Sign in to follow this  
737_800

SketchUp for complete Scenery Design?

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

 

I want to create my own sceneries for FSX but I am a bit confused. I downloaded SketchUp and have seen some tutorials on Youtube but there is still a question in my mind that is unanswered.

 

Is it sufficient for scenery design to use SketchUp (Skup) and ModelConverterX including a photo editing software like photoshop? I just don't know how to combine all that programs.

 

Should I design a complete airport in Skup including all buildings, taxiways, runways and so on or should I create just buildings and add those into another program that corresponds with FSX directly? One another thing that confuses me is: how do I create custom ground markings? Would it make any sense to create a big photoshop file with all taxiway ground markings and real runways markings and so on, but how to add this file that FSX understands correctly? Or is there a different way to accomplish that?

 

I hope one of you guys can eliminate all question marks in my head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Does genuinely nobody use this combination nor have any idea how scenery design works?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote concrete questions and you post a link to another forum with 328,809 messages? Besides, I know this site, but got really confused on how to start and what tool it for what...,so your answer does not help.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of people are using Sketchup to create 3D objects like buildings for use in FS.

 

If you can create your own textures in Photoshop, as opposed to being limited to the Sketchup textures, you can have more variety in what your buildings look like. The Sketchup textures are too small for my tastes and spread over a large model get repetitive.

 

Your Sketchup models need to be converted to a format FS can use, this can be done with Model Converter X.

 

MCX has a dedicated forum and tutorials at www.fsdeveloper.com.

 

As for things like taxiways etc. you want to start with Airport Design Editor. Again, fsdev is the place to start.

 

ADE has a ground poly editor that can be used to make custom markings.

 

If you want custom runways and such you can create them in SU, using PS for the textures, and create custom ground polys with MCX.

 

ADE can do some landclass type design work, photoreal ground textures and more serious terrain work will need to be done with SBuilderX. Again, see fsdev.

 

Bottom line is you have a lot to learn, far more than you should expect in one forum post.

 

regards,

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was living in Philadelphia, there was also an incredible scenery designer living in the same city (Ian, from SunSkyJet) and when we discussed getting together for some tutoring sessions Ian replied that a few wouldn't do it, and he just didn't have time to really teach me right.  He too pointed me to the FSDev forums and tutorials, and he was right to do so.

 

Bottom line, scenery design is a labor of love, equal in hours to what the hardest core simmer flies. Also, you can't expect to design much while flying either, it takes a lot of time, focus and effort to do right!

 

The tutorials were made by some dedicated experts who were kind enough to share their knowledge.  They are usually happy to answer questions, providing someone has been through the tutorials first and tried to fix things themselves.

 

Best of luck, scenery design can be a lot of fun, especially knowing that a lot of people will see your work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will need the following tools (assuming you insist on sticking with sketchup for modelling rather than use a proper program such as Blender or GMAX):

 

1. Sketchup (for making the model mesh).

2. Photoshop (or other paint program) for creating the textures. Which you apply to the mesh using Sketchup.

3. A DDS converter (to convert the BMP format graphics from photoshop into DDS for use in FSX, there is a plugin from nvidia for photoshop that will do this or you can use the excellent DXTBMP program).

4. Model Converter X (to take the sketchup models and convert them into MDL format. This program can also be used to convert MDLs into FS9 style ground polygons for ground markings)

5. A library creator (to take the MDLs and create a library BGL so you can use them in FSX)

6. A object placer program (to position the models within FSX. Instant Scenery is payware but is the best)

7. The FSX SDK (this needs to be installed. Ensure you have the latest versions updated, see fsdeveloper wiki for instructions). If you are making photoreal scenery then you will need to use resample program which is contained in the SDK. There are also a few other tools in the SDK that you may find yourself using (eg the autogen annotator program)

8. An airport editor program (ADE is the best).

 

All these programs can be found for free except for Instant Scenery.

 

First thing you should do is create a simple hangar, texture it and then place it into FSX. Once you've got that task mastered you can continue on from there.

 

Make no mistake, there is a heck of a lot to learn when it comes to scenery design and it can involve a crap load of steps. But if you start simple you can learn each step as you go and with a bit of hard work and dedication you can make a working airport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote concrete questions and you post a link to another forum with 328,809 messages? Besides, I know this site, but got really confused on how to start and what tool it for what...,so your answer does not help.

I've been doing scenery for a while, and I highly recommend learning to use ADE first. It can be downloaded for free. There is an ADE forum on the FSDeveloper website that was referenced earlier. The folks in the ADE forum are experienced scenery designers and have always been more than helpful to me. Scenery design is like any other artistic endeavor it takes a lot of patience and trial and error. As an example on one of my larger airports, it took me eight hours to just get the taxiway signs installed.

 

Billy Bluestar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this