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ProX Golf Course Design Tutorial (Part 3) 

ProX Water Reflect Map Modeling

3d studio Max 8 method

Compared to the MilkShape method, this is simplicity itself. Problem is 3D Studio Max is a $3000 professional graphics tool. If you happen to have a version lying around though then this is how to make a the reflection maps with it:

First load the surfaceObject.bmp Map image for the course hole into the background of the Top 3ds view. (Alt/B key) 

The image has to be scaled and positioned before any work can start. To do this create a plane object the same size as surfaceObjects image (ie 1024 * 2048) set around 0,0 (center) co-ordinates. With the Lock Zoom/Pan off in the viewport background window (alt/B) zoom in/out so that the plane matches the surfaceObjects image. Set the  Lock Zoom/Pan option On and delete the Plane object.

Select Create NURB Curves and select Point Curve.


Then click the nurb points around the pond outline ( about 30 seconds work).

Then select Modify and from the List select the Extrude option, Set Ouput to Mesh and it's finished.

In the Capping box you can select Morph or Grid. The above shows the polygons generated with Morph capping.

This, however, is not optimal because too many polygons are generated. 

A better method would be to select Grid capping.

Here the result of using the Grid capping option and then converting to an editable patch

After applying the Optimize modifier the number of polygons have been reduced substantially. 


With this step finished we now have to remove the backfaces. To do this select the Bottom view and using the Patch Selection in the Editable Patch window with the Ignore backfaces on, select all faces by dragging the mouse around the object and then press the delete key. When you switch back to the Top view you should see that all the polygons are still visible.

Moving Wave / Water Ripple  Effect

To activate the GGS Pro-X moving wave / water ripple feature you simply have to assign a UVW map to the reflection object and assign a suitable texture.

In 3ds add a suitable water wave texture to the Material Editor and apply a UVW Map to the reflection object from the Modifier List. The texture must be placed in the Courses/Textures folder. Assign the new texture to the reflection object and set the UV Tile appropriately. This is normally the default 1.0 but if you want more waves increase this factor. 

Export to 3ds format with the following naming convention..

  1. Select the course folder and name the file according to this naming convention: First 2 characters are first two characters in course name, then „RelfectModelZ“, then the hole number, then a dash, then the reflect model number, then .3ds.
  2. ie AuReflectModelZ5-2.3ds for course hole Augustin, hole 5, Reflect model 2

Note 1: Because the reflection model already contains it's position data you don't have to position the reflection model in ProX. 

Note 2: Because the ZY planes in the 3ds model are the reverse of GGS 3d co-ordinate system, the system must be able to detect this. This is done by adding a  "Z" to the file name. 

Note 3: If you have more than one water pond or stream in one hole and they are all at the same ground height then you can create objects for all of them in one single model. 

After you have loaded the hole in GGS, press ctrl/R to go into Reflection Model mode which allows you to fine adjust position, height, rotation and scale. Go to  the Water Mode (ctrl/W) to adjust colors and translucency.



ProX Water Reflect Map Modeling

with MilkShape

You can download MilkShape from www.MilkShape3d.com

To create the reflect models in MilkShape do the following:

  1. Start Milk Shape.
  2. Select Window and make sure „Show Viewport Caption“ is selected.
  3. The bottom left hand window should show „Top“. If not select Top from the drop down combo box.
  4. Right mouse click the bottom left hand window and select „Choose Background image“.
  5. Select the appropriate course hole „SurfaceObjects“ bmp file (ie AuSurfaceObjects1.bmp)
  6. Set ScaleX and Y to 1
  7. Select OK
  8. Hold Ctrl Key down and mouse drag the image until you see the water pond or stream, or river. Zoom in/out by holding the shift key and mouse dragging up down in the Top window.
  9. Select „Model“ tab from the tab window in top left hand screen.
  10. The idea now is to make up a number of triangles to fill the water area whereby more triangles are required for curves and less for straight borders. Each Triangle consists of 3 points (or Vertices) and a triangle face.
  11. First we make the Vertices. Select the „Vertex“ button.
  12. Mouse click Vertices around the pond. Place more around areas that require more detail (ie curves) and less else where.
  13. Place a number of vertices in the middle of the pond
  14. Now we make the triangle faces. Select the „Face“ button.
  15. To make a triangle face we need to select 3 vertices in a anti-clockwise direction. If made in a clockwise order the face will appear upside down and black in the 3d Perspective window. If this happens then press the Select button, Select the Face button and  mouse click the triangle to select it. Make sure only this triangle is selected. Select Vertex in the top menu bar and press Mirror top-bottom or select  Face in the top menu bar and press Reverse Vertex Order.   
  16. Select the vertex in the middle and then two adjacent to each other at the border.
  17. You will see that the points join up and a face is created in the 3d image in the bottom left window. (You can move the 3d view camera by dragging the mouse around in the 3d window)
  1. Continue on creating triangle faces around the pond until it is completely filled with triangle faces. Make the faces as big as possible in the middle of the pond. If you find that a space is left in the middle then add vertices's and faces until it is filled. Keep a check on the 3d image window to see all faces.
  2. Your reflect model should then look something like this.
  3. When GGS detects and loads this model it may not be in the exact place or will be the correct size. You can scale and move the model in MilkShape but it’s probably easier within GGS. If so it’s probably advisable to move the model to the center of the grid in MilkShape first. To do this go to Edit/Select All, press the move button and mouse drag the model to the grid center and select Scale and set the xyz values to 1.1 to increase scale or 0.99 to decrease scale in fine increments.
  4. Now we save the image.
  5. GGS can only render 3d Studio files (.3ds files) so we need to export the model to this format.
  6. Select File/ Export / Autodesk 3DS ...
  7. Select the course folder and name the file according to this naming convention: First 2 characters are first two characters in course name, then „RelfectModel“, then the hole number, then a dash, then the reflect model number, then .3ds.
  8. ie AuReflectModel1-2.3ds for course hole Augustin, hole 1, Reflect model 2
  9. Select File/ Import / Autodesk 3DS ... to re-import the model (press File/New before hand if MilkShape is still open with a model loaded

When you load the hole in GGS it will detect that a reflect model exists and won’t do the old reflect rendering so that any ponds without reflect models won’t have any reflection.

After you have loaded the hole in GGS, press ctrl/R to go into Reflection Model Positioning mode.

In this mode you can position the reflect model, set it’s height, rotate and scale.

GGS can manage up to 4 reflect models per hole which you select with the page up/down keys. The current reflect model will be displayed in red while others will be displayed in blue.

When first loaded the reflect model will appear at the front of the hole. Use the arrow keys to position the model over the water pond. Press Esc key to move camera to the pond if too far away.

Press ctrl/R again and follow the instructions in the window to scale and set height. Height is very important and has to be set 2 or so units above the water level to make a reflection.

It is also important that the pond level height be uniform otherwise parts of the reflection will be missing.

If the reflect map doesn't fit exactly then you have to modify the reflect model accordingly in MilkShape.

Pond Beds

An optional pond bed for each water area can be activated in the Reflection positioning mode. This prevents grass textures appearing in the water when the water translucency is set high. 

Water color and translucency

Press ctrl/W to goto to Water color mode. Here you can adjust the colors and translucency of the water itself, the pond bed and the tree, sky and panorama reflections.