Things That I've Noticed When I Export an Object into Sketchup

Hi,
I thought this would be the best place to post this, so I hope I picked the best one. Before proceeding with completing my FSDT ground markings, there is still something that I want to have an understanding of. For the longest, it has puzzled me how FSDT makes a certain selection of a letter and number from that texture file KDFW_det10.dds, such as C32, and place them in the proper location as shown in the model in MCX without a bgl placement file. To this day, I have not been able to locate a bgl placement file anywhere in the entire KDFW airport scenery that's related to all of the 160, or so, of the ground markings. But there are things that I've noticed when I import the model KDFW_sett07.mdl into Skectchup, as well as in Gmax and Blender that might explain it.

Notice in the photo below of the model KDFW_sett07.mdl that's

zoomed into the location of C32, C31, C30, and C29 in MCX:

KDFW_Object 1.jpg



If you launch the Material Editor and select the file, KDFW_det10.dds with "highlight selections" checked, you'll see these markings highlight in red as shown below:


KDFW_Object 2.jpg



Of course, it highlights all of the almost 160 of these ground markings, including the runway edge lines, runway number, runway centerline, and the parking T markings that indicate where the aircraft parks. So, how does the texture file KDFW_det10.dds draw the markings in the fashion shown in the model, such as C32, and where it's placed? If you click the Remove button of this selection, here's what you'll see:


KDFW_Object 3.jpg




Now, notice the model when it's imported into Sketchup, after it has been converted into a KDFW_sett07.dae file:


KDFW_Object 4.jpg



Of course, this is without the textures, and Sketchup will tell you that the textures are missing. Now, here's the interesting thing I've noticed that's related to those ground markings. Below is a photo of the exact location of C32, C31, C30, C29, and C28 zoomed in:



KDFW_Object 5.jpg



Noticed the outline, or I guess they may be called bounding boxes, that show or indicate where and what letter and number is placed there. I wonder if this is how their placement is made and what gate number is placed there. Now, let's import this model with the textures included:


KDFW_Object 6.jpg



The 2 extra items you see to the left of the main object I assume are the extra texture layers that's laid on top of the main model, and I had to slide them over to the side so that the texture KDFW_det10.dds would display. Apparently, that file was below those 2 layers. Below is a photo of that texture file inside the bounding boxes, I guess they're called:



KDFW_Object 7.jpg



If this is how it's done, it would require that one position the correct item within those boxes from that texture file. I'm not saying just yet this is how FSDT places those ground markings but it sure explains what item and where they're placed. This is just my thought and wanted to find out if I'm may be correct. This is the only way I can see how these textures can be selected and placed over the model and get them lined up within the bounding boxes.

Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

IMHO, this is a continuation of discussions related to this original thread:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...-textures-for-updated-airport-scenery.441812/



IIRC, there is a discrete "Group" containing 3 "Faces" with 4 "Edges" each ...for the original C32 ground marking as a "ModelPart" in FSDT's:

KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl


......each "Face" of which is mapped with the C32 alphanumeric character Material texture images from FSDT's original:

KDFW_det10.dds


...as previously discussed here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...or-updated-airport-scenery.441812/post-798485


"These aren't the Droids (ModelParts) you're looking for"




You must select / highlight each ModelPart (aka 'Group') for KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl in MCX until you find the C32 object you are seeking.



NOTE: The C32 ModelPart I identified is the 15th down within the 'Root' SceneGraphNode > ModelPart list shown in MCX Hierarchy Editor:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/altitude.446488/post-833800




[EDITED]

NOTE: One must verify whether this is the actual ModelPart which contains the C32 ground marking in question. :alert:

[END_EDIT]


Remember: First use MCX Texture Editor to convert mapped *.DDS texture Materials to *.TIF before exporting a ex: *.OBJ for Sketchup ;)

GaryGB
 
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Hi Gary,

Before I proceed, I need to mention that by default, Sketchup does not support obj files and needs a plugin. I have the Simlab plugin that imports obj files but I never could get it to imports any type textures files. The only way I can import the textures alone with the model in Sketchup is to export the model as dae file in MCX.


You must select / highlight each ModelPart (aka 'Face') for the KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl in MCX until you find the C32 object you are seeking.
In your image below, you show the model part with the kdfw_32 on the right under material:





Are you saying that the kdfw_32 and the C32 are related? The only model part that highlights the C32, as well as all other parking spots is the file KDFW_det10.dds. But you're showing a model part with the kdfw_32 on the right under materials and I don't see nor understand how both kdfw_32 and C32 are related. When I select the model parts with the kdfw_32 under the material, C32 does not highlight. Also, there are 6 model parts that show the kdfw_32 on the right under material. I don't understand how this explains my question regarding how they go about selecting a gate, or parking number for the ground markings of each parking spot. The only use for this editor I see is that one can isolate or remove a model part. Here is what's highlighted when I select the model parts with kdfw_32 on the right:


kdfw_32.jpg



kdfw_32 2.jpg



kdfw_32 3.jpg



This is the texture for the kdfw_32:


KDFW_32 4.jpg




First use MCX Texture Editor to convert mapped *.DDS texture Materials to *.TIF before exporting a ex: *.OBJ for Sketchup ;)
I've tried that but it won't import tif type textures with the object in Sketchup. What Schetchup tells me is that if there are any textures missing, it tells me that the dds type textures are missing, and I have to use that file type and importing the model as a callada file into Sketchup. Maybe I need a better obj plugin. I'll check at the Sketchup Store and see if they have a obj plugin.

Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

UPDATE: MCX Hierarchy Editor: ModelPart #20 down from 'Root' SceneGraphNode selects the C32 ground marking:




Sorry for any confusion... please recall that I had indicated I would verify that info as time permitted; tonight I did verify.


We may need Arno to explain why MCX Hierarchy Editor does not appear to show nested sub-objects for ModelPart #20 down from Root' SceneGraphNode (which selects the C32 ground marking), as some type of 'tree' entries.

Does MCX Hierarchy Editor not have sufficient granularity to list all levels of ModelPart sub-objects in complex MDLs ? :scratchch


As previously stated above:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...rt-an-object-into-sketchup.446569/post-834569

AFAIK, there is a discrete "Group" containing 3 "Faces" with 4 "Edges" each ...for the original C32 ground marking as a "ModelPart" in FSDT's:

KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl


...each "Face" of which is mapped with the C32 alphanumeric character Material texture images from FSDT's original:

KDFW_det10.dds


Sketchup screenshot:





Regarding the 3D model export format to use in MCX, please state which version of Sketchup you are using. :pushpin:


AFAIK, MCX offers several 3D export file formats which can be imported into Sketchup, depending on the version used.


FYI: In MCX Material Editor, when you convert mapped Material texture files to *.TIF, you must allow MCX to over-write the original MDL info to tell the 3D model that *.TIF format is now being used instead of *.DDS.

You must also direct MCX export of mapped Material texture files to the same target folder path into which you will also export the ex: Collada *.DAE (or other export format) 3D export file.


For FS, we normally export mapped Material texture files for a 3D model into a locally-paired \Texture sub-folder, and the *.BGL into a locally-paired \Scenery sub-folder ...under a top-folder set active as an Area in Scenery Library GUI.


See this example of the work-flow in MCX Material Editor:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/cannot-assign-right-textures.445917/post-827928


However, for export of a 3D model with its mapped Material texture files to be imported by Sketchup, one should always be certain to direct the export of mapped Material texture files into the same 'work' folder as the exported 3D model file ...so Sketchup can 'find' them during import. ;)

GaryGB
 

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tgibson

Resource contributor
Gary, the compilers of MDL files often combine all parts using the same exact material into a single part. MCX carries this behavior a step further upon Import if the option CollapseModelParts is set to TRUE.
 
Hi Tom:

Thanks for the heads-up on that MCX Options parameter value which I had overlooked; I'll find that Option and test it ASAP. :)


FYI: I was impressed with what Arno had achieved with MCX Hierarchy Editor, and it has been a welcome change in MCX as it evolved over the years since IIRC, Arno once indicated that MCX used to explode all ex: Group / Component geometry in a 3D model during import.

[EDITED]

Here is a screenshot of
MCX Hierarchy Editor:




Notice that it still does not appear to show nested sub-objects for ModelPart #20 down from Root' SceneGraphNode (which selects the C32 ground marking), as some type of 'tree' entries.


MCX Hierarchy Editor does not list as a ModelPart, each "Face" in the 3D model as a discrete 2-Triangle object with coplanar "Edges"


Although each "Face" may be distinct from either a "Group" or a "Component", it is still a discrete 2-Triangle object with coplanar "Edges".


IMHO, that fact of 3D geometry still compels this question:

Does MCX Hierarchy Editor not have sufficient granularity to list all levels of ModelPart sub-objects in complex MDLs ? :scratchch


FYI: This task session of MCX shows the same MDL with the option "CollapseModelParts" set to FALSE:


[END_EDIT]

I do realize there is an element of practicality to be considered when MCX constructs 3D ModelPart listings in MCX Hierarchy Editor.

The above FSDT KDFW 3D model discussed in Ken's several threads is an example of a high complexity MDL (as shown in Sketchup statistics) ...which MCX otherwise has to interpret if generating a SceneGraphNode > ModelPart list for thousands of Groups / Components / Faces.

This is also why I have cautioned Ken about the proportionate complexity of a learning curve he is in for with this FSDT SimObject; even if he successfully edits it in Sketchup, he still has to learn how to restore all original content to full functionality for use in FS after re-compiled. :redflag:

GaryGB
 

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Hi Gary,

Sorry it took me this long to get back to you.


UPDATE: MCX Hierarchy Editor: ModelPart #20 down from 'Root' SceneGraphNode selects the C32 ground marking:




Sorry for any confusion... please recall that I had indicated I would verify that info as time permitted; tonight I did verify.
That's okay. I'm glad to know that this is what you were referring to, and this is the one I've been referring to as well. Yes, mine was the 20th one down, but notice that C31 and C30, as well as all 160 of these around every terminal is highlighted. It doesn't let you select just one; it selects all of them, but I guess that's how it should be. So, if one needs to chance C32 to C39, it seems to me there should be a way to use that highlighted texture, to make those changes. Although this is part of the KDFW_det10.dds, the file itself does not have the same format as shown in MCX. I noticed in the Hierarchy Editor that there is a button that says, "Isolate," and from what I see and understand, but don't know if this is the purpose, clicking this button removes all other layers and leaves only that which is highlighted.


There is a discrete "Group" containing 3 "Faces" with 4 "Edges" each ...for the original C32 ground marking as a "ModelPart" in FSDT's:

KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl

..each "Face" of which is mapped with the C32 alphanumeric character Material texture images from FSDT's original:

KDFW_det10.dds

Sketchup screenshot:

Your Sketchup sreenshot looks much different than mines and shows the ground markings within the model boxes. Mine does not show it that way, here's what mine looks like:





Apparently, I'm not doing it right and I guess the information you posted above explains it.


Regarding the 3D model export format to use in MCX, please state which version of Sketchup you are using. :pushpin:
I was using Sketchup 2017. I also tired this in Sketchup 8 and every time, it would crash. What version are you using and what format did you import the model in Sketchup?


Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

I'll post a reply either tonight (Friday) or over the weekend, as I am traveling until then.

You may wish to use the 64-Bit Sketchup 2017 (or better yet, IMHO, 2016, as 2017 has a broken "Combine Textures" feature for vertical Faces) to import the Collada *.DAE format file exported by MCX ...in order to duplicate my work-flow.

I'll test a few other 3D file formats later to see if we can get MCX to export more details of Groups / Components etc. as 'Layers'.

I'll also plan at that time, to detail the latter steps of the work-flow after import to 'Hide' 2 or 3 super-imposed semi-transparent texture Material "thin-Face" layers, which are covering up the Faces mapped with KDFW_det10.dds-derived C32 alphanumeric character ground marking *.TIF texture Materials upon my return, as I must hit the road gain at this point. ;-)

GaryGB
 
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Hi Ken:

I'll post a reply either tonight (Friday) or over the weekend, as I am traveling until then.

You may wish to use the 64-Bit Sketchup 2017 or 2016 (better, IMHO, as it does not have a broken "Combine Textures" feature for vertical Faces) to import the Collada *.DAE format to duplicate my work-flow.

I'll test a few other 3D file formats later to see if we can get MCX to export more details of Groups / Components etc. as 'Layers'.

I'll have to detail the latter steps of the work-flow after import to 'Hide' 2 or 3 super-imposed transparent texture Material layers which are covering up the Faces of the C32 ground markings upon my return, as I must hit the road gain at this point. ;-)

GaryGB

Hi Gary,

That's okay, just when ever you have the time. I did figure out why my textures did not show up like yours and it was because I did not convert my textures to a tiff file. They show up like yours now, other than the green background. I don't know how you went about exporting the model from MCX, but I did this in 2 ways. When I import the model - KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl into MCX, everything shows up correctly. Here are the 2 ways I've done this:

After importing the model, I open the Material Editor and convert the textures to tiff and save it to a folder. Then I export the model, as a collada file to the same folder. I now import the model file into Sketchup. I then place the model on the origin in Sketchup. As you probably already know, this model is a component in Sketchup and have to double click. Now, from this point, those ground textures inside those boxes are still not showing up, or being displayed. The only thing I can figure out here is that there must be another layer that is covering it up. So, I click on the face, switch to the move tool, and moved 2 layers to the side so that I can see the letter and numbers inside those boxes, and in that first box, it shows C32, and the second one, C31, and so on. This is the only way I know of where one would enter the ground marking characters that display on the ground. So, I replace the 2 in C32 with the number 9, making it C39 as it should be at this location. Before doing all of them, I want to test it and make sure this will work. I replaced the layers back to their original location and exported this model as collada. I now go to MCX and import the work I've done. But this time, the model does not appear the same as it did. It's mostly blue, as if the model were transparent. My ground markings display but when I zoom in, it does that wiered crap as it did in Sketchup where other layers cover the ground markings. So, I purposely remove those other textures, using the Material Editor, so that I can see my work. As it turned out, when I change the C32 to C39, it worked perfectly. It now shows C39 and not C32 is it did in the original mode but it just not displaying all the other textures for some reason. I've converted them back to dds but it made no difference. I guess I'm just not doing something right. There were 28 textures imported into MCX from the original file. But when I import the model from Sketchup into to MCX, there are only 17, and their file names are not the same. I checked on this and find out that only 17 texture files were actually imported into Sketchup when I imported the original model from MCX.

The other way: After importing the model, I opened the Hierarchy Editor, select the KDFW_det10.dds which is now highlighted, and click the Isolate button. Now the only thing that remains is the KDFW_det10.dds with all the letters and numbers that was highlighted. This way, there's no other textures to worry with, and the ground characters show up after importing in Sketchup. But if my thinking is correct, this will require adding the changes back to the original model, and I don't know how to do that, or if that's possible. I don't see anywhere in MCX that allows one to add textures or objects to the original.

Ken.
 
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Hi Ken:

Until I get some time to test the work-flow currently under discussion here, if you intend to explore yout options with this, and you wish to maintain the original 3D model geometry with a full set of mapped Materials having all original texture attributes intact, you are likely going to need to 'Hide / Un-Hide' Faces in Sketchup via the 'Layers' feature to edit the KDFW_det10.dds-derived C32
alphanumeric character ground marking *.TIF texture Material mappings.

Additionally, you will need to retain / restore all original 3D model Material properties in MCX Material Editor prior to re-compiling a MDL.


I do not recommend that you instead attempt moving / re-positioning any super-imposed semi-transparent Faces in Sketchup, or using the 'Isolate' feature in MCX Hierarchy Editor. ;)

GaryGB
 
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Hi Gary,

It seems that this is how it's done. I've successfully made the changes from C32 to C39 but it's not as saturated as it was and looks dim:


KDFW Ground Markings.jpg



Noticed how washed out it looks. Apparently, there's something I did not do correctly.

you are likely going to need to 'Hide / Un-Hide' Faces in Sketchup via the 'Layers' feature to edit the KDFW_det10.dds-derived C32
alphanumeric character ground marking *.TIF texture Material mappings.

Thanks. I didn't know that the "Hide" feature would do that. But I'm not sure what you mean by "via the Layers feature." I see a box in my toolbar that says Layers but what am I supposed to do with the drop down button? Or, do I just simply use the Hide / Un Hide feature? Also, do I need to hide ALL of the layers, or just until I can see the characters in the boxes?


Additionally, you will need to retain / restore all original 3D model Material properties in MCX Material Editor prior to re-compiling a MDL.
This may be the area where I messed up and is causing the ground markings to look washed out. I did convert the textures back to DDS, and I think I did it correctly. Is there anything else I'm supposed to do in the Properties other than converting the textures to DDS?

I also wonder if the file names have anything to do and should the file names match those that's in the original file names? For example, the original file name for the texture is KDFW_det10.dds. Mine is __auto_26.dds.

Oh, and another thing. This is how my model looks after exporting it from Sketchup:


KDFW Ground Marking 2.jpg



It doesn't look the same as exporting the original but it looks like all the layers and everything is attached.


Ken.
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
If your C39 texture has an alpha channel over the letters that is not pure white it will turn partially transparent and look like that.
 
Hi Ken:

Before I post on Sketchup "Layers" I recommend that you first review some info on the MCX Material Editor "Material Template" feature:


Hi,

What you are looking for the is the material template feature I think. That's available in the 1.4 development release. It allows you to make a template with the material settings you want to apply and then you can apply that template to any object you want.

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...ties-fsx-specific-settings.433879/post-709050

In lieu of having this feature set documented in an updated wiki for MCX, I will be studying these threads / Blog posts & a video related to MCX Material Template feature(s); please let us know if there are other posts / tutorials which further explain how to use this option: ;)

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/new-material-editor.336290/

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/material-presets.334683/

http://www.scenerydesign.org/2013/03/recent-changes-2/



PS: Arno explains further where and how to use the Material Template Editor:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/material-templates-based-on-model.435589/

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/small-request-part-2.425979/#post-638063

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/another-mcx-material-template-issue-question.445262/


GaryGB
 
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Before I post on Sketchup "Layers" I recommend that you first review some info on the MCX Material Editor "Material Template" feature:
Okay, I reviewed the video. Is this in relation to why my ground markings are washed out? That's my main problem now.

Ken.
 
Okay, I reviewed the video. Is this in relation to why my ground markings are washed out? That's my main problem now.

Ken.
Yes; this will be required if you intend to maintain the original 3D model geometry with a full set of mapped Materials having all original texture attributes intact for all of the FSDT KDFW KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl *.TIF texture Material mappings (not just those of the C32 object). :pushpin:

AFAIK, when you re-import the edited Sketchup 3D model derived from a copy of KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl, you will need to retain / restore all original 3D model Material properties in MCX Material Editor prior to re-compiling a MDL to replace the original KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl. ;)

GaryGB
 
Yes; this will be required if you intend to maintain the original 3D model geometry with a full set of mapped Materials having all original texture attributes intact for all of the FSDT KDFW KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl *.TIF texture Material mappings (not just those of the C32 object). :pushpin:

AFAIK, when you re-import the edited Sketchup 3D model derived from a copy of KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl, you will need to retain / restore all original 3D model Material properties in MCX Material Editor prior to re-compiling a MDL to replace the original KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl. ;)

GaryGB

Do I just match all my properties values in Material Editor Properties with the same values as those in the original? And do I need to select each texture separately or do I select "ALL" and do them all at the same time?

Ken.
 
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https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...rt-an-object-into-sketchup.446569/post-834827

Do I just match all my properties values in Material Editor Properties with the same values as those in the original?
AFAIK, Yes.

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...rt-an-object-into-sketchup.446569/post-834827

And do I need to select each texture separately or do I select "ALL" and do them all at the same time?

Ken.

IIUC, you can not select "ALL" mapped textures at once to assign their Material properties, as they may be different on various ModelParts


As to whether one may select "ALL" mapped textures at once to have MCX write out a 'Material Template' for all mapped textures:

this is an opportune time for Arno to answer that question, since my search thus far has found no clear answer about that option. :scratchch


What a P.I.T.A. it would be in MCX to select "ALL" 20+ KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl textures 1-at-a-time to create a Material Template for each. :banghead:


Let's hope Arno replies, explaining MCX instead launches a 'batch' operation to create a Material Template for "EACH" selected Material.

Lets also hope Arno replies, explaining MCX can launch a 'batch' operation to restore a Material Template for "EACH" selected Material. :wizard:


IMHO, this would assume, of course, that:

* MCX can force a Collada *.DAE to keep the original imported 3D model texture names intact when imported / exported

* Sketchup can be forced to keep the original imported 3D model texture names in a Collada *.DAE intact when imported / exported


GaryGB
 
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IIUC, you can not select "ALL" mapped textures at once to assign their Material properties, as they may be different on various ModelParts
Yes, I thought about that. I checked each one from the originals and there are some differences. For the most part, they're the same.


Sketchup can be forced a keep the original imported texture names in a Collada *.DAE intact when imported / exported
Yes, in a way, I wish it would keep the same texture names, but if that were the case, one would need to backup the originals before exporting the final model and textures. I'm not sure how many you showed but when I imported the model into Sketchup, I show only 17 textures.

Ken.
 
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https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...rt-an-object-into-sketchup.446569/post-834850

Yes, in a way, I wish it would keep the same texture names, but if that were the case, one would need to backup the originals before exporting the final model and textures
One should always keep a backup of any / all originals, and work only on a COPY of a 3D model and its mapped textures. :pushpin:


https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...rt-an-object-into-sketchup.446569/post-834850

I'm not sure how many you showed but when I imported the model into Sketchup, I show only 17 textures.

Ken.

The actual number of texture Materials mapped per "Face" may vary depending on how the 3D model is imported and processed by MCX after various configuration options are set, and depending on how the Sketchup default Ruby plugin script or 3rd party importer / exporter is coded and configured, as these may impact how many unique "Faces" result from each phase of the import / export process..


If you are ultimately going to achieve an exactly duplicated display in FS at run time, of the FSDT KDFW KDFW_sett07_sf.mdl (that only has the ground markings edited), you must establish a work-flow that keeps the original 3D model intact, and which will require that you restore the original mapped texture Materials with all properties and functions to the exact same configuration that existed in the original.

IIUC, your next task will be to learn how to set various configuration options in MCX and in your choice of Sketchup importer / exporter.

Then you will have to establish a work-flow to retain / restore all original file names and mapped texture Material properties / functions.

GaryGB
 
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Hi Gary,

While restoring the mapped textures in the Material Properties, I've noticed that some of textures I need to restore the model is not in the material editor. I've mentioned that only 17 textures showed up, and that is not enough. There should be 27 textures in total. When I exported the textures as a tiff file from MCX, all 27 of them were exported into a folder. Then I exported the model, as a collada file into the same folder. It's when I import the model into Sketchup that I've noticed how many textures have been imported. I opened the paint bucket and select model, and that's where I noticed that 10 were missing. I've read where you said this may vary but I am missing those that I need to restore the model. The ones I have has restored may parts, and I've also solved the problem with the washed out ground markings. For some reason, Sketchup is not importing all 27 textures. I wonder if it's the way the model was exported from MCX or imported into Sketchup. I hope I can figure this out.

Ken.
 
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