Dubai Update?

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TO/GA
Posts: 1

Dubai Update?

Post by TO/GA » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:35 am

Hi,

I was flying around DXB this morning, and I realized how out of date the product was, and I was wondering if there are any plans to update the airport/city?

For example, the TDZ for Runway 12R is more-a-less in line with the control tower, I would have taken pictures on saturday (while I was departing) but it was 03:15.

Cheers,
Sam
Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:04 pm

Dream on! :D There are many airports to make without retracing footsteps to do old ones! If you think about it, just from Martin's portfolio, LOWW is getting a significant new terminal wing, Miami has changed a great deal, Seattle even has a new runway! Maybe Midway and San Diego haven't changed that much but most airports are changing constantly.

The question is really "what would you pay for an update?".

I'm presently working with someone who's making Abu Dhabi, but he's sticking with the old and interim terminals even though there's virtually a new airport being built north of the main runway. Trouble is, everybody has to stop somewhere, and if the airport is changing rapidly it'd be a bit much to expect someone to keep going back and making lots of modifications for free, when they're trying to make a living from creating new airports.

I think sometimes we need to remind ourselves that some people are trying to make a living from creating scenery (and I'm beginning to realize just how many tricks I don't know) it is very difficult to keep going back and taking up valuable time making something for free when its only the next new product that will feed them.

Even my friend is considering just making AUH payware simply because it is taking over all his free time and feels like a day-job. And yes, he has a long way to go, he knows ... he said today "making UAE airports is crazy, none of them will look the same in 5 year's time". I've recently made some changes to Dubai city, and while I was researching the buildings I read that the UAE is home to 25% of the world's crane population - and I don't mean the birds either.

Image
Chris
Posts: 3

Post by Chris » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:20 pm

Hello

I´m looking so long for a good OMAA Scenery. Can you tell something about this Project?

Chris
Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:05 am

Sure. It is being developed by Matthew Ministry for about the past month, on and off. Presently it is the torus terminal and satellites, the curved terminal and lighting poles all around the airport - everything in Gmax - which is why I thought I'd play around with Sheikh Zayed Road, so I could perhaps assist on the simpler buildings after a bit of practice. I've known "Matthew" (not his real name, he likes staying private) for nearly 10 years and he's made a few light sceneries in that time, but this is his first major try at Gmax (he made some domes at Sharjah in Gmax but that was all).

He told me that the gates won't be animated, mainly because at the satellites each gate is differently configured and so there are 11 different models for the jetways there. He's hoping to use Arno Gerretsen's docking system though, if we can figure it all out. That'll require 11 models too, but Arno automates that process. Its one of my jobs to be figuring that part out.

The work will extend to making the new interim terminal (easier to do), plus the terminal 2 that is out beyond the cargo center (the terminal has circular turrets with what looks like a fence around the top of each). Also the Gamco hangar and the aircraft shelters nearby, the Royal and VIP area, plus better landclassing (the channels and islands are pathetic in FS9, but very distinctive in real life - so I'll also have that job (joy of joys)).

The building work north of the runway isn't even going to be attempted. The scenery is built for FS9 and might work in FSX - but since we both use FS9 it won't be tested that way. What MM plans to do is pass the project onto a young man he knows who's suffering from some cancer and is housebound, with the possibility that this guy will be able to make something that he can sell down the line - maybe feel as though he's making something of life. MM started it exactly with that purpose in mind, to give the young guy some focus and the chance to make it good at something. Whether it'll work for this particular airport - well, who knows?

MM's not a fan of payware, although I know he has Dubai and St Maarten, so his version would be for free and maybe this other guy's continuation would possibly be to make money. Depends on how the quality stacks up.

The bugbear right now is photorealistic ground - he really wants to do that, but neither of us can make the time to get that done. If you or anybody else knows someone that could deliver a bunch of BMPs and BGLs that photomap ground for about 4 miles around the airport, let me know and I'll pass it on to MM when he phones (he's not on email - which is a pain). He might have to shift the airport slightly to align with the phototerrain, but that's no big deal.

If the terrain stuff doesn't come up I guess he'll approximate the ground texturing and maybe make some shrubs (I know he plans to use Gerrish's trees for the palms near the executive sub-terminal (the dome SE of the main curve)). I think he's moving on to the interim terminal this weekend and also looking at the ground markings after that (you'll notice a lack of ramp markings in the image). He's also happy to use default buildings for some of the landside detail and buildings that are not next to aircraft manoeuvering areas.

He's also troubled by the lack of decent photography of the airport. He visited AUH in January but can't exactly wander around airside to get face-on images of the buildings, so he's in contact with a local guy who might be able to help, but things take time to organize out there, as MM said he was discovering (I think he's buying an apartment). He did the same with Mumbai, got a local guy to pass images to him.

After that we have night texturing to do, but he's only going to release the models to me for that purpose when he's made the lightmaps (I'm not so good at Photoshopping). It might be 2 months or more, he normally makes progress when he's flying long-haul (stretches out with a laptop, apparently) but right now he's stuck at home (in Italy) and things move more slowly because his business dealings intrude a lot.

The only downside I see so far is that he modelled so many things in detail (the lighting poles are very detailed, and the jetways likewise) that the frames dip a little - good job the airport is fairly quiet. He's absorbing my advice about putting LODs onto the jetways and poles (who can see an orange rotating beacon at 10 miles?) and might just do it with visibiity distance like he did with Riga. What he doesn't want is a sudden pause on short final as all the details start to pop up.

When he made sceneries using EOD I guess it was easier to make a gantry from a box with latticework done using transparency in bitmaps, but its like Gmax has given him an excuse to render every single pole! I know he's trying to fight the temptation, but I think he wants to go too far, then back up a little.

Since he's not made anything for maybe the past couple of years I was glad to hear he was still involved. I think it was this young cancer sufferer that started the ball rolling again.
Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:02 pm

Here it is in my setup right now.

Image

MM is not keen on what he describes as "cartoon textures", he thinks everything should look a bit less synthetic (trouble is that the real airport looks synthetic in parts). The interim terminal is "blocked in" using default structures at the moment. He does this to get a sense of scaling rather than making a simple Gmax structure. Putting in ramp markings and roads might moderate the cartoon effect, I guess. The base layer of the curved terminal uses more realistic textures (he also cut all the doors and windows in it).

Image

This is the "masjid" - the in-terminal mosque, and an overview of the terminal so far. The dome isn't textured, its just the material color. Low-poly satellite dish at bottom right! He also wants the roofs to be cluttered and dirty. Their textures are too synthetic right now.

Image

View looking northwest across the terminal area. The cargo ramp behind the viewer is not even started yet. The blast fence moire pattern is not on the actual texture, that's just how it renders for now (even with anti-aliasing on). All buildings beyond the starfish terminal are apparently default buildings created by SceneGenX - the nearest hangar is actually silvery, although the browns are kinda appropriate elsewhere. What's cool is the reflective windows (well, they reflect the sun, but not other buildings!). He decided to do that because of all the curves, which gave sun reflections some kind of purpose.

Image

Here's a picture MM took someplace (I think Cairo) that he sent me to show the extreme clutter. I looked at AUH in Google maps and the roof there isn't half as bad! I guess there's no nearby hi-rise where people can throw their garbage from. :D
Chris
Posts: 3

Post by Chris » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:13 am

Hallo
:P :shock: wow!
It looks very, very good at the moment.
Will it be payware or freeware, I´m not sure in your text.
Can you say something about the release

Chris
Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:10 am

ROFL! I wouldn't even dream of advertising someone else's payware here at the home of Quality Payware!

I talked with MM on the phone yesterday evening (he's not too happy that word came out, but what's done is done). The version he's putting out will be free, but it'll only be the old airport and not the new stuff going up north of the main runway. He's leaving that for someone else to pick up - he's giving the sources to the young person I mentioned above, and then hoping that it might give that person something positive to focus on, and maybe even make some money from if he can make a good enough job of it. Apparently that will depend on whether the young man survives at all (myeloma cancer, if I spelled that correctly).

So, cutting to the chase, it is freeware, but won't come out until the ground textures issue is resolved, there are about another 2 dozen Gmax buildings looking airside (fire station and the cargo apron's little tower etc). Also some better images are really needed (look at the sloping texture on the jetbridge rotunda - that sort of issue needs to be fixed with a decent sideways-on picture to work from - its fuzzy and misaligned). Some of this depends on other people (such as the person in AUH who might or might not take pictures for him). To make progress he decided to map onto substandard textures to begin with and instantly improve the scenery by pasting better source images into the texture map later on. The problem is getting good images to work from, and maybe also to use directly for texturing.

He said last night that adding Gerrish trees hasn't helped, so he's looking at LODs for lightpoles and jetbridges, and avoiding the temptation to further smooth out the terminals as much as he would like. There are a lot of trees south of the airport that aren't in FS9 and they're a visual feature on the approach, so he wants them (in a separate BGL in case people really can't work with the trees there).

He still calls it a "light scenery" - because I guess there are so many very detailed ones out there these days. He said "As usual, I'll stop when its good enough but well before its great!".

I thought he might be able to do the pictures himself if he's getting an apartment there, but I was told that the apartment is up on Palm Jumeirah, which still looks like a building site to me.

Anyway, I have some landclassing to catch up on ...
springbok
Posts: 6

Post by springbok » Thu May 15, 2008 9:03 am

Hi There
I work at AUH and can provide charts and photos as required. If interested please let me know
Cheers
Springbok
Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Sun May 18, 2008 1:52 pm

springbok wrote:Hi There
I work at AUH and can provide charts and photos as required. If interested please let me know
That would be really useful! Thanks!

MM has a chart from IVAO that covers the airport but it isn't the most current one (although it has the parking at the interim terminal).

I think the images he's missing most are for Abu Dhabi Aviation's offices, the interim terminal and also the Amiri Flight area (alhough he's modelled that from other images he had, he has no details of the airside entrance). Most other buildings he has passable renderings of.

Since I'm a go-between it might be interesting getting these to him (he's not online). You might need to post the stuff onto an image website so he can get at the pix from a public access point (his usual method) - then I could let him know where to point the browser.

Let me know how you'd like to play it. He's currently working on the approach lighting, which is different at each end of the runway 13/31. Typical!
Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Mon May 19, 2008 4:28 am

Hi, Springbok. I called MM last night and he's thrilled that someone has come forward. He had asked a photographer in AUH directly but got no response, so he was about to give up and try to make the best of the poor images he had.

He's also struggling with the lights (at a distance they're too bright and close-in they're too faint). I believe the PAPIs are also problem, apparently there's some technical coding involved (??) and something about "separation planes" (???). Arno Gerretsen (FSDeveloper.com) has a nice program that autogenerates Gate Docking systems, and MM is wishing that he could also make one for PAPIs - plug in the figures and generate the lights you need. The charts he has, aren't specific enough about some of the lighting either, so if you have info on the PAPIs (whether they're 3-element or 4-element), whether there's touchdown zone lighting on 13 (the end that isn't CAT-II) and also whether the runway signage is in fact white (he seems to remember the taxiway signs off the runway being white - which I thought was non-standard) that would also be useful. Otherwise he's probably going to make them all yellow-black. He wanted to make this a light scenery but I think he's putting a whole lot into it, from the sound of things.

He's also set up some helicopter AI traffic, so if there are any pictures of Abu Dhabi's helo population, they might also come in useful. He knows the Abu Dhabi police use similar Bell 412s, but isn't sure whether they're based out of Bateen or AUH - and if so, where they park at AUH/ADIA.

I hope all these images aren't too much of a problem. I guess the helos are optional. MM asked specifically that you don't go out of your way to get every little detail, because his scenery isn't going to come close to the professional ones out there, so the effort needs to be in proportion, he's basically "placing buildings", as he told me last night.

He's still got all the night-lighting to do (plus these annoying PAPIs and strobes, plus some effects), so its some way off yet.
Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Mon May 19, 2008 1:43 pm

Springbok - if you're interested, there are more screenies out up by a pal of mine in these threads over on the AIG forum. Some are clickable thumbnails. He has a later version of it, with ground textures.

http://www.alpha-india.net/forums/index ... pic=1310.0
http://www.alpha-india.net/forums/index ... pic=1176.0
springbok
Posts: 6

Post by springbok » Tue May 20, 2008 2:58 am

Hi ThereI took some photos last night whilst at work. Will take more as required.
Security don't allow cameras onto the airport so they have to be with my phone camera . I will also scan the charts which give the latest taxiway designation and stand numbering.
I can E-Mail them to you if you wish?
Let me know
Regards
Springbok
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Mage
Posts: 115

Post by Mage » Tue May 20, 2008 8:40 am

If the images are camera phone, it might be best if they were of 2 sorts, an overall image to show the layout of the features on the bulding, then smaller ones showing the detail of the windows and walls (as straight-on as possible). The first picture can be used as a guide for when MM puts together a composite (or tiles the images onto the Gmax building), and the others would help make the thing look properly detailed.

As I said before, its not like this is going to be a mass of fine details, and in some cases (for example, the actual lighting structures used for the approach lights) it'll be based on similar structures elsewhere in the world. Since very few flightsimmers have been to AUH, and even fewer recall every tiny detail, it'll be broad brushstrokes for most of it.

He's somewhat irritated by the photo textures, his company just bought some imagery at some expense and it isn't any more detailed than what comes straight off the web (although at least its legal).

The layout of the airport that you showed in your post looks like the low-zoom Google Maps version. Its also about as far out as his photo background is going to extend, for performance reasons.

My inbox has a size restriction, so I'll have to see if I can get somone else to receive the images and charts. MM doesn't use email, which is why he was hoping to grab the stuff from some 3rd party location.
springbok
Posts: 6

Post by springbok » Tue May 20, 2008 11:30 am

Hi
No worries. I have opened a flickr account and uploaded some photos. They are mainly night shots however will get some day ones when next at work. BTW the photo above is quite a lot bigger. I reduced it!.
Any chance of an E-Mail address so I can give you details.
Regards
Springbok
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