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mshihrer

A:M Users 2019
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About mshihrer

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    Apprentice

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  • Name
    Mike Shihrer

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  • System Description
    WinXP, athlon 64 3000, ATI 9650 Pro, 1gb
  1. actually, I think I did try this a while back, and it worked fine. Even if I end up with a non ^2 texture, I can override that in code. Question; Can baking also take into account material and lighting effects? I'm most interested in doing this to precast shadows and such on static objects. Shadows in realtime are very frame rate expensive.
  2. well, in my opinion, the biggest advantage of UU is the ability to make Groups into meshes (limbs). I can just skip the mapping in A:M. I can do it so fast in UU, its not even funny. And with my method, I have a little layer of redundancy. If I mess up, I can always go backwards. So, I model in A:M, export to .obj, import into Milkshape and bone it. Export again to .obj, load into UU, group, unwrap, and texture. I can then export to .x with groups as meshes (limbs), or not. Usually not, as the bones become limbs. I can then manipulate the bones in code in DBPro. It works for me, and, this was after alot, and I do mean ALOT of trial an error.
  3. yes, the .x exporter for a:m works very well. However, I think I went with .obj because of exporting in quads instead of triangles makes uv mapping in UU a little easier. ATM, I can't remember exactly why I chose .obj, but I do have the plugin. thanks. Still rewriting some code, and building some terrains. The problem I'm having now is scale. I have to make sure I model the airplanes to scale with the terrain. I modeled the airplane using the feet scale in A:M, so, its HUGE when imported, and I have to scale it WAY down. So, from now on, I'll model them smaller compared to the terrains so I don't have to scale anything. Also, another little snag. Even though the plane is low poly, I'll have to make a different LOD version, because when it is far away, there is z fighting issues between some surfaces. (Like the engine in the cowl, and the struts against the wings). But, still chugging along. Thanks guys. Oh, and here is my terrain trick. A while back I wrote a program in DBPro that takes USGS terrain data and makes very realistic terrains. I get the data from here: USGS My program parses the data file, chops it up into manageable chunks, and then runs another program, called Qdelauney (I didn't write that, but I have permission to use it), that triangulates the points. This way, I can reduce the terrain mesh, so if I have a large, flat area, it doesn't waste a bunch of triangles on it. Here is the cool part. I use Google Earth to get a bounding set of coordinates for the terrain I want. Then, I enter those coords in the USGS site. I download the data, run the program, and there is my terrain. R/C flying sites don't need to be too big, so, I can even grab images from GE for texture. I'm exploring the idea of making a program that uses contour maps instead. Since contour maps are just splines, this might be a cool way to bring terrain into A:M. But this is still in the thinking mode right now.
  4. of course I'll fiddle with your model! I need lots of airplanes. Thanks for checking it out and your comments. Actually, there has been some more dev on this. And I think you guys might like this. I'm into R/C airplanes, and I have a program called FSOne, it is an RC flight simulator. I haven't done anything with it in years, and about two weeks ago, I got bored and installed it. What is cool about FSOne is, you can hook up your R/C transmitter to an interface that comes with it and fly the simulated planes. I soon realized the FSOne transmitter interface is treated like a joystick device in Windows. So, I know Dark Basic, I have a model...lets see what I can do. At first, I just wanted to bone the plane, and use the transmitter to move the control surfaces. So I did. I boned it in Milkshape3d. I think its the easiest way to bone an object. What I did was, exported the model from A:M to .obj, then loaded in UU. There is a Milkshape plugin, so I saved it in that format. Loaded in Milkshape, added the bones, and saved as a Milkshape project. Loaded back into UU, and exported in .X, which I loaded into DBPro. I know this sounds like alot, but, its really not. I like UU's .x export, its the best I have come across, bar none. Now in DBPro, I wrote an app that would read the values from the joystick commands, and rotated the bones assigned to the control surfaces accordingly. It works, and it works so good, I even get the "bounce" if I just flick the transmitter levers. But most people don't have FSOne, so, I can't really share that. But you CAN buy an XBOX 360 controller from Walmart for about 30 bucks, and they work in Windows, and DBPro reads it just fine. So, I wrote another function to read the input from the XBOX controller, and it works perfect. But now I wanted to FLY it. So, right now, I'm working on a program. It will be a simulation/game that uses the XBOX controller to fly these airplane models I make in A:M! I can fly it now. ATM, I'm thinking ahead and cleaning up the spaghetti code to a more structured coding style. If any of you happen to have an XBOX 360 controller, and you are interested, I can post a link where you can download the game, if that is allowed in this forum. I'm keeping a running thread at The Game Creators forums on this. My XBOX controller forum topic Sorry for the long winded post, but, I'm pretty excited. It seems like everything is finally starting to come together, when the lightbulb over your head just goes off, and you know what you have to do to make it all work, and you just try to stay focused and see it thru. Oh, and another thing, in my research, I stumbled across a free r/c sim, called FSM. There is HUGE community support for this sim, with THOUSANDS of airplane models, and, they are all in .x I might make my sim compatible with existing FSM models. But for now, I prefer to model them myself, because its so much fun. This is a screenshot of the sim. Not alot as far as terrain just yet(and thats a whole other subject, btw, that A:M fills the bill for just fine!), and no skysphere, like I said I'm busy with the humdrum stuff. edit: I came across this thread a while back, mdl format and have it saved, something on the back burner, maybe a DBPro program to do a file conversion to .x
  5. I'm down to just painting the model now. It came in at 1442 triangles. A little about the workflow. I modeled in A:M, and made sure all groups had a unique diffuse color. I then exported as a.obj and opened in Ultimate Unwrap Pro. Here is the important part. You must WELD the model in Ultimate Unwrap. This gets rid of duplicate triangles that were causing shading problems. In UU, all the groups that were in A:M are now materials. Just select the materials, unwrap them, then add them as groups in UU. I like UU because I think it is faster for mapping, and also, there are tons of export options if you get the plugins you want from their website. It is also possible after mapping in UU to import back into A:M as .obj and UV's remain intact. I'm going to experiment with this some more to utilize 3DPainter. I'm attaching the .prj and also the UU project file as well. Screenshot in Ultimate Unwrap pro. fokkerdr1_2.zip
  6. One of the problems I had at first when modeling mechanical things in A:M was the bias handles. In this latest model, I took the bias out. I peaked everything, and set magnitude to 100.0. I set gamma and and alpha to 0.0 Basically, I'm poly modeling in quads (patches), with splines. I model with low poly thought in mind. I don't rely on page up/page down to smooth my model. If I was making an organic shape, then, I think I would be using the bias manipulators. When I laid out the fuse, I laid out the first half, with what in the RC world is called the "formers". A better term might be bulkheads. First, I layed those out. These are the most critical. Only like 4 splines, but, they must be exactly what you want. I left bias, alpha, and omega on at that point. Next, I put in what they call in the RC world, "stringers". This is what I will wrap my skin around. It connects the formers from front to back. I never messed with any bias. It looked all crazy. I focused on gettting xyx where it should be. Once everything was where I wanted it, I PEAKED it all. Set bias ALPHA, Omega, to 0 when I was happy with half, I just did a Copy, Flip, Attach. I followed a similar tactic for all other parts, except the wheels, and, the cockpit. All I'm saying is, there is more than one way to skin a cat. You can use splines, thinking like a polygoner, if you understand the splines and what they put out (All real time 3d is triangles). I understand the splines. I understand triangles. I know when I see a patch, what I'm going to see in triangles. And I know, at this time, for the price, for the features, for the support, A:M does MORE than I expected. (I haven't even made a Movie yet? Maybe a WW1 EPIC?). So, I'm sticking with it. Point is, even though only 5 guys entered, I KNOW none of them used A:M.
  7. haha, yeah, a TRI-plane. But lucky for me, they have the same profile, so, it was just a copy/paste/scale operation. Build one half, you have the rest. The ailerons were tricky, I'm glad they are only on the top wing.
  8. Hey all, As some of you may know, my interest and main use for A:M is as a modeler for game assets for use in Dark Basic Pro. I think I've come up with a pretty good workflow. I like working with splines, it just makes sense to me, which is why I chose A:M as my modeler. I've got a long way to go to get as good as you guys, but, I'm trying. Anyway, I entered a community contest on the Dark Basic forums for a low poly game assest. Rules were, it had to be under 1000 triangles and textured. Well, I admit, I do suck at textures, but, I bought 3dPainter for this project, and future projects, of course. My entry was MY interpretation of the FW190 tutorial in the TAOM book. I have done it two or three times, this last one I thought was pretty good. It was about 75 percent finished already when I decided to finish and enter it. Anyway, sadly, only 5 people entered. BUT, I got awarded "Best Model"(and a cool little icon next to my name now, I AM SOMEBODY!). which was all I was hoping for, since my texturing skills still suck. Anyway, I thought I'd let you guys know this small award has inspired me. I enjoy modeling airplanes and I have decided to do some more. I've added two screenshots; one is of the first model, the FW190. I know my texture lacks things like panel lines, bump and specular, etc, but, I had a deadline, and, like I said, I'm not much of an artist. But 3dPainter did help with the camo! the other screenshot is my current model, a low poly version of the Fokker DR1, the "Red Baron" plane. From what I learned on the FW190 I'm happy so far but I'm already making some changes. I'm hoping to build quite a few of these models, the theme being low poly (under 2k tris) for use as game assests. WW1 planes will be the first group. Screenshots are exported models in .x and .obj format loaded into Ultimate Unwrap.
  9. wow, this helps a bunch. I didn't even know cameras had their own background color. thank you.
  10. Hello all, sorry if this might have been asked before, I searched for a while, and couldn't find an answer. What I am trying to do is model objects that I want to render into single frame animations. I need the backgrounds to be transparent, or at least one solid color. The goal is to say model a tree or rock outcropping that I could render into a 2d image and paste it as a "billboard" on a plain in DarkBasic Pro. What I have done so far is to eliminate the ground in the chor and eliminate all unnecessary lighting. However, I can't seem to get the background color to a uniform color. If anyone has used AM for gaming apps, any ideas or methods would be greatly appreciated. Edited to add: BTW, I'm using AM ver 12
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