Just Curious
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  1. #1

    Just Curious

    About what the problem is, with a gmax .mdl (airplane) for CFS3. It won't load into the sim.

    I have quite alot of detail in the VC. Also have 18 3D gauges I've made, and 'merged' into the model. Majority of the gauges use the same texture/material. One problem is, for each gauge, another copy of the material is added to the list. Wondering if all the material copies might cause the plane to not load in CFS3, crashing CFS3.

    I'm re-assigning all those materials, down to one copy. Haven't tried loading into the sim, yet...any thoughts?

  2. #2
    When merging, you can have each 3d gauge use the same scene material rather than create another instance, but I know that problem well from doing it myself. Hope I'm not teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but have you a container set up ready in the model folder - config, .air, textures etc ready to go?

    How high is the poly count anyway?
    Tom
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7



  3. #3
    Thanks, Tom.

    Yep, have all the needed files made, air, config, etc. Just tried loading it, again, after cleaning up all the materials. CFS3 sat there, hourglass steady on...nothing. Flat refuses to load the plane.

    Poly count? A bunch! Haven't stopped to look. Think that might be the problem?
    I had 'plans' to add alot more detail. This cockpit is a loaded one!

  4. #4

  5. #5
    As far as I can work out, a total of around 20K polys mapped to one texture is about the CFS3 exporter's limit: the exporter will cough at more, but it still compiles a file. Did you get any error messages when exporting to .M3D?

    Mathias used to keep the poly count for his FSX models down to no more than 20K per texture, iirc, for the same reason. When you have more modelling using the same texture, make and rename another copy of the texture and assign it to another material for the other objects mapped to it.

    My own Tempest II for CFS3 ran to 85,000 polys or so with two VC models included and a full set of LODs. Hope this helps
    Tom
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7



  6. #6
    Thanks again, Tom.

    Good info!

    After doing all the needed clean-up on the model, I tried loading it again. CFS3 just froze.

    I'll have to look into my gauges texture. Not sure on my poly count on those gauges. Think I'll make a test copy of the model, delete all the gauges...then see if the plane loads. At least that will tell me if the problem is there. Dangit! And, there's another handful of gauges I need for the side panels. We shall see...

  7. #7
    Welp! Now I am stumped.

    Did the test. All 3D gauges deleted. Tried to load the plane into CFS3...it crashed... So, it's not the gauges.

    Any ideas what I should look at? This is not my first airplane for CFS3. Actually have one beta (just not finished completely), besides a few others, still working on...all load fine.

    Appreciate any ideas!

  8. #8
    You need the Ortiz Approach*: start with a piece of plain geometry like a sphere or square (with UV coordinates), export to .M3D and see if CFS3 accepts it.

    Next try exporting selections from the model, perhaps omitting the VC entirely. Once you hit a snag, narrow the selections down until you know which area and finally which part is causing the problems. Thankfully the CFS3 exporter is pretty nippy so it shouldn’t take long to pinpoint where.

    This all reminds me of the Modeller’s Maxim - export early, export often, check your work in the sim as you go along - so I ought to get my present project into CFS3 pronto.

    (*the Ortiz Approach after poor Bill who’s had a lot of good- natured ribbing over the years about the same kind of problem - he’s still working nevertheless, and a productive payware developer! :-))
    Tom
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7



  9. #9
    'Ortiz Approach', eh. Heh. Sounds like a plan!

    I'm holding onto my 'test' copy of the model, and I'll use it to narrow down, where my personal problem is. Been trying to think this one out. One thing, just possible...this airplane is one that I had made for CFS2, with the earlier program. Converted the file, shoved it into Gmax, and reworked the entire model. One thing I haven't messed with, yet, is the gondola, on a Ju88C 2. The gondola parts are just in place, in the model, but are also intersecting with the fuselage polys. Wonder if that's the problem? I'll delete the gondola on the test model, and find out.

    Thanks a bunch!

    Ted

  10. #10
    Not looking good. Took the model down, to only the fuselage, and still won't load.

    So, the way it looks, when I imported the FSDS model, guessing I missed something that needed to be done to the mesh.
    The original mesh appears to be the problem, on all the basic aircraft parts, fuselage, wings, tail, etc.. That's after all the changes I've made to those parts. All lost? Any thing be done on the parts?

    If not, I'll have to completely re-build all the original parts, from scratch.

  11. #11
    Thatís odd, unless itís the fuselage itself. If you like, send me something from the model in a PM and Iíll see if I can get it showing in CFS3 - no need to send the whole thing. Also, do you get any error messages at all on export?
    Tom
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7



  12. #12
    Thanks, Tom! I'll get the fuselage zipped up, and your way.

    Pretty much all the original parts, I've changed in gmax. That being said, I have a copy of all the parts, so I can do whatever needs to be done to them. First time I exported, had a couple scaling errors, though all were on small gauge parts, added.
    It exports fine, now, with no errors.

  13. #13
    Always a challenge to sort these issues out.

    I, too, use teh binary approach reducing exported parts in half until I get a good export.
    But, this does not always ID the issue because for some problems, if the part exists, even if not exported, it will fail the test.
    In that case, using a purely test scene, I delete parts as I go to eliminate them.

    One other possibility: In FSX, when exporting new models, once you start mapping for textures, exports will do crazy things when some parts are mapped, others not mapped at all. In FSX, parts simply will not display at all, sometimes. So, once you you start mapping, you must finish mapping all parts for a good export test. CFS3 may respond differently.

    Also, you must go through all parts using the Graph Editor/Track View to identify and correct any scaled parts, and reset those scales.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ss2.jpg   ss1.jpg  
    Milton Shupe
    FS9/FSX Modeler Hack

    My Uploads at SOH - Here
    Video Tutorials - Gmax for Beginners

  14. #14
    Thanks, Milton.

    Yeah, got kinda frustrated, with it not loading into the sim.
    Spent some time digging through all my files, looking for any hints, and lol! Had a copy of 'your' Ju88 gmax file. Okay, loaded it into gmax, changed out the nose to a solid cap, and thought I'd have a good start for Cs.

    When I tried loading it into CFS3...it did the same thing, my C2 does...refused to load, and froze the sim. I've gone through all the files, for the airplane (using the same for your model), so after I take a breather, plan is to swap each of those files.
    Might not be the model file, that's causing the problem. I've always made my own .air file, besides the others, so all I can do is try.

    Doing some texture work on my Bv222V4, right now...then I'll try it again.

  15. #15
    Also, keep in mind that gauges, sounds, and a bad texture format (98% of the time for me) can cause this same issue.

    EDIT: BTW, is there any utility you have to open the mdl file just to ensure its integrity? Does its size seem correct for what it is?

    Also, I do not recall ever doing a JU88; maybe Bill Ortiz?

    EDIT 2: If you want to send me that fuselage, I'll also check it in gmax.
    Milton Shupe
    FS9/FSX Modeler Hack

    My Uploads at SOH - Here
    Video Tutorials - Gmax for Beginners

  16. #16
    The Ju88A4 is the model, in a Ju88.zip. I'll re-look at the .txt with it, though your name is on it. BTW...either way, thanks! Like me, I've freely shared all my work.

    No tango, on the test load. The base model, is much lower poly than mine. Changed out the .cfg, and .air files. Still won't load. I'll re-make my gauges texture .dds, to be sure on it, besides a few individual .dds files in the folder. The Ju88 model I'm trying does't have any texture files assigned to it, though. VC is completely empty on this one.

    I wish I had a way to get a copy of the file, to you. But, this PC was hit with a virus, many years ago. Finally had it cleaned, and double checked, through it all, lost several program files. Still had all my project files. My internet connection on this PC is iffy...can't get to my email on it.

    I've tried looking for a utility to use. I'll look more. On my 88, the original model was made in FSDS, exported/converted, and imported into gmax.

  17. #17
    Tried attaching again. Seems like it worked this time. This fuselage is the one converted from FSDS.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  18. #18
    My mistake!

    Free Ju88 model is by Michael Davies. Sorry.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by crossram View Post
    Tried attaching again. Seems like it worked this time. This fuselage is the one converted from FSDS.
    Okay, exported fine to FS9 and looks good. See attached.

    If you would like to send a more completed project to try, I would be happy to do that.

    Another thing to try: Temporarily replace one of your working aircraft model folders with your exported model folder to test. This may tell you if something other than the model is the problem.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ms-2020-jun-15-001.jpg  
    Milton Shupe
    FS9/FSX Modeler Hack

    My Uploads at SOH - Here
    Video Tutorials - Gmax for Beginners

  20. #20
    Thank you, for looking at it! Will do, on sending you a more complete model. Have a copy, that has all the main parts.

    Funny thing, just tried a quick test, with a Heinkel built in FSDS, imported into gmax. The gmax model loaded fine in CFS3.

    I've tried loading only the fuselage, same in your screenshot, with all other files that work, in the sim. No textures applied. Still would not load. Strange.

  21. #21
    Here's a copy of the complete basic model.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by crossram View Post
    ...I've tried loading only the fuselage, same in your screenshot, with all other files that work, in the sim. No textures applied. Still would not load.
    Ah. CFS3 expects an orderly hierarchy, with the model's top-level being a Dummy object. The fuselage you've attached is in two objects, neither linked to the other.

    Could be:Ė

    Ju88C-4 (dummy object)
    Fuselage (mesh)
    cockpit (mesh)
    pilot0 (sim-generated figure)
    eyepoint (dummy object)
    Fuselage_Rear (mesh)
    l_wing (mesh)
    l_aileron
    l_flap
    r_wing
    r_aileron
    r_flap

    and so forth, but all mesh (other than damage boxes) is in that hierarchy linked ultimately to the top-level dummy. Maybe the model is missing that.

    When I have a mo this evening I'll check your fuselage mesh in the sim.
    Tom
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7



  23. #23

    Would you believe it?





    Here it is, in CFS3, with no modification at all. I checked the Gmax model you posted above for scale errors (none) and ran an export to .M3D Ė it exported in moments. The model was swapped with another development model in its complete aircraft folder in CFS3 ETO Expansion. Delete the .BDP for the other model and fire up ETO. Bingo.

    I think the problem may be with your exporter. The SDK download link is on the CFS3 forum, it's the oldest of the sticky threads:Ė

    Combat Flight Simulator 3 - Patches and SDKs

    Tom
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7



  24. #24
    Checks out here as well exporting to FS9.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ms-2020-jun-15-002.jpg  
    Milton Shupe
    FS9/FSX Modeler Hack

    My Uploads at SOH - Here
    Video Tutorials - Gmax for Beginners

  25. #25
    Welp...back to the drawing board. I could have easily forgotten some little (much-needed) thing. So, I'll re-check everything in the main model. I have 'much' more parts and pieces built into it, 3D gauges, complete gun models, and the like.

    Starting to think part of my prob might be two .dds files, I have in the plane's folder, too. Maybe wrong format, so I'll re-do them, and try both with them, and without. Something very simple, is what I'm looking for. So, that's what it looks like in the sim! One of these days...

    I really appreciate the help!

    Don't think there's anything wrong with my exporter, since it works great on anything else I've made.

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