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Creating scenery for Micro Flight
Scenery Tutotial Main page   Tile based scenery
  Photorealistic scenery   USGS scenery

Micro Flight supports three types of scenery:

  • Tile based scenerey, with automatic texture generation.
  • Photorealistic scenery, with single object and texture definition file.
  • USGS imported scenery with tile based object files.

The tile based scenery is the most common scenery type in Micro Flight, it is defined by a large bitmap which holds the DEM ( Digital Elevation Model ) , and another which holds the objects information.

The texture for this type of scenery is generated by interpolating between textures which are associated with elevation and producing a smooth blending between them.

The benefit of this type of scenery is that it can use very few textures to produce a seamless photorealistic view which is related to the elevation data, an example can be seen in this image:

The photorealistic scenery is based upon a large aerial photo, the textures are extracted directly from this photograph, the elevations are taken from an ascii text file and the objects can be built using a single data file.

The benfit of this type of scenery is that it can reproduce a small well defined area with a good accuracy, the disadvantage is that the texture is big and take a lot of memory and disk space.

This type of scenery typically takes just a small portion of the map as the texture file cannot be as large as the elevation map, such a scenery can been seen in the following image:

The USGS imported scenery is designed to make use of the extensive data available on the web at the USGS download site.

The import process requires using the popular 3DEM software made by Visualization Software LLC by Richard Horne, the software can be downloaded here.

The process of importing this type of scenery to Micro Flight is simple:

  • Download the DEM file from the USGS server.
  • Load the file into 3DEM using "Load terrain model".
  • From 3DEM select "Save terrain matrix" as a binary signed integer file.
  • Take the files created (*.bin and *.hdr) and put them into an empty directory.
  • Take a few terrain textures and place inside the new scenery directory.
  • Run Micro Flight and select the new scenery.

The benfit of using Micro Flight with this type of ecenery is enourmous, you can navigate real USGS scenery and fly inside it, making Micro Flight an essential tool for anyone working with this type of data.

An example of this type of scenery can been seen in the following image: