Colin S

Hawaii Photoreal Development

178 posts in this topic

How do you install this? I don't see a livery folder for this aircraft.

 

When a lack of a thing presents itself, the creation of such a thing would be advised. X-Plane uses a universal asset distribution system for textures, objects, and so on, meaning that you can add a livery folder to any existing aircraft and hey presto you can add liveries :) Hope this helps! 

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Mate!

I have only been following this recently, but must say this looks fantastic!

I see you have also incorporated the work of George Keogh to be entered in the new scenery drops!

This will make flying the islands a massive gain in X Plane, appreciate your self-taught ways.

Just so I read this correctly, you have recently updated us with the addition of: Niihau, Kauai and Lehua.

 

Where do we download the three options to add this to Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokai?

Cheers.

 

Tedd 

Edited by Teddit
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Looking great Colin! 

 

Thanks!

 

Mate!

I have only been following this recently, but must say this looks fantastic!

I see you have also incorporated the work of George Keogh to be entered in the new scenery drops!

This will make flying the islands a massive gain in X Plane, appreciate your self-taught ways.

Just so I read this correctly, you have recently updated us with the addition of: Niihau, Kauai and Lehua.

 

Where do we download the three options to add this to Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokai?

Cheers.

 

Tedd 

It's up in the file library as of now! :D

Edited by Colin S
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Note to all those attempting to use Niihau V0.5: It has been pulled due to a file error, I am currently troubleshooting it now, and will hopefully have a bugfix done for later today.

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Update: This will be fixed in the next week, I found a serious problem on Niihau with shoreline alignment. This happens a lot and this is just a case of me not noticing. When you have to cut up a giant FSX orthophoto into sixteen or more smaller X-Plane 4096 sized ones, mistakes are made. I apologize to the few who have downloaded this scenery and plase stay tuned. Windows 10 is giving me a massive headache as usual (Microsoft finally tried to compete with the lack of functionality that iOS held a monopoly on for so long), so not today or any time in the next few days.

 

nz36hh0.jpg

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Excuses, excuses... but slightly valid excuses. 

I've been quite busy lately. I am in two volunteer positions (a tour guide at the British Columbia Aviation Museum and an invertebrates collections organizer at the Royal BC Museum). However, I have time now. Before I run off to Spain and potentially return to a full time four-month job position. Oh glory. But for now, let's get done what we can. Which is what? Not much. The image at the bottom should explain why, despite being the approximate colour of a peanut butter sandwich after a "Will It Blend" episode. Here's what is going on in this picture: 

There are three important layers showing: DEM, coastline, and orthophoto mask (as transferred from FSX). As you can see, absolutely none of them line up. The DEM not lining up is the biggest unsolvable problem, but the most frustrating one is the coastlines not lining up. I have tried three sources - TIGER, OSM, and something I can't even remember the source of - and none of them line up to ANY satellite imagery. How hard could that be? Anyways, I drew all of Niihau by hand, and I will never do that again. I'm experimenting with converting the FSX water mask to a vectorized shapefile so that coastlines are quite truly perfect for the imagery. But that is not easy, and I don't even know if it's possible. Right now my plan looks like this: make an image that only has two colours: white for water, black for land. Load into QGIS, speak firmly but politely to it, and hope for the best.

What I hope for anyone wasting their time reading to get out of it is that this is a HUGE task to make one measly little island. Yes, I tried that new utility that automatically takes mesh and imagery and marries them together in holy matrimony. It doesn't agree with my computer. I can't even find all the other ten-ish programs you have to download on top of the initial download. Some simply don't exist. Anyways, I'm not using that. If you know how to, feel free to make a for dummies instruction manual because I am a serious dummy. I'm going to be processing the current shapefiles in a few hours to see how I'm doing, and if it turns out all these things aren't working, I'm hooped.

RUCQNqk.png

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Quick update: I got the HD Mesh for Molokai to work, just need to do the final tweaking of the coastline and then it's on to Molokai Airport... then Kalaupapa... 

6rvLVW3.jpg

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That looks awsome, Colin! Kind of reminds me of the Jurassic Park intro scene, but I think that was Kauai. Anyway, really great work I can't wait to get my hands on this.

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Do you guys want half of Molokai and a tiny bit of Maui as a teaser to what's coming? (just the mesh, no imagery) I can add it to the Hawaii UHD if you want. Heck, I'll do it if you don't want me to. Yeah I'm doing that.

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It's official - I am capable of meshing around. Here is Kalaupapa Airport, perfectly flat - without needing the "runways follow terrain contours" disabled. I am sick of looking at GIS programs and command lines. I am giving myself a minimum 24 hour break from this. Going to go fix my bike now and enjoy sun. Two days in front of a computer screen is too many days.

LoLN5B3.jpg

Edited by Colin S
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Hey Everyone,

Just want to apologize for the lack of an update to Molokai (or even the apparent existence of the file in the download library): It still needs approval, I'll shoot Cameron a message once I've updated the last file and fixed the terrain around PHMK Molokai Airport.Cheers :) 

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Just a quick comparison of pre-HD Mesh and post-HD Mesh... you guess which is which.

k9pxABZ.jpg

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As with every product, each bug that is resolved leads to two more bugs appearing (heil hydra!). Now that I have finally successfully created true UHD scenery - that is, stuff where there are barely any jagged corners at the top of hills and even bumps in the runway are fairly smooth - I have another problem: hols in the mesh. Well, actually, they are holes along the tile boundaries, where MeshTool used one type of logic for one tile and other logic for the next. The best way of visualizing this is as follows: MeshTool only draws a new triangle once you've gotten past a certain change in elevation - that way you don't have a big open flat area filled with millions of pointless triangles. As great as this is, it sucks for places like narrow valleys along DSF tile boundaries, because this is what happens: Along the west boundary of the east tile, it draws a triangle at the average altitude of a midpoint of elevation in the valley, making it not look so pointy at the bottom and effectively cutting the valley in half. Along the east edge of the west tile, it draws a nice sharp V-shaped valley because it just happened to be right in line with putting a triangle in the right place at the right time. Wonderful! But what about that valley on the next tile that was flat at the bottom? MeshTool doesn't know what is happening next door (in my opinion one of the biggest shortcomings of the tool) and therefore is extremely finicky when trying to get complex terrain - like on Molokai - to line up flawlessly. I'm experimenting now to see what I can do to avoid this now and in the future.

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I can hardly thank you guys enough for bringing Hawaii to life on X-Plane.Your releases of Lanai, Kahoolawe and Niihau are outstanding. From reading your posts the amount of time and work you have put into this project is unbelievable.  Your upcoming release of Molokai is eagerly anticipated.  Flying offshore along the north shore of Molokai at about 2000 feet of elevation in a small aircraft is a visual treat that is hard to beat anywhere, except maybe that of flying along Kauai's Napali coast.  

Mahalo!

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1 hour ago, paulharing said:

I can hardly thank you guys enough for bringing Hawaii to life on X-Plane.Your releases of Lanai, Kahoolawe and Niihau are outstanding. From reading your posts the amount of time and work you have put into this project is unbelievable.  Your upcoming release of Molokai is eagerly anticipated.  Flying offshore along the north shore of Molokai at about 2000 feet of elevation in a small aircraft is a visual treat that is hard to beat anywhere, except maybe that of flying along Kauai's Napali coast.  

Mahalo!

Thank you for the enthusiasm! We are encountering problems at every step but learning and coming out ahead with every failure. I'm glad someone is looking forward to Molokai as much as I am! The cliffs are mind blowing and without the UHD mesh they aren't work even looking at.

Cheers :)

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There are moments of victorious accomplishment... 

11937433_10209153802151964_4162353689407

And moments of utter defeat...1377612_10209153809392145_67925354688399

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This makes me happy. I won't have to open QGIS for at least another three weeks and MeshTool for another month. HD Mesh is done, update to the Hawaii UHD pending. Warning: It removes all roads, but if flightseeing is all you're after, this might be the thing for you.

LgKJjjG.jpg

61Aegxc.jpg

Edited by Colin S
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pJAfVvh.jpg

Time for Molokai airport. I have closed QGIS and MeshTool and hope not to open them again for a few weeks. I will not be starting Molokai until I get back from Spain, but I will hopefully be updating Niihau and starting work on the improved Lanai and Kahoolawe. Molokini will be updated when Maui is released, as I will be removing the XP8 quality SketchUp model that is a blemish on the reputation of Hawaii Photoreal. Considering pulling the file outright until we have Maui ready to go. Anyways, here's Molokai from a different angle than usual. It's looking pretty sweet. 

Edited by Colin S
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Colin,  

Molokai is looking great.  Can't wait for its release.  Years ago I flew into Mokokai's Kalapapa's small airstrip, which services the former leper colony there, several times as a passenger on a Cessna 210.  Quite a challenge for the pilot, a short runway with strong winds and salt spray from nearby shore break waves .  Look forward to doing it again on X-Plane with your scenery package in place.  Aloha. Paul 

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Major Update: March 19th, 2016

First of all, I won't be using my donations from last month for overdue books at the UVIC Library. Got them in on time. But no one cares. This is what you do care about, though:

Molokai will have seasonal textures.*

*Eventually.

The "Eventually" of this will only be an offset of a day or two as I will have to cut every single orthophoto tile a second time from its parent for the two available seasons, West and Dry (Winter Spring, Summer and Fall respectively). Below is an early look at the difference between the seasons. Something to note is the significance of these seasons on future islands (such as Maui and Hawaii), where snow at higher altitudes in the winter is fairly common (I have seen it myself and have in fact had plans cancelled due to a snow storm in Hawaii). On the left is dry, on the right is wet.

12885774_10209197326880055_2505675821940

The reefs for Wet have not yet been finished. As you will see in following pictures, the reefs for dry have been finished, but finished incorrectly. They need to change with the seasons too. SEASONS? IN X-PLANE? No, not really. It will require one of two things: the first would be for you to decide whether you want to fly in ugly Hawaii or lush, tropical Hawaii, the second would be installing SimpleSeasons (I'm currently experimenting with this). Anyways, here are a couple of more shots of summer only shots with wet reefs. Wet reefs. Okay, wet season reefs. Reefs are always wet. In the dry seasons, however, there isn't as much runoff, meaning that the reefs can chance in appearance due to that and also changing temperatures. Science aside, the change just looks cool and that's mostly why I care about it. 

1534967_10209197327040059_73633577255997

856978_10209197315759777_850102588859682

Something to note is that I have severely darkened the water around Hawaii using the water.lua script that I picked up somewhere along the way, and I have no idea where it's from but I will try to find out so that I can actually have custom water colours by the time we get to Maui. Bathymetry data has been destroyed by MeshTool, sadly. I'm experimenting with line files to draw the gradient in water colour change. Something else that was destroyed by MeshTool that I'm working hard to solve: roads. Because MeshTool only works with elevation data, it therefore redraws everything... without roads. With the help of St. Andras himself, I will hopefully be able to bring back road data that will bring the highways and dirt tracks of Molokai alive with blinking lights of traffic (not to be confused with traffic lights, of which there are none on this island). If there are any questions, please feel free to ask, although I have no idea how long an answer you really want to read because, as those who have asked in the past can confirm, I am not not particularly skilled at saying things quickly.

And as always, please consider a donation. The $75 I received for the last two months is the biggest motivation I've gotten in this whole project (as sad as that sounds) and the main reason why Molokai went from being "barely moving" to "almost done" in a matter of weeks. Please visit the Hawaii Photoreal website to make a small but important donation to help this project along.

tumblr_ngcx9sfvgv1s2oqxno1_250.png Hawaii Photoreal/ FlightSim Jewels (FSX/P3D/XP10)

tumblr_ngcx9sfvgv1s2oqxno2_250.png FlightSim Jewels/Hawaii Photoreal

Edited by Colin S
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Major Update: March 20th, 2016

Happy spring! I have some good news. And I have some news that I know a lot of the X-Plane community, with their mentality, will consider bad news. Let's begin. I had a lengthy conversation with my partner in crime (who does all the original imagery editing and the FSX/P3D scenery), discussing the future of Hawaii Photoreal, as Molokai is nearing completion and Maui will be around three times the work of completing Molokai. As some of you know, for Flight Simulator and Prepare3D, there is a plus version that includes seasonal textures and autogen. Starting with Molokai and continuing for all islands except Kauai when we get there (and Lanai since it only needs updating), there will be a plus version. Our (X-Plane) plus version is very, very different than their (FSX) plus version. Below is a list of things each version includes (this might change in the future). What the heck is plus and how is it not payware? Well, plus is sort of like payware. Only we offer nearly the same product for free. If you donate around $15 you will get all the islands in their "plus" versions. If you're going to complain that we might as well make it payware, no, we mightn't. If you are complaining that the price per island that it ends up working out to is too high, then you clearly haven't donated. I can say for a fact that the number of people who have donated to Hawaii Photoreal this year can be counted on one hand, and I would still have enough fingers to eat my potato chips. Donations motivate like you wouldn't believe. Molokai wasn't going anywhere until we got a few donations. Currently most donations come from the FSX/P3D end of things - which is fine since we only have three islands available for X-Plane. Something discuss between myself and my partner is the different mentality between the communities. His scenery pulls in about 1 donation per hundred thousand downloads. The X-Plane scenery pulls in one donation per... well, it doesn't. All in all, I don't feel like anyone even wants this work (minus like four or five people who constantly provide wonderful feedback).

Plus will be a bit different from the old stuff and different even from the FSX stuff. In one regard, the plus will be better than the FSX scenery with 0.3m/1-foot imagery in and around airports. Also included will be pavement textures like those found on Lanai, and much improved at that. As mentioned before, MeshTool rewrites mesh without road data (who can blame it, it's not like it knows how), and with the plus version, we'll bring back the roads. It'll still look pretty sweet in the free version, but at night the island will be pretty dark without the flowing traffic. Seasonal textures, as mentioned in yesterday's post, will be included in the plus version. There will also be little bits and pieces only in the plus version - rainforest helipads, streetlights, select autogen, grass at airports - that isn't significant enough to be on the chart below but should still be noted.

In conclusion, the free version is like buying the cheapest version of the car. You have to manually roll the windows, it doesn't have air conditioning and there is no chrome on the radio stack. Plus gives you all that. Kauai is a story for another time. If you can't spare $15 for an entire chain of islands, pick an (available) island that you really want the plus version of, shoot us an email and we'll see if we can accommodate you... or something. We're not trying to rip you off.

Following table subject to change.

Feature 
Free
Plus
Full 1M Orthophoto Coverage
Yes
Yes
Full UHD Custom Mesh
Yes
Yes
3D Airports by George Keogh
Yes
Yes
HD Airport Textures
No
Yes
0.3M Orthophotos around Airports
No 
Yes
Roads
No 
Yes
Seasonal Textures (Wet, Transition, Dry)
No 
Yes

 

Edited by Colin S
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