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Thread: Detailed Google Earth Image as Ground Texture (image slightly over 800x600)

  1. #1

    Default Detailed Google Earth Image as Ground Texture (image slightly over 800x600)

    Hello all,

    I've been using TransDEM to create the map for my prototypical route. Like many, I have Google Earth images that I would like to use to help me place items with some degree of accuracy. I was not, however, impressed with the way UTM tiles work in TS12. What I really wanted was a way to put a fairly decent representation of my Google Earth images directly on the terrain, and after quite a bit of experimentation I think have finally found a way to do so.

    The following cutout from my TS12 screen shows what I have been able to achieve. What you're seeing is 100% ground texture -- there are no UTM tiles or basemaps being used, the image is applied right on top of the DEM terrain. Also, please note that this only shows one small part of my route that I have cut out to use for these experiments.


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    For comparison, here is the original in TransDEM:


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    This is what it looks like in Surveyor, placing some highways at the south end. (Normally I don't place roads free-form like this. Instead I use the Simple Route Editor in TransDEM to trace them first; then emit object splines, such as fences, that accurately define those paths; then position the road by placing its spline points directly on top of the 'fence' spline points in Surveyor). Anyway, I really just wanted to show what it looks like when you are closer to the image, at a range where you can actually do some work.


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Without going into tremendous detail, I achieved this by using the 5m grid, the custom color mapping feature in TransDEM (thanks to geoPhil for explaining how that works, on the TransDEM forums), and a set of 140 custom textures (all solid colors) that I created to provide a richer palette for TransDEM to use in creating the terrain image.

    I don't claim that this is a perfect solution, and indeed my methods still need quite a bit more refinement; but I thought I might share my experiment with the group at this stage and see if it sparks any interest.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    Last edited by ModelerMJ; September 16th, 2011 at 10:13 PM.
    606026:
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  2. #2
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    Can u give that to me?


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackieG View Post
    Can u give that to me?
    With that kind of comment, I hope you never see it.

    ModelerMJ, that's really interesting, I could see it being very handy.

    Any opinions in this post do not reflect those of Jointed Rail

  4. #4
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    I didn't mean it like that. I meant that looks great can u please send me that. Sorry sim i so do respect you.


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  5. #5
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    Mike this is awesome.

    Would you mind doing a tutorial for us here? perhaps it can then be made into a sticky item so it doesn't get dropped into the forum ether.

    John
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    Mike this is awesome.

    Would you mind doing a tutorial for us here? perhaps it can then be made into a sticky item so it doesn't get dropped into the forum ether.

    John
    I'll second that call for a tutorial.

    Could be useful for many people.

    Matt.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackieG View Post
    I didn't mean it like that. I meant that looks great can u please send me that. Sorry sim i so do respect you.
    I mean it just came off really gimme-piggish especially considering some of your history. If that's not how you meant it then I guess it's all good. But maybe you should just pay more attention to whether your posts could be misinterpreted since it's hard to read emotion out of text.

    Any opinions in this post do not reflect those of Jointed Rail

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    I'll second that call for a tutorial.

    Could be useful for many people.

    Matt.


    I third the call for a tutorial that would be excellent


    I tried and tried and tried to grasp the color mapping thing but just never had any luck, if you can explain that in a tutorial I'm sure the rest of us can make your own pallets.

  9. #9
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    a tutorial would be brillant
    what i've been doing is have goolge earth running in the back ground
    and swtching between goolge and surveyor to pin point geographical locations
    good to see someone can take it further

    cheers,
    patchy
    Last edited by patchy; September 17th, 2011 at 06:47 AM. Reason: too many jacks


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    Off Topic: Sorry i will try better. I just want people to respect me and my work better. Thanks sim.
    On Topic: I fourth the totorial. It is a great idea.


    i7 4790k 16GB Ram GTX 960 Asus Motherboard

  11. #11

    Default

    Thank you for the positive responses.

    I don't mind writing something up, but it will be a few days before I can get to it as I am on my way out of town on business... sorry.

    I also have no problem uploading my palette and the associated TransDEM custom mapping file to the DLS. Fair warning, though: I created my textures using the same file combination/formats as the original TransDEM textures, so my files exhibit all the same warnings. Obviously they work just fine, so if no gets hung up on the fact that they are not 100% error-free then all will be well. On the other hand, I would be very happy if one of you experienced content creators cleaned them up and re-issued them -- or maybe someone can teach me how to clean them up before release?

    Last but not least, this technique will only work in TS2010 and TS12, as it requires you to use the 5m grid option... which as far as I know is only available in those versions.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    606026:
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  12. #12
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    Not to be pushy but 09 has 5m grid.


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  13. #13
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    I would also love a tutorial!! I could never figure out the color mapping as well. I would love to be able to do that!!

    Awesome!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ModelerMJ View Post
    Thank you for the positive responses.

    I don't mind writing something up, but it will be a few days before I can get to it as I am on my way out of town on business... sorry.

    I also have no problem uploading my palette and the associated TransDEM custom mapping file to the DLS. Fair warning, though: I created my textures using the same file combination/formats as the original TransDEM textures, so my files exhibit all the same warnings. Obviously they work just fine, so if no gets hung up on the fact that they are not 100% error-free then all will be well. On the other hand, I would be very happy if one of you experienced content creators cleaned them up and re-issued them -- or maybe someone can teach me how to clean them up before release?

    Last but not least, this technique will only work in TS2010 and TS12, as it requires you to use the 5m grid option... which as far as I know is only available in those versions.

    Regards,
    -Mike

  14. #14

    Default Quick Update

    I have completed revising the entire palette of 140 textures so they are all now warning-free in TS12. I gave them a Trainz-Build of 2.9, which I believe goes with TS2009, the earliest version that supports the 5m grid (I stand corrected from my earlier post; thank you JackieG). Testing in TS12 with the revised texture set gives the same results shown at the start of this thread.

    I'll now start my write-up. Thanks for everyone's kind comments so far.

    Regards,
    -Mike
    606026:
    T:ANE SP2 Build 88364, TS12 SP1 HF4 Build 61388 / Win7HP SP1 64 bit / i5-2400 3.1GHz, 16GB, NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

  15. #15
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    hi mike

    that will be a fantastic help to people like me

    thanks
    ron
    Trainz 2010 build 44088
    Trainz 2006 build 3335


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