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Lewie

I've got GMAX, now what?

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I guess this part if the forum's 'help section' doesn't have the answers I need to figure out what to do with GMAX. :dntknw: Please don't tell me to 'search' the forum, I have searched and searched.

 

I've imported a 3DS file, looks fine, but I'm not able to get the mapping to show. And I take it that to export to the format that CFS3-OFF uses, I also need to have CFS3 installed? I spent a bit of time looking at other format importers for GMAX, seems to be the general consensus that most if not all of the 3rd party import exporters have flaws and bugs. Bugger!

 

Discouragement has been my companion today, I'm getting sick of his company.

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Well 38 views and not one comment, even a snicker or boastful rejoinder?

 

I've muddled through enough to have made some progress in importing. Apparently there's little documentation about importing other models because on the GMAX forum when a bright eyed enthusiast shows up asking about importing, it seems that hardly anyone tries to help. From the pages and pages I've read about people trying to use GMAX, this seems to be a common situation. And most of the threads are nearly 5 to7 years out of date, and links to whatever scripts, hints and fixes are long since 404'd.

 

Importing is possible but it's a bit convoluted and needs some streamlining.

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I'm noticing a habit of GMAX to drop polies when importing complex multi part models. This is imported as a .dfx, I did triangulate the rectangles before starting the import process, hmmm..:dntknw:

post-65486-065371700 1296674006.jpg

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Send me the model Lewie (gmax format) and I'll give it a once-over to see if it is in fact mapped. You have PM.

 

As far as importing to gmax goes, it really isn't designed to do that - deliberately so - and apart from .3ds and .dxf we're stuck. Same goes for exporting and if you want to build for CFS3 / OFF you'll need the CFS3 Aircraft and Vehicle SDK from the CFS3 official site. http://www.microsoft.com/games/combatfs3/downloads.aspx

 

There are other forums with a bit more info about gmax - SOH and FSDeveloper are the ones I keep an eye on.

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Well, there are a couple of things to check there. First, right-click in the viewport and click on Unhide All - you never know...

 

Then select an object in the model, right-click in the viewport and click on Unhide All (Poly). Again, you never know...

 

Then select an object, see if it's Editable Mesh as shown in the Command Panel on the right - Modify section - and if so go to Polygon sub-object, Edit/Select All and try Normals:Flip in the Surface Properties section. If the normals are reversed then this will make a bunch of polies suddenly appear and the ones you could originally see will disappear.

 

HTH

 

Oh yes, .dxf doesn't preserve mappings afaik

Edited by hairyspin

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OK some progress report, my SPAD IX fuselage. I've gotten a fairly reliable import process figured out and the smoothing in my 3D app is being kept in the final import to gmax, so that's a good thing.

I still haven't figured out how to keep the mapping.

 

So far it looks OK, but I think a baseline for minimum and maximum polys should be established for the externals. I'm expecting that in the SPAD that all the front engine compartment holes need to be modelled?

post-65486-073600700 1298160109.jpg

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Glad you're making progress, Lewie. Re the holes, what you model and what you just have painted in at skinning stage is very much your decision: me, I like modelled details!

 

One tip: you can maximise the viewport you're working in by hitting W and the same key will bring the other viewports back when you need them.

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Glad you're making progress, Lewie. Re the holes, what you model and what you just have painted in at skinning stage is very much your decision: me, I like modelled details!

 

One tip: you can maximise the viewport you're working in by hitting W and the same key will bring the other viewports back when you need them.

 

Ah thanks you for that tip, I usually just drag the view port to the corner as I'm used to doing the 3D view from an ortho view. It would be nice to turn off the perspective in the ortho view, and keep the faces present in the other 3 views.

 

Yeah, I'm going to have to learn how to do Boolean cuts, there's number of exhaust holes and the two semi triangular engine access plates below them, plus the Vickers inset. I've got a good start of the interior woodworks, made some longerons and stringer for the main cockpits. How far back do I need to run these, Is the current game requiring fully modeled interiors?

Edited by Lewie

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Perspective is a view I don't use much because close-up detail disappears - like in CFS3/OFF. The orthogonal User view - hit U - is lots more useful.

 

How much interior detail you build is again your decision, but extensive detail is kept for the VC (virtual cockpit) since it just won't be seen in-game unless you're killing time waiting for the Circus to shoot you down. Also in the VC, you needn't build the darkest recesses in detail, unless you are again killing time (with your head between knees looking at the tail's interior - or just kissing your own tail goodbye!). The immediate cockpit interior is more important - flight controls, instruments and the other cockpit well furniture.

 

And yes, we all have to grapple with booleans eventually. BH and Conrad did this last winter, you could start with their posts in this forum for tips.

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Yes, I've read their threads, Seems that changing from editable poly to editable mesh does some wonky things to the polys in the vicinity of the boolean.

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I cannot comment on GMAX at all, except to say that anyone who uses it has my utmost respect!...the models already look good!

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Lewie I thought I sent the docs to get you going one tutorial goes over all the basics using the CFS3 SDK and Gmax and making a CFS3 compatible model etc

http://www3.telus.net/murrdaka/tutorial/B2BNZ.htm

which also links to this tutorial some good ideas in there

http://www.simviation.com/gryphon/tutorials/gMax_00.htm

 

In the past I used Bobo's script 42 for 3Dmax to export into Gmax but it will cause some things to go west like mapping etc sometimes. Also I think there's a glitch where objects vanish if they are named with 3 particular letters

I have noticed corruption importing from other source programs but from 3DS Max is fine.

but it's OK it the first letter of all objects is in capitals ;)

 

Once you have P3 it will give you an idea, but check out the Screenshots of P4 for the sort of detail we'll require for future - worth a look.

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...In the past I used Bobo's script 42 for 3Dmax to export into Gmax but it will cause some things to go west ...

 

If you're going to use Bobo's BFF script, make sure you use the right one, which is 0.4.3.

Version 0.4.2 is bugged. Helpfully, both versions say 0.4.2 on the title bar when you use them...:this: Earlier versions don't work with Max 9 and later.

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Well I've been trying out various 3rd party importers to see which ones do the deed with loss of mapping and or polys.

 

So far It seems I'm kinda stuck with a Metasequoia>Truespace>GMax routine, but the mapping is steadfastly not appearing in the Gmax rendered views even though the material is shown in the material editor box in Gmax. Do you have to have the surfaces "active" for the drag and drop function to occur, why isn't the mapping showing up on the shapes when in solid render?

 

The Help files are less than useful in this aspect as they send you off into the overtly complex material functions routines I''d like to know of a simple way to get the mapping images to show in Gmax..

post-65486-0-40435900-1305410780.png

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... but the mapping is steadfastly not appearing in the Gmax rendered views even though the material is shown in the material editor box in Gmax. ...

 

This is something we all have to learn at some point, it's the Dreaded Blue & White Checkered Button Problem (cue shuddering bass chords on Hammond organ):-

 

bluewhitebutton.jpg

 

 

By default this is turned off in gmax, so each new material needs the button turned on...

 

Hope this helps!

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This is something we all have to learn at some point, it's the Dreaded Blue & White Checkered Button Problem (cue shuddering bass chords on Hammond organ):-

 

bluewhitebutton.jpg

 

 

By default this is turned off in gmax, so each new material needs the button turned on...

 

Hope this helps!

 

Thanks Hairy,, I was expecting this to be a bit convoluted but..

 

OK I have the material box open, I have the mapping file, (a .TGA) in the file finder, how come I am unable to ''drag-n-drop" the image file from the finder to the material box..

 

and the other thing is the files were showing in the material editor earlier I now have to go show where they are to Gmax. I'm really, really, unsure about all the trouble I have to follow through on just to do basic things other 3D software allow you to do intuitively.

post-65486-0-26980300-1305521295.jpg

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Thanks Hairy,, I was expecting this to be a bit convoluted but..

 

OK I have the material box open, I have the mapping file, (a .TGA) in the file finder, how come I am unable to ''drag-n-drop" the image file from the finder to the material box..

 

and the other thing is the files were showing in the material editor earlier I now have to go show where they are to Gmax. I'm really, really, unsure about all the trouble I have to follow through on just to do basic things other 3D software allow you to do intuitively.

 

 

Odd. Right-click on the Viewport label and select Configure and the Rendering tab. Make sure the 'Disable Textures' option is not ticked?

Edited by hairyspin

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well through stupid trail and er-r-r-rrro-or.. I figured it would be stumped by files other than a BMP so a bmp is what it got...

 

I've gotten this far. BUT WTF? it's just takes the over color of the .bmp and makes it mud colored..

 

I give up..

post-65486-0-17885700-1305524383.jpg

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well through stupid trail and er-r-r-rrro-or.. I figured it would be stumped by files other than a BMP so a bmp is what it got...

 

I've gotten this far. BUT WTF? it's just takes the over color of the .bmp and makes it mud colored..

 

I give up..

 

More muddling along, I can't seem to figure out how to make it remember the original mapping co-ordinates. AC3D can do this, TrueSpace can also,

 

What gives with Gmax?

post-65486-0-95164200-1305528260.jpg

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Well from all the information I can gather it looks like I'm just going to have to accept that I'm going to have to remap these meshes. The originals would have been nice to have. but they're less that fair in quality and size, resolution.. I've gotten the meshes to reliably show in Gmax, that's a big start, as I'd prefer to do these models in Metasequoia initially.

 

Still it's a bit of an annoyance.

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I'm wondering why Pick is on in each of your screenshots. Pick is used to select a material already in use directly from the model. To apply a material to an object in gmax, get the material set up in the Material Editor and with the correct object already selected, click Apply. Then you can get the mapping sorted out.

 

I also think you're being a little unfair to gmax. Modelling in one package, exporting to another and exporting from that to gmax? I'd be happy to get usable mesh from such a process. You should try getting a textured, animated gmax model into anything else - including its big brother 3ds Max! Also, whether we like it or not, gmax is the only remaining route for exporting models to CFS3/OFF, unless you know where to buy 3ds Max 4.2.

 

However, you're getting there! For an intro to UVW mapping in gmax, try Uncle Milton's C162 tutorial - you want the last part (part 22)

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I'm wondering why Pick is on in each of your screenshots. Pick is used to select a material already in use directly from the model. To apply a material to an object in gmax, get the material set up in the Material Editor and with the correct object already selected, click Apply. Then you can get the mapping sorted out.

 

I also think you're being a little unfair to gmax. Modelling in one package, exporting to another and exporting from that to gmax? I'd be happy to get usable mesh from such a process. You should try getting a textured, animated gmax model into anything else - including its big brother 3ds Max! Also, whether we like it or not, gmax is the only remaining route for exporting models to CFS3/OFF, unless you know where to buy 3ds Max 4.2.

 

However, you're getting there! For an intro to UVW mapping in gmax, try Uncle Milton's C162 tutorial - you want the last part (part 22)

 

Yes I've read Milt's Tute(s) it's one of the best, and it describes using boolean cuts in a way I could understand. Now if SOH would only except my registration, damn Yahoo email restriction, I've been with them for 12 years, it's never been a problem before.

 

Yeah. I'm probably selling Gmax short, My problem is trying to keep all of the UI functions all of the 4 different 3D renderers I use straight when I sit down to make stuff. TrueSpace 7.61 beta 8 is quite possibly the worst UI and most bloatware filled 3D renderer I've used.

 

'Pick' is probably on because I don't have a clue as to what it does? The UI of Gmax is still quite bewildering to me, My experience limited to renderers with more basic UI's, but I've found that the meshes using this process come though perfectly, and with a little forethought and if I persevere at it. So I don't need to use Pick, didn't figure it out as at one point I was just randomly clicking functions. :blink: I'd reached a frustration saturation point. I think one of the conversions loses the mapping co-ordinates, butI'm not all that concerned, the old mapping was a crude 256X256 pixel .tga.

 

BTW here's my 1912 Caudron with the wing warping modification.. This is a big success for me al the parts are intact, no missing polys the alignmrnt of the parts is perfect, it's probably not scaled correctly yet but I can check this as I go it's easy to rescale.

post-65486-0-47327500-1305578258.jpg

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While I'm at it I'd thought I'd post this link to a Youtube vid I uploaded recently, it is a recording from my copy of RC Desk Pilot's R/C modeling sim. I've made a few models for this sim, since I got started in 3D with RC modeling with Flying Model Simulator.

 

 

This particular vid is of my Sopwith Strutter model chasing the flock of Starlings 'away from the maize crops' game in the sim.. The sim uses Direct X files and comes with it's own model maker cum animator. It's fully DirectX 9.0C with Net 2.5 compatible. He's planning a small lake with decent water effects, and reflection mapping. I'm trying to talk him into modelling multi main winged aiframes for biplanes and tripes, but as it is the FM is only monoplanes. he does however has this killer airfoil and airframe modelling inteface with the model editor. All in a small 14 meg download, and it's free! Give it a try, it's excellent.

 

RC Desk Pilot

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