FSX Roof-top helipads

#1
Hi, while flying helos around cities, i realized that there arent any rooftop helipads, except for on some hospitals. To make one myself, i assume i would have to do it in gmax and somee how place it on top of a static building. is this possible? Or would i have to create an entire building with the helipad?

G.S.
 
#2
Hi FSX345,

You may want to start by deciding how you will place a rooftop pad.
There are various ways to place objects into flight simulator, unfortunately rooftops, mountaintops, and cliffsides can be problematic for most of those options.

Whether you use an existing rooftop pad library object, or make your own in Gmax, the best way I know of getting it onto a rooftop or similar high altitude location is with the payware utility "Instant Scenery" which is a "what you see is what you get" format where the object is displayed in the sim, and you move it into position with your mouse, and then adjust altitude, heading, etc within the user interface.

However, placing objects on top of tall buildings and mountaintops is a bit of a challenge since you must ascertain the height at which the object is to be placed in order to enter that altitude into the Instant Scenery user interface to get it to the general altitude of the rooftop, at which point you can make smaller adjustments in height.

Generally you would fly or slew into position above the building and pause the flight, open Instant Scenery, select the pad from a list and locate it on the ground below by moving your mouse. Then it is a matter of entering altitude adjustments to raise it to the desired altitude at which point it can be moved into position and placed.

You could certainly make some pads in Gmax, or perhaps even figure out how to take advantage of the object placement tool in FSX to place FSX default pads or towers, and perhaps some other readers who have successfully used other methods will have some advice how they would place a rooftop pad in FSX.

There are several collections of rooftop pads for FS9, but most of them do not work for FSX because FSX handles the hardened platforms which make the pads landable differently.

As a workaround so that I could use our FS9 FinneyAir rooftop pads in FSX, I made a set of semi-invisible landable platforms for Instant Scenery which can be used in FSX to harden the landing surfaces of the pads and towers.

If you want to play around with Instant Scenery to see what it is all about, you can download a trial version from the Abacus website which can be used within a fifty mile radius of Seattle. In my humble opinion, it is well worth the money it costs.

To find some helicopter related pads and towers, you can use the FinneyAir ChopperWorld download which is at AVSIM (finneyair_chopperworld.zip), and to harden the landing surfaces use the FinneyAir Landable Platforms collection at AVSIM (fa_isp_x.zip).

I am currently working on FinneyAir ChopperWorld for FSX, but it will also require Instant Scenery or ??? to place the pads and towers on a rooftop.

Hope this helps
Gman
 
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#3
You create a single building with an attached platform as a template in gmax.

Then create a texture. Save file...

Then make copy's and change the height. Now copy's those and apply new textures designed from your original texture. So it will be easy. Plus there are
plenty of building textures in the games texture folder.

So you could have 20 different building heights and styles very easy.

The hard part is getting your building and roof made correctly.....

DG:eek:
 
#5

This was a great tutorial which was where I learned to make landable platforms in Gmax for use in FSX. In my case I didn't need to make the buildings because I already had existing FS9 towers and pads to harden, so I just needed the landable platforms.

In fact I was looking for the link to this tutorial earlier today to post to this thread.

Thank You for taking the time to put this tutorial together Jose.

Cheers
Gman
 
#6
Thanks for the link, and yes, i had at one point looked at this tutorial. the problem i have the most with Gmax is getting the textures of a helipad in place. I made one model a while ago, that was capable of supporting an aircraft, but the textures were missing. Is there a tutorial on this too?

Thanks
 
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#7
Hi,

Placing a texture on the roof is rather simple...



Here is the texture put on a box... or building as you wish.
However you can put the texture also on a plane and make this plane landable according to the tutorial. You can save this file as a stock file and use it for other buildings.
On the second screenie you can see the heli on the landable part of such file: in this case the landable part is invisible (see tutorial) and can you see the shadow of the heli.
You only need the exact altitude and localisation in order to accomplish the little operation.



Hope it's the extra part of the tutorial.

Greetz. José.
 
#8
Im very inexperienced with gmax, having never been able to successfully use existing textures and placing them on an object.
Could someone please point me toward a step-by-step tutorial on texturing fsx models in gmax?

thanks
 
#10
that tutorial was very helpful!!!!
just a quick question, i had to make the texture file "helo2.bmp"
into a texture of only one helipad, i choose the one in the bottom left corner.
i made it into a 128x128 pixel image like the tutorial says, and attached it to the hardened plane on top of the building. when i placed the building (and the plane) in fsx, the helipad texture didnt show up. am i supposed to do something with that new texture that i created? i put it in the AddonScenery>Texture file, but that evidently didn't help... Any ideas?
 
#11
Hi FSX345,

When I first read this thread I was under the impression you wanted to find an easy way to place rooftop pads around the flightsim world, but it seems you have instead been convinced to start from scratch and build the entire buildings from the ground up.

I think if the rooftop pads were what you were after, you could streamline the entire process by concentrating on rooftops, rather than re-inventing the static building wheel.

In other words think smaller, not larger.
There are plenty of tall buildings in every city in FSX already, so you would be better off simply designing your own rooftop pads to place on top of them.

Where the skills for designing and texturing buildings as outlined above would serve you well, is in designing a series of appropriate buildings to be placed adjacent to your pads on the rooftops, whether they be offices, radio shacks, or an elevator. Rooftop pads which lead to nowhere but the roof are a bit goofy looking.

An object library with a half-dozen assorted rooftop pads, combined with a half-dozen rooftop buildings can be mixed and matched with a few stair objects and strobe light objects and allow you to quickly build custom heliports atop several tall buildings in any city.

In FS9, many of the buildings had smaller buildings on top of them, but they were just boxes without doors or entry points, so when we developed ChopperWorld, we included entry doors and elevator doors which could be placed on the rooftop buildings to give them some detail.

After revamping ChopperWorld for FSX, I have found there are much fewer rooftop buildings, so I have begun to think of making up some rooftop buildings in Gmax myself.

Even though I have an infinite amount of rooftop and ground helipads to choose from, I look forward to seeing what you come up with and hopefully you will share them with the community as a freeware scenery object library.

Best of luck.
Gman
 
#12
that tutorial was very helpful!!!!
just a quick question, i had to make the texture file "helo2.bmp"
into a texture of only one helipad, i choose the one in the bottom left corner.
i made it into a 128x128 pixel image like the tutorial says, and attached it to the hardened plane on top of the building. when i placed the building (and the plane) in fsx, the helipad texture didnt show up. am i supposed to do something with that new texture that i created? i put it in the AddonScenery>Texture file, but that evidently didn't help... Any ideas?
Remember a few points:
1. The hardened plane cannot take a texture, this plane is invisible in FSX.
2. Assign the texture for the helipad to the top of the building below the plane.
3. Make sure to convert any .bmp images to .dds images for FSX use.
4. If the above points don't make sense, please read the full tutorial I pointed out to you.

Regards, Mike Mann
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
#14
Hi,

I think you mean you placed it in ADE. You normally modify the hospital model in MCX to add the hardened roof, and then place the modified version using ADE.
 
#17
Hi Tom,
I checked the properties of the hospital building in ADE. It is located in the "buildings.bgl" file. I imported that BGL into Model Converter X, but the only building that showed up was "BLD_HOTEL_TROP_HIRISE_01" with no quotes. ADE calls the building I want to edit, "hospital1." ADE says it is located in that file. Why is this? I included screenshots from ADE and Model Converter X. Sorry for the late reply. It's been a busy week for me!
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 

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Pyscen

Resource contributor
#18
Hello....

Within the library there are multiple number of objects... Did you search through the whole library? Within MCX,... using the green arrows, left or right, will go through this library....
 
#20
Hi,

I think you mean you placed it in ADE. You normally modify the hospital model in MCX to add the hardened roof, and then place the modified version using ADE.
Hi,
I loaded the hospital file in MCX, but I can't figure out how to put the hardened roof on the top of the building. Is it the ADE Ground Poly Editor? If so, I still can't figure out how to make it a hardened texture.
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
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