Minimize drawcall functionality

One of the challenges when converting old API macros or COLLADA objects is often how to make them  framerate friendly. It is not uncommon for such objects to use many small texture files. If you for example load an object from the Google 3D warehouse, don’t be surprised to find it uses 40 different texture files. For some time it was on my ModelConverterX wishlist already to add some functionality that will merge all these textures into one texture sheet and automatically adjust the mapping on your object as well. Today I started coding on this. I am certainly not … Continue reading Minimize drawcall functionality

openVFR

If you are looking to add more details to your FSX, have a look at the interesting project openVFR. It uses OpenStreetMap data and it really makes the scenery look a lot more realistic. With a bit of luck you can find your own street. I think this kind of scenery is a great alternative to photo scenery, especially when you are short of harddisk space. So have a look…

Mass Texture Editor

To assist with the conversion of textures while converting objects for us in FS, I have added a new tool to ModelconverterX. It is called the Mass Texture Editor tool and it will help you to rename, resize and convert to another format all the textures of an object at once. So this will be useful for example when you are converting a COLLADA file, since these often use JPG textures in sizes that are not supported by FS. I have made a little preview video to show how the new tool works. I hope you find this functionality useful, … Continue reading Mass Texture Editor

Free?

A few weeks ago I read the book Free by Chris Anderson. In this book it is described how many companies (mostly on the web) nowadays can make money using free products. If I try to summarize it in my own words, the author is saying that since the cost of distribution of digital content is approaching zero, the price of such products seems to do the same. And therefore people have to look for other alternatives to earn their money. An example given is that many artists earn less from selling their records, but earn more from their concerts … Continue reading Free?

gPoly (no) progress report

Just a quick note that the gPoly development has been slow recently. About two weeks ago I worked a bit on the texture mapping on the polygons, but since then I have been kept busy with other things. Mainly work, but on the other hand I have also been working on the ModelConverterX tool to improve the COLLADA conversion so that SketchUp can be used as a modelling tool. At the moment that has a slightly higher priority, but after that I will return to the gPoly development again.

Modelling for FSX using Sketchup

One of the topics that is discussed often lately on the FSDeveloper forums is using Sketchup to model for FSX. The good news for those of you who think that the learning curve of GMax is a bit too steep, is that you can use Sketchup as well if you want to model some scenery objects for FSX. I should directly note that if you plan to make an aircraft than Sketchup will not be of much use to you, since you will still need GMax to do all the animations and other advanced features that an aircraft needs. But … Continue reading Modelling for FSX using Sketchup

Texture conversions

In the last days there has been a lot of discussion on the FSDeveloper forum about converting COLLADA objects for use in FSX. One of the issues the users are facing is that many COLLADA models use textures in formats that FSX can not read, for example JPG files. So there is clearly a need to address this during the conversion. I have not finished it, but I am working on adding support for texture conversions to ModelConverterX. In the next development release you will find a texture converter tool in the special tools menu. Although I made it more … Continue reading Texture conversions

Video tutorial about performance

Tomorrow there will be another online video tutorial on the FSDeveloper LiveStream channel. The subject of this tutorial is performance for 3D objects and the tutorial will start at 22:00 CET (21:00 UTC). The following topics will be covered: Definition of concepts important for the performance: levels of detail, drawcall and texture vertex Performance tips how to make best use of these concepts to optimize your performance Explanation of DXT compression for textures, which types are available and how does the compression work (and what does it do for the quality) I am almost finished with the preparations, so hope … Continue reading Video tutorial about performance

gPoly status update #6

Today I have been making some progress on gPoly again, so time for another status update. The first part I worked on is the user interface, especially the texture library that contains the texture you can use on your polygons. And also other improvements like the interface used to define new projects. But most of the time I spend on functionality to import shapefiles. Initially I had not planned this for the first version, but since I had some accurate vector data and imagery of the same airport, this would allow me to verify that the imagery is positioned correctly. … Continue reading gPoly status update #6