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    A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:08 pm

    Hi DB,

    Yes it was VERY late last night when I posted.

    The only thing that concerns me now is that you mentioned saving your kml files to F drive as " F:\FSET\work"

    The kml file from GE should be saved on your computer on the F:\fset\work as this is only linked to the "K" button.

    Let me know how you are getting on please.

    Cheers, M
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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:21 pm

    Do you mean the difference between fset and FSET?   the K button now works. I will rename later. Btw, I have the same ini settings as you.
    Anyways, I keep getting white squares and my watermask.bmp looks different from yours: Also, its very twisted. I didnt draw the area polygon like that. Its was nice, square, horisontal and vertical.
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:22 pm

    Hi DB,

    Looking at your mask picture that is NOT correct and that is why the completed scenery has white tiles when used in FSX.

    If the polygons are correct and you select them using the "K" button then the completed water mask bmp picture is totally different from yours.

    Unfortunately I have just dumped my pictures of the Anholt island.

    OK some questions for you

    1. When you press the "K" button do you get the drawn square with the red and blue polygons inside generated from the kml file.

    2. Please post a picture of this.

    Thanks, M
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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:15 am

    So good news, it finally worked for me.
    I did a very slow setup of everything being extremely meticulous with all the little nick-picky settings in GE and then FSET had the chance to do its job. I downloaded the tiles and had a nice little flight over the Island of Anholt.

    Good, BUT I have some more questions about this way of using FSET. I have my doubts about its real life usefullness. But more about that in the next chapter.
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:52 pm

    HURRAH cheers
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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:02 pm

    You´re right Hurrah... And thanks a lot for your patience. Very Happy

    So, now the next question:
    When I make long coastline in FSET, I normally cut it into smaller parts and line them up using the draw funcion in FSET and finetune by using the coordinates.
    Example:
    Northwest corner:
    55.40.0.0 N / 10.20.0.0 E
    Southwest corner:
    55.10.0.0 N / 10.40.0.0 E

    So how do I do this with this way of making the scenery. I mean I make an area polygon in GE, which is the one that FSET will import by using the kml file and later download .
    Can this area be finetuned in FSET. I dont trust GE very much. First of all, its difficult to make 2 perfect coordinates when making the area polygon in GE and second, the area polygon looks slightly different when imported into FSET. In my case its slightly twisted.

    As I wrote before, I´m not really sure about the practical use of this way of using FSET. One thing is making small Islands like Mike´s Island, Anholt, and to a certain degree Jersey, which is bigger, but not very big. But Islands are closed little spots, that you can draw around and keep seperated from the rest of your scenery.
    If we make countrys, I think most will cut them into pieces and align these pieces to work together as a whole.

    Maybe I should simply just give it a try and see what happens?
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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:00 am

    So in order to answer my own questions, I got up early and did some FSET before going for a walk with the dogs.
    In order to align the area that is being downloaded, it has to be done when making the area polygon in GE. Its fiddly, requires a steady hand and zooming in on GE.
    So, I made a small area using "Mike´s" tecnique. And made 2 screenshots. I´m a bit to far from the coast in order to do screenshots at this low level (1200 feet) so thats why the land looks a bit blurry.

    Screenshot 1, Mikes way


    There´s more work to be done in order to make this funcion. The transition is not nice. Way to sharp and the problem is that the Water textures in Bing are ugly IMHO and that Bing/VE leaves very little water to work with. Its often cut very close to the coast. Google images are way better in this aspect.

    Screenshot2 Paint it black way:


    Absolutely not perfect, but a lot better IMO. I´m almost finished with the Jylland (peninsula of Denmark) I will finish it using this method because for now, thats what works the best for me and the rest of the peninsula has been made that way.

    After that, I will do East Denmark (Själland and a few other Islands). There I will be using Google images and will test Mike´s way first and maybe even try to understand what I can do in order to make it work better. Since its with google tiles, there´s no need for adjusting the coastline because what you see in GE will be the same that you download in FSET. This adjusting VE images to Google images is the biggest workload in "Mike´s way". Imagine doing the whole of Ireland like that. Very nickpicky.

    And thats it for now
    DB
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    britfrog

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by britfrog on Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:55 pm

    one of the reasons i dont get too involved in this water mask thingy is this, i prefer realism, you cant get this with masks, hit the zoom button!









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    jaydor

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by jaydor on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:09 pm

    So those shot's beggar the question. Why use water masks to hide the realism?
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:15 pm

    Nice pictures and with those beautiful natural water effects I would not use the water mask either. M
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:45 pm

    I experimented with moving the Coast red line out and the DeepWater blue line out to incorporate more of the actual natural water from the GE satellite images and this is what I got.................

    Google Earth Pro Polygons



    The water blend does seem more natural to my way of thinking.





    Early days as more experiments need to be done and also tweaking the numbers in the FSX Mask ini file.............M
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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:07 pm

    Nigel, satelite photos is only partly realism. They are just photos. A frozen moment of luck or bad luck.

    I agree that if all the waters looked like your photos, no need for watermasks (if you fly land planes), but they dont. Bings water is in general not very pretty and the line is cut very close to the sea. But in most areas that i have tested, they are the only tiles worth working with because Google is a blurry and patchy mess. The inland waters of East Denmark are almost totally black in Google tiles. Thats not realism and besides it looks very sad.

    You can be sure that I would like NOT to use watermasks. And the amount of work involved makes me think if its worth it. I will finish Denmark and then after that, I dont know if I will do more.
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    kevinfirth

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by kevinfirth on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:51 pm

    G-GMDH wrote:


    The coast and deep water lines control where and how the photoscenery fades out.   You can see clearly that the transparency blend worked perfectly in your shots here.  Smile

    The FSEarthMasks.ini settings will control how that transparency blend works, which can be set to pretty much however you want it.  It would have been nice if there was a dialog to change them by sliders, with a graphical preview, but hey.... Sad

    FSET was designed to work in conjunction with correctled and aligned water in the sim.  You can see around the islands is a darker polygon area with straight lines.  That's where your coast line is and if it was more accurate to the actual waterline in the imagery, you'd get a much more visually appealing blend Smile

    But as well as that we need to tell the sim where exactly the water is and where land is, because default scenery is much less detailed.  This is what I've meant by working with hydropolys.  Why is it worthwhile?   because you can end up with areas that look like water in the photoscenery, but which the sim thinks is land, and vice versa Sad

    You've probably heard of LOD, but there is also another measure used in the sim called QMID.  Like LOD, it defines rectangular areas, with those areas being smaller, the higher the QMID number.  Hydropolys are defined at QMID 11, and to give you a sense of scale, Jersey island fits on 4 of them Smile

    If you want to just see how they work, have a go at installing SBuilderX (64bit version).  
    http://www.ptsim.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2306

    All you have to do is Select view background (that will show you the satellite imagery - selectable in options) and then show QMID areas.  You should see a rectangular grid over whatever part of the world you're looking at Smile

    To work with hydropolys, you need to do only 3 things (and I've simplified this a little bit but not much, because it isn't really hard and I don't want to scare anyone off by making it seem more complicated than it is!

    1. Make the existing default hydropoly(s) not show in sim.
    We do this by creating a small 'exclude' that tells the sim to ignore them.  If you can draw a rectangle in GE and save it as a kml its about as easy as that. Smile

    2. Take the existing coast polygon and convert it into an editable form within SBuilderX
    If you have a kml file, use the website I referenced in another thread to easily convert it to an ESRI shapefile.  If you can upload a picture to something like photobucket it's that simple Smile

    3. Use the converted coast polygon to create a new replacement hydropoly that will show water exactly aligned with your photoscenery in sim.
    We do this by importing the ESRI shapefile into SBuilderX, amending it slightly (this process is pretty much just like creating a kml in Google Earth, just a matter of aligning vertices by clicking on them) and then getting SBuilderX to compile the new hydropoly.

    There's a little bit of knowledge required in terms of selecting a couple of options, which I can help you with.  Apart from that there's nothing involved that should be beyond anyone's capabilities here Very Happy

    Cheers K


    Last edited by kevinfirth on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    kevinfirth

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by kevinfirth on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:06 pm

    After we've mastered hydropolys, we can go on to look at terrain management. You create a 1m per pixel resolution photoscenery, but end up with default terrain at 19m resolution if you're lucky underneath it Sad Doesn't take a genius to work out they aren't going to match up in a lot of places!

    It's not too difficult to get a much more accurate land height under your photoscenery - by creating your own high resolution mesh, and other methods of correcting small anomalies with a technique known as 'flattens' Wink
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    britfrog

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by britfrog on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:04 am

    Mike, that last set look to me to be the best solution, it is not so time consuming to follow the coast, and you can retain the sea bottom features, which are for me quite important as they add to the realism of the coast. I have admired the ES coasts of the channel isles, however if they had done them this way they would have been much more realistic
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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:25 pm

    Mike, i follow your tests and I find it very interesting. A few questions.

    *Are using google tiles for this Island?

    *If you are, have you tried the same tecniques with Bing tiles?

    I ask because the way the two satelite photo providers present water near the coast is VERY different Google gives a lot more space to work with while Bing cuts closer to the coast and in some cases even cuts smal parts of the coast.
    Google is a lot better for working the coast, but in the places that i would like to work, the google land tiles are very poor and IMO not worth working with.
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:44 pm

    Hi DB,

    The first experiment is using Google Earth satellite images.

    This second experiment (with the same polygons) is using Virtual Earth satellite images...............................






    M
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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:48 pm

    Thats very good. I´m impressed. You get a nice transition to the fsx water.  I actually prefer the VE tiles for the island itself. The google images are a bit burnt, to long shutter time. Its normally the other way round.

    Could you give me the coordinates for the Island. Then I will look it up in FSET and this way I think i will understand a few things better
    EDIT. I found them on page 1  Rolling Eyes And will look up myself now.
    EDIT 2. I found your treassure Island. Southwest Wales. Very pretty. I slept close to there in my little campervan on my way to Ireland 2 years ago.
    VE/Bing has been reasonably kind there. They have given you just a little bit of water before making the "cut" Sometimes they cut so close to land that a corner rock is cut as well.

    And finally, have you worked the waterpoly thing in these screenshots?
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:05 pm

    Hi DB,

    Thanks for your kind comments, I did the experiments very quickly just to see how they would look and the results are very interesting.

    No I did not make any changes in the FSX Mask ini.

    Its just the default settings in all of FSX.

    M

    PS

    Just finished a third experiment using Google Earth satellite images of your little island moving the blue DeepWater line further out from the coast. I just did this very quickly in a few minutes just to see how it would look?




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    jaydor

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by jaydor on Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:13 pm

    Tell me, as I am a painter I notice that you all create a blackish tinge to the water nearest the coast.  Would not a dark sand colour blending into a blue then into the sea green be a better option or does the program not allow?

    Mike your second screen above looks more convincing..

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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:04 am

    jaydor wrote:Tell me, as I am a painter I notice that you all create a blackish tinge to the water nearest the coast.  Would not a dark sand colour blending into a blue then into the sea green be a better option or does the program not allow?

    Ah, you bad boy! Now I´m depressed. tongue
    I dont know if working with waterpolys would help doing that . At this moment I am only understanding about 10% or this waterpolish thing and I know it will require the use of various programs which I´m not sure if I´m interested in using. Time will show.

    At this moment, I am (and I believe mike as well) working solely with FSET and Google Earth and it doesnt give much options in that direction. We have to live with the images as they are and the blackish things are part of them .

    In the end its a compromise about what you want to do. Do you want to make the perfect little island that you can fly around in 10 minuts or do you want to recreate a region or country that you can fly over. If you want to make both, be prepared to use a LOT of time. FSX/P3D will easily stop being a flightsimulator and ending up being a scenerycreation-simulator. And you the creator will have square eyes and sleep baddly. (trust me, I know about that)
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    jaydor

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by jaydor on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:15 am

    donnybalonny wrote: If you want to make both, be prepared to use a LOT of time. FSX/P3D will easily stop being a flightsimulator and ending up being a scenerycreation-simulator. And you the creator will have square eyes and sleep baddly. (trust me, I know about that)


    I already sleep badly, but I just checked my eye's and they seem to still be roundish. So will accept the black volcanic beaches. Thank you Anders.. Shocked What a Face lol!
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:51 am

    Hi DB and Jaydor,

    Many thanks for your continued input. I do not use Water Polys as I know nothing about them. To me a "Water Poly" is a submersible parrot. Laughing

    Regarding your artistic interests Jaydor these are samples of the images we have to work with generated within FSET.

    We can change the settings in the FSX mask ini file but I have not experimented with this as yet.

    Below for your interest I have listed some Google Earth images of DB little island using resolution 1M/PIX in FSET.

    Google Satellite Image



    Google Satellite Zoom



    FSET Water Mask Image



    FSET Water Mask Zoom


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    donnybalonny

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by donnybalonny on Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:40 pm

    Mike, there´s a few things that I think you are ready for (and me as well, I´m just a bit FSET burned out these days) I need to use my sim for flying a bit.
    Kevin wrote about some settings in the earthmask.ini that changes where and how the water transition from the DeepWater line to the Coast line works. (the 1x,1y, 2x, 2y factors.)
    I will find the post and copy some of it here, when finished writing this.
    I find your discoveries about where to draw the coastline extremely interesting and maybe these x and y factors will make it even more interesting.

    I dont work waterpolys either. I´m not ready for them and doubt i will ever be. At this moment trying to make GE and FSET work together is enough for me.

    Here´s what Kevin wrote:
    quote:
    "It's well worth looking at the FSEarthmasks.ini, which contains the following:

    # ---------- Water Transition One (Coast, DeepWater, Water) ---------------
    WaterTransitionTransparencySFunctionToSFunctionConnectionPoint1x = 0.0
    WaterTransitionTransparencySFunctionToSFunctionConnectionPoint1y = 0.1
    WaterTransitionTransparencySFunctionToSFunctionConnectionPoint2x = 1.0
    WaterTransitionTransparencySFunctionToSFunctionConnectionPoint2y = 1.0

    #The allowed point co-ords go between 0.0 and 1.0 whereas the X-Axis is the transition distance from the Coast (0.0 = On Coast, 1.0 =On DeepWater Line) and the Y-Axis the transition progress factor. (0.0 = nothing or off, 1.0 = full effect or max)

    By changing those 4 values between 0.0 and 1.0 you can alter the look of how your transparency blend works and make it 'fit' the real world circumstances of where you're creating scenery for a little more accurately. I really always leave 1x as 0.0 and draw my coastline where I want the waters edge (in order to get absolutely exact water placement), 2x as 1.0 and draw the deepwater line at either a good distance away to allow a seamless transparency blend _or_ if that isn't possible (like with the Jersey VE imagery in places) as far out as the imagery allows, and 2y as 1.0 so that imagery blends out to meet the 100% FSX/P3D water seamlessly. I change 1y and do a couple of builds to see which one I prefer Smile." Quote
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    G-GMDH

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    Re: A GUIDE TO WATER MASKS IN FSET

    Post by G-GMDH on Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:01 pm

    Hi DB,

    You and I MUST be on the same wavelength as I have just completed tests on your little island with the new mask numbers.

    I used exactly the same polygons so no changes there and resolution at 1M/PIX with satellite images courtesy of Google Earth.

    The previous tests are with the default water mask settings of 1x=0.05, 1y=0.3, 2x=1.0 and 2y=1.0

    This new test is with the new water mask settings of 1x=0.0, 1y=0.1, 2x=1.0 and 2y=1.0 (so only 1x and 1y are changed)

    GE Water Mask Drawn In a Few Minutes Without Any Accuracy



    Please see pictures below flying at 1000 feet with FSX Water Effects slider set at Mid 2.x










    It may be difficult to make any judgment from the pictures, but certainly flying over the area, to me, did give a smoother transition from the GE water to the FSX water, what do you think?

    PS My little island of Caldey off the West Wales coast is only a few kilometers from where I used to live.


    Last edited by G-GMDH on Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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