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Is There a Quick Way To Remove Smoothing From a Large Number of .mdls?

I have an object library containing a number of hangars. These hangars have some strange shadowing effects on the roofs because they are "smoothed". I'd like to batch-process these somehow to remove these smoothing groups, but so far the only way I've found to do that is export to .3ds and pull each one individually into gmax, figure out which texture belongs to which hangar and apply it, remove the smoothing, and re-export to FSX .mdl. I was just wondering if there may be some settings in MCX's exporter that would let me remove these smoothing groups in a batch conversion some way. ...or, would it be possible to export to some format that doesn't support smoothing, and then re-export that format back to .mdl somehow with the smoothing absent?

EDIT: I believe exporting to 3ds actually kills the smoothing, it's just that there's no way to convert a bunch of 3ds files to .mdl with MCX, or am I missing something?

Thanks,
Jim
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
There is no need to retexture the objects if they were previously textured. Just use the Pick button in the GMAX Material Editor and click on the hangar. Then load this texture into the Material again (must be either 24 bit BMP, PSD, or similar format that GMAX can read) by the usual process. Then click the blue and white checkered box and the previous texture mapping will reappear.

You now have your object as it was before, but without smoothing. You can now Export it directly from GMAX as a scenery MDL file.

BTW, if you have the objects as GMAX files, it is a simple process to select all objects, add an Edit Mesh modifier to the stack, select all polygons, and click the Clear button in the smoothing dialog. Voila - no smoothing.

Hope this helps,
 
There is no need to retexture the objects if they were previously textured. Just use the Pick button in the GMAX Material Editor and click on the hangar. Then load this texture into the Material again (must be either 24 bit BMP, PSD, or similar format that GMAX can read) by the usual process. Then click the blue and white checkered box and the previous texture mapping will reappear.

You now have your object as it was before, but without smoothing. You can now Export it directly from GMAX as a scenery MDL file.

BTW, if you have the objects as GMAX files, it is a simple process to select all objects, add an Edit Mesh modifier to the stack, select all polygons, and click the Clear button in the smoothing dialog. Voila - no smoothing.

Hope this helps,

Appreciate the reply Tom. I know I don't have to remap everything, it's just that there are quite a bunch of these hangars in an existing scenery that I'm fiddling with, and matching texture sheets to models is where I'm having the problems.

Maybe I'm not doing something right in MCX, but if I open the material editor after importing the 3ds file, the texture filenames do the old 8-character DOS thing like "HANGAR~1.BMP" rather than "hangar_blue_w-checkerboard.bmp" for example. So then there are like 80 odd texture sheets all with filenames like "hangar_whatever.bmp" in the texture folder so you can imagine what a fiasco it is to match all the textures to models :) .

I didn't build these models so I don't have the source files, I do usually remove smoothing on my own models as you describe. I'm trying to bring a somewhat dated scenery up to speed with current tech and the hangar smoothing was just a little thing that bothered me so I thought maybe I'd fix that too while I have the objlib.bgl apart. I suppose I could let it slide :) .

Jim
 
Update: I narrowed it down to just 9 of the hangars with the worst problems and with a little help from MCX running in another window to get the texture filenames, I processed them all through gmax fairly quickly. An odd 'material' was imported with the 3ds file, I didn't understand it so I deleted it and assigned a new FSX material. Maybe I should have left it alone and just assigned the .bmp, now the hangars have a pretty severe specular gloss that I need to figure out how to eliminate, but the smoothing came out OK. :)

Jim
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
As I understand it, if you make the specular color black (or use a black texture??), you won't have much gloss.

Hope this helps,
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
Near the very bottom of the FSX Material, look for the "No Base Material Specular" and put a check mark next to it... ;)
 

hcornea

Resource contributor
Jim, if you use MCX to export an X file also, you can use the Get GUID from X-file function in Gmax to retian the SAME GUID.

This will enable you to fix the model and recompile into a new library, without having to replace the instances of the object in the scenery.

My Suggested workflow would be to decompile the library to a set of MDL files.
Make a new xml with Library Creator XML 2 using these mdls
Edit the relevant mdls as desired
recompile the library and replace the original one.

This way you retain your GUIDs and other models, with no dupes.
 
Thanks Ian, that's basically what I have going, but what's the general consensus on producing another version of the objlib.bgl using the same guids? In this case the .bgl should have the same filename, or a new one, or is this not considered a good practice at all? I'm afraid I slept through all of the guid discussions here in the forums :) .

Using the same guids would certainly save a lot of hassle in updating the placement files...

BTW Bill, "No Base Material Specular" was exactly what I was looking for, thanks, now I know something about FSX materials :) .

Jim
 

hcornea

Resource contributor
If the library replaces the other one, then I would give it the exact same filename.

Since the library has the same GUIDs then it is effectively a "replacement" library.

You certainly don;t want both versions!
 
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