Starting a Model in GMax

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If you know what you are doing, starting a model in GMax is fairly simple. If you don't know what you're doing, do the modelling tutorials bundled with the Gmax help files: they will get you familiar with the tools and methods - and do them in order. It's when you get to the tiny details and shape of the aircraft that modeling can get very challenging.

Here are some tips to starting a model.

1. Get access to good reference material, like photo or a backdrop image.

2. Use the backdrop image in your viewports, so you can get the exact shape of your object. Or if making an aircraft, another way is to find a 3-view image of the aircraft, cut it into the separate parts (nose-on, side on and plan view) and crop each view so that the aircraft fits right to the edges of each image. Then, using the dimensions of the aircraft that you have found online, create 3 walls that will form your backdrops, sizing them using these dimensions (the side wall will be length x height, the nose-on wall will be span x height, and the plan view on the floor will be span x length). Texture each wall with the relevant image from the 3-view you cut up, e.g. the side view on the far wall, the front view to one side and the plan view on the bottom "wall". Make sure these walls all align exactly at one corner so that it is like the far wall and side wall of a room and a floor, all joining at a point. You not only have the 3-view available in each viewport, but you also have the workspace dimensioned for the aircraft you are creating. Group the walls as a single object and centre it in the workspace so that the original of the model will be where you want it. When exporting the model, use "export selected" and omit the walls from the export list. Eventually the model will reach the stage when you can remove the walls entirely. If you are new to modelling, this also helps you to get an easy introduction into texturing surfaces.

3. If you are new to modeling, start off with something simple, like a small house, which uses mostly boxes.

4. If you don't like it, don't model it. Modeling can be hard, but fun. If you don't like what your modeling, it will seem like it will take forever to finish.

5. If you start modeling something, but don't want to continue, or don't have enough knowledge of modeling, upload it to a FS website's design downloads. There are probably people out there that could use the model.

6. Many people prefer freeware add-ons, but some of the highest quality, and maybe the only add-on of its kind out there are payware. If you are a beginner, it is probably best that your add-on is freeware, as it is probably not the best out there, yet...

7. If you have A LOT of completed add-ons, or GMax source files YOU have created, you may consider starting your own FS website.

I hope that I have helped you, and remember, DON'T GIVE UP!