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Blender Newbie -Hints appreciated

Can anybody give me some hints about how to model this building/roof? At the moment there is a cube shape here. Thanks
tours.jpg
 
You didn't specify if this model was going to be in FS 2020 or somewhere else. It's hard to give tips if we don't know what "newbie" means.
It could mean you understand UV mapping or you don't understand, it could be you've done Boolean Difference Modifiers or you haven't.

There are a bunch of different ways to do it, but here are some general tips...

So given that, here is what I'll offer, some general advice

For the roof overhang and trim, use extrude, make sure to get the object proportionately correct to the general size. Actual size won't matter, but proportions do. Hence, you can make a house as small as a mouse, as long as it is proportionally correct you can resize in game and it wont matter.

When making multiple doors or windows, for most shapes, use duplicate as much as possible and always move on a restricted axis whenever possible (g to grab, X-Y-or Z to move).
This is better than trying to create a new cube and then align it up later, as the restricted axis movement will auto-align any duplicated objects and also retain same shape and size.

When creating a smaller object (like a smaller square in center of a larger square), use duplicate again and then just resize the square. Don't create a new cube.

Boolean Difference Modifier is your friend and use it like a MASSIVE bulldozer to punch holes in walls and other things, the modifier is the tool wrench on same menu bar as the main materials and rendering settings icons.
Add extra cylinder Mesh and cube objects and overlay them and apply booleans to shape your object which will subtract one object from another, you can also try deleting faces to form the curve but be careful.

I believe circles and FS 2020 don't play well together, so be careful about what type of circles you introduce in the geometry.

Smooth shading where necessary will give you better texturing, but get the UV layout looking as good as possible before trying smooth shading (smooth shading kind of last step really).

Use recalculate normals from the mesh menu in Blender if you have any weird issues, and do this while in edit mode after hitting the A key (select all).

Create first texture sheet with just Albedo UV map, and use the UV tools to align the textures.

Do the PBR textures last, is probably easiest for newer Blender users.
 
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That's great, thanks. I am new to blender and modelling, I have seen tutorials by Bill Womack and Andy Price (donut) and practiced those, so done some boolean difference.
The model is for FS2020. This building is just part of the whole terminal I am modelling.
The whole terminal started off as one cube, should I leave it as one or do separate parts?
 
Well, I am currently using Blender 2.83.6

Modeling is generally the easy part, texturing is the hard part. I'd say for me and most models, texturing takes me 3x longer than modeling, but it depends how picky you are and how professional you need the texturing work to be. Also, depends on building shape too, as most hangars are relatively easy to model (but the texturing is difficult to make look "realish").

You can have multiple copies of Blender open and copy and paste objects between projects too (this is CTRL-C even if it doesn't come up in menu - some Blender versions it comes up in menu, some do not if I recall).

Join as you need to, but for the most part keep objects separated that don't need to conform to a parent's geometry, until the end and you start the texturing, then I join all the pieces into one object and export.

Example 1 (separate): You are modelling a complex antenna that gets placed on the top of a building, well this is totally separate, so at the very least keep it as a separate object, you can also do it in a separate copy of Blender and just CTRL-C and then paste the object later if you are say putting the antenna on the roof of a building.

Example 2 (don't separate): You initially create your roof extrusions for the overhangs, as long as you do it right, likely no reason to separate.

Example 3 (separate and then join back later): You messed up on the shape of your extrusions and need to redo the shape (though I'd recommend UNDO as much as possible). The issue is if you try to reform the geometry of the extruded edges while they are still connected, it will also distort the roof itself, so you need to separate before changing the mesh. Also, Undo crashes some versions of Blender if you use it too much. Recover from an Auto-Save after a Blender CTD, I find the Recover Last Session in the menu to be TOO old and the Auto-Saves are often more up-to-date (currently using Blender 2.83.6).

Other tips - Face joining with F key after selecting two faces
For texturing, the fewer faces the easier it is to align the textures in the single UV image. So you can join the extruded faces (at the top at least) to the main roof's face and only texture align it once instead of doing it 4-6 times for each separate piece.

Keep a saved Blender file before the join and after can be beneficial for coming back later and making changes.
 
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Also, for materials, at least in FS 2020, I just create a single material based on one image I make (call it UV), usually 2048x2048 or 4096x4096 and I put all my textures on that one image. Then later I will paste over the normals, and PBR textures and save each of those separate. PBR stuff makes things more shiny and sometimes more realistic, but it's a bit more work, especially in the beginning when you're still creating textures. As you get more and more textures built, things become easier as you generally start re-using some textures across multiple buildings at some point in the process (down the road after you've done say 10+ models).
 
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Just to clarify, and I'm out of here for now...

I keep each piece of each building as separate objects, and then when I'm done with the modeling, I re-join only parts that make up as one building.
Then I export each building individually as one object (Terminal_Hangar1, Terminal_Hangar2, etc...).

Some people might like to model 3-4 buildings as one object, but then issues with scale accidentally or other annoyances makes it harder, not really worth it IMHO (but I don't know, not an expert at Blender, moderate level).

But the important thing IMO for efficiency in Blender is to keep ALL objects of even one building as separate as possible so you can easily adjust geometry without it sticking to the parent object. Too many times have I accidentally caused weird geometry issues when trying to reform mesh edges or other stuff, when I should have separated it first. Then when texturing rejoin.
 
Thanks again for this valuable advice. I had picked up that texturing might be the biggest problem. I am actually enjoying the modelling bit at the moment as I am surprising myself in getting the building to some recognisable version by using blender.
 
OK, I have nearly completed building the basic model for my terminal building. It's presently all one object, built from a cube.
I now need to unwrap it (i think) to get the textures on etc. Trouble is I don't know where to start. Should I now cut this model into lots of little models or can I start marking seams. This unwrapping stage seems daunting to say the least!
Desktop Screenshot 2020.10.27 - 13.18.53.89.jpg
 

Pyscen

Resource contributor
I don't see the need to break down the model into many smaller models. UV unwrapping is the next phase. What I do suggest is to learn about making seams. Seams, when used in UV unwrapping, can help where the textures will be broken down at or take place. Naturally (unless otherwise), at 90 degrees angles will break textures (when using Smart UV unwrapping, such as corners of a building), but if the right angle is of the same material then you could allow that polygon to continue as a part of the original. Also, learn about the many forms of UV unwrapping.

In the simplest terms, each side (including the roof or top), should be 1 face or texture. Any curved face (which appears to occur in your model) might need to be split up so that it will appear to lay flat. If they are not you could end up with distorted or stretched textures.
 
Agree to what he says above, separating into parts (P) is generally more for modeling not texturing, such as when modeling a complex shape that should not belong attached to a building if you need to edit geometry independently, then you later rejoin (CTRL-J) together before the texturing process. You don't even have to keep things separate in modeling either, you can use linked objects or just always use wireframe mode to individually re-select stuff, but I was giving you the easy way to model since you are new to this.

Per the UV unwrapping, I should clarify, I don't actually use Smart UV project for MSFS 2020 (at least not under normal circumstances). I used to use it on certain objects for Xplane before baking because I believe EFFICIENCY is key in this stuff or you'll never finish anything, as modeling+texturing is slow enough as it is. As to UV Unwrapping, start with just unwrapping your square objects first, it's easier. Get the hang of all square shapes and LEARN how to align them manually at first before splicing (because knowing how to align things manually will help you better understand the entire texturing process). Hence, just U > Unwrap on one or more faces and learn how it works. Start as basic as possible.

I no longer bake the textures for MSFS 2020, as I just use UV mapped PBR textures, but there are advantages/disadvantages to each varying workflow.
 
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Pyscen

Resource contributor
Hello

You should create everything before you unwrap (uv unwrapping).

Not sure what you are asking about commenting on, would depend on materials wanting to use. I would though, have space between the islands or faces.
 
Finish the doors and anything that might get in the way, though it isn't always necessary, but it usually makes it easier.

Some of it depends on how you are doing your textures, whether you are doing a lot of dirtying up or using more seamless textures.
You can also use decals to add spots, but that is more complex, never tried it myself.

Assuming you are doing seamless textures that have some spottiness, I usually just use cube project under the UV unwrap menu.
Then I just align all walls simultaneously by unwrapping / cube projecting multiple faces at once (select all walls for instance), so you won't have to create seams.
You can use the seam method, but it's usually not needed for most shapes, cube project solves most issues for me anyhow.
 
I am at a loss to be honest. There are many glass windows in the building, do I create the frames only and then add textures for glass?
I was asking about the UV map above as to whether the stretching would be acceptable? This is my first model.
Thanks
 
If I were you, I'd start a new thread called "best methods to do windows", as that can get pretty in-depth.

There are so many different ways of doing the texturing, you have to find your own workflow by experimenting.
I would focus on just getting some textures on the walls and figuring out how the UV unwrap works, before trying to tackle the entire thing at once.

Just save your model as a new separate file (version it), and then go to town experimenting. There really isn't a way we can tell you everything because there are too many different IFs, ANDs, and BUTs...

As far as windows go, I'm not sure my method is efficient, so take this with a grain of salt. There are other threads in here that did Windows more advanced than I have done, maybe some of them will help you.
I use the Boolean Modifier to knock a hole, then I create a frame that is slightly oversized, then I use my own window texture, or you can use the MSFS glass texture.
Some of how you do it depends if you need windows to be 2-way viewable or 1-way windows (hangars have a lot of windows that you cannot see into them that well, but can see out), and maybe you might even prefer Parallax (where you can clearly see the inside contents of the building/furniture through the window).
 
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Pyscen

Resource contributor
The stretching (the light blues) looks or appears to be acceptable, but where they are located on the model will or could change that perception.

Concerning the glass, really depends on you and the look you are looking for. Modeling is a lot like art, meaning it is a matter of interpretation and the desired look you are looking for. Also, there is usually more than one way of achieving it.
 
So I am trying to experiment now. I have the Quixel Mixer program. I am trying to work out what to do next. I read that I need a colour id for each part of the model that needs different textures. I have an addon for blender SetConnectedVertexColours. However I am at a loss as to how to get different colours on each face...and where does the UV unwrap come into this?
 

Pyscen

Resource contributor
I suggest that you look at tutorials with Quixel being used ( I don't have Quixel, but did but that was a couple years back). Using a color id is not necessary, but you do need to have materials assigned to the model parts before using or exporting to Quixel.

This means that the materials and or the color id assigned with the model uv unwrapped also before exporting to Quixel.
 
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