AeroFly FS2 support in ModelConverterX

tgibson

Resource contributor
#21
For most programs I always use the stable release, because typically any new features are for sims later than mine. But for MCX this is not always true. So I think people are previously trained to rely on "stable releases".
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#22
My plan was also to have a new stable release twice a year or so. But then life took over and suddenly 8 years or so have passed. I should really try this year to have a new stable release. So many bugfixes since version 1.3.
 
#23
One thing though about version 1.3 is that it handles the geometry of animated parts OK - when I output from the most recent (Feb 8, 2018) development release to AC3D (AC) format, the geometry is mangled there as well as the TGI. It would be nice to have an AFS2 option in the Texture output part of the Material Editor that would do the image flip and the conversion to 24 bit BMP. Objects with transparency like a propeller or a tree might have to be handled by the user with DXTBMP or GIMP. It would also be nice to have an option when I output to AC3D to have it use BMP instead of DDS for the textures.

Thanks much

Dave
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#24
Hi,

Back to the topic of this thread. I did some more testing with AeroFly and I fixed some bugs in the exporter. I see no displaced parts here anymore.

In the material editor I have also added an option to remove the alpha channel from a texture. If you save the image afterwards the alpha channel is white. I still need to find out how to not save it, since even a white alpha channel seems to give rendering issues in AeroFly. But at least some progress....

1518210852320.png
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#25
Hi Dave,

One thing though about version 1.3 is that it handles the geometry of animated parts OK - when I output from the most recent (Feb 8, 2018) development release to AC3D (AC) format, the geometry is mangled there as well as the TGI.
I'll try to test that later, I hardly use the AC3D format myself. And the TGI seems to work fine here now (I fixed some bugs today).

It would be nice to have an AFS2 option in the Texture output part of the Material Editor that would do the image flip and the conversion to 24 bit BMP. Objects with transparency like a propeller or a tree might have to be handled by the user with DXTBMP or GIMP.
I don't have to flip any textures here, they just show fine in AeroFly. Interesting that you need to flip them yourself. The 24 bit is indeed needed, I'm still checking how I can do that (in the default .NET functions I use there seems to be no easy switch to just drop the alpha).

It would also be nice to have an option when I output to AC3D to have it use BMP instead of DDS for the textures.
That's easy to do. Just use the option in the material editor texture tab to convert all the textures to another format. That will update the names in the object as well.
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#26
Hi Dave,

I made a few more bug fixes and now I think I completely got rid of the last displaced parts. The 737 looks quite good to me now :). I have also made sure that textures without alpha channel are saved as 24 bit BMP now. I'll push the fixed in a new development release soon.

1518243268306.png
 
#27
Arno,
Looks excellent!! Let me know when to try the development release. What options do I choose for the textures - just output to BMP? So do I fix the animations first, then the transform in Z, output the BMPs, and finally the TGI (and not worry about the LODs)? Would you please check saving to MDL just so that any work with animations and transforms can be saved for additional future changes.

I will be glad to try a bunch of other FSX models for you - and some Sketchup as well.

Wonderful effort (BTW - the tires look a little shiny and maybe not black?? - rest of it looks great).

Dave W.
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#28
Hi Dave,

The textures are indeed a bit shiny, I think the FS specular map and AeroFly specular maps might work different. But I didn't change that.

This is the workflow I used:

  1. Load MDL model
  2. In the material editor remove the alpha channel from the textures that use their alpha for reflection
  3. Fix the animations at the frame I want
  4. In the material editor convert all textures to BMP in a tmp folder
  5. I saved the model with all these changes in MDL format to use that as starting point. I saved it in the tmp folder with the textures
  6. Use the placement editor to place the object
  7. Export as TSC file from MCX
  8. View in AeroFly :)
Of course for the last bit you could also save as TGI and manually add it to a TSC file.
 
#30
Arno,
Getting close but there are a few things (I'm confused about ):
1) How do I know which textures :
"In the material editor remove the alpha channel from the textures that use their alpha for reflection" For the 737, I just chose to do the B737_800_1_T and B737_800_2_T

2) Do I need to somehow invert textures for the export? When I "Save Texures" (BMP format) in the Material Editor, the new BMPs look fine in AC3D and also if I reimport the saved MDL that has the animations removed and new position. BUT they need to be inverted for the TGI that MCX directly generates. If I invert them inside MCX , then the model looks wrong there and in AC3D. It seems that the uv coordinates in the TGI exporter need to be inverted - but you didn't have that problem I guess. I am confused! (I didn't use the TSC exporter since I had errors).

3) When I tried generating a TSC file, it gave the 2 errors (0 geometries converted )without any hint as to any problems. I do like the Object Placement tool! - although it would be great to see the actual object on it


By the way, the AC exporter looks pretty good - just have to set in AC3D a new white material - Diffuse (100%), Ambient (20%), Emissive (0%), Specular (20%), Shininess(20%) - and smooth shading in AC3D. When I build a TGI, the result looks fine but dosn't have the shininess.


Not important but noticed: The MCX AC importer has some transparency (probably from the textures??) and lack of smooth shading issues - I just output the AC model and read it back in as a test in MCX.

Also, would there be any way to make the cockpit windows transparent?

Thanks
Dave
 

Attachments

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#31
Hi Dave,

You would have to check any of the diffuse textures for the alpha channel. But the two you chose for the 737 are the right ones indeed.

Does your content converter configuration contain a flip_vertical option for the textures? When I have that in the textures work fine, that lines wat there already in the sample configuration file I found, so I guessed it was the default value somehow. But maybe that's not the case.

Would you have a small AC3D file sample with the smoothing groups in? That might help me to read and write them as well. Just a simple smooth shaded cylinder would be fine. Like I have this test 3DS file with and without smoothing groups:

1518292604653.png
 
#32
Arno,
OK - thanks - mystery solved! I think that for most of us, the line in the TMC file is ===> <[bool][flip_vertical][false]>
I would switch it to TRUE but I have many other objects in the same scenery that expect it to be false. I guess I can handle this one way or another.

Here is a cylinder with smooth - just rename the file without the txt extension I used to make it acceptable to attach.

Any ideas about why I can't export with the TSC approach?

Thanks as always

Dave
 

Attachments

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#33
Hi Dave,

thanks for the AC3D files, I'll have a look.

Maybe it would be better than to flip the texture coordinates in the TGI file. I'll do that and set the flip option to false as well.

Can you show me your log when you try to export as TSC?
 
#34
Arno,
As far as the export to TSC - not sure if there is a logfile so I sent a photo - I get the Content Converter saying "Oh,no,...". I might have something in my setup that causes that - I ALWAYS get that and usually just cancel it out. Maybe that causes your process some problems. When I cancel out the error message, I just see that I get nothing new.
I'll check into that - the content converter is simply complaining about most of my "textures are not used by any geometry" - maybe some config file or TMC file setting??

Good progress today and thanks much

Dave
 

Attachments

Last edited:

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#35
If you scroll up in the event log you'll see all messages from the content converter. Might indeed be a missing or unused texture report, I've seen those before.
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#36
Hi Dave,

The next development release has two improvements:
  1. The AC3D exporter tries to set the smoothing groups correctly, let me know if that works. On import they are not read correctly yet though, still working on that.
  2. The texture mapping in the TGI file is flipped now
 
#37
Hi Arno,
I am trying to get a copy of MCX that looks like this one in this post, the only one i can find is the 1.3 version, and it doesnt have any of the options that I am used to using! the material editor looks nothing like the one i know how to use., or at least what i was familiar with, I also cant see any other options except FSX and FS2004 -there is no export opttions for xplane or anything else.
I am having a problem using this 1.3 version as I cannot get the night textures to stay or convert or anything, they are all in the correct folder, titled the same with the lm extesion, but they wont resize - i cant even find an option to do this - and they only show up in preveiw window as the checkered boxes. where can i find the older releases or at least one the allows me complete the work im trying to get done!?
I dont have a red teapot - for example...
Thanks in advance!
 
#39
Arno, you may recall me as the chimney guy from the AeroflyFS forum. I just want to tell you, I tried the same model again last night, and voila, ModelconverterX worked and the chimey is where it belongs



I am so happy about it, as ModelconverterX is one of those REALLY simple tools anyone can master: Import model, set position, export as scenery. Go flying.

Look forward to a donation!

Thanks so much
kind regards, Michael
 
#40
Hello Arno,
First of all, thank you for your wonderful tools, really appreciated.

With the support of AFS2 in MCX, I would like to try and make a runway from a Sktechup model but no luck so far.
I followed the AC3D tutorial and tried to reproduce with a .dae file converted to .tgi via MCX.
I do see the runway in AFS2 but the textures are black from most angles of view and I have a hole of about 100 meters below it that follows the outside mesh of my model.
Only the center line displays correctly from all angles. Any idea of how to get this working?
 
Top