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I might be willing to make models if...

Questions and discussion about creating aircraft. Flight dynamics, 3d models, cockpits, systems, animation, textures.

I might be willing to make models if...

Postby pauljs75 » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:06 am

Someone else does the rigging (setup of animation parameters) and the FDM (flight dynamics)...

I use Wings3d to model with, so I can export to these formats:
Nendo (.ndo), 3D Studio (.3ds), Alias FBX (.fbx), Wavefront (.obj), Renderware (.rwx), and VRML 2.0 (.wrl) ...And of course the native .wings format.

In addition to modeling, I'll also do the mapping (although most people consider texturing part of the process). It's a bit tedious to do properly, but I've done it before while making nicely readable (as in not having randomly scattered bits) UV maps.

Also anyone know if FG uses/allows quads/ngons, or does it have to be tris? What would be a good polycount ceiling for a FG model?

Also I couldn't gurantee the most accurate models, as most would be fairly quick mockups. I still think that would be better than invisible craft or weird/so-so substitutions. Some requests along with a link to a blueprint, and I might be willing to bash out a low poly mesh.
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Postby Kugelfang » Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:16 pm

Hi Pauljs,

Glad to see another Wings user here. To answer your questions:

1) It is not absolutely necessary to triangulate your model before using it in FGFS, but it is highly recommended. FGFS will tesselate non-triangular polygons but it is not always accurate and it can result in unwanted visual artifacts.

2) Polygon count (in triangles) is a tricky thing. Maintaining good performance depends much on the scenery and the user's hardware. My rules of thumb are to use no more polygons than are necessary to represent the shape; remove ALL unseen surfaces, stay away from autosmoothing functions; keep in mind that you'll want to have higher fidelity meshes for the cockpit than for the plane itself; lastly, I try to keep the project in the 3000 to 5000 range, emphasizing the lower number. The fewer the polys, the better the performance.

--jeff
www.static-lift.net
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Postby Ampere » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:39 pm

Kugelfang wrote:2) Polygon count (in triangles) is a tricky thing. Maintaining good performance depends much on the scenery and the user's hardware. My rules of thumb are to use no more polygons than are necessary to represent the shape; remove ALL unseen surfaces, stay away from autosmoothing functions; keep in mind that you'll want to have higher fidelity meshes for the cockpit than for the plane itself; lastly, I try to keep the project in the 3000 to 5000 range, emphasizing the lower number. The fewer the polys, the better the performance.

--jeff
www.static-lift.net

In my experience, polycount on aircraft doesn't make much of a difference in terms performance. My models have upward of 10,000 triangles, and on my machines, they perform better than some models that have low polycount but have high resolution textures.
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Postby ajm » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:06 pm

I hate to agree with Ampere ( :-) ) but there is little that annoys me more than people ruining a perfectly nice model by being too stingy with vertices.

The new Sopwith Camel model has nearly 30,000 vertices in just the main model alone, and the engine and prop over 11,000 more. On top of that are all the instruments and most of the cockpit fixtures!

Even on pretty old hardware (AthlonXP1900+, GeForce420MX graphics card) I still get quite usable framerates with that model, so please let's forget these awful limits like 5k vertices that are always bandied about - they were relevant five or ten years ago, but they certainly aren't now...

Use as many vertices as you need to make the model look good, with all rounded parts looking round, not "kind of round". After all, there's a lot of effort involved in modelling and you might as well make full use of the power of today's machines because you can be sure that in a very short space of time the "average" PC will be able to handle an awful lot more still.

Cheers,

AJ
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Postby Ampere » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:12 am

ajm wrote:I hate to agree with Ampere ( :-) )...

You know you just LOVE to agree with me. :mrgreen:

ajm wrote:...but there is little that annoys me more than people ruining a perfectly nice model by being too stingy with vertices.

So true... especially when they tried to make up to it by applying HUGE textures. I'm not totally innocent in this area either. :oops:

ajm wrote:The new Sopwith Camel model has nearly 30,000 vertices in just the main model alone, and the engine and prop over 11,000 more. On top of that are all the instruments and most of the cockpit fixtures!

lol... and I thought I already went crazy with the polycount! Looks like I will have to put in extra effort when time comes for me to rework the A380!
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So this should be ok then...

Postby pauljs75 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:38 am

Well, I don't want to be stingy on polys just to be stingy. I'm trying to consider how it would render in game and affect frame rates, etc...

Usually my modeling approach is quite the contrary to low-poly since I usually make props/items for 3D rendering. (I've got some 'quality' .objs for that purpose floating around somewhere on the internet released under attribution and share-alike terms.) Typically my stuff is around 50k quads...

Still a lower amount than 30K-tris might be considerate towards people with lesser hardware specs. Does a ballpark figure of 10k-tris sound about right in this case? (Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe flyable models should include poly-count? Or be available in various detail levels so people can get the one appropriate for their system?)

Image
Also I think this model I made isn't too shabby for the poly-count. But I guess that's because I tend to put most polys where they're needed. :)
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Postby ajm » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:03 am

You can be sure that we've had in-sim frame rates in mind the whole way through and have tested every new change to check that the fps haven't been excessively affected.

Developing new models to support people with really ancient hardware is in some ways a "dangerous" thing to do; if you just go for the lowest common denominator, you're spoiling things for everyone else and not doing justice to the rest of the sim. There are plenty of older models around which people with lesser hardware can use.

Having said that, the new Camel has two detail levels, selectable in the sim, so that people with really ancient hardware can remove a lot of the nice details (most of the vertex and transparency-heavy objects) and be left with the basics. On my system (which I personally think is about as ancient as we should care about anyway, and vastly underpowered compared to today's hardware) that option gives 2 or 3 fps improvement max.

BTW, it's nice to see a 3d model for the Bell206 after all this time... any chance of adding an interior? If someone else wanted to do the panel, there's some very nice info here http://www.copters.com/mech/B206_panel.html

I would do it myself, but I've already taken on too many projects :-)

Cheers,

AJ
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