Gmax/3dsmax reference plane and building 3D models tutorial.

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#1
Hi,
I have made a tutorial about Gmax/3dsmax reference plane to make ground poly for the year 2014+ and put it in Wiki. I found that a lot of people using this tutorial and someone even make video tutorial from this concept. That's nice since I don't have ability to make video tutorial.

Now, I think I am going to make another tutorial to add on what I have done. I use the reference plan for making 3d models as well. Most of them are the buildings in the airport. I used to make them separately here and there in the past. It is a bit confusing to me and it is difficult to find the center of each model to compile in XML.

So I decide to put EVERYTHING in single file that I have made Gmax reference plan and ground poly. Then I export each model and each layer of ground poly from this single file as well. Of course, there is a risk to loss everything but I back up everyday. I found that life is easier to work on. The program is not running slow since I hide what I don't need at the time I am making a new model.

Here is the screen shot of my project, ZBAA. Inside this file, there are every buildings(Terminal1,2,3, buildings, apartments, 7 hangars) every ground polys, taxi lines, concrete, asphalt. Huge project but it is possible to put everything inside and export each one from single file. I use MCX to change the name of the model and GUID.

CompletePackage.jpg

I was wondering if you would like to have tutorial about this one. Each tutorial require a lot of time and need to prepare ahead to capture screen shots. So, please give me your opinion about this.
 
#3
I am starting a project to improve several airports primary where I like to fly, as an architect I think I can contribute with the community with these projects, so far the only thin I haven't solved very well is texturing the buildings so they look better, if somebody can give me suggestions about how to texture models for FS will be very appreciated
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
#5
Tic, any tutorial you can write on airport building is going to be valuable to the up and coming developers. I did my mapping series for the same reason, never thinking it would be used so much - I'm sure what you could write will be tremendously useful because scenery development is a much more popular side of FS development than aircraft modelling.

Just do it!
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#6
Ok, Tom. I am making new buildings on the reference plan. I will capture the screenshots and make a tutorial. I think the method is quite easy and accurate for making buildings, finding coordinate to place objects, etc. The backup process is straight forward. This process will make the developers have everything in one file, no hassle to find what you need though a lot of files. It still makes a safer way to back up your work, both models and textures, in case that you loose everything from virus or hard disk failure.
Stay tuned for the extended chapter of this tutorial.
 
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jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#7
Hi,
I am done with the tutorial. Please take a look and feed back what you don't understand.
English is not my native language, so don't mind much about any mistakes.
I will be pleased if you give me a feed back so I can correct it. If it is good enough, I will put it to Wiki later.
It is good for big airport modelling, but it is applicable to the small one as well.
Regards,
Tic
The tutorial is over here.
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
#8
Just a quick look so far and so just one suggestion. Users ought to use Gmax's Named Selection Sets (instead of mentioning Groups) to organise objects for hiding until they're needed. I use them all the time in aircraft modelling and they're very flexible.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#10
Just a quick look so far and so just one suggestion. Users ought to use Gmax's Named Selection Sets (instead of mentioning Groups) to organise objects for hiding until they're needed. I use them all the time in aircraft modelling and they're very flexible.
Oh yes, I forgot that feature of the program. Thanks for your suggestion.
I normally give them the same prefix. They are on the list and I can select them by looking at the prefix. I will take a look and add to the tutorial. I have refer to your UVW mapping tutorial too. It is very helpful.

I also forgot to mention why we should not export the model "as it is" on the reference plane. The center of the MDL is the center of the scene. If it is quite a distance the model could not be seen in FSX. So, I need to move the object to the center of the scene before export.

I have asked Arno if we could use X,Y coordinate in Gmax reference plan and convert to Geographic coordinate. He said it could not do backward due to some calculation. So, I need a landmark on the object and export the get the coordinate by slewing in FSX.

Sometimes it is difficult to get any landmark. So I make a plane , 1 meter wide 100 meter long. Then clone it to make a cross. And place this cross at the center of the object. Then I export that cross and put it through MCX ground poly wizard. And slew in FSX to see that cross and get geographic coordinate. It works as well but I found a few meters error as well. I am not sure it cause by not using the same satellite photo as I use in Gmax reference plan or other reasons.
 
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jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#11
Hi Tom,
I wonder about Name Selected Tool. I click on Edit->Edit Named Selections and I cannot type in the new name or do anything in the dialog boxes at all. Do you have any ideas about this?
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
#13
That's for editing existing Named Selection Sets. To make a new one, select a bunch of objects and enter a name for the set in the box on the toolbar. The set will be available for editing after that.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#14
Ok, I got it. There is a box on the tool bar that can enter the name in. Thanks.

SelectTool.jpg


Oh Tom, I know why I didn't use it. When I select the group, the center of object changes to the center of the group. So I cannot move the whole group to the center before export. But it still useful to hide the objects I don't need. I have added this to the tutorial.
 
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jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#16
I know about that Reference Coordinate system and I mentioned it in the tutorial too. If you read thorough the tutorial, it needs a lot of understanding in these systems of references as well.

Select multiple objects and change the pivot system to be Pivot Point Center. Then type in the Coordinate system to 0,0 ...then everything moves to the center, great!
Thanks Tom for the tip.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#17
OMG. I just have a chance to test my backup system. I have lost my recent file. I don't know what happened but I could not open my that file this morning. I went back to see the folder autoback and tried to retrieve my file but NOTHING there. I could open Autobak1.gx , Autobak2.gx and Autobak3.gx but nothing inside. I normally retrieve my file back without problem. OK, I have lost 3 days work.

However I have MDL that I can retrieve back. Just only yesterday work was lost. I use the Archive to get back my previous work. Unzip to somewhere else that it will not overwrite my recent texture which is still intact. Then I moved my file back to the folder which my latest version of work. All the materials come back.

Thanks God. Only 3 hrs of work on the model disappear. The work on texture is still there. ;)

Now I think we should back up everyday and put to thumb drive or somewhere else. Autobak in Gmax/max is not very reliable.:banghead:
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#19
Hi Tom,
I have tried Selection Set but I found it is cumbersome to manipulate. I have other method. I make a cross plan and named it as "MarkerOfXXX" (XXX is the name that represent the Selection Group) and set the this cross plan to the center of the objects. Then I link all the objects to this marker. When I need to move selected objects to the center, I just move only this marker and all the objects move with it. It is quite more convenient than Selection Set. I just select all the objects that link to this marker and Export Selected. When I export the maker as ground poly, I can use its coordinate in FSX as the center of the objects I just exported. Quite more convenient than Selection Set.
I need to make changes to the tutorial.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#20
Tutorial is over here. I am done with the project ZBAA and I think the tutorial is a practical one. You need only one file for the whole project. Nevertheless, for FS9 it is not possible. Since when there are a lot of objects in the scene, the exporter does work well. You need to split the scenery to a smaller file.
 
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