As of the time being, the Condor Scenery Toolkit for adding and manipulating sceneries in Condor: The Competition Soaring Simulator is still in the development and will be released as soon as possible.
However that does not mean that those who plan to work on their scenery projects cannot start their work. You can start with the 3d objects which will populate the scenery...
Tools which can help you (we use them) with the development are as follows:
- 3D modeling applications:
- Blender - http://www.blender3d.org
- Wings 3D - http://www.wings3d.com
Image manipulation applications for textures, etc.:
- Artweaver - http://www.artweaver.de
- GIMP - http://www.gimp.org
Terrain mesh applications:
- LandSerf - http://www.landserf.org
- 3DEM - http://www.visualizationsoftware.com/3dem.html
Guidelines for creating 3d scenery objects are as follows:
- Try to keep faces count as low as possible. If there are very complex objects needed, you will need to create different LODs (Level of Detail). LOD1 with full faces count then LOD2 with as minimal as possible faces count. Aim is to not exceed 500 faces per object.
- Use only one texture per object or even better, use one texture for more objects. Keep in mind that this is a flight simulation and most of the times, you are not close enough to the objects to see any real details except its main shape. Texture size should be also kept to as minimum as possible. Max should be 512x512.
- You can use 1bit alpha channel in textures to avoid extra faces (ie: fences, you can have only a quad with alpha texture which defines the detail of the fence).
- It is recommended to use NASA SRTM digital elevation data with 90 m resolution, which is accessible for the entire globe at: http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/cbanddataproducts.html.
- For practical reasons, the size limit of terrain is 512x512km. However larger terrains could also be used. Normal terrain size is 320x256km.
When working with terrain mesh, keep in mind that the size must be dividable by 64.
- You can also create fantasy terrain with various programs (terrain generators or image drawing applications). The format of the terrain must be in 16bit raw file format (signed integer).
- When you are creating textures for your terrain, texture resolution must be around 10 meters per pixel (+/-50%).
- Such prepared terrain will be set for the upcoming Condor Scenery Toolkit.
Last but not least, this forum is dedicated to discussion about scenery creation for Condor: The Competition Soaring Simulator.