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n4gix

Aircraft file completion

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TO anybody,I have made a model in GMAX of the Global Express XRS version but I am now at a complete loss as to which way to go. What comes first the chicken or the egg? Do you make the paintkit after developing the design and before using the animation tool or generate the material listing? I am so confused that I am about to give up and quit but I hate to let this design go down the tubes (so to speak). I have put a lot of effort in to this project. The only thing is the poly count is up to over 40,000. I am no expert in the design field but I also made one using FSDSv3 and used it in FS9 and imported to FSX with only the transparent windows are the only problem (Totally transparent).I have started to make a paintkit one texture for the fuselage, vert stab and rudder, engines, gear doors and wing fillet. The other is the remaining parts.The source files can be provided if someone is interested. I have a copy of the TC (available on the FAA web site) for all the control data.Respond and let me know the answers or solutions with help. I tried to upload the jpg file but it exceeds the limit of 155kb it is 217kb so if interested let me have your email address and I can fwd it.Regards,Richie35

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Well, before you can UVW map, and texture, you probably should have finalized the poly count.I think 40,000 might be a little high if this is just one LOD, but others can give you better feedback on that.Once you do finalize the polys, I wrote a great tutorial on UVW Mapping with Max 8, which is a good read if you are new to it, even though you will not be able to use the same techniques in GMax.You can download it free here.

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>Well, before you can UVW map, and texture, you probably>should have finalized the poly count.>>I think 40,000 might be a little high if this is just one LOD,>but others can give you better feedback on that.>>Once you do finalize the polys, I wrote a great tutorial on>UVW Mapping with Max 8, which is a good read if you are new to>it, even though you will not be able to use the same>techniques in GMax.>>You can download it free>here.>Hello Patrick,Thank you for the information but I am still confused about painting textures. The SDK describes how to do texturing and materials but it refers to xxxx.psd which to me means you have to had made a paintkit inorder to start doing any of the work. This is a one LOD so if the count is too high it is because GMAX as compared to FSDS has polys in triangles which doubles the count. My opinion at this point is to wait until ABACUS comes out with the new revised edition as it is probably much simpler to use. Or the other option is to start from scratch an reuse the low poly items that can be used.It appears that there is not too much interest in this project and of course Bombardier offered initially to provide information and then went silent after stating that there are several third party working on payware versions.My only objective is to make a usable aircraft for the flight sim community that can come fairly close to the actual flight characteristics and enjoy long distance flying in flight sim.Maybe I am expecting too much because the frustration is just too much and therefore dropping the project may be best.By the way, my background is in avionics since 1953 with the AF and Lockheed (Ontario). I may try my hand at doing some instrument programming in XML but I am not sure at this point.Thanks again,Richie35

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That's a very nice looking model.I'm puzzled why you ask about UVW Mapping before animations however, since clearly you've already done the animations... ;)Oddly enough, I actually UVW Map objects as soon as they are created. Aside from the "kick" of seeing the model being textured as I work, it also provides me a way to catch and FIX problem areas before becoming "commited" to a final mesh... ;)Obviously, I begin with the objects that are the "largest" in terms of texture real-estate; e.g., fuselage, wings, etc. Once those are done, then I know precisely where on the texture template I have room to "fit" the other fiddly-bits of the model.I try to keep related objects on the same bitmap template(s) as much as possible. IOW, the fuselage and all the "attachments" to the fuselage such as antennas, pitot tubes, brackets, steps, window glass, window frames, etc.I also make extensive use of LithUnwrap to generate perfect pixel-to-vertex mesh templates which are then "stacked as layers" in a master .PSD file. Since Max/GMax can use PSD files as well as .jpg or .bmp files, it's just more convenient this way. Each time I add a new "mesh layer" to the master PSD file, I "Reload" the image in the Material Editor so the UVW Editor's viewport will always be current.As I work, I can also add "base paint layer(s)" to the master PSD file and test out coverage and alignment of the UVW Mapping in Max/GMax as I work, and make any necessary corrections/additions as I go.Each time I export a "test model" for FS, I also "Save As" my Master PSD file as a DDS/DXT5 file (or 24-bit .bmp and convert to DXT3 for FS9 models).BTW, that's a very nice looking model! ;)

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>Thank you for the information but I am still confused about>painting textures. The SDK describes how to do texturing and>materials but it refers to xxxx.psd which to me means you have>to had made a paintkit inorder to start doing any of the work.That is not quite right. You begin by creating a completely blank image in Photoshop (or other paint program), and save it using the name you plan to use: e.g., xxx_Fuselage.psd (best) or .bmp (next best).The "blank image" can be any size you like, as only the filename is important at this stage!>Maybe I am expecting too much because the frustration is just>too much and therefore dropping the project may be best.Don't do that! If you like, make the .gmax file available and I'll be happy to "get you started" and provide some tutoring along the way. I'm doing that right now with one of my ESDG Team Members, and he's now able to pick up the ball and run with it... ;)n4gix@comcast.net

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We all start confused, but those (like you) that make the effort can find many more experience willing to give you an hand on forums like this one.It is a nice looking model, but many get discourage when they begin to realize that completing the model is only like 1/3 of the work.Also, the poly count is not the end of the world, it is still probably ok. Bill can better speak to that as he has more experience (along with others), but even if you need to lower it a bit, it is not that hard to do.BTW, the "triangles" are half a (sqaure) "poly", and called a "face".It is a very nice looking model and you should continue. Let other more experienced modelers help you.When you are ready to try your hand at a helicopter let me know. =)Patrick

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>>Thank you for the information but I am still confused about>>painting textures. The SDK describes how to do texturing and>>materials but it refers to xxxx.psd which to me means you>have>>to had made a paintkit inorder to start doing any of the>work.>>That is not quite right. You begin by creating a>completely blank image in Photoshop (or other paint program),>and save it using the name you plan to use: e.g.,>xxx_Fuselage.psd (best) or .bmp (next best).>>The "blank image" can be any size you like, as only the>filename is important at this stage!>>>Maybe I am expecting too much because the frustration is>just>>too much and therefore dropping the project may be best.>>Don't do that! If you like, make the .gmax file available and>I'll be happy to "get you started" and provide some tutoring>along the way. I'm doing that right now with one of my ESDG>Team Members, and he's now able to pick up the ball and run>with it... ;)>>n4gix@comcast.netTo all responders Bill, Patrick, etc,Thanks for your replies and thanks for the comment on the model. Lets do this Bill. I will forward to GMAX file to the link is show and we will work together as a team to try and complete the project to the satisfaction of all concerned and I may learn things in the process.Do you want me to attach the preliminary paintkit I have made?Thanks to all again,Regards,Richie S.

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>>GMAX as compared to FSDS has polys in triangles which doubles the count.The triangle divisions don't affect the polygon count. I'm not familiar with FSDS, but I'm sure it's also dividing polys into triangles - a square poly is really 2 tris; a 5-sided poly is really 3 tris, etc. FSDS may just be hiding the subdivisions to make editing easier (as Gmax can also do). Your true polygon count - in any 3D program - is the number of triangles it contains.I have a hunch that once you have others take a look at your model, you'll find opportunities for eliminating un-needed polys. -Mick

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>That's a very nice looking model.>>I'm puzzled why you ask about UVW Mapping before animations>however, since clearly you've already done the animations...>;)>>Oddly enough, I actually UVW Map objects as soon as they are>created. Aside from the "kick" of seeing the model being>textured as I work, it also provides me a way to catch and>FIX problem areas before becoming "commited" to>a final mesh... ;)>>Obviously, I begin with the objects that are the "largest" in>terms of texture real-estate; e.g., fuselage, wings, etc. >Once those are done, then I know precisely where on the>texture template I have room to "fit" the other fiddly-bits of>the model.>>I try to keep related objects on the same bitmap template(s)>as much as possible. IOW, the fuselage and all the>"attachments" to the fuselage such as antennas, pitot tubes,>brackets, steps, window glass, window frames, etc.>>I also make extensive use of LithUnwrap to generate perfect>pixel-to-vertex mesh templates which are then "stacked as>layers" in a master .PSD file. Since Max/GMax can use PSD>files as well as .jpg or .bmp files, it's just more convenient>this way. Each time I add a new "mesh layer" to the master>PSD file, I "Reload" the image in the Material Editor so the>UVW Editor's viewport will always be current.>>As I work, I can also add "base paint layer(s)" to the master>PSD file and test out coverage and alignment of the UVW>Mapping in Max/GMax as I work, and make any necessary>corrections/additions as I go.>>Each time I export a "test model" for FS, I also "Save As" my>Master PSD file as a DDS/DXT5 file (or 24-bit .bmp and convert>to DXT3 for FS9 models).>>BTW, that's a very nice looking model! ;)Hello Bill,I have not heard from you since I emailed the file to you and I know you are very busy. I am only wanting to know what mistakes I may have made during the development of the aircraft so I will not make them in the future. Please update when possible. Rich

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>Hello Bill,>I have not heard from you since I emailed the file to you and>I know you are very busy. I am only wanting to know what>mistakes I may have made during the development of the>aircraft so I will not make them in the future. Please update>when possible. Strange, as I've sent several replies since receiving your file......and have received replies to my replies from you as well... ;)In any case, here is part of my initial observations:The very first task will be to take the fuselage and seperate the exterior "skin" from the interior mesh (including the edges of windows, doors, etc.) By having them as "seperate ofjects" it will greatly simplify the process of UVW Mapping, as well as allow us to simplify the interior model and trim the "fat" with regards to polys that will never be seen (empennage, area forward of the cockpit, etc.Once UVW Mapping is completed, the two objects may easily be recombined if desired and the overlapping vertices/edges "welded". I seldom do this though, and have never suffered from the lack.

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Hi Bill,The reason I done the combining the exterior and the interior was I did not what the co-located vertices problem but I may have been wrong on that issue. The model I have for FS9 does compile and can be used in FS9 and FSX but in FSX the window cannot be transparent as in FS9. Minor issue but there are numerous co-located vertices issues with that one but do not cause a problem. Once I know what things I am doing wrong then I can correct them in any future models I make. I hope your guidance will help me do that in the future and that is why I come to the "EXPERTS" for help and guidance/assistance.Thanks for your help and have a good weekend. Will be waiting for critiques.Regards,Richie35

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Just out of curiousity, these days does the "interior" model (ie VC model) need to really contain the exterior as before for camera shots outside the cockpit? Or do cameras now look at the exterior model?Patrick

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>Just out of curiousity, these days does the "interior" model>(ie VC model) need to really contain the exterior as before>for camera shots outside the cockpit? Or do cameras now look>at the exterior model?The easiest way to find out is to move your eyepoint outside the cockpit and take a look! :) Ctrl-Shift-Backspace until you're outside the cockpit on the port side and swivel around to see what's present...Patrick, it's still the same way that this is handled in FS2k, and FS9: what you "see" out the window from inside the a/c is whatever is contained in the interior model. This is done to reduce load on the sim by allowing us to use a "simpler model" (i.e., only polys that can be seen from the window(s) need to be included.There's no point in having the polys for the bottom of the wing, the belly antennas, nose gear, etc. present.Some of the default models have carried this to a rediculous extreme of course... Try shifing your "seat" to the copilot's side in the FS9 C172 or Mooney for example... :_

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Thanks Bill. Good tip, haha.I just remember that if someone uses active camera, then if the model is not complete, they can get a view they are not meant too.Now with FSX camera's I suspect this is less an issue now.Patrick

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