dgtfer wrote:There are so much more informations in photographic images! trees affected by the fire or a local disease, the traces of foresters' work or quarries exploitation, the different tones of ocher tans, the hedges in the bocage, the various colors of houses roofs, the swirls marked by alluvial deposits In the bays, the oyster farms in their basins, sand traces left in the snow by the last sirocco wind,...
All these elements attract our attention when we fly over a region, and that create the diversity of the landscape.
I'm afraid that purely automatic rendering is hopeless for that.
I wouldnt say hopeless, but "far out" or a lot of work.
OTOH, photographs are made from one specific angle, at one time of day, in one specific season. And at a relatively low resolution. Your fire damaged forest really is never going to look good if you fly next to it on a mountain slope. You will never properly simulate light and shading if your flying time of day (and thus, sun position) doesnt match the time the photo's where made, or your sun lit slope should be in the shadow and vice versa. And its very hard to mix photo's with 3D generated content. The photo already has the roads and rivers and city centers. If you are going to combine that with 3D geometry of the very same roads and buldings, its going to be a mess.
If you look at the video in the first post as an indication of what is doable today, arguably it already looks better than any flight sim Ive seen based on satellite images, certainly at low altitude. It may not be 100% real, but it looks coherent and beautiful. With a little work, like more variety in buildings, fields and pastures, some hand placed buildings for city centers, moving cars and trains,.. it could be breathtaking and Id much prefer missing out on oyster farms than seeing unavoidable pixel soup at close range and shadows that dont make any sense.