Plane models in max

Pro Member Trainee
frazprg Trainee

Im a complete noob to these flight sims but Im a pretty good 3d artist. Im curious about the sims models.

I would like to know if anyone knows the fax about:
How many polies is the average (m$ made plane)
What texture channels are necessary for all supported types (spec,bump,dif)
what are the submeshes (if present) for high low col ect..
exporters for .mdl or fsx in general
and perhaps a usefull tutorial if someone knows where to look for fsx.

I can figure out alot if there is an importer so I can anylize the default files but No game is too similar to another. My experience lies in more arcade style games but I would like to do some fun things in this.

9 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

Welcome to flyaway fransprg, 🍻 it's always great to have a new member with us. Some people ask about making aircraft for Flight Simulator not realizing the complexity that is involved. They think it's like a Playstation GAME that you chose basic menus and then you have a new vehicle. You seem to know what you're talking about. Take a look at the Software Developers Kit(SDK) information on the Flight Simulator website. I believe the the SDK kit is physically on the Flight Simulator X disks. 🙂

Pro Member Trainee
frazprg Trainee

ah thanks, didnt think they would give that stuff right on the disk. I dont beleave riging and such will be a problem (getting plane specific detail may require a tour to my nearby airport, i know some people). The physics side of things may be more complicated but I think it wouldnt be impossible to find out specifics about any specific plane. Ill look around and get back to you guys when something comes around.

Ive done some older models for other ports before and have a halfway decent apache completed for another title but for this engine would likely require some redesigning of the cockpit and instrument panels to make the model perfect, thats aside from the physics side of that model.
Other models that are in some state of completion but never saw gameplay are a ch53 and blackhawk, i did a camanche but didnt get far at completing it (i love the helos) all are created with sample pics not mathmatics so detail is good but some supernerds could pic them apart for inacurracy (they always find something to nitpick about).

lemonwonder Guest

I have an idea for you. Your first job should be to create a fly. And make it do a lil buzz. Then when it goes out of atmosphere, flips upside down... and starts falling as there is no air. and the cock-pit... may be a bit hard to show it with flies eyes... (lotza mirrored etc) but if ya create this.... u wood be a ledgend... in my eyes atleast. email me at if ya create it, ill also watch the forums

Pro Member Trainee
frazprg Trainee

Well a personal fly vision would be the hardest part I think. I would imagine it could be done with a hardware shader (i dont program well!). As far as the model, a fly wouldnt be a problem. I have a model of a moth I did a long timeago and I may see if I can figure out this game engine soon so Ill test the plausability of flaping creatures.

Birds, bugs, and dragons oh my.

lemonwonder Guest

If you could do flying creatures that would be awesome!
And yanno how some things drop bombs, you could change the placement of where the bomb drops from, and make the bomb fire... dragon wit fire! It would make flight sim a completely new experience... and a lil better for slow computers, but u could make it an electronic fly, so it wood have the normal cock-pit.

This wood be awesome! (Dunno if it is/isnt allowed but🙂 do u have msn messenger?

Pro Member Trainee
frazprg Trainee

Sorry I dont use instant messengers that much. They always get me into trouble when Im doing art work (My main purpose on the pc is to do work, fsx breaks that rule) Twisted Evil

I started a simple plane today for testing and learning so dont expect updates often till I figure out the game engine setup. Im working on a geebee. Right now the mesh is pushing 1k polies (should be a lowend model with good detail) Im estimating finish poly counts of about 5k depending on the methods ill have to use to implement cockpit detail.

You would be supprised how low a count can be to achive gaming quality.

lemonwonder Guest

So what... for a bee or somin we are talkin 1 week... 2 weeks? more?

Pro Member Trainee
frazprg Trainee

Being my first project I couldnt tell ya. Normaly the modeling process takes about 6-8 hours for the base model and then textures take probably a few days of constant work (I model better then photoshop, I airbrush the textures grayscale first). After that is when the learning curve for this engine will kick in, I may not be smart enough to figure out the engine. I doubt that but you never know what youll get hung up on when You hit the techinical stage.

A geebee is a short race plane, cute little bastard. Ive liked them since i saw one when I was a kid. Built in the 1930s they sport a short body with a almost identical wingspan and a engine that takes up most of the plane. I figure mastering a realistic object will be necessary before reinventing the wheel.

Pro Member First Officer
Charlie10 First Officer

GMax &SDK are on FSX Disc1 in a subfolder. Don't neglect GMax, and when you register it, check out the Squid. A wealth of information and support is there for your viewing.

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