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    3D canvas export example for FSX(TS2)

    For those that didn't know, I have been writing an exporter plugin for 3D canvas to FSX, which should be easily adapted to work with TS2 (according to Steve H)
    The export is the simple part, there are about 50 material options for FSX and I assume there will be more for TS2. There's going to be a bit of a learning curve for modellers - I'll do my best to get people up to speed with some of the terminology before the sim is released.

    I produced a couple of sample models to test the materials with, most options appear to be working so far. From left to right the materials are:
    Solid (specular)
    Gloss
    Glass
    Chrome
    Bloom (I didn't have bloom turned on in the sim)
    Scaled detail map
    Specular map
    scaled bump map
    bump map with transparency
    Small steam effect added as attachment

    A lot of these can already be done with MSTS1, TRS and KRS, but there are a few extra and the self shadowing on models looks great.

    Some problem with the translucency as I turned on Z-writing for the material.
    Click for larger images:
    (The Sopwith Dolphin was also made with 3D canvas)


    * Paul Gausden *
    * The Highworth project http://www.highworth.freeuk.com
    * Blog - http://decapod-3d.spaces.live.com/

    #2
    That is very cool decapod! Are you exporting to the modified .x file format that is used by xToMDL or writing directly to MDL files? If you are writing to .x file then it should work out of the box with TS2, although you won't be able to use some of the new TS2 functionality without some updates. Here is a list of some of the new features that TS2 will support:

    - New specular and reflection model that allows better visuals for metals, glass, chrome, etc.
    - A second UV channel, that can be used by bump, spec, and detail textures.
    - Spline\extrusion related material settings.
    - Vertex colors, and vertex color diffuse blend for per vertex ambient occlusion. (used mostly for trees right now)
    - Shader profile support in the .x file.
    - Improved control for attached object visibility.
    - Support for terran flattening and hole cutting polygons in the models.
    - Support for some other non-art related data.

    You'll also want to look into Adrian Wood's shader profile stuff. The shader profile is basically a preset combination of the material flags that is meant to represent an effect, such as chrome, plastic, glass, etc. Having a common and small set of them to work with allows us to optimize and draw the models more efficiently.

    We are starting to get more hardcore about forcing our artists to use them so that the overall number of materials is reduced, as that is one of the biggest perf impacts. I believe there was some shader profile support in the FSX:Acceleration 3DSMAX tools, but it is being expanded to have support directly in the Aces .x file format and xToMDL.
    Steve Heijster
    Graphics Programmer
    Microsoft Game Studios

    Comment


      #3
      The plugin exports X, based on a template. Also makes use of modeldef.xml for the xanim output and the attachment plugin. Most of the functionality from the SDK is supported.
      I've tried to make it flexible so the changes for TS2 should hopefully be small.

      So, from your list of features:
      no fixed cubic env map - good stuff
      Never really found the need for second UV channel, plus 3DC doesn't support it (yet)
      I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into the TS2 SDK and the shaders.

      Are the textures still upside down in TS2? - Have they implemented the negative height suggestion for the DDS format yet?
      * Paul Gausden *
      * The Highworth project http://www.highworth.freeuk.com
      * Blog - http://decapod-3d.spaces.live.com/

      Comment


        #4
        The cube env map is still the same as FSX, but the way it is used to texture the model is different. The env map is basically blurred based on the specular power, so less specular power will give you a more blurry reflection, which better models the real world. Hopefully at some time in the future we can do dynamic cube maps, but it probably won't be in TS2.

        There has been talk of flipping textures, but I don't know what the outcome will be.
        Steve Heijster
        Graphics Programmer
        Microsoft Game Studios

        Comment


          #5
          so dose that mean you can add mirrors to the engine. when your in the head out the window view you can look at the mirror and see your train behind you.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by trainrcool View Post
            so dose that mean you can add mirrors to the engine. when your in the head out the window view you can look at the mirror and see your train behind you.
            Unfortunately not that kind of reflection - you would need to render the scene again in the mirror face.

            Steve - Pity about the cube map. Trains can be very reflective things, so seeing trees reflected in a built up area may not look quite right.
            Perhaps we could have a set of fixed maps based on area - I'll post a suggestion to Rick.
            * Paul Gausden *
            * The Highworth project http://www.highworth.freeuk.com
            * Blog - http://decapod-3d.spaces.live.com/

            Comment


              #7
              It's my first post here, so I'd like to say hi

              I'm coming from FSX community, I've build a few things for flight simulator, and I'm very interested in TS2 too.

              It's great to see all those improvements in graphics.

              I have one question regarding TS2 rendering engine - are you planning to add support for binormals/bitangents? Right now (in FSX) normalmaps on geometry with mirrored UV's are inverted, are there any plans to fix in TS2?
              Last edited by empeck; 07-29-2008, 02:18 AM.
              Cheers,
              Mike

              www.simhangar.com

              Comment


                #8
                I believe it works now. FSX included binormals, so I am surprised if it doesn't work. Perhaps it was an issue with the tools.
                Steve Heijster
                Graphics Programmer
                Microsoft Game Studios

                Comment


                  #9
                  Good to know, thanks.
                  Cheers,
                  Mike

                  www.simhangar.com

                  Comment

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