Jump to content


Photo

So you want to make a 3d object for Strike Fighters?


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1 FastCargo

FastCargo

    Hi Kitten....

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • 7,901 Posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:05:50 PM

As some know, and maybe more need to find out, the only program that will create a 3d object that Strike Fighters can use (with the ThirdWire exporter)is called 3DS Max, specifically 3ds Max 2009, 32 bit (noted as MAX), to make the latest versions of files the ThirdWire sim engine can use. NO other program can be used to create objects directly. However, 3DS Max is a four-figure cost program, and even the student version (if you can buy it) is a mid 3 figures. As such, it is out of legal reach to most.

So, some folks try to create files in other, cheaper (or free) programs and then convert them to something that MAX can read. However, most conversions result in loss of data or distortions, or worse, resulting in lots of work for the person with MAX, sometimes to the point that creating a new model would have been easier. Which means, a lot of times, most folks with MAX are not willing to take on conversions for other people.because of this.

The reason is that from the start of model building to the final export to the ThirdWire format, the following things occur:

Construction of the overall model
Cutting the model into specific parts (wings, ailerons, etc)
Smoothing the parts
Assigning pivot points (hinges)
Linking the parts together in a hierarchy tree
Animations where needed (landing gear, canopy, etc)
Texture mapping - telling the model how to wrap a 2-D picture onto a 3-D object
Assigning textures/materials to the model

Most 3d modelers will tell you that other than the actual initial construction and cutting of parts, the most time consuming, tedious part of making a model is the mapping. Unfortunately, most conversions from other formats lose exactly that...requiring the MAX user to rebuild the mapping from scratch.

I've done conversions from a few other formats before and dropped them because I had to redo the mapping...none for me thanks.

However, I have very recently come upon a technique that allows files made in Blender (a free and powerful 3D object program) to be converted to MAX with no loss of mesh data or mapping. Instead of conversations from other formats now consuming several days, a conversion from a Blender object to a object ready to be used in a ThirdWire sim can take a day at most. The MAX user need only reassign pivot points, animations, hierachies and textures...then exporting the file to the ThirdWire format.

What this means is that the bar for making custom aircraft, ships, buildings, etc, is now within anyone's reach. If you want a custom object...you can make it (including the 3d object building, textures, and ini entries) all with free, legal, open source programs. All the MAX user you ask politely to convert your model for you needs to do can be done in a day, or more than likely, just a couple of hours.

But you need to do the other work. If you're not willing to put in the effort...don't expect anyone else to help you get there.

Interested? Respond here...
  • Stary, Eole, Skyviper and 2 others like this
Posted Image
FastCargo's 3D Works - Made with detail, imagination...and a whole lot of curmudgeonly attitude.

#2 Wrench

Wrench

    Known As Bob.

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • Political Arena
  • 21,600 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:55:06 AM

I've always wanted to learn 3d modeling, but never had the time! (it being taken up with building 'The World'.
This is a MOST interestering development!
Terraformer Extraordinaire
Making the Game Look Like the Real World ™ Since 2007
"We are the Princes of the Ini-verse"
"A little bit of something, is better than a whole lot of nothing"

 

Dat banned achievment


#3 JonathanRL

JonathanRL

    The Scandinavian Front Project Leader

  • +MODDER
  • 2,646 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:21:28 AM

I still have complete 3D versions of the Viggen & SK 60 I want converted. As long as they are in the game as 3D files, I think I can take it from there (prob with alot of questions asked here, but still...)

I am however most ignorant about the effort involved. Anybody want to help with this have my eternal gratitude. However, I am not sure if Blender can open these files.

So any Max user who would like to experiment with FastCargos method with already completed models, I got something you can use, if you kindly please!
A cry for help, a distant whisper, A foreign nation calling our name, Sent to hell, to reach for heaven, To serve in dark, as light in the black. Sent into battle to aid strangers in need, Gain independence, our forces will lead. Final solution when all others have failed. Liberation is coming our path has been laid. We remember the fields, where our tanks held the line
We remember our brothers in arms. When the war, has been won. And our march home begins.What awaits has not yet been revealed. What was won? what whas lost? Will our deeds be remembered? Are they written on stone or in sand?

#4 daddyairplanes

daddyairplanes
  • +MODDER
  • Political Arena, U.S. Army
  • 4,145 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:17:23 AM

I have the student version of 3DS Max and take 3D modeling course in the spring. but i would like a mentor here to start learning. got the tools now just need the knowledge......

...jumbo size clothing and accessories.......

 

 


#5 HomeFries

HomeFries
  • +MODDER
  • U.S. Navy
  • 503 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:53:28 AM

I'm very interested. I just downloaded Blender, and I would very much like to create objects that can be added via FakePilot, so at least I'm starting with simple objects.

-Home Fries

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-John Stuart Mill

The average Naval Aviator, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy, and caring.
These feelings just don't involve anyone else.

DCS_zps5c8kxog3.png


#6 FastCargo

FastCargo

    Hi Kitten....

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • 7,901 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:34:00 AM

Okay, some encouraging signs of interest so far.

Upfront, here is the technique used to bring a Blender file into 3DS Max:

http://wiki.openuru...._Objects_To_Max

Note that most of the work is done by the person with MAX, but even then, it is pretty simple. I verified this technique yesterday and can confirm that it works a treat and imported the model perfectly (including the mapping).

Anyway, my goals are the following:

1) To remove most of the traditional barriers to modding...mainly, the cost associated with 3DS Max and therefore expand the range of talent.
2) To increase the portability of being able to mod. Due to recent circumstances, I find myself at computers that typically don't have or can't run what I use (3DS Max, Photoshop, etc).
3) To educate folks on exactly the effort required by letting them try it themselves.

To this end, I plan on using Blender for my next 3D project, and using Gimp for the templates for my current 3D project.

While I am educating myself on both Blender and Gimp, my plan is to upload an example of a Blender aircraft ready for conversion to 3DS MAX, and hopefully an example of a Gimp template to use to build textures. As well as find appropriate tutorials suited to Blender and Gimp for our purposes. What I won't be doing is making a tutorial here...there is simply too much to explain to be able to do it well, or in a timely fashion. The idea is that potential model builders need to simply get out there and flail a bit....that is really the best way to learn.

FC
  • Stary and AleDucat like this
Posted Image
FastCargo's 3D Works - Made with detail, imagination...and a whole lot of curmudgeonly attitude.

#7 HomeFries

HomeFries
  • +MODDER
  • U.S. Navy
  • 503 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:43:11 AM

One question: if the relative perspective/distance between nodes is correct in the Blender object, how difficult is it to globally adjust the dimensions (e.g. 95% size) in MAX? I ask because the nature of FakePilot objects means that the Blender object will need to be created without being able to visually QC the object relative to the LOD. Not a huge deal for a blade antenna, but something of an issue for a form-fitting object.

Edited by HomeFries, 15 August 2012 - 11:43:41 AM.

-Home Fries

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-John Stuart Mill

The average Naval Aviator, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy, and caring.
These feelings just don't involve anyone else.

DCS_zps5c8kxog3.png


#8 FastCargo

FastCargo

    Hi Kitten....

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • 7,901 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:48:47 AM

Global scaling is very easy in MAX...it can be done by a tool visually, or the parameters can be typed in.

FC
Posted Image
FastCargo's 3D Works - Made with detail, imagination...and a whole lot of curmudgeonly attitude.

#9 FastCargo

FastCargo

    Hi Kitten....

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • 7,901 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:58:29 AM

Okay, first thing I've found for Blender:

http://en.wikibooks....3D:_Noob_to_Pro

Looks like a comprehensive guide to Blender...it can even be downloaded as a single PDF file. I will be using this as a basis for getting familiar with how Blender works (I went from GMax to 3DS Max, so I never got familiar with Blender).

Looking at just the basic beginning, the document already goes into common terms and usages for 3D modeling (coordinates, rotations, etc) so it's a good resource just for learning the terminology that modelers use.
Posted Image
FastCargo's 3D Works - Made with detail, imagination...and a whole lot of curmudgeonly attitude.

#10 EricJ

EricJ

    Somebody

  • ELITE MEMBER
  • 8,289 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:39:36 PM

Not to hijack the topic FC, but thought this would be much better as a pinned topic so it won't get lost in the topics...

http://amzn.to/1yPjFYe | http://562.50megs.co.../GameResume.pdf

Steam ID: EricJ562 | DCS A-10A/C Pilot | DCS Su25T Pilot | SF2 F/A-8F Driver | DACT Instructor | Texture Artist

"...parade ground soldiers always felt that way (contempt) about killers in uniform." -Counting The Cost, Hammer's Slammers

'Nearly everyone felt the need to express their views on all wars to me, starting with mine. I found myself thinking, “I ate the shit sandwich, you didn’t, so please don’t tell me how it tastes.”' - CPT Cole, US Army

 


#11 FastCargo

FastCargo

    Hi Kitten....

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • 7,901 Posts

Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:55:29 PM

I was thinking that myself there Eric.

Also, McFly's tutorials are for MAX, and some of them, especially the mapping tutorial, are very much out of date.

FC
Posted Image
FastCargo's 3D Works - Made with detail, imagination...and a whole lot of curmudgeonly attitude.

#12 Veltro2k

Veltro2k

    Grand Poobah of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26.

  • +MODDER
  • 4,337 Posts

Posted 17 August 2012 - 09:09:38 AM

I was thinking that myself there Eric.

Also, McFly's tutorials are for MAX, and some of them, especially the mapping tutorial, are very much out of date.

FC

FC , just curious..What do you think of SketchUp 8?

ED

'non mi rompete le scatole!'


#13 Stratos

Stratos
  • EDITOR
  • Political Arena
  • 3,587 Posts

Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:31:57 AM

I tried to apply to a 3dMAX degree, but the school closed last month thanks to finantial problems. Complete planes can be a bit too much for me, but parts of the model like noses or wings can be a nice start.

Edited by Stratos, 17 August 2012 - 11:34:19 AM.


#14 Julhelm

Julhelm

    Premier Member

  • +MODDER
  • Political Arena
  • 1,883 Posts

Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:50:04 PM

All you need is an .obj or .fbx exporter. Almost every 3D package can import/export .obj.
The oath on the runestaff is the highest
The ruin of a nation step by step

#15 daddyairplanes

daddyairplanes
  • +MODDER
  • Political Arena, U.S. Army
  • 4,145 Posts

Posted 17 August 2012 - 02:45:52 PM

Veltro, what i think he's saying in the very beginning of this post is that Blender made objects crossover the best with little to no distortion in the process. right now i have blender on to give this a try later and Sketchup 8 for class on my system!

...jumbo size clothing and accessories.......

 

 


#16 FastCargo

FastCargo

    Hi Kitten....

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • 7,901 Posts

Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:12:53 PM

All you need is an .obj or .fbx exporter. Almost every 3D package can import/export .obj.


The link I posted is for FBX. I have found that OBJ import/export from/to Blender/3ds MAX has resulted in more distortions than the FBX method. The main reason I am going to focus on Blender (and to a lesser extent, Gimp) is that:

1) They are open source, widespread, and free...no shareware, no time periods, no cost, not tied to any particular large company (which is why I don't use Sketchup).
2) They are powerful with comprehensive features.
3) There is widespread and detailed documentation on use.
4) They are portable...you can run both of them from a USB stick.

FC
Posted Image
FastCargo's 3D Works - Made with detail, imagination...and a whole lot of curmudgeonly attitude.

#17 KJakker

KJakker
  • +PREMIER MEMBER
  • 889 Posts

Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:22:51 PM

Awhile back I found out about an online course for learning Blender. http://gryllus.net/Blender/3D.html I hope the info might be helpful.

Ground Object Data.INI Guru.

post-1-0-01188100-1454270327.gif


#18 FastCargo

FastCargo

    Hi Kitten....

  • ADMINISTRATOR
  • 7,901 Posts

Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:50:59 PM

For those who have 3DS Max, but aren't sure how to build an aircraft, the Modders section of the files site has several aircraft, cockpit, ground objects, and missiles to download.

In addition, the PSD templates recently released with the CF-105 actually had a lot of the final touches done on them with Gimp. Also, for another project I am working on, all my textures and decals were done in Gimp...I hardly found anything in Photoshop that I couldn't do in Gimp, and there were even a few things Gimp could do better.

I'm still wrestling with Blender...I keep trying to skip parts or revert to habits I do in 3Ds Max...bad me! Bad me!

FC
Posted Image
FastCargo's 3D Works - Made with detail, imagination...and a whole lot of curmudgeonly attitude.

#19 fruscella

fruscella
  • NEW MEMBER
  • 1 Posts

Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:53:28 AM

Does anyone have a tutorial for model and terrain?

I dump Flight Simulaotrs 3D model with textures and would be great to add what needed for ailerons and animations (I dont know how to specify which part is the one) and also for statics or non flyable but dinamic 3D models.

Talking about terrain, I love to extract DEM files from Google Earth but wasnt unable to convert and use in SPF1, also how to add the Google Earth's tiles textures etc...

 

thank you in advance.

 

alfie1978 y a h oo



#20 russouk2004

russouk2004
  • +MODDER
  • Political Arena
  • 3,534 Posts

Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:17:41 PM

I dont mind donating game ready models for people to see heirachy linking animations etc etc...


  • diasmon likes this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests