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Guest artmartin

Autogen exclusion from GMAX objects

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Hi all. I recently created some GMAX scenes and objects (mostly highway segments and bridges) for my photo scenery work and found that large areas of my autogen definitions simply disappeared. Did some searches about this subject on various forums yesterday and I'm more confused than ever. Here's the setup. The GMAX scene began as a few bridges I placed at intervals along a dry river bed. On my scenery the total footprint of the scene covered a few square miles with the river being primarily an EW alignment. There seemed to me no degradation of autogen along that river as I went back and forth to FS to check the progress of my work as I added more and more bridges. Once I was happy with the bridges, I began to create highway segments on the outskirts of the scene. These highway segments are simple long and skinny segmented planes textured with a road surface. There's enough points in the length of the segments that I can grab sets of them and stretch them to make curves in the roadway to match the underlying photos. Often they're sunken into flattens or raised up above the surface. When they need to be raised I generally extrude the segments into actual boxes to give them some depth. As I added in these highway segments I noticed that my autogen around them was really being suppressed and I saw that the bounding boxes of the highway segments were growing very large as I'd bend a segment around a corner. I assumed that was my problem. My solution was to break up the segments into smaller pieces by unattaching sets of polygons. Let's say a segment turned a corner and went from EW to NS. I'd turn it into 3 segments, the EW part, the corner, and the NS part. The bounding boxes now showed up much smaller and only extended a short distance beyond the roadway. To my surprise FS still seemed to exclude the original combined object area. My learning curve has not yet gotten to the point where I stop the export process and view the intermediate files created prior to the .mdl file but I think I need to take that step. Is this where I'll find my answers and if so, what do I need to accomplish this?Art

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Hi Art,Most research we did for this topic was still with the old gamepack, so I am not sure it is still 100% valid for the new one.The main conclusion back then was that autogen is exclude in a square area around your 0,0 point in GMax. And you entire object had to fit in that sqaure. So if you have a point far away from the 0,0 point, the autogen exclusion also gets a lot bigger.To keep the exclusion small it would be best to keep objects as small as possible and also to center them around the 0,0 point in GMax always.As I said before, I am not sure that this is still 100% valid with the new gamepack, but it might give you a clue to solve the problem.

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I could understand that reasoning but I have another .mdl file I've created which completely encircles downtown Phoenix with freeway objects and it doesn't seem to affect the autogen at all. Compared with the complexity and coverage of that scenery this latest file I'm working on should be peanuts. I'm pretty sure I could simply take each highway segment individually and create separate model files for them but what a pain. So much easier creating this long skinny winding object that mimics a road or freeway if you can see it in its entirety. I'm trying to remember back but I may have begun this current file by starting with one of the objects in another file, removing all the rest and then creating new ones using that as a reference point. Have this feeling it confuses GMAX to do that. Is there a difference when stretching or turning a long road segment in manually moving and rotating the vertices as opposed to using something like a bend modifier? My early experiments with using "bend" were really frustrating and I've since just reverted to manual manipulation. Art

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