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Cardinal Directions in Both Model Converter X and Sketchup

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Hi,

I've never seen this before but when when I exported the entire terminal buildings in MCX as a DAE file and imported it into Sketchup, I've noticed that the C concourse terminal building is facing towards the east and should facing towards the west. It's facing in the opposite direction and is 180 degrees off. I know the solid green line is supposed to be the cardinal north in Sketchup but does the green solid line in model converter X also represent the same cardinal north? Why is it facing in the opposite direction? The direction is correct in MCX but it's not correct in Sketchup. I can attached the screenshots but it's getting late and I can attached them in the morning, if needed.

Ken.
 

Pyscen

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Hello,...

The solid green line is not any direction, such as N or S. The solid green line usually represents +y axis and the solid red line is +x axis. This is suggesting that when you are exporting from MCX it is not being represented the same within SU.
 
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Hello:

Although Ken may have acqiuired and installed MSFS, AFAIK, his primary focus at this time is still on the FSX / P3D version(s) of FS.

IIUC, as Ken states:

"when I exported the entire terminal buildings in MCX as a DAE file and imported it into Sketchup"

...I infer that some 3D models in the multi-object scene may have been imported from default FS2Kx or 3rd party BGLs.

I would also infer that such BGL sources also contain placement info, such as the default OBX*.BGL for KBHM.

Thus, I would expect even (1) 3D model having been imported as a part of that aggregate multi-object scene have been oriented and placed properly relative to NSEW.


But since Ken may have MSFS installed, one might wonder if at the time he installed a recent DevRel of MCX, if/when MCX was (auto- ?) configured, an option was set to:

* MSFS as the "Preferred" FS version

...and thus to also:

* Correct 3D object placement by -180

IIUC, this latter setting is to work around the MSFS' arbitrary internal 3D model orientation that switches an axis to the opposite orientation of all prior FS versions.


The possible fix in this scenario, is for Ken to set these MCX Options:

* FSX as Preferred version

...and:

* Disable -180 Heading orientation "correction"

...for ongoing use with FSX / P3D.


See MCX Manual PDF file:

6.3 Object placement editor

The object placement editor allows you to place the selected object at a specific location and also
to view all locations that the object has already been placed at, see 6.4.


Up axis specifies which axis is used as the upwards axis of the model. Not all importers
support this setting.

glTFReader
•Rotate 180 degrees specifies that the object should automatically be rotated 180 degrees
along the Z axis on import.

PreferredFSVersion specifies the preferred FS version as used by ModelConverterX. This
preferred version influences from where textures and effect files are read, but it also influences
the format in which GUIDs are displayed.


However, it is possible if MCX exported in a 3D model exchange format for which Ken used either a default or non-default Sketchup plugin Ruby script importer, an axis got flipped.

IIRC, all the Sketchup importers I have used (and recommended to Ken) have had a prompt that halts the import until a reply is entered for any axis change option.

Ken might wish to keep a closer watch on all options available in either a default or 3rd party 3D model importer for Sketchup, and set them for a targeted FS version.


While it is easy enough to select all imported objects > Group > rotate on Z-axis in Sketchup, I would check MCX' Options to set them for (current) FS version use. :idea:


PS: For related info on Sketchup 3D model Axes and Cardinal Geographic Axes, see:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...s-and-their-altitude-point.353776/post-548995


Some info on "handed-ness" and orientation of 3D model axes in FS2Kx and Sketchup:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/emitter-offset.426791/post-707951


Regarding MCX and Sketchup display of 3D model Axis orientation / handed-ness:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/minor-request-identifying-axes-in-3d-preview.94734/


GaryGB
 
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Messages
880
Hello,...

The solid green line is not any direction, such as N or S. The solid green line usually represents +y axis and the solid red line is +x axis. This is suggesting that when you are exporting from MCX it is not being represented the same within SU.

I agree that they represent X, Y and Z axes but I do know that in Sketchup, the solid green line represents N as shown at the bottom of the page from the Sketchup Help Center, and I believe MCX follows the same directions:



Ken.
 
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880
Hi Gary,

Thanks so much for this informative information. I was wondering if there was a setting that I was not aware of and sure enough, there is. It was late last night when I posted this that I did not go into the details of what all I had done so far. First of all, it's the same project I'm working on taken from the bhm2008.zp Birmingham airport scenery. I have all the objects excluded but then I also found that there was a problem with the location of the terminal, the freight building, and the parking deck. It was off by some 200 feet and I wanted to correct this. I have the placement correct now and it's in the correct location. I created my own placement files using the BGL2XML program and using the bhm_a.bgl and bhm_bc.bgl files. I deleted the placement in the KBHM_scenery.bgl placement file so that I would not have 2 of the same objects showing in the sim. I supposed I could have just change the placement in the placement file but didn't think about that until after I completed the work, so I just left it as it is. After correcting the placement of the terminal and freight building, I also noticed that the parking outlines were not aligned with the terminal and the parking positions so I will need to change their placements as well, which should be no problem. But I happened to notice that the developer left out 3 parking positions and need 3 additional jetways. I exported the bgl model as a DAE export and imported it into Sketchup so I can add the additional jetways and also manually enter the correct placement in the Geolocation box in Sketchup. I exported the model from sketchup as a DAE and kmz files. When I doubled clicked the kmz file, it placed the model in the correct location but the C concourse was facing the wrong direction, which was towards the east instead of towards the west, and this is when I noticed something was wrong. This is now where I stand in my project.

But since Ken may have MSFS installed, one might wonder if at the time he installed a recent DevRel of MCX, if/when MCX was (auto- ?) configured, an option was set to:

* MSFS as the "Preferred" FS version

The default is FSX

...and thus to also:

* Correct 3D object placement by -180

IIUC, this latter setting is to work around the MSFS' arbitrary internal 3D model orientation that switches an axis to the opposite orientation of all prior FS versions.

Regarding the default MSFS 2020 "Correct 3D object placement by 180 degrees" in MCX, I was not aware of this setting and apparently was added when MSFS 2020 was released. I recently updated MCX but did not check to make sure the settings were set correctly. I've always assumed that MCX keeps these settings once they're set. But the default FS is FSX.

* Disable -180 Heading orientation "correction"

...for ongoing use with FSX / P3D.

glTFReader
•Rotate 180 degrees specifies that the object should automatically be rotated 180 degrees
along the Z axis on import.

This is what I was not aware of until this post. I've checked that in MCX under glTFReader and I assume this is what you're referring to. Where it says "Rotate 180 degrees," it is set to True. But I wondered what would be the purpose for that setting. But as I understand now, that setting is for MSFS2020 and how it switches an axis to the opposite orientation of all prior FS versions. So, I assume I should set this to "False."


Ken might wish to keep a closer watch on all options available in either a default or 3rd party 3D model importer for Sketchup, and set them for a targeted FS version.

Yes, I guess I should start checking these settings after an update. Thanks for pointing this out.


Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

I would expect Arno to put in conditional logic so the -180 correction is only done with glTF files; but I mentioned it as something to test.


Remember that if you recycled the object placement from a FS9- or FS8- version scenery BGL, that may not align to FSX / P3D 3D world.

Also, be aware Google photo-real tiles may not always align precisely with default FS landclass, custom photo-real, or other placement.

So one must test these things live in each FS version to achieve precision object placement / alignment with a particular scenery milieu.


This is why I repeatedly encourage you to use Instant Scenery with FSX (FSX placement BGLs are compatible with all P3D version).

Recycled placements put objects near where they are intended; but IS3 easily allows manual fine-tuning precision placement live in-sim.


As to the 3D model flipped axis, which version of Sketchup were you using when you imported the Collada *.DAE from MCX.

Also, did you use the default- or a 3rd party plugin Ruby script- to import that Collada *.DAE from MCX.

If a 3rd party plugin Ruby script was used to import that Collada *.DAE from MCX, which one was it ?

GaryGB
 
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880
As to the 3D model flipped axis, which version of Sketchup were you using when you imported the Collada *.DAE from MCX.

I'm using Sketchup 2017


Also, did you use the default- or a 3rd party plugin Ruby script- to import that Collada *.DAE from MCX.

I checked the Extension Manager in Sketchup and I do have the Collada With Texture Names installed and enabled. The thing I did noticed is that is says Unsigned. I just usually go to File, Export, 3D Model and Export my model. You asked me if a 3rd party plugin Ruby script was used to import that Collada *.DAE from MCX, which one was it? I'm not sure but it seems that it was one of the ruby scripts you told me about in the past and I installed it. It's named "Colloada With Texture Names."


One thing I do want to confirm is that I checked Preferences in Sketchup and under Template, I have selected:

Urban Planning - Feet
This template is for urban planning, geo-modeling, and surveying.

Just to be sure, am I using the correct one?


Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

Collada With Texture Names is an Exporter, so it would have no bearing on an Import of MCX' 3D object output.

Likewise, the Template Units would not have a bearing on an Import of MCX' 3D object output, as Units do not impact Axis orientation.

GaryGB
 
Messages
880
Hi,

Well, I thought for sure it would work and fix the 180 degree problem but I'm still having the same problem. In MCX, I set the "Rotate 180 degrees" to False under glTFWriter. The terminal is facing the correct direction in MCX based on the green and red lines but in Sketchup, the model is facing the opposite direction, based on the same green and red lines. Here are 2 screenshots showing this in Sketchup and in google earth:


This one is in Sketchup

Terminal in Sketchup.jpg





This one is using the kmz file in google earth:

Terminal kmz File.jpg





I've never seen this problem before and now all of a sudden, I'm having this strange phenomena. I did a google search and there is nothing out there that covers this phenomena. I've did a test using the original bhm2008.zip file and also the original default stock airport, and they all give the same problem. I also tried using Sketchup 8.0 and it does the same thing. The only difference is that in Sketchup 8.0, I get a message that says:

The .dae or kmz file you are attempting to import cannot be validated. Your file may import just fine, but there is a possibility Sketchup could import it incorrectly or could even crash.


I do not get any message in Sketchup 2017. It imported it just fine in Sketchup 8.0 but in the wrong direction, and I assume this is what it means when it says that Sketchup could import it incorrectly. So, I don't know what else it could be. I thought for sure setting the Rotate 180 degrees to False in MCX under glTFWriter would solve this problem.

Oh, by the way, I just happen to think that I may be exporting my model incorrectly. When I export the model in MCX, I go to Export Object then click Save. Then, I export the textures using the Material Editor to the same folder I exported the DAE file. Should I be using the 'Convert and Place Object Wizard' for this to work correctly? It's late now and I'll try that in the morning. I just happen to wonder if that could be the problem. It seems to me that either way should work because I've never ran into this problem before. I'll leave a zip file with the bgl model below so that you can test it and see if you have the same problem.


Ken.
 

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Hi Ken:

I am not certain whether this merits expending more time sorting out how the 3D model ended up at a -180 Axis orientation in MCX. :alert:


Note that when the BGL you attached immediately above is imported to MCX, the Object Placement tool still shows a correct placement.

Also note that the placement Heading of the object is correct at 0 Degrees for what "should" be the North Face of the KBHM Terminal.


However, since the orientation of Axes is incorrect, you could quickly fix this in MCX via:

MCX top icon bar > icon_#14 (Transform Object) > Pick-list: Rotate > become baffled by incomprehensible 3D parameter values.

I am not going to recommend this ...instead of simply fixing the orientation in Sketchup, then making do with that. ;)

Why:

IMHO, Arno's MCX Manual PDF does not provide an explanation of this feature that is even remotely comprehensible by most end users.

See: 13.2 Rotation order

Actually, I do NOT recommend spending time attempting to make sense out of something best understood by a Rocket Scientist.

If Collada *.DAE 3D object exchange format proves too problematic, then use *.OBJ with TIG's importer / Exporter plugin Ruby scripts.


Otherwise if you continue to refuse to purchase / utilize IS3, consider importing / placing 3D objects via ADE's Library Object Manager.

For this project, I recommend merging the 3D object placement BGL data with the 3D scenery object library data in MCX.

This will result in Geo-locked placement via "hybrid" BGLs (like ADE uses), but AFAIK, there will be less variables to go wrong.

GaryGB
 
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arno

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You might want to check if the DAE file shows correctly if you import it back into MCX. If it is rotated then as well, then I think MCX writes it wrong. If it is shown correctly, then SketchUp rotates it on import.
 
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You might want to check if the DAE file shows correctly if you import it back into MCX. If it is rotated then as well, then I think MCX writes it wrong. If it is shown correctly, then SketchUp rotates it on import.


Hi Arno,

Thanks so much for checking in. I've just imported the dae file back into MCX and it's now facing the wrong direction. It has been rotated.

Ken.
 
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arno

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So sounds like it might be a MCX bug, let me look into it.
 

arno

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Hi,

I can confirm it is indeed a bug in MCX. DAE files use a different coordinate system (Y axis is up) and in the conversion to that there is a bug. I'll fix it in the next development release.
 

arno

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The latest development release of ModelConverterX, that is online now, has a fix for this bug.
 

arno

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Hmm..,
all my objects were created with SketchUp 2017 and exported to .DAE.
When I imported them in MCX I had some problems with axis since ever.
But I am sure you are the expert.
 

arno

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Humm, who knows. Let me know if it fixes this as well.
 
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