Sign in to follow this  
Guest

Some questions on how to design a scenery

Recommended Posts

I'm learning to work with Gmax now (looks difficult but it's not) and I want to use some of the things i created in a scenery. My questions are:1) How do I export my Gmax creations to a FS scenery compatible file?2) How do i add them to scenery file?3) How do I remove the default FS buildings?Thanks a lot!!!Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I design scenery using gmax, too. My methodology is thus: 1. Design the objects in gmax and export to bgl file, keeping the .asm and _0.asm files (this is an option in the newest makeMDL)2. Create a library of the gmax objects using FSRegen's library tool, and create a series of API macros3. Lay out the scenery using Airport for Windows and the macros you've created. This method seems to work fairly well. You can also go straight from gmax to FS2002 like this:1. In FS2002, decide on the area you want to design scenery for.2. In the sim, slew to that area in the plane of your choice. In this method, it's far easier if you slew near a runway to provide a highly visible object of known dimensions. Switch to overhead view and zoom out/in until you see the entire ground for which you'll be building the scenery.3. Rotate the plane to point due north and record the lat/lon of your location. Take a screenshot of all this using printScreen. NOTE: be sure to write down not only the lat/lon of the location you're in, but its magnetic variation as well. One easy way to get this is via FSNavigator, but I'm sure there are plenty of other ways, too.4. Create an image from the screenshot you've taken and rotate it by the number of degrees of magnetic variation you recorded. That way, the picture points to true north, which as near as I've been able to tell is what the heading positions refer to in MakeMDL.5. Use the screenshot you created as a background image in Gmax and align the red crosshairs over the plane with the center of the home grid. Create a rectangle with the same dimensions as the runway in the screenshot and size the background so that the picture of the runway exactly matches the size of the rectangle you created. Voila! The background will then be your guide in laying out the scenery.6. When you export your scenery as a BGL in Gmax, give it the lat/lon of the slew location you wrote down when taking the screenshot and a heading of "0". If the lat/lon info was showing when you took the shot, it'll already be there in gmax, which is kind of handy.As an alternate method of getting the magvar right, it just occurred to me that you could also skip the rotation of the background image step and just output the scenery using a heading that matches the variation in MakeMDL. Just a thought.Anyway, that should get you started. I'd be curious to hear other's methods, too.good luck!Oh yeah, and to get rid of default buildings and other objects, use an exclude switch. If you search this forum you'll find lots of info on using them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have fs2002 Professional version? If so, you need to have the gamepack installed. The fs2002 readme describes this at the end of the document.Bill W has provided good guidance if you are trying to do something dramatic...if you just want to see your building in place of some existing building, you could just slew there, write down the lat/long, and enter that in the appropriate box when asked. You'll get there by going into export from the file menu in gmax if you have the gamepack installed.removing fsbuildings is done by writing a small bgl scenery file called an exclude. Do a search on this forum either using my name, or keywords like "exclude". We've written tons on this subject.Good luck.Bob Bernstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill, I have just started looking at gmax design differently, not sure how it will end up...but my design work used to be so much based around scasm assembly tools that I NEEDED the macro capability of using lib objs form for gmax structures up til now...but the fiddling with the calling apis and the objs does seem mildly annoying.Part of my logic is to do placement of macros over an image of the ground, but the new articles on creating placement blocks in gmax made me think.I just started two new projects, and decided to design the structure placement over a box built in gmax with an image of 1m/pixel resolution tacked to it of my airport. I designed each structure for the airport in a seperate gmax file, so it was as small and easy to handle as ever. Then I used "add xref object" from the gmax file menu in the "assembly" file placing and scaling the xref object as I needed to fit the high res image. It was VERY simple to do this and ended up with much more accurate relative scaling and placment of objects than when I was fooling with the macro symbols in a seperate assy proggy. On my composite gmax file, I just had to find the 0,0 point on my gmax file and match that point to fsworld to have a good coordinate for export. So far on export, I've copied the newest version to a second file name, and deleted the base box, then export is a single push, esp. since the lat long are already there from the second time on, and no options boxs need ticked in makemdl. Much faster to see the first draft of new structures. Maybe, Dan or a dif gmax guru will read this and give me advise how to costruct the box so it won't export, then I can skip one more step.Anyway, thought I'd share. Bob Bernstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bob,Hey, I haven't used the "add xref object" command yet... it sounds very promising. I've created each of my objects discreetly, but then merged them into an overall master file before export. The thing I don't like about that method is that it isn't referencing the objects. So if I want to alter an object later, I have to re-work it then delete the one I merged and merge it again. That's just too much work sometimes! I'll try your method. Basically, all I'm looking for is a way to make a library of gmax objects and then use them as people used to with scasm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bob I will try a "dummy object"(under the animation menu) and I just wont link it to anything ( I've tried the above idea with someother titles) and it works it should work with fight sim as well. I might not be able to post untill Friday night though so I you might want try my idea and see if it works (BTW dummy boxes don't render they are used as handles so to speak in I.K animation).(Trusting this might be of some help to you) Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds interesting Bob, but I have one question. When you compile the file where you have put all objects together from GMax they will probably be put in one Area block all together. That means that you can not control the range, v1, v2, etc anymore for each of the objects seperate and that can lead to a performance hit (especially on bigger airports).Can you confirm (from the source) that they are all in one Area block?Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't learned to read bglc code yet...I've given it a brief try, but it still looks greek to me. I'm sending you a zip that has the asm file and the _0.asm files from Elma Muni, you'll have all the structures from Elma compiled from one file that contains nothing but xref objects.B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This file looks like any GMax file. So everything is collected in one Area block and one RefPoint. For a small area this might not be a problem, but I still think that for big projects this might not give the optiomal performance.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

course for small airports, this should reduce the code overhead. The real value to me is precise placement and scaling without iteration. B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never have problems with the scaling, every object made with GMax has scale 0.5, so I can't do much wrong there :D.And about the placement that might be true, although I have no problem with using the API's as I did before. Just load a backdrop image in the design program and I can place everything where I want it (I edit the macro most of the time, so I shows the correct shape of the object and not a stupid dot or rectangle).For me personal, it is more important to be able to set the range of a small less important object to a smaller value compared to a more important object, then having a bit better placement.For my more complex airports I have found that it can be very important to be able to set the range and v2 value to the optimum value for each object to get the best framerate. And if you all place them as on Area this option is no longer there.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yep, I basically agree. I never had any problem with macro placement either, I just am enjoying the different approach, mostly cuz I'm now getting a better preview of the appearance, once in a while I'd get a macro backwards, for instance...now never happens. And the one push update is fun, a breather from the update to the library, the compile, and then the compile of the assy proggy.and no doubt true about optimization...its just been fun to play with something differently.btw, have you found any way to slow down rotating objects from tick 18 speed?B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your arguements too, they sound logical. Unfortunately it's not allows as easy as you would hope. :)The best way to slow a animation down is add more frames. Tick18 means that there are 18 frames a second, so just add more frames and it will be slower.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<>Right...I meant after extending the frames to 100....is there a way to slow it even more?Regarding scaling, I didn't mean I have problems with GMAX being unreliable in scale, I meant that my choices for dimensions of structures are not always perfect to the actual footprint of the real structure. That is easily corrected in gmax using the approach I'm taking. Of course, you can always create a template to use for this purpose, so it doens't really have anything to do with the xref import.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try placing more then 100 frames then, you can have up to 1024 frames (MakeMDL shouldn't support more then 1024).And ah, now I understand your scaling point. Most of the times the maps I use as footprint are not that reliable, so I prefer to guess the dimensions from the photos I have of the objects. As long as they look good it's OK :).Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[a href=http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/banner.jpg[/a]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this