Mountains Hamlets for Condor 2 scenery.
When flying on Condor 2 in a mountain or flat scenery, everything would be perfect if we could build all the buildings in a city. But, by Terragen tiles of 23.04 x 23.04 km you will find between 35000 and 120000 buildings of any kind. What remains a difficult bet to hold in the development of scenery!
There are some Beta-based software that can automatically extract and build buildings, but most of them are unsuitable and/or difficult to implement with Condor 2.
Moreover, if the representation of the buildings around the airports is often necessary, the representation of the cities which we overfly more than 1000 m do not seem to us of a great utility.
On the other hand, when we fly in a mountain area on a ridge, it seems interesting to populate the scenery of the many isolated buildings, whether cottages, shelters or sheepfolds. Some cable car stations are also welcome with some pylons!
It is easy to create several buildings suitable for this type of function and to implement them in the scenery.
But for the mountains hamlets, it requires a little more precautions to avoid a significant decrease of the FPS.
If for the modular industrial buildings the module of 5 m is perfectly adapted, for the houses this module seems to us too big and we reduced it to 2 m.
A generic house, as for industrial buildings, of 12 x 6 m, 4 m high and 5 m of foundation with an edit-able flat roof, comprising 4 horizontal zones in the texture, was created on the basis of a 2 m module:
- Pinion and cladding of adaptation,
- Facade in 2 m module
This house is saved according to a nomenclature describing its dimensions and is ready to be merged to create sets or to derive houses of other dimensions.
This is the single-floor version, but it is easy to create a multi-flour version, following the same principles, with 2 facade strips, one for the ground floor, the other for the upper floors.
Of course from this basic module, we can create all kinds of houses to 2 m module, which will adapt the UV Map to the texture following the same principles for the creation of industrial buildings.
The choice of the test to create a "hamlet" entity was made on a hamlet located above the Super Nendaz ski resort about ten kilometers south of Sion airport.
Here are some views of this hamlet:
Photo in GE
Photo in AA2
Photo in WildAlps2
Then, you have to extract the hamlet map in Open Street Map via Qgis and scale it in Wings 3D.
Note that the orientation of the map is North South and that when we put the hamlet object in the scenery with LE, it will be correctly oriented at ±90 °. The center of the object in Wings 3D is the center of rotation in LE. And if we want to be precise, we have every interest in choosing an angle of one of the buildings at an average or median altitude of other buildings.
The analysis of the OSM map of the buildings of the hamlet shows that it is necessary to have:
1 industrial building of 10 x 15 m
1 industrial building of 15 x 20 m
1 house of 4 x 2 m
3 houses of 8 x 8 m
5 houses of 6 x 6 m
1 house of 8 x 6 m
1 house of 10 x 10 m
1 house of 6 x 4 m
That is 14 buildings that we create on demand or we find from our bank of houses and industrial buildings.
For each of these buildings we have two or more different textures whose topological definitions, created from the UV Map, are identical for each type of building, whatever their surface dimensions. Note also that the texture adapts automatically regardless of the slope or the direction or the number of sections of roofs and that for example for a house 8 x 6 m it is useless to create a house 6 x 8 m, even if small aberrations exist in Wings 3D and in Object Editor. That's why we decided to create for each house the forms of the roof after merging it the hamlet.
Note that this standardization of industrial buildings and houses generates small errors in relation to the actual dimensions of the buildings they represent:
- ± 2,5 m for industrial buildings
- ± 1 m for houses
in relation to the definition of the terrain of 2.8 m per pixel in the best case.
For scenries built from a photo-satellite the definition of the texture is that of the photo and not of the Terragen tiles (Ex AA2).
To build the hamlet, we will merge the different types of buildings, then position and orient them in relation to the OSM map. Note that the orientation accuracy is much better than that obtained with LE.
At this stage of the realization, we do not worry about textures, roofs, or altimetry.
A first test is done in Condor 2
It shows that the layout of the buildings in the UTM 32 of the scenery is perfect, but that the shadows of the buildings will generate undesirable artifacts and that the suffix _ns "no shadow" must be used. The adaptation to the slope of the scenery, and therefore of the relative altimetry at the midpoint must be done correctly in order to limit the basements to 5 m.
Indeed, it is illusory to want to smooth the altimetry of the scenery or even to modify it, because with a 30 m mesh, it would be necessary to flatten a large surface of a minimum of 60 x 60 m for a single building.
In addition, the flattening of buildings along the slope would break the charm of these hamlets during their overflights.
To achieve the altimetry of the buildings and to get a good approximation, we used the GE data that are interpolated in the underlying mesh.
This is not perfect, but much better than LE which only gives the altimetry of the vertices of the mesh.
After two or three tries, we get a good altimetry of the buildings along the mountain slope.
In Wings 3D, after creating the roof slopes and grouping the buildings according to the number of textures that we want to apply to the objects (4 textures).
With Object Editor
Then in Condor 2
This is one of many ways to improve the quality of your scenery, with a system of building creations flexible, cumulative, thrifty of textures and number of FPS.