trueSpace & Virtual Earth Newbie Troubleshooting

It's been a day since I announced trueSpace for Virtual Earth Development and I figured I'd post a few hiccups I had to overcome while developing my ever-so-cool Random Cubes. This won't be the end all support FAQs with trueSpace (you should go to their forums for that), but just a few tidbits that may help you since I fell into these same pitfalls.

Upload Error
image This one took me a while to figure out. Having zero experience with 3D I felt like a real idiot when I realized what was going on. When I'd finished created my model and I was ready to upload it into Live Search Maps I would on occasion get this "Error Event - Export to VE Collection not finished successfully." This is the generic error handler for uploading to Live Search Maps, so there are lots of places this could happen. If you don't have a valid Windows Live ID. If you don't have an Internet connection. If the cloud service for Live Search Maps collections is down. Well, putting all those aside was it a memory issue? Graphics? None of the above. I simply had not selected the model. If you try to upload from trueSpace to Live Search Maps and you have not actually clicked on the model you want to upload you will see this error. So, click the model then try to upload.

Trying to Upload Multiple Models
image In my random cubes example, I actually created 3 random cubes and stuck them together with textures. The problem was when I upload the cube to Live Search Maps only 1 of the 3 cubes was uploading. Turns out you don't upload a scene (a scene being the entire setting within which I'm creating models), but you upload a model. And, since I have 3 models I need to upload all of them by selecting all of them. The trick is the CTRL key. When you click a model, you have selected to begin working on that model whether its moving it around, giving it a texture, changing the lighting whatever. Well, the same goes for if you want to upload but in order to upload several models you need to select them by holding the CTRL key down and clicking on each of them. They won't highlight any differently if you're in "model" mode but they will be selected. After you've selected each of the models you then begin the upload process to Live Search Maps and like magic all of your models will be uploaded to Live Search Maps.

trueSpace is Truncating Coordinates
image Since there's no geocoder built into trueSpace, you have to go fetch your own coordinates. Feel free to use my "Getting Addresses with Aerial Photos" sample to help you with this. As you can see, the latitude and longitude coordinates in the respective boxes have only 3 digits beyond the decimal point; however, when I entered them there were 13! Where did they go? Well, rest assured all 13 digits beyond the decimal are stored but a little unfixed bug only shows 3 digits beyond the decimal point.

Disappearing Coordinates
image Since I'm copying coordinates from outside of trueSpace and pasting them in, there's this funky bug (yes, the trueSpace team is now aware of it) that brings over the font when you paste. When that happens, it appears as if you're coordinates have disappeared; they are there and if you upload your models they will be read properly. In fact, when you go to upload another model you will see that the font has been corrected to the local trueSpace font...and visually truncated, but all digits are, in fact, stored (see above). In the screen shot you can see the top of my numbers as what looks like dashes.

Adjusting Settings for Upload
image There are quite a few settings when uploading to Live Search Maps to optimize your model for transport up to Live Search Maps and down to the user when they see them in your Virtual Earth application (or when you share you collection in Live Search Maps). This is mentioned in yesterday's post, but I know you people who skip the instructions - no worries. When you upload the model you want to make sure you have the X file formet set to "Compressed." This helps move the file up and out. Next you want to make sure you have the Texture maps file type set to "jpg." This also reduces the file size when uploading your models. I tried to upload a 23 mb house (the one seen in yesterday's post) and it just crapped out on me because it was too big. Switching the settings allowed me to upload it very quickly.

I hope this helps. If you've created cool models and have uploaded them to Live Search Maps or even went so far as to upload them to Live Search Maps and then pull them into a Microsoft Virtual Earth application, shoot me a note. I'd love to see who's doing what out there.


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