# QuestionSurfaceTiles / Base Maker for Orbiter 190914 or similar?

#### smewthies

##### New member
Hello,

I used to play this simulator a LOT way back in 2007 for years, and I have been getting more back into it lately.

I've done searching but the relevant threads are years old so maybe outdated information. I downloaded Civilian Airports from orbithangar and I can't get the included textures to show up in the sim. The runways are there but still the basic very low resolution surface tiles. I have placed the included .dds files in their respective folders and even copied them elsewhere to see if anything worked. I first placed them in the main Textures folder as that's how they come, but then I put them in Textures/Earth and Config/Earth and Config/Earth/Base. The surface bases show up on the map module as well, just the textures aren't loading.

Also, this inspires me to want to download my own surface tiles and airports for places I've lived- Cincinnati area, Indianapolis as well as Minnesota. I tried downloading Orbiter Base Maker 2.0.3 but it gives me an "Error Downloading Image" so I'm not sure if it's old/unsupported these days. I don't even care as much about the runways as I know that'll be a lot of work but I mainly want the higher resolution surface textures. I want to see those places in detail and I have the hardest time even finding my current city (Rochester MN) due to the low detail.

Is there a guide somewhere on how to get this done? Like I said I tried searching but maybe didn't know what to search for or didn't use the right keywords.

Thanks a bunch for the help!

Also, I use the D3D9 graphics client but I'm willing to switch that or even go to an older Orbiter version to make this work.

#### Max-Q

##### 99 40
Older o2010 type surface tiles don’t work in o2016. The whole design for planet textures was changed for 2016, There is a PDF about how it works in the orbiter documentation folder. IIRC it includes a section about how to convert 2010 type base tiles.

#### smewthies

##### New member
Oh gosh, I'm going to have a lot of reading to do. Found in /Doc/PlanetTextures.pdf:

Code:
If Earth_2_W0462_N0161.dds was provided as a 256256 texture, then it can't be
directly converted into a quadtree tile. The following options are available:
a) If the appropriate neighbour base textures are present, (in this case,
Earth_2_W0463_N0161.dds,
Earth_2_W0462_N0160.dds,
Earth_2_W0463_N0160.dds
they can be combined into a single 512512 texture and saved as
Earth\Surf\13\000175\000281.dds.
b) The texture can be interpolated to size 512512 using an image editing utility and
then saved as a quadtree tile.
ORBITER Planetary Textures (c) 2000-2016 Martin Schweiger 12
c) The 256256 base tile can be copied into the appropriate quadrant of the original
Earth\Surf\13\000175\000281.dds parent quadtree tile, if it exists.
Note that the base tiles may need to be edited to colour-match the underlying lowerresolution quadtree tiles to provide a seamless transition. Histogram-matching algorithms can be useful here

I can't even figure out tileedit. I'm way in over my head... I feel like it shouldn't be this complicated... there's gotta be an easier way.

#### N_Molson

Donator
It would definitively be cool to have an up-to-date interactive editor.

#### 4throck

##### Enthusiast !
Terrain Tool Box allows you to edit tiles:
terrain-toolkit.37665/#post-561724

It runs from inside Orbiter, and allows you to select the surface you want to export/import as PNG.
So it's a simple save, edit, load job

Of course, in true Orbiter 2016 fashion , it's only a half solution, as it will crash if used with a modern D3D9 version
You need to use D3D9 R4.7 (11 August 2020), but as far as I know, that version is not available.

#### smewthies

##### New member
Terrain Tool Box allows you to edit tiles:
terrain-toolkit.37665/#post-561724

It runs from inside Orbiter, and allows you to select the surface you want to export/import as PNG.
So it's a simple save, edit, load job

Of course, in true Orbiter 2016 fashion , it's only a half solution, as it will crash if used with a modern D3D9 version
You need to use D3D9 R4.7 (11 August 2020), but as far as I know, that version is not available.
Dang and I'm sure I'm SOL for being on the beta as well... even if I go back to the stable 2016, I wish I could just download level 19 surface tiles more than anything else

#### smewthies

##### New member
Hmmm. They link to the required D3D9 client in that thread, but I can't get it to work still. When I click on terrain toolbox in the function menu, nothing happens. This is on Orbiter 2016, fresh install.

#### jacquesmomo

Hi smewthies

Yes, the tile-system is very different from Orbiter 2010 and earlier...

Before, the tiles were visible whatever the altitude, and were declared in the file <your_base>.cfg.

Now the tiles are:
• either in the \Textures\Earth\Archive folder and are *.tree files (kind of archive a bit like a *.zip)
• either (in general these are the "added" or "personalized" tiles) in the \Textures\Earth\Surf folder (and Mask and Elev sub folders)

And these tiles are visible "by successive layers": one layer replaces the other (previous or next) depending on the altitude.
That doesn't make it easy!!!
(It's well explained in the doc you're talking about.)

In this regard, remember to indicate in the launchpad tab "video" then "advanced" and finally set "tile archive" with "Cache & archive" (with D3D9)

Clarification: "old style" tiles can work, declared in the <your_base>.cfg file but not with D3D9.

Just for information :
the "SURF" tiles are the drawing-tiles (earth, grass, sea, etc. in short, all the details drawn) DXT1 format
the MASK tiles are there to define the water shine/reflection effects, and the night lights. DXT5 Format
the ELV tiles define the relief. (ELV_Mod tiles modify the relief defined in ELV). Format... uh...

It is in the latter case that tiledit is useful. But it's very complicated and this software is rather rough...
Note that Face has made very useful tools, but for to start I think it's better to begin by making the "SURF" tiles.
MASK tiles are easy to make from SURF tiles.

Maybe this could help you : I made a little tutorial (but in French, sorry) here :
http://orbiter.dansteph.com/forum/index.php?topic=14669.0

It took me a while to be able to make tiles, but now that I know how to do it, it's quite easy...

I am doing a whole region: French Guiana here :

So, it is just a quick summary of the problem with tiles in Orbiter 2016.
Of course I can help you if you want.
Except for the "ELV" tiles: it's quite complicated and it doesn't really amuse me... ?

#### llarian

##### Well-known member
If you must have an English translation, my version of Chrome, if you right click on the page, the menu that comes up has an entry "translate to English". Worked fine for me. If you are desperate enough, let me know, I saved English copies of the pages.

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