gmax scenery shadows

Hi, All

How do I prevent gmax scenery objetcs from casting a shadow?

(Or how do I make a gmax scenery object show the shadow of another object?)

Scenery objects either cast a shadow or show one cast by another object, but don't seem to be able to do both.

So... when I need the object to show a shadow of another object, how do I do that? An example would be a statue on top of a base, or some fancy object on the flat top of a building, that sort of thing.

I knew how to do with the old asm files, but with XML I don't know how.

Anyone?

Thanks

Fern
 

rhumbaflappy

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Staff member
Resource contributor
Hi Fern.

The use of an attached platform can cause a shadow to be displayed on an object... but there is a bug.

Say you have a large cube and want to place a ball on it, and have the ball cast a shadow on the cube. So far, so good.

The attached platform will allow the shadow. But! the shadow of the cube on the ground may interfere with the display of the shadow of the ball, depending on the view angle. The sim seems to only display one shadow level at a time, and gets confused.

The simple answer is this:

The display of a shadow onto a platform works, but is buggy. If you use the "KillShadow" technique to eliminate the ground-shadow of the cube, the ball's shadow will be fine, as it doesn't "compete" with the ground-shadow.

It all works, but not very good.

Dick
 
Shadows

Hi, Dick

Well, I don't think it works that way. Objects that cast a shadow will not show a shadow of another object on themselves.

This is more a condition than a bug, I think.

For lack of a better example, lets consider a statue on a concrete slab. If you create just one gmax object containing both the statue and the concrete slab, their shadow will show on the ground, but the portion of the shadow of the statue that should show on the concrete slab will not be there at all. Same will happen with, say, the chimney of a ship, or the mast of a boat. In the example of the ball on top of the cube, the shadow of the ball will not appear on the cube if they are created together and they have a shadow on the ground, no matter where the Sun is.

In the case of a statue on a concrete slab, the lack of the shadow on the concrete slab is disconcerting. As the shadow of the slab may be unimportant (the slab is low to the ground), it used to be possible to make the slab and the statue two separate objects and make the slab shadowless. Then it would show the shadow of the statue. It could be a bit of a pain to locate the statue exactly on top of the slab, but it was possible.

Now, with XML, I don't know how to edit the file (or even what file) so that the object won't cast a shadow.

By the way, this can be a very serious problem when creating a tree or wire-mesh fence, which will cast a rectangular shadow. Object with transparencies cannot have shadows.

So, the question remains how do I stop a gmax object from casting a shadow when exporting from gmax/XML?

Thanks!

Fern
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Shadows

Hi, Fellows

I disagree, humbly.

The shadow business works quite well, at least for me. I couldn't figure out how to place a picture here using the IMG thing, so I attached a file, I hope it is there.

The file is a picture of my Arecibo Observatory. The dish show the shadows of the gondola, the cables and the towers quite nicely, every time, and the shadows follows the Sun, as they should. If you fly overhead close enough, it will show the shadow of the aeroplane, too. And I haven't seen anytime when it doesn't work.

Thing is that FS objects either cast a shadow or show one. But they seem to do either quite consistently. Take the shadow off, they show a shadow.

The observatory required me to make two separate gmax objects: one for the dish and one for the gondola/cables/tower. I removed the shadow from the dish, which is too close to the ground and its shadow won't be missed.

Now, I know how to remove the shadow of a gmax object USING THE ASM FILES. The ASM file has a few lines that look very much like the API lines for the ShadowCall. (By the way, Arno, the method that the fellows are discussing at the two threads you mentioned seems very complicated.)

So, whether the shadow thing works well or not is not the question. For me it has worked quite well and consistently.

My question is: is it possible to remove the shadow using the mdl/xml files mode (no asm and _0.asm), and placing the object with ObPlacerXML? How? (perhaps hex edit the mdl file?...)

Thanks fellows

Fern
 

arno

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Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Hi Fern,

That looks good indeed!

If you are able to remove it from the ASM file in a way like SCASM, then you must have been using the Fs2002 gamepack there. As there is no command in the Fs2004 ASM format for the shadow. That is why Dick posted that "complicated" method.

If you use the x file he posted in the other thread, you don't have to tweak the ASM files manual. And for future version of MDLTweaker I would also like to add the remove shadow feature.
 
Shadows

Ah!

I may have used the old gamepack. I did the Arecibo thing before the big change.

I have a friend who says the FS2004 gampack for gmax is not an improvement at all over the "old" style, and I admit that, for certain things, it isn't. He kept one computer running the old gmax e old MakeMDL. Right now I wish I had done the same thing.

I will look at the x file (didn't quite get it first time I looked).

I will try to export for FS2002, too, in a bind, and see what happens.

I was going to suggest you add the shadow remover to MDL Tweaker, believe it or not.

Right now what I really wish is that I knew as much about this stuff as you, Arno. How do you learn these things?... (just a rhetorical question)

Thanks

Fern
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Hi Fern,

Fern said:
I have a friend who says the FS2004 gampack for gmax is not an improvement at all over the "old" style, and I admit that, for certain things, it isn't. He kept one computer running the old gmax e old MakeMDL. Right now I wish I had done the same thing.
I do still have both installed here, but I find the new gamepack an improvement. The new attachtoolscript adds some nice features.

And when you keep using the old one, you are just trying to ignore that MS has changed the scenery format. The XML/MDL format is the Fs2004 standard, so IMHO it would be better to try to use that as much as possible.

Fern said:
Right now what I really wish is that I knew as much about this stuff as you, Arno. How do you learn these things?... (just a rhetorical question)
I think I have learned most of the things I know now by just trying and when it does not work try something else :). It is also some time ago that I started with scenery design (Fs5), so after all that time the format of the scenery etc starts to make sort of sense (at least to me :)).
 
Shadows resolved

Thanks, Arno.

Shadows resolved. Now I am working to create another problem... Ha ha ha ha

F
 
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