Sign in to follow this  
Jim Robinson

My First Gmax Building!

Recommended Posts

Well, maybe not my first, but the first one I consider a success anyway. For about 2 yrs now I've had Gmax installed, every once in a while I fire it up and try once again to make it actually do something useful. Never had much luck until I happened to stumble across Bill Womack's gmax texturing video tutorial here last night while searching this forum. Thanks Bill, that's what I needed.Anyway, here it is. Kind of a quick & dirty texturing job (48 layers in about an hour not counting the ones I merged and flattened :) ), but I was pretty anxious to see it in the sim:http://www.cat-tamer.com/attach/nrthn_air1.jpghttp://www.cat-tamer.com/attach/nrthn_air2.jpgI still need to make a night texture and figure out how to add it in Gmax, and I'll also have a go at adding a couple of LODs to the model. This building is finally replacing an ugly Nova API macro that's been sitting in this spot at my hometown airport since not long after FS9 came out. I'm stoked!Thanks,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Hello neighbour (I live in Creston),that looks wonderful. Congrats on your first GMax building. And a fine job it is!I still have to mak my first GMax object, doing all the landscape work keeps me from taking the time. I'm hugely thankful to be able to rely on Bill and others to add models to our projects. But one of these days...Cheers, Holger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good Jim :D.How to make night textures and LODs is explained in the house tutorial that MS provides with the Fs2004 gamepack. Did you see that document already? The night version of your texture goes into the ambient slot of your material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim, Congrats. I fondly remember how I felt when I succeeded to get a custom structure of my own design into the sim. It opens up infinite posibilities for your scenery.Enjoy!Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks fine to me as well there Jim I see you have picked up on how to add a few poly's to give a mesh that 3D look. Please keep it up! You will come to really enjoy creating ones little corner of the world. Dan Martin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there Holger any Time you want I and many others would gladly help you to pick the basics of gmax,Max,Maya and Lightwave. Just ask! Dan Martin (fellow B.C. person).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody for the nice comments. All I've gotten around here at home so far is "G-what?", and "I'd never paint a building that color" :) . Oh well...I managed to get night textures working on the model, although the texture itself is another hurry-up job just so I could see it in the sim. The light splashes on the Northern Air sign need to be re-done, I hate 'em. Maybe I should try making them shine upwards from below the sign instead, and fan them out more with less abrupt edges? An artist I'm not...http://www.cat-tamer.com/attach/nrthn_air3.jpgHi Holger, was it smoky up there in you're neck of the woods today? We actually talked a bit about being neighbors once before in a thread about your sebclod9.zip BC mesh scenery. We really should meet for a cup of coffee one day. I'm the one that did that chimney rock panorama comparison thing with the real world photo panorama vs your mesh in the sim. I'm still dumbfounded by the accuracy and am still regurlarly flying over this mesh some 2 yrs later. I always enjoy your sceneries and consider anything with your name on it "a keeper". Thanks, and incidentally, Glacier Bay 2 is still keeping me busy.That panorama comparison thingy is still online BTW, if anyone cares to see what I'm talking about:chm-rock.zip]Arno, I do[/i have the house tutorial, and I must say that it's quite a good one at that. Typically I've found the documentation provided with MS SDKs to be vague at best, but this one was actually quite helpful.One thing I've found working with Gmax is that it's easy to really screw something up by not knowing exactly what I did 10 steps back and therefore, how to undo it. I finally wised up a bit and started saving the project with a new filename after every sucessful modification. I currently have 7 copies of this silly building saved at various stages of it's development. Doing that has helped as much as anything else, I believe.I've never really had much interest in designing scenery in the past, but now I'm starting to think a few trips to the local airport with a camera and a tape measure might be in order. Oh no, here we go again :) .Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work, Jim!Since you've discovered the importance of saving early and often, I suggest you turn autosave with increment on. Preferences->Files->.. then check "Backup on Save" and "Increment on Save". The latter makes it so that every save has a new filename. I call my first save "MyObject_V01", then every time I save gmax will create MyObject_V02 etc. Then you can save like a madman and when undo isn't what you want, or too far back, you can easily retrieve earlier versions. I have large models with over 200 versions.Have fun!Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I see that Increment on Save appends an "01", "02" to the filename and creates a new file every time you click "Save". Thanks Jon, that's just what the doctor ordered. I figured out late last night that the little "+" button on the "Save as" dialog does exactly that, but this is better yet. What does "Backup on Save" do then?I got into the LODs last night and I think I have a working model with 3 LODs in the sim now. I can't tell though, I thought I would be able to see it change models in the sim as I approach from a distance, but it's either changing far enough out that I can't see it, or I messed something up and it's not working at all. One thing I did notice was that in using Jon Masterson's "Library Object Viewer" to view the building, it now (with the added LODs) initially loads standing on end like the default Generic library objects do, where before it would load flat and bottom-down. I took it as a good sign that the LODs must be working, but maybe someone could verify having noticed this themselves?I created an LOD_50 and an LOD_10 like the house tutorial suggested. On the LOD_50 model I welded all the vertices along the edges of the eaves which eliminated all the fascias, and on the LOD_10 model I eliminated the eaves alltogether. I'm assuming that the _LOD_xx number you assign to the model is what tells the sim at what distance to load a certain model, am I correct?If that's the case, experimentally creating an _LOD_90 model and welding vertices until it is nothing but a simple box, should make the model swap easily noticible in the sim. Does that make any sense? I'll try it this evening and see.Thanks,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jim,>Ah, I see that Increment on Save appends an "01", "02" to the>filename and creates a new file every time you click "Save". >Thanks Jon, that's just what the doctor ordered. I figured>out late last night that the little "+" button on the "Save>as" dialog does exactly that, but this is better yet. What>does "Backup on Save" do then?I believe the "Backup on Save" increments the autobak copies kept in the gmax directory. It's redundant (seemingly), when increment on save is enabled. But I've lost enough stuff in the early days to want lots of redundancy.>I got into the LODs last night and I think I have a>working model with 3 LODs in the sim now. I can't tell>though, I thought I would be able to see it change models in>the sim as I approach from a distance, but it's either>changing far enough out that I can't see it, or I messed>something up and it's not working at all. One thing I did>notice was that in using Jon Masterson's "Library Object>Viewer" to view the building, it now (with the added LODs)>initially loads standing on end like the default Generic>library objects do, where before it would load flat and>bottom-down. I took it as a good sign that the LODs must be>working, but maybe someone could verify having noticed this>themselves?>I created an LOD_50 and an LOD_10 like the house tutorial>suggested. On the LOD_50 model I welded all the vertices>along the edges of the eaves which eliminated all the fascias,>and on the LOD_10 model I eliminated the eaves alltogether. >I'm assuming that the _LOD_xx number you assign to the model>is what tells the sim at what distance to load a certain>model, am I correct?I assume you've got your object hierarchy ordered like:LOD_100--detailed objectsLOD_050--not so detailed objectsLOD_020--basic objectsI believe it's important to use three digits, and you should indeed be able to see the different LODs as you slew towards and away.The LOD numbers are approximately equal to pixel numbers on the screen, so if you have a very large object (bridge) you may have LOD_800, LOD_400, etc. On a very small object you might have LOD_020, LOD_005 etc. So don't get hooked into 100/50/20. I make my LOD changes just visible at the limit of perception IF the the user knows what to look for. Makes them effectively invisible to most users.>If that's the case, experimentally creating an _LOD_90 model>and welding vertices until it is nothing but a simple box,>should make the model swap easily noticible in the sim. Does>that make any sense? I'll try it this evening and see.Yup, that's one approach.Jon>>Thanks,>Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOD_100--detailed objectsLOD_050--not so detailed objectsLOD_020--basic objectsYep, that's how I've got 'em, but I screwed up on the numbering, i.e. LOD_50, as opposed to LOD_050. I thought I followed the house tutorial to the letter, but that leading zero must have been invisible last night :) . That probably explains why I wasn't seeing the model change. Can I just go back in and rename them and export the model again?Gotta run right now and I won't be back till late this evening. I'll see if I can fix it when I get home and report back tomorrow.Thanks,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I renamed and re-exported, but I still couldn't see the LODs change so I opened it back up and temporarily renamed my lowest detail LOD_010 to LOD_090 and exported it again. That did the trick (as far as seeing the swap take place), so now I know the LODs are working.That's as far as I've gotten so far, but I'll take your advice and play with those LOD numbers until I can just barely see the swap take place. I'm thinking the mid-detail model should be something like LOD_080 instead of LOD_050, and the low detail model should be LOD_060 or _070 instead of _010.Thanks much for the help,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this