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n4gix

FSDS3 - cockpit windows

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Hello all,I am really enjoying FSDS3 and getting back into modelling - haven't modeled since AF99 and ASD.Most of the tools and methods suggested in the tutorials that come with the program work well and seem to follow contemporary design approaches.I have a question related to making cockpit windows with tools like FSDS3 and Gmax. I am using a boolean operation to punch cockpit window holes in the fuselag, but the holes are not tidy and need cleaning up, is there a best way to go about this? I usually place a guide window part in the hole and then snap the wonky parts from the fuselag to the guide part, but this causes a lot of triangles around the window to snap to one of only for vertices aviable (the four sides of the window).Are there any tricks and secrets to this process? With polygon smoothing it all looks pretty good, but some of the surfaces around the window are a little off due to the process I am describing. I think it'll be fine once it is textured, but this whole process of creating windows is very difficult.I'd love to see some tips and tricks develop around FSDS3 over time.

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Once I start tinkering with it, I'll let you know what I find. Have you tried to compile a model and display it in FS2002 yet?-John

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In my opinion, that's one of the things we want to see "cleaned up". As it stands right now, the boolean operation used by FSDS creates extra vertices and polygons. Snap to scale (remember to set project scale to at least .01 or .005) and fix polygon normals help a little bit.I am a Luddite, and I like to spend some time cleaning up vertices and polygons, to get them to the "right" shape.Even in gmax, a boolean is not a quick fix for a well-planned mesh, so I try to get the overall shape "right" before cutting up.

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>Once I start tinkering with it, I'll let you know what I>find. Have you tried to compile a model and display it in>FS2002 yet?>>-JohnJohn - it should be possible. One of the beta testers was actually compiling models with the FS2002 SDL makemdl. However, creating an FS2002 model is a lot easier by opening the FSDS3 source file in FSDS2.24 and compiling from there to FS2002/CFS2...Felix/FFDSPegasus Aviation Design

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>In my opinion, that's one of the things we want to see>"cleaned up". As it stands right now, the boolean operation>used by FSDS creates extra vertices and polygons. Snap to>scale (remember to set project scale to at least .01 or .005)>and fix polygon normals help a little bit.>Even in gmax, a boolean is not a quick fix for a well-planned>mesh, so I try to get the overall shape "right" before cutting>up.Several things to keep in mind regarding boolean operations:1) avoid trying to boolean cut a compound object! Only boolean planar surfaces if possible. Some simple compound objects such as trailing edges of wings may 'cut' well... ;)2) try to structure your mesh such that there is are edges either top/bottom or left/right of the boolean cutting tool. This will minimize the extra polygons created.

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Thanks Felix...I actually have FS2002 Makemdl currently however almost all of my models are failing with a "zero normal" found in xxx part error. In English, what does this mean and how can I fix it? I've tried to no avail to convert my FSDS 2 models.-John

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>Thanks Felix...>>I actually have FS2002 Makemdl currently however almost all of>my models are failing with a "zero normal" found in xxx part>error. In English, what does this mean and how can I fix it? >I've tried to no avail to convert my FSDS 2 models.>>-JohnWhile Fr. Bill will probably be able to tell you better what a "zero normal" is, do you have any double-sided polygons? (say a prop disk, window glass, etc.) Possibly two vertices joined together without "clearing" the polygon between them?Try the Part->Fix Surface Normal command and see if that works.

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Yep, I've used many double sided polys in my projects--mostly windows and prop disks. Fixing the surface normals seems to make the parts one-sided, but I am still getting the errors with the parts.-JohnEdit: I've isolated the problem somewhat, and it indeed seems to be the double sided parts. However, if I fix surface normals I end up with one-sided parts and both "sets" of polys are still there. I somewhat recall there's a naming convention with Makemdl that deals with double sided parts, but it looks like simple conversion of a model could be a long process.

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Felix, I played a little bit with Boolean cuts last night, and arrived at a method which eliminates all the extra polys and vertices added. It does involve some work, and it's essentially a combination of the Boolean feature and the technique Dave Eckert uses for making windows that's documented on his site.What I am doing (at least in practice) is using the Boolean feature. I then take the "cutout" part and remove all the polys, then join that part with the original pre-boolean part. That adds the points which outline the Window or door, etc, into the original part. I then manually remove the polys which surround the new points, and build polys to the "critical points" that form the shape of my cutout. By critical points I mean the points which make the essential outline of my cutout (some are added that aren't really needed--those I remove)I did this last night using a tube and a rectangular box to cut a window in the tube. I had to do very minor tweaking afterwards. Tonight I will try on a more complex part, and I'll see what the results are. Using this method in my "trial" achieved the same smoothness with far fewer vertices and polys than using Boolean alone would do.-John

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>>Edit: I've isolated the problem somewhat, and it indeed seems>to be the double sided parts. However, if I fix surface>normals I end up with one-sided parts and both "sets" of polys>are still there. I somewhat recall there's a naming>convention with Makemdl that deals with double sided parts,>but it looks like simple conversion of a model could be a long>process.Without having the makemdl SDK on hand (not at home), I believe that it's a material naming convention...HOWEVER, it's makemdl that doesn't like double-faced polys.... :)A long time ago (thanks to Fr. Bill) I got into the the habit of not making two-faced parts. My prop disks, for example, would still be a very thin two section cylinder, with the end sections scaled down into the shaft/hub...

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>I somewhat recall there's a naming>convention with Makemdl that deals with double sided parts,>but it looks like simple conversion of a model could be a long>process.Give the Material Name a DS_ prefix:DS_ = Polygons are drawn double sided.

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