have never read this screen, and may actually NOT have FSWC "doing it's thing" when they use it!  Big%20smile

Another thing to note.  Some addons MIGHT do the same type of things FSWC does.  For instance, REX allows you to select a "Water Theme" that will result in changes being made to your Direct X Shader file so the water is very reflective.  It looks good.  But if you "install" that Theme, then you have ALSO changed any Direct X Shader settings that you may have changed BEFORE with FSWC.  Confusing?  You bet it can be!

Getting a grip on all these things comes from an understanding of how all the different files in FSX work.  The word "scenery" is thrown around a lot when talking about FSX, and in many cases it just causes mass confusion.  A "true" scenery file would be a file that you can "manage" through the FSX Scenery Library.  Like a .bgl file for an AFCAD airport, or a .bgl Terrain Mesh file, or a .bgl Landclass file (there ARE other file types that are "true" scenery files, but I won't go into that here).  A TEXTURE file on the other hand...a file with the ".txt" file extension, should NOT be considered a "true" scenery file.  You can't add it BY ITSELF to the FSX Scenery Library and "manage" it.  It MIGHT be used by a .bgl scenery file to display a texture, but it isn't something you can "manage" ALL BY ITSELF using the Scenery Library.  For instance, some "scenery" items you end up having a Scenery Library entry for may actually be in a folder that has BOTH a Scenery and Texture subfolders.  But WITHOUT the Scenery subfolder (where the .bgl files are located), the TEXTURE subfolder would be useless as far as the Scenery Library is concerned.  You can not "manage" a texture file by itself using the Scenery Library.

So now we come to the point of that "understanding what my addon does" in FSX.  Something like GEXn primarily replaces TEXTURES, and it does it by running the GEXn program interface, which installs "new" textures INTO FSX to replace the FSX default textures.  This is why you ALWAYS want to make the BACKUPS of the default textures BEFORE you install the new ones.  A good program like GEXn ASKS you to do this first, and actually SAVES them for you so you can restore the default textures back to FSX again if you want to.  But in as much as GEXn is replacing TEXTURE files...files that the FSX Scenery Library can do NOTHING with as far as "managing" them, there is no reason to have an entry in the Scenery Library for GEXn.  And that is why you don't need to install GEXn on the same drive FSX is located (and waste valuable hard drive space on a Raptor drive if you have one).  You could actually install GEXn on an external hard drive if you wanted to, and run it from there to replace textures in FSX.  Wink

Hope any of the above helps in understanding how to get FSX to work it's best for you.  Feel free to ask any more questions.  That's how we all learn new stuff.  Smile

Rick

    

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2009 at 10:53am

"Saint Rick" ???

Boy...has PsyBear got me confused with somebody else!  My first goal after installing GEXn Europe is to go on a "Heidi Search and Find" mission in FSX.  Nick promised me she would be "out there" somewhere.....

Shocked

Rick

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2009 at 11:04am

Mark,

Something I forgot to mention in my reply post above.

I tend to think about "addons" for FSX as being in different "categories".  It just makes it easier for me to work with them.

For instance, I think of a Landclass or Terrain Mesh addon, or even a single AFCAD airport file, as a "scenery" addon, because I CAN make a Scenery Library entry for it and "manage" it that way.

On the other hand, something like GEXn, FEX, FSWC, or even a Weather program like ASX...I consider those a "Scenery Utility Program" for FSX.  They "enhance" my FSX experience.  They may actually "change" things like textures, water, clouds, etc, but they DON'T create an entry in my Scenery Library.  Thus, a "scenery utility" addon, and not a "true scenery" addon. 

Just my way of thinking about it.  It helps clear the mind-clutter between "scenery files" and other type of addons.

Rick

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Ah, will the cat houses and farm girls be DX10 compatible?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2009 at 11:31am

Originally posted by Psybear Psybear wrote:

Ah, will the cat houses and farm girls be DX10 compatible?

Hey now!  There's an idea for a new FSX addon....

"Photo Realistic Women of the FSX World"

Why not?  We already have sound files of Flight Attendants and pilots that use accents appropriate to the region of the world you fly in.  Why not photoreal images that you could also install, based on the geographical location?  The possibilities are endless....

On second thought....never mind.....

LOL 

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Puts the "X" in FSX.

Ain't Spring grand?

But I think the sheep are getting nervousShocked.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FalconAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2009 at 12:44pm

Originally posted by Psybear Psybear wrote:

Puts the "X" in FSX.

But I think the sheep are getting nervousShocked.

Hey!  Nick said her name is "Heidi", not "Dolly"!

I used to work with a woman who's name was "Bambi"...but that's a different story...for a different forum.

(Geez...this thread is going downhill fast......)

LOL

Rick 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psybear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2009 at 2:33pm
Yeah, my baaaad.

I actually dated a Bunny for a while though.

So back to topic.

Where would you place files for...oh hell, it's sixty degrees out the sun is shinning and I'm getting away from this computer for a while.


Win 10x64-256GB 840Pro | P3Dv3.4-512GB 850Pro
Z87 MPower Max i7-4770K @4.4GHz-U14S | 8GB TridentX @2400MHz 9-11-10-30-1T
GTX770 Lightning 372.54
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