Many people where disappointed that SAM Seasons is not supporting Ortho4xp generated ortho tiles out of the box so this needed to be fixed. Ortho4xp tiles have to be modified to make use of the SAM Colors + Seasons features, the tiles need an X-Plane library structure and the summer textures need to be modified to create a snowy environment - and this is what O4XP Seasons does.
Before you start over: This is not a one click experience, in the current state O4XP Seasons is more a workflow than a complete tool but it's fairly easy to use and it works. For now the O4XP Seasons tool itself only restructures ortho4xp to be library driven, the color editing is done with XnConvert afterwards with filters provided in the download package.
The procedure seems to be complicated at first but it is really simple - the instruction may look confusing but this is because I tried to do a fail save step by step tutorial leading to lots of mini steps to perfrom. Further the instructions are included in the download as a text file and you will find a video showing the steps below.
What do you need?
- 1. Python 3.8
Download and install Python 3.8, make sure you set the PATH checkbox at the end of the installation procedure
- 2. XnConvert
Download and install XnConvert
- 3. XP-Tools/XGrinder
Download and extract X-Plane command line tools (no worry, you don't have to do anything in the command line)
Winterizing an Ortho4xp tile
If you have installed the software listed above you can start winterizing your ortho4xp tiles. Please start with one single tile at first - you can do multiple ones at the same time later once you got into how the process works.
- Copy the contents from the folder zOrtho4xp_Tile comming with O4XP Seasons into your zOrtho4xp tile folder (for example zOrtho4XP_+47+012)
- Run the python script O4XP_Seasons.py inside your ortho4xp tile folder (this may take some seconds because of texture file duplication)
Now your Ortho4xp tile has a library structure and will respond to SAM Colors + Seasons controls (for now only deep winter is supported, other seasons or colors will be treated as summer).
- Open XnConvert
- Switch to the 'Output' tab, make sure the 'Use CPU cores' checkbox is active and choose the desired amount of CPU cores to perform texture conversion, for faster conversion use all available cores (this just has to be done once and will be saved)
- Import one of the deep winter filters provided with O4XP Seasons into XnConvert (lower left corner inside the XnConvert window). You can find the filters inside the 'XnConvert_Filters/Deepwinter' folder. There are different filters creating different brightness levels, for a start choose 'SAM_Seasons_Terrain_Deepwinter.xbs'. The filter will setup everything needed.
- Drag all the DDS files inside the ortho tile's folder 'Deepwinter/textures' into the XnConvert window
- Make sure your imported filter is active in the lower left corner of the XnConvert window
- Switch to the 'Output' tab again and make sure 'Output' is set to 'Same as input folder' and file format is set to 'PNG' (this should be set up by the filter already but who knows)
- Hit the start button (lower right corner) and wait for textures to be converted
The texture are now converted into winter textures but you will get PNG files instead of DDS textures (the XnConvert DDS output does not work with X-Plane) so you have to convert them into DDStextures using XGrinder from the XP-Tools package.
- Start XGrinder from the X-Plane command line tools (it's located where you extracted the package before)
- In the XGrinder window click on 'DDSTool' and choose 'Use DXT1 Compression'
- Select all previously created PNG files and drag them into the XGrinder window. Make sure you DO NOT include water mask PNGs. Your textures are named like 25392_36992_BI16.png for a ZL16 Bing tile (BI for Bing and 16 for the zoomlevel) so enter '*_BI16.png' (or whatever is the ending of your textures depending on source and zoomlevel) into the windows explorer search window and list only the really needed textures. A water mask is named like '25296_36960_ZL16.png', ending with '_ZL16.png' instead of '_BI16.png' and can be hidden with the search funtion as described above. Once search is done drag the search results into the XGrinder window and wait for conversion (this WILL take much longer than the XnConvert process, XGrinder only uses one single CPU core so this takes while).
- After conversion delete the converted PNG files as they just waste disc space and are not needed any longer. Once again care for the water masks and DO NOT delete them but only the actual textures (you can skip this if you don't feel save but this will cost you some disc space of course)
The whole process is also shown in the following video. If this is too fast just pause and rewind the video as necessary. If you have any questions or this is not working as intended please use the comments section, I will do my best to assist and help as needed.
- python script and programming: Discordia
- concept and library template: FlyAgi