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Too complex?

Discussion in 'ModelConverterX' started by Sidney Schwartz, 4/4/10.

  1. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz Resource contributor

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    Hi Arno,

    I've been using Sketchup to work on a model of the terminal building at Iqauluit in northern Canada. (Yes, it really does look like that :)). I've exported and converted the model several times (using latest build of MCX) during the building process and it's always worked fine and the model displayed correctly in FS9. With the latest build of the model, however, something is not working. The model displays correctly in Sketchup and in MCX, but in FS9 most of it is missing. The missing parts all use native SU textures, and those same textures are used on some of the parts that do show in FS9, so I don't think it's a texture problem. I've gone over the model and eliminated all extra polys and anything else I can think of that may have caused a problem. I've simplified the model by eliminating at least half of the trim lines on the outside. I tried converting an earlier building I had made and had no problems.

    I'm wondering if this model has just gotten too complex? A while back I tried making the same terminal in Gmax, and as it was nearing completion Gmax started crashing whenever I loaded it. I had to give it up. Sketchup seems to be handling it fine, but now I'm unable to get it to show in FS9. Would you be willing to have a look at it? If so, just let me know which files you need and I'll send them to you.
    Last edited: 31/5/10
  2. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz Resource contributor

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    Hmm. I just tried converting an earlier, much simpler build of this same terminal, and had the same problem....most of it is missing in FS9. I'm sure this version is one, or very close to one, of those that I had no problems with. It's a clue, but I have no idea what it means. More experimenting ahead. :confused:
  3. robystar

    robystar

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    Maybe you set your yellow texture to default transparent in MCX materials editor without knowing?
  4. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    How complex is your object? How many polygons?

    I have also seen cases where some polygons did not show after conversion and doing the conversion again solved that. Still not sure what was the reason of that. If you have the object for me I can test if you want.
  5. tgibson

    tgibson

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    It appears you've either set it to transparent somewhere, or you have created a texture with a black alpha channel, rendering the object transparent? Try switching the texture to one that is already showing up. Or you've found a bug in MCX... :)

    Hope this helps,
  6. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz Resource contributor

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    I just tried a version with 31,448 triangles and had the same problem. The most complex version of the model has 78,841.

    I suppose it could be a texture problem as Tom has suggested. I had ruled that out because the few parts that did appear in FS9 use the same texture as the parts that don't show. I'll try replacing the native textures with new ones and see if that solves the problem.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be busy today but should be able to experiment a bit more this evening.
  7. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz Resource contributor

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    OK, I think we can safely rule out MCX as the problem. It's definitely related to whether or not a surface in Sketchup is textured on one side or both sides. I haven't been able to pin it down to an exact set of circumstances. Normally I texture only the surfaces of a model that are visible. At some point in this project I managed to accidentally texture the inside surfaces of the model as well, and that's when the problems started. It may also have something to do with whether the textures are applied to individual surfaces, or to a Group. I was able to fix a couple of the interim models, but not the most recent one. I'm guessing that too many attempts to fix it, without knowing exactly what I was doing, just made it go fubar.
  8. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I would still be interested to see your file, because even if you texture both sides it should still work :).
  9. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz Resource contributor

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    Arno, did you get the files I emailed to you?
  10. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I guess that object might indeed be a bit too complex. About 80000 triangles is quite a lot for a scenery object.

    When I export it to FS2004 MDL format it seems the polygons are flipped. Not sure why that happens yet.
  11. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz Resource contributor

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    I think you're right, Arno....too many triangles. I tried one with about 49,000 and that still had missing surfaces, but fewer of them. A model with about 23,000 displayed correctly. I looked at other buildings I've done, and even those I thought were relatively complex were still 20,000 or less.

    The culprit is the radiused edges. The easiest way (as far as I know) to make them in either Gmax or Sketchup is by using the lofting function (called "follow me" in Sketchup). This creates a huge number of surfaces, and there doesn't seem to be any way to control that. A simplified model of the Iqaluit terminal using straight-edged shaped yielded 64 triangles. Using radiused edges added about 8000 triangles! :eek: I need to explore alternate methods of making curved edges.
  12. tgibson

    tgibson

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    Some people on my forum have used the Arc function to make curved buildings.

    Hope this helps,
  13. rhumbaflappy

    rhumbaflappy Moderator Staff Member Resource contributor

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    In GMax, apply optimization to the mesh...

    Modifier/Mesh Editing/Optimize

    There's some deformation, but you can retain material mapping...

    Perhaps there's a sketchup equivalent?

    Dick
    Last edited: 7/4/10
  14. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz Resource contributor

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    That's what I've been doing. By default an arc consists of 12 segments. You can specify the number of arc segments. I actually had read that when I first started learning Sketchup but I had forgotten about it :banghead:. An arc with 4 segments looks like it will work well visually and will greatly reduce the number of triangles.

    Dick, so far I've found no optimization function in Sketchup. I think what I need to optimize is my brain function. :teacher:

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