Video tutorial: runway design with AC3D

  • i only have 1 runway so how do i edit out the second runway in the tsc file?

    Just delete the second runway section, but be careful with the file format.

  • You need to restore the original orientation. I'm just managing to get through this stage myself. Some learnings.

    • This application seems prone to accidentally changing settings. The way i've seen it happen is that i put the mouse in a field to change a value and start typing, but the mouse has accidentally shifted outside the field. The field immediately loses focus and the text you type (such as a new name for an object) is being accepted by the main window. Normally simple key presses without Ctrl or Shift don't do anything, but some do. 'T' is one and i think 'W'. Anyway they cause wierd effects. The first time it happened i deleted all my work and started again, the second time i found a 'Reset default' settings option. The third time i pressed w and t again.
    • Another edit niggle is the rotate field and this sort of thing perhaps happens in other fields. It may have a default 90, so you change it to perhaps 10 and press the +, but it still moves 90 as it hasn't accepted the 10 yet. So you press enter after the 90 and it rotates immediately, before you're ready sometimes. I found the best way was to press escape after entering the value.
    • You may accidentally shift everything so your centre point moves from where it needs to be. Do select all and move it back with the mouse. Make sure you select everything. Keeping copies at different steps helps here if you move the wrong bits and get them out of sync.
    • The way that mesh only shows grid squares for the top part of the area confused me for an hour or two. You just have to accept it and move everything around underneath it to ensure alignment. Clicking the padlock symbol on the mesh will make all the squares show if you want, but you can't select individual surfaces then.
  • Hi,

    good discussion. Let's go on to help others with the first steps.

    After you entered values into a field of AC3D, press TAB key so the entry is being accepted and finished. Now you can perform the action.

    If you shifted your work, so the reference point is no longer in the center of AC3D:
    Don't worry. Either you select all, then move with the mouse back to the correct point.

    You may even select quite another reference point in the center. You only have to get the new coordinates from and edit these values in the TSC.

    Grids are visible only in the top half screen of AC3D, because the objects are all in the same height of 0. If you change the height for the grid, it will be always displayed above the background. But don't forget to set it back to 0 elevation, before exporting the data.

    Rotation of background image to align the runway North-South or East-West:

    The only reason is to show you a fast way to align the runway grid with the runway. Of course this is not mandatory and you can use any method of mesh editing in AC3D. But picking vertices and move them one by another to the correct position is not an entertaining video instruction.

    When I write a summary with the video links for the wiki, I will add these suggestions to the wiki as well. But before the remaining tuts have to be done.

    Another remark: All the topics mentioned above are AC3D related and are independant from aerofly. You have to learn AC3D to a certain degree, so I suggest to do some general AC3D workshops. And don't think, other 3D programs like 3Dmax or Cinema4D are easier ;)


  • Success - I have a runway... but with blue decals

    Any ideas Rodeo ? I thought maybe the decals were below the runway surface, so I compared with KDWH and matched that. I think its to do with one of those accidentally pressed settings but I don't know which and would rather not start from scratch making this again. The decals are white and look fine in AC3D and something is working because the blue is exactly where I put them.

  • Thanks. I got there. The white was fine, but I didn't have the decals TIF in my folder so I'd lost that as the texture for the decals (assuming the white I was seeing would appear in the render). Now I've loaded in the TIF texture for the decals and it looks more promising, but I have another wierd thing. The TIF file when I open it in graphics software is just a plain square of texture. But its thumbnail is like this:

    Some sort of layer thing I presume? When I do F10 on the decals all I see is the grey square like this, so I can't move the texture co-ordinate editor over some runway numbers. I don't see any numbers. I've gone back to a clean unzip of KDWH and I don't see any numbers on there either, even after an AC3D reset all settings.

    This is what I see in the KDWH, freshly unzipped and opened in AC3D. What happened to 35L ?

  • OK, but when I open a brand new with a complete fresh unzip of the files including the TIF I don't see any decal/alpha, just the screenshot above.

  • OK, I'm at the point I need to uninstall AC3D and try a clean reinstall. Any ideas before I do that? There's nothing in the manual about alpha transparency settings or on the web. No reset of settings is bringing back the alpha and I'm focusing here on looking at KDWH from a fresh unzip.

  • Torsten - Please give Rodeo a medal !

    He has put so much work into helping myself and clayton4115 over the last week or so, both newbies to AC3D, to get up to speed and debug problems, usually of our own making. Here is my first runway with decals finally.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to put together these tutorials Rodeo. I had a lot of the same issues the others had, but was able to to make a really nice runway and airport layout for my hometown in the rocky mountains of Idaho. I also was able to make my own custom textures and decals after seeing how it was done, and the final result is really quite good.

    Did anyone figure out the problem with the decals and the alpha channel not working correctly for the .tif files? I had the exact same problem; AC3D was displaying the texture but not doing anything with the alpha channel. I opened the tif in Photoshop and confirmed the alpha channel was indeed there, and only after I re-saved the texture from Photoshop by discarding layers and checking the 'preserve transparency' box did it actually work in AC3D.

    It seems pretty weird that some installations of AC3D would work with the alpha channel in a .tif while others do not... ? Anyway, for anyone having this issue, I can send you the new file I saved that should work so your number decals appear correctly if you'd like.

    A few screenshots: