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FSX transparent+reflective

Discussion in 'ModelConverterX' started by robystar, 7/3/10.

  1. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi,

    I am trying to make a terminal building with GSU and although I can make glass textures transparent, the glass is not shiny. I therefore wanted to add some reflective shine to it, using the material properties editor of MCX.
    But first, I tried to understand the FSX materials explanation in the SDK where you can find examples of shiny (semi) transparent textures.
    Unfortunately, the materials editor of MCX is based on Gmax (I think) and the terms do not coincide with the SDK explanation that is for 3DS.
    As a consequence, I am a bit at a loss here how to exactly make these textures. On top of that, I fear I experience the so called draw order problem (i.e. you can completely see through the building when looking through the windows) and wonder how you can circumvent that only using MCX.
  2. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    The names in MCX match those in the section of the SDK about the materials. So that should be possible.

    What you have to do is make an alpha channel which defines the amount of reflection of the parts of the texture. Then you have to add this one as the specular map and enable it (I forgot exactly which options you have to tick, but the SDK tells you). After that it should work.

    For the drawing order problem, you have to look at the Z-write, Z-sort, etc settings in the material. Normally when using the Set Default Transparent button it should work quick good though.
  3. robystar

    robystar

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    Thanks Arno, I will check it out.
    But the problem seems to be that each time I set the texture to default transparent the specular properties are automatically set to 0.
    I tried to activate the environment map but then I get a curtainlike transparent texture.
    Probably doing something wrong and I will continue testing and will post some examples of what I mean as I fully understand it is hard to pinpoint the problem without your having all the details.
    (But not tonight. I am going out to dinner for my umptieth birthday as I now know, since a couple of years, where Abraham gets his mustard from ,:D).
  4. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I would have to check, but the specular settings should not be affected by the Set Default Transparent button. That would surprise me.
  5. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi,

    I have been tinkering a while more, but still no joy.
    In the first attachment is the way the glass looks.
    In the second attachment the kind of reflective transparent texture is highlighted in the SDK example.
    In the third attachment you can see what I have done (except that as I told you earlier the specular level and the reflection scale are both back to 0 (instead of 255 and 20 respectively).
    And where do I set the specular alpha if I use a specular color instead of a texture?
    Sorry for all these questions but I would like to have things right.
    Last edited: 23/4/10
  6. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I would first have to double check in GMax how it works again, it is some time ago that I made an object with reflections.
  7. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi Arno,

    That is not the problem.
    What I am trying to do is to have a transparent window with a bit of reflexion so as to have it become glossy, like real windows are (unless they are dirty) and without using the environment map. Therefore a specular texture, I think, could be added to the transparent diffuse texture. And that is when I get lost: what kind of specular texture do I use and what are going to be the material settings with respect to source or destination blend, inverse alpha, specular power, reflective scale etc. I have no trouble making solid textures shiny or add a bump map to them, but (semi-)transparent textures (glass in fact) give me headaches because they remain dull whatever I try.
    I know it is my own lack of understanding how things work and that is why I having been busy doing things by trial and error. But a day has only 24 hours (I wonder where you find the time?) and I would sincerely want to understand what I am doing.
    So, like I asked for in the general chat, please someone give me some links to where I could find some more info on the subject (Otherwise I am definitely going to the hotel bar as of monday night where of course everybody is welcome to join me :D).
  8. ALain152

    ALain152

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    Hi,
    All materials in fsx are "glossy" unless you check the "no base material specular".
    If you want to apply specular map, ensure you
    - check the "no base material specular".
    - check the "blend environment by specular map alpha".
    - build you map texture with black=nospec to white=fullspec
    - encode dxt1 or 3 cloning the map to the alpha channel.
    Hope my english is clear enough
  9. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi,

    and thank you Alain.
    It is not your English but my lack of understanding things.
    Could you please translate this into the terms of the MCX material editor?
    You can explain in French if you want to, because je comprwends Frawnçais aigalement:D. (Mais je ne devrais pas rigoler trop)
  10. ALain152

    ALain152

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    Hi,
    I don't understand beause I already use the terms of material editor:
    These were the Gmax language.
    Let me try to translate to MCX...
    Last edited: 13/3/10
  11. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I have added that option. It seemed I still had a material parameter IsSpecular that I did not know what to do with, so that must be this one :). Will be in the next development release.
  12. ALain152

    ALain152

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    Thank you Arno ! :)
  13. robystar

    robystar

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    Thank you also Arno,

    Regarding your "blend environment by specular alpha", Alain, when I set this to true and compile, the next time I open the mdl, it is back to false.
    I have a diffuse and a specular texture both with alpha.
  14. tgibson

    tgibson

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    Settings are not typically saved by MCX when reloading MDL's, AFAIK, since there is no file created that "saves" the settings.

    Hope this helps,
  15. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I will check if the "blend environment by specular alpha" is exported correctly.
  16. robystar

    robystar

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    Have you?
    Seem to still exprience some problems. Most likely it is my own lack of understanding things.
    Would you mind if I send you the MCX mdl and the relative textures of this EDLV terminal for checking whether MCX really does its job?

    Roby
  17. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    No, I haven't yet. I have been extremely busy at work recently, so I haven't been able to spend much time on ModelConverterX recently. Hopefully in the next few days I can test it.
  18. robystar

    robystar

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    Don't hurry. Work comes first.
    Need I remind you it is just a hobby? (at least for me it is!)
    Thanks.
  19. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi Tom,

    If I import an mdl or a bgl made by MCX, it would have the same texture or other settings as the one previously made, wouldn't it? Unless I misunderstand?
    Tue enough, it would be nice to be able to save settings without having to export, change the GUID and name etc.and return to your earlier work file like with ADE.
  20. Pyscen

    Pyscen

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    I agree,.. there are times I wished the saving of settings would occur. That was another reason I asked Arno if it would be possible for the attached points to be within the report specifically the attach point locations... this way I could at least have a copy or hard copy of the locations etc for troubleshooting purposes.

    The saving of setting for a particular model could would also be nice just encase one forgets to do something to a material(s).

    Just a thought! :D

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