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Guest Milton

Wonderful world of Gmax...Will it ever get easy??? HELP

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Okay, here it goes...I'm trying to design a ******** ********* **** for FS2002 in Gmax, BUT, Gmax is seemingly being uncoporative in cutting out the windows. I've tried using the edges cutting tool, but I can't create anything accurate that way, then, I tried shaping the window, and using the Booleax or whatever tool to blend it into the fuselage, but that didn't work, I tried doing it the "old" FSDS way by pain stakingly taking each vertex and quessing it to the right spot, hoping it'll look okay, and then shaping the window as a tube, and using the slicing tool to create a slice through it, which still didn't work.Now, please don't tell me that with all the power there is in Gmax, that there isn't one way that I can easily shape the window, hit a few buttons, and have Gmax do the rest, to get it to fit right into the fuselage without a hitch.So, my question for you is, how in the heck can I somewhat easily cut windows into a fuselage, by simply shaping a tube, or plain?I've also got another question on exporting out of Gmax, and into FS. The MDL compiler "seems" to work fine, but, when I load the file in FS, I don't get any animations, object lighting, or anything that was specified with a part name in Gmax. I read through the SDK, but it only suceeded in mushing up my mind even more on the subject. From what I can make out, I need to somehow get the .gmax file into a .x file, and then need to type some code into either the command prompt, or the run box???So, how in the world do I export a model out of Gmax, and have it actually work the way I want it to work in FS! I need to know becuase I've got two cool new features that need testing!!! I won't comment on them until I've got some videos and files to prove it, but they ARE a first for FS! I havn't seen ANYONE do them yet.That's all for now. Thank for whoever's help in advance...

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Hello Jonathan,As far as I know there is no easy way to do windows. It is a very painstaiking proces. Moving the polys around to form the windows is the way I make them. Be prepared to spend a whole sunday on them. Boolean might also work, but I only use that for cabin windows.If your animations don't work in FS, then you need to check there tags. If the tags are wrong, no animation. I also hope you no the difference between the keyframe anim tags and Fs anim tags. FS will animate the flaps for you automatically, IF you give them the right name.If you still have probs, drop me a line. I will see what I can do. I am a beginner myself, though.Udo.:-wave

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Jonathan what happend during the boolean op? you may have to do it several times for each window as booleans are a hit and miss thingon a curved surface(don't forget to save a copy of your model beforeperforming a boolie) Dan

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In GMAX, this is my process to use Boolean to cut windows and add textures. (See the picture below)PREPARATION: 1. Make a template (Create Box) simplified box the shape of the window. I use 3 horizontal and vertical segments on the face so I can make diagonal window corners. Make the template as deep as necessary to protrude through a curved fuselage. 2. Once the shape and size are perfected, copy the template for each window to be punched or cut. 3. Position the template boxes precisely where you want along and partly inside the fuselage. (See picture below) 4. When you have them exactly right, group them and give any name. 5. Now copy that group (hold shift and click the group) and move the copy to the other side of the aircraft. You now have all the window templates in place to start your cutting. 6. Ungroup both sets of window templates to set up for the next step. 7. Save your work now. (Good idea to use version numbers or names)CUTTING PREPARATION: 1. To keep the smoothing process from creating many new poly faces, contain your window cuts to the local area by doing a series of vertical cuts between all the windows and on the outside of end windows. (or whatever cuts are necessary in your circumstance) It is a good idea before doing the cuts to select and hide the poly's on the other side of the aircraft.2. Save your work now. (Good idea to use version numbers or names)CUTTING: 1. Select the fuselage 2. Go to Create, Compound Objects, select Boolean 3. In the rollout, select Move, A-B, then down further, select Cut and Refine. 4. Select Pick Operand B 5. Select the window template. Your window is now cut. 6. Select Boolean at the top to start the next window. 7. Repeat steps 4-6 for each window. 8. Now right click the fuselage and Convert to Editable Mesh, Polygon ADDING 3D EFFECT and WINDOW TRANSPARENCY MATERIALS (textures): 1. Right click the viewport name and turn on Show Edged Faces 2. Select all windows so the window poly's are highlited in red. 3. In the rollout, select extrude and enter a depth you want to show window and frame thickness. e.g. enter -2" hit enter, then +2" hit enter. Your windows now have thickness or 3D effect. 4. With all window poly's still selected, open the Material Editor. 5. Select a glass texture, or copy one, and Apply to the windows. Choose Opacity, color etc settings you like. (You may have to do this 1 window at a time, I do not recall.) This is the procedure I used to cut 32 windows with excellent results. Hope it works for you. :-) Milton Shupehttp://www.flightsimonline.com/dash7

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A few more shots of the refined process in the works...Hope this helps.Milton

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WOW! Thanks for all the replies everyone!!!I'll try using this new method later on today. I've got school work first.Again, thankyou for all your help, especially Milton.Oh, and by the way, Milton, could you email me please? I've got something I want to send/tell you as a token of my apreciation. My email address is jonathan@sgair.net. Thanks...

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And, here is the end result picture....When you are working on one side of the aircraft, it's always a good idea to ignore backfaces or select and hide or freeze the poly's on the other side.Also notice the window template differences between the first picture and the second refined procedure picture. The templates are much simpler. This is very important as the Boolean operation will create a vertex for each section in the template. So minimize the unnecessary vertices and poly's by keeping the template simple.Also, to keep the smoothing process from creating many extra lines and poly's, the containing vertical cuts between windows are necessary to keep your poly faces to a minimum.Hope this process works for you. The last time I did this, the whole set of windows both sides took about 1 hour.Milton

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