Thanks, yes it's a good tutorial. Like Hartman I was curious what steps are essential vs what steps were just done that way.
A "let's create a runway in as few steps as possible" Max tutorial might be a nice addition.
For anyone else reading this in future, my trial and error showed that the bare minimum for "ground" objects in the TSC is:
- A ground poly larger than the runway to allow for mesh smoothing
- The ground poly needs to be transparent at the edges as it will merge with the terrain texture and look ugly if visible
- No overlapping vertices
- Ambient texture present (50% grey bitmap if you don't want an ambient)
- Vertex coloring applied to everything (control of transparency between black and red). Can be done with the Edit Mesh modifier
- Material maps must be suffixed with _color or _specular etc
- Material names must be one of __airport__apron, __airport__runway, __airport__outside
- UVW Map applied
What isn't strictly essential
- Multi-materials and material channels
- Naming Max objects anything special
- The Vertex Paint modifier
- The Edit Poly modifier
- Chamfering edges of cut outs
If you look at FSCloud AD, they're only featuring a lonely runway without much mesh smoothing outside, as the case may be Spit40 could help you in automated generation of runways, taxiways and aprons.
Example of FSCloud runway following the mesh in Montserrat : IRL the ground has been flattened to build this AD, the previous one has been totally destroyed by the volcano.