Longer FS2004 animations

Remember the limitation in the FS2004 GMax for the length of animations? The tool does not allow us to export animations longer than 1024 frames. This is quite annoying, since that limits your animation length to only 55 seconds. Luckily the FSX gamepack does not have that limitation.

I have written down how to tweak the ASM code to get longer animations. But I’ll be honest, it’s quite complex code and you need to know quite a lot about how the animation code works to make the tweaks. So I can understand that it is not so appealing to many developers.

This morning I woke up with a good idea (why did I not try this before?). What would happen if I would make a long animation in the FSX gamepack and then convert it with ModelConverterX to a FS2004 MDL file? Guess what, the 1024 frames limitation is not completely in MakeMDL, a big part is in the gamepack DLE file. So that means that my new FS2004 MDL files contains all 33334 frames I put in the animation. The only problem I noticed is that the interpolation logic above is still written for 1024 frames. So that part still has to be tweaked. But at least you don’t loose any of the keyframes.

So I think I should add a tool to ModelConverterX that can automatically do the remaining tweaking. If all the keyframes are preserved, that is not so much work anymore in the first place.

It just puzzles me why I only think about this so many years after FSX has been released…

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