Scenery design for the lazy

Help each other create new and amazing sailing areas.

Scenery design for the lazy

Postby Guest » Sat 29 Jan 2005 - 21:32

Hi All (if there is more then one out there interested in making sceneries),
For some other work I used Terragen again together with Blender. Then it came to me that it would be very easy to use this freeware tool to create fictive sceneries. You can create 3D lanscapes with endless possibilities and then export it to a .raw file that can then be read e.g. Photoshop. Since the resolution of the freeware isn't to high you'll need to resize/resample it and blur to make a smooth scenery .bmp file. Here is an example I made in five minutes:
Try it, it's fun!!

Postby Barry » Fri 18 Feb 2005 - 00:23

Hi Alex.

I had a look at Terragen a good while ago but have never really used it.
Also only have a basic paint program that came with scanner.

However as you say for anyone interested, other than the few we know, and new to route making, it seems like an intersting idea to try out.

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Postby Exocet25fr » Fri 18 Feb 2005 - 14:54


TERRAGEN ISN'T A FREEWARE!!!, BUT A SHAREWARE..........!!!!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

I think is not a good idea to PAY this shareware for modeling Scenery for Sail Simulator..........!??? :wink:
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Postby Jan » Tue 26 Apr 2005 - 13:33

Why paying for or getting some other software, when the Scenery Designer should normally be able to do this?


Postby Stefan » Wed 27 Apr 2005 - 11:24


This was never the intention for the Scenery Designer. It was always the intention to use existing DEM-files in the Scenery Designer. Alex shows a nice example to quickly create DEM-files using Terragen, which is still free for personal, non-commercial use. See
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Scenery for Sail Simulator

Postby Bill Cridland » Thu 11 Aug 2005 - 19:46

Alex/Barry nice scenery in 5 minutes. I looked at Sail Scenery Design Tutorial V 1.1. After looking at the 5 pages I am more confused than ever. With consideration and feeling for our Dutch readers it's double Dutch to me.I looked at Sail Simulator 'How to build a sailing area'. It's starts off very well like A=2 and B=5 then z= 7.Tried several times to complete the island got as far as the blob with different contour levels then nada.Alex puts out some great code for fjords 17.3 MB download oslo11.spp The extension is something like .SPP what's that ?. Also how does one integrate these files into the main Sail Simulator program. It seems to me someone can make moula writing a basic primer on sail Simulator scenery design.
Nothing in mind at the moment !
Bill Cridland
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Postby Barry » Fri 12 Aug 2005 - 13:43

Hi Bill.

Have a look at my web site which gives details about installing ssp files.
Stentec Scenery Package. You need to download the free Scenery Manager from the Stentec Site.

Not sure if you refer to making general sceneries with the Scenery Designer.
To make Sceneries over 4 miles you need to buy the full version seperately or have the Plus Version which has it in.
You can however download any sceneries to use with the simulators.

Very easy to make a route and most of my free style routes I made in half an hour or so. You may need to make the Scenery Designer Designer compatible with widows 98 or windows ME, etc, if using windows XP otherwise it may not save the dem map.
Also not sure if you can save the dem map in the demo version which is limited to about 4 miles.

Perhaps could you post on the mb forum and if you have any further question and would be pleased to help if I can. I don't usually look much at the Scenery Designer forum now as very few seem interested in using it.

Anyway a brief summary Scenery Designer. Dem Builder Section. The defaut in the full program and demo I think comes up with 257 height bars and 25 metres. This is the basic 4 mile dem. 257x25 metres.
Pink square is the dem map.
Left side bottom "line" symbol.
Draw circles, and set heights in box, etc.
You mention you got this far.
Place minus sign in front gives sea depths.
Also for each seperate height click apply and the colour will change for each height.
Save the dem if you wish to work further on it.

Click dem/interpoloate symbol at top.
That creates the grey scale map.
Click water preview at top and that shows the water area on the map in blue.
That is the dem side finished save the grey scale map with a name.
Progress is shown in a slider at bottom of window

Open Scenery Builder Section.
File/New. That opens Create New Scenery.
Bottom line DEM, click and open your grey scale map you saved.
Click OK.
This now shows your map with water.
You can move the grid about by altering the values in the boxes, but if a small map no need to.
Set the water level you want.
Apply.OK and your map gets generated to put in the simulators

Map is now made.
Will probably show white so put a texture on.
Third button down on right. You can choose from a few.
Alter visibility slider to show how much texture shows.
You then add colours at whatever height you want. Paint can sybol.
You can also import colours from another map wich perhaps is easiest.
Place objects etc.
These you can import into the Scenery Designer to use, and you use the Object Editor. Or copy and paste them together with their bitmaps.
You can then register the map from with the Scenery Designer aftet saving it.
To get it to show in opening window. Open any map. Scroll to sceneries, Open your new map. You save this with a name then.

I made a route as I typed this so they can be made in a short time, at least free-style types..

I ususally save a map into the Stentec Default Folder. Program Files/Common Files/Stentec Shared/Sceneries (I think).

Just post on forum if more questions.
I mainly use the motorboat forum as the sailsimulator does not work to well for me and I post im mb forum, as very few seem to use the Scenery Designer forum.

Incidentally if you then save your route as Scenery Package that then makes the ssp file which you open with the Scenery Manager. This is if you wish to zip a route to make it smaller such as the ones I made for download, from my site, and from Texino's site.


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Scenery Designer

Postby Bill Cridland » Mon 22 Aug 2005 - 22:00

:lol: Barry great stuff mate and I thank you for taking the time to respond to my problem re: making an island. I am considering buying the full version. However thought I would try out the demo version first. Getting to the nitties Barry I have made the Island demo ( looks like Marblehead MA)within the constraints 128 X 128 but get bogged down interpolating the data. I guess I will look carefully at your instructions Barry and let you know how I am doing. I consider the Stentec Sail Simulator as near to the real thing as any I have checked so far.The only thing that I wish they would do is improve the sailboats themselves. They look too boxy and the America Cup hull nothing like the real thing. I sailed off the New England Coast for 30 years my sailboat was a Columbia. Hated to part with it so came across this excellent simulator as a substitute. At least now , I don't have to clean , scrub , paint sew etc all the things that must be done to get it seaworthy. Again thank you for the info.Bill C Bolton MA USA
Nothing in mind at the moment !
Bill Cridland
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re: Lack of interest in Scenic Design

Postby Bill Cridland » Mon 22 Aug 2005 - 22:32

Forgot to comment Barry on your observation that there seems to be a dwindling lack of interest in Scenic Design. When you consider the beautiful Sailing Meccas on the US Eastern seaboards with Lighthouses not to mention New York City . There is so much to be done ashore. Consider sailing with Nav lights on into a harbor with the houses ashore all lit up . Even a Pub sign blinking. Bill C
Nothing in mind at the moment !
Bill Cridland
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Postby Barry » Mon 22 Aug 2005 - 23:22

Hello Bill.

Thanks for posting and it makes an interesting read.

If problems just post as will try and help if I can.
I can run through the problem in the scenery Designer as I type it.
Just give all the details of each step, and the problem you are finding.
Nor sure if you can save a dem map in the demo. Also if using Windows XP you need to make it compatible with any of windows 98/2000/ME, etc on your computer or you get an error notice.

I had a 21 feet sloop nearly 40 years ago now.
Only kept it for a year on the river Douglas off the river Ribble.

This area is also in the 50 miles route on my site for download Stretches for about 20 miles.

Larger routes such as the one I have for download at 50 miles and the 75 mile route of Wales which I left on my site for a little while to download lose a bit of detail, as the spaces need to be 50 or 60 metre per pixel to get the size making smaller rivers with jagged edges, etc

Trouble is the tides were right only at certain times etc and the area I had the boat is included the last route I made for dowload from my site.
I got the widows to light up at night in the houses, and docks are lit with gas lamps, lit buoys, and lit marker lights. Set in about 1830 but need to run it in the motorboat simulator to get the trees and vegetation to work.

It's a different world at nightime and looks entirely different to the day scene. Trouble is the sim. is too dark at night and lights don't cast light and are just lit.

If getting a simulator, the motor boat simulator has the collision spheres working properly now and vegetation etc can now be made.
The sail simulator doesn't have the vegetation etc and the collision spheres need a "fix" to get them to work when adding them to the model.
Get the one with the Scenery Designer which can be used for either simulator.

Stentec are/or going to make (as far as I know) an updated sailsimulator 5 and a new Scenery Designer. I will proabably change back to that when/if it becomes available as interested in the age of the tall ships, square rig, coastal trading ships etc of a few centuries ago.

Last edited by Barry on Wed 24 Aug 2005 - 02:07, edited 1 time in total.
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DEms et al

Postby Bill Cridland » Tue 23 Aug 2005 - 20:13

Barry there is an old saying goes like this ' What one fool can do another can '. Incidentally my Royal Navy number is 926 RNARS and my call letters WA1HMW.Well I started another tact since what was happening after generating the Dem the stuff was being 'Saved as 'into the wrong folder . If you trace the Directory path its like the following .
C:\Program Files\Stentec\scenic designer toolkit\dem builder\samples . Now someone at Stentec must have generated three Dems 1 , 2 and 3. They look very good and for the exercise to try and get a blob into Sail Simulator 4.2 just start with one of these samples. I opted for sample1 extension is std. Invoke Scenery builder give a name to final island/terrain say 'my island' then open up the Dem sample file ( see you know where it is now Barry , so its a piece of cake to interpolate at this stage. Bobs ur uncle up comes the picture with the grid around sample 1. Still working on color at different levels and did not add any buoys etc. Could not get the mouse 3D-cursor to work yet not sure the tack on that lot. Anyway to see whether sample 1 looks like an island in the sail simulator program . Went to file/register and clicked on yes . Looked at the program and nada came on the list so haveto find out why. More I work on this lot Barry the more I get intrigued. I think that interest in the subject has waned one factor being that the instructions on putting your own objects and terrain is very poorly written . When I get it all working I will write a procedure that even joe six pack can understand . Have a nice day Barry Bill C Bolton MA
Nothing in mind at the moment !
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Postby Barry » Tue 23 Aug 2005 - 22:13


Havn't really used the demo maps as only used the full Scenery Designer.
This is is in the plus version or can be bought seperate for about £15 (UK).

I just save the dem. maps to my own folder and for each stage I make, I save a new dem with different name.
Can then go back to that stage if it doesn't look right in the Scenery Designer.

Once I generate the dem I save the route to the default folder which is Program Files/Common Files/ Stentec Shared/Sceneries.
You can register the route from within the Scenery Designer.

I has a few tutorials on my site for route making, model making with Blender, etc, but as there was little interest on the forum I took them off.
I made them a year or 2 ago. Anyway I have put them back on so they may be of interest, and they include a number of screen-shots. etc.

Will probably start spending more time with the Stentec simulators and try and get some realism into them. Bit difficult though with one default boat to sail and using the motorboat simulator for 1830s as more functions than the sail simulator.
Especially could do with tides as up to 30 feet at Liverpool and coastline.

I also have made similar content for a train simulator but lately just made ship routes for it and no trains . The only trouble is fixed invisible track, etc, although has variable water levels for canals and working ships locks had been made by a forum member. Not quite the same as a boat simulator though.

The only other simulator I know of is Virtual Sailor. The rest are for racing although there is the Ports one but forget the full name.

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re: scenic toolbox

Postby Bill Cridland » Wed 24 Aug 2005 - 19:14

Barry a lot of information on your last message and what I will do is look at your website see what you have done. When I look at all the problems I have encountered using the freebie demo version for example I am using an Operating System XP SP2 that as a consequent I will get the full version . There are a number of outlets who sell Stentec programs. It's a pain converting US dollars to the Euro.Your point is well taken that after generating a Demo you can file it away and use over and over again say in a cluster of islands in the Carribian et al. After a week I have been unable to place a dem into the Sail Simulator either because of poor instructions or error windows telling me I dont have permision to do this or that. As I mentioned Barry enthuism really dies if the project is not logically put down in black and white. As for Stentec putting out another version (rev: 5.0) I would encourage them to do that since a lot of people are purchasing another vitual program ( Not mentioning name here) which is selling very well. Regards Bill C
Nothing in mind at the moment !
Bill Cridland
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Postby Barry » Wed 24 Aug 2005 - 21:06


I was of 2 minds whether to carry with the Stentec sims or to forget them. Been looking for a sailing simulator since I first got a computer about 6 years back. I only know of this one and Virtual Sailor that I could make content for and make routes. this one seems the easiest for me with the integrated dem data.

I have also been making content using gmax, coastal items, barges, narrow boats, etc for the Trainz train simulator.
Boats on fixed track no longer appeal, although can model canal systems and narrow boats pulled by horses which I can't do with the Stentec simulators. Also with varying water height in train sim, working locks are a possibility.

I only found out how to make content, using Blender or gmax, in the last few years. Also we can't use gmax for these simulators as that depends on Stentec makaing the arrangmenets with the gmax firm.

Routes are very easy to make and you can make a simple route within half an hour or so, freestyle type . I think I have about 20 made including versions on Texino's site for download.

My main route is the on one my own site for download based on maps etc at approx 50 miles.

There are 3 main problems as far as I can see with what you are doing.

1, First you "MUST" make windows XP compatible with any version of windows before XP. Right click on program to make it compatibe. This applies to the FULL version so may also apply to the DEMO version as the Scenery Designer is about 3 years old. See the "Sticky Thread" at beginning. Why can't I save dems. I have windows XP service pack 2.

2. Not sure "IF" you can save a demo, dem. map as seem to remember reading you can't save, but not sure as havn't used it so may be wrong?

3. Don't open the dem map direct but open the Scenery Designer Dem. Editor section first, then open the dem. map as you will probably get an error message otherwise.

Anyway if you get the full version of motorboat/sailing simulator, simulator and the full Scenery Designer just post with any problems and can't guarantee I can solve them but can explain how I got things to work.

The motorboat simulator has more functions and works a lot better. I have problems know using the sail-simulator so I just use the motorboat simulator (for 1830 routes, but needs must).

You can use any routes in either but the trees, horses, fencing, etc in my route on my site for download will just appear as pictures on a flat black sheet in the sailing simulator but will appear as trees, horses, etc in the motorboat simulator. These are 32 bit textures (24 plus 8 greyscale) and only the motorboat sim has this function at the moment.

You can also download routes by Altug, and Aal. There may be also be some made by others.

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Scenery Design this & that

Postby Bill Cridland » Thu 25 Aug 2005 - 18:18

Barry well indeed looked at your site the first thing that struck me is the amount work/hours you have put into this endeavour. Remarkable how much you have done congratulations. As I see it sailing off the coast I am always looking out for buoys and if possible LIGHTHOUSES. IF a length of the coast is to mapped in SSP format those two objects are a must. I downloaded your 24 Meg program Blackpool to north Wales. I know the area well since I am Welsh Born (Newport Gwent)and have sailed many times out of Liverpool when in the Navy.In fact lived in Liverpool for 9 years and was a frequent visitor to Mold NWales. Getting to the route I downloaded . Unzipped it no sweat but then tried to open the unzipped Stentec Scenery Package so I can get at the scenery mgr nada . Error window comes up says ' cannot open this blob unless you categorize or compare with the drop down list they give you. OR go to your site see if one can unlock the program . Basically it says when I tried that route that they did not recognize the extension SSP . Any Ideas Barry to get past this hurdle. Your points being on the mark about the XP SP2 Operating System not compatible wth the demo version of Scenery Design Mgr. Although being somewhat clever myself I did not know one could right click on an app to make it compatible with other Window OS's. I wll look into that . As I mentioned there is something not right about the operation of DEM or Scenery Builder. As an aside I actual bought ( 25 US ) Virtual sailor and it has a lot going for it but not same calibre as Stentec. However their sailboat with the teak decks and excellent hull shape and design are far superior to any of the Boat set in Sail Simultor. Annoying part Barry there is no one in the cockpit. Anyway when you have a minute try and get me past the first hurdle.To from Barry get others joining in and all the merrier make it interesting. I gave my Columbia Sail boat to a youth sailing organization out of Beverly MA two years ago and don't miss the work every year on the boat but certainly prefer the computer doing the work for me. Regards BillC Bolton MA USA
Nothing in mind at the moment !
Bill Cridland
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