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Importing into GMAX Objects using Raw Textures

Discussion in 'ModelConverterX' started by tgibson, 12/10/09.

  1. tgibson

    tgibson

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    Hi all,

    I have just tried out ModelConverterX for the first time, and I'm impressed - nice job Arno!

    I have taken an FS98 C-130 aircraft, used M98 to BGL to create an API file, and loaded it into MCX:

    [​IMG]

    OK, so far so good. Now I want to bring it into GMAX to fix some of the problems you can see there. So I export it as a 3DS file and bring it into GMAX. After smoothing all the polygons, it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Looks good! But there are no textures, because I assume that the raw R8 textures are not being read by GMAX. I checked the materials, and those file names are still listed though. I then exported the model using the FS9 MakeMDL program, made a library of the object, and created a new scenery layer called C-130. The object can be placed into FS9 using Instant Scenery just fine, but the plane is still untextured - even though I have the R8 textures in the accompanying TEXTURE folder. I have only looked at the object in IS, but I assume it can read R8 textures? Perhaps I should check this...

    Anyway, has anyone else tried this and how did you get the textures to show up? Do I need to convert them to BMP files and reassign them in the GMAX materials?

    Thanks,
  2. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi Tom,

    You might want to check the MDL file produced, I expect it will use the BMP extension for the textures there, not R8. This is the default behaviour of GMax when exporting. But if you load the MDL back into ModelConverterX you can see which textures are used in the MDL file.

    If that is the case, you need to convert the R8 textures to BMP files (this will also be better for the performance). I have a raw (unreleased) tool that can do those kind of things as well. I guess I should release it or put the functionality in ModelConverterX.
  3. tgibson

    tgibson

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    Hi,

    I wasn't aware that ACX could load FS2004 Scenery MDL files created by GMAX/MakeMDL, but it did that quite easily.

    You are right, it now has specified the texture as a BMP file. I say "texture" and not "textures", because in the old AF99 texture naming system they all had the same base name (i.e. 240aal2k), and had different file extensions (0af, 1af, 2af, etc.). Thus when the extensions are stripped off and the BMP extension is added, I end up with a plane that is supposedly textured using one file - 240aal2k.bmp. I see I will indeed have to convert the textures to BMP (I use PSP for this, but a faster converter would be great).

    I tried this, and I can indeed get the converted BMP texture to show up on the plane in GMAX, properly mapped. You need to flip the converted BMP files vertically to get them to display correctly.

    I tried to see what would happen if I created the fs2004 MDL file directly from MCX, but when I try to load the resulting MDL file back into MCX, it says it's not a supported MDL type. I get the same error when I create it as an FSX MDL file and try to load it back in.

    Since they would be using MakeMDL (or XtoMDL) as well, I assume that I would encounter the same "must be BMPs" problem? If true, then API's using R8 textures are currently not supported for conversion?

    Thanks,
  4. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi Tom,

    I'll try to reproduce that bug.

    About the texture names, you probably have to make the names unique, so that they do not all map onto the same texture. I guess I could still add some functionality for texture manipulations and conversions later on.
  5. tgibson

    tgibson

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    Hi,

    Thanks, any texture conversion help would make things much easier, since many API's use the R8 texture format. Luckily most scenery objects that employ R8 textures use different base names, so all that's required is to convert the R8's to BMP format (and rename them with the BMP extension).

    BTW, in the interim I have found that Martin Wright's Convim program will batch convert R8's to BMP files. For these ex AF99 API conversions you use the choices "Keep Original Extensions" and "Flip Source R8s", and then rename them afterward. If they start as 240aal2k.0af, I rename them to 240aal2k0.bmp so I have a direct correlation between the old R8 name and the new BMP file. The .1af file is then 240aal2k1.bmp, etc. Reassigning the new BMP files to the materials in GMAX quickly yields a completely textured object.

    For standard scenery objects with different texture names, I assume you could leave the "Keep Original Extensions" unchecked, and then let Convim automatically rename them. I also assume that "Flip Source R8s" would still need to be checked?

    Thanks,

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