Map making Queries - "Blender" queries, etc.

Help each other create new and amazing sailing areas.

Postby Barry » Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 03:44

Bill getting a bit late so will just be brief and read your full post tomorrow (later today).
I can't get the bitmap to work.
I convert to greyscale and set the height and imports OK. But when you set no data the heights are all wrong and half the mountains are in the sea, etc and no idea how to set up the parameters.

For now don't use the bitmap method but just export as usgs as I described . The whole porocess just takes 5 minutes and the greyscale DEM is made except for water depths.

there are only 3 steps assuming you have opened your satellite download file.
1. Load terrain model and click to the appropriate type get it into 3DEM

2. Click Operation/Change Projection/Convert to UTM

3. Save USGS ACII DEM. Don't save as anything else.

The greyscale DEM in the image is then made by just opening with vtbuilder and exporting as the .bt file. this opens in the Stentec dem editor as the ready made greyscale dem cpmplete with co-ordinates, and nothing else to do..

The only other thing was make sure the sea is showing blue at zero which is.
Colour Scale/Modify Scale/Then if "Island Ocean" is ticked it should show as 0 (zero) in box, or alter to zero. .

The map in image is made by this method not by making a seperate bitmap. The only difference is I an using hgt files and you will use tar.gz which i assume will/may work the same.
I can make a whole scenery in about half an hour to an hour with this method and that includes generating the terrain, coluurs and texture which i just import from another of my routes.
That is if I lay just quickly gesssed depths and no content.

Perhaps try this first and forget he bitmap idea for now. If it works alright then maybe look more into the alternative bitmap process to save using vtbuilder.

Barry
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Postby Barry » Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 03:53

Bill getting a bit late so will just be brief and read your full post tomorrow (later today).
I can't get the bitmap to work.
I convert to greyscale and set the height and imports OK. But when you set no data the heights are all wrong and half the mountains are in the sea, etc and no idea how to set up the parameters.

For now don't use the bitmap method but just export as usgs as I described . The whole porocess just takes 5 minutes and the greyscale DEM is made except for water depths.

there are only 3 steps assuming you have opened your satellite download file.
1. Load terrain model and click to the appropriate type get it into 3DEM

2. Click Operation/Change Projection/Convert to UTM

3. Save USGS ACII DEM. Don't save as anything else.

The greyscale DEM in the image is then made by just opening with vtbuilder and exporting as the .bt file. this opens in the Stentec dem editor as the ready made greyscale dem cpmplete with co-ordinates, and nothing else to do..

The only other thing was make sure the sea is showing blue at zero which is.
Colour Scale/Modify Scale/Then if "Island Ocean" is ticked it should show as 0 (zero) in box, or alter to zero. .

The map in image is made by this method not by making a seperate bitmap. The only difference is I an using hgt files and you will use tar.gz which i assume will/may work the same.
I can make a whole scenery in about half an hour to an hour with this method and that includes generating the terrain, coluurs and texture which i just import from another of my routes.
That is if I lay just quickly gesssed depths and no content.

Perhaps try this first and forget he bitmap idea for now. If it works alright then maybe look more into the alternative bitmap process to save using vtbuilder.

Regarding the scene file this is just another click on the mouse in the Stentec editor after you interpolate to include the newly laid depths in the greyscale dem.

It remakes the map rotated slightly and you just crop off the pink edges. Draw box around map and save.

All ready to open with the Scenery Designer -

Easy-peasy. The bitmap idea would take me ages to try and sort out and at present i don't need it, but useful for the longer term ideas. Hopefully will have another ScEnery Designer to go with sailsimualtor 5, updated.

Give it a try and all goes well I may have a few routes of yours to sail on next week.

Everything is automatic, except the depths.


Barry
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Postby Barry » Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 15:10

Bill.

At present I have no problems making satellite sceneries the way I know. Also unless we get some definitive information from Stentec maybe on other methods, etc, for the immediate future (i.e until we get the next scenery designer) I will just use the method that has made all my srtm2 satellite sceneries to date. All are on the Stentec download station except the latest which is on my site to download.

There are also tutorials for scenery creation on my site.
One using the contour tracing method no satellite data, and the other is for using satellite data, plus the necessary links.

To show how easy the method is today I made a full scenery to sail on of the North side of Cyprus, using srtm2 satellite data, which took me about 1 hour to complete.

I will write this up, complete with screenshots and also put the details into a new thread with the images.
Will take me a little while to sort the images out and upload them to my site, to enable me to show the inages on the forum, but should have it detailed on the forum tonight some time.

Barry
Last edited by Barry on Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 18:36, edited 2 times in total.
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3 steps

Postby BillC21 » Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 16:57

Barry you know you are succinct and to the point and you last procedure I will try myself using the TAR.GZ files I have on file. You absolutely Barry the less steps we can do to get the file imported into DEM build the better. Stentec is very weak in the help section for importing files into DEM Builder. I say what works lets stick with. W have determined there is no reason why we should use VT Builder. WE use 3DEM excellent program Barry and we know how to generate a grey scale . When you go to gre scale I am pretty sure that it also decreases the number of bits to 8 and there are 256 levels . So yoiu probably don'y need to go to Paint to go 8 bit. Anyway try itt both ways. I I like the idea of saving in USCG format instead of bitmap . Although I have tried bitmap into DEM builder and its trying to work. However I will also use the DEM format now what we should see Barry is the photo of the graduated shades lying on top of the PINK SQUARE.we have to assign colors to these levels . It appears that we have to draw contour lines at different depths we know that much. To assign colors we can do it manually or do it automatically. That is call up one the svenery packages that have been put in the scenery section by Stentec. THe one I use often is Quessant ( It's the French coast with an island inside the harbour) When you call that scenery up it automatically diffuses all the colors. You then procedd as the instructions by Stentec see http://www.sailsimulator.com/content/sd ... intro.html
A note of advice Barry to better interpolate the contoured map try and place as many contours as possible. Alex mentioned that he uses pen set at 1 pixel.( So thats very thin). Finally I notice you state that you woulkd put the Dem file into VT builder to get .bt for DEM Builder acceptance. If we just have the file in BITMAP ( BMP) .
The reason why we have to use greyscale into our files before we import them into the DEM Builder is to insure that it is in 8 bit format. The Dem Builder as originally designed will only accept 8 bits not 24 bits. If they were to work on DEM bUilder to accept 24 then the graded colors could be imported so that there would be less work to do in the DEM Builder. Regard Bill C will try you approach get back to . Remember whatever the simplest way and works is the goal .
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Postby Barry » Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 18:24

Hi Bill - hope you didn't get me wrong and pleased to try and help.
Just that a few years now trying to solve problems on our own.

My only concern was for others not being able to use vt builder but as there are apparently just the 2 of us and maybe Altug that I know of using satellite data.....

We both have vt builder and as only small size you or I could email a copy for those that might not have it.
Using vt builder is no problem at all.

Today I made a full sailable scenery of The coast of Cyprus. I made a screenshot of each stage in the process and from start to finsishing a sailable versions using satellite data took just about one hour.
The stage using vtbuilder just takes say 5 minutes at the most and that that is just to enter 2 figures which fixes the maximum resolution for clarity.

The full new tutorial with images is on my site with images for each stage. I was going to put it on the forum but all on my site amyway so will leave it at that.


I have copied the vtbbuilder section for you. The .bt file is the terrain ready to generate once yoo open it in dem editor.
This stage as mentioned takes just a couple of minutes.

----------------------------------
Next Open Scenery Designer Toolkit and open VTBUILDER again this section is very easy.
1. Click Layer - Import Data - Elevation - OK ...open folder you saved the usgs ascii dem in, and open, and for my scenery I get the following showing the part of the coast of Cyprus..


2. Click Export Area - Set to Extants and then click Elevation - Merge and Export Elevation.
3. Give it a name and it will save in the same folder you saved the usgs ascii dem in as a .bt file.
4. A Merge and Resample box opens with figures already entered in it. This again is very simple. The measurements are of 2 sides of your scenery. The maximum resolution for clarity with the Stentec simulators is 2048 so we want this value for our longest side. The two figures shown in size at this density box is first the x side "horizontal" and Y the upright vertical side.
So in the very bottom 2 boxes. click any size above them and the size for my map shown in the upper boxes is 3042 for X the horizontal side and 1249 for the upright vertical Y side.
So I put 2048 in the x box. (maximum size allowed in Stentec dem editor) and the smaller side is the fraction of it. Just using the figures that are already shown in the upper box "size at this density". which are 1249/3042 multiplied by 2048. Use windows calculator, for me 1249 divided by 3042 multiplied by 2048 gives us 840.8 so call it 841 and I entered this in the vertical Y box.
Sounds a bit complex but once you see the panel you will understand.
Just basically put 2048 for your longest side, and the smaller side is the fraction shown of 2048.
These go in the bottom 2 boxes. You don't alter anything else.
Click Ok and we get a succesful written .bt file notice. This automatically goes in the same folder as the usgs ascii dem


vt builder doesn't seem to close on my computer and I have to close it with Windows Task Manager / Control - Alt - Del and find vtbuilder in the list to close if you have problems.
But again only takes a minute.

~~~~~~~~~VTBUILDER Section now finished

---Tutorial Continued -

The .bt file actually made the terrain greyscale for us so we now open the Scenery Designer and then the Dem Editor and load the .bt file we made and we get the FolLowing greyscale dem.
However if you remember the sea was 0 (zero) in 3DEM so we now need to clear this to enable us to place our depths. These are not made with the satellite file.
But this is again is very simple to do.


1. So Click dem/Set no data/Single Height/ put 0 in the box but probably already in.
I take the tick out of "set as new" as don't want a fresh map as just altering this one.
and we get




This map means that the land is all ready to generate but we need to lay some depths. If you run the mouse over the dark part you will see the height at each spot you look at. To make a map you would just like to sail on and admire the scenery it is not necesary to plot accurate depths and the simplest method is as follows.. that is if you are making a complete scenery within one hour as this one.



See my site for full details from start to completion for making a satellite scenery in ONE HOUR ready to sail on to admire the scenery...


Barry

Happy Sailing

:D

p.s Just one more image but see my site for the rest of them.
Depths laid and we have clicked interpolated. We get back to a black and white blob but if you click the wavy water symbol at top we get a preview of the scenery almost ready to be generated.
Last edited by Barry on Fri 12 Jan 2007 - 22:52, edited 3 times in total.
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using the vt builder approasch

Postby BillC21 » Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 21:37

Great stuff Barry and will look iover your approach carefully and I think you dont need to use your paint program. Well where in DEM Build you have the map sitting on top of the Pink square I got that far. Then got stuck but will digest your new procedure Barry. Yes It seems in this forum there is only three of us and I pleassed I have got on board again. The way I look at it BArry with several people doing the same we notice things or complete a problem that the other person does not see at the moment .
I am impressed and I will see if I can duplicate each of the programs no problem with Global Mapper , then 3DEM , then vt builder and then into DEM Builder and finally Scenery builder. Really great stuff Barry . Perhaps try them over again and if I can get same results will tell you what we want to include or not include. If this works Barry from a Global Mapper ( Remember the files we pull down are free ) or for that instance any other terrain source that has good resolution. Then you should approach Stentec and ask them to include it in their help files. It would generate a lot of interest to newcomers or oldies since this way we can select the sailing areas that we have been sailing in for years and develope a lifelike replica of the shore and islands etc. . I have been busy doing yard work and climbing my ham radio tower to service the antenna. I will start on it this evening ,I have already picked the TAR.GZ it will be Gloucester Harbour a large fishing port about hours drive north from Boston. Really excited about the progress you have made Barry.QUESTION BARRY there are blobs at the top of this message form one is IMG tother is URL. They both look like internet addresses. How does one put a photo of my maps on this page. Is there another way ?. I notice to that these blobs bring up HTML code expressions. Bill C
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Postby Barry » Thu 07 Sep 2006 - 22:34

Hi Bill

To put an image on you need your own web site.
The images on the forum are being read from my site from my Internet Service Provider site .
I have identical images on my site.
You just then link to the website image link with the image and end image symbol.
It just puts in [img].........[/img]
If that is what you mean.

The full tutorial is on my site but managed also to put in in the new tutorial thread on this forum. That includes all the images about 10 and details.

Try not using global mapper and see if the tar.gz will import directly into 3DEM. You can also open them with other programs incuding the zip program i gave the link to. At least I think so.
i.e click tar.gz and load satellite file you downloaded

When the 30 days runs out you may not be able to open global mapper unless you buy it?
Once in 3dem the rest is straight forward as detailed.

If you ave any specific points, queries, on the tutorial just post and will explain in detail, but try it first and then detail what the problem is, then can duplicate it myself and see where you may be getting stuck.

But only...relating to the tutorial as I don't know any more than you about experimenting with bitmaps, etc.

You mentioned about laying contours, but you only need to lay the depths, and you just click the contour the \ symbol. Described in tutorial.

Hope Stentec comes up with some goodies and expand the options.

They mentioned November for the new sailing simulator and also there was supposed to be a New Scenery Designer...but maybe early next year or maybe never...with no news...who knows.



Barry
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Super tutorial

Postby BillC21 » Fri 08 Sep 2006 - 01:56

Well I was so impressed with your tutorial from 3DEEM to the final procedure I decided to go down a few miles away and get a new Color cartridge for my printer. Then went to your site amd printed out the 12 pages. You know Barry it must have given you an immense sense of accomplishment . I know you worked hard . You know they do say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that's what makes your write great. If I find any errors or another way round to get the same thing done I will get back. Mozart was admnonished by royalty criticizing his music he lashed out and said its perfect as it is now no more no less.I am starting my Gloucester scenery model Regards Bill Cridland
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30 days etc

Postby BillC21 » Fri 08 Sep 2006 - 02:21

IN the middle of getting Gloucester Harbour up and running.About Global Runner that is the name of the company that designed and coded the program. Very well done. They want something like $295.00 for their FULL program which does everything bar make you a cup of char in the morning. Now the program I am using is a limited version of Global Mapper and is controlled by USGS and they call it USGS Digital Data Viewer dlgv32 Pro. The Govt have obtained a licence to freely distribute this limited - feature version.However although you can dowload the map and save it a a tar.gz you cannot dosome features. I am not interested in that but just supply a dem type file which is acceptable to 3DEM..Again great work Barry congrats mateAnother rerason I am using Global Mapper because they allow free to download some nice high resolution USGS 7.5 Minute, SDTS formal Digital Elevation models with it one can download 10 metre or 30 metre Bill C
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Postby Barry » Fri 08 Sep 2006 - 02:24

Hi Bill.

Just been browsing the web and one site mentions that 10 metre dem may not load into 3dem but there was DOS Program to convert it.
Anyway copied the link and downloaded the program just in case.
I am Ok with srtm2 data but may come in useful.

Another site mentions that winzip will open tar.gz but you have to alter settings for this and that. Didn't know what they were talking about as I use another program, but just mentioned.
There are a few sites about it.


Hope the Stentec sim etc will work on it with the new windows Vista due early next year, but good few months off yet before I get one.

I downloaded global mapper and know the files are free to download.however with them mentioning 30 day trial, I suspect it may not open after that period. So did not register. This was the "free" version.
But will keep it in mind just in case but so far 3dem etc seems Ok for me.

Keep us in the picture about your Gloucester scenery model
We need more recruits for using satellite data though ...
I think Ralph mentioned he was interested.

Thanks

Barry
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This & that

Postby BillC21 » Fri 08 Sep 2006 - 20:40

Barry you did a great job on the Terrain for sailing , as I mentioned Barry if we can make it simple Navy Style 1 2 3 etc and furnish a photo of the window we are taking just like you have done . Let me address the program I have not started on it yet because of other commitments which I had to complete first but this afternoon (Friday) I will be able to get cracking.
Barry the object of this exercise and consequent procedure is to obtain Spatial or otherwise maps ( Coast Guard etc) and save as a number of formats. The one I prefer is . TAR .PG. The reason I like global mapper is that their photography is accurate and with 30 and 10 metre resolution is great. I have not come across a site yet by Mapper which gives you a cjoice ot 30 or 10. Only 30 metre at the moment. The 30 day try out is only for the Global Mapper full Version. The Govt one is a freebie.
The only thing that is missing from your site and the procedures is it would be nice if you could put the front end on your write up . That is start with getting the maps from Global Mapper or whatever. Indeed Barry there are other sites some free others you have to pay up. So it would be nice to see the front end of your write showing how the file is saved as and put into 3DEM. Just mention that 3 DEM program accepts a number of formats. Also ,are there any things to change while you are working in 3DEM . Incidentally this is a powerful program.
After I have made the first pass at a scenery site Gloucester Harbour I will let you know any hurdles etc.
I am itching to get going Barry but other things to do. I am a Radio Amateur WA1HMW and manager in the US for the Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society . I look after all the membership funding & recruitment (US Navy) .
Again great job you did. Final comments actually once you get the grey scale file into the DEM via the VT builder ,the procedure assigning colr is similar to the Stentec Manual drawing Dem procedure. (Introduction : How to build a sailing area-http://sailsimulator.com/content/sdt/scenerydesigner_intro.html ) Note Barry when you look at Stentecs help on VT Builder its really miserable your explanation puts some light on to how it works. I like your photos Barry but the resolution is very bad , it could be my system. I build my own computers Barry since my job was a Memory Design engineer . The latest computer I built was in spring of this year. It has AMD 64 bit computer and Nividea latest video pc board. It is not AGP but the latest 16 X PCI advanced socket. The resolution is really great and the sailing looks lifelike. Bill C
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Postby Barry » Fri 08 Sep 2006 - 21:37

Hi Bill

Just add your own post to the the thread and relevant links to the tutorial thread on the forum I started which details the procedure you know, and you can then always edit the post if need be.

Or start a seperate tutorial thread for using tar.gz files as you will be more knowledgable than me about the method, as I am only using srtm2 data.

----------------

To put on images you would need to get yoursef some sort of web site. To make a web page with images on your "own" computer I use Mozilla.
MY web site on my Internet Service Provider's site is a mirror copy of the one on my computer.

The tutorial on my site really only applies to srtm2 data, and the method I used, and software that I know how to use, as been using it now for a good few months.

Regarding the resolution of the images I need my site for other things so only made small images as jpeg. I deleted several images for the smaller sceneries, as they all add up.

I also have the download on my site for the latest scenery of about, 16 megs I think. I will be keeping the latest scenery for download on it until/if Stentec puts it on their site. Unless I get fed up with it.

More interested in getting the postcard side going again as my site as was originally for collectables and I took most of the pages off.
If people post for help I will try and help, but otherwise my interest is limited as regards posting further details on my site.

Only just about keeping interested myself and just waiting to see if SS5 and a new Scenery Designer will come early next year and if not will call it a day with these simulators.

Intererested in trying to create scneries of by-gone years.
Maybe because I am 65 :wink:

Barry
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This & that

Postby BillC21 » Sat 09 Sep 2006 - 02:09

Well Barry if we can get this up and running and advertise it to the membership then we will get more interest in Scenery designer. What I will do since I have been sailing in these areas for years , I know where all the lighthouses are and buoys. Would hate to see you leave the Stentec Forum . You are our knowledge bank until us newcomers catch up. I am fascinated by these procedures and on the Mapper programs it has a world wide following. I have to get on with getting Gloucester Harbour finished. About your website is it a freebie site or do you have to pay every month for it? Bill C
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Postby Barry » Sat 09 Sep 2006 - 02:52

Hi Bill - All the others seem to have left or drifted away that used to post. Just the satellite data saved the day for me as can make any scenery I want. Also can make nearly any content I want with Blender.

But unless we can get other boats sailing in the same scene to create some realism, etc, tides, etc bit of an "empty" sim at present. Highest tide at Lverpool today . Over 10 metres I think. I thought the max was 9.3 metres for this bit of coast.

Been looking at the the new ship sim 2006 but at present that is just missions, so doN't know what to make of it.
New version of it February I think.

Tried Virtual Sailor but again not quite for me as other problems with it as regards adding content.

Stentec might still be the best option...but scenery designer 4 years old, etc. Stentec mentioned November for SS5 but will see what happens, that is why I mentioned early next year as if they are going to continue with it, as we at least should have some news by then.

Nearly 40 years ago I had a 21 feet sloop but only had it for about a year. Moored in the Alt. We took it out of the river Mersey, and into the River Ribble and moored in the river Douglas.
These rivers are in my sceneries.

Regarding the web site I pay a monthly amount for it and also get 50 meg webspace. Claranet but only for UK and a few Europe countries I think. There may be free ones about but they usually come with advertising on the pages, etc.


One way you can start as I mentioned is make a site for yourself on your own comPuter.
Download Mozilla, free and open source which has a web editor in it. That is all I use. Can advise further if interested.

Once you make a site on your computer, if you get a web service provider fixed up with website space you can upload the pages and images and you get a mirror copy on-line.

My site on the Internet is an identical copy of the one on my computer. You just link pages together, add images and put what you want on it. Just type it in the same as typing here.
I scan the postcards and insert the images on my site.
Or for the tutorial just screenshots.
Print screen on keyboard, then edit paste in windows paint and save. Use the free Irfanview to change file types and alter size.
You probably know all this but mentioned just in case.


Barry
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Gloucester Harbour

Postby BillC21 » Sat 09 Sep 2006 - 19:45

Well Barry with your help and going by the the book you prepared I got Gloucester Harbour up and running. Never cropped anything before but it was great did it first time.Also the terrain colour I did by usung the Stentec existing scenery file called Quessant. Most tedious part was drawing in the negative depths., About your Website , I think I will set one up myself certainly makes sense the way you hold data & photos etc.I actually teach C++ and WEb Site Design ( HTML code) at our local High School. I have had a look at some of the servers theres one want one year for 10 dollars includes 2 domain names and about 5 or 10 megabytes.
Back to the IMPORTED sceneries I will try another one and afterwards see where it can improved or made easier and will give you any changes Barry.
I have tried all the Sail Simulators the Vitual sailor I actually bought but did not like sea action nothing like stentec . What I would like Stentec to do in there next version is the ability to put a second or third sailboat on the program so we can race a couple of robot crewmen !!!. That would create interest . I had a Columbia 22 and use to race it againgst some of my workmates after work . Found it great fun. Racing you dont bother about the waves or wind speed its getting the sailboat moving along at a steady clip. On Sail SImulator I have had American Cup sailboat up to 28 to 30 knots.
Again you did an excellent job and it opens a lot of exciting new methods of putting high resolution areas into Scenery Builder. There is only one fault and perhaps you can help Barry I get the shallow colors near the shore however when I look on the map that you use to see where you are headed the deep sea water is white !! . Regards Bill Cridland RNARS ( Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society)
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