Identify and pick better autogenerated buildings

This isn’t a complaint about the game, the autogen is really good and I wasn’t expecting some kind of 1:1 accurate model of the entire planet, but I was hoping that the way the autogen picks appropriate styles of building would have been a bit better.

Just generally there are far too many concrete boxy buildings. Flying over small towns and rural areas in the UK it’s quite noticeable. I don’t know how good the AI is at identifying the context of a building but where you have lots of small farmhouses and barns scattered around the landscape a large number of them show up in FS2020 looking like two or three storey 70’s office blocks. Similarly flying over a market town you’d expect the majority of buildings to be small brick and render buildings. The AI can’t always tell of course what kind of building it’s going to be but I feel like its guesses lean too much towards these types.

There are also a few special building types that should be identifiable enough from top-down photographs that it can’t be too much of a stretch to get the AI to recognise them and create appropriate styles autogens, particualrly as some of these are key landmarks for flying VFR.

  • Power stations, cooling towers in particular
  • chimneys
  • farm silos
  • wind farms seem to be OK but I haven’t seen everywhere yet that a wind farm should be
  • sports stadia (recognisable by the pitch in the middle if nothing else)
  • water treatment works
  • container ports

I might be overestimating what can be done with AI but I thought these were good example of buildings which have a few distinctive features visible from the air. Big round thing black in the middle, it’s a cooling tower, small round thing in a rural area, most likely a silo, and so on.

I think if this aspect of the AI could be improved upon then the aesthetic of the scenery in the game would be improved hugely.


Agree. I also think that a huge way they could make improvements as regional updates is in improving their autogen with regional architecture. As I understand it, this is already how the autogen works, however I think it is limited in the types of facades it gives to buildings right now to mostly north american and some european styles of architecture. There is a reason why, even without landmarks, a person can see a photo of Paris, or Tokyo, or a Latin American city and recognize it right away. And I think an upgrade in the autogen textures would go a long way too. Tarmac and concrete buildings all sort of just look very flat and grey

also no churches or castles…and in kent/sussex no oasthouses

It would certainly be an achievement if they were able to have the AI correctly identify such things as churches and castles (and render them anything close to their real appearance) but we’re starting to see community-created buildings available for download now, so (fingers crossed) the community is able to step in with some of this stuff.

I can imagine there being some interest in creating a ‘UK cathedrals and castles’ pack

We can only hope. Since the autogen scenery is generated by the magic of AI - it will hopefully ‘learn’ to be more accurate as this feedback is added. Supposedly this is the sort of thing that the centralized architecture implemented for this sim is good for. But it will take time.

Also does seem that the autogen is often too tall (too many floors) … some discussion and interesting comparisons to photogrammetry on this thread

Had no idea it was the sort of AI that can learn, be interesting to see how that does in future if that’s the case.

One thing I was wondering is why so many bridges aren’t rendered even when you have obvious road data with vehicles shown on them. You know what the bodies of water are and which ones are “river like” and when you have a road on both sides of it and the overhead photo of it shows a dark area going across in a right angle, you really should be able to tell it’s a bridge. Same goes for pier and dock structures on coastlines of large bodies of water. They have pretty unmistakable shapes. I’d rather FS gets it wrong and puts in those features where they are not than to have very recognizable stuff missing.

Also, not every dark spot on an overhead image is a tree. Fly over the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor and there are trees growing out of it.

It would have been nice if they partnered with google. Google earth flight simulator thing included in google earth represents 3D buildings down to the house level with cars in the driveway and even my porch.

that was never going to happen, Google Maps is a direct competitor to Microsott’s Bing Maps (which is integrated into the Azure cloud).

For anyone who may not have seen it, this is a great video on Blackshark and the AI process:

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