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Guest iholrf

VC Interior sitting on the ground

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Hi again all,I am not sure if this is the appropriate forum for this question, but, as I do not see a modeling specific forum on AVSIM, I will post it here where I know everybody :).I have been playing with the Gmax source for a Beech Model 18 G downloaded from that other site :0. It seems the source was originaly for FS2002 and was created using a unit scale in inches, not meters. Needless to say I took most of the next few hours building an appropriate airfile and configs. After converting it to meters and re-orienting the pivots on the props and rudders to face forward I exported the model and opened it in FS9 to take a look see. All looked good from the outside. Gear is on the ground, scale is appropriate, all animations work.The problem was the VC seemed to disappear. After playing for quite a while I decided to pan strait down and much to my surprise the entire interior model was below me. I quickly changed the eyepoint and found myslef in the VC as I should be, but... I am sitting on the ground. I look up at cessna 172's... this is not right as its nose should be quite high, it being a tail-dragger and all.From an exterior view all is well. The interior looks like it is where it should be and the plane looks quite a bit larger and taller than the 172 its parked beside. But not from inside.I have noticed this problem with a couple of other models I like, particluarly a version of a C-123 provider. I am assuming its a Gmax modeling problem and not a config problem.Any ideas on how to fix this (or a better place to post this) are most welcome.TIAShad

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Shad,1.) Start with a fresh copy of the FS2k2 gMax model.2.) Select the interior group and hide the exterior group.3.) UNgroup the interior group.4.) In the top viewport, make a dummy control node, name it interior and move it to the origin, 0,0,0.5.) Link all of the parts that were at the top level of the hierarchy in the interior group to the interior control node.6.) Select all of the parts that are showing and unhide all (the exterior group).7.) Hide the selected parts. Now you should have only the exterior group showing.8.) UNgroup the exterior group.9.) In the top viewport, make a dummy control node, name it exterior and move it to the origin, 0,0,0.10.) Link all of the parts that are at the top level of the hierarchy in the exterior group to the exterior control node.11.) Save as a new gMax scene file like whatever_2k4.gmax.12.) Test export and view the error log that makemdl generates. Fix the mesh geometry... colocated and colineal verts and any other problems that the rescaling process made... there are lots of them like the plane's centerline is no longer centered to the orgin. Redo any animations that don't work right... they don't scale well either.Lou

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Thanks Lou, I'll give it a shot. I suspect I am in over my head here, but what the hey, it is my hobby, right? :)CheersShad

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Shad,I have been been experimenting with some other ways to try and fix the problem and found a way that doesn't seem to offset the aircraft and preserves the animations.1.) I set my System Unit Scale to 1 Unit = 1 inch, the original scale of the model and opened the original gMax file.2.) I made a point helper, named it absolute_center_variation_i and moved it to 0,0,0. Then I made another and named it absolute_center_variation_e, again placed at 0,0,0. I did this because I was fully expecting that after the model was rescaled, I would have to move the parts back the their original locations.3.) I hid the exterior group and UNgrouped the interior group. I selected ALL of the parts that were in that group and applied an Edit Mesh modifier and then Collapsed All. Then I linked all of the top interior nodes to my absolute_center_variation_i helper point.4.) I repeated the process of selecting all and unhiding the exterior group then hid what I had currently selected.5.) Ungrouped the exterior group, selected all of the parts that were in this group and applied the Edit Mesh modifier and Collapsed All. Then linked all of the top exterior nodes to my absolute_center_variation_e helper point.6.) Unhid the rest of the model and saved as a new file named whatever_modified.gmax.7.) Clicked on File > New to start a new project. Now I set my System Unit Scale back to 1 unit = 1 meter.8.) Click on File Open and select my whatever_modified.gmax file and when promped about the difference in scale, I selected Rescale the File Objects to the System Unit Scale. Went to move things back to center, and they were already there...they were not offset at all. Then I checked the animations and they were just like they were in the original file. So I had a complete and clean conversion from one System Unit Scale to another. Now I save it as whatever_2k4.gmax.9.) When exported I had no "Has Scale Applied" type errors show up, but of course the colocated and colinear verts were there as before. Now I'll build a container for the model.10.) Next I need to insert the various control nodes and rebuild the materials to FS2k4 standards.Lou

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Lou,I will also give this a try... if only I knew what a point helper was.. :7 .I have been reading as many tutorials as I can find and I am beginning to understand the problem... my problem is learning all the interface commands and how to use them properly.When I ungrouped the interior as you instructed above, I noticed a tiny plane called dvc, I am assuming this is the panel. The source I am talking about is available here: http://www.freeflightdesign.com/civilian/b18gsource.ZIPI tried changing the offset using the transform type-in, and unlike trying this to the grouped parts, it actually worked... not sure yet what it means but at least I feel like I am making some progress.Thanks again,CheersShad

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So that's what its supposed to look like heheh :). I have not made it anywhere near this far yet. (This is a better looking model than I first thought. When you look at the horrible misalligned polygons of my own creations and compare them to the beautiful symmetry of designs by people with talent you can't help but shudder)Thanks for all your help Lou. I am beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I will fill you in with my progress. Once I have the scalling problems sorted out, the next step is to change the length of the main gear struts as they are about 10-15% too long.This is a photo of a slightly newer version, but you can see the gear is shorter and the pitch is lower when on the ground.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/120092.jpg(this proud owner reflects my own feelings for the type)I want to say that I am overwhelmed with the helpful nature of the sim community. I have mentioned previously that I come from the Linux world where the online communities are militant at best and an egotistical nightmare at worst. So far in nearly a year of haunting this community, I have seen nothing but helpful and kind people (my own initial bad manners not withstanding).So once again, thanks to you and everybody for helping make my hobby one of fun and discovery.CheersShad

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Lou,I have tried a number of times using the method you described. The unfortunate result is the vc is now not present at all.I read somewhere that in order for the VC to show up there can only be two groups named interior and exterior... should I be regrouping the parts after I add the edit mesh/collaps all to each ungrouped selection? Also do I now include each point helper in the regrouping?Failing that, perhaps the process I am using to select and link is incorrect? What I do is click the select by name tool. In the list is the two point helpers I created and the two groups, interior and exterior. I select the exterior group and then hide it. I then select the interior group using the tool and ungroup it. This leaves me with the two point helpers and the now ungrouped interior part list which is already selected if I click the select by name tool. I then click the link tool followed by the select by name tool which now has a link button on it. I click the link button and assume its now linked as I could not detect a way to determine the link status.Meanwhile the selected interior parts have never become unselected and I simply unhide all to reveal the exterior then hide the selected interior and repeat the process and continue as you describe.When exported the exterior looks ok, except the gear is up and there is no vc.Je suis tres confus.CheersShad

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Your message is confusing, to put it mildly... ;)Let's back up and regroup (no pun intended!).First of all, forget "Grouping" altogether. It's just a "Bad Idea" in GMax and FS9.NO PARTS SHOULD BE GROUPEDInstead, you should have a parts hierarchy similar to this:exterior ;)

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I am getting nowhere with this. I am however still smiling. :DI have tried a dozen different ways, with varying results. Lou was even so kind as to send me his conversion this morning, but when exported there is still no VC.I am not usually quite so incompetent when learning new things so I thought maybe the problem was the setup and config of gmax, so I ripped it out, including cleaning the registry of any sign of gmax, autodesk, or discreet. I re-read the MakeMDL SDK and the Gmax SDK (both of which made more sense, so, I am learning things :) ) and then reinstalled and reconfigured GMAX accordingly.Still no joy.So, what I am going to do is a step by step outline of what I am doing, and perhaps one of you can point out where I am going wrong.I am going to write it up as I try one more attempt from a clean source.(Bill, re: using groups, I unfortunately have no choice as the source package provided by Greg Pepper is already grouped. The challenge I am facing is ungrouping them and linking them to the point helper - or box as you describe)Back soon.Shad

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Perhaps sombody could point me to the method to view and and determine which are top level nodes? Also, given this gmax source is pre-grouped, with no little boxes or helpers that I can determine, what am I supposed to make?A normal box (standard primitive)?A point helper box?A Dummy of some sort?I think this is a stumbling block as there is some ambiguity to the terms until I understand the jargon, syntax and flow when people talk gmax.TIAShad

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Shad,Oops!!! The model I sent you has a part that needs to be deleted. It is named "reference_datum". I use it for taking measurements. It will prevent the Exterior and Interior split. I usually delete it, then export the model, then undelete and close gMax.You can see the hierarchy in the "Select By Name" dialog box by checking the "Display Subtree" box towards the bottom of the dialog box.Lou

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Ahah! OK, giving that a try....ohohoh, very nice indeed (that worked). Thanks you very much indeed.Now to see if I can replicate these results from a raw source.So, do I have to convert all those pngs to bmps and if so what format? (How can I find this out?). The texture bmps that came with the model seem not to work in raw format. I have dxtbmp which works very well.Also, where did you get the stats for the airfile? Its very good and I am looking for more detailed info about specific parts like the props and engines.All of this just to be able to create a custom panel and VC. hehehCheersShad

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Shad,When working in gMax you can use any of several image formats. I use png (Portable Network Graphic) because they use less hard drive real estate. If I am using an image that has transparancy, I might use tga. Some people like to use Photoshop psd formated files. I keep these files in the same directory with the gMax source file or a sub-directory off the models texture directory in the aircrafts container e.g. texturegmax. Reguardless of which format you use, remember that gMax can not read DXT files and FS does not read 24 bit bmp.The original texture files for this aircraft were in a separate archive on FFDS and as I recall most were 24 bit bmp and had the alpha channels as separate bmp files that would need to be combined using DXTbmp then saved as DXT3 in your aircrafts texture directory. The prop blurred disc image is an 8 bit bmp and can be used as is in either gMax of FS.I used the DC3 air file and aircraft.cfg as a starting point then took measurments from the gMax model to hack it. That was the reason for the "reference_datum" part in the model. Actually it is a migration from the DC3 to a Lockheed L10e to the B18g having done the L10a earlier.Lou http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/120989.jpg

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Man-o-man, nothing is coming easy. If I open the textures in dxtbmp and import the alpha chanel then save as extended bitmap as dxt3, the textures on the surface are all of varying transparency, not reflective. Chrome shows up not at all or as nearly completely transparent.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/121034.jpgI have tried all the various permutations with dxt1/no alpha the only one that gives me opaque (albeit dull) surfaces.Is there something I need to change in the model, or is this a texture problem?I am sorry for asking all of these questions.CheersShad

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