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Modelling the Piper Cheyenne III executive aircraft
This tutorial is for the creation and modelling of addons for Operation Flashpoint.

Technical Information
Type light transport
Crew, passengers 2 pilots, up to 9 passengers
Length 43ft 4in (13.2m)
Wingspan 47ft 8in (14.5m)
Height 14ft 9in (4.5m)
Max takeoff weight 11200 lb (5080 kg)
Max Speed 351 mph (565kmh)
Power Plant 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-61 turboprops

Tools used in this tutorial: Oxygen, Paint Shop Pro

Part One |  Part Two | Part Three |  Part Four |  Part Five

Part One:
Setting up Oxygen 3D Space for Modelling the Piper Cheyenne
Before beginning please read the following:
Difficulty Level: BEGINNER to MODERATE (Must have experience with Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop and
basic experience in a proprietry 3D modelling program such as 3D Studio Max,
trueSpace, Lightwave, Milkshape, or similar package.)

Time to Build: Depends upon your 3D modelling Skills

Aims: In this tutorial you will create a a 3D model of an aircraft using Objektiv2* - Oxygen*
*Objektiv2, Operation Flashpoint and Oxygen Light are copyright to Bohemia Interactive Studios



1. Start - what you need BEFORE you bein modelling
Before creating an aircraft in Oxygen or other 3D modelling program, you will need the following:
1. A good scanned 3 view line drawing of the aircraft.
2. Detailed specifications of the aircraft that show the wingspan, and length of the aircraft.
3. Clear photographs that show details that you wish to include in the model, such as the cockpit panels.

NOTE: The drawings for this model have already been prepared. Click on the download links throughout the tutorial.

 

2. Setting the environment
I. To set up the Oxygen 3D work environment for modelling load the 3 view aircraft drawing into your paint program (Paint Shop Pro)

 

II. Select each and crop each of the 3 views until you have 3 individual drawings.

NOTE: Oxygen will only load GIF or TGA bitmap files. These files must be of a 2x2 size format.
Legal sizes are 32 x 32, 64 x 64,128 x 128 etc up to 4048 x 4048.
Rectanglular shapes are permitted PROVIDED the sides are 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 etc up to 4048

To get the pictures below to retain their aspect I cropped the original picture as close as i could to the drawing outline, the resized the canvas, not the drawing. I then drew a 3 pixel wide frame around the edge of each view. This is so that you can see the edge of the image in Oxygen.



Fig IIa Side view 512 x 256 pixels

IIb Front view 256 x 512 pixels

IIc Top View 512 x 512 pxels
Download cropped .tga elevation drawings of the Piper Cheyenne III

III. Setting up the Side,Top, and Front Elevations

Typical Oxygen environment layout showing some of the tools we will be using

III-a. Creating the Front, Side and Top Elevation workspaces

In this section you will create a flat surface (plane) for each elevation. This is simply a surface that carries the Front, Side & Top elevation drawings that will be used as a guide for the building of your model. (See the picture below).
There are two reasons behind creating these planes. One is so that you can accurately place the parts of the model, and the second is to assist in resetting the background images in the three views in Oxygen if you need to do the modelling in more than one session. (Which is the usual case)


1. Creating the Front elevation viewpoint plane:

Before beginning this tutorial create a new folder in the root folder of your hard drive e.g. C:/ Remember that the name of the folder will be the name of the addon PBO file. It is important that this is named correctly. To avoid problems with other addons for Operation Flashpoint it is best to adopt the OFPEC naming standards for your addons. In my case I use the CWK prefix which is registered with OFPEC. If you are not going to distribute your addons you can choose anything you like.
NOTE: All icture and model files need to be placed into this folder. Oxygen will convert the image files to its own paa or pac file types within this folder. You can move your GIF or TGA files before creating your PBO addon. More about this in a later section of this tutorial.
a. Ensure the Front view window in Oxygen has been selected. See screenshot of a Typical Oxygen environment layout above.  
b. In Oxygen click Create and choose Plane..
c. From the popup menu click OK
d. The following plane shape will appear in the Front view window in Oxygen
e. Ensure the Uniform Scale Tool is depressed (i.e. locked position)

f. Hold down the Shift and Ctrl Keys and the Right Mouse Button and drag from the center of the object to enlargen it until the width is approximately 14.5m (the wingspan of the aircraft).

Release the keys and buttons when you are finished.

g.To create the background image press the A key. Note how the title of the view windows have changed
h.Draw a rectangle by holding down the Left mouse button and drag from the left hand edge of the object across to the right hand edge. Don't be concerned with the height at this stage. Release the mouse button when finished.
i. Right click over the object you have just created, and choose Load Texture
j. Load front.tga from the directory you created earlier. Note that Oxygen converts the image file to is own paa format. (Gif files are converted to pac format)

k. Right click on the loaded image and choose Correct Aspect

 

 

l. Move the image object using the Arrow keys so that the left hand edge of the image object lines up with the left hand edge of the plane object. To resize the image object hold the Shift key down and adjust the width only with the arrow key. When both left and right hand edges of the image object lines up with both edges of the plane object, release the Shift key and right click on the image. Choose Correct Aspect again. Press the 'A' key to return to modelling mode.

m. Click on the Vertices Selection Tool

n. Click on the Uniformed Scale Tool so that is undepressed (raised)
o. Click on the Y directional tool. This will allow you to move objects and vertices in the Y direction (up and down)
p. Select the lower vertices (corners) of the plane object. Hold the Right mouse button and drag upwards until the lower edge lines up with the lower edge of the image object.
q. Select the top vertices.Hold the Right mouse button and drag downwards until the upper edge of the plane object lines up with the upper edge of the image object
r. Mapping the backround image to the plane object is simple. Select all 4 vertices of the plane object and press the B key
s. View the mapped object in Buldozer

t. At the moment the object is single sided. To see what i mean do the following in Buldozer: Hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse. To fix this return to Oxygen
i: select the plane object again. ii: Press W to reverse the object's face
iii: Press F6 to create a new face. (Note during this tutorial you will learn how to use the F6 and W keys to quickly create and modify faces)
iv: View in Buldozer to see the new face

u. Map this new face by pressing B again. View in Buldozer for the result. (To view both sides in Buldozer make sure the objects vertices are deselected.)

Note: If the mapping appears only on one face it is possible when W was pressed the face flipped back and a new face was created over the first. To fix this do the following:
i: select the four corners of the object.
ii: Press D to delete the faces. This will leave the four vertices.
iii: Press F6 to create the face again.
iv: Press B to map the image onto the face
v: Press W to reverse the face
vi: Press B to map the image
vii: View in Buldozer

Save the file Choose a suitable filename and save the work so far
 

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This website and all graphic material is copyright to Robert L Watt (aka Colonel_Klink)2002