FS2004 Sketchup 2020 to FS9 convert using Model ConverterX not working

Yes Gary, Autodesk is the parent company for AutoCAD and Revit. I was referring to AutoCAD since they created Gmax.
Jeff
 
  1. Have either you or Gary tried using Autodesk, and if so does it work directly with xNormal or MCX?
IIUC, Jeff, you were referring to the product "AutoCAD" by Autodesk ? :scratchch

GaryGB
Yes Gary, Autodesk is the parent company for and Revit. I was referring to AutoCAD since they created Gmax.
Jeff
[EDITED]

I have not used AutoCAD for any detailed 3D scenery models, but I have utilized various 2D and 3D data files output by AutoCAD and other 3D modeling and GIS applications (some of which are also used by other products from Autodesk); these files can be imported into Sketchup with existing Layers intact, if desired.

One such AutoCAD project exported as a ASCII DXF file from AutoCAD, imported to Sketchup after about 20 minutes of processing ...with 200 Layers ! :yikes:

It was a 2D building plan, and had 3 floors that needed to manually extruded (...until I learned how to use certain Sketchup plugin Ruby scripts). :oops::laughing:

[END_EDIT]

GaryGB
 
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A quick question for Jim. Do you still use MCX to get files into FS9 if you use 3Ds Max?
Jeff
Yes you'd still need to use MCX because there's no FS9 gamepack for Max.
Hi Jim:

Have you by any chance seen / tested this (uploaded here in 2016) ? :scratchch




IIRC, Jeff initially had goals of learning how to minimize 3D model Geometry complexity after using Components to maximize production efficiency with various parametric-based Component building tools / plugins, imported 3D model parts, and perhaps imported (un-restricted use / public-domain) 3D models within the Sketchup application work environment.

Incidental to offering suggestions on how to optimize that process within Sketchup, AFAIK, we are IIUC, also looking at methods to enhance realism in another way, by using custom texture images mapped as Materials onto 3D models in other 3D modeling applications, and processed via 'light occlusion-mapping' and/or photo-realistic rendering utilities, and/or graphics applications which support layers.

As you know, results of using such methods produces exceptional realism in mapped texture image Materials that actually allows further reduction in 3D model Geometry complexity by substituting graphical details in the Materials, for what would otherwise have required actual 3D model parts ...as seen in your thread here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/x40-kinf-inverness-florida.429786/post-846973


I'm still looking forward to seeing your tutorial on how to create texture images mapped as Materials onto 3D models in GMAX via xNormal, BTW. ;)


I also still hope to soon post a use-able quick-and-dirty 'test' 3D model of ex: TNCE terminal building traced from texture images downloaded off the internet as a 'worked example' for discussion of various options to minimize 3D model Geometry complexity, while also looking at methods to enhance realism in other ways, by using custom texture images mapped as Materials onto 3D models in other 3D modeling applications, and processed via 'light occlusion-mapping' and/or photo-realistic rendering utilities, and/or graphics applications which support layers.


The latter methods cited above are, as you also know, a practical FS Development approach when a 3D model is going to be viewed at a distance from an airport's navigable areas on ground- or at an approach / take-off Altitude- where a user aircraft camera will be at a significant distance away, that does not require the actual 3D model Geometry complexity to be used, and instead, a 2D graphical 'appearance' of doors / windows may suffice ...as seen in Bill Womack's tutorial video here:

An excellent tutorial on these methods by Bill Womack (aka "spotlope") is here:

FSDevConf - Scenery Texturing for Realism


Thanks again for sharing your considerable personal insights on ways to make 3D models which are rendered with both efficiency and realism in FS at run time. :)

GaryGB
 
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I'm still looking forward to seeing your tutorial on how to create texture images mapped as Materials onto 3D models in GMAX via xNormal, BTW.
I've decided to abort that project and put my time into other things. Here's an excellent video:

 
Thanks, Jim, for your original generous offer to update your existing tutorial on GMAX / xNormal methods.

I understand that you may have other activities which merit your attention right now, and that there are instead some pre-requisite self-study learning resources which you might otherwise point us to, rather than laboriously including such a wider scope of info in your own tutorial which, IIUC, might be regarded as involving information and methods suitable for more "advanced" would-be FS Developers. ;)


The video you linked us to in your post immediately above was impressive, and thought-provoking about just how complex of a 3D model one could actually process using xNormal, compared to the more commonly used 3D models we might purposely make for FS with reduced complexity.

Thus far I have not worked with GMAX much less 3DSMAX, or with Blender, to see how they achieve rendering and "baking" ex: Ambient Occlusion ...from within their own application work-space.

In Sketchup, most photo-realistic rendering plugins I have tested output an image of the work-space from a single camera viewpoint that would upon completion, then have to be manually mapped as a 'replacement' Material onto the visible Faces of the 3D model, and thus are only practical to use for ex: architectural visualization of a particular scene.

Those are essentially photo-realistic rendered 'screenshots', rather than actual texture images which can be used as a Layer in a graphics application to be utilized with other Layers via ex: a "Multiply" blending method.

xNormal appears to offer a very practical alternative to such an otherwise laborious process in Sketchup. :wizard:


Your reference above to critical importance of specific types of vertex positioning in UVW mapping texture image Materials onto Faces that may require manual post-processing outside of Sketchup in ex: GMAX, has me concerned as to whether one can successfully unwrap existing Sketchup Materials to create Texture Atlas Sheets semi-automatically in another 3D modeling application such as GMAX / 3DSMAX or Blender. :scratchch

It appears substantial work is otherwise needed to manually create Texture Atlas Sheets prior to mapping Materials onto Faces in any 3D modeling application. o_O


I'm curious if you have thus far identified a way to generate Texture Atlas Sheets semi-automatically by unwrapping existing Sketchup Materials via a plugin Ruby script within Sketchup, or external to Sketchup in any other 3D application such as GMAX / 3DSMAX or Blender ?


It seems that the output format used by MCX when using the 'Draw Call Minimizer' / 'Draw Call Batching' feature to generate Texture Atlas Sheets semi-automatically from an imported Sketchup 3D model might not be compatible with 3D applications after mapped texture image Materials have previously been "Batched" during export as scenery by MCX. :oops:

Have you by any chance successfully been able to use MCX 'Draw Call Minimizer' / 'Draw Call Batching' feature to generate Texture Atlas Sheets semi-automatically from any imported 3D model, and then utilize the resulting Texture Atlas Sheets exported by MCX with a 3D model in any 3D modeling application ...without manually having to re-map some of those Materials exported by MCX ?


Sorry if these questions "tug on your sleeve" if you have other things that compel your attention right now.

I'd be grateful for any further insights you might be willing to share with us on this related subject if- and when- you are inclined to do so in the future. :)


PS: While this sub-topic involves suggested enhancements that Jeff might have an interest in using, perhaps we might consider a more detailed exploration of these optional methods in a separate thread somewhere / sometime ?

I'm also thinking that there may still be a way to re-import 3D models with baked textures back into Sketchup via MCX ...after output is finalized by xNormal.

If you would still be interested, we might discuss the feasibility of these options in a thread such as this one: :idea:


GaryGB
 
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