Helipad for 3d Warehouse Model

#21
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-816807

Hi again, Gary,

I downloaded the "Origin of Axis" KMZ file you posted in Google Earth - which I didn't know was a requirement earlier. Sorry!
So is the yellow pin in that file where I should put the axis in the model?
No; the Yellow Google Earth "Place Mark" push-pin is only a visual marker for coordinates of the intended view; the associated *.KMZ file from which it is read and loaded by Google Earth on your end, is only used to configure the 'orientation' of view in Google Earth, so that you will see the part of the building I am referring to.



Please put the "Guide Point" at this corner: :pushpin:




That "WindSock" *.KMZ file was just to show you in Google Earth where I found the WindSock, and is only for informational purposes; we will be placing separate fully functional WindSock scenery objects via other methods for FSX later on. ;)

GaryGB
 

Attachments

#22
No; the Yellow Google Earth "Place Mark" push-pin is only a visual marker for coordinates of the intended view; the associated *.KMZ file from which it is read and loaded by Google Earth on your end, is only used to configure the 'orientation' of view in Google Earth, so that you will see the part of the building I am referring to.



Please put the "Guide Point" at this corner: :pushpin:






That "WindSock" *.KMZ file was just to show you in Google Earth where I found the WindSock, and is only for informational purposes; we will be placing separate fully functional WindSock scenery objects via other methods for FSX later on. ;)

GaryGB
Hi Gary,
I put the start point by where the red arrow in your screenshot pointed. I tried to follow the steps by immediately posting 20' 5 3/8" in the measurement box, then pressing enter. For some odd reason, this is the result I got. I have no idea what I'm missing here!
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 

Attachments

gfxpilot

Resource contributor
#23
Aside from the fact that the Sketchup Geo-location mechanism was discontinued for older and freeware versions of Sketchup, the quality of the data now provided for that feature in newer payware versions of Sketchup is inferior to that which was previously provided via Google Earth / Maps.

IMHO, it is now more accurate to instead use a "Path" object drawn in Google Earth (imported via a plugin Ruby script to Sketchup version 8 as a *.KML object), then aligning / scaling imagery downloaded via ex: SBuilderX onto a Face superimposed over that "Path" object once it is imported into Sketchup.


Also, the 3D object horizontal positioning must be adjusted to accommodate the Geo-referencing of the custom photo-real imagery Kevin intends to use in FSX, and whether that imagery contains distortions as a result of it being taken "off-nadir".


Additionally, the 3D object vertical positioning must be corrected for the extended building base the author used to accommodate the Google Earth legacy terrain mesh onto (into !) which it was originally intended to be placed (embedded !)


There is another step which will be required to place the Helipad at the correct real-world distance from the local ground that compels performance of the preceding (2) steps I have already recommended above.


I'm confident Kevin will soon discern Sketchup's 'tool procedures', implement the (2) steps, and proceed further with WS03. :)

GaryGB
@ Gary - good points - I can appreciate the rational you've applied. This is turning in to a masterclass. And that can only be a good thing not just for Kevin, for all of us. Well done thus far Gary!

gareth
 
#24
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-816833

Hi Gary,

I put the start point by where the red arrow in your screenshot pointed. I tried to follow the steps by immediately posting 20' 5 3/8" in the measurement box, then pressing enter. For some odd reason, this is the result I got. I have no idea what I'm missing here!

Regards,
Kevin Davis
Hi Kevin:

It appears that you have (2) Guide Points on the Z-Axis Edge of the building.

We can verify whether those Guide Points are in the correct position by an alternate method of creating a "Guide Line"


NOTE: As Guide Lines extending to infinity can quickly become distracting, I purposely recommended use of a Guide Point.

But, we can just delete the Guide Line after re-positioning the building Z-Axis position relative to its 'default' Origin of Axes.


BTW: The bonus of having used a Guide Line is, it will entirely eliminate the need for use of a Guide Point for this procedure.



Use Guide Line to adjust z-axis position of the building 'datum' ...so that the raised Helipad will be 10 Feet AGL in Sketchup:

1.) Import the 3D Warehouse model "Columbia+St+Marys+Hospital.kmz" into Sketchup as described in my post above:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-816505


NOTE: The Sketchup 'Origin of Axes' for this 3D Warehouse model is by default at the SW corner of the building

This can be seen if you un-ZIP / double-click the attached *.KMZ to open a zoomed view in Google Earth Desktop Edition.


2.) Hover the Sketchup Tape Measure Tool cursor along at the middle of the bottom Edge of the building

NOTE: Watch for the "Midpoint in Component" inference tool-tip pop-up; when that Purple inference 'point' appears:

[EDITED]

a.) Place the Tape Measure Tool cursor into position over that "Midpoint in Component" Purple inference 'point'

b.) Left Mouse-click (once; do not hold button down);

c.) Now drag the Tape Measure Tool cursor vertically up the Z-Axis on the building 'Face' to a distance at least 21 Feet

d.) Hold that Mouse position firmly, and then release the Left Mouse button to place a Guide Line at that vertical Face position

e.) Immediately type on the keyboard: 20' 5 3/8", and press the < Enter > key

f.) With the Tape Measure Tool, verify that the above Guide Line is above the bottom Edge of that Face by exactly 20' 5 3/8"

[END_EDIT]

CAVEAT: Sketchup sometime gets confused by inferences of nearby Guide Lines / Edges etc. when creating Guide Lines, and they will occasionally end up either not appearing, or appearing at less than- or more than- the requested measurement distance, so:

Always verify resulting placement distances after drawing Guide Points and/or Guide Lines with the Tape Measure Tool


3.) Hover the Move Tool cursor over the intersection of that Guide Line at the SW vertical / Z-Axis 'Edge' of the building

NOTE: Watch for the "Intersection in Component" inference tool-tip pop-up

a.) Place the Move Tool over that "Intersection", then Left Mouse-click+hold that position firmly (do not move it yet):

(1) Press and hold down the keyboard "Down Arrow" key (not the one on the Numeric Keypad)

(2) Left Mouse-click+hold+drag the "Intersection" vertically down the SW Edge Z-Axis to the Sketchup 'Origin of Axes'

NOTE: Watch for the "Origin" inference tool-tip pop-up


(3) Once the Move Tool is in position over the Sketchup 'Origin of Axes', Left Mouse-click (do not move the "Move" tool yet)

(a) Release the keyboard "Down Arrow" key

(b) Immediately press keyboard <ESC > key


You should now have the 3D building 'datum' positioned so the raised Helipad will be 10 Feet AGL in Sketchup (and FSX). :pushpin:


'Arrow cursor' > Left-click on the Guide Line to 'select' it, then Delete it; save the project in Sketchup as a *.SKP file for now. :coffee:


If you have been successful with this 'z-axis re-positioning' step, please proceed with the next step:

"To (temporarily) adjust the building Axis position ...aligned with the WS03 Helipad in Sketchup" ...already posted here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-816686


If you have NOT yet been successful with this 'z-axis re-positioning' step, please let me know in your next reply here. :)


More to come soon...

GaryGB
 

Attachments

Last edited:
#25
Hey Gary,
I can't seem to find a "Midpoint in Component" tool, as you mentioned in your last post. Could it be that the tape measure tool is in the wrong "mode?" I know it changes when one presses the CTRL key. Finally, long before I found this model, I created an airport in ADE, since FSX doesn't have WS03 by default. Since I compiled that BGL into FSX, could that be fighting with what I've worked on here?
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
#26
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-816939

Hey Gary,

I can't seem to find a "Midpoint in Component" tool, as you mentioned in your last post. Could it be that the tape measure tool is in the wrong "mode?" I know it changes when one presses the CTRL key.
Hi Kevin:

The Sketchup "Inference" engine reports the status of Mouse cursor position according to the tool- and tool 'mode'- in use.

The "Midpoint in Component" 'inference' tool-tip pop-up (not a "Tool") at the tool cursor will also report your cursor position status with a somewhat different message according to whether you are working inside- or outside- a 'Group' or 'Component'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooltip

https://help.sketchup.com/en/sketchup/introducing-drawing-basics-and-concepts#find-lock


FYI: I listed the steps and inference status messages you should see when you import the *.KMZ and immediately proceed with the Tape Measure Tool ...without having clicked on the "Grouped" 3D model enough times to have entered the 'context' of that object; I intended for you to work "outside" the context of that object ...on its 'surface'.

NOTE: When the the *.KMZ is first imported to Sketchup it is regarded as a "Component" in this scenario, because it was imported from an external file on disk.

The imported *.KMZ 3D model object inside the 'Group' is treated differently by Sketchup's inference engine than it would otherwise be treated if it were already stored inside a *.SKP, so if you have re-opened the 3D model project from the *.SKP, and/or otherwise 'clicked' your way inside the 'Grouped' 3D object from either of the above cited *.KMZ or *.SKP 3D model project file types, you 'may' see a different inference message than I specified above.

To make sure you are 'outside' the Group, click in the work-space ex: 'sky area' away from the 3D model at least 3 to 5 times etc. to force the cursor outside the 'context' of any Groups or 'Components' ...before following the steps I outlined above.

[EDITED]

PS: Please feel free to 'tinker' more with Sketchup and explore the menu system, as it will gradually reveal how the system works; and through repetition, you may eventually 'internalize' a working memory of what to expect in different work scenarios.


You are unlikely to "Break" anything in your Sketchup installation, and you can always just re-import the source *.KMZ file. ;)


If you do anything that you want to 'undo', you can step backwards in your work-flow via:

Sketchup Menu > Edit > Undo [last action] ...or: press+hold down <Alt> key, then tap<Backspace> key on the keyboard.


If anything causes irretrievable problems since you opened / imported a file, you can start over without saving changes via:

Sketchup Menu > File > Revert


If Sketchup crashes since you opened / imported a file, you can start over with recent changes intact from the 'Autosave' file:

Sketchup Menu > File > Open > Browse / Select / Open: "Autosave_[original 3D model project file name].SKP"


Once that "Autosave_*.SKP" file is opened and inspected, you can save over-write the prior 3D model project file name via:

Sketchup Menu > File > Save As > Browse / Select / Over-write: "[original 3D model project file name].SKP"

[END_EDIT]

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-816939

Finally, long before I found this model, I created an airport in ADE, since FSX doesn't have WS03 by default.

Since I compiled that BGL into FSX, could that be fighting with what I've worked on here?

Regards,
Kevin Davis
Not likely, and only inside FSX.

But if you do have a prior version of the WS03 3D model output as a *.MDL by MCX that you imported to ADE Library Manager, and then 'placed' via ADE, you will be replacing that *OBJ*.BGL output by ADE, with a new scenery library object BGL output from MCX ...after it imports and converts your final modified *.KMZ file output by Sketchup.


I hope this now gets you underway with these initial procedures. :)


GaryGB
 
Last edited:
#28
Hi Kevin:

I am on the road presently, but will check this 'Guide Line' behavior again when I get back to my development computer.

[EDITED]

It is indeed also a working method, to use the Tape Measure tool to pull a Guide Line off of the bottom Edge of the building from anywhere along that Edge line ...as an alternative to finding the "Midpoint".


IIRC, a slightly different process is required when not pulling a Guide Line off of a discrete inference "point" object on an Edge as described below.


When moving the Tape Measure cursor over the bottom Edge of that Face, when a "On Edge in Component" tool-tip message appears:

* Press and hold down the Left Mouse button while dragging the Mouse / Tool cursor vertically up and away from that Edge line (in order to place a Guide Line)


CAVEAT: Be certain that you move the Tape Measure at least 21 Feet above the building bottom Edge before releasing the Left Mouse button.


* Hold that Mouse position firmly, at least 21 Feet above the building bottom Edge

* Now release the Left Mouse button to place a Guide Line at that vertical Face position

* Immediately type on the keyboard: 20' 5 3/8", and press the < Enter > key


With the Tape Measure Tool, verify that the above Guide Line is above the bottom Edge of that Face by exactly 20' 5 3/8"

If the Guide Line position is correct as specified above, then try the Z-Axis re-positioning procedure. :pushpin:



If the Guide Line distance is NOT 20' 5 3/8" above the building bottom Edge:

Sketchup Menu > Edit > Undo Guide (...or: press+hold down <Alt> key, then tap<Backspace> key on the keyboard until the Guide Line is gone).

Then, create the Guide Line again ...so that it is positioned precisely at 20' 5 3/8" above the building bottom Edge.

Next, try the Z-Axis re-positioning procedure. :pushpin:


NOTE: The Guide Line distance in your latter screenshot above did NOT end up positioned 20' 5 3/8" above the building bottom Edge:alert: .

[END_EDIT]

GaryGB
 
Last edited:
#29
Hi Gary,
I have no idea why this procedure is not working. For clarification, what version of Sketchup are you using? I'm using 8. I did some experimenting yesterday, and I found a feature where you right click and it "Separates Components." One "Component" was the general part of the roof - not the exact point I'm looking for - where the helipad is located. I used the Push/Pull Tool, and that allowed me to enter a numeric value. If I were to select the correct component, could that solve the issue? I tried using the selection tool, but did not have any luck. Should I reach out to Google on the Sketchup forum to see if there is a known issue with their software?
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
#30
Hi Kevin:

I'll double check the procedural steps using a new Sketchup (version 8) project with a fresh import of the 3D Warehouse *.KMZ file, and will reply here tomorrow (Friday), as I am on the road at this time. :)

GaryGB
 
Last edited:
#31
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-817325

Hi Gary,

I have no idea why this procedure is not working. For clarification, what version of Sketchup are you using? I'm using 8.

FYI: I have re-tested the above work-flow steps on a fresh installation of Google Sketchup version 8 (free) downloaded from a Trimble file server via this link:

https://designerhacks.com/get-the-google-sketchup-free-download/

http://download.trimble.com/sketchu...KJyJphZmXug_&Key-Pair-Id=APKAITRMO3ODNM6MFOEA


Please take note of the 'Edits' I have made to my latter posts above. :pushpin:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-817325

I did some experimenting yesterday, and I found a feature where you right click and it "Separates Components." One "Component" was the general part of the roof - not the exact point I'm looking for - where the helipad is located. I used the Push/Pull Tool, and that allowed me to enter a numeric value. If I were to select the correct component, could that solve the issue?
Please be more specific about what issue you are trying to solve. :scratchch

At this point in the above recommended multi-step procedure, we must place a Guide Line, and then re-position the 3D model down by 20' 5 3/8".

Next we must Re-position the Axes ...before beginning work on the placement position for the raised WS03 Helipad (assuming you still want it to match 'real life').


AFAIK, we are merely using the Sketchup Tape Measure tool to place a Guide Line across the Face of the imported *.KMZ 3D model 20' 5 3/8 " from the bottom Edge of that Face.

Note that although the bottom Edge of that (South) Face lies in the horizontal plane of the Red (East) Axis arising from the building SW corner at the Origin Of Axes for that 3D model, the 'front' plane of that Face itself is not aligned on the Red Axis.

However, that does not matter at this point, as we are only going to draw a Guide Line from the bottom Edge of that Face vertically up the (Blue) Z-Axis.


Note that when one first imports a *.KMZ or *.SKP object, it will be loaded into the work-space inside a Group or Component which has a "Bounding Box".

That "Bounding Box" is not visible until some portion of the 3D space for that 3D model is 'clicked' (selected) by the end user in the Sketchup work-space.

Do NOT 'click' into a 'context' of the 3D model bounding box (which appears as a Blue box 'frame' surrounding the 3D model if one clicks anywhere upon it).

[EDITED]

If you have entered the 'context' inside of a Group or Component, please click multiple times on the 'sky' or 'ground' area somewhere away from the 3D model to go back outside any multi-level Groups ...to the "Top" level of the Sketchup work-space.

It is in that "Top" level of the Sketchup work-space that we will be placing a Guide Line ...on the "Outside" surface of the Group or Component of the building (...the Sketchup inference engine will still be able to interact with that Guide structure for purposes of our intended procedural steps outlined above).

[END_EDIT]


After you have imported that *.KMZ building:

1.) Slowly move Tape Measure cursor along the middle bottom Edge line of that (South) Face until you see a "Midpoint in Component" tool-tip message

2.) When you see a "Midpoint in Component" tool-tip, Left-click (once; do not hold button down) Tape Measure cursor on that Purple inference point

3.) Release Left Mouse button, then drag the Tape Measure cursor from the bottom Edge line of that Face, vertically up the (Blue) Z-Axis to draw a Guide Line.

4.) Be certain that you move the Tape Measure at least 21 Feet above the building bottom Edge line before releasing the Left Mouse button.

5.) Hold that 21 Feet minimum cursor position firmly and then release the Left Mouse button to place the Guide Line at that vertical Face position

6.) Immediately type on the keyboard: 20' 5 3/8", and press the < Enter > key

7.) With the Tape Measure Tool, verify that the above Guide Line ended up above the bottom Edge of that building Face by exactly 20' 5 3/8"


If the Guide Line position is correct as specified above, then try the Z-Axis re-positioning procedure. :pushpin:


https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-817325

I tried using the selection tool, but did not have any luck.

Should I reach out to Google on the Sketchup forum to see if there is a known issue with their software?

Regards,
Kevin Davis
IMHO, this is simply an issue of needing to become familiarized with how the Sketchup 8 Tape Measure Tool works.

Beside the fact that Sketchup version 8 was a Google product, and is no longer supported by them or Trimble, IIUC, there is not an issue that requires you to seek additional input from users on that forum (former 'version 8' developers rarely reply there, and only the current Sketchup 2019 version will ever be 'fixed'). ;)

You may benefit more from:

* practice with Sketchup's tools to learn how they work

...and:

* memorizing what inference messages appear during Sketchup's tool procedures.:)

PS: I recommend viewing Aidan Chopra's YouTube video tutorials:


Note that because the demo 3D object is NOT inside a Group or Component, inference tool-tips are slightly different than they would be if the 3D model was 'Imported' (...that always puts objects inside a Group or Component).


GaryGB
 
Last edited:
#32
Hi Gary,
I haven't kept up on my E-Mails lately - sorry! I experimented with the Tape Measure tool, and was able to draw a line that stayed when I released the mouse and pressed "Enter." Since I've been working on this stage of the project, I have never been able to get that to work. It's not in the right location, but I wondered if that's how the newly created guide is supposed to look. In the past, after pressing "Enter," nothing has appeared. Also, in your previous posts, you added links for "Design Hacks," to download new software. Is that even legal? I wanted to ask about that before I did anything, as I don't want to get into any legal trouble with Google!
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 

Attachments

#33
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-817968

Hi Gary,

I haven't kept up on my E-Mails lately - sorry!

I experimented with the Tape Measure tool, and was able to draw a line that stayed when I released the mouse and pressed "Enter." Since I've been working on this stage of the project, I have never been able to get that to work. It's not in the right location, but I wondered if that's how the newly created guide is supposed to look.
In the past, after pressing "Enter," nothing has appeared.
Yes, that looks like a properly drawn Guide Point. :)

Now you can just draw one vertically up from the bottom SW corner of the building Edge from the 3D Origin of Axes.

Once the Guide Line position is correct as specified above, then try the Z-Axis re-positioning procedure. :pushpin:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/helipad-for-3d-warehouse-model.444746/post-817968'

Also, in your previous posts, you added links for "Design Hacks," to download new software. Is that even legal? I wanted to ask about that before I did anything, as I don't want to get into any legal trouble with Google!

Regards,
Kevin Davis

Yes, that is the link for 'legally' downloading the archived installer for Sketchup version 8 (final maintenance release 'M3') from Trimble, who acquired Sketchup from Google a few years ago.

The above link should be the preferred location to download Sketchup version 8 ...rather than 3rd party web site / servers.


NOTE: This is comparable to what was done with FSX / ESP / P3D SDK version 1.4x adapted under license by Lockheed-Martin (aka "L-M") when L-M took P3D SDK version 1.4x off their main SDK download page (IMHO to 'encourage' use of the 2 newer versions of P3D ...rather than the 'older' versions).

However, L-M did continue to maintain an archive of the installer for the 'older' P3D version 1.4x SDK (accessible here):

http://cloud.prepar3d.com/SDK/Prepar3D_SDK_1.4.4747.0.exe


Use of the term "Hack" has become rather diverse in its interpretation in recent years, and despite recent use in the news of the original 'slang' meaning to 'hack' into restricted computer domains, 'hack' has increasingly often been used to describe ways to make a process less challenging by innovative and/or otherwise undocumented means:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/life hack

http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/hack

GaryGB
 
Last edited:
#34
Hi Gary,
Thanks for the clarification about the "Hack" term. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to get into any trouble. I tried drawing a guide point from the SW corner of the building, and got this result (pictured in screenshot). I actually have the P3D SDK since Microsoft didn't "Hand over" their SDK to Steam. I need that SDK to compile airports in ADE.
 

Attachments

#35
Hi Kevin:

From what I see, you have successfully created a "Guide Line" from the SE corner of the building. :scratchch

From the cropped screenshot above, I cannot tell what its elevation is on the Z-axis from the bottom of the building.


Let me know when you are ready to proceed with drawing either a Guide Line or a Guide Point from the Origin of Axes for that 3D model, which as I explained above, is located on the SW corner of the building.

In Google Earth, in top-down view, click on the "N" above the orientation / rotation gizmo in the upper Right corner of the work-space, and you will correctly orient the 3D model and map view onto the Geographic "Cardinal Directions" for a standard map display.

You will then see where "the corner of the building closest to the intersection of N. Prospect Avenue and E. North Avenue ...is located. :pushpin:

GaryGB
 
#37
Hi Kevin:

From what I see, you have successfully created a "Guide Point" from the roof of the building. :scratchch

From the cropped screenshot above, I cannot tell what its elevation is on the Z-axis from the roof of the building.

This would be a good time to verify if your methods resulted in a Guide Point at the distance you specified above the roof.


FYI: In my test 3D Sketchup model the Helipad surface is 9 Feet and 1/2 Inch above the roof.


BTW: I may do some further analysis with LiDAR data to identify where the SW building corner contacts the local ground as well, just in case you decide you wish to implement a more realsitic local terrain mesh for that part of the Milwaukee area. ;)


Let me know when you are ready to proceed with drawing either a Guide Line or a Guide Point from the Origin of Axes for that 3D model on the SW corner of the building.

Then we can proceed with adjusting 3D model base position, prior to re-aligning the Axes for work on the elevated Helipad. :)


GaryGB
 
Last edited:
Top