Difference between revisions of "Building Architect Tool"
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The Building Architect Tool, commonly known as the BAT, is a plugin for Discreet's free 3d modelling tool GMax. The BAT allows players to export models in a format that allows them to be imported into SimCity 4. The BAT download also includes the SC4 Plugin Manager (PIM) and an update for the LotEditor (LE).
Features and Usage
The BAT provides several functions necessary for creating custom models for SimCity 4. When installed, it includes the following functions:
- Export - Produces a render of the model for all four viewport rotations (North, East, South, West), 5 zoom levels (zoom 6 is not rendered), and in both day and night mode (40renders in all). A dropdown menu allows the quality of the render to be selected; often a model will be exported at draft quality (the lowest of four settings) and imported into the game to check that it works in the game environment. Once it has been verified that the model is largely finished, higher quality renders will be created to check that the model's textures will fit with the game's palette. When the building is completed, it will be exported at high quality and then modded so that it will work well with the game simulator.
- LOD creation - The functions to create LODs for the models are grouped in the parameters section of the BAT's menu. There are 6 options available.
- Model Type - This function allows users to export cutom foundations to fit their buildings.
- Night Windows - This is a feature of the BAT which allows modellers to apply textures to windows which gives the impression of lit windows during the night-time renders of the model. This control provides options which allow the modeller to control the colour and intensity of these nightlights.
- Preview render - Produces a quick, low quality render of the model from one particular view (i.e. zoom 3, from the north, and at night). This allows the modeller to see how the rendering process will affect the final product. It is well documented that the game's camera angle causes buildings to look shorter than they actually are, and that the rendering process changes the colouration of the textures applied to a model .
- Gascooker. "Calibrating Photoshop for GMax Calibrating Photoshop for GMax". Retrieved on 2008-08-20.