Ground Objects

Everything related to creation of new sceneries for Condor...

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RianMonnahan
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Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:40 pm

Ground Objects

Postby RianMonnahan » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:42 am

Hi All,

I've been looking through the forum, youtube, the CST doc and various tutorial on scenery development for information on adding ground objects to existing scenery files.

Why?

There are many obstacles in the Alps. They come in the form of power lines, aerial trams and associated cables, etc. I don't see too many of these in the scenery I use... mostly AA and Alps_XL. I've seen a few objects in West_Swiss and thought got me thinking about adding some obstacles to my favorite scenery, say the Diablerets 3000 aerial tram south of Saanen.

The purpose is not so much to have fun buzzing the Diablerets 3000 but rather to create a realistic training environment to reduce the chances of running into them in real life.

I used to do some of this in X-Plane and there adding ground objects is a relatively painless process. I'm hoping things will be relatively simple in Codor as well. Any assistance would be most appreciated.

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dgtfer
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby dgtfer » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:31 am

Adding ground objects in a scenery means to edit this scenery, and will create a new different one. It will no longer be useable for online flight.
The process for objet creation is not really simple, especially if you want a realistic result. You must use dedicated 3D software for that like Wings3D.
Inserting objects can be done with Landscape Editor, but you should first carefully read existing tutorials.
For AA and others very big sceneries, it's not possible to use LE, so it might be a bit tricky...
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RianMonnahan
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Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:40 pm

Re: Ground Objects

Postby RianMonnahan » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:24 pm

Hi,

Many thanks for the response. I do understand the limitations of modifying scenery and I have gone over the tutorial and documentation already. They are mostly geared to building new scenery.

That's fine but I do not see any clear procedure for adding exiting 3D objects to scenery.

I've looked and LE. There are are ground objects associated with a given scenery. You can view them but I have no clue how to add them.

I understand that realist ground object will require 3D modeling. At this point, I am just interested in understanding how you add existing 3D objects using LE where you want them to appear in the scenery.

Thanks

Xavier
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Location: France

Re: Ground Objects

Postby Xavier » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:40 pm

Well RianMonnahan,

All is explained there:
http://forum.condorsoaring.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10810#p109699

But it will be better to read from the beginning!
This topic is revised every years (last revision in September 2016)!

I Hope you will find what you need.
Happy landing!
*****- Xavier - (XDL * F-DELX) -*****

RianMonnahan
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Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:40 pm

Re: Ground Objects

Postby RianMonnahan » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:23 pm

Xavier,

Merci. C'est exatement ce que je cherchais!

A+

Xavier
Posts: 416
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Location: France

Re: Ground Objects

Postby Xavier » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:22 pm

Pas de quoi RianMonnaham !
No matter RianMohnnaham!

Mais, il y a le même sujet en français sur le site Condorsim.fr. Il suffit de s'y inscrire, c'est gratuit.
http://www.condorsim.fr/communaute/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=7358

But there is the same topic in French......

Happy landing
*****- Xavier - (XDL * F-DELX) -*****

RianMonnahan
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby RianMonnahan » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:56 pm

Salut Xavier,

Merci encore pour ta reponse. Eh bien je suis sur Condorsim.fr.

Je viens de terminer ton "tutorial" et je commence a faire jou-jou avec Wings 3D.

J'ai une question... Il me semble que Landscape Editor (LE) place les objets à l'altitude du terrain. J'ai pu tester le comportement en placant le même objet au Col du Pillon et au Diablerets. Maintenant la question...

Comme mon but est de placer des obstacles (essentiellement des câbles aériens), comment specifier l'altidude de l'objet que je veux placer indépendamment de la hauteur du sol, par example la cabine d'une télépherique?

Et puis, un cable descend sous un certain angle vers la vallée ou entre deux poteaux. Faut-il travailler par segments? Comment donner une altitude dégressive à un segment.

Merci d'avance,
Riqn

Thanks for your answer. And I am already on Condorsim.fr.

I just finished your tutorial and am starting to fool around with Wings 3D.

I have a question... I think LE place objects at ground level. I was able to test this behavior by putting the same object at the Col du Pillion and at Diablerets. Now here's my question....

Since my objective is to place obstacles (mostly aerial cables), how do you specify the altitude of the object independently of ground height, let's say a aerial tram cabin?

And then a cable follows a certain slope down toward the valley or between two towers. Do you have to build a cable by segment? How do give a segment a decreasing alt.

Cheers,

Rian

GregHart1965
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby GregHart1965 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:06 am

Rian you want to attempt something extremely difficult?

For electricity cables you have to make each individual span of the cable as a unique object as each one spans a slightly different distance and at a different angle. Its much easier to leave the cables out and just put the masts (pillars) in. If you really must have cables it might be feasible to build a rough model in Sketch Up with simple pillars placed on terrain (this is a standard feature in Sketch Up) then export the 3D model (this is not straight forward - please refer to topics on this forum relating to sketch-up) and import it into Wings3D. Then you would have the layout and relative heights sorted out and you can replace the simple Sketch-Up pillars with realistic ones. This should make making the cables quite simple. Note however, that the terrain in Condor is a simplified version of the raw terrain data so you might have to make adjustments to your model to get it to fit (although the fit is usually quite good).

I built a cable car for Whistler ski resort in the VancouverBC scenerys but each cabin had to have its own height (specified in Wings; y value) above ground in order to get them following a reasonable curve that the cable would form. It took two days of very frustrating trial and error to get it looking right! This may have been easier if I had a cable span to give me a visual reference but such a huge object (km,s long) will have a significant impact on the playback (frames per second) of Condor V1.

In my opinion it is simply not worth the effort to get this right. The masts of electricity cables are simple but anything outside of a simple object placed firmly on the ground is a major and quite tricky task - not one I would suggest for someone new to 3D modelling!

GregHart1965
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby GregHart1965 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:45 am

Here are two examples. The first here is of simple pylons with no cables between them. This is easy to do.

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GregHart1965
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby GregHart1965 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:48 am

The second example here shows pylons with cables. I made the cables as part of the pylon (so only one object repeated - better for playback in Condor) but as you can see on the right the cables do not meet the pylons exactly. In order to get them to match one would have to make individual cables for each span (lots of large objects - not so good for playback in Condor)

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GregHart1965
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby GregHart1965 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:54 am

Here is the cable car I made for whistler mountain. Again there is no cable. Placing each one of the cars was a major task requiring making many many objects of the cars set at different heights above the ground - then lots of testing to see what looked right. Its still not perfect. Playback is really poor in this scene - too many trees, ski lifts and of course the cable car :-(

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RianMonnahan
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby RianMonnahan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:45 pm

Greg,

Many thanks for your reply.

It's never as easy, is it? I guess the problem is not so much the modeling as tricking LE into placing the objects where you want them.

I suspected as much when I fooled around with the parasail objects in West Switzerland. There is one for every altitude. They looked like they are variable altitudes because they are simply place at different places in the scenery and they show up at AGL + their Z value.... just like your cable cars.

Having just pylons or cable cars kind of defeats my original purpose -- have something difficult to see to run into. People don't usually hit pylons or cable cars. Aerial cable are another matter all together.

Again many thanks for you input and, by the way, the Whistler cable cars look really cool!

Rian

GregHart1965
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby GregHart1965 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:03 pm

Thanks Rian. Theonly reasonable way to achieve what you want is to build a sketch up model correctly geomatically placed on 3D terrain. Not too difficult. The snag is exporting and importing. The axes are named differently in the different software packages. You may have to import into Blender swopping axes then export 3ds for importing to Wings 3D.

This will give you a basic layout with minimal difficulty. Then replace the basic block placeholders you built in sketch up with the real thing. There will probably be a bit of fiddling to get it all to fit as the condor terrain will be slightly different.

Its perfectly possible to do this kind of thing, its just not easy to get right

GregHart1965
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby GregHart1965 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:35 pm

Ok Im going to have to retract that last statement that this is possible! It isnt reasonably possible - at least not as far as my experimentation with this went. There is massive difference in the scale between Wings units and Sketch-Up's. Even after scaling the sketch-up model down to 1:400 so that it would actually be able to be displayed by wings (it doesnt fit the camera view parameters otherwise) when I merge the wings model of my pylon it is tiny next to the place holders brought in from wings - whereas this should be the other way around as my placeholders in sketch-up were the same size as the pylons. Problem is you cant rescale the imported Sketch-Up 3ds once in wings as it simply disappears :shock: :? or produces an error.

If it's possible to figure out a direct scale equivalent between units diplayed by wings and that of sketch-up then maybe this task is possible. More experimentation would be needed to ascertain what the relationship is to get things looking the same size. Any error would mean the placement of the pylons on the scenery would be off (maybe scaling in LE could address this?).

Note that Im using a trial version of Sketch-Up which still has the 3ds export filters operational. One still has to spin the model around the principal axes a bit to get it showing the right way up in wings. Once the trial period expires this task will become more difficult. Probably requiring importing through Blender to get what you need out.

Basically its a hassle to attempt this - just placing pylons without connecting cables makes a lot more sense!! They are still useful in the training context.

tom eagles
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Re: Ground Objects

Postby tom eagles » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:48 am

Why not for example use flat rectangular object like a plane almost and then just add the cables on a transparent texture? similar to how the billboards work for the cloud textures
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