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GMAX lines

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Gurus,I have not tried this but do the lines drawn in GMAX via the Shapes command actually show up in FS? I tried but no luck.ThanksShez

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No, they do not. They will be ignored. In fact, that property is used in creation of landing lights - the LL effect is attached and aimed through the use triangle shape, which is then discarded during MDL compilation.

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Hello Shez,I seem to remember using lines and having them display:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/133275.jpgThose tie rods in the water tower are lines, but as I remember, they must be mapped first and a material assigned, or there was something like that.By the way, I assigned a Planar map to the lines, which seems obvious, but perhaps is not.Best regards.Luis

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Thanks Luis, very interesting. Let me work on this.RegardsShez

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Hi WS,I already uploaded KORL about three weeks ago. Do you mean an update to this?RegardsShez

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No! I didn't know you already uploaded KORL. Did you make any changes since the beta you sent me directly?W. Sieffert

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I am having a strange problem. Whenever I click on the Material Editor the computer stalls for 45-60 secs before it finally opens the window. Any ideas why this may be happening?Shez

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Hi Shez,Thanks for KORL. You even uploaded it on my birthday. What a Guy!!!I volunteered at NBAA2005. Worked in front of the Showalter FBO(Green Topped Building) for four days.W. Sieffert

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Well I never knew or I would have mentioned it :-). I saw the pics of the NBAA, was full of aircraft on the ramp. The Showalter Building is a nice neat design, also a nice interior.So are you back in FS or still concentrating on the alternative FS :(?Shez

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I just view the forums. Don't have time to do any real MSFS work anymore. Keeping the Air Orlando flight simulator operating properly is more than enough flight simulation work.W. Sieffert

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I was making a model of a radar balloon to place over Puerto Rico a few days ago, and decided to use lines for the tether, just as a confirmation of this topic.I wondered if the Display Mesh option in the Lines creation was not in fact the important part. So, after drawing the lines, and without mapping them, I took a look in Flight Simulator. No lines!Then, I went back and added a Map Modifier:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/134608.jpgThe line below it is over 12 000 feet long! Anyway, it all immediately showed up in FS:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/134609.jpgLooks like a toy on a string, doesn't it? The real thing is over 200 feet from tip to tail.Anyway, it may be that there is a combination of things needed in order to get a gMax-drawn line to display, but it is certain that without a Map Modifier, you will not see it in the game.Best regards.Luis

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>Anyway, it may be that there is a combination of things needed>in order to get a gMax-drawn line to display, but it is>certain that without a Map Modifier, you will not see it in>the game.It is NOT a game - it is a sim! LOL

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That's what they all say, Misho, but I cannot help but notice the big smile on your face!Best regards.Luis

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I am guessing a bit here but it could be filesystem related. Do you have some non-ready drives like an empty CD-ROM drive etc. ? Maybe have a look at your gmax.ini file and check the various pathes it lists that they all exist.Now to my question :-), with these lines, as you get closer to them, they appear as single pixel lines. Can these be made to look like filled polygons ? I guess I would have to use elements with filled polygons instead of lines ?Regards,Siggy

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Gmax lines work fine, but you MUST give them thickness under the Mesh Settings. This is built outwardly from the "line" you draw. A thickness of 0.041' would be about a 1" cable, 0.083'=2", 0.5'=1' and so on. Set the number of sides to 3 (the minimum) for small diameters and increase the number of sides to suit your needs as you increase the thickness. Check off the Display Mesh so you can see what you are working with. Angle rotates the mesh around the center "line". Under Interpolation, you can set how many cross-sections there will be between each of your drawn points and how smooth curves are if any. You can change the way the points handle curves in the Modify Panel > Point Subobject mode by right clicking on a point and selecting Bezier Corner, Bezier, Smooth or Corner. When you have it the way you want it, convert to an editable mesh. Color or texture it as you like just as any other e-poly or e-mesh object. It doesn't have to have any modifier applied to it to use it just as a colored line, simply set its default color in the objects properties.Lou

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Hello Lou,Thanks very much for your comments; it is always good to get an expert opinion.I wonder if you are not avoiding the problem that the rest of us are getting by converting your lines to mesh. This is a sensible solution, but you are not displaying lines in Flight Simulator at all, but mesh.Anyway, your remarks made me take another look at this problem, a little more in-depth although not covering all possibilities.I drew a line, any line:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/134769.jpgDon't ask me what it is - I was just in an Escher frame of mind.Please notice the Mesh settings. I assume that they are only for display in gMax, and that the object remains a line as far as geometry goes, although I am probably completely wrong.I then tried exporting this scene and this is what I got:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/134770.jpgA MakeMDL error! I have seen reports of this error before in the forum, but never really paid much attention as I had never gotten one. Until now.What is the cause of this error? Obviously, the path to MakeMDL is not missing, so it is rather that MakeMDL is not finding anything to export, I assume. Perhaps the FS graphics engine only displays meshes, so MakeMDL does not bother with lines (until they have been converted to mesh as you do, perhaps.) Only the FS Team can give the correct explanation, however, and I am only guessing. Probably incorrectly.So, as before, I went back and added a Map Modifier:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/134771.jpgThis is the only change I made. No Material applied, no conversion to mesh, no Mesh Modifier. And voil

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Luis,I know that drawing just a line will be fruitless, because by definition a line is made up of nothing but 2 points and has no volume or mass or surface, how ever you want to look at it. The drawing code that makemdl produces, "DrwTri", is based on 3 points and 3 edges to define a minium surface. The simple act of adding the UVW Map modifier gave the line editable mesh properties and is based on the mesh and interpolation settings that were last applied to the line. You DO need to have the "Display Mesh" option turned on or you will end up with just a string of points. You should be getting the Normals Mismatch error when you try to export just a line even with the modifier applied with out the mesh being displayed. I used the UV Unwrap modifier and I surmise that there are several modifiers that would have the same affect. You see this if you go one step farther after adding the modifier and then collapse the stack, as happens when exporting. Then WYSIWYG!Aircraft designers many times use tiny 3 sided cylinders to portray control cables or antenna wires which has the same result as drawing a line with 3 sides converted to an e-mesh. Something that we did not have before gMax and was used in FSDS a lot. FSDS also could produce the code to make lines based on the edges of a poly, and that was handy but a lot of times you might have an edge left over when you only need 2 edges of the poly for your antenna wires. This trick is now attempted with the line_ material in gMax but it doesn't work well in my opinion.Lou

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