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Scenario Generator

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Wiki / Scenario Generator / Scenario Generator

Scenario Generator

How to generate a new scenario from a satellite image

Building a new scenario from a satellite image is a very satisfying job when finally overflying your own flying site in the simulator. It may seem a complex process, but a great effort has been done to make it user-friendly, and once the satellite image is obtained, the rest is easy.

A Scenario consists of a 3D grid over which the satellite image is laid.

3D grid from a scenario under construction

Brief Instructions to create a Scenario

Get the image and the reference coordinates as described in the next section and then go directly to build the scenario in the simulator.

Prepare the Satellite Image

Required data

You need:

  1. The satellite image
  2. Two coordinates
  3. Some elevation files (optional)

Size

The recommended size is about 8.000 x 8.000 pixels for an area of 5x5 Km to 15x15 km.

The image can be rectangular.

File Format

The image file format must be JPG.

Coordinates

The image must be oriented with the North up.

Choose two locations in the image (a house, tree, etc.) and write down their coordinates (latitude and longitude)

The locations should be far away from each other to improve the accuracy of the calculations.

Terrain Elevation

Download the Elevation Data files suggested in Step 4.

How to capture the image from Google Earth

To get the recommended 8.000 x 8.000 pixels image, you will need to capture several images and stitch them together

In Google Earth

Stitch the images together

Steps to create a Scenario

Once the image is ready, enter the Scenario Generation Tool from Main Men / Design / Scenario Generator

Follow this process to generate a new scenario from a satellite image:

  1. Select the image
  2. Georeference the image
  3. Choose the Model Initial Position
  4. Paint or Import the Terrain Elevation

Press the red cross at the bottom left of the screen to exit the tool. Any progress you may have made will be stored and recalled when the same image is selected.

Step 1: Select the Image

Step 1: Select the Image file

Select the image file

Push "Select Image" button to open a dialog where you can select the jpg file of the terrain you prepared.

Name for the new scenario

Write a name for the new scenario

Sun position

This value is the position in degrees where the Sun will appear. 0 for North, 90 for East.

Select a georeferencing method

The scenario generator needs to know the Scale and the Coordinates (latitude and longitude) of the image. This is called georeferencing an image. In order to supply this information, there are three options:

  1. Georeference with two points (recommended)
    • Use this method is you know two points of known coordinates (lat, long) on the image.
    • For better accuracy, the points should be as far from each other as possible.
  2. Georeference with one point and the image width
    • This method uses one point of known coordinates (lat-long) on an image with the North up, and the image width in metres.
  3. I only know the image width in metres
    • This method does not georeference the image, since latitude and longitude coordinates are not supplied. However, a scenario of a given size can be easily generated. The image width is the distance in metres between left and right sides of the image.
    • For the last two options, the image width needs to be supplied. The image width is the distance in metres between the left and right sides of the image.

Step 2: Georeference the image

Place the marks over the points which coordinates you already know, and enter their latitude and longitude. The points should be chosen to be as far away from each other as possible.

The Latitude format is:
First letter N or S, space, degrees, space, minutes, space, seconds with decimal point.
For example N 37 8 48.33

The Longitude format is:
First letter W or E, space, degrees, space, minutes, space, seconds with decimal point.
For example W 5 47 10.43

Move the image and the points with the mouse left button.

Zoom in and out with the mouse wheel, or using the "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys.

Step 2: Georeference the image

Step 3: Choose the Model Initial Position

Place three Model Initial Positions wherever you like on the scenario, indicating the heading for each position.

Zoom in and out with the mouse wheel, or using the "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys.

Move the image and the points with the left mouse button.

Step 3: Model initial position

Step 4: Add Terrain Elevation

Make mountains and valleys

The Terrain Elevation can be applied either by:

  1. Importing elevation data files (*.hgt)
    or
  2. Painting the elevation with the mouse.

Step 4: Import or Paint the Elevation Map

Recommended Option: Importing Elevation Data Files

You can apply the elevation from terrain elevation files with format .hgt

The .hgt elevation files can be freely downloaded from http://dds.cr.usgs.gov/srtm/version2_1/SRTM3

The elevation filenames required for your scenario are listed on the left side of the screen, for example, S24W048.hgt

Download and copy the .hgt files to the image folder, then click on the World Elevation Map button to apply the elevation data.

If the .hgt filename is displayed in red, it means that the file is missing.

Button to apply real elevation data to your scenario.

After applying the elevation, you can retouch the elevation by painting on top. For example, you can flatten the take off areas.

Second Option: Painting the elevation

Paint with the mouse on the top image, and watch the results in the 3D representation below.

The 3D can be rotated with the left mouse button, and zoomed with the right button.

Elevation Painting Controls on the left

Elevation Painting Controls on the right

Final Step: Generating the Scenario

Press the button "Generate Scenario", or enter the Expert Mode for more settings.

Ready to generate the scenario

Expert Model settings

The Expert Model allows to edit the settings related to the terrain mesh size and the downsizing of the textures.

The changes in the settings are reflected in a drawing with colours and lines on the right side of the screen.

The colours show the reduction in size of the textures:
1/1 size White
1/2 size Yellow
1/4 size Magenta
1/8 size Red

The lines represent the elevation grid density.

Expert Mode extra settings

Warnings
When the advanced settings are modified from the recommended values, there may appear Yellow or Red messages. A Yellow message means that the value is near its limits, and a Red message prevents the generation of the scenario. Contact us if you need to override these limits.

Tile Texture Size (pixels)
The image will be sliced in small tiles of this size.

Cells per Texture
Each texture is divided in a number of square cells, and the terrain elevation is applied to each cell vertex.

Compression Factor
This parameter reduces the total size (in Megabytes) of the 3D terrain model. The quality will be reduced on the edges of the image.

Recommended values
Push this button to reset to the recommended values

Generating the Scenario

The scenario generation can be aborted any time by pushing the button "Abort"

Once the new scenario is generated, the simulator will load it automatically.

Sharing the Scenario (Export / Import)

Export / Import from the simulator

You can Export and Import the scenario from the simulator, in the Load Scenario page.

Manual Export / Import

If you wish to copy the scenario files manually, these are the files to be copied:

Filename

Contents

MyClub.ive

this is the 3D model of the scenario

MyClub_ELV.tga

Elevation Map

MyClub_SCN.tga

Thumbnail image

MyClub_SCN.txt

Elements of the scenario

MyClub_NAV.txt

Predefined waypoints at the model initial positions

MyClub_FCL.txt

Description of the 3D model MyClub.ive

The Scenario files can be found in the folder
C:\Program Data\AeroSIM_RC
or
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Program Data\AeroSIM_RC in Windows Vista and XP

Troubleshooting

If an error occurs during the generation, check that there is enough free space in the hard disk. For instance, to process an image with 10.000 x 10.000 pixels, 250MB free disk space is required.

Please contact us if you need help with the Scenario Generator.