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GMAX help

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Hi All:I am new to plane design, would love to basic help in starting off. I would like to design a EMB 120. I don't know alot of about using GMAX would love some basic information on how to start off. Thanks for the help.Charles

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Charles,Start by working through the tutorials that come with the FS2002 installation of gMax. Then, if you want to read more, visit www.freeflightdesign.com and see the tutorials there. Once you're ready, dig in and start modelling, and when you get stuck, you can bring specific questions here.Good luck,Matt

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hey,If you've never modeled before, dont plan on making anything. Gmax will be hard enough to absorb. Dig up every gmax tutorial you can find and DO them, some are pretty lame and easy, but if you dont arm yourself with the basics, people will soon get upset answering questions you should know.It will require many hours of study just to get comfortable enough to transfer whats in your head to the sim.Enjoy the learning process as much as the finished product.if you need help just ask, odog

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Hi All:Thanks for your help. I will let you know if I have any futher questions.Charles

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The most important thing about GMAX is that the tools and methods you will be using will be counter intuitive. The tools just do not work the way you expect or logically think they should. When you want to shape something the way you want it, and even being familiar with the concepts of the user interface and how to go about 3D model building, you will still be frustrated.For example. It clearly makes sense to have a tool that creates polygons. To fill in a void area or connect between objects is very logical. But if you didn't read here or a tutorial you would likely never figure out (because GMAX does not make it obvious) why you get an error message "illegal polygon face" when you try to create a new poly. What is the solution? Instead of going clockwise around the vertices to make the polygon, you go counterclockwise around them. Who knew?It has something to do with direction "normals" are facing. Normals are a pretty deep concept compared to just messing around with boxes and cylinders and GMAX does very little to help.Another thing is that the most obvious way to build something may not be the best in GMAX. You may have to use powerful complex tool such as ARRAY or LOFT to do something very simple. For example, you need to use and learn about Loft to make an exhaust header tube with its complicated turns.Array sounded very complex to me. But I found it very easy to use and by trial and error I could observe the correct orientation to use for a part, even if I did not entirely understand what it was doing.Mirror is a VERY useful tool and a bit hard to work with the result because you need to detach the mirrored duplicate to work with it individually. Use Mirror to preserve symmetry in your model. I can tell you from experience that it is much easier to learn to use Mirror than it is to attempt hand matching of objects! Make a right wing. Mirror it. Make a right landing gear. Mirror it. Make right elevator. Mirror it.Another example of confusion is Cut. It does not really do what it implies. It does NOT cut pieces out of an object. It merely lets you draw edges across existing lines.Also, one the "rollout" panels, you need to understand that some of the tools available there do not necessarily apply to the part you are working on or even the kind of part you are working on (vertex, edge, etc.) but for example, the Attach tool always applies to whole objects and never to edges, etc. no matter what mode the panel is in.It is a good idea to be very careful when selecting vertices to adjust. Applying a tool with stray vertices on the back side of the object selected can severely damage your model. It's easy to be unaware they are selected. Remember: dragging the mouse around a vertex to select it may select more than one vertex along that axis. clicking the mouse on a vertex will just select the one vertex. If you are in a tight position or angle likely to select unwanted multiple vertices, select each individually. It may take more time but there is less danger of altering the model in unintended ways.And GMAX has a VERY short Undo memory, and it COUNTS EACH MOUSE CLICK when selecting objects to turn or view them, so the memory of past important operations runs out quickly (Oh, for my endless undo available in Picture Publisher!).Another big frustration for me is the arbitrary way GMAX displays vertices that should be hidden behind the object. Often, some vertices peek out in front and may get selected. Ignoring back facing does not always keep these from being selected because their normals may not actually be facing opposite the normals on the other side.Another helpful point is: when you want to "squash" or apply a scale tool to in on direction along an object while holding the other static, it is best to go to vertex mode, select all the vertices (turn off ignore backfacing to be sure), then apply the non-linear scale. You will not get any warnings as you do when attempting to scale at the object level. And it will not collapse the "stack" history of operations.There are a lot of very important things to know about GMAX that are not exactly explained in the help, but are scattered through it as "tips."I approach "GMAX design" as a series of workarounds.Steve

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I agree with "odog" as well start slowly (walk don't run) start bylearning how the tools work basic modifers and how to use the material editor first. Yes it WILL take time but it can be great fun as well in short you will learn by doing. Dan

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>The most important thing about GMAX is that the tools and >methods you will be using will be counter intuitive. The >tools just do not work the way you expect or logically think >they should. When you want to shape something the way you >want it, and even being familiar with the concepts of the >user interface and how to go about 3D model building, you >will still be frustrated. >>Careful now...to each his own. I personally find gMax features very intuitive once I learn that they exist. Let's not make it our goal to scare away Charles and other potential designers.Matt

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