FSX:SE Shockwave Truck - Afterburner and Smoke FXs

#1
Hi Everyone!

After some weeks of lurking around this blog I decided to step in and meet you all in this amazing developer community. I would like to show you my first and current project for FSX:SE, perhaps it's not exactly an airplane but I find itself somehow native to this environment instead of other platforms available out there. It all started with my will to model the Shockwave Truck and learn how to use 3ds Max again. However, when I was working on it I remembered that I used to play FS9 with my father and that one of our simulation dreams was to have a race side by side with the Extra 300 against this beauty. So here I am after some weeks of SDK help, tutorials, and hours of reading through the blog to find answers about how to animate, export .X, MDL files, and so on. Hope you like it and definitely your comments and critics are more than welcome. Finally, I want to ask about how to create the afterburner and smoke effects, can someone point me out some information or posts? I don't have any clue on how to start with this topic. Thanks!

3SW_1.PNG



3SW_2.PNG


Internal structure also modeled based on pictures I found.

SWT_1.PNG


The first test in the simulator and a comparison with the real thing (I still need to fix those inner faces).

Best regards,

Luis
 

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#2
awesome work,
with some editing on aircraft.cfg and air file, that truck could run as fast it can without flying.

please move to showroom thread for showcase your work.
 
#3
awesome work,
with some editing on aircraft.cfg and air file, that truck could run as fast it can without flying.

please move to showroom thread for showcase your work.
Thanks kalong. I am currently working on the aircraft.cfg file. It now stays on the ground without flying, however, after some speed it starts to drift away.

Btw, How do I move my thread to showroom? I can't find a way to do it.
 
#4
I would advise that most of your verts are unnecessary and wasted. You have a lot of areas that are either flat or have no contour changes that are heavily subdivided, which means you're using way more triangles to render them than you actually need. You're going to want to do some major target welding.

Remember, unless you're making cartoon characters, subdivision modelling is a lot less useful than they say it is when they sell it to you. Especially because it tends to throw edges out of spec... a perfect example is the CaptainSim 737, which is about an inch too narrow on every part, like something that was cast in steel, then shrunk out of tolerance because the castings didn't take shrinkage into account. Which means that they started with a simple mesh, built to spec, then subdivided it. Better to just do it right the first time with a high resolution mesh. Yeah, it takes more work, but fresco takes more work than watercolour on canvas.
 
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#5
I would advise that most of your verts are unnecessary and wasted. You have a lot of areas that are either flat or have no contour changes that are heavily subdivided, which means you're using way more triangles to render them than you actually need. You're going to want to do some major target welding.
Thanks for the advice ErickC! Currently cleaning the model. At the beginning I wasn't planning to make a model for FSX, it was just an exercise to be in shape again with 3ds Max and intended to be only for rendering purposes. After reading some posts I realized that I need to improve my technique. I will keep you updated.
 
#7
Here is a small update of my model after some months. I did a rework on major components, some others were built again from scratch. I removed the turbosmooth feature and worked instead with smooth groups, the result is a clean and lower poly version of my previous model. There are still some points that I need to improve but it is definitely a better work. I worked around some details with the simulator, trying to figure out how to place the afterburner and smoke FXs, they work properly now. I am still trying to figure out how to make the spring from the damper to work as intended. I am using bones for this case but it's not working properly. I am using the gear_ animation for the spring since it is working as a suspension but at the same time it is a flexible component that is reshaped due to compression. After reading a lot of info about using bones in the models, I am still not able to make it work properly in the simulator, it only works within 3ds max.



3SW_12_3.PNG


SWT_12_1.jpg
 

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#9
Hi Bill, I would like to thank you for all your posts, they are really helpful. This is how I have been learning tricks and mysteries of this art.

I am currently playing with textures using high poly models to bake them and improve the appearance inside the simulator. It was cumbersome to recreate the texture of the turbines. I started with some textures in GIMP, but it turned out to be very complicated (with my current skills) to paint them by hand, so I spent some time learning how to bake the textures correctly and play with some basic textures to give the desired look. I am really satisfied with my first attempt and the next step will be to adjust some textures with GIMP.

SWT_Decals_1.jpeg
 
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#10
Hi guys,

I made a total overhaul of the UV maps in order to increase the resolution and optimize the textures. It is now easier to place decals directly from the texture, that's because the older UV maps where only made for half of the truck. However, now I am having a problem that only appears in the simulator. The shading is not properly displayed. From the pictures you can see that in the UV seam there is a strange color fade. My first thought was that maybe the UV maps where reversed but after some tests that's not the issue. It only happens in the hood and roof, the sleeper is now using a different UV map, but the shading looks correctly.


Shade_1.PNG

Shade_2.PNG


Does anybody has an idea on how to solve this?
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#11
It appears to me that you may have used the "Mirror" button on the top toolbar to generate the right side. That's what the darker shading of the right side is symptomatic of at least. Never use that tool. Instead use the "Mirror Modifier" on the object's stack.
 
#12
Thanks Bill! I used the "Mirror Modifier" in my model. I found out that using the "Mirror Tool" has some Problems with the normals in FSX. Therefore, the problem was the normal maps, I will bake them again. I removed them for the moment from the current material and now everything is well displayed except from details like the rivets.

Shade_3.PNG
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#13
Therefore, the problem was the normal maps, I will bake them again.
The "normal" or "'bump" map was going to be my next suggestion. Make sure you adjust the channels of the normal map before converting to .dds format.

  1. Contents of Red channel selected by Ctrl-A, then Ctrl-X, and then pasted Ctrl-C into a new Alpha channel.
  2. Make certain that the Red channel is now pure black (0,0,0)
  3. Save to .dds format.
 
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