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Guest MikeEppright

GMAX object save/export

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Gentlemen,I am finally working at migrating from FSDS to GMAX. Object creation and texture placement is coming along. I am having trouble with the MakeMDL use and am looking for a tutorial that can lead me through the process and plugins to use GMAX reference XML and API use. Please be gentle. This is all greek to me so far.Mike Eppright

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Hi Mike, Exporting will be a lot easier than you think if you are in FS2004. Get the Gmax SDK from Microsoft. Sorry I can't seem to find my link or the downlaod filename but it should be easy to find. The SDK will have you install "gamepack for FS2004" into Gnax. MakeMDL goes into the Gmax plugins folder. When you go to export with this installed you are given choices to export scenery models, cloud models or aircraft models. The process grabs the Gmax output sends them through MakeMDL and gives you MDL and MXL files. Put them into a handy folder like MyProjects but not directly into FSs folders. You can then edit the XMLs with notepad to put in the lat, long coordinates you want. Next drag the XMLs onto BGLcomp and get a BGL file that you can move to a scenery folder in FS2004. A very good tutorial comes with the SDK. Follow the one re making a house to get you started. It has a few more steps than absolutely necessary. You can skip making the LOD files and get by. Ther are extra steps in texturing the models but you will find better ways after a while.The texture BMP 256x256 files are copied (not moved) into the FS texture folder alonside the scenery folder containing your BGLs. After you do that use ImageTool.exe to convert them into DX-1 format per the tutorial or the textures will not show up. DO NOT convert the original BMPS or you can't reopen the projects in Gmax. When you fianially get around to making you own texture BMP files be sure to keep the originals and copy them to the FS texture folder you are using alongside the scenery folder of your BGLs.I at first used FS...Addon Sceneryscenery and Addon Scenerytexture until I learned how to make my own scenery and texture folders.Good luck,Larry Costa

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Larry,Thanks for the info. The SDK is good. I've installed it and also printed the tutorial out and have had success with the creation depicted. I suspicion that my flaw is that, in my desire to organize in a particular way, I installed the SDK in other than the FS2004GMAX directory. I'll go back and reinstall and see if it makes a difference.Happy landings,Mike Eppright

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Hi Mike,You refer to API macros, they are not commonly used anymore with the new Fs2004 gamepack. If you wish you could still make a simple library calling macro to call the objects you defined in the XML code, but it is better to place them with XML code as well.

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Thats what is confusing about this transition. I have used FSDS for the last few years. It created the objects/API files that I then placed using A4W. I have come to the conclusion that if I am to continue scenery design for long, then GMAX and XML is the way to go. I think if I dig deep enough in my notes, I have an explanation of some of the processes of which I speak. Even the A4W people are working on a new interface. I'm almost to the point of only needing the means to package numerous objects together in XML. Programming was always my weak suit.Mike Eppright

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Yes, I think you are right about this is the future. The guys of Airport for Windows are already working on SceneGenX which only works with the new XML code.But if you want to you Airport till SceneGenX is a bit more finished, it is only an alpha version at the moment, you can still make a simple API macros that calls your object library you have made with the XML code.If you want a GUI to make libraries in the new XML format, please have a look at my website. You can find Library Creator XML there, which provides you with such a GUI.

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Thanks, I've already got the site bookmarked. I'm on the road at the moment but hope to get into the docs soon. I uploaded MKC earlier. I'm slowly trying to get up to speed for the next version of FS. If all works out, I can be ready to update the scenery before the next version is halfway through its cycle! Its an ongoing battle. Your contributions are appreciated more than you know!Mike Eppright

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