Making Scenery Plans for gMax
Here is a method on how you can build a plan to design your scenery around in gMax It is not real difficult and just takes a couple of hours the first time. Once you have the technique down you can do it in even less time.
I'll be using FS2002 here but the method should work just the same in FS2004.
The tools you'll need are not anything unusual and are not hard to use. The Sim, gMax, FSTFlatten or similar program to get LOD 8 cell numbers from, a good paint program for cropping images, Notepad, Calculator, BGLC.EXE and three files named Cell_Grid.INC, TDFHeaders.INC, TDFMacros.INC and its related LOD8define.BMP by Richard Ludowise. I had my INC files from downloading CoastLine Maker but they are included in may programs that deal with LWM and VTP polys.
First I have picked a place to start. In this case, it is an airfield called Central Wisconsin (KCWA). Using Slew Mode, I set my location to the co-ords (lat. long.) of the airport as listed in the Facility Information window. I also made a note of the length of one of the runways. In this case it is 8/26 and it is 7645' long.
Once I have my aircraft at this location I save the flight. Don't worry if you can't get the location exact as you can always hand edit the FLT file and set it there using Notepad. This is from my Central Wisconsin saved FLT file showing where to set the co-ords.
Exit the sim and edit the file if you need to and the restart the sim and select the flight. You also might want to disable your joystick (Crtl+K) and just use the number pad to eliminate any drifting. We need to "anchor" ourselves so to speak.
I am using a quasi aircraft that I made specifically for working with scenery. It is called CrossHairBox and if you want it, it is at the major sites like Simviation and Avsim.
I have resized the sim window and started FSTflatten. All I need here is just a couple of numbers. I have drawn a red box around them in the image below. Write them down. Close FSTflatten. Open your TaskManager and close it there also. It has a habit of not completely unloading. Now exit the sim.