Flight Unlimited III high resolution terrain processing workshop

noncommercial FU3 support page - just to keep FU3 flying !

Overview of terrain map generation

FU2 and FU3 makes use of real, 4-meter per pixel photographic imagery draped over digital terrain elevation data to create as realistic as possible a simulation of flying over. FU2 covers the San Francisco and FU3 covers the Seattle metropolitan area.
After Looking Glass closing doors free developer have build new flyable models, even ships and scenery model and enhancement for the outer region areas - but never new high resolution regions.
Until now most project has been frozen at the point of decoding the compressed terrain map files .cpd This details of map processing are not revealed in the white papers of Looking Glass and the mentioned mapping program was never published.

Target of this workshop is pushing realization of new high-resolution areas for FU3 and FU2.

Sergey Ostrozhinsky and André Meystre have worked out the first steps needed for the high-resolution Terrain creation. This pages will describe how to code/decode high-resolution terrain maps for FU3/FU2 and also provide utilities and tools for the map generation. Both programs uses different methods for the encoding and color allocation and we are both not totally happy with our current results. The basic encoding/decoding is no longer a problem, but the palletizing of the colors is not at the final quality and need refinements. You are kindly invited to participate in the workout of this improvements.


First experimental high resolution Switzerland region at www.avsim.com

use this link:FU3 Library at AVSIM.COM

There was a lot to do ( and still is... ) for high resolution creation, repainting, adjustments and a whole bunch of other tasks before a region is born - but it is. The region is in experimental mode, unfinished and actually there is no elevation model that means the terrain is totally flat.

There is a simplified navigation map and 5 simple unfinished airports.

There are 4 set in the avsim.com library

1. Switzerland region primary set SwissRegion.zip 9.2MB

2. High resolution part Geneva GenevaHiRes.zip 7.32MB

3 High resolution part Basle 1 Basle01HiRes.zip 4.43MB

4. High resolution part Basle 2 Basle02HiRes.zip 11.4MB

This set is prepared for a German version of FU3 and if you have an English version you must change a folder name inside the region or FU3 will crash or hang after selection of the Switzerland region.

For the english version, change the name of the subfolder in the
\Regions\switzerland\ folder
from GERPILE to ENGPILE.

compare with the names in your Seattle region.

If you get the insert CD message during flight - then check in the region.cfg the configuration file for Switzerland the entry

reg_cd_path must point to your_installation_path\cdrom\switzerland\maps

your installation path can be C:\flight3\... or D:\programs\fu3\...

Inside of this folder is the file resreg.res containing the navigation map and VOR map and more but also the text of the region and in this case the text is in German ! You can replace the text of internal file1 and the last internal file of resreg.res using Gideon's famous ResourceViever and taking the text part from Seattle. You may change the text in the last file from "Seattle" into "Swisscontrol".

Helpers from the avsim forum are now refining the airports and other parts of this region. My job is now to generate the elevation for an update zip to the current region.

All the changes in the Switzerland region will be in upgrade zips of smaller size.

August 2001

Updated GenQuadrant v1.32. from 10.June 2001 with usable results
New Toolbar with more buttons. Depending on user selectable options maps without the black and white dots are feasible. New buttons for a one step loading / saving of all generated maps and for each generation step and new options for palette-selection during the process.

Next step is now the terrain elevation using GTOPO30 or DTED Level 0 Data.

Starting with the analysis of the Geotiles.tag file of FU3 (32MB). GeoTilesViewer.exe is a tool to view and modify Geotiles.tag internal parts. Released soon - see special section of this workshop.

September 2001
GeoTilesViewer.exe Version 1.2 View and update classification of single megatiles. A classification map for Basel, Switzerland is in the GeoTilesViewer-zip.

December 2001
GeoTilesViewer.exe Version 1.3 for larger regions going from aaaa to axax. Switzerland region was not usable with GeoTilesViewer vers.1.2.

January 2002
GeoTilesViewer.exe Version 2.0 With terrain elevation import/export, add/delete megatiles, Airport flatening. Documentation of the GeoTiles.tag structures.

January 2002
GenQuadrant.exe Version 2.0 With generation of uncompressed full resolution map files level 0 to 4.

June 2002
GeoTilesViewer.exe Version 2.2 New terrain elevation concept using 6 x 5 megatiles and tga elevation files.

November 2002
Level57Maker v1.3 New terrain generation tool for the levels 5, 6 and 7.

FLED Book Mark Manager v1.0 FLED book mark editor / converter to POI

May 2004
GeoTilesViewer.exe Version 3.1 With terrain elevation import/export, add/delete megatiles, Airport flatening. Documentation of the GeoTiles.tag structures.new elevation resolution

July 2004
Moving Ground Object Viewer v1.2 Editor for Moving Ground Objects

Jan. 2005
Managing behavior of AI Planes Set the AI plane parameters directly using AIModelViewer

Sep. 2005
BGL2E V1.8 static models converter from MSFS BGL format to FU3 E format

December 2009
OT creation Outer Terrain Viewer tutorial on how to create new outer terrain

NEW
March 2008 / July 2010
ResViewer 2.x / 3.0 Development continuation of Gideon's ResViewer

over Geneva
    over Geneva
over Basle part 1
    over Basle part 1
over Basle part 2
    over Basle part 2
near Martigny
    near Martigny
Lake Barberine
    Lake Barberine


FU3 terrain processing workshop

The Switzerland region project Parts of Switzerland as replacement of the Seattle region
FU3 high-res files Organization of the FU3 high-res files
The Targa file format How to create your own targa maps
The Superpalette The Superpalette for the color during the flight
Color matching basics The color rules of the high resolution levels 3, 2, 1 and 0
Compression and cpd file format The tricky bit settings of the cpd format
Sergey's Utilities Sergey's Utilities for decoding/encoding/shuffling ...
P51D Mustang Planes for the Switzerland region - P51D Swiss repaint
may 2002 André's tool Genquadrant 2.1 André's visual tool GenQuadrant, create targa and cpd files and as color analyser
Jan.2002 Geotiles Terrain elevation and classification
Jan.2002 GeoTilesViewer tool Using the GeoTilesViewer tool
feb.2002 fixing Airports fixing the Coupeville Nolf ground problem
feb.2002 making of high res region The making of high resolution region for Flight Unlimited III
sep.2002 making level 5, 6 and 7 The generation of the levels 5 to 7 from level 4 using Level57Maker
nov.2003 FLED Book Mark Manager FLED book mark editor / converter to POI
jul.2004 Moving Ground Object Viewer/Editor Viewing and Editing Moving Objects for FLED
may 2004 GeoTilesViewer V3.1 How to use srtm-1 high resolution elevation data for FU3
feb.2003 GeoTilesViewer V3.1 Terrain height modification using gmax®
Jan.2005 AIModelViewer 3.0 Managing behavior of AI Planes
Sep.2005 BGL2E V1.8 convert static models from MSFS BGL format to FU3 E format
Dec.2008 Night lights on models Demonstrate the use of callback codes @v00
Mar.2008 ResViewer V2.x Development continuation of Gideon's ResViewer
Jul.2010 ResViewer V3.x All air physic entries now as form (more than 30)
Aug.2010 moving parts on models Demonstrate the use of windsock objects
Dec.2010 Editing MODELS.RES Setting the definition / selection of AI planes

Information: André Meystre
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