Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

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Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby buzzard2008 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:23 pm

Heya guys wondering if anyone out there is experienced in using Ortho4xp in Xplane?, Ive followed a tutorial to the tee from youtube and done everything i hope lol to the letter but when I open up the Scenery packs cfg file to edit the data there is nothing in there?? Also am wondering which source of data is best to use for New Zealand and should I have the "check all white areas" ticked or unticked? What is the difference? when I have it ticked it slows prosess down incredibly, any suggestions would be greatful, cheers in advance :-) kindly enlighten me if this is posted in the wrong area of the forum
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby Ian Warren » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:35 pm

I think at the moment even adding simple photo and getting AGN to glue to it is a mission .. think reason most curve away from it ... only person that may help you here Aaron AkA iwik the Kiwi and he's in London.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:27 pm

Which tutorial was this?
I have tried an X-plane photoscenery, but only using WED, since I already have a good number of GeoTIFFs for NZ, so I can't help you with Ortho4XP. From a quick look, I probably won't be using a tool like this, because of the licensing of the source imagery.
I think that the white areas refers to this:
Typically 256x256 or 2048x2048 of size. This is due to a (slow) server that was probably overloaded. When this happens, they can sometimes send white data without necessarily noticing. I some cases we wish to keep these (and this is not due to overload but to missing data, e.g. in boundary textures of providers whose data do not go beyond the border), in the other cases one solution is to erase the corrupted orthophotos and to build the tile once more so that (only) the deleted ones will be (re)downloaded (hopefully correctly). The sources ’CH Vs’, ’NZ’ and ’NO’ have sometimes showed this kind of behaviour when used from France.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby buzzard2008 » Sun May 07, 2017 9:22 am

Heya Robin thanks for the info, the tutorial I watched was Lunas world? But have have since watched another tutorial and have had mild success installing some Wellington scenery using Ortho4xp, I will see if I can figure out how to post some screens shots, the resolution isn't the best but at least I got it in the Sim lol, so theres room for improvement :-) Am wondering if I could use a better data source than BING but not sure which source from the menu will provide the clearest images
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby buzzard2008 » Sun May 07, 2017 11:41 am

Hey Robin here are some screenshots of my first try with Ortho4xp in xplane 11, As you may notice in the shots where I have the Overlays included dont look too impressive with trees and stuff where they shouldnt be and it also tends to blurr out the photo scenery. It is still not too clear but looks better without the overlays which is a shame, no buildings n stuff, its not perfect but it beats the default scenery by a country mile. Im wondering maybe with a better source of imagery data it may look even sharper, Ive seen some pretty astonishing results but dont know what the best source for NZ imagery is in the pop up menu
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Last edited by buzzard2008 on Sun May 07, 2017 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby Ian Warren » Sun May 07, 2017 11:52 am

It looks good what you have done there Buzzy B-) what you have achieved were the Hutt river pokes its nose out in the habour.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Sun May 07, 2017 11:54 am

I'd be keen to see some progress shots with NZ scenery, so keep up the good work.

The photo source is always going to be a problem -- not least of which is that you can't distribute scenery from any of the Ortho4XP sources. The only real usable source for NZ is LINZ, which is why I've only experimented with WED -- this will load GeoTIFFs from LINZ, and the Creative Commons license means that you can do what you like with it, within reason.

I did do a tutorial on getting LINZ imagery into FSX, if you wanted to give WED a try, you could adapt that process.

Watch on youtube.com


P.S. just saw your new shots, I'll take a look at them now!
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby buzzard2008 » Sun May 07, 2017 11:57 am

Am sorry Robin I couldnt figure out how to send them all at once lol
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby buzzard2008 » Sun May 07, 2017 12:01 pm

Thankyou Robin I will have a look at your tutorial but am very green in this area, I basically know nothing at all about how scenery is made, Can I somehow use LINZ in conjunction as a source for Ortho4xp?
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Sun May 07, 2017 12:41 pm

I'm not entirely sure about Ortho4XP, but I suspect not. I think that this is similar to a couple of the tools which you can get for FSX, to create photoscenery almost fully automatically. Like SBuilderX, for example, which creates photoscenery from Google, Open Streetmap, Yahoo etc (!) The image you get is a bit of a lottery, and you can't really change what is delivered, without trying another source. So maybe just try all the options, and see what works best.

But as I said, the biggest issue is that you can't distribute scenery created using this method, the licensing on the source sites just doesn't allow it. I know that people do release this, but I never will, it isn't really a workable solution for someone like me who makes a living from this. Which is why I like WED, which at least allows you to make photoscenery from any imagery, which includes the LINZ stuff, which you can distribute or even sell.

So although it means a bit of a learning curve, I'd always recommend that people don't restrict themselves to these automatic tools, you only really need to learn how to make scenery in WED once, then you'll be unstoppable.

One thought, though -- the tiles which Ortho4XP downloads should be normal image files, so you could edit these to fix the washed out/blueish look, and sharpen them a bit, which might be all it takes to make it look great -- the shots you show are actually very nice quality, they just need a bit of 'oomph' added. This is something I always do with FSX scenery, everything is colour/tonal-corrected to some extent. You wouldn't find a source of fully colour-corrected images which you could drop straight into a sim and expect it to look great. This is another limitation with these automatic tools, so if you want to make really nice scenery, you need to try some less-automated tools.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby buzzard2008 » Sun May 07, 2017 1:45 pm

Thankyou so much for your advise Robin I am keen to study your tutorial to learn the first step. Is WED freeware? Im not too sure I'll mess round too much with the Ortho scenery I have it sounds very complex but I tell ya what, Xplane 11 is looking very good, tonnes of potential, I like the unflat runways they're cool, flying at night is cawesome with the moving traffic n all, Id really love to see your scenery in this sim I think it would look amazing, who knows?, a new market for you maybe? Would it be difficult/time consuming to do that?
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby buzzard2008 » Sun May 07, 2017 1:48 pm

Oh one more thing, WED can be used with Xplane?
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Sun May 07, 2017 2:06 pm

WED -- World Editor-- is the 'official' Xplane development tool.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Sun May 07, 2017 9:48 pm

I've been thinking about how you could adapt my tutorial for WED and X-plane. This uses the latest beta WED, which supports XP11.
Up till the point where you have a workable GeoTIFF, the process would be the same.
From then, although I've not seen the results of this method, as I don't own X-plane ($80 is about what I live on a week, so it's too dear at the moment) this is what I'd try based on what I've know from earlier experimentation.
One difference with X-plane is that the ortho scenery textures for XP11 need to be power-of-2, with a maximum size of 2048x2048, so I'd slice my resulting GeoTIFF into whatever gives the closest to this, my way was to choose the number of slices which would give slightly bigger than 2048 each way, rather than smaller, so WED can turn each into 2048x. Using QGIS, I have no idea how you'd do this, so that's something you'd need to figure out yourself. (I use Global Mapper, which you'll pay for, so if you want to do it all for free, QGIS is the way to go.)
After splitting your GeoTiff into GeoTIFF tiles, stick them into a folder called something like 'tiles' in your custom scenery\Sceneryproject folder, run WED, create a new scenery in Custom scenery\Sceneryproject, and load the GeoTIFFs as orthophotos.
For XP11, make sure you select File:Export Target: XP11. In the sample I did today, I then built my airport using the WED tools, and then Exported Scenery Pack. At this point I can't test it, my airport appears in the demo (Pauanui), but the photoscenery won't -- I think this is more to do with the fact that there is no underlying scenery/mesh/etc, just water...

P.S. Of course to create the tiles, I do it this way as I'm starting with a previously built GeoTIFF for FSX, you could build the tiles from combining the individual LINZ tiles, depending on their size.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Tue May 09, 2017 10:37 am

Trying to figure out how to control image compression in X-plane, seems that the equivalent photoscenery in X-plane is more than double the file size of FSX using minimal compression. Would be a pain to distribute, if it couldn't be made smaller... That would mean that the existing 12GB of Subscription scenery could be 30GB of X-plane scenery, with no improvement in resolution.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby NZ255 » Tue May 09, 2017 11:55 am

You could try save the pngs as 8bit. so 256 colours. Comes in just under the dds compression but looks worse... it might not look so bad from a height?
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Tue May 09, 2017 12:11 pm

Hmm, gave me an idea... initial test gives me very close to same size, but I will try a few things.
My new slogan -- 'Real NZ X-plane -- doesn't look too bad from up high!' :lol:
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby NZ255 » Tue May 09, 2017 1:00 pm

toprob wrote:Hmm, gave me an idea... initial test gives me very close to same size, but I will try a few things.
My new slogan -- 'Real NZ X-plane -- doesn't look too bad from up high!' :lol:

Lol, i mean it's not too bad. I was comparing a 10cm/pixel image so 60cm/1m (or whatever) might be fine. Esp if it's mostly greens

Interested to see the outcome :)

edit: oh I forgot you can use dds after all. In fact wed generates it for you. But you already knew that :D
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby kiwi_the_iwik » Wed May 10, 2017 3:18 am

Hi folks - sorry for the delay in getting to this thread...

Robin - great advice re: WED and sourcing Orthophotos!

Hi Buzzard - There are a few tutorials on the Scenery Forum of X-Plane regarding bringing in and converting GeoTIFF images to specific areas - the best one being from Chris K, found here:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/fo ... o-scenery/

It's really important to remember that the images must be in a Power-of-Two format (i.e. 2048 x 1024 or 512 x 1024, but the bigger the number the higher the resolution - and the size!).

I use this technique when making localised high-res scenery under airports using X-Plane’s free World Editor, WED (now at version 1.6 and XP11 compatible). The GeoTIFFs automatically line up on the correct latitudes and longitudes, and are then converted over to PNG and finally DDS, if needs be. These final images are vastly smaller than the original GeoTIFFS (which can be now deleted from the scenery file) - saving on size and CPU/GPU reliant screen redraws, but still give virtually the same resolution and effect.

However, when it comes to covering larger areas of countryside, I rely on Ortho4XP to create my photorealistic landscapes. The results do look brilliant, though - especially when combined with recent OSM data, and AlpilotX's NZ Pro overlay
(http://www.alpilotx.net/downloads/x-pla ... aland-pro/).

When it comes to sourcing OrthoPhotos, Robin's absolutely correct - there aren't many sources for free-to-distribute imagery. Google and Bing are copyrighted, as are the majority of sites. For personal use, this isn't a problem - which is why Ortho4XP has the option to source from these and many other databases. However if you wanted to distribute your work the best bet is, of course, LINZ - which is free to use.

If you've installed the Python scripts and Ortho4XP correctly, you'll need to open the file marked "Carnet_d_adresses.py" with a text editor and add a LINZ "key" to the right area. Creating an account with LINZ will provide you with one - just copy and paste the key into the correct area (it will say "key=xxxxxxxxxx" - you'll see it clearly marked out under the "New Zealand" section, so place your alphanumeric code after the equals sign within the inverted commas). Save the updated script and restart Ortho4XP. Selecting LINZ will now give you images, rather than white squares...

Another issue you may face is the quality of the imagery. Yes, it's rather hit-and-miss, and you've normally got a choice regarding what resolution would be best for you. ZL15-16 is poor, ZL18 is quite good and ZL20 is really fabulous (where ZL = Zoom Level). However, you might find that without a solid state drive, a fast processor or a very gutsy GPU you'll be struggling. And at 15-20k ft, is it worth having mega-high resolution ground textures?

Simheaven (http://www.simheaven.com) has a great FAQ section and examples (as well as some good files) of scenery tile Zoom Levels. With most things, it’s a trade-off…

Finally, if you are still having some issues, do go onto the Ortho4XP Support Forum section (http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/fo ... -ortho4xp/) . Oscar Pilote - the author - is regularly online and very happy to help out with any issues you might have. But look through the pages to see if your query has already been answered, which will save you a lot of time!

Hope this helps…

Cheers,

Aaron.
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Re: Problem with Ortho4xp in xplane

Postby toprob » Wed May 10, 2017 9:47 am

Brilliant stuff, Aaron, I didn't know that you could access LINZ via Ortho4XP -- I'll give that a crack.
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