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Whats the fuss about gMax?

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I just want to know why do everyone keep begging for gmax stuff. If the model is FSDS they just throw it away. I've seen users not downloading aircraft just because of it not being gMax. So, can anyone list a big list of pros & cons of gMax & FSDS please? :)

http://www.jet-precision.com/JPLOGO.jpgZhe Xu Leewww.jet-precision.com

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Gmax Aircraft display correctly in Fs2002 And FSDS do not so if you want AI aircraft to display correctly you need Gmax or the ANimated parts will be Missing on the AI Aircraft like Gear and FansHope this HelpsAnniette xxxxxxxxxx

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Anniette,I don't want to get in trouble with the picture police on this forum, but I wanted to tell you about your great Pan Am B727-200 repaint flying into/from KSFB on a regular basis as AI. Thanks for this repaint and all the others you did!!!:* Bill xoxoxoxo!!!

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GMax offers greater flexibility in animation than what can be accomplished in FSDS. The texturing aspect of GMax is greater than FSDS. And as Anniette stated, GMax designed aircraft are better suited for AI aircraft than those designed in FSDS.Some designers complain about the complexity of Gmax, once mastered though it far out weighs the capacity of FSDS. Others will beg to differ.

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One thing about the Con of gmax.. is poor animation.The animation is not as smooth as compared to FSDS A/c.Simple Example is the POSKY 767 v2 and v3.Lionel Goh

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>One thing about the Con of gmax.. is poor animation. >The animation is not as smooth as compared to FSDS A/c. >Simple Example is the POSKY 767 v2 and v3. It can be as smooth as the creator wishes to make it, provided they develop their own keyframe sequence, and not rely on the defaults provided via makemdl.exe

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>I just want to know why do everyone keep begging for gmax >stuff. If the model is FSDS they just throw it away. I've >seen users not downloading aircraft just because of it not >being gMax. So, can anyone list a big list of pros & cons of >gMax & FSDS please? :) Not a list but something not mentioned before, speed. Gmax objects are processed about twice as efficient as older style scenery/aircraft.Also it is the new standard and it almost seems inevitable that the old FS2000 style of scenery will now longer be supported in FS2004. The new format is shared between aircraft, scenery and just about anything you see in FS.Combined with all the new features in shading, mipmapping etc, it is strange that it is not used more often in scenery design. It clearly is superior at this moment.Mathijs KokLAGO

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>Combined with all the new features in shading, mipmapping >etc, it is strange that it is not used more often in scenery >design. It clearly is superior at this moment.I certainly agree....mipmapping ,nightlighting etc

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THe complexity of Gmax is realted to the fact that it is essentially 3dstudio. I admittedly am not a 3d modeler, but I'm abnout to embark on doing my first airport upgrade (KPVD, if you are interested) We'll see how detailed it looks :)Tim

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Ahhhhhhhhhhh, But wait till FSDS II comes out..... It will feature the lightmap, reflections and also animation all built in. Also it will STILL be easyier for most people to use.As for the statements that a Gmax plane is easier on framerates than a FSDS one I beg to differ a little bit. It's the number of polygons, vertices and number of textures that the plane has that makes the biggest difference. Look at a pre Gmax POSKY plane (not dissing their work at all) 40+ side parts and 25 or so, large 32 bit textures. it's a signifigant frame hit. BUT I also have the POSKY GMax 767 and it also hits on my frames due to it's large poly count. I bought the 421 Eagle (very well made) but I can't fly it because it's such a frame hog... and it's Gmax. Some of it is my video card but I definitly have the processor horsepower (Athlon 1.7).True, FSDS planes will have no moving gear as AI.... For the moment, but when the update comes out that will change. and you can still use an FSDS or AF99 plane as AI....that is if it's a fixed gear plane. I Have Fred banting's Beavers running around my sim as AI and that plane was made with AF99!!Many designers think that because GMax is more effecient, they can throw in more polys to a part or make it even more complex, therefore negating the efficency of a GMax model over an FSDS one.This is all my personal opinion but many designers put in complexity for complexity's sake. Thats why I like Mike Stone's work so much, High quality low poly count aircraft.I try to keep my models as simple as possible as well. This keeps frame rates very friendly.I too am appalled at people who totaly disregard a plane made with FSDS just because it's made with FSDS...... You may not know what you are missing.These statement's are my opinion and are not meant to flame any one designer or group in any way. I just used them as an example. I have a few POSKY birds on my hard drive and I still have the 421 there too.Thanks for letting me rantBrian Gladden"Friends don't let friends use GMax" <-- Dave Eckert

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I guess the fuss is another word for.. ahem... progress ?? ;-) :-outta Francois :-wave________________________Francois A. "Navman" DumasAssociate Editor &Forums AdministratorAVSIM Online!email: fdumas@avsim.com________________________

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While GMAX is great, I still like FSDS alot.There's something about the models that is more realistic, even without the reflections. Maybe because FSDS was made for FS, while GMAX was made for many other games (I've used it to create levels in Unreal Tournament). But, the GMAX models from PA, Simubuild, POSKY, etc. have taken that "FSDS feeling" & captured it in their gmax models. Alot of it has to do with a good texture artist, too.

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So it's not a myth ? I dont wish to sound like an anorak (I bought TSM) will it have similar features as TSM ? When is it due ? Assuming you know !Thanks in advanceGeorge

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From the viewpoint of someone that has done development in both FSDS and GMAX, I can probably shed some light on the subject. First of all, from a designer's viewpoint, its hard to put a "better" tag on one of the products. "Better" is a very subjective term and can differ from person to person. Each has strengths and weaknesses. GMAX is far superior in the animation department. But it falls flat when it comes to texture mapping. Mapping is VERY difficult in GMAX as compared to FSDS. Powerful, but difficult. There are numerous other tradeoffs like this, but I'd have to say, in the end, that GMAX is stronger in more areas than FSDS. As far as overall ease of use, I can't agree with the prevailing viewpoint that GMAX is harder to learn and use. It's really not. It looks like it at first because its so massively complex. But when you use GMAX for a while you find that 98% of its functionality isn't needed in the design of an aircraft for FS2002. They could take most of the buttons and functions out of GMAX and I'd never know they were missing. The trick is learning which of those many functions is really useful and which aren't. From a simmers standpoint, what has been said about poly counts having the biggest impact on performance, that much is true. And I'm very conscious of this fact when I design. But its been my experience that GMAX allows me to take the design to a higher poly count, with more animation before I see the performance hit. No that doesn't mean I can have 50,000 polys instead of 10,000, the difference isn't anywhere near that marked, but its there.Like I said, when everything has been brought to the table, you can't put a "better" label on either product. Its very much a matter of personal taste. But I think that GMAX's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses and I prefer it heavily over FSDS. I have no idea what FSFS 2 is going to add to the pot, so I can't comment, but right now GMAX is the tool of choice, IMHO. :-)Mike Stone

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Abacus will post an announcement regarding FSDS 2K2 shortly. Thank-you Louis Sinclair for updating!Now if only A&SD would be updated. Peter, I will pay you almost ANYTHING for a 2K2 update! I'm getting 2-3 fps with my "updated" 2K2 scenery when I'm averaging 9-12 in populated 2K2 default areas.Tools! I need tools! GOOD tools! ;-)

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Mike,I agree, gMAX runs a LOT faster than FSDS material (just look at Oshkosh, not possible using macros and whatnot with FSDS and A&SD).But I still like using tools I already know (obviously). I don't have the time to keep learning new stuff. Besides that, there just is nothing intuitive about gMAX to me. It just makes no sense. It's like a hodgepodge of stuff all slapped together with no flow or logic.And the thought of manually having to enter in the lat/lon, altitude, and direction or each and every object just makes me cringe. :-erks Without a map, and simple click and placement, it's just not something I'm going to do.So I am more than happy to leave the complicated design and development to you and those who know what they're doing with gMAX. So, please do keep that up (eventually ;-)).In the meantime, I'll just keep waving my magic platinum card and hoping the tools I know and love will get updated. ;-)

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Sorry for the image but I prefer GMax aircraft over FSDS. Until FSDSII is released, I'll make my decision then. But here's some 3DS work by a friend of mine that does commercial artwork for living - Gmax is just a handicapped version of 3DS. http://www.gremlan.org/~jdata/webdone.jpg

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>I just want to know why do everyone keep begging for gmax >stuff. If the model is FSDS they just throw it away. I've >seen users not downloading aircraft just because of it not >being gMax. So, can anyone list a big list of pros & cons of >gMax & FSDS please? :) >Apart from the fact that Gmax aircraft perform correctly as AI, any Gmax object has less of an effect on framerates.My guess is that Gmax models actually use DirectX to do screen calculations, whereas every non-DirectX object in the scene has to use Flightsim's built in display code.Because Gmax is using DirectX, the processing of display of these models might well be getting handed off to the GPU, not to the CPU. If this is what's happening, then obviously framerates are going to be increased.I believe FS2004 is going to be Gmax model only. Because of the increase in CPU and GPU speeds (as well as Directx 9.0) I think there are going to be some stunning visuals and framerates possible. The overall display code in FS really does need to be split from the CPU. Eye candy and raw simulation will both benefit.

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Let's get something right here about FS2004. It's going to be a DirectX-only version, NOT gMax-only. gMax is just a third-party tool that MS supply at a special inclusive price with FS2002 Pro.When the authors of other tools such as FSDS catch up with the new floating point DirectX command set (as Lou seems about to do shortly!), we will no longer have to use gMax if we don't want to and will be able to get all the soon-to-be-compulsory advantages of the new command set from friendlier and more familiar tools.CheersGerrish

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Sounds good, is there anywhere I can see a list of features ?For scenery design look at FSCB (?) from Derek Leung, it's easy and will use both asd and api macros. For freeware (no disrepect meant) the service is excellent.George

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"friendlier and more familiar tools"This will be the greatest advantage for me, I've spent well over two years with FSDS and still not got there with everything! For some things believe it or not I've resorted BACK to AF99 then imported them into FSDS.The learning curve involved in GMAX has been a difficult one personally even after working in other avenues in Studio Max, there again I might be a bit thick ! Cant wait !George

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