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Author Topic: I have a FW-58 floatplane in FlightGear, import and mod process to Il-2  (Read 1060 times)

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Unca-Fester

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 I made this back in February of 2016 in time for a March online floatplane event. I'd like to start an IL-2 project with a monoplane that hasn't been done yet.

  Would I be replicating works someone else has already started?

  This 3d file, ( in AC3D format) is pretty complete, the interior is already detailed and has working controls, a panel,  dashboard, seats for pilot, and observer/gunner and navigator/radio operator .  The way I make interiors they're usually integrated into the external view, not the usual separate interior and external models.

 

 This is a rare one, not too many were float equipped as the twin Argus As 10C's were a bit anemic, even for the land-plane versions.



I've already made a Swiss livery for it, there's lots of Sees north of the Alps.



So I'm figuring the first bit of work to start in porting this over is to make a copy and start chopping the one piece wing and fuselage meshes up into sections and add some end caps.
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Dreamk

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To convert it to 3ds is rather easy - external Flightgear models are also generally low poly, therefore suited for Il2. From what I remember from checking Flightgear models (Helijah very kindly gave authorization to export his models to Il2, so long we respect the GNU license, which is not a problem at all for us as it is totally compatible with SAS forum's standards) cockpits are quite differently devised and are not suited for Il2.
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Unca-Fester

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 About Helijah's aircraft:

 He generally does the most basic interiors, if at all adding any instruments, it's usually a 'tub' and an blank panel. He's mentioned that his 3D files are kits to be improved upon.

Not to dismiss the merit of his aircaft as he does some pretty rare planes and has a lot of WWI and WWII aircraft covered.  Have you checked out Detlef Faber's repo on GitHub, https://github.com/FGMEMBERS has most of his aircraft.
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David Prosser

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Ah good, another sea plane. I'd like to write a mission for it when it appears.
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Unca-Fester

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In that vein of a picture speaks a few hundred words, I have this shot from Open Asset Viewer showing 3D files and lists their attributes.



  Can someone with some experience with importing .ac files to IL-2 comment on object naming conventions, what changes in the XYZ orientation required to make before importing and if there is a Blender python required to make the 3DS files into .msh?  I'm also assuming that with Il-2 .heir files you need to record the distance and direction of parts original placement before centering them prior to export to an easier to import file?
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Unca-Fester

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 I was able to export the .ac file into a .3ds easily enough using AC3D's export and the textures remain intact, which is a first. Although the windows aren't transparent anymore, and the file's object names are lost.

Funny that the prop arcs are still alpha channeled, maybe I should alpha channel the glass?



 FlightGear uses .png image files,  I'm hoping that converting the .png's to .tga's, that the image mapping will 'stick' to the files with the new file format, if they're named the same.  This usually works with .png > .bmp for some of the .ac. to .mqo conversions  that I've sent out to the folks who make models for AeroFly/EasyFly.

P.S,  OK, after changing the material links to .tgas in the 3D file, it imports OK in Open Assets Viewer, but not in MshConverter1.18. It seems to have lost both smoothing and the textures, as noted by the warning in MshConverter's text box.



What should I do now?



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Unca-Fester

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 My .msh import experiment. It looks like I have to rotate the model in AC3D to left on the X axis 90 degrees and spin it 180 degrees in the Y axis.





Also discovered the necessity of a mat file, but it's also quite wonky as I needed to edit the image, mirror and rotate 180 degrees.   The scaling seems spot on.

 I may need to also leave smoothing on in AC3D but there seems to be some problems with smoothing if used...?

Bueller?...Bueller?
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Dreamk

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1) Import your 3ds in Gmax or 3dmax
2) Rotate your model so that in the top view the nose is pointing towards the lower part of the screen
3) Move your model so that the Center of gravity is at (0,0,0)
4) cut your model into suitable meshes
5) check material location of each mesh and give it a suitable name
6) export
BTW - materials are often better respected by exporting to obj instead of 3ds and importing the obj into gmax of 3dmax
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Unca-Fester

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 I don't have GMax or 3dmax, and probably never will, as my one experience with Gmax was less than intuitive or positive, plus it really buggers MQO2AC3D conversion's textures.  In addition to it's UI being as convoluted as Blender's, if not worse.  I've been using Metasequoia and AC3D for over 15 years now, both of them work, they preserve their textures.

I always use the datums for thrust lines and 30% MAC of the mainwing(s) for my 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 points. Something I picked up while modding for Targetware. Finding the actual C/G of an aircraft through online searching is a crapshoot, especially with older WWI aircraft with lifting tail airfoils like French pushers.

I am already cutting the bits apart, the images were just to see if the mapping and 3D scaling was preserved when converted in MshConverter, I still have a lot to learn. 

  In MshConverter's viewing box, is there a view position that indicates that the model files will be loaded in the correct direction?  Like a side view of the aircraft from the starboard wing side?

The other question I'm asking is..  The texture mapping in my aircraft are always well finished before I export them, so  there's probably a generic texture entry for each of the .mat files that preserves this?  Should I be scouring the mapping forum to find this information?   I'd just like a basic mat file that keeps the proper X and Y directions and aspect ratios of the original texturing.
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Dreamk

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Quote
I don't have GMax or 3dmax, and probably never will, as my one experience with Gmax was less than intuitive or positive, plus it really buggers MQO2AC3D conversion's textures.  In addition to it's UI being as convoluted as Blender's, if not worse.  I've been using Metasequoia and AC3D for over 15 years now, both of them work, they preserve their textures.
I understand - personal preferences are an individual choice and are not under discussion - but take into account that the exporters for this game have been only developed for gmax, 3dmax and blender. MSHconverter is not an exporter and is full of tricks and bugs, above all with UW mapping.
Quote
Finding the actual C/G of an aircraft through online searching is a crapshoot, especially with older WWI aircraft with lifting tail airfoils like French pushers.
COG of a 3d model is automatically found in Gmax/3dmax and is the point that the game will use for its flight dynamics.
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Unca-Fester

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Re: I have a FW-58 floatplane in FlightGear, import and mod process to Il-2
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2018, 01:28:56 PM »

COG of a 3d model is automatically found in Gmax/3dmax and is the point that the game will use for its flight dynamics.

Really?   :o  Does either of them apply a physics mass to volume ratio to the fully assembled model?  I mean like to make the 3D parts emulate being made of wood and fabric, or Aluminum stressed skin or Aluminum and steel in an engine.

  As it would seem as you cut the parts off and center them it would change that C/G placement for the worse.

 But you can still go into the FM file and change the C/G if I'm not mistaken..?

At any rate I'm still working up a hier.him, and I've managed to link the .tga's to the .3ds by editing them with Notepad++
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