Trees with GMax

#3
Hi!
I wouldn't advise to place trees with GMAX. Usually the tree is made as library object and with XML placer put in FS or maybe using old technicque - API's and FSSC/Airport for Windows.
And as far as I know, autogen trees do not have GUIDs...

Best regards,
 

arno

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#4
I think Goran is right, the autogen trees do not have a GUID.

GMax is more meant to design your 3D objects, not to place them. So in general you would design your tree in GMax and then export it and place it in some sort of library. After that you can place the object in the scenery by writing a piece of XML code or using SceneGenX (or the older tools like FSSC, Airport, etc if you are still working for Fs2002).
 
#5
I am currently working on a series of trees in GMAX that will not replace, but supplement the auto-gen trees. Once completed, I will upload these to AVSIM and my own club's website.

Although the MSFS trees, being auto-gen, I would think that they would have a GUID and would be available for placement through an XML file. Anyone know?
 
#6
I have created a small gmax tree library with 2004 gamepack for personal use but I cannot figure out how to remove the shadow model. Is it possible to create the trees in 2002 gamepack, save the files, remove the shadows, and then recompile to 2004 xml style BGL?

Just wondering,
rellek
 

rhumbaflappy

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#7
Hi rellek.

It should be possible to make code that BGLC_9 would use to compile a separate shadow... then that shadow could be quite tiny... unnoticable in the sim. But the best course might be to set the material's opacity to 99 ( meaning it's 99% opaque )... then there is no shadow.

Dick
 

arno

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#8
maceo said:
Although the MSFS trees, being auto-gen, I would think that they would have a GUID and would be available for placement through an XML file. Anyone know?
No, it seems they are hardcoded in the scenery engine somewhere as being autogen trees and they do not have a GUID. For my own scenery projects I have designed some trees that use the default textures and I placed them in a library (I got rid of that ugly wireframe + shape right away).

The fact that the lighting of the autogen trees is different then GMax made objects (color difference is much less between the two crossed planes), also indicates that they are somewhat special and no normal library objects.

Rellek01 said:
I have created a small gmax tree library with 2004 gamepack for personal use but I cannot figure out how to remove the shadow model. Is it possible to create the trees in 2002 gamepack, save the files, remove the shadows, and then recompile to 2004 xml style BGL?
No, it is not possible to mix Fs2002 and Fs2004 ASM files to get a XML style (RIFF) BGL file. So you would have to choose one gamepack and then stick with the options of that.

rhumbaflappy said:
It should be possible to make code that BGLC_9 would use to compile a separate shadow... then that shadow could be quite tiny... unnoticable in the sim. But the best course might be to set the material's opacity to 99 ( meaning it's 99% opaque )... then there is no shadow.
Not sure, as far as I know the ShadowCall command is no longer used in the new format and therefore it is no longer possible to call a different shadow model.

It would be interesting to see how the 99% opacity returns in the source code then. I will have a look at that and see if it is just the material setting that lets the scenery engine behave different or that MakeMDL creates a different source code for that situation.
 
#9
Well I tried the 99% trick before and it works except for 2 problems when I include them in xml library files.

problem 1 - Strange drawing order effects such that one object, in this case a tree, always appears in front of the next object regardless of perspective.

This problem was solved by encasing the object within a box with 0% opacity and linking the object to the box. I don't know why it worked, it just did.

This brings me to

problem 2 - My trees look great (no shadow) and I can plant them anywhere, but, they dissappear behind 3d clouds. :banghead: Another strange drawing order thing that I can't seem to solve.

I've also noticed this with the default rotating beacons and wonder if this is an unworkable solution.

Any other ideas?

thanks'
rellek
 

arno

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#10
I guess those lower opacity level objects are processed different by the scenery engine. Sounds a lot like the problems that are also seen when you have drawing order problems.

I personal think those problems are worse then a wrong placed shadow. And I would just use the object with a wrong shadow.
 
#11
Hi!
My opinion is (by reading these problems) why not stick with FS2002 techniques since they work in FS2004 and I don't see any bigger performance hit than if used with XML library? My wild guess is that BGLs that use floating point commands will still work in FS2006...

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arno

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#12
I have seen that the new MDL object have a slightly better performance, so in general I would strongly advice to use the new gamepack. The attachscript also allows you some nice new features.

Besides that the XML/RIFF scenery just seems the future. And when you are trying to work with that, there is no place for an API or an old style BGL file, because the placement code is just completely different.

I think we must sometimes just accept that MS has made some changes to the scenery engine and that therefore not everything works as we are used to. This has always happened between two versions of FS.
 
#13
drawing order is a known issue with fs2004

you can see it if you code in a beacon or an effect also...they disappear against a cloudy background.

This one I've accepted as unsolvable for this version.

B
 
#14
rhumbaflappy said:
Hi rellek.

It should be possible to make code that BGLC_9 would use to compile a separate shadow... then that shadow could be quite tiny... unnoticable in the sim. But the best course might be to set the material's opacity to 99 ( meaning it's 99% opaque )... then there is no shadow.

Dick
Ah, that's solved my whale of a problem. Before my whale surfaces offshore, it still has a shadow on the surface of the water! So the answer is to have a see-through whale!
 

arno

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#15
arno said:
It would be interesting to see how the 99% opacity returns in the source code then. I will have a look at that and see if it is just the material setting that lets the scenery engine behave different or that MakeMDL creates a different source code for that situation.
OK, bit of an old post, but today I had a look at the sources. I noticed two differences between a code of a normal cube and a 99% opacity cube. One was obviously the opacity level in the material list and the other difference was in the crash box (the nodes where set to empty instead of full). I hoped that the crash tree would influence the shadow drawn, but unfortunately that is not the case. It is the opacity setting in the material list that makes the shadow go away. This thus means we can not make a custom shaow model anymore.
 
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