Empty created mdl file

The FSX export is not actually part of the 3DC product, I wrote it as an add-on.
That model shed has been exported to 3 different train simulators as well as FSX. All use different material options.

I’ve tried to keep the plugins as close to the SDK as possible – if you look at the SDK material properties you’ll recognise the various tabs I’ve set up.

I’ve not had a chance to test it all out, I just know I’ve duplicated all the functions available so all the options in the SDK should be possible.

The other week someone was having trouble making a landable platform for FSX. After a few e-mails we managed to get it working.
I do need to get all of this written down and posted on a website somewhere as tutorials.

First know that I’m new at 3DC. As far as I know, I’ve added all plug ins to 3DC 8.1.6 that I can find. When I export a simple cube to my work area, I get a mdl file, but it’s EMPTY. I get a x,config, and empty mdl when I export. Therefore, I can’t create an object for FSX according to Paul Gausden’s tutorials. Do I have a corrupted or missing plug in? If so, which file? Properties of the mdl file says ‘size = 0 KB’. The other created files have some size to them.

When you run the export, make sure you select an object in the main group first.

Let us know how it goes. I’ll test it again myself this week.
Posting here cah help others with the same problem in the future.

OK, Paul, thx for the quick reply. By ‘Main Group’, do you mean on the Hierarchy tree? Semantics may trouble this 75 Year old man. The object is called ‘2ndObject’. First I clicked on the image in 3DC 3DC, also highlighted on the hierarchy tree the title of the object, saved the object thru file/save as, then exported it using Flightsim X (.MDL)(x). When I went to save it as 2ndObject.mdl I got 2ndObject.mdl.mdl with 0KB in it. I know I’m doing something wrong since the object shows up well in 3DC.

Aha! – just got same result with the latest 8.1.7

It’s not a bug – there has been a change to the way version 8 calls export plugins.
You must select all objects that you want to export first.

The simplest way is to hold down Ctrl-A and click on an object in the base group of the model to be exported. This selects all groups and shapes in the hierarchy.
Now run the export to MDL.

My MDL viewer program is probably the quickest way to confirm if the MDL file is valid.
<!– m –><a class="postlink" href="http://cid-06b528339820717e.sk…s/MDLReaderSetup.zip">http://cid-06b528339820717e.sk…s/MDLReaderSetup.zip</a><!– m –>

Thanks Paul, I’ll give it a try and let you know what happens. I have a gut feeling that I may have to re-install 3DC to repair the program. (Also, I need to remember the 9 hour time difference between you and me.)

Paul, tried what you suggested. I selected the whole hierarchy from ‘scene’ on down. I then exported as flightsim x(mdl)(x) and ended up with mdl, x, and config files. The mdl file was still empty. It’s near midnight, your time, so sleep well!

Not quite there <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>
– you need to select from the main group of the model down.
e.g. my humber car has a hierarchy
[pre class=’ip-ubbcode-code-pre’]
+— Body
+ BodyObject
+— Wheels
+ Wheel1
+ Wheel2
If I hold down Ctrl-A and click on the BodyObject in the scene It selects everything under the Body group (including the body group)
It then exports correctly.

This way you can build several models in a scene and export them individually.

Paul, I totally re-installed 3DC 3DC 8.1.6 including your plug ins. Highlighted the hierarchy concerning only the cube object. The config, x, and mdl files are easily generated into my work area but the mdl file is still empty. Also the Library Creator gives me an error message saying that the mdl file is not valid. I don’t know anything about creating mdl’s and the dll files associated with them. I’m going to take a break from all this.

Miracles never cease! Got it to work using a file I had made before starting this thread. While learning 3DC Compass I had made an object that had extrusions, some textures and other techniques. I still had that object, and using your tutorials, got a valid mdl file and was able to insert it into FSX. Not perfectly, mind you, but it did show up. So for the time being, I’ll leave you to more important tasks than humoring this old man. Still got a lot to learn.

Nothing is more important than getting over the first hurdle – the rest flows from there.

Unfortunately I’m still getting to grips with 3DC 8 so it is a group learning process at the moment.

One thing I learned, if you don’t shift center point after adding or subtracting operations,(and probably more) which will affect the original center point, you will end up exporting an empty mdl file. Now I’m wondering how to make a bitmap in dds mode and applying part of it to an object. It seems that 3DC wants a square bmp and will use all of it when painting a portion of a face. BTW, insure that the bmp is a 256 color or else you’ll get a black face in FSX. I see the aircraft bmp’s have many different parts of the AC all on one bmp. How can I select only the part I want?

It depends on which is the source and which is the target object in the add/subtract operation.
It takes a while to get the hang of using the hierarchy correctly.

BMP’s do not need to be square and can have any colour depth. The FSX export converts the bmp file reference to dds in the mdl file so you need to convert the bmp to DDS using the imagetool.exe supplied in the FSX SDK.

On the material tab there is a button which brings up a window that lets you select part of a texture sheet.
I’ve got a few examples of 3DC files that can be exported to FSX – if you’re interested in taking a look just let me know.

Paul: OK, I now get an object placed info FSX using a dds file from FSXTextures. I get a good view of the object in Daytime, but the Nighttime image does not utilize the *_LM.dds texture which is present in the same texture location therefore, it’s dark. I assume I’m doing something wrong, but don’t know what it is. The object is a building. If I use a object.dds for daytime, how do I make 3DC use a Object_LM.dds at nighttime? Any help is appreciated.

I’ll have to look this one up – please bare with me.
The answer will be somewhere in the SDK and the material properties.

Edit – the answer is in Env Kit/Modeling SDK/texturing aircraft models/Texture Map Types
Under emissive/self illumination maps
I just need to work through an example for you in 3DC.

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