I am going to spend some time on the scenProc tool again the coming weeks. It’s time to finish some of the features of that tool and make it even easier to make autogen. But of course there are some challenges left.
One of the main challenges is that most FSX autogen must be rectangular. So for a group of houses as shown above that will work. It is not so hard to define a rectangle for each of them. Some have a small extension, but even if you ignore those the result will look quite good. For the buildings shown below it becomes a little harder already, but you could represent their shape with 3 rectangles that partly overlap. An algorithm can be defined to derive those rectangles.
So, so far it seems quite possible. But now look at the buildings below.These are all very irregular shaped. If you would try to represent these with rectangles you would always get parts sticking out or parts missing. Not really a good approach thus.
You might be thinking, right, that’s why we have polygonal autogen buildings in FSX as well. But unfortunately the polygonal autogen buildings must have an internal courtyard. This makes them very hard to use for this kind of shapes. I really wish Microsoft would have made them without the courtyards as well. But it seems that is not possible.
So my challenge is to find out how to classify the building footprints from the vector data. Which footprints can be represented by normal autogen buildings, which ones can be represented by row houses or by polygonal autogen. And which footprints can better not be represented by autogen at all.
For that last category it might be an option to create them as normal MDL scenery object. From the footprint it is possible to create a building directly. And by using drawcall batching it might not even be that hard on the performance. That’s something I would like to test as well.
And finally I think I will try to analyze the autogen format of the polygonal buildings a bit more. Maybe, maybe, there is some undocumented bit to remove those courtyards? Let’s keep dreaming….
All map images are from OpenStreetMap.