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Guest CX001

Opinions on oply numbers, and my first gmax model

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Hey everyone. I've been working on this lady(Boeing 307 for Pan Am) for some time now, and i've run into a bother. I've been watching the poly numbers climb, and now they are up to about 29,000, which I would say seems a bit high since I haven't even cut any of the wing surfaces yet, started the interior, worked on the engine cowl inlets and exhausts, nor worked on the landing gear. The extent of a VC will be determined by how many polys it takes to make this bird look right, most likely. What really is a reasonable number for polys? It's kind of frustrating since the 307 has compound curves everywhere that need tons of points in order to be molded right. The biggest issue for me are the engines. I've modeled the engines down to the inlet and exhaust piping. Pushrods, oil sump, and a partial ignition harness is there too. I've booleaned the cylinder heads to a pretty accurate shape, imo. I personally detest a flat plane with a photo of the engine textured on, but at 4,000 polys each, these seem a bit much. :-(On a lighter note, this project has been going very smoothly so far and it's been fun learning all the powerful weapons gmax has to create the sort of shapes I need. :-samurai Actually, I have hardly used any modifiers. It's all been pushing points, cutting, booleaning, welding, etc. Very different stuff from AutoCAD. I still miss my command line and the ability to enter in commands. :-( The material editor is making my head spin, but some reading should clear up the bedlam. I can apply a single material and texture to a planar object, but that's it. :-lolMy thanks to Autodesk for making such a tool free for all of us. :D AutoCAD is great, but modeling is *not easy* in that program, as some of you probably know. BTW, this is not my first model, but one of a few i'm working on. I'll leak the others later. :D http://forums.avsim.com/user_files/24054.jpghttp://forums.avsim.com/user_files/24055.jpg

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WHOAH Chris! Thats one amazing bird, and you have really cool detail in the engines. I'll tell ya now, don't worry about the poly count. You can export as big a Poly file as you want, you just need to be keeping it so that systems can run it. If you made a 50K Exterior, you could have a 50K interior aswell, it would jsut be a bit harder to export, and you would have to fiddle .MDL files and stuff. Tom had a quick tip on how to do it at www.freeflightdesign.com. Also, you will find that the Models will run smoothly in the sim, even at 50K polys, before its textured. What Kills frames are Textures. My friend was round the other day and he had a crazy idea to make a flying teapot. So from old bits and bobs we put together a flying teapot, which was about 45K polys if i remember! It flew great, and it even had Specular heighlighting, but that also put frames down a bit. Don't worry about the Poly count, its easier to cut down the polys and made it less detailed than it is the make it more detailed, trust me, i tried! Chris, You say you havent started to cut into the wing yet. Do you have any Messenger services? I have a good technique, to build accurate but poly friendly wings. For the 307, would of fought you would have it down to about 1500 poyls MAX per a wing, more of 1000 polys, depending on how many cross sections you want in your wing. the only problem is its hard to explain. If i remember rightly, the 307 has those flaps which come out from the bottom of the wing only? (sorry i forgot the name) There easy to make with this technique, so if you want to know we can discuss it over a messenger, or via email( mine is Andy.warden@dsl.pipex.com, not the ony i am registered with,thats my brothers!, and he gets mad :|)Thanks, and keep up the great work chris, it looks amazing so far!

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Thanks for the input, Andy, it's very appreciated. Yes, the 307 and B-17 have split flaps, with only about an inch of the upper wing's trailing edge as part of the flap. They are driven back by jacksrewes and are hinged in two places, at the very forward part, and about 1/3 the way aft, where a pivoted strut attached to the fixed portion of the wing is. The pivoted strut increases the angle of deflection of the flap as the jacks drive the leading edge aft. The flaps themselves are ribs (36 about 6" on center, I think) with a skin wrapped and riveted over. Ailerons are simple hinged affairs with tabs, but the lower leading edge extends further forward than does the upper leading edge. The only other thing to cut from the wing are a couple of inlets for oil coolers, the oil cooler vents, and the landing lights, really. No offense to Al Kaiser, but he got this part as wrong as can be. He just cut the whole section of the wing out and hinged it at the heading edge. I tried telling him, but I guess he didn't get what I was saying. :-( I will have to stand up to his measuring stick for the VC, though. Textures, eh? Well, I guess I will find out how much a hit when I get there, then. :-lol I'm sure I can cover the painting area. :D My biggest worry is getting everything animated right. Is it as simple as tagging the part and getting the rotating axis right, or do you have to animate it, and tag it additionally? I have alot of reading to do there too, guess. Yes, I do have MSN Messenger. cahill01_at_charter.net I'm in Califonia

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ah, gmax does have a command line. Lower left, those two boxes will accept and execute commands. Don't know what the commands are? Turn on the:MaxScript...Maxscript Listener......MacroRecorder.........EnableDo something and Note the command syntax. Also look at the section in help on MaxScripts for syntax structure.Here is a simple example:Make a 3D object, select it and go to the top box in the lower left and enter:scale $ [10,0.9,10.] You should get something that is 10X larger in the x,z and .9 as large in the y. As you know, where you can use the command to advantage is in moving a point or vertex to an exact loction so they will match exactly with other points/veertex. And many other appliation if we were truely working to exact scales instead of being tracers.

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Hey Chris.Andy said a lot of the valid stuff, but as you will see you will get many different answers.It is true that you do not need 100K polys to model a fairly accurate aircraft, but if you use them well, 100K polys might be real nice to look at.I personally don't mind too many polys when they are well used. I hate to look at a plane and be able to tell the fuse is not round, when I can count 32 sides to it, or whatever, but that is just personal opinion.If you read up on Melvin Rafi's document on the v.2 of the 777, released today, you will see that he uses more than 90K polys. I don't know what the breakdown is for internal/external (as you will learn, if you haven't already, the interior model will only show up when in Virtual Cockpit mode, so in external views the sim won't have to render absolutelly all the polys, just the outside ones and the inside ones you want people to see through the windows), but you can see that you are definitelly not overdoing it.I love the detail you have, I like to walk around the aircraft in FS and drool at the tiniest details.By the way, not Autodesk, discreet now :-). I used AutoCAD and I HATED it. Did some fairly complex models, but it is far from being userfriendly. Don't get me wrong, I got quite good at it, but gmax and especially 3ds blow it out of the water for solid modelling.

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Yeah i know what your saying. Personally, i would perfer to have a smooth model than one with blwon out features, butthe nagain, i would like to see some cool features at the same time, so there needs to be a comprimise. Look at Harald Nehrings freeware A310 aircraft series. His models are very nice, they have a couple of cool features liek a few extra parts for the machanical parts to the flaps, 3d spoilers etc... but its still very smooth, so its the compremise he has which i find perfect. If you look at his updated model which is now at SSW, it features the whole works, Hydrualic gear door rams and so on, and that looks great, but it might start to struggle on my computer here. I'm on a Duron 1.2, so i arnt made for the greatest graphics! From what I can see your a natural at modelling Chris, it looks great so far:DI'm in England by the way ;)

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Makes perfect sense, guys. Bob, thanks for that. I'm used to AutoCAd in being able to hammer out commands instead of searching for the right button or menu. BTW, I work as a Drafter/slave/helper at an Architectural firm, so that's where I built alot of my CAD experience up. I've tried some 3D, but it's VERY difficult(as you know, Fabio ;-) ). Greg Pepper does some of his stuff in AutoCAD, but I don't know how he does it. More later, I gotta go.....

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Hi Chris and others,Found this on the EAA.org site this morning while making plans.http://www.airventure.org/2003/news/images/307_300.jpgand more information here:http://www.airventure.org/2003/news/stratoliner.htmlIf you buy the film and process, I will make it point to take some pictures while in Oshkosh. ;-)Just jerking your chain --- no cost -- we have a digital still and DV camcorder bought just for events like this and we will make it a point to capture the essence of the design for you. Or .. are going by chance?Regards,BobS

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Bob, Flying Cloud is going to be at Oshkosh? Great! :D I thank you for your kind offer.Well, I need want/need/would like pics of the wing root fairings(ventral and dorsal sides), flap trailing edges and inboard sides, wing leading edge(for oil cooler vents, I need to know id they are symmetrical or not), cowlings, horizontal stab on upper and lower surfaces, and tailwheel. My photos of the actual article are limited, but I do know the B-17C very well and the B307s were heavily based on them, but in any case, confirmations would be great as to the similarities. Any vents on the fuselage that stand out would be nice to have pics too. I've never met at B307, but I will soon. :D Feel free to email me if you need anything.cahill01_at_charter.netThanks again!

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