Black textures

An often occurring problem when designing scenery is that your object shows with black (or no) textures. There can be many causes for this. For example a  texture that is not a power of two in size, a texture that is in the 24 bit BMP format that FS can not read or just a texture that you forgot to copy to the right texture folder. Recently I discovered another reason for black textures (and this one took me a little while to figure out). When you apply a bump map to a material, but the polygons that use the … Continue reading Black textures

ModelConverterX 1.2 released

A new stable version of ModelConverterX has been released. Especially for users converting COLLADA and SketchUp objects this should mean that they can use the stable version again. Since version 1.1 I changed so much, that we always had to tell those users that they needed the development release. Have a look at this post in the forum if you want to see the most important changes in this new version. At the moment I am focusing a bit more on the gPoly tool, but I still have enough interesting ideas for ModelConverterX as well. So for the short term … Continue reading ModelConverterX 1.2 released

gPoly status update #9

Just a quick status update for the gPoly tool. I think I got the code working now that will ensure that your polygons are automatically sliced into segments of no more than 100 meter. This ensures that there will be no issues with the curve of the earth in FSX. The same code can also be used to divide the polygons of the airport into different segments, so that not everything uses the same reference point and will be rendered at the same time. Especially for big airports I am sure this is important to keep the performance good, although … Continue reading gPoly status update #9

gPoly status update #8

I have now chosen the airport that I will use as a test field for developing the gPoly tool. It is Marshfield Municipal Airport (KGHG) in Massachusetts. So I have drawn some of the aprons and taxiways and am testing now if I can export them correctly to FS. At first I was exporting with the FS2002 style code used for ground polygons most of the time. As long as I export everything with one reference point things looked fine, but when I divided the polygons over different reference points, to have better control over the performance, I noticed that … Continue reading gPoly status update #8

Which airport?

Now that I can export some basic polygons from the gPoly tool, I am looking to go one little step further. I am looking for an airport that I can use as a test case to develop the tool further, since there is no better way to find bugs than while actually working with the tool on a project. In the end I will be using the tool for the EHAM Schiphol scenery of NL2000, but that airport is a bit too complex for a test airport. See this thread on FSDeveloper for a little more background on “my requirements” … Continue reading Which airport?

Abcoude church in FSX

And here is a screenshot of the church made with SketchUp in FSX. It has been converted with ModelConverterX and is showing on the NL2000 v4 scenery. I am not completely satisfied with the textures yet, they seem a bit too light when viewed in FSX, so I think I will change them a bit. Oh, and don’t expect to find this object in the coming NL2000 v4 release, since I am too late now to still add it. We are already further in the testing and release process.

SketchUp texturing and FSX conversion

Let’s start with the good news, I finished my model of the church in Abcoude. All the textures have been applied as you can see in the screenshot below. But I learned some interesting things while trying to get that far. Let me start with explaining my approach to texturing the building. I had decided to make separate texture files for each of the different walls. Mainly because I have not yet found a way in SketchUp to define the UV coordinates very accurately. So trying to map a sheet with many different texture elements would become hard that way. … Continue reading SketchUp texturing and FSX conversion

SketchUp texturing

After finishing the geometry of the church I am modelling in SketchUp, it was time to move on to the texturing of the object. So also for this part I tried the different options that SketchUp offers. First I tried to use the project texture function when using the match photo feature. This allows you to align your model to a photo and will then project this photo as a texture onto your model. I guess this might work well if you have an object that is not so complex in shape, but for my church it did not work … Continue reading SketchUp texturing

Today’s SketchUp adventures

After all the work I did on the COLLADA and KMZ importers for ModelConverterX, I thought it would be a good moment to try to model a bit more in SketchUp myself. So about a week ago I cycled to the nearby town of Abcoude and made a bunch of pictures of their local church. With those as my reference and some maps I found on the internet, I started modelling the church today. In this blog posts and those that follow until I have finished the object, I will try to give an overview of my adventures while learning … Continue reading Today’s SketchUp adventures

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