Splitting out objects in AC3D

03 Feb 2013 17:47 #6853 by Bomber

Vodoun da Vinci wrote:
It took me about an hour to figure out AC3D to the point I could import a .obj, flight it/orient it correctly, resize it, move it around in the grid and then separate out off of the individual objects (flaps, ailerons, wheels, turret...everything) and save as individual .ac files.

VooDoo


Splitting 'everything' out into separate files.

You must have a reason for this ?

Some items like a Fraser and Nash FN5 turret for instance I can understand... doing it for this would allow you to re-use the turret across the range of planes it was used on... with one single animation code for the turret.

ailerons, rudders... etc can't see the reason for this, maybe you could explain your thinking.

Simon

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03 Feb 2013 18:20 #6856 by Vodoun da Vinci
I was under the impression that in order to animate the various "parts" ie flaps, ailerons, rudder, etc. they have to be separate parts/surfaces.

I really have no understanding of animation other than I can select an object and call that object to rotate, spin, etc from an xml file.

If the aircraft is only one object and not split into groups of objects with individual names my only option would be to spin, rotate, etc the entire aircraft and not just the named/called object.

Or am I not seeing this correctly?

VooDoo

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03 Feb 2013 18:21 #6857 by StuartC
If the aircraft is a single solid object, with no surfaces cut into it, making the required object out of bits of the main model give you the surfaces you need to be animated.

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03 Feb 2013 19:18 #6859 by pjedvaj
OK, lets presume you don't know much about 3D modeling...
You've downloaded a free 3D model package of MQ-9 at thefree3dmodels.com/stuff/aircraft/mq_9_predator/15-1-0-2529 and you get a ZIP package with several formats of the same model, textures and bump map. Model is already rigged (parts are separated). If you try to import OBJ file you won't have any luck with it, because AC3D is quite stupid and you'll get a single object. You should use 3DS. Now you just have to reposition and scale it. Problem solved. ;)

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03 Feb 2013 20:19 #6862 by Algernon
You're quite right, VooDoo - there may have been confusion because Stuart's method (I think) is to delete the vertices, edges and faces around the object he wants to separate, export the remaining parts as an .ac file, then re-import it into the main aircraft file to become a separate object. Vertex work is fiddly in Blender and I'd imagine this method is less frustrating.

It's worth mentioning that sometimes, when the model isn't originally intended to be animated, modellers may group different parts of an aircraft into a small number of large objects according to their textures, to make efficient use of the texture image space. This makes the process of separation still more difficult, particularly with regard to UV maps.

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03 Feb 2013 20:41 - 03 Feb 2013 20:42 #6863 by Bomber
Well if it was me and I wanted to learn AC3D off the best I'd download Mossie's Potez, and look how he's done it...

Now you can split the whole plane up into separate files and then bring these back together using an animation file... That's how we animated in TW and how I did the Manchesters/Lancasters.. and there's some merit in this method if you're looking to reuse 3d Objects and instrument gauges are a good 'internal' example of this and turrets are a good example of externally reused objects.

I think sometime the problems come from using the word 'objects' like I've just done so... but it's a hard habit to break.

It's better to talk of a 3d file as a 3d Mesh and within this Mesh, you have grouped together vertices and faces and called them a common name, such as Wheel, or Wing-Right and Wing-Left... and these are known as objects.

Within FG's animation file usually at the top you call up the mesh, animation then follows calling up the objects name and the type of animation required..

I hope that explanation helped

Simon

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03 Feb 2013 20:58 #6864 by Vodoun da Vinci
Thanks for all input - it really helps! :)

Petar - I imported the 3DS file into AC3D and, just as you said, the individual parts are separated. But the texture map is a mess and some of the "parts" are offset from the main model. So it is 2 steps forward but yet yields something that wil take me longer to fix than I have invested already in the direction I am going. :)

At this point I have a Reaper.ac file that is awesome looking and flying....fully textured and it really looks quite nice. I have split out/separated all the individual parts into separate .ac files and cleaned up the attached "naughty bit" without disturbing the texture mapping. I did this using the very same subtractive method that Stuart uses.

That is, I open the single Reaper.ac and remove/cut away everything that is not wanted on the part. So, if I want a front tire I remove all of the model that is not part of the front tire. Then I save that file as "FrontTyre.ac" and do the same for *all* the parts I need...left and right ailerons, rudder, wheels, missiles, etc.

I am now in the process of making a Reaper.ac part that is just the parts that will not be animated...fuselage, wings, etc and will then import all the individual parts back in the the cut out places and make a single Reaper.ac that has individual "objects" or parts that can be called and animated.

I'm there and have the skills knowledge to make it happen and will make video of the bits and main model being combined. Then we'll begin animating it and I'll need all the input again.

And I thank everyone in advance for being patient with me. I have no background in 3D modeling and know less than nothing...knew less than nothing because I can now take a single object into AC3D and cut it up into over a dozen individual parts with precision.

So I have made tremendous progress in the period of only 2 weeks with only minutes a day to learn and work.

I am impressed with myself and the progress and have all of you guys to thank for the increase in self esteem. :kiss:

VooDoo

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03 Feb 2013 21:38 #6866 by pjedvaj
That's great VooDoo! Don't give up.

AC3D doesn't have some basic 3D options but it's easy to master and FG compatible. If you want to learn something you have to choose a tool that fits your needs.

You don't have to get a Autodesk certificate like me, just find a good video course (Lynda.com) and pick your tool; 3ds Max or Maya are my favorites, they offer free student licenses. Good luck.

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03 Feb 2013 22:23 #6869 by Vodoun da Vinci

pjedvaj wrote:
AC3D doesn't have some basic 3D options but it's easy to master and FG compatible. If you want to learn something you have to choose a tool that fits your needs.

You don't have to get a Autodesk certificate like me, just find a good video course (Lynda.com) and pick your tool; 3ds Max or Maya are my favorites, they offer free student licenses. Good luck.


Wow!! Video courses in 3D modeling? :woohoo:

Now I know what to ask for next Christmas.... :lol:

VooDoo

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