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arno

GMAX scenery, lights, etc

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Hi,I just got the update to GMAX 1.1 and the latest MakeMDL. I have been using the version that came with FS2002 and am quite happy with the results for my local airfield. I was hoping that some of the strange messages would have gone away:"units are not meters" - they are, and the lamposts are the right height!"can't find MakeMDL" - Oh yes you can, just keep trying.- but never mind (I think these messages come from Microsoft, not GMAX)I also have now read (for the first time - oops!) the MakeMDL SDK from Microsoft, which under the heading "Material Names" states:"BRIGHT_ The material is bright (emits light)"Has anybody made this work for scenery? I would really like to try producing a better looking rotating airport beacon, Watsonville has a fine example easily photographed.I am not a code writer in any way but I notice that the .ASM files can be retained and (I suppose) edited, but how to recompile them? MakeMDL seems to need a .X file.Great forum this, I already learned a lot!Geoff

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>"units are not meters" - they are, and the lamposts are the >right height! >"can't find MakeMDL" - Oh yes you can, just keep trying. >>- but never mind (I think these messages come from >Microsoft, not GMAX) I never had the meters error message, but the other one I get sometimes. Then I just do another change on my model (no real change) and save it again and afterwards it works most of the time.>"BRIGHT_ The material is bright (emits light)" >>Has anybody made this work for scenery? I would really like >to try producing a better looking rotating airport beacon, >Watsonville has a fine example easily photographed. I did a small test, just add it in front of your material name and it will get brigth :). It only works with colors, not with textures.>I am not a code writer in any way but I notice that the .ASM >files can be retained and (I suppose) edited, but how to >recompile them? MakeMDL seems to need a .X file. You can use BGLC to recompile it. I use the version that came with the effect SDK.ArnoMember NL2000 Teamhttp://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen

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I had the same problem, till I set up GMAX properly. Go to the preferences and set it to metres not inches. The "units are not meters" will disappear on export,The light commands will not work if you get the "units are not meters" message.Make sure you have GMAx 1.1 and the new Makemdl.exe and you tick "has light map" on exporting.Don't use textures, use Gmax solid colours, click the colour square in the material editor. Name the colour eg. light_recoThanks to Craig Mosher I finally got it to work.http://members.rogers.com/jkanold/jimlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Hey Guys!Thanks to you all, I am going to be busy....Geoff

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Personally I prefer gMax + FSRegen + Middleman + MakeMDL instead of just gMax + MakeMDL. You will have much more control over lights and as a bonus you can add effects etc. with it too! The newest version has support for the new MakeMDL so BRIGHT_ should work fine in this combination too.FSregen 0.20 is found at http://www.nhreas.com/fsregen.htmland Middleman at http://takeoff.to/landingBamceEFHN

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I have only started, give me a few days and I will put something together for you.What I can add at this point is for you to make triangles not boxes.Splined triangle if you want the light to only shine in one direction, cut a vertex off a box, if you want a triangle with depth.http://members.rogers.com/klasik2/lights.jpgThe building to the right has red lights on the roof using the light_reco material name. The tower has a rotating beacon using the beacon5 part name with the light_beacon material name on a end of it. The street lights are simple night lighting tricks.http://members.rogers.com/jkanold/jimlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Sorry to butt in here, but I must ask, where did you get the update to GMax? When I try to register the GMax which ships with FS2K2 Pro, it fails to register..I don't really fancy downloading the whole of Gmax 1.1, so is there a small update?cheers-brian

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20MB, gosh, thats smaller than I expected!Anyway, I have found the gmax download site, and I am downloading the main installer for gmax 1.1 May download the tutorials / help file if I find myself tearing my hair out in frustration if I cannot get it working! :-lolI have some plans though, perhaps using Gmax to build a top secret James Bond Baddie style secret base with helipad on some remote island? :-sae-brian

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Hi,I went back and took another look, red lights are easy just a small plane (a triangle of course is the minimum) self color it red and name the material (not the object!) light_navI guess that this is an aircraft special name , but it seems to work.Incidentally you can learn a lot by loading up one of the gmax aircraft and investigating the properties for various bits...As a result I also have a very nice "static" B29 parked on the tarmac at Watsonville thanks to Christophe Rosenmann and www.freeflightdesign.com - just merged the gmax file into the scenery file. (had to put the gear down of course)Can somebody help with the uses of all the various files that are generated during export? (.asm, _0.asm, _1.asm etc) what are they all? I managed to recompile an .asm file to fix a "flashing tarmac" problem, but was really just copying what somebody else did without understand the whole thing... Geoff

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OK, I'll try that lightning thing, but I am really looking for the light beam things (and they don't seem that easy to get).Then about your other questions, I only get a .asm and a _0.asm file. The .asm contains the basic commands to place the scenery and the _0.asm file contains the code for the object itself.Do I understand it correct that you make your scenery by placing everything into one GMax file? This is not a very good idea, as all the objects will then be placed in one Area block. If you give each object his own Area block you can optimize the performance much better and that will of course give a better framerate.The same holds for tarmac, GMax is not meant to make such things. It is only intended to make 3D object. You can best use a program like GroundMaker or Airport to make the tarmac and all other scenery features (and to place the objects you have made with GMax if you make a library out of them).ArnoMember NL2000 Teamhttp://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen

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>Personally I prefer gMax + FSRegen + Middleman + MakeMDL >instead of just gMax + MakeMDL. You will have much >more control over lights and as a bonus you can add effects >etc. with it too! The newest version has support for the new >MakeMDL so BRIGHT_ should work fine in this combination too. >>FSregen 0.20 is found at http://www.nhreas.com/fsregen.html >and Middleman at http://takeoff.to/landing >>Bamce >EFHN Cheers for those nuggets of info! I just finished downloading GMax (just over 2 and a half hours it took on my 56k modem!)Guess i'll download those two extra utils, then get my head stuck in some modelling!-brianEGPJ

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Hi ArnoOK I figured out the light_land thing, I am not at all sure about the theory but this works:Two triangles, each with a self colored face(white worked, I suppse any color would be OK) on top of each other, the beam seems to emanate from the triangle's center of gravity. If its an equilateral triangle then the light source is circular, stretching the triangle distorts the beam shape. And the size of the triangle is proportional to the size of the light beam, and the area illuminated.I made a test light, and angled the triangle down about 45deg, it looks OK. Something strange seems to happen with a single triangle when it is vertical (seems to make a cone pointing downwards) - need to investigate this further, but its very time consuming trying this stuff out in FS2002 to see what happens.After all this I am not sure if I like the result, (it looks like a landing light on top of a pole! instead of a floodlight) my more subtle Night mapped bitmaps seem better...I don't put everything in one file, but its easier to make an object (like a lampost) seperatly, then import it into an existing, ready positioned gmax file, make as many copies of the object as you need, put them in the correct relative postions, select all then use the "Export selected" option to make a .BGL file that is in the exact position you need.I am only using GMAX and just starting out so I tend to use it for everything, the tarmac seems to work OK but you need to make a very thin "box" and sink it down to surface level, I found a "hack" somewhere (I think it was from you) that stops the "flashing" problem but needs the .ASM file recompiled with BGLC.Geoff

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>OK I figured out the light_land thing, I am not at all sure >about the theory but this works: Nice work, I try to see if I get it working :).>I don't put everything in one file, but its easier to make >an object (like a lampost) seperatly, then import it into an >existing, ready positioned gmax file, make as many copies of >the object as you need, put them in the correct relative >postions, select all then use the "Export selected" option >to make a .BGL file that is in the exact position you need.Humm, just took a look at the source code when you use that method and then all objects have the same RefPoint. This means it is not very easy to optimize the performance of the scenery (because you can not set the range to the object itself, but only to the RefPoint.Of course this is only a tip, but especially for bigger projects it would give better results.>I am only using GMAX and just starting out so I tend to use >it for everything, the tarmac seems to work OK but you need >to make a very thin "box" and sink it down to surface level, >I found a "hack" somewhere (I think it was from you) that >stops the "flashing" problem but needs the .ASM file >recompiled with BGLC.Yes, I found a way to add a LayerCall to a GMax polygon, but it is better to use programs like GroundMaker or Airport for this part of the scenery, as these are made special to do that (and to place objects), while GMax is make special to make 3D objects.ArnoMember NL2000 Teamhttp://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen

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Thanks Arno, I'm learning a lot....I will try and find GroundMaker, is it available here?Geoff

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Well thanks, and I tried it and tweaked your model a bit.After spending a couple of hours playing around with land_lights I think I will stay with my night texture ones.http://members.rogers.com/klasik2/yqtnite3.jpghttp://members.rogers.com/klasik2/yqtnite2.jpgIt's finally starting to look like an airport.http://members.rogers.com/jkanold/jimlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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OK Jim,I never thought about changing the color! I thought that it had to be a "pure" color. I will make soem more experiments. I also prefer night textures for the lights at KWVI - there is a great option in Paintshop Pro v7.04 called "Illumination effects" where you can adjust darkness and add up to 7 spotlights.The difference with the "landing light" method is that when the weather is bad in FS2002 (visibility <5miles) you start to see the "light beam" from the floodlights (looks great on a foggy night) So I am still hopeful that this might work.Geoff

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