[TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Everything related to creation of new sceneries for Condor...

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Xavier
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[TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby Xavier » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:30 pm

Tutorial

Since 2006, few fellows tried to use Blender to build their 3D objects for Condor.
The result was not obvious, and except GregHart1965, nobody really succeed, or give a fair path to achieve this task.

Comparatively to Wings 3D the modeling seems more powerful, but very difficult to manage with a lot of shortcuts.

Simplicity of Wings, to build simple objects, is obvious.

But Blender can be very useful with complex textures if you master the Node Editor.

So, I do some test to understand all this "b......" stuff!

Here are my findings with a simple cube and an image of an unwrapped cube of "mincraft" find on the Web:


Start with the cube of Blender 2.7.9 (Last stable version 2017.12).


1/ Put the cube on the ground

- In Object mode, with the "manipulator" move the cube to the ground.

Image


2/ In Edit mode:

- Change the engine to use for rendering to "Cycles Render" (1).
- Enlarge the left windows (Outliner and Properties windows on the right side of your screen).
- In Properties create a new material (click the material button (2)).
- Give a name to your material (3).
- Eventually click "Node Editor" in order that the options appear.
- In "Surface" -> "Color": choose "Image Texture" (use the up arrow on the left)(4).
- Open the Image Texture. Click "Open" and find and load your texture (5).
- In the Vector Choose "UV" (6).

Image


3/ UV mapping

- In Blender change the canvas from "Default" to "UV Editing", stay in "Edit mode" (1).
- In the "3D view" press "CTRL+TAB" and choose "Edges" (2).
- Select the 4 vertical edges and 3 bottom horizontal edges with "SHIFT+RMB"
(or LMB, this depends of your choice in the "Blender User References" in the "File" menu, "Input" Tab, "Select With").
- Then press "CTRL+E" and choose "MarkSeam".
- These Edges become red. Select all the edges. Then press "U" and choice "Unwrap".
- The map of the unfolded cube appears on the "UV/Image Editor". (4)

Image


4/ Show the Texture under the UV map

- Load the Texture in the UV map: Click (1) and choose "mincraft" (2).
- The texture appears under the UV map.

Image


5/ Fit the UV to the Texture

- Select the whole Isle, Rotate with "R" (90°), and scale if necessary with "S".
- Select the rows or the columns of vertices with "B" (Rectangular selection) and grab with "G" and "X" or "Y" to move the selected vertices at their correct places.
- Make a render to test your texture map.
- Go back to the "3D View". Select "Object mode" (1). And open the "ball icon" just next right (2). Choose "Texture", and the cube is now wrapped with the texture.
- Save your work please!

Image


6/ Export attempt to 3DS

- File -> Export -> 3DS open a window. Give a name and Save.
- Use Object Converter as usual to transform the 3ds file in Cx file.
- Open the Cx file. All seem correct, except there is no texture field!
'TextureFilename { "Mincraft.bmp";}' is missing. It seems to be a dead end.

Image


7/ Export to Wavefront

- "File -> Export -> Wawefront (.obj)".
- Set the parameters as shown in the picture.

Image

8/ Import/Export with Wings 3D
- Open Wings3D, and Import Cube.obj: "File -> Import _>Wavefront (.obj)"

Image

- Export In 3DS: File -> Export -> 3D Studio (.3ds)
- Use Object Converter as usual to transform the 3ds file in Cx file.
- Open the Cx file. All seem correct, and there is a texture field!

Image


9/ Test flight in Condor

- Just transfer the cx and the texture file in the appropriate folders of scenery.
- Bind the cx file to the texture.
- Open Landscape Editor, load the scenery, notch "ground objects, and find the cube.
- Place the cube in the scenery with the button, etc. and save by "File -> Save landscape"
- Open Condor, build a simple task, and fly.

Image


Have fun!
*****- Xavier - (XDL * F-DELX) -*****

dendwaler
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby dendwaler » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:06 pm

I am happy to see that you and other members of this community finally discovered the power of Blender.
In my opninion Blender its one of the 4 best 3D modelling programs that excists.
And once you master it, its by far the most flexible, and fastest way to make your models.
I agree it has a steep learning curve in the beginning, but the further you come, the easyer it gets.
With 3dmax, maya or houdini its the other way around.

But once the shortcuts, which might be difficult in the beginning , become familiair to you.
They are a relieve!
Its like piano playing. You will do it completely automaticly after time.

For those who want to learn Blender, follow good tutorials!
Because good Blender tutorials are hard to find.
I will point here to the best tutorial set you will find on the internet and it is free!
These l tutorials of exceptional quality are made by Neil Hirsig, a professional teacher in 3D modelling.
Everyone, beginner or advanced can learn from what he shows you.


https://www.emg-mediamaker.com/tutorials-blender-3d-design.php
Above is the course you absolutely need, but you can find more of his hand on his vimeo channel.


https://vimeo.com/nhirsig
https://vimeo.com/channels/blendervideotutorials
https://vimeo.com/channels/blendervideotutorials

and there is more on youtube.

I hope this post is of some help to a few of you.
I think in condor 2 which can handle more vertices , the use of Blender will become more common.
I myself did never build anything for Condor but use Blender as a hobby, nearly on a daily base since 2003 and builded an adventure game in it

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OXO
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby OXO » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:33 pm

OXO,
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Xavier
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby Xavier » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:16 pm

Thank you denswaler and OXO for the free online video tutorials to learn how to use Blender. It will be very helpful for those who want to learn Blender.

It is really difficult to find a good tutorial in English and more difficult to find efficient tutorials in French, my mother language. Much too talkative for details and imprecise in the real knowledge.

What I want to underline, in this first and very simple tutorial, it is to show that we can put a 3d object built with Blender. The workflow seems very reliable.

There is an issue with the 3ds Export of Blender and the Object Converter of Condor, and the tests made with 3dsmax show that it works with the plug-in Texporter, but 3ds max and Maya are very expensive and Blender is free.

If I compare the cx file with no texture (direct export from Blender) and the cx file with textures (via Frontwave and Wings 3D), they are so much difference, even with a simple cube in the Material Header and the Mesh Texture Coordinates, that this way must be closed unless there is a special plug-in as with 3dsmax.

There are a lot of real reasons why I look to Blender.

The first one is the textural process with the Node Editor which permits to enhance the quality of the final texture map in adding normal map, displacement map, specular map, etc. There is free soft to make that kind of map, or you can use Photoshop with Quixel.

Here under a very simple example with the Blender Node Editor

Node editor.png


But, as far as I know about it, Condor 2 will also support a great number of vertices for static objects.

And as said Cadfael, Qgis will be used to built cartoons or photo-satellite scenery.
Or with Qgis you can also extract OSM data as in my last sceneries.

The common point between Qgis, Blender and Gimp, is that they can be interfaced with Python scripts to automate the process.
Poser also uses Python, etc...

Good flight
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*****- Xavier - (XDL * F-DELX) -*****

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OXO
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby OXO » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:59 pm

In January, I will be switching to Blender from Wings3d.

The workflow will be Blender -> obj file -> Condor2 object editor -> Condor2 native file
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Capricorne
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby Capricorne » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:28 am

January 2018 ?? :cry:

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OXO
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby OXO » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:34 am

Capricorne wrote:January 2018 ?? :cry:


Yes, in a few weeks.

This is for the add-on planes for Condor2. Included planes are all finished (wings3d)
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Tomzy97
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby Tomzy97 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:34 pm

Hello!

I have a problem regarding UV unwrapping of models in Blender, and i could really use some help. I used seams to mark main wing of plane which i want to unwrap, but when i use manual unwrap I get a whole mess of lines(picture 1 and 2). I also tried automatic unwrapping but my wing gets multiplied (picture 3). Any idea what am I doing wrong? :)
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dendwaler
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby dendwaler » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:47 pm

My first impression is that you have a duplicate of the wing mesh at exactly the same place as the intended wing.
It can happen when you accidently hit shift +d when in edit mode.
You can check it by selecting in edit mode 1 vertex then press ctrl+l to select all Linked vertices and pull it aside.
(or hide those using H and alt H to unhide)
This way the duplicatie will become visible. You can restore this handeling by using Ctrl+z.
If there is a duplicate delete it. Always check your mesh for doubled vertices after after splitting or combining meshes when finishing an object.
(press W and choose remove doubles)

Looking at png 2 , i still see "closed loops, its not a proper unwrap, it can't unfold. That also indicaties a duplicated mesh Assuming that the Seams are at the correct edges and fully separate upper and under side of the wing.
In the layout of png 3 you can check which faces are involved by selecting a wing Side (faces mode) in the uv editor while the uv editor is set in the "synchronise with mesh mode".
I hope this helps.

here is an example of how to keep faces selected in the uv editor in sync with the mesh
Image
Last edited by dendwaler on Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 am, edited 4 times in total.

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OXO
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby OXO » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:24 am

dendwaler wrote:My first impression is that you have a duplicate of the wing mesh at exactly the same place as the intended wing.
It can happen when you accidently hit shift +d when in edit mode.
You can check it by selecting in edit mode 1 vertex then press ctrl+l to select all Linked vertices and pull it aside.
This way the duplicatie will become visible. You can restore this handeling by using Ctrl+z.

Looking at png 2 , i still see "closed loops, its not a proper unwrap. That also indicaties a duplicated mesh Assuming that the Seams are at the correct edges and fully separate upper and under side of the wing.
In the layout of png 3 you can check which faces are involved by selecting a wing Side (faces mode) in the uv editor while the uv editor is set in the "synchronise with mesh mode".
I hope this helps.


If you'd have the time to look at Tomzy's .blend file, it would be much appreciated. Please pm me with your email address and I'll send you a link to the google drive
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dendwaler
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby dendwaler » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:53 am

Ok , i will have a look at the file.
I have sended you my email adress.

dendwaler
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby dendwaler » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:20 am

Ok , received!
It was as i thought a duplicate. :D
Here is it after the separation of the duplication.
I will upload the edited file after i have looked to the seams,

Image

dendwaler
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby dendwaler » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:20 am

Ok , received!
It was as i thought a duplicate. :D
Here is it after the separation of the duplication.
I will upload the edited file after i have looked to the seams,

edit: It will take some more time , bcause i will check the complete model.
I noticed some more issues, lots of normals are pointing to the wrong direction, if so then the texture will appear on the inside instead of outside.
They have to be flipped. This happens when you use mirroring, all mirrored parts will have the normals also mirrored.

Image
Last edited by dendwaler on Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tomzy97
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby Tomzy97 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:43 am

What kind of magic did you use to achieve this? :D I tried what you told me yesterday, but didn't get any significant results. Still have a lot to learn.
Many thanks!

GregHart1965
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Re: [TUTORIAL] 3D Objects for Condor with Blender

Postby GregHart1965 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:52 pm

This is nice to see! I think Blender would be really great for modelling natural objects such as people using their soft modelling tools, being able to very simply merge many basic forms to build up a shape, and also being able to very easily manipulate the shape of the object by simply clicking and dragging as opposed to the endless 'move' commands in wings. One would just have to watch how many vertices you are outputting ( again, I think, you can adjust this after the initial drawing - something you cant do in Wings). Lastly flowing curves can be created as well modulation of the surface shape using individual points (vertices). This is possible in Wings (delete edges but retain vertices) but Wings is not so good at retaining the shape of the 'skin' or surface. If you don't use enough edges the surface collapses inward in Wings.

I am still miles away from mastering Blender (it IS aimed more at animation and film/video rendering) but it might be useful for certain things (curves). It remains to be seen how much of the properties available to you in Blender will be able to be carried across to the new Condor2 object file format.


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