Making Static Aircraft for FS2002 Using gMax


The first step assumes that you have allready designed and textured an aircraft in gMax. Now we want to place that aircraft in our scenery. Also, we do not want to have to go through the steps of retexturing each time we want a different livery. So, with one model and one texture mapping we will have the ability to place the same model at several locations using any livery we choose for each one. This requires a couple of additional programs.
Middleman by Chris File
Mdl Commander by Doc Moriarty
You will also want to use the version of Makemdl.exe that comes with the MakemdlSDK


Step One... Export

I have placed the additional programs in the C:\gmax\plugins directory. I have renamed the original makemdl.exe file to mkmdl.exe. Chris File's Middleman program is renamed makemdl.exe now and Doc Moriarty's MDL Commander is named makem.exe.



Open your model and the from the File drop down menu select Export. Name your export file to something generic. I have named mine to b4741_static and set the type to bgl. Be sure to export to a temporary working directory and you remember where it is.



If everything it working properly you should see a screen like above. Notice the red arrows. You want to be sure you have these boxes checked. The export process takes just a second. To verify that you now have an X file to edit, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the directory where you exported to and look for a file with the *.X extension. Remember, I exported mine to b7471_static so I look for a file named b7471_static.X



Step Two... Modify the X File



Once you have found your X file you need to modify it for a different texture. The file I used to do the texturing with in gMax was named b7471_00_t.bmp



But this is not what I want to show in the scenery so I have repainted it and saved it to something else.


This texture is named b7471_NW_t.bmp


Now I open a plain text editor, in this case WordPad, and then open the b7471_static.X file with it. I replace all referances to the b7471_00_t.bmp with my new livery, b7471_NW_t.bmp and save or save as if you want to name it something new.



Step Three... Compile the Scenery File



In Windows Explorer, navigate to the C:\gmax\pluguns directory. Double click on mkmdl.exe to load it.



Click on the Input File Browse button and navigate to find your X file then select it. In the Output File box change the name of your scenery file if you want. I recommend naming it something descriptive so if you make many you can easily find it if you want to replace or delete it. Something like the airport name+ac type+airline and maybe 01, 02, 03, if you have several copies of the same aircraft at the same airport but in different locations. Examples: pdx7471NW_01.bgl, pdx7471NW_02.bgl, pdx7471NW_03.bgl.



Also set the Aircraft/Scenery drop-down to Scenery.



Click on the Options tab and set those.



Now set the Latitude and Longitude and Heading for your aircraft as well as the View Distance and Image Complexity.



Next, click on Start.

After the scenery is compiled be sure and place it in an approprate FS2002 directory as well as moving the texture file. I put my scenery in the

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\FS2002\ADDON SCENERY\SCENERY

folder and the texture in the

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\FS2002\ADDON SCENERY\TEXTURE