Preliminary Texture Standard Paper proposal

The aim of this proposal is to give us ESP members a base to discuss future ESP scenery and texture defnitions and standards. By no means this document is to be understood as an offcial statement. I just have wrote down the things i thought about in the last few weeks. As held disputes over future organisation of XP scenery & textures have shown, there is an agreement that we should defne classes, sets of textures.

The proposal thus is organised like this:

 

1.) Strategy of texture standard defnition

2.) Categorisation of landscape features & civilisation objects

3.) Defnition of 20 texture types that contain all important geometrical and visual information needed

to build high quality scenery.

4.) Naming conventions

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1.) Strategy

- We should try to defne all textures that can possibly be used and placed in Worldmaker, now and in future

versions.

- Then we should categorise those defnitions into logical sets

- Each set represents a virtual stage of scenery developpement

- For present XP versions, we are limited to 20 textures, but we are not limited to 20 textures from a given set.

It’s up to the designer to choose what textures from which set he wants to use.

- By doing the defnition, categorisation and organisation into subsets we ensure that everywhere in ESP scenery

a forest corner is a forest corner, no matter how the forest looks.

- By organising things into subsets we make textures more clear and consistent.

- We can hope that Xp will handle more than 20 textures in future versions, but we cannot rely on austin

changing any code toft our needs. So let’s pretend all we get will be more VRAm and thus

more textures that can be used in XP scenery, but in the exact same way as we get it now.

 

 

 

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2.) Categorisation

It is not the idea to defne how textures look, but what function they have in XP scenery. So thefrst proposal to texture defnitions goes lie this:

We defne the following subsets of 20 texture defnitions each:

- Basic set

- Advanced set

- Localisation stuff

- Special objects

I have thought about how to define categories without narrowing their content more than nescessary. The above list represents what i cam up with. A word of explanation:

If youtry to describe an uncivilised, plain and archaic landscape - what features do you see ? Those belong to the basic set. We need them to only create perfect scenery without adding any man made stuff. Using 20 textures from this set gives pretty good looking, unpopulated XP scenery. That's the basics of scenery.

Now, think about what features we need to depict simple man made objects/landmarks, accurately enough to be recognised in VFR flight. That's what goes into the advanced set. I came up with roads, cities, villages etc. Current limitations force the designer to choose between perfect looking, unpopulated scenery or less perfect landscape in exchange for man made features. Once XP lets us use more textures this limitation will be inesxistent, and we then can use e.g two full sets.

Let's think further... what if you need to show special local features? Let's define them in the third set, the localisation set. Textures in this set should still be repeatedly useable in the scenery. E.g. you may want to show a well known creek in your area. The creek texture can be used several times in the same scenery. In contrary, the Niagara falls cannot be placed repeatedly, because they are not general in appearance. Any other (unknown) waterfall may be member of the localisation set, but not objects that can't be placed repetedly without being silly.

For those texture that are placed just once, we define the last set, the "Special objects" set. This set contains all textures that show a well know object, just like the Niagara falls in the above example. Other textures in this category may be special places, bridges, airport pictures etc.

I propose we are not limited by the number 20 for textures per set. If we see that a good set definition needs to hold 26 textures (or any other number), we define the set that way. But i think it would be a good idea to keep sets not much bigger than 20 textures, if reasonably possible, because of the current limitation of XP.

Remeber, this is a proposal. Feel free to comment each and any line. I expect this proposal to change havily before we declare it "official".

 

Here comes now what i think is a good basic set:

 

 

 

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BASIC SET

Def.: contains texture defnitions required to texture archaic, uncivilised landscapes.

Useage: use textures from this set to model the basic appearance of uncivilised scenery. By using all 20 textures from this set you will be able to create perfectly smooth areas with no man made structures.

If you want to add e.g. roads, you currently need to dump some of this sets textures in favour of road textures from the advanced set.

Types:

- Grass

- Water

- Mountain

- Forest

- Snow

Subtypes:

- Transitions of the basic textures into each other.

1 Grs_Mnt_h ?Blend of Grass into Mountain, Horizontal, 50%/50%

2 Grs_Mnt_c ?Corner Blend of Grass into Mountain, 25% mountain in lower right corner (LRC) 75%/25%

3 Mnt_Grs_c ?Blend of Mountain into Grass, 25% Grass in LRC, 75%/25%

4 Grs_For_h ?Blend of Grass into Forest, Horizontal, 50%/50%

5 Grs_For_c ?Corner Blend of Grass into Forest, 25% forest in lower right corner (LRC) 75%/25%

6 For_Grs_c ?Blend of Forest into Grass, 25% Grass in LRC, 75%/25%

7 Mnt_For_h ?Blend of Mountain into Forest, Horizontal, 50%/50%

8 Mnt_For_c ?Corner Blend of Mountain into Forest, 25% forest in lower right corner (LRC) 75%/25%

9 For_Mnt_c ?Blend of Forest into Mountain, 25% Mountain in LRC, 75%/25%

10 Mnt_Snow_h ?Blend of Snow into Mountain, Horizontal, 50%/50%

11 Mnt_Snow_c ?Corner Blend of Snow into Mountain, 25% snow in lower right corner (LRC) 75%/25%

12 Snow_Mnt_c ?Blend of Mountain into Snow, 25% mountain in LRC, 75%/25%

13 Snow_For_h ?Blend of Snow into Forest, Horizontal, 50%/50%

14 Snow_For_c ?Corner Blend of Snow into Forest, 25% forest in lower right corner (LRC) 75%/25%

15 For_Snow_c ?Blend of Forest into Snow, 25% snow in LRC, 75%/25%

16 grass

17 mountain

18 forest

19 snow

20 water

 

Explanation: With the current limits of XP to use 20 custom textures you have two choices: use all of the above 20 custom textures to create smooth blending scenery without civilisation landmarks, or use only a subset of the above definitions, and add other textures (e.g. from the advanced set). When XP let us use more than 20 textures, you might want to use all of the basic textures plus some of the other sets...

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ADVANCED SET

Def.: ?contains texture defnitions required to add basic civilisation
landmarks/features and objects.

Useage: ?use textures from this set to add stuff you will see in civilised areas. Things like

cities, roads, harbours etc.

 

Types:

?- Road

?- Village

?- City

?- Harbour

?- Railway

Subtypes: - Transitions of the object textures into basic scenery textures (grass, mountain etc.)

I will not propose any of them right now, because we need to discuss the strategy and the basic set first. The basic set and the definitions in there are here to give you an idea of what i'm talking when i say "subset".

 

 

 

 

 

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LOCALISATION SET

Def.: contains texture defnitions required to add special local scenery. The textures need to be repeatedly useable in the scenery, otherwise they belong to the

next set: special objects.

Useage: use textures from this set to add localisation textures. This are textures showing specific features not used in other areas of the world, but are repeatedly useable in the scenery. So a creek may be one of those textures (repeatedly useable), but not the niagara falls (they exists only in one place).

 

Types:

?- Water objects (creeks, springs, shores, beaches etc.)

?- Grass objects (fields, farms etc.)

?- Mountain objects (Glaciers etc.)

?- Village/City objects

?- Snow objects

?- Forest objects

Subtypes: - Transitions of the object textures into basic scenery textures (grass, mountain etc.)

 

 

 

 

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SPECIAL OBJECTS SET

Def.: contains texture defnitions required to add unique objects.

Useage: use textures from this set to add unique objects like the Liberty state, your own house, the Niagara Falls etc.

 

Types:

- Single object on background texture ??object touches no texture border.

- Horizontal 50% Land Object???50% covered by object, 50% by Land BG texture, horizontal

- Corner Land Object 75%???75% covered by object, 25% in LRC by Land BG texture

- Corner Land Object 25%???25% covered by object, 25% in LRC, rest is Land BG texture

- Horizontal 50% Water Object???50% covered by object, 50% by Water BG texture, horizontal

- Corner Water Object 75%???75% covered by object, 25% in LRC by water BG texture

- Corner Water Object 25%???25% covered by object, 25% in LRC, rest is water BG texture

...

 

 

 

 

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Final comments

That's it. This is the end of my first proposal for the upcoming texture set definitions. A last word on the texture definitions: think of them as the "rules" like Billy and Thad are talking about. Each texture should have sort of a rule that describes the useage of this texture, no matter how the texture actually looks. So a corner shall always be a corner, a forest always shall represent *any* forest. The textures, especially in the advanced and local sets should be very generic in description.

Go ahead and think of your own texture definitions for the sets, and about categories too. Ask yourself the question, "what features do i need to build certain categories of scenery", and "what category might be usefull". My approach was to go from bottom to top: first define the textures for plain scenery, then for a bit more advanced scenery, and further this way...

I am very happy to read your comments and thoughts. As the discussion will proceed and produce new insights, i'm going to change this proposal so it always reflects the current state of agreement.

Thanks for reading.

Roland