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Maintenance Hanger

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Hello,I'm new to scenery design and I'm in the process of learning how to create objects for FS2004. I'm trying to create a maintenance hanger for my VA and I'm starting from the ground up so I've come to this forum to seek advice on the best ways of accomplishing this task. I already know the basics of GMAX, and I've been following a tutorial on how to create a house in GMAX. I would like to know if anyone knows of a tutorial on how to make a hanger, or can give me a few tips on creating one, since they're a bit different than creating a house. I am especially interested to know how to "hollow out" the solid Box design so aircraft can park inside. How are the openings made and how are doors designed and added to the structure. I would also like to learn how to add the final design the a default airport in FS2004 (how to establishing coordinates for the structure), and maybe add taxiways leading to it(probably something accomplished with the new AFCAD program). I appreciate any Help that anyone can give on these matters.Many Thanks !!!Daniel

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Hi Daniel there are several ways to create buildings(like hangers)The method I use is splines I.E. I draw the outline of the building then extrude the spline into 3D this way I can get a fairly complex shaped building with as few polly's as possable. You could also create your hangers from "boxes" and then use a booliean op to createthe opening. Booliean ops are found under the "create object" rollout (compound objects booliean). The type of boolie you would need to use in this case would be a "subtraction type" I.E A-B. So to cut out an "hole" in your box you would first make your hanger shape then create a second shape for the opening then move the second shape (your opening) so that it intersects the first shape(your hanger) then go to the the "create object" rollout "compound object booliean" then with your "hanger" object slected under the booliean rollout you will see(amoung other things) subtraction. Nowsince your hanger is selected allready it's object A the shape that you want to use to "cut" the opening will be object B (you will need to select "A-B") then click on "choose object B" then simply click on the shape for your opening and you should now have your hanger with it's opening. Once you have got this far I or someone else can help you with the doors and how to animate them. I hope this is of some help to you BTW Dan

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Dan's got you off to a good start. Once you've gotten the hole cut for your doors, you'll need to make the inside of the hangar show up, as the normals all face outward for your exterior and the interior won't show up at all at this stage. To do this, I select the hangar object, clone it, select all the polys of the clone and flip their normals. Now you've basically got two hangars; one that faces outward for the exterior, and one that faces inward for the interior. Then it's a matter of adding doors and making them open on command. Arno Gerretsen has created an absolutely fabulous tool for doing this sort of conditional animation called, appropriately, the Conditional Animation Tool (CAT). You can download it from his great site, http://www.scenerydesign.org/ It's very easy to use. I can help you via email if you'd like with getting the doors created and animated, so let me know if you'd like any assistance.thanks and good luck,

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Hi Bill thanks for pointing him to Arno's site. I just wanted to add that I have never had to go to all the trouble of cloneing, both methods should automaticly produce new faces with the face normals pointing the "right" way. (At least I've never had a problem with face normals when useing either of the above) Also I thought I would walk him through getting his object created and then we could walk him through getting his doors added to his mesh. I remember how I felt when I started useing 3D tools and I needed to take it real slow at first. Please understand I am not trying to knock you it's just that I like to keep thing as simple as possable for people starting out(one step at a time). Dan

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No problem, Dan. I find it fascinating how many different ways there are to achieve the same result in 3D modeling. I should point out that when creating hangars using the "box" method, I usually create a box of the right dimensions, convert it to a mesh object, and *then* make another box for the door opening and do a Boolean subtraction on it. It's quick and easy and only requires flipping the normals on the final interior box. Either doing the boolean on a pair of box primitives or an extruded spline building with a box primitive door subtracts the actual shape of the box, but leaves me with an interior that's much smaller than my exterior. How do you get around that? I'm curious, as I'm always playing around with new modeling methods and would love to hear it from your perspective. I've attached a sample box w/boolean subtraction to show what I mean.thanks,

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Not a problem Bill I simply extrude the new Face(s) I want in a negitive direction and that allows one to in effect "push" say an inner wall "outward". In addition one can use "double sided materials" allowing you to further reduce the polly's. But I my self don't really use boolies all that much like I said I will "draw" the outline of my building in say the front view as a closed spline shape and simply extrude it into 3D(I've said this before I would love to use Maya for my modeling for FS it's tool set blows Maxgamx out of the water!) I only use Maxgmax when doing stuff for the FS world other wise I would not use either at all. P.S feel free to ask questions I do!. And yes you are right there are many ways to do may things and what we do here is simple stuff trust me!!. Much of the stuff I do has nothing to do with FS(so I can't really post it here)But I love modeling and animation it's great fun and a good Job to boot. Dan

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Dan/Bill,I really appreciate the information. I'm new working with GMAX so some of this stuff sounds Greek to me. I try to work with Splines last night, but it seem a bit more involved than creating with boxes. However, I think that I could accomplish what I need easier using splines, I just need to learn how to extrude it into 3D. I was trying to cut off the corners of the hanger in an effort to make an octagonal shaped building, but I couldn't find a tool to use to accomplish this task. So far, I have my initial box. Then I added a second one on top of the first to provide an overhanging effect. I decided to cut the corners rather than rounding then (less polly's). I will keep working with you information you have provided, and I appreciate your availability for taking questions.Thanks, Daniel

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Hi Daniel,If you're making an octagonal-shaped building, you should probably do the spline from a top-down perspective and then extrude it for height. To extrude a spline, first create it and then go to the modifier menu at the top of the right-hand column (if your UI is default) and choose the "extrude" modifier. This will bring up a pane that lets you choose how far, or you can use the spinner. I'd like to see a couple of pics of what you're working on. Then I'm sure Dan or myself of one of the other helpful souls here can give you a little shove in the right direction.thanks,

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Hi Daniel did you take a look at my little tutdemo?. 2nd the tool you would want to use is the "chamfer" tool. To use it you must convert your box to a editable mesh then select edge under the editable mesh rollout then select the edge(s) that you want to have"cut corners" on ,then under the "edit geometry" rollout look for thechamfer button. Then simply press and hold the button untill tou get the effect you want. Hope this is of some help Dan

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Hey Dan,Yes I just looked at that tutorial, and that was perfect. Last night in response to Bill's post I drew the design of my hanger in the top-down window and successfully extruded it upwards. Everyday I'm getting better and learning new things; of course this opens up more and more questions. I haven't figured out how to enlarge any of the work windows(ie.perspective view)so I can take some screen shots of my design. Also, I applied a texture to the structure, and that texture was stretched around the building and even on the roof, and I wanted to know how to add separate textures the the spline structure. I'm taking little steps, but its working and I really appreciate the help !!!Many Thanks !!!

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Glad to hear you're enjoying it! You can maximize any of the windows by clicking in it and hitting the "w" key. I find that I work with one big window and just switch views more often than not... they're all key based. So you can change views by hitting the appropriate key. Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Front, Back and perspective are t,b,l,r,f,k and p respectively. Enjoy!

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Not a problem I can walk you through texturing as well. 1st questionhave you converted your model to a editable mesh?. A model has to be editable to map different textures to it. Once your model is a meshthen you can select polly's instead of the complete model for texturing. So my next question would have to be do you know how to select faces and polly's?. As to the question how do I enlarge one of the views? well if you want the perspective few to be the only view showing simply press shift p and the perspective view will be the only view showing. You can also work in "expert mode" (shift x)but you will lose most of the interface working in expert mode. Expert mode requires you to know all the keyboard shot cuts of courseas you loose all of your buttons from the interface. Please postagin when you need help also gmax has very good online help (underhelp top task bar:-)) Hope I've been of some help. Dan

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Dan,Thanks for the help. I did more experimenting with great success over the weekend and the knowledge tree is growing. Hey I've been trying to export my design to the Game, but can't seem to figure out the correct way to perform this. I exported it to the addon scenery folder, however I was never asked the coordinates of where the object was to be placed. I've been looking for a tutorial or some guidelines, but I keep coming up blank. Most advice that I have found online deals with FS2002's version (needing pro and registering with GMAX), but I'm using the version that came with FS 2004. Any ideas?Thanks !!!

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Well to place your object all you need to do is get the position for the object by going into FS and slewing (in top down view) and noteing the longlat values that the sim will give you. Write 'em down and enter those values when exporting your mesh. Please notethat you will have to rotate your model in gmax to get the properorentation as few things are orentated exactly eastwest in the real world. Flight Sim will use the "world co-oords" to place your meshand by default your model in gmax will be aligned exactly northsoutheastwest. Hope this is of some help. Dan.

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Hi Dan.I recently noted the Heading as found in Slew mode is a magnetic heading, not a true heading.I may add true heading to TDFCalc2004 so we can have some type of reference.Dick

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