ModelConverterX nearing next release

Last week the progress on the next ModelConverterX was a bit slow, but this weekend I have been able to solve a lot of the issues still on the todo list. For example I have checked whether all readers and writes report progress and events correctly. And also the user input is validate better and useful messages are returned if something is wrong with it. So you can say all these solved issues are related to making the tool easier to use for the end user. At the moment there are only two things left on my todo list, before … Continue reading ModelConverterX nearing next release

ESP in MSDN Magazine

There is an article about ESP in the current MSDN Magazine. It gives a short overview of the platform and the ways you can extend it. Those that now FSX already might not learn so much new from it, but if you don’t know ESP or FSX yet it seems like a good introduction.

FSDeveloper seems down

The FSDeveloper website seems down at the moment. I am working on solving this problem, hopefully the webhosting company can fix it soon. Until then sorry for the inconvenience. EDIT: Now the site is available again.

Viewer functionality

As mentioned in my earlier post I would show a bit more of the progress on the reading and display of animations. I have now added control for the animation to the ModelConverterX form. In the animation below you can see the animation from the default baggage loader object. [View:http://msmvps.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.PostAttachments/00.01.64.56.52/BagLoader.swf:450:365] As you can see there are still some bugs left in the animation code, as the wheels seem to shrink now and then. But I am sure I can figure out where that bug is and solve it. Another issue with animations is that in FSX not all of them … Continue reading Viewer functionality

Animation progress

Yesterday I made some progress again in reading and understanding the animation code. I can now succesfully read the scenegraph information as well. This information determines how the different transformations and animations relate to each other (child and peer relations). This makes sure they are added together in the correct way, to get the desired result. If I now read in most of the default objects they look quite good. For example the default Elephant looks like one now, while before it more looked like a lump of polygons when I read in that model. The skin and bone animations … Continue reading Animation progress

First animation test

I am quite happy that I (sort of) got animations to work in ModelConverterX now. It is just a very simple test animation I made and there are some bugs in it left. But this is quite a big step. I never got this far in MDL Tweaker before. See a small video capture below. [View:http://msmvps.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.PostAttachments/00.01.64.52.71/modelconverterx_5F00_anim.swf:412:334]

FSDS design blog

For those of you using FSDS as a modelling tool for Flight Simulator, it might be interesting to know that Adam Howe of Abacus has started a blog now. It already contains some tutorials that seem useful for FSDS users and hopefully the future will bring more interesting posts.

From the old shoebox (1)

Today I was cleaning out some old stuff in my computer room, when I came across some old sketches I made when designing scenery objects for FS98. Since then things have changed a bit, so I thought it would be funny to show them to you. I should start by mentioning that at that time I was not using any GUI to design my scenery objects. I wrote the SCASM API code by hand, using a plain text editor, some pieces of paper and a pencil. That is where these sketches come from thus. This first sketch gives a quick … Continue reading From the old shoebox (1)

The animation puzzle

This evening I continued with the FSX MDL reader for ModelConverterX. With the LODs done, my next challenge was to read the transformations correctly as well, as some objects now show displaced parts. This was easier said than done, as understanding the way transformations are assigned, also means understanding how the animations work. Luckily, after making the CAT tool and doing a lot of animation tweaking in FS2004, I understand a bit how this process is done. In FSX things have been changed of course (bone animations are new for example), but with what I knew I could get started … Continue reading The animation puzzle

Objects with a LOD

I have added another improvement to ModelConverterX, it can now read the levels of detail from a MDL file and also display them. This is nice to see how Microsoft has made their LODs. At the moment this functionality only works for the FSX MDL reader, as there is not a very structured way in SCASM macros to define LODs. Hopefully I can later add support for reading conditions from the SCASM macros that also define the levels of detail. Another feature I have in mind for a future version (not the next release yet) is to add an ability … Continue reading Objects with a LOD