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FS9: 4mm weld in VC workaround? (Read 12500 times)
14th Feb, 2007 at 6:14am

bpahe   Offline
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Hi!

I found this quote in the looong thread regarding building of an ultralight, here in the News section;

"The 4mm welds [is] only an issue in the VC and we can work around that when doing the final build"

Now, without answering 'build for FSX instead', could anyone explain how to / shed some light on this issue?

All the best on this Valentines day

/hans
 
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Reply #1 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 6:34am

lionheart   Offline
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Hello Bpahe,

Vertices in the FS9 MakeMDL compiler are auto-welded together when their distance is 4MM or less.  Thus, when making super small parts, like swiches, they will tend to 'crumple' when they weld up here and there during compilation.

Supposedly the distance is massively reduced in the new FSX compiler, if the distance limit still exists at all.  However, a FSX model will not work in FS9...   One way street.
 

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Reply #2 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 6:41am

Mark958   Offline
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Hi Hans.

I pretty sure that the work around for that is to uncheck (remove the tick from) "Weld" or "WeldPoints" in MakeMDL.exe .

To be able to do this you need to use middleman for gmax or you will need to rename the MakeMdlAircraftParms.txt for FSDS so that you are able to get access to the MakeMDL.exe options.

Thats what I do to stop my small parts from being "welded" into some pretty wierd sgapes. I haven't yet done this with gmax, but I always deselect "WeldPoints" in Middleman anyway.

I hope that helps. And if I have it wrong someone will set you straight.

Mark
 

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Reply #3 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 6:58am

Chuck Jodry   Offline
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Wozza was refering to a method that requires one massivly rescale the VC and then modify the asm  in notepad
before compiling , i repost the text in question and a link to the thread.



what started it of was this message by Luka
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I didnt get the gist of what Luka was saying until I tried it,Il explain what I did
Ok Ive split my project in to 2 projects external and VC model
I then scale the VC up by a factor of 16,in fsds3 when you use  the scale plugin it scales all models,animations ect in the project ie the reason for 2 separate projects.
external model no scale up VC scale X16

I then export each project to an xfile(I have to do this as I need to hand edit the xfile to fix texture issues with fsds3) the exterior  I save as projname.x then the VC I call projname_interior.x
now I move these to the folder I have makemdl.exe in and drag and drop one of the xfiles onto makemdl, check/uncheck my preferred options in makemdl(keep all files is a must so you get to the asm files) also check lod tab to see if both xfiles have loaded then compile.

when finished I delete the mdl as we only want the asm files makemdl generates
in the makemdl folder you should see 3 asm files projname.asm,projname_0.asm and projname_1.asm
open projname.asm in notepad and look for

SUPER_SCALE  no_model,0,0,6
VINSTANCE_CALL  model_inside,AIRCRAFT_PARAMS.llapbh.pbh
change the 0,0,6 to 0,0,2 and save
(there is only one instance of the model_inside but make sure its the one you change)
now drag and drop projname.asm file onto BGLC_9.exe ( you must  have the copy of it in my makemdl folder as the asm files all have paths in them)
it will now compile again (takes the same time as makemdl would) when finished you end up with a file called projname.bgl
rename it to projname.mdl and drop it into the aircrafts model folder
fire up fs9 and have a look to see all looks fine ..BUT  you will notice that the aircraft is very tiny in the menu window you can fix this by using afcad,
in the tool tab you will find an aircraft editor which allows you to change the aircraft size use this to fix the menu display problem
or you can hexedt the mdl (which I find easier)  

So basically what this duz is scale the vc up so even 1mm points are now 16mm appart.The weld function for the VC
is done as the ASM files are generated,as all the points are 16mm appart no welding is done.Then when you edit the asm file your telling the compiler to rescale all the VC parts back to their normal size.I have no idea how X16 and a scale change to 2 works out but it works  
(same for meters and feet btw)
its a bit of work but once youve done it once its  a piece of cake  

wozza




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Reply #4 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 7:31am

bpahe   Offline
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Whoa, that´s a massive text to take in, I have to read it in my humble abode and see what I can make of it! In the meantime - thanks!

/hans
 
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Reply #5 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 7:45am

Mark958   Offline
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Awwwww....Looks like I was wrong.  Undecided

OK. I accept that, but, now I have to ask my own question on this issue:-

If I create a model and compile it without unchecking "Weld", I get some parts looking really strange, twisted and distorted. Then. If I compile the same model making sure not to weld, they appear fine. If this is not the 4mm autoweld issue, what is it?

Mark

 

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Reply #6 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 7:57am

Au-MaV   Offline
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Mark958 wrote on 14th Feb, 2007 at 7:45am:
Awwwww....Looks like I was wrong.  Undecided

OK. I accept that, but, now I have to ask my own question on this issue:-

If I create a model and compile it without unchecking "Weld", I get some parts looking really strange, twisted and distorted. Then. If I compile the same model making sure not to weld, they appear fine. If this is not the 4mm autoweld issue, what is it?

Mark


Hi
Msoft made a booboo with makemdl.exe the option for weld only works on the external model,The option is locked on  for the VC model
Wozza
PS thanks Chuck I lost the location of that post and couldnt locate it with the search function Smiley
 
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Reply #7 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 9:01am

Mark958   Offline
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Thanks Wozza. Then if I do a complex enough model with small knobs in the VC then it looks like I'll be doing some editing of x files to sort that problem out eh?  Roll Eyes

Mark
 

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Reply #8 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 9:15am

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Mark958 wrote on 14th Feb, 2007 at 9:01am:
Thanks Wozza. Then if I do a complex enough model with small knobs in the VC then it looks like I'll be doing some editing of x files to sort that problem out eh?  Roll Eyes

Mark


OR.... you can always say that:

- you used low quality plastic and the knobs melted.
- the knobs are specially commissioned works of avant-garde art...
 

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Reply #9 - 14th Feb, 2007 at 5:13pm

PutPut   Offline
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Picasso?? Cheesy   Grin   Grin

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Reply #10 - 15th Feb, 2007 at 2:59am

dmaher   Offline
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For what it’s worth, I don’t believe makemdl “weld” (actually “weldpoints”) was the culprit. (I suspect that’ll just fuse duplicate vertices)  I think it’s actually the “Optimize” flag that is misbehaving.  As you might expect 3d data can be optimized by truncating the XYZ coordinates. So for example 0.3157731m becomes 0.326m. If the trimming is a little excessive you get the kind of artifacts we’ve seen in the VC.  Unfortunately though turning off the “optimize” won't help.

Danny
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Reply #11 - 15th Feb, 2007 at 3:52am

Mathias   Offline
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You can build to 1mm accuracy in FS9 virtual cockpits if you uncheck the weld points option, as Mark states correctly.
Just make sure that there are no vertices within the 1mm treshold.
 

Mathias&&
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Reply #12 - 15th Feb, 2007 at 9:06am

Au-MaV   Offline
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Hi
Have a look at the log file generated by makemdl with the weld option unchecked
Msoft has fixed it in the new compiler,if it wasnt a problem then it wouldnt have been fixed Smiley
WOzza
 
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Reply #13 - 15th Feb, 2007 at 10:48am

lionheart   Offline
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Many thanks for this Wozza..   I had thought we were stuck at 4MM in FS9..    Great to hear.

May I ask what build model of MakeMDL uses the new 1MM with Autoweld turned off?



Bill

*EDIT:  I have build number 9.00.030612.02

I wonder if this adds time to the compile build time, lol.   For instance, if it runs 20 min's presently to compile models, would it add another 10 min's to the build time?  (I'll find out anyway, so no worries). 

Shocked   Grin   Cry

 

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Reply #14 - 15th Feb, 2007 at 11:51am

pcbroken   Offline
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Thats why I do AI, it takes only 10 seconds to compile a model with its required LODs Grin
 

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Reply #15 - 15th Feb, 2007 at 4:24pm

bpahe   Offline
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lionheart wrote on 15th Feb, 2007 at 10:48am:
*EDIT:  I have build number 9.00.030612.02


Hi!

Mine´s the same, have I/we missed a version?

/hans
 
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Reply #16 - 15th Feb, 2007 at 11:26pm

Fr. Bill   Offline
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Au-MaV wrote on 15th Feb, 2007 at 9:06am:
Hi
Have a look at the log file generated by makemdl with the weld option unchecked
Msoft has fixed it in the new compiler,if it wasnt a problem then it wouldnt have been fixed Smiley
WOzza


Er, what "new compiler?"  The latest I'm aware of is v9.00.030612.02 released on April 06, 2005, 4:19:07 PM...
 

Fr. Bill
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Reply #17 - 16th Feb, 2007 at 12:41am

Au-MaV   Offline
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Quote:
Au-MaV wrote on 15th Feb, 2007 at 9:06am:
Hi
Have a look at the log file generated by makemdl with the weld option unchecked
Msoft has fixed it in the new compiler,if it wasnt a problem then it wouldnt have been fixed Smiley
WOzza


Er, what "new compiler?"  The latest I'm aware of is v9.00.030612.02 released on April 06, 2005, 4:19:07 PM...

Doh I meant the FSX compiler not a new makemdl  soz for the confussion
Wozza

 
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Reply #18 - 1st Mar, 2007 at 3:28pm

samdim   Offline
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Chuck,
can you please explain how to change the exterior model size in the "choose aircraft" dialog ? I prefer the "pure hex mdl" method.
The VC scaling works very fine, thank you for your method.
 
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Reply #19 - 1st Mar, 2007 at 4:08pm

Chuck Jodry   Offline
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Reply #20 - 5th Mar, 2007 at 3:08pm

bpahe   Offline
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Hi!

Ok, got it (for those of you who read the message which I deleted - it was just a question of really following instructions...)!

Looks soo much better - BUT!  Roll Eyes

For some reason the placement of my eyepoint in the VC, and also the strobe on the tail, is way too high when I load the plane in FS9 - a couple of feet above the canopy. The VC itself is correctly placed, as far as I can tell. Is there a explanation to this misplacement?

/hans
 
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Reply #21 - 5th Mar, 2007 at 6:37pm

Fr. Bill   Offline
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Hmmmm... Have you tried adjusting the "eyepoint" entry in the aircraft.cfg file?  That's where you set the initial "eyeball height" for the VC.
 

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Reply #22 - 6th Mar, 2007 at 4:00am

bpahe   Offline
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Hi!

Well, yes, that solves the eyepoint trouble, but I have to investigate the interior asm file to check if there is any height reference in it that could mess things up. Setting the eyepoint in the aircraft.cfg only solves half of the problem.

/hans
 
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Reply #23 - 6th Mar, 2007 at 12:51pm

Fr. Bill   Offline
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bpahe wrote on 6th Mar, 2007 at 4:00am:
Hi!

Well, yes, that solves the eyepoint trouble, but I have to investigate the interior asm file to check if there is any height reference in it that could mess things up. Setting the eyepoint in the aircraft.cfg only solves half of the problem.

/hans


Here is some "food for thought..."

If a model has only an exterior, the base origin point for the "eyepoint" is determined by the 0,0,0 point of the exterior model.

If a model has both exterior and interior models, the base origin point for the "eyepoint" is determined by the 0,0,0 point of the interior model.

It appears to me from your description. that the steps you are taking to resolve the 4mm weld threshold is shifting the 0,0,0 point so that it is no longer coincident with the exterior model's 0,0,0 point.

The reason why I still strongly advocate use of top nodes named "exterior" and "interior" is because of the need for the exterior model's and interior model's to both share a coincident origin (0,0,0).

Because all parts under either of the top nodes is Linked to them, it is a simple matter to Unlink all the parts from either one, recenter the base node, then (re)Link all the parts again... Wink
 

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Reply #24 - 8th Mar, 2007 at 7:59am

bpahe   Offline
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Hi!

I´ve put this aside for the moment but still I think of what might not be right here. I have, with all of my heart, taken in your tutorial on export of interior/exterior using top nodes. The only way that I differ from your method is that I do not turn my dummys into meshes, they are just plain dummys, and it works like it should anyway.
My file "Master Export", which I use to merge the 2 parts of the project for exporting, shows no difference in the placement of the dummys, it´s all 0,0,0.
What I just came to think of, is that I choose the scale tool, press F12 for exact type-in, enter 1600% in Offset world, try to reset scale applied as much as can be done (lot´s of "that Windows sound" otherwise), and export. Doing this, scaling also the dummy, might move the placement of the dummy. Or perhaps is it not moved - I´ve also tried scaling all except the Interior top node (the dummy). So, if I when I get home, scale all to 1600% and then make sure that the dummy is placed at 0,0,0, it might work? Hmm...  Wink

/hans
 
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Reply #25 - 8th Mar, 2007 at 11:26pm

Fr. Bill   Offline
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Ok... this discussion really should have been taken to another forum, since this is supposed to be (mostly) a read-only "Tips" forum...

However, since were here already, I'll say this much more on the subject.

1) The use of true Max/GMax "Dummy Helpers" (non-geometric pivot points) is fine for the top nodes in the heirarchy.

2) However, those type nodes are not to be used for anything which requires animation, because animations are strippred from non-geometric nodes, so small "cubes" or even a single, planar triangle mesh object should be used...

Because of this, I've totally abandoned the use of either of the above.  Instead, I have created a small triangle mesh object, then in vertex sublevel selected all three vertices and "Collapsed" them to a single vertex with pivot...

No polys used, a single pivot point that may be placed anywhere, and totally invisible!  The latter is important because in FSX all objects with geomentry are displayed, even if the Material Color is set to pure black (0,0,0)...  Cool

I then saved the scene as a new .gmax file. I can then Merge this new type of heirarchy node into any project as needed.  Grin
 

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Reply #26 - 9th Mar, 2007 at 2:24am

bpahe   Offline
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Quote:
Ok... this discussion really should have been taken to another forum, since this is supposed to be (mostly) a read-only "Tips" forum...


Hi!

Indeed you are right. Lets just say that it´s Lionhearts tutorial that I have followed regarding top nodes. Your method seems to be a good idea, though.

We´ll end this thread here, I just want to say thank you all for all help regarding this matter, which might become historic soon, since as mentioned the FSX gamepack does not have this problem.

All the best

/hans
 
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Reply #27 - 18th Jan, 2009 at 3:40pm

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Just a note of thanks to all the folks that came up with this work around.  I've been struggling with the distortion of parts in the VC model since I started doing this.  Yesterday I finally had enough of great looking parts looking like crushed tin foil.  The instruction here from Luka and Wozza was invaluable.  I encountered only one problem with the landing lights after the BGL compile.  The beams would not show.  On the Boeing 40 the lights are animated and I had the poly as a child of the light rotating with it as it deployed.  I could see the poly glow and the beam start but as the animation ended the beam was no where to be seen.  Got on line with Wozza and between us could not figure out what went wrong.  The solution turned out to be to leave the poly fixed as a non-parented part, placed in the deployed position.  It worked fine and the fact that it does not move with the light is not readily apparent.  Small price to pay for a crisp looking VC. Anyone else experience any similar problem or shed light on why it does that? Thanks everyone!
 

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Reply #28 - 23rd Oct, 2009 at 5:26am

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Many thanks for this fix - the principle worked for me too although I used a very slightly different method.

I use the 3D Canvas modelling tool with a standard DirectX .X file export.
I have two separate models for exterior and interior, both are exported with no scaling.

I then edited the interior .X file with notepad before running MakeMDL.
I located the first FrameTransformMatrix and changed the first 3 diagonal values of 1 to 16 - this scales everything by 16

Code:
Frame BASwallow_INT {

    FrameTransformMatrix {
	  16.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 16.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 16.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 1.00E+00;;
    } 



I then ran MakeMDL, edited the ASM but only changed the last SUPERSCALE line to 2, then put it through BGLC9 with no file renaming or copying.

Now I'm very happy with the result  Grin

edit - Pic added:
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« Last Edit: 23rd Oct, 2009 at 6:28pm by decapod »  
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Reply #29 - 6th Jan, 2010 at 8:39pm

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Very interesting find DecaPod!


Who would have known you could call the scales all in the same file, in the same batch export.




Bill
 

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Reply #30 - 6th Jan, 2010 at 11:09pm

Fr. Bill   Offline
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Too bad that this won't help GMax'ers though, since there's no bloody .x files to edit!  Cry
« Last Edit: 29th Jun, 2010 at 11:39pm by Fr. Bill »  

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Reply #31 - 6th Jan, 2010 at 11:28pm

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But it does help FSDS Luddites!!
 

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Reply #32 - 10th Jun, 2010 at 5:59am

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I wanted to add onto this....
the previous code in Frametransformmatrix
Code:
FrameTransformMatrix {
	  16.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 16.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 16.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 1.00E+00;;
    }

 


needs to read
Code:
FrameTransformMatrix {
	  16.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 16.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 16.00E+00, 0.00E+00,
	  0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 0.00E+00, 16.00E+00;;
    }

 



The 16 needs to be added to that last line instead of the 1. If you do it this way, the eye point remains the same, and no further adjustment needs to be made, except for Chuck's addition with AFCAD. If you do it the previous way, the eye point will move the entire VC as it is adjusted.
 
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Reply #33 - 25th Jun, 2010 at 8:26pm

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So.....

Absolutely no way to do this in Gmax?  no way at all?



Bill
 

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Reply #34 - 29th Jun, 2010 at 5:02am

flwpheonix   Offline
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Bill, while I do not know how Gmax compiles, I would think you would still be able to hand edit the .x file and .asm file. as long as you have those ticks marked in Makemdl.
 
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Reply #35 - 29th Jun, 2010 at 11:39am

lionheart   Offline
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I think you are right Nate.

I had seen that Fr. Bill wrote there was no way for Gmaxers' and I think he meant 'Maxers' instead, as you can assign the various files to not be erased after compilation via Model Commander in the Gmax/FS9 sdk route.  I examined it myself and saw I had the necessary files.

 

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Reply #36 - 29th Jun, 2010 at 2:12pm

flwpheonix   Offline
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Embarrassed Wow! I was right about something! Wahoo! Grin
 
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Reply #37 - 29th Jun, 2010 at 11:40pm

Fr. Bill   Offline
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I did indeed mean "Max'ers"... Corrected earlier post.
 

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Reply #38 - 5th Jul, 2010 at 11:18pm

lionheart   Offline
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Roger that Bill and thanks.

I figured it out.  Max people cannot get the 'asm' while Gmax'ers can.  Too bad we cant make a nice compiler like Gmax has for the Max users, and one that can do FS9 as well.



Bill
 

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Reply #39 - 12th Jul, 2010 at 6:45am

mvg3d   Offline
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Quote:
Wozza was refering to a method that requires one massivly rescale the VC and then modify the asm  in notepad
before compiling , i repost the text in question and a link to the thread.



what started it of was this message by Luka
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I didnt get the gist of what Luka was saying until I tried it,Il explain what I did
Ok Ive split my project in to 2 projects external and VC model
I then scale the VC up by a factor of 16,in fsds3 when you use  the scale plugin it scales all models,animations ect in the project ie the reason for 2 separate projects.
external model no scale up VC scale X16

I then export each project to an xfile(I have to do this as I need to hand edit the xfile to fix texture issues with fsds3) the exterior  I save as projname.x then the VC I call projname_interior.x
now I move these to the folder I have makemdl.exe in and drag and drop one of the xfiles onto makemdl, check/uncheck my preferred options in makemdl(keep all files is a must so you get to the asm files) also check lod tab to see if both xfiles have loaded then compile.

when finished I delete the mdl as we only want the asm files makemdl generates
in the makemdl folder you should see 3 asm files projname.asm,projname_0.asm and projname_1.asm
open projname.asm in notepad and look for

SUPER_SCALE  no_model,0,0,6
VINSTANCE_CALL  model_inside,AIRCRAFT_PARAMS.llapbh.pbh
change the 0,0,6 to 0,0,2 and save
(there is only one instance of the model_inside but make sure its the one you change)
now drag and drop projname.asm file onto BGLC_9.exe ( you must  have the copy of it in my makemdl folder as the asm files all have paths in them)
it will now compile again (takes the same time as makemdl would) when finished you end up with a file called projname.bgl
rename it to projname.mdl and drop it into the aircrafts model folder
fire up fs9 and have a look to see all looks fine ..BUT  you will notice that the aircraft is very tiny in the menu window you can fix this by using afcad,
in the tool tab you will find an aircraft editor which allows you to change the aircraft size use this to fix the menu display problem
or you can hexedt the mdl (which I find easier)  

So basically what this duz is scale the vc up so even 1mm points are now 16mm appart.The weld function for the VC
is done as the ASM files are generated,as all the points are 16mm appart no welding is done.Then when you edit the asm file your telling the compiler to rescale all the VC parts back to their normal size.I have no idea how X16 and a scale change to 2 works out but it works  
(same for meters and feet btw)
its a bit of work but once youve done it once its  a piece of cake  

wozza




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Hi Friends,
This method works fine...... BUT I have still a problem:
In VC view I cannot see the lights........Do You have a solution for this?
Huh Huh Huh Huh
 

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Reply #40 - 12th Jul, 2010 at 1:04pm

flwpheonix   Offline
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hmmm...Haven't had that problem yet...
 
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Reply #41 - 12th Jul, 2010 at 8:28pm

Au-MaV   Offline
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Whatcha lookin at
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mvg3d wrote on 12th Jul, 2010 at 6:45am:
Hi Friends,
This method works fine...... BUT I have still a problem:
In VC view I cannot see the lights........Do You have a solution for this?
Huh Huh Huh Huh

Hi have a look at reply 27 (page 2)
I dont know why some ppl are having this issue as its not logical Cheesy
all your doing is scaling up all the parts before welding the VC then scaling them back down during the final compile.

Wozza

« Last Edit: 20th Dec, 2010 at 8:37am by Au-MaV »  
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