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Old 12-03-2012, 12:35 AM
Shawn550 Shawn550 is offline
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How to create a helicopter

Hey I know this is an extremely overwhelming question to answer and any help is so much appreciated. I downloaded 3ds max and the kex file from knife edge. I would like to learn how to begin creating helicopters for realflight 6.5. I have been playing with 3ds for a couple weeks. I have been importing blue prints and creating very basic models that need much work but its a start. Can someone provide me with a link to some information or explain to me more about this. I am exhausted from seaching the internet looking for answers and ending up with none. This may not be the right question at this time but I am very curious how do you get parts like the main gear, swash plate, servos and screws into 3ds? Are they beng made in the program or imported in. I know I have much to learn but I really wanna do this so any help is so much appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:42 AM
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opjose opjose is offline
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All of the parts are modeled in 3D Studio by the author.

Yes it's a LOT of work.

I suggest starting by downloading the sample source files that are available with the KEX exporter from KnifeEdge.

There is a 3DS sample trainer and heli there that can help you learning how the hiearchies are set up.

In your shoes I would start with something far simpler, like a flat foam plane, then move up to helis when you modeling skills improve.

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:11 AM
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If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. It takes alot of time to make one model. There is a small parts repository in the threads, but there's not enough parts to make a whole helicopter. You have to make each part yourself, make sure it fits. Then you have to map it, and put the color on it. Hierarchy and pivots are required, too. After the 3D model is built, you have to import it into Real Flight, and program the physics. There is no Easy button. It's not impossible, but it's difficult enough that most people give up or never try.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:50 AM
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Madratter Madratter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn550 View Post
Hey I know this is an extremely overwhelming question to answer and any help is so much appreciated. I downloaded 3ds max and the kex file from knife edge. I would like to learn how to begin creating helicopters for realflight 6.5. I have been playing with 3ds for a couple weeks. I have been importing blue prints and creating very basic models that need much work but its a start. Can someone provide me with a link to some information or explain to me more about this. I am exhausted from seaching the internet looking for answers and ending up with none. This may not be the right question at this time but I am very curious how do you get parts like the main gear, swash plate, servos and screws into 3ds? Are they beng made in the program or imported in. I know I have much to learn but I really wanna do this so any help is so much appreciated. Thank you!
Before you start doing this, you really need to count the cost. Creating a new model from scratch will likely take you somewhere on the order of 200 hours of work. And that is work, not fetching coffee or reading the internet while you think about it.

If you are willing to put that kind of time into it, people around here are more than willing to help with questions that cannot be answered by looking at 3ds max tutorials on you-tube, etc.

I started about a year ago and the people here were very helpful. But you do need to be willing to put in the time, and you need to be willing to help yourself.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:45 AM
Shawn550 Shawn550 is offline
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Thank you guys for your replies. I am ready to invest my time and I will probably start with something more basic like a foam plane. I do still have much to learn about using 3ds so its going to take time. I will do much more research and see where I am at in a few weeks. Thanks for the link too!
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:00 AM
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Madratter Madratter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn550 View Post
Thank you guys for your replies. I am ready to invest my time and I will probably start with something more basic like a foam plane. I do still have much to learn about using 3ds so its going to take time. I will do much more research and see where I am at in a few weeks. Thanks for the link too!
I think doing a foam plane first is a great idea. It is how I got started. Pick a subject, and then get started. Personally, I think it is fine to jump in and start and then watch the various you-tube tutorials about things as you need them. That way, their content will be much more real to you, and not just a bunch of random facts and actions you won't remember.

Also, start a build thread. It will be easier for us to answer your questions there, and it helps provide motivation to keep going through the tough times.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:28 PM
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I highly suggest that you make a rudimentary airplane from the basic geometric shapes. With your focus on learning the process of getting a model through the necessary steps required for an export from max. Learning pivots, hierarchy, proper naming, and scaling. These things are daunting enough without the huge commitment of learning Max and creating a specific aircraft. Once you feel comfortable with the export/import process for kex files you can then concentrate on learning the ins and outs of modeling. I suggest making some shapes in Max and experiment on them using all the tools and modifiers to see just what max can do.

Here is some key reference material:
KnifeEdge provided reference:
http://www.knifeedge.com/KEmax/plane_tutorial.php
http://www.knifeedge.com/KEmax/heli_tutorial.php
http://www.knifeedge.com/KEmax/G4%20...0Reference.pdf
dhk79's thread compiling member created reference:
http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20971
The Modelers Tip of the Day thread:
http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28743
The RealFlight Video Repository thread:
http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28775

Post #2 of the last thread listed shows the full process of creating a simple aircraft and setting it up for export and then importing into RF.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:47 PM
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abaser abaser is offline
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I have to agree with Boof69 here. Learning the tools and functions is an undertaking in itself. When I started modeling, I spent hours just watching youtube videos, and trying things out myself on primitive shapes like cubes and cylinders. Even after doing this, I still forgot most of what I had learned just because things have a different appearance once a shape is taking form.

As mentioned earlier, once you do start to build your first model, start a build thread and post progress pics and ask questions there. the benefits include more than just getting questions answered. Over time you gain friendship and trust of many that can be very helpful in assisting you down the road. As you progress, your models can/will become more detail inclusive before you even realize it.

It all sounds very intimidating, but dont let that turn you away. The minute you see your first model in RF functioning as it should be, it all becomes worth it. And that's when the addiction begins.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:39 PM
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Once you get past the modeling tools, and a few of your own test planes, the real challenge will be pivots, hierarchy and naming.
They can get quite complex in a Heli compared to planks.

Read all the documentation pointed to above and use the sample Heli to see how they laid out the individual components.
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:00 PM
Shawn550 Shawn550 is offline
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Guys thank you so much for all this information. Your help and support is really amazing and I am very excited. I am currently trying to learn all the tools in this program. Its certainly going to take some time to learn how to shape these objects and take full advatage of all this programs features. I am also waiting on a new computer that will run 3ds much better then what I have right now. I think it will be a few more weeks of playing with this program before I start a model. When I do I will make a build thread.
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