GMAX tutorials

Introduction:

Here are the Windowlight GMAX and scenery design tutorials. Some tutorials are spread over multiple pages, just choose the tutorial from the Table of Contents, and you can navigate from page to page, or tutorial to tutorial.

I've only transferred the more recent tutorials, as some of the others are getting a bit old. However these are still available at the Scenery Hall of Fame site. Just look for my name (Robin Corn).

Be aware that the navigation here is pretty weird. Use the 'prev' and 'next' buttons to navigate through the tutorials. Using the 'Continue' button returns you to the site entrance!

I don't know why, but I feel the need to start with a warning of some sort: "There be Dragons', or at least a sign saying 'rocky road ahead.'

I would love to say, hey, scenery design is easy, fun and rewarding, but only part of this is true -- it is fun and rewarding, that's for sure, but I have yet to find any part of it which is easy.

So what's the secret to scenery design? Some people consider me a good scenery designer, hey, I consider me a good scenery designer, but that doesn't give me any insights into why. I can take a guess, though; perseverance; a desire to learn new things; at least 30 years experience in graphic design and photography:)

Well, actually that last one may not (or may!) be true, but the others are true for me. I sure didn't leap into a major design project at first, I took little steps for a long time, but I've always remained excited enough about it to keep at it. So perseverance is a major factor.

The desire to learn new things is both a curse (it takes time, which I can't always afford) and a blessing (it keeps me from becoming stale.) Maybe you don't need this, but it works for me.

And lastly, I've always had a goal. This has never changed, and goes back well beyond the current facility to add anything to the simulator. It goes back about 25 years, when I first tried a flight simulator. It was simple, and visually almost non-existant, but at times I slipped into a 'zone' where I could imagine that I was really flying. Sure, this didn't happen often, but when it did it was a powerful experience.

When I rediscovered flightsim 20 years later, it had improved immensely, even allowing me to fly from my home town, but still lacked one important thing -- that instant recognition you get when you look at a place you know. Recognition is a very powerful force. Think of music you've heard before -- when you listen to it again, you know exactly what is coming up, the sound, the vibration, every tiny nuance. This is what was missing, being able to instantly orientate myself to my location, and know where I am, rather than just be aware of the fact.

I always return to some defining moments of discovery back then -- in particular, Christian Stock's elevation mesh for New Zealand, and Ian Warren's Christchurch Airport (my local.) both these addons gave me my first experience of instant recognition -- wow, you could set up the simulator so that you could view it as you would view the real world. Since then I've been just a little obsessed...

So that's my goal -- to give the sim a better experience of instant recognition, which in turn gives it a much greater realism.

So no matter what your motives for designing scenery, I hope you have a goal. It'll help you stay for the long haul.

 


These tutorials are made possible through your support of 'Real New Zealand' scenery available from the Godzone Store.

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