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arno

Can you design scenery with SketchUp5?

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Hello Joshuah,I tried the free version when it was first offered, and gave up very quickly. So, if there have been any modifications or updates since, my impressions of it may no longer be valid.I found it to be quite limited in scope compared to GMax, with much less flexibility and certainly much less power. When one considers that it is not presently possible to export the model as a bgl for Flight Simulator, then it becomes clear that it is not useful.There is some mention in that thread that Jon refers to about using the commercial (pay) version to export a 3DS model, import that into GMAX, texture it there, and then export as bgl. But, this seems redundant and wasteful of time. In reality, it is just as easy to create the model in GMAX from the start.Many people think that GMAX is somehow too difficult or complex to use. This is not at all true. Basically, it just seems so because of all the overwhelming possibilities in that program. But, it is something like a remote control or a DVD player that does so many things one never uses. If we just focus on the basics and master them, then it is easy to use and quite comprehensible.GMax is free, included with Flight Simulator, supported by the FS Team in the sense that they offer the export module and full documentation for it, it handles all FS tags and features quite effortlessly, and it is not yet dead. The FS Team have negotiated a new lease on life for it, so it should still be around for a number of years as the primary design tool for us.There is a commercial tool as well specifically for FS design, but since I have never used it, others will have to comment on it. However, it seems very easy to use and gives great results based on some of the addons that I have seen.Best regards.Luis

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Hi LuisI would agree with that - I use Sketchup for my day to day work (woodwork) and it is good for concept designs and so on. I wouldn't use it for FS objects for the reasons you suggest. I have the registered version but going through the process of export, import, re-texturing etc is a bridge too far :-) AS for the commercial product I presume you mean FSDS3. I have that as well and it does seem slightly easier to get started in designing objects. I have to say however that the support for the tool is not very good according to a number of reports I have seen which is a shame. Personally I would now stick with GMax although when FSDS3 was first released I thought that would be an easier and better tool.

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If you are refering to exporting from Sketchup then you need the full version of Sketchup and export your model in .3ds format. Tis can then be imported into GMax.If you are looking for GMax itself then you might want to get the latest version which you can get from Turbosquid. The best place to start (including where to download and how to install it) is on www.scenery.org - look on this page for the stuff on GMax - http://www.scenery.org/tutorials.htm

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GMax also comes with your Fs2004 CD, that is the latest version as well. All you have to do to get started is download the GMax SDK from MS and install it. Then you have the option to export aircraft and scenery in the FS format.

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