Yes this blog is still alive

Just to let you know this blog is still alive. Just recently I did not have too much time to post interesting things here. But that does not mean I haven’t been (silently) working on new things. Here are some of the things I have been working on recently and once they are finished you will read more about them on this blog as well: Improving the reading of aircraft MDL files in ModelConverterX, especially when it comes to the animations of the aircraft. Improving the ModelConverterX preview. I have been experimenting with using shaders and that seems to be … Continue reading Yes this blog is still alive

Animation Editor updated

I have update the Animation Editor in ModelConverterX. Before this form could only be used to remove all animations from your object, but now it can do more. The following features have been added:   Select which animations are active and shown in the preview. Examine only sections of an animation, for example by looping only a subset of all frames. Remove the selected animations. These will then be “frozen” to the animation frame you have selected. This is similar to the function to remove all animations before, but now it can be done per animation.   I have made … Continue reading Animation Editor updated

MDL Tweaker

I have just added a new feature to the ModelConverterX development release. It is a MDL Tweaker that you can find in the special tools menu. Let me first explain how this tweaker differs from loading a MDL into ModelConverterX itself. When you import a MDL into ModelConverterX the object is read and stored in an internal representation. ModelConverterX then works with this internal representation when you make changes. In the end this internal representation is exported again to a MDL file. The MDL Tweaker works differently, it directly manipulates the binary code of the MDL file, without decoding it … Continue reading MDL Tweaker

Custom shadow model

A recent question by Don Grovestine on the FSDeveloper forum made me look more at the shadows of FSX models. As everybody knows, turning on the shadows in FSX can have a considerable influence on the performance. But the FSX MDL format also does allow you to specify a custom model that is used to render the shadow. I did some testing today to determine how big the performance difference can be. I started by making a rather complex object, with almost 6000 triangles. And I placed many instances of it at my favourite test location. The screenshot below shows how the … Continue reading Custom shadow model

First beta Animation Tweaker available

I have just put the first version of the Animation Tweaker in the ModelConverterX development release. You will find it in the Wizards menu. This first version can do two things (or actually it does those two automatically to all files you process with it): Make FS2004 animations with more than 1024 frames Update the animation to use local variables As input to the wizard you should use FSX MDL files. I did test this new function with some test files here, but please let me know if you have issues with your files. It is a first beta, so … Continue reading First beta Animation Tweaker available

The CAT is not dead

One of the first tool I made for scenery designers was the Conditional Animation Tool, CAT. The first version of this tool was released in 2003 and I mainly started making it because I grew tired of tweaking animations by hand (and I got tired of explaining people how to tweak them by hand). After the release of FSX, the development on CAT sort of stopped. The new native FSX format does not allow that kind of tweaking and for FS2004 the tool had most needed functionality already. But since then there is another kind of animation tweak that I … Continue reading The CAT is not dead

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 … Continue reading Longer FS2004 animations

Places multiple instances

I am working on a ModelConverterX update that will include better support for the placement of objects. One thing that will change is that placement information will be read from BGL files. But I am also changing the functionality in ModelConverterX that allows you to place objects. One of the main changes there is that you will be able to place multiple instances of the object, instead of only one at the moment. The screenshot below shows the new object placement form that I am working on. It will still take some time though before this functionality will be in … Continue reading Places multiple instances

Updating the batch functionality

In the last week or so I got two requests to make small modifications to the batch convert functionality of ModelConverterX. But instead of just making these small changes, I have decided to give this functionality a bigger update (that was something I had in mind already). My goal is to make the batch convert more flexible. With the new user interface, of a which a screenshot is shown below, you will get the following extra functionality: Ability to process input files from different folders. Add operators to perform additional actions on the object being converted. An example of this … Continue reading Updating the batch functionality