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Building 3D panel in GMax for use as 2D panel bitmap ?

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Hi,I have only very recently (yesterday ;)) started work on transfering my dull 2D panel bitmaps into exciting 3D drawings in GMax. The purpose of this excercise is not to create a VC but to have better looking bitmaps for my 2D panel. I have been searching through the GMax menu's and I couldn't find any way to "take pictures" in GMax that I can then use as bitmaps in FS. Can anyone help me out here ? I still ahve a lot to learn about GMax, and I presume I will find things along the way but any help here would be appreciated !Kind regards,Bj

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Bjorn (sorry if that didn't have the right accent), :DTaking "pictures" of your 3D model is called rendering, and cannot be done with GMax. It is a feature only in the full 3DSMax product which sells for $3,495 US.If you want a high quality 2D panel, rendering a 3D design is a great way to go, provided that you have a rendering 3D software program, model well, understand lighting design, are able to create great materials for your object, and can handle the post production on the rendering.Others might know of lower cost, or free 3d modeling programs that render. Since you are not having to worry about exporting the model to FS, you could use Blender perhaps, but I'm not sure if it has a renderer. Google for 3D apps perhaps.

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Hi Patrick,That certainly is bad news ! I will do a search on the internet and see if I can find another 3D program that does allow rendering.Kind regards,Bj

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Blender does a very nice job if you can get the geometry into it or out of it. The learning curve is also quite steep because it is a very complex package and the interface is nice when you get used to it, but you have to climb a cliff first :)I've used many packages in the past in my field for CAD/CAM and 3D animation, and I'm still amazed at how hard it is to move data from one to the other. This should not be surprising from a business model standpoint, because it still is not the goal for most development houses to make their formats completely compatible with competitors, even very expensive packages.Even today, geometry will have the best chance of making it through an import/export cycle, and textures/uv maps have a hard time.If you do a search on gmax and blender, you'll find few success stories out there, but they each require a lot of work. It will get better over time I'm sure.I personally wish Aces would support a tool like Blender out of the box for geometry/texturing or at the very least, document the .X extensions a bit better for the open source community to have a go at it, although I'm very happy that Gmax is still a solution for FSX. I'm also noting that the latest version of 3DS is not supported by the export tools. Besides, if it was easy, it wouldn't be as much fun now, would it? :)Etienne

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Hi Etienne,Well I've climbed a clif or two when I first started working on C-gauges and I got there in the end (in fact I'm still climbing but the path is no so steep anymore ;)). Like you say, it's the learning and the aha-moments now and then that make this such a fun hobby !I've downloaded Blender and it does look like most of the stuff that I cant do in GMax is possible in that program. I will do some tests with taking "pictures" of what I have created first though to make sure I don't finish the drawings etc only to find out I can't use what I have just created in my panel !Bj

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You can always use the Print Screen key to take a screenshot, then paste the image into your paint program for further manipulation. This isn't quite as nice as being able to do a true 3D render, but if you have a decent graphics card and take some care with the lighting, you can use Gmax as a tool to make certain elements that can't be easilly created in your paint program.There are also a lot of tricks you can do in a good paint program to get 3-D looks. Photoshop, for instance, has some great Layer Effects - great for creating embossed, 3-D looking objects, as well as realistic looking soft edged shadows.

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Well, there is a free "Maxscene" exporter that can be used along with a stand-alone rendering program called "Yafray" that has had some degree of success with GMax, but I personally never managed to find the time to experiment and get it working to my satisfaction.http://www.yafray.org/Further information may be found by doing a search for the keyword "Yafray" here:http://www.turbosquid.com/Forum/Index.cfm/...intGroupID/1004

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Prior to getting 3DS8 i had made use of a free program named Daz Studio that contains a superb rendering engine.The process required importing mapped .obj format files and modelingsome of the elements within Daz prior to rendering , i still do my gauge bitmaps within Daz as once the scene is set up it takesseconds to create the lighting and reflections on any new gaugehere is a link to a thread " DAZZ GMAX and Panel Production " following the process and one to the Daz Studio websitehttp://www.aerodynamika.com/cgi-bin/yabb/Y...?num=1148737110http://www.daz3d.com/index.php Should you need questions answered on how to use this softwareand the conversion process post them at FFDS above where i keepa more frequent eye on questions in my perview .CJ

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