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Avcomware

My piper Seneca plus a few questions...

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Hi, here is a picture of my first model for FS made with 3DS Max.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/61418.jpgUncompleted parts : * Wheels, and struts * Propellers * Interior * Window cutouts * Flap cutouts * Animations * Antennas * Ailerons, and flap hinges * and whatever other small details the seneca might have :-xxrotflmao So far she has 3432 polygons hopefully i can keep her under 6000!I've run into a problem and i hope some one can help me... How do you make the trim tabs move together with the control surfaces ?Also i was wondering if any one has any performance info on the seneca, or anyone that knows the movements of the landing gears ??Thanx everyone for your help, i could not have gotten this far if it wasn't for you guys!! :-beerchug

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> How do you make the trim tabs move together with the>control > surfaces ?Select the trim tab, click on the "Link" button and then choose the aileron, elevator, whatever the "parent" part is.The trim tab will then be a "child" of the "parent" part and follow it's animation... :)That is one of the smoothest models I've seen in a long time!Beautiful workmanship. I can't wait to see her completed!

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Thanx for the help n4gix, now i have all the control surfaces completed. >Beautiful workmanship. I can't wait to see her completed! I can't wait either!! I start my course in 2 days so i want to finsh her before we get our last major (HUGE!!!) project in about 2 to 3 weeks. :-hang

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Hi.Looks very good. One thing to remember Texture ALL surfaces / parts, otherwise they may become invisible in FS9. I built an T182RG in Gmax and at certain time of day and relative position to the Sun, it all becomes invisible, except the gauges and panel that has been textured. My goal was to get the most efficient, with the lowest poly model possible, and it looked OK in the 2k2, but not in FS9. TV

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Thanx for the tip Avcomware :-hah I had already spent several hours going crazy trying to fix the invisible model problem :-shy Off topic question.... I've read all these posts on models with 30000, 40000 even 60000+ polys, so far i have just crossed the 5000 polys mark and don't have really that much more to do (other than the interior). What would be a good poly count for a GA aircraft ?thanx :-beerchug

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elche,Beautiful modeling there. :-)Just a bit of insight maybe .. don't set any false hopes for poly face goals. The parts you have done already are the easiest and lowest of the poly counts. What you have yet to do will take longer and use many more poly's than you think. Fear not. Most quality aircraft have poly counts many times yours.Do not short change the quality of your work to date trying to keep poly's to 6000. Heck, AI aircraft have 2-3000 but that's for a reason.I have one nearly completed project now with 78,000 poly's (with VC and cabin) and the frame rates are the same as the defaults in 2d and 3D. Matter of fact, my model size is smaller than some defaults.I have found that textures hurt FPS more than poly's for my mid-range system and cheap video card. FS can easily handle higher poly counts than 30,000. The limit is 60,000~ per exterior model and interior model I believe. I have had my total project up to 88,000 (before optimizing) with no visible FPS effects.Where lower poly counts really help is in multiplayer mode or with lots of wx and AI add-ons running around at large airports. If you are designing for these modes, then yes, keep poly's down. Most GA aircraft simmers fly the smaller airports though it seems.Final advice ... build it the way you want it .. to look great and fly great. Don't compromise too much on the details, just be practical about what folks can run on their systems. Use poly's judiciously, but unless you're building for AI, don't expect 6000 as a realistic goal.Here's my guess for your completed aircraft:Exterior model=30,000Interior model=12,000These are reasonable goals for a well-done quality aircraft that will get heavy play in busy environments.My current Twin Commander project is at 65,000 now, 38,000 exterior, 27,000 interior. It has lots of detail. I made the mistake once of undercutting poly's not knowing what the reasonable counts were. That was my first project. I have regretted it ever since. Don't make that mistake. :-) Build it with the same quality you have so far; optimize as you must.Most of all, have fun. :-)Milton

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Avcomware,Thanx for your suggestions. Since i puchased FS9, i've converted to an almost GA fanatic and fly strictly using the VC. I'm definitely going to try and make the VC on this model as readable and sharp as possible while maintaining good FPS. My machine is only a PIII 933 with 512mb RAM and a GForce 2(32mb), so FPS is somewhat a priority for me at the moment.Thanx again for your suggestions. :-beerchug Milton,Thanx for the great advice, i will certainly be taking it on board for my current model and all future models. I now definitely know that my 6,000 poly target was completely unachievable. After only adding 3 tyres, props, and flipping the fuselage, my poly count has crept up to 8,000 and being a perfectionist (:-bang) i'm more than certain that i will reach 30,000+.>Most of all, have fun. :-)Two years ago i wouldn't have be caught dead spending 8+ hours a day, for seven days, on my last week of holidays in front of a computer modelling an aeroplane, literally ripping the hair off my skull, staining my teeth with caffeine and nicotine. And as bad as all that sounds i'm having the time of my life!!! The learning curve has been huge and steep!! and i can honestly say that i can't wait to finish this project and get started on the next one... I'm even considering taking up a Diploma course on 3DSMax next semester!!Also it feels good to finally be able to give something back to the FS community (after having taken almost 10GB of downloads :-hah ).Cheers Milton :-beerchug

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Avcomware,Thanx for your suggestions. Since i puchased FS9, i've converted to an almost GA fanatic and fly strictly using the VC. I'm definitely going to try and make the VC on this model as readable and sharp as possible while maintaining good FPS. My machine is only a PIII 933 with 512mb RAM and a GForce 2(32mb), so FPS is somewhat a priority for me at the moment.Thanx again for your suggestions. :-beerchug Milton,Thanx for the great advice, i will certainly be taking it on board for my current model and all future models. I now definitely know that my 6,000 poly target was completely unachievable. After only adding 3 tyres, props, and flipping the fuselage, my poly count has crept up to 8,000 and being a perfectionist (:-bang) i'm more than certain that i will reach 30,000+.>Most of all, have fun. :-)Two years ago i wouldn't have be caught dead spending 8+ hours a day, for seven days, on my last week of holidays in front of a computer modelling an aeroplane, literally ripping the hair off my skull, staining my teeth with caffeine and nicotine. And as bad as all that sounds i'm having the time of my life!!! The learning curve has been huge and steep!! and i can honestly say that i can't wait to finish this project and get started on the next one... I'm even considering taking up a Diploma course on 3DSMax next semester!!Also it feels good to finally be able to give something back to the FS community (after having taken almost 10GB of downloads :-hah ).Cheers Milton :-beerchug

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LOL Yup! You're hooked. Sounds just like me on the Dash 7 project. I was doing 50-70 hours a week for 5 months before I started slowing down on hours. The learning curves were ... very time consumimg. ;-)The second project went much faster, and the third even faster. Only now putting the whole spectrum of things in perspective to do the right things at the right time and being able to coordinate all aspects of the project and keep an attentive ear out for the wife. :-)Have fun!

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Just my thoughs, many may not agree: Keep polycount as low as possible. I've tried a few highpolycount models on my (old) system, and it was a nogo - immediate uninstall although they looked awesome. I kind of enjoy flying, not looking at planes :) Getting rid of obstructed polys is a nice way, but Microsoft has overdone this. Maybe there is not a need to move around "everywhere" in the aircraft, but a polygon coverage of where the head might normally be is a necessity. Not talking about "from viewpoint only", but when you move around slightly to get better view, reaching over for knobs etc.Not being able to model my own planes, I still like to build and modify cockpit and gauges to make the plane more "me". Some of the defaults _could_ have benefitted from a slightly higher polycount; the things you look at _a lot_ should be quite smooth, such as propeller blur. Backseat section can be worse. LOD-support is nice, but... :) Some say that there is no cost to a high poly model, but there is. By adding complex gauges the slowdown/other loss become more obvious. For myself I rarely experienced a much lowered framerate, but the destination area was always a big blur (FS2002, complex gauges, lowpoly aircraft). With lots of polys, framerate loss was also a fact. As for virtual cockpit texturing, avoid at all cost the Microsoft default overly sparse instrument placement/size. Although maybe not all the panel is used in vc, strategic areas should be mapped with a gauge texture, active or not. Don't use a globally sized texture, but map logically areas with several textures. That way, the panel tweakers has something to play with. Avoid 3D buttons on radios and smallstuff, since many will want to try with other avionics. Microsoft has locked gauge position, size, and resolution to the point where modifying the virtual cockpit is no longer possible, greatly reducing the possibility to enhance it.Avoid gaugecode in modelfile, since they cannot (without hacking anyway) be modified. Not sure if how to do this is known. SDK out yet? The exception to this is trims. I usually fly default aircraft since they are the only ones I've seen (so far) that can be trimmed by trimwheel, and indicated (C182), from within virtual cockpit (drag the trimwheel). Support for this, if applicable to aircraft, would have been extremely nice.Again, just my thoughts. Many probably had a good laugh and did not agree :)

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Karl,I agree with all of it. Judicious use of polys, practical application, but certainly not everything AI poly count levels. As modelers, we have a broad audience. :-)I do build models to suit my tastes and hopefully run on most computers with decent FPS. But, as you say, whether the high polys come from the aircraft, the scenery, AI, or the load is from the gauges, there is only so much that can be processed with good FPS. Each adds its workload and certainly a low poly is best in heavy areas, heavy weather, and complex flight systems. Jeeze, we can't have it all yet? lolBy judicious, yet practical use, this new AC500 project shows that the interior can be wholesome, yet conservative. Any poly not seen from inside has been removed, yet you can move around freely in the cabin and not see a missing poly. I am getting much better at reducing obstructed poly's as well. Just recently took out 20,000 poly's in two weeks of optimizing the interior and exterior models. It's amazing what you can find when you really look for it. :-)You can also see we believe in the regional mapping of VC panels to allow exactly what you state. Great resolution, but flexibility in placement.I appreciate the insight from your vantage point. These comments help us recognize the many uses and perspectives of our customers. Please continue with these inputs and feedback. I greatly appreciate them.EDIT: To see the panel layout, click the attachment at bottom.http://www.flightsimonline.com/ac500/Image160.jpghttp://www.flightsimonline.com/ac500/Image151.jpg

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The panel layout looks really nice, but you could easily reduce the 5 separate Vcockpit sections to only 2, without losing any of the resolution.The left main and right main should easily fit on one 1024x1024, with the other 3 being placed on one 1024x1024.That should speed up the sim some... :)

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Well, actually there are 6 panels there on 4 different planes or levels. The left and rights fill up a 1024 each, otherwise why use 1024's? :-) The center fills a 1024 (on a different plane), and the left and right halves of the upper panel(on another plane) share a bitmap with the ECU. The overhead is the last one. I tried to keep pixels per inch close on all of them and had to deal with 4 depths/planes here.The object was not to do everything on 1 or 2 1024's. I wanted clarity equal or better than the 2D Panel. I have that. I can actually read all the main gauges from the 2nd row of seats at night.FPS comparisons (my slow computer with integrated video card) show me 1 less than the default aircraft VCs and beta testers say they get the same FPS as with the defaults, so I think it will be okay Bill. We'll see how the beta tests flesh out though.Hey, I did the other Commander VC's on one 1024. The biggest complaint was clarity of the VC. :-/ We'll try it this way this time. :-)

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