Could BlackShark AI identify boats in marinas and create 3D models on top of them?

All the boats in marinas from satellite imagery are looking like they are under the water.
This “sunken boats” situation can’t last that long, it’s a real immersion killer as you can find them all around the word.

Would it be hard for Azure and BlackSharkAI to identify those boats and come with a fix including 3D models like they do with procedural buildings?

Thank you

I’m optimistic that they eventually will get this working, it seems relatively easy but it’s probably more complex a task than it looks.

Wait and see I guess.

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Keep in mind these 3D “maps” are built by taking many pictures from different perspective so a boat may or may not be there for all of the satellite images. Then there’s larger bodies of water being tidal and some smaller bodies having seasonal rise and fall. All these things are making coastal areas a bit dodgy to say the least but I’m sure will get better with time.

It’s one of my annoyances as I love flying out of my home municipal airport KBVY and land somewhere like Cape Cod. Leaving to the South I always see our local river’s wide flat estuary at dead low tide and it isn’t pretty in that state.

As evidenced by the work Henrik does on Global Ship AI vessel assets (all bespoke), auto-genning ships is a step up from buildings. Part of the solution is delivering a series of base structures from which slight variances are applied for randomness. Unlike land however, water doesn’t deliver depth/height cues for surface targets due to varying reflectivity (i.e., shadows). This is a lot more work that probably won’t happen for a while until the AI can learn better through structured reading of the aerial data and training the autogen.


Doesn’t deliver depth or height cues? If you put the water in the game then you know what height it’s at, especially if that water is a coastal fjord or a port. Flying in toward Oslo in Norway (a country with a large amount of personal boat owners) there are innumerable sunken docks and boats (along with many other issues). Is it your position that neither Blackshark nor Asobo can determine what height the water is because I’m pretty sure that water is at local sea level? (this game does not simulate tides) Often with this game a reasoning is given that Asobo will “get to it” but all they ever seem to get to is… not much of anything at all. It would be a big relief if a fix for this was in SU4 but my expectation for that is, again, not much of anything at all.


Water is flat, oceans have tides.

It isn’t any more complex than buildings, probably less so TBH.
The boats models in marinas don’t even need to be placed exactly as the photoscenery and the AI could quite easily correct boat images once it recognises them and colour to the water.
The AI shouldn’t have much difficulty being trained to spot Marinas and then all that is needed are some boat models to be placed or it could be done the same way as carparks for performance reasons and have them placed in blocks (although obviously with Marina type scatter pattern.

Water height is not an issue and even if it was it could just information from the adjacent land.

I would like to hear more about the AI and scenery plans in general too.

It’s deriving the height of the boat from reflectivity on the water based on the shadows projected on the aerials. That’s how BlackShark partly determines with a level of confidence what kind of height (and also therefore implies a building class type) of autogen assets on land to place in a given spot. Not so easily done on water.

Thanks for sticking this on the Q&A list. I’ve had a wishlist topic for marinas and sailboats in the Wishlist subsection for ages. Voted.

What you’re saying doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The boat goes on the water, they have already determined the height of the water because the water is in the game, just put the boat in the water.

Tides are not simulated in this game, the water height is constant.

Size of boats vary, especially freeboard (height of deck above the waterline) and total air draft (height including mast top or antennas). Height as well as breadth needs to be evaluated or calculated correctly or as closely as possible in order to teach the AI which ship class assets to autogen and place in a particular spot.

The tides are however represented in the satellite photos the world is being built with.

Somewhat over engineering the solution to the problem. If it’s boats docked at a marina then have 5 models with colour variations and just put them in the water. We just need the marina and the boats, it’s smoke and mirrors.

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It’s only smoke and mirrors until you get closer. Then the graphics engine kicks in and depending on how high you set specific object LOD, it needs to render the correct asset, just as it does today for autogen buildings. In much the same way building classes are defined by size, color, texture and regional uniqueness, you need to have more than just a small number of generic vessels. You expect to see sailboats and powerboats in a civilian marina. You expect to see trawlers at a mostly fishing/working port. You expect to see freighters, bulk carriers, oilers at a large commercial port. They may not represent real ships, or correct colors etc. These are some of the additional considerations a Machine Learning process has to encompass when solving for this gap.

That is an 80/20 solution, which conforms to Agile Dev Model as how the Asobo team has been delivering product features. Dropping a small number and variation of generic ships everywhere doesn’t meet that threshold.

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Already know the answer to this question. “its in the backlog”.

Along with this pretty much every other thing is in the backlog except for the Xbox version at the moment.

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Haven’t they said the Blackshark AI system is going to be developed and be able to render cable cars and other things quite soon? I do wonder whether within the lifetime of the sim photogrammetry becomes almost redundant because Blackshark will become so evolved that will be able to make highly accurate 3D models of absolutely anything on the map with info from top down satellite photos plus other sources fed into it. Its a really interesting tech and its really only in its early stages.

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If a small number of building assets were acceptable, we wouldn’t have a higher fidelity appearing autogen world that we do right now in the sim. The ares I fly in are non-PG, yet most of the building class sizes, heights and relative appearances confirm to what I know from the ground, even at 500’ AGL. Yep, there’s the strip mall with the Walmart and the Old Navy, with the 99 Restaurant near the highway. There’s the rotary with all the gas stations on it, etc. That takes one kind of Machine Learning, with multiple data points including overheads with different reflectivities to determine roof angles and textures, shadows to give height cues, aerials taken at different times and even seasons to cross-check assumptions. That’s for land assets. Some of those cues and datasets are not available or are incomplete for static marine and coastal features. Good, reliable, cross-checking datasets are part of what’s needed to teach a Machine to do something complex like this.

@CasualClick I still don’t think it’s THAT big of a deal.
At least boats are not meant to be exactly looking like the ones from Bing, they move :slight_smile:
It would be an enormous step ahead if they just erase all the boats even by hand (or they could even let the original Bing image) and put some random 3D models on top of them.
30 or 40 models would be more than satisfying, at least compared to what we see today.

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even 5 or 10 would be wonderful for smaller marinas. From 1000ft up and above it would look so much better.


We were told that was the original idea, but it did not work very well and produced too many errors. So Blackshark/Asobo went the easier route and they just used free Open Street Map data for building height instead of reading them from shadows. It is not that advanced. Simply, the system takes building height from Open Street Maps and takes the building contour and places the autogen buildings to match the size, type and height (from street maps) of the building. Many buildings have no height data, that is why you often get apartment buildings instead of farm barns in the UK (often barns are not official structures and they do not have open street map data).