North Shore, Day 2

Now that I have the aerial photos assembled into a usable image, it’s time to color-correct it and pipe it into the simulator. If you’ll recall from yesterday, the color was pretty awful on the original source pic. I opened it in Photoshop, and quickly decided that I’d have to work on a small slice of it as a proxy in order to work out the proper color-correcting procedure–the original file is 1.4Gb! That means every save takes like five minutes on my rig. So, I cut out a slice around the airport and started experimenting with corrections, writing each down as I went along so I could formulate an action to run on the overall image. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Color balance:
  • Midtones  +14 +5 -20
  • Shadows -19 -3 + 2
  • Levels 36 0.96 211
  • Add Noise: 2.51%
  • Brightness/Contrast: 0 / +15
  • Select color range: (hex: e4d087), fuzziness: 127
  • Hue/Sat/Brightness: saturation -30
  • Select color range: (hex: ddb984), fuzziness 200
  • HSB: Hue +13 Saturation -4
  • Overall brightness/contrast: -8 +8
  • Overall color balance: blue +10
  • Shadow color balance: Green 0 +7 0

Once I was satisfied that it was pretty close, it was time to apply those fixes to the whole image. The action took about 30 minutes to apply in total, while I twiddled my thumbs and watched. I had already created an INF file for the resampler from the data I got from GlobalMapper on the image, so I thought I had the compiling to BGL part licked. Unfortunately, when I ran it, I got a string of errors. After goofing around with the image for a while trying to fix the problem, I ended up trying it as a 32-bit TGA file instead of a TIFF. This ran okay in resampler, so I let it do its thing and went to bed while it crunched.

This morning, I got up and loaded FSX to find these results:

Hmm… apparently, the 32-bit TGA file didn’t preserve my alpha-channel masks – they appear as white in the final. So that’s something that’ll have to be fixed today. The color corrections aren’t too shabby, certainly much better than the original. Still, it needs a little less yellow in teh mid-tones and a touch of cyan in the shadows to kill the red. Today begins the agonizingly slow process of correct, compile, view, repeat. My goal by the end of the day is to have at least one season (probably summer) looking good and working as expected. Stay tuned!

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3 responses to “North Shore, Day 2

  1. Thanks a lot for letting us know about how to start a scenery project. I’m very interested in learning about the different challenges and steps one has to undertake when creating scenery. I’ll be carefully following up the progress … wishing you much success 🙂

  2. Thanks, Sebastian. I thought it would be interesting to chart all the steps required for even a small scenery project. Once it’s done, everyone (including me) will have a much better idea of where a designer’s time goes. It’s been a day of problem solving, so there’s more coming up in the morning!

  3. Pingback: Plum Island Airport für den FSX von Bill Womack | FSNews

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