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shmbry 27th January 2011 03:25 PM

AC3D Texture mapping
Is there any program to which an AC3D model can be ported between for uv mapping & texturing?


Which programs can import / export AC3D files for uv mapping & texturing.

sierracharlie 27th January 2011 05:37 PM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping
ultimate unwrap.

Stiglr 29th January 2011 08:08 PM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping
Why would you want to do your mapping in another program??? The simplicity and power of the Texture Coordinate Editor (TCE) in AC3D is much, much simpler than that of any other 3D program I've ever seen. None match it's flexibility and ease of use, IMO. It's one of the chief reasons to use AC3D in the first place.

shmbry 30th January 2011 09:13 AM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping
The main reason is because I made some fundamental errors when I started my project.

Firstly the model is far more complex than probably needs to be, currently it contains 1006 parts and in excess of 150,000 polygons.

Secondly I did not texture each part as I made it leaving me with a huge task in texturing it now.

The model was originally destined for FSX but with such a high count coupled with FSX thirst for CPU power the performance of the textured model would have probably been poor.

It was constructed mainly using FSDS 3.5 with some help from Autocad and I was hoping to use Bodypaint 3D to do the texturing but the file conversion process is too demanding having to pass through too many steps to retain the desired information; UV coordinates, parts names and animation to name a few.

I have managed to import the model in AC3D but there is a LOT of work to do to clean it up; normal direction, part names, hierarchy, animation and texturing.

At this point it would probably be easier to start again in AC3D. The project has been on hold whilst I try and decide what's best a major factor being the future of FSX.

Although Microsoft is developing 'Flight' knowing the history of flight simulator the chances of 100% compatibility are remote.

Therefore I am turning my interest towards X Plane 10. I think the advances being made with 10 will make it a far more interesting place to fly.

AC3D looks to be the way to go its just that having never successfully textured before another project seems daunting.

Stiglr 30th January 2011 11:18 AM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping

Originally Posted by shmbry (Post 27126)

AC3D looks to be the way to go its just that having never successfully textured before another project seems daunting.

I understand that last sentence, for sure. But, it won't get any simpler than with AC3D, of that you can be sure.

And you certainly may be correct that, realizing you've made big mistakes while building a model, sometimes it's best to cut your losses and start over. At worst, you'll learn more and end up with another, better model.

jleslie 6th May 2012 07:45 PM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping
I keep hearing about UV mapping, and I've played with the texturing in AC3d maybe
someone can show me how to resolve the texturing issue I'm having. whatever
I'm doing in AC3D, its just not quite right, but I can't believe ac3d won't let me do it.

here's my issue

I'm trying to texture a sci-fi rocket that is made of 11 conic sections, forming a
tear-drop like body:

what you see here is 4 copies of the body, as I've tried to texture it using some rivet tile images I have. The problem is the warping as the texture overlay is
wrapped around the body.

I'm trying to get to a look like one of these:

or these now these 3d models were textured with something called uv mapping, but I don't even know what that is:
these two images, note how the windows/artwork divide evenly around the rocket, I get this unwanted stretching effect on the sides of my 3D model in AC3D.

when I try and use the texture coordinate editor, it is
very difficult to line up, and I get things all crooked as the mapping does around the sides. What am I doing wrong?

FWIW, all my sources are here:

Its almost as if I need to take 4 pictures of the real object and carefully use the
texture coordinate editor to map the 4 views: front, right, back, and left (as I turn
CCW around my model) and get the texture coordinate editor (TCE) to align
just right. Alas, I dont have 4 view of the rocket I want to model.

Do I have to have a 4-view 2d version of my artwork?

In the directory


is the latest source I have it uses two texture files, razz.jpg and riv_st.jpg

both texture files are up there as well.

Stiglr 6th May 2012 08:35 PM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping
You have surmised correctly, sir. Any good texture map will basically be a set of views of the object shot "straight on" from all applicable angles. If you plan to use photographic sources, rather than use a graphics program (like Photoshop or Paintshop Pro) to create the images, you'll need to take those straight on photos and create a map from them.

since you're working with a cylindrical object with varying circumferences, your map, represented in 2D, will experience some "separation", especially around the nose area. You may need to create your map by "unwrapping the object" (or, better yet, copies of the object, so that you don't mess up your 3D model) and getting screen grabs of the various views. Unwrapped, the body will look something like this:

Then, you can cobble them together to create your texture map. After that, how you "paint" your texture is up to you. There are also options to consider to create "depth", uneven textures and whatnot... but first things first. :)

By the way, you should gain some kind of understanding of UV mapping, as you'll probably need to make use of it if you plan to create your own 3d models. You might also want to learn something about "materials" and "textures" if you plan to get nice renders of the results.

I might be able to help you with this; I know it's hard to fathom when you're a newbie... I was exactly in your shoes once! PM me, and perhaps we can set up a Skype meeting where I can show you some of these concepts, rather than attempt to describe them in printed words.

jleslie 6th May 2012 09:05 PM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping
I was afraid you were going to say that. so I have to basically make a 4 view of my
fuselage and paint it in PSP/ photoshop. as the body starts to curve around the
sides, I'll experience the warping, but as I change my view through the 4 views in
AC3D (front, right, back, left) I can use the next image of the 4 view, and as a
result its "head on" view will be straightened out. then I will have reduced the
warping problem to just the corners rather than the sides (45 angles vs the 90's)
and at half the warping values.

the mapping seems to just do a flat 2d mapping of the picture of the onto the
shapes of the conic section. That is why head on they are perfect, and the more
you move to the sides, the more warped they get; as the parallax view shows the
side panels of the conic section as getting narrower and narrower, the warping
gets more pronounced, to the point on the side where the entire panel is reduced to the edge on view of the picture---- all stretched out.

I think I made up my conic sections with 24 sides, Ideally I would have 24 views going round the model.

So what is gained by learning UV mapping? does AC3d do it? Or am I better off just going to paint shop pro and make up my 4 view of the model?

I'm thinking take a messed up paint job by AC3d, and then take snapshots of the 4 view, with the upper left hand window viewer, bring them into PSP, fix them up, and then make the 4view flattened image from those snapshots. keep repeating that process until things start to stop warping.

jleslie 6th May 2012 09:12 PM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping

Originally Posted by Stiglr (Post 29302)
Unwrapped, the body will look something like this:

<< image >>

Yes, that is exactly what I have imagined. I just added another degree of warping by using conic sections vs cylinders.

I see my issue. as things like cars, tanks, trains, ships and such are really "boxy",
meaining they basically have distinct "sides" (6 actually) the warping issues are not
as pronounced as my 360 object.

I imagine airplane fuselages are also a similar problem, while the wings are not so much.

I guess if I ever get to the point where I make a 3d model of a globe, I know I've got it down pat. :) Let me see what I can get going with a descent 4 view.

Stiglr 6th May 2012 11:36 PM

Re: AC3D Texture mapping
Well, it might not be that gloomy.... just do a bit of planning.

For example.... on the critical pointed nose cone, what do you envision as the type of texture/artwork that goes on it? If it's not too intricate (e.g., a solidcolor and no lettering) you could take a screen shot of the circle that describes the nose cone from the Top view and texture it that way. The Texture Coordinate Editor is very powerful (and easier to use than anything you'll find in any other 3D program, even ones that cost a LOT more), and will allow you a lot of flexibility when you actually start cinching up your texturing.

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