SimTiles FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
– What is SimTiles?
SimTiles is a program designed to create night and seasonal tiles variations for your photoreal sceneries. It analizes the colors of each tile image and, following given rules and presets, filters colors to give a pseudo-realistic night and winter resemblance. It then modifies the x-plane terrain and polygon files in order to use of the newly created textures. It does a lot more under the hood.- What are SimTiles’ main features are:
Creation of night and seasonal tiles
Set or rules and colors are fully editable and scriptable
Uses tiles elevation data taken from global scenery in order to determine the most appropriate rule to use for any given tile (city hill mountain)
Allows to run automatically on multiple sceneries sequentially
Fast one click enabling and disabling of seasons, a first in x-plane- Why would I want to purchase the full version?
The full version lets you edit and configure key parameters such as rules, colors, pixel resolution. This allows to refine and improve drastically the look. It also takes into account elevation above sea level and uses rules accordingly to create a more effective look ( each rule consists of three rules, city hill mountain ). Lastly It lets you run batch creation of multiple photosceneries and removes the limitation of 50 textures created per session.

– Does SimTiles create winter textures for the whole world?
SimTiles lets you create winter and night textures for your installed photoreal sceneries. In order to make use of SimTiles you must first download one or more photoreal sceneries. Simtiles will not create winter or night textures for areas not covered by photoreal sceneries.- Does SimTiles create winter textures for x-plane’s global scenery?
No, SimTiles only works with installed photoreal sceneries.

– Does SimTiles take a long time to create textures?
On average SimTiles might take anything between a few to thirty seconds per texture tile, depending on settings and computer’s performance. This is pretty quick, considering the internal calculations and tiles elevations algorithms required as well as the other steps involved. Below a benchmark using the 64bit version on a zoom level 17 scenery:
preset night_zl17 7 secs (2K)
preset winter_zl17 10 secs (2K)
preset winter_zl17 18 secs (4K)

Photosceneries with hundreds of tiles will take 5-10 secs times the number of tiles to complete. There is however a single step which takes a bit longer, it is the initial photoscenery dsf extraction and analysis to determine required definitions and tile elevations. This should take roughly a minute, but thanks to SimTiles’ caching it will only need to run this once for any given photoscenery (any subsequent use of SimTiles for the given photoscenery will read data from the cached folder instantaneously).
– Is mac supported?
Not natively. SimTiles is coded on windows. I’ve heard of positive reports of users running simtiles in a windows virtual installation on mac/linux, but I’m afraid there is no support for non-windows OS at this stage.
– Can I enable disable seasons quickly?
Absolutely. You can change seasons with a single click using the SimTiles tab ‘Change Seasons’. This is a global setting and it applies to all photosceneries installed with pre-existing seasonal tiles, tiles previously created using SimTiles.
-Is Imagemagick still required?
Since SimTiles version 1.8, Imagemagick is now embedded in the main installation of SimTiles, there is no need to download or install Imagemagick separately anymore.
-What do you need the x-plane root folder for?
SimTiles needs to figure out the elevation for each tile in order best choose which elevation preset to use, if we’re at a city level we run a brighter night algorithm, if we’re quite high in a mountainous area dimly lit textures are more accurate and the mountain level selected.
The x-plane root folder is used to retrieve paths to the global scenery dsf files.
In order to retrieve the elevation data for each tile SimTiles decomposes the global scenery .dsf file containing the center coordinates of each tile and reads all the mesh data and figures out the closest vertex and retrieve the elevation data.
If the required global scenery .dsf files are not found elevation of 0 meters ASL is used instead.