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Refinery objects for scenery

Discussion in 'General chat' started by hawkeye52, 26/8/10.

  1. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    I'm wanting to upgrade St. Croix (USVI) where there is a huge Hess oil refinery just East of the airport. I have found oil storage tank libraries, but I've come up empty-handed for the refinery itself (pipes, crackers, etc.).

    Can someone provide a link (or file name) for that?

    - H52
  2. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi,

    There is a refinery in the buildings.bgl
  3. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Thanks for replying, Robystar. Is the buildings.bgl an FS9 default folder? :confused:

    I am not at my Sim PC right now, thus I cannot check my interpretation, so please clarify. And again, thank you.

    - H52
  4. robystar

    robystar

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    Sorry, assumed you were on FSX.
    Should not be too hard to make it yourself though.
    Easiest and quickest way is Google Sketchup plus modelconverterX for making an mdl of it.
  5. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Hi, Robystar.

    Thank you for the SketchUp suggestion. I went to the "Warehouse" section and found several ready-made refineries and components, so I don't need to design any myself.

    Anyway, the Warehouse files are all SKPs. Your comment implies ModelconverterX is req'd to make them usable in FS. However, all I read about ModelconverterX -- including Arno's tutorial -- suggests that it converts the input file (eg, SKP) into an MDL for FS-X.

    Since I am in FS9, how do I convert SKP for use? :confused:

    - H52
  6. bobbyjack

    bobbyjack

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    I believe MCX will make mdls for both sims. You just need to enter the pathsto the respective sdks in the options area.

    Bob
  7. bobbyjack

    bobbyjack

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    Also, if you have ADE installed and set up for FS9, check out Generic bgls 047, 160,179,185,and 196.

    Bob
  8. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Thanks Bobbyjack, but I'm a simple simmer trying to supplement MS's shortcomings. Much as I'd like, I am not a scenery designer; I'm limited to AFCADs and excludes (the latter don't always work!!) and I can place Rwy12 objects, but that's it. I was hoping to be able to do the same with the SKPs, but that looks to be beyond my reach.

    If I could find refinery buildings (other than tanks, which I already have) in a Rwy12-type library, I'd be in Newbie Heaven. :D

    - H52
  9. bobbyjack

    bobbyjack

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    Believe me , there isn't a soul on this forum that wants things simpler than me. If you have a way to place Rwy12 objects, than you've already gone past simple. Airport Design Editor can be set up for FS9 and can place many built-in generic and library objects. A bit more work is for MCX to convert Skps to mdl, but not that hard. None of this has anything to do with developing scenery. At least think about it. You can get lots of help here.

    Bob
  10. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi Bob,

    Please do not pride yourself on being the simpliest soul on this forum.
    Where does that leave me then to find an excuse:D?

    But, Hawkeye 52, as this is a Developer's forum, at least you can give it a try.
    Part of the fun of FS is to be able to add your own customized scenery and scenery objects, and such.
    Give it a try, but beware, do not get hooked!

    Roby
  11. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    ModelConverterX

    Sorry fellas, but I'm back.

    Arno's MCX is an INGENIOUS creation, but not being a scenery person, much of the terminology -- which might provide a clue to what I am doing wrong -- simply escapes me. I've watched the video on the basics and have referred to the MCX Wiki and that has moved me along to the point that I can write this.

    I have tried converting several Google Earth (KMZ) files for use in FS9, specifically to place into the Static Objects library. The results have been the same in all attempts. I will summarize one of those in the hope someone can set me straight.

    ACTION » IMPORT a KMZ file

    EXPORTER SETTINGS
    MDL Writer path set to MakeMDL.exe

    TEXTURE SETTINGS
    Texture Loader: BMPDDSEquivalence = TRUE
    Texture Writer: Default type = BMP
    Image Tool path set to ImageTool.exe

    [All other MCX settings left at default]

    Save As: FS9MDL object (*.mdl)

    Renderer Warnings appear for all textures
    "The size of texture xx is not a power of 2; this is required by FS"

    [Note: all the source (imported) textures are PNG & JPG]

    RESULTS
    The following files are created:
    doc.kml
    model.mdl
    model.dae
    textures.txt
    textures.png & textures.jpg


    I need BGLs & BMPs. How do I get there from here?

    - H52
  12. bobbyjack

    bobbyjack

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    You are very close. With your object loaded in MCX, find the Mass texture editor. It's one of the tools in the upper left. Open that. You will be able to remane your textures, then hit Update. That make your textures FS happy. I see MCX made a Mdl for you, but I don't know why it didn't make new textures for you, unless it saved them somewhere else. You might do a search. As a side note, I have my Texture Writer set to dxtbmp. Shouldn't make any difference, but it works. Once you get textures and an mdl, MCX is done. Since you are making several of these objects, I would suggest Library Creator XML to make a library bgl. Maybe not what you are after, but at least you can show youself all of this works. Since I work with airports, I use ADE to place things, and keep my libraries in ADE.

    Bob
  13. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Thank you, bobbyjack. The MASS TEXTURE WRITER Update did the trick. That was the easy part. I struggled a bit with the Library Creator XML, but that too is now history.

    I ended up with BMP textures, MDL, XML and BGL. (Btw, your use of BMPDXT is preferable to pure BMP because the latter are 32-bit and more likely to impact FPS)

    I placed a thumbnail of the new object into the RWY12 Img folder and placed the BMPs into my Static Objects Library\textures and the BGL into Static Objects Library\scenery. I placed the XML into my RWY12 folder where the ObjectPlacer.exe and all the other XMLs reside. I noticed that all the XMLs had the prefix add_ on their names, so I added that to my XML.

    Well, the new object did NOT show up in RWY12; instead it gave an error msg...something about handles lacking, I think.

    So the question now is how to get the new object(s) to show in RWY12? Can you help me with that, please?

    - H52

    PS: I guess after the creation of the BGL, the MDL is superfluous?
  14. bobbyjack

    bobbyjack

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    I've never used rwy12, so I downloaded it and poked around. I don't see anything that says you can add your own libraries to it. Maybe someone will come along and tell us how to do it. The read me says that you must install all 39 libraries that come with it to make the program work right. That leads me to believe that there are controls that limit libraries. If that is the case, you will need to find another object placer.

    Bob
  15. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Thanks for responding, Bobbyjack. I interpreted the Rwy12 ReadMe as meaning that not all objects (or textures) will display unless all the libraries are loaded.

    Just a few days ago I added ez-fuel_tanks_v1p.zip to my Rwy12. It is a library of oil storage tanks by Sidney Schwartz and everything works perfectly, so I believe additions to Rwy12 are possible. Hmmmm... :scratchch

    - H52
  16. bobbyjack

    bobbyjack

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  17. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Good info, Bobbyjack. I scanned it and my first impression is that the answer may be in the creation of the XML, which frankly is where my suspicion lay.

    After my previous post (the Hmmmm...) I re-visited Sidney's ReadMe and confirmed that he had:
    1. Generated his XML & BGL using Arno's Library Creator, and..
    2. Placed the component files exactly as I did.

    So I shot off an e-mail to him asking if he had done anything "special" to his XML.

    No reply as yet, but you've given me something to work with. It's bedtime in Fl, so I'll get to it mañana and report back. Thanks again. :)

    -H52
  18. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Hey Bobbyjack, I rcvd instructions from Sidney Schwartz on how to make additions to the Rwy12 library. I got my first object to show, but subsequent objects for the same library are NOT showing.

    It's obvious why: they are not in the Rwy12 add_xxxx.XML . So that's what I have to figure out.

    When I get it done, I'll post the method for the benefit of anyone who cares.

    - H52
  19. bobbyjack

    bobbyjack

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    Glad you are on track to a solution.

    As I said, I do not use Rwy12 but there are folks who do. I'm sure they will be interested in what you come up with.

    Also, as I said, I use ADE for object placement. I also do not use FS9 very often. However as part of this thread I took a building I made in Sketchup, and using MCX, Library Creator, and ADE, was able to put it into FS9 without much trouble.

    Keep us posted.

    Bob
  20. hawkeye52

    hawkeye52

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    Tutorial

    OK, I think I finally got this one figured. Before I go any further, I want to again express my sincere thanks to all who helped and in particular to Bobbyjack and Sidney S. It is not an exaggeration to say that without their help, I would not be writing this.


    Converting Google SketchUp models for use in FS9

    FIRST…
    If the SketchUp model is available as a KMZ file, download it as such. If not, but is available as an SKP, you must convert it to a KMZ before downloading it. This can be done via SketchUp.

    1. Open the SKP within SketchUp
    2. File\Export\3D Model\GoogleEarth File (*KMZ)
    That operation has created an equivalent KMZ which you can now download for further processing.

    SECOND…
    With the KMZ file in-hand, the next step is to convert it into the necessary XML » BGL & BMPs. This is accomplished via Arno Gerretsen’s marvelous Model Converter X [MCX].

    Before we can use MCX, we have to adjust its EXPORTER and TEXTURE settings.

    1. Double-click on ModelConverter.exe to open the application
    2. In the MCX window, click on Options. For our limited purpose, the most important of these are:

    EXPORTER settings\MDLWriter
    ► MakeMDLpath which must be “pointed” at the location of MakeMDL.exe in the PC.
    For my system it is: G:\07 Scenery Design\Make MDL_SDK\EXECUTED\makemdl.exe

    TEXTURE settings\TextureLoader
    ► FS2004Path
    At this time we have it set to FS9_2008
    TEXTURE settings\TextureWriter
    ► DefaultType set it to DXTBMP for lower impact than BMP on FPS
    ► ImageToolPath which must be “pointed” at the location of ImageTool.exe in the PC.
    For my system it is:
    G:\07 Scenery Design\Terrain_SDK\EXECUTED\Terrain_Tools\imagetool.exe
    Click on 3D preview to return to the object view.

    We can now continue using MCX.

    3. Import a KMZ file
    4. If the grid appears, click the icon to remove it
    5. Create a folder into which all the MCX-created files will be placed; name it for the object.
    6. Click the icon to create a thumbnail for use in Rwy12 Object Placer. It is important the name of the thumbnail image exactly match the object name.
    7. Open Mass Texture Editor by clicking on the icon
    a) At the very bottom of the new window SET THE PATH to the folder created in step 5 (above)
    b) CHANGE THE NAME of EACH texture to something UNIQUE that will permit identification among hundreds of other textures.
    c) Insure that all boxes are checked and that all Convert slots show DXTBMP
    d) Click Update. This places all the converted textures into the folder created in step 5 (above)
    8. At the main MCX window double-click Export. A SaveAs window opens.
    a) At the top, in the Save in slot, SET THE PATH to the folder created in step 5 (above).
    b) At the bottom, in the File name slot, enter the object’s name [same as thumbnail’s!!!]
    c) Verify Save as type shows FS9 MDL object (*MDL)
    This creates and places an MDL into the folder created in step 5 (above).
    The Export process could take several minutes, depending on the complexity of the model.

    That folder should now contain:
    • A thumbnail (JPG)
    • Textures (BMP)
    • Model (MDL)

    That concludes the use of MCX. Before we can use the object in Rwy12/FS9, we need an XML from which to generate a BGL. That is done by Arno Gerretsen’s Library Creator XML.

    THIRD…
    Open Library Creator XML by double-clicking on LibraryCreatorXML.exe
    1. Select Options\FS2004 BGLComp path
    (If bglcomp.exe does not appear in the field, browse to it)
    2. Click Open (the field goes blank)
    3. Select Options\Relative paths (the field remains blank)
    4. Select File\New library (the field remains blank) but a Create new library XML source window opens.
    a) At the top of the new window, change the Save in to the folder created in step 5 (above).
    b) At the bottom of the new window, change the File name enter the object’s name [same as thumbnail’s!!!]
    c) Hit Save the new window closes and the Library Creator XML field remains blank
    5. Select Add MDL objects [a Select MDL objects to add to library window opens]
    a) The field should contain the MDL created in the last step of Model Converter X
    b) Single-click Open [the new window closes and the Library Creator XML field contains the object with a + in front. Expanding it reveals a Name, GUID and a Path.]
    6. Select File\Save library [this places an XML into the folder created in step 5 (above).]
    7. Select File\Compile library BGL [a Select library BGL to create window opens; verify that Save in and File name are correct]
    a) Hit Save [the new window closes and a BGL appears in the folder created in step 5 (above).]
    b) A Compilation log appears and declares Parse complete!

    In order to use the object in Rwy12, we must do more processing using Library Creator XML.

    FOURTH…
    Open Library Creator XML by double-clicking on LibraryCreatorXML.exe
    1. Select File\Open library and browse to the XML if it does not appear in the field
    2. Hit Open [the object (XML) appears in the Library Creator XML field]
    3. Select Tools\Create Rwy12 XML file [an Export Rwy12 XML window opens] Verify the pre-entered info, add the name of the library (“description”). Once the foregoing is verified,
    4. Hit Generate XML.

    This final processing has added a Rwy12-compatible XML (recognizable by the “add_” prefix) and a folder (named for the Library). The folder’s contents (a “NO IMAGE AVAILABLE” JPG) can be discarded. Move the thumbnail JPG (created in step 6 of Model Converter X) into the folder, and then move the folder into Rwy12\Img.
    :alert:CAUTION! The name of the Library is what appears in the Rwy12 Category window
    e.g., Refinery objects in my case
    It must also be identical to the Rwy12 XML
    e.g., add_Refinery objects.xml
    The name of the object is what appears in the Rwy12 Object to place window
    e.g., Caltex_terminal
    It must also be identical to the BGL….
    e.g., Caltex_terminal.bgl
    …and the thumbnail JPG
    e.g., Caltex_terminal.jpg

    :alert:If you get an error message, check those first!

    If you are adding objects to an existing library, proceed as follows:
    Open Library Creator XML by double-clicking on LibraryCreatorXML.exe
    1. Select File\Open library [A Select XML library source to open window opens. Browse to the XML if it does not appear in the File name slot]
    2. Click Open (the field remains blank)
    3. Select Add MDL objects [a Select MDL objects to add to library window opens]
    4. Browse to the new object’s location and highlight its MDL
    5. Click Open. This adds the object’s MDL to the Library Creator XML field
    Repeat steps 3, 4 & 5 for each new object. After all the new objects have been added,
    :alert:Flash » I have had to add ALL the previously-existing objects, NOT JUST the new ones. [I expected the existing objects would be present when I opened the "existing library", but that did not happen, so I had to resort to this work-around; maybe you can figure what I did wrong!]
    6. Tools\Create Rwy12 XML file [an Export Rwy12 XML window opens] Verify the pre-entered info, add the name of the library (“description”). Once the foregoing is verified,
    7. Click Generate XML.
    8. Select File\Compile library BGL [a Select library BGL to create window opens; verify that Save in and File name are correct]

    Note: For an existing library, Rwy12XML file, Rwy12 image folder and Library description MUST match the existing values (names), eg add_Refinery objects.xml, Refinery objects and Refinery objects, respectively.

    FIFTH…
    We are now ready to place the object and all its associated files into Rwy12.
    1. Place the thumbnail into Rwy12\Img\[folder] name “as created in step 5”
    2. Place the Rwy12 XML (the one with the “add_” prefix) into Rwy12\
    3. Place the BGL into Rwy12\scenery folder location;
    at present, this is FS9_2008\Addon Scenery\Static Objects Library\scenery
    4. Place the BMPs into Rwy12\texture folder location;
    at present, this is FS9_2008\Addon Scenery\Static Objects Library\texture

    The MDL and the non-Rwy12 XML are not required by Rwy12.

    :) - Finito - :)

    A final caveat: there are many little details and similar operations in this long process. If you are not careful or if you move too quickly, you'll probably end up doing it over again!

    - H52

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