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Towards version 1.3

Discussion in 'ModelConverterX' started by arno, 23/5/10.

  1. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    With version 1.2 released, I think it is a good moment to write down my ideas for version 1.3. I should directly note that at the moment I am focusing more on the gPoly tool, so it might take a while before all these features get added.

    At the moment these are the main features I have planned for version 1.3. But things can always change depending on other developments of course. Originally the COLLADA reader was only planned for version 2.0, but when I realised the potential of SketchUp I decided to accelerate it a bit. So this set of planned features is also not 100% fixed.

    • Improved LOD creator, with better performance and different methods to generate LODs
    • New material editor user interface, with the mass texture editor and drawcall minimizer integrated into it
    • Support conditions on (parts) of the object, e.g. the SCASM IfVarRange and IfVarAnd commands
    • Support for AC3D format
    • General performance improvements to 3D preview
  2. gary20

    gary20

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    Thanks Arno

    This really has turned into an incredible tool.
    Glad to see you'll be looking at the SCASM IfVarRange and IfVarAnd commands

    Gary
  3. hcornea

    hcornea Resource contributor

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    This is fantastic work Arno.

    An idea for consideration:

    When checking a library, would it be possible for Modelconverter to compare the "like" materials ... to suggest correcting ones that would represent an unnecessary additional drawcall.

    Maybe a report of "Unique Materials" by Texture (and which objects use them). Sounds obtuse, but this would enable you to see which textures had several materials attributed to them .. and hence adjust the outliers.

    Thanks for all your work on this.
  4. bertvk

    bertvk

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    hi Arno,
    Again thanks for all the work done sofar.
    Happy "Pinksteren"

    Regards.
    Bert
  5. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    That's a nice idea indeed. I have put it on the wishlist.
  6. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz

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    My needs are pretty simple. The only feature I'd like to see improved is the LOD function. I'm still not convinced, though, that creating LODs (removing parts) in MCX is preferrable to creating LODs in whatever program we're using to create them and then letting MCX combine them. Using GSU, I see two possible scenerios:

    Scenario 1
    1. I create the full object in GSU and save it.
    2. I make a copy of the object, remove some details, and save it as a second object. Since GSU is a full featured modeling program, doing the editing is fast and easy, and I already know how to do it.
    3. Repeat as necessary for additional LOD models. I this point I have saved copies of all LOD models and can easily do further editing on them if necessary without having to redo them from scratch.
    4. Import full object into MCX and then indicate to MCX which objects I would like to use for LODs and let MCX combine them. Hopefully MCX would create a data file that saves this information so it would not have to be re-entered the next time I load that object into it.

    Scenario 2
    1. I create the full object in GSU and save it.
    2. I import the object into MCX and use MCX to edit the object and remove details. (I'm not interested in having MCX decide for me which details to eliminate.) The first question is what is the advantage of doing this in MCX vs. doing it in GSU? Second question is whether or not MCX will save each LOD that I create seperately so that it will be available for further editing if necessary. Suppose I use MCX to create 3 LODs for an object. I test the object in FS and determine that LOD #2 needs tweaking. Will I be able to recall LOD#2 in MCX, or will I have to redo it from scratch?

    I like to keep things simple, like me. :D I'd rather MCX concentrate on conversion issues rather than trying to duplicate things we can already do very easily in our modeling programs. Since we can't automatically combine LODs in GSU like we can in Gmax, that's all I'd need MCX to do.

    Thanks, Arno. :wave:
  7. Heretic

    Heretic

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    MCX is a great tool indeed, even if I've just tinkered around a bit.

    The only two requests I have so far:
    - A batch function for the draw call reducer. Converting and modifying a whole library with ~100 objects gets a tad tedious. :eek:
    Also, it would be great if one could merge textures for multiple objects onto one texture sheet, say merge textures onto a single new sheet until it is full. You need to make sure though that there's no object with "split" texture sheets, say one half on a full ned sheet and the other half on the new one.

    -A "restore library" function (aka "Save As: .bgl"). You can read model data from a library .bgl but the output of the conversion process is just the model files. It would be cool if they could be recompiled into a library. This would save you from extracting the .xml and rebuilding the library with external tools.
  8. robystar

    robystar

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    It is pretty easy to use LibrayCreator.xml to do the job, but it is indeed an external program. Perhaps it can be incorporated into MCX?
  9. Heretic

    Heretic

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    That's what I was implying.
  10. PakMac

    PakMac

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    I was hoping for a FS2K2 converter. See post 3

    I have tried converting the bgl's to scasm but I'm not having much luck.

    David
  11. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz

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    Is it possible to import an airplane mdl and convert it to an object mdl? This would be great for making static aircraft objects. I tried to make an airplane object in Gmax and the results were horrible...I have no talent whatsoever in that direction. :(
  12. tgibson

    tgibson

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    Sidney,

    That's currently possible with true FSX aircraft, I understand, but not FS2004 models. It's on the list though. :)
  13. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz

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    Does that mean an FSX airplane could be turned into an FS9 scenery object? I don't care if the plane is FSX or FS9, as long as it works. :D
  14. hcornea

    hcornea Resource contributor

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    Yes ... but often aircraft are unacceptably complex for static scenery placement ... so care would be required.
  15. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz

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    Sure. I figured that once the model was converted to a scenery object, it would have to be simplified, sort of like making an LOD.
  16. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi Sidney,

    Thanks for your detailed input on the LODs.

    It is on the wishlist for version 1.3 already to have the ability to import and merge different models, so that you can design the different LODs in SketchUp and merge them in one MDL with ModelConverterX. If you prefer to manually make your LODs that is probably the most sensible approach.

    The LOD Creator tool as it is now was mainly made to see if it possible to fully automatically make LODs. Mainly because I am too lazy to do it all manually, I find that a quite boring part of modelling your scenery object. But I must admit it is not fully mature yet.
  17. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    That is a good idea, I have put it on the list. It would indeed be nice if some operations can be done in the batch mode as well.

    At first I did not implement this function because I do not want to make it too easy to use (or "steal") models for a library you did not make yourself. If you did make it yourself you should have the XML source already.

    But it is on the todolist to integrate Library Creator XML and ModelConverterX more, since they are often used together. So I think in the future Library Creator XML could become a part of ModelConverterX. Not sure if that will be version 1.3 though, might also be a bit later.
  18. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi David,

    Like I mentioned in the other thread already, that is part of the todo list. I guess only once I try to implement it I will see how much work it actually is :). But converting the shape should be possible, full animations will probably never be possible.
  19. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz

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    Awesome. :D

    Making LODs is boring? To each his own, I guess. To me boring is having to learn stuff like xml code. :rolleyes:
  20. roger-wilco-66

    roger-wilco-66

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    I have another suggestion that helps those who build object libraries:

    when creating the reports on an object library, pictures of the objects are created.
    The nomenclature of the filenames is "object_GUID".jpg . It would be great if the report generator could generate a second set of images wich are smaller like 128x128 or so and have the nomenclature "{GUID}".jpg . These images could be used in SBuilderX (and maybe other programs) as thumbnails in the preview of an object.



    Thanks,
    Mark

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