Why is the 3DS format giving me trouble?

Over the weekend I have been continuing with the ModelConverterX tool again. A while ago I improved the FSX MDL importer so that it could read levels of details and animations, but at that moment I did not update the different exporters to handle these more advanced features as well. So now I decided it was a good moment to address these issues. I should mention right away that getting animations to work in the exporter is a step that I did not try to take yet, now I focussed on getting the static transformations and the levels of detail … Continue reading Why is the 3DS format giving me trouble?

ModelConverterX update avaible

Today I handed in the key of my old house, so the moving “project” is now really finished. The last days I already had some more time to do some programming on my FS tools again, so as a result of that I have also been able to release a new version of ModelConverterX. On the forum you can read all the changes in this new version, but the biggest new feature has to be the 3DS export capability. That opens new possibilities again to bring your old objects to life again in FSX. I think the next challenge I … Continue reading ModelConverterX update avaible

ModelConverterX 3DS exporter

Now that everything is settled a bit again in the new house, I finally found some time again to do some programming. So the last evening I tried to continue on the 3DS exporter for ModelConverterX, that I had been working on before the moving. And the good news is that I was able to fix the last remaining bugs in it. So the basic exporter functionality is working  now. See the screenshot below for the museum API that I use often to test ModelConverterX, here it has been exported as 3DS and then loaded into GMax.   Currently the … Continue reading ModelConverterX 3DS exporter

Real-time rendering

Recently I bought an interesting book, Real-time rendering. I have not completely finished reading this book, but it contains a lot of useful information. For example I have found there solutions for some problems I had while working on my ModelConverterX tool. But the explanation of how the rendering process works also give a better insight on what has an influence on the performance when rendering. This is not only interesting to understand better how FSX works, but that is also something I can use at work when dealing with our image generators there.

SimConnect and CIGI

For some while already I wanted to learn a bit more about SimConnect and this week I found a good reason to do so. I wanted to try if I could connect FSX to CIGI. CIGI stands for Common Image Generator Interface and this is a common way in professional simulations to talk between the simulation host and the image generators. At work we also make use of CIGI for this. What I wanted to do is try to use FSX as an image generator with our simulation host, so for that I needed to connect FSX to CIGI. This … Continue reading SimConnect and CIGI

OpenFlight exporter for ModelConverterX

I can remove the first item from my “what I would like to do during the Christmas vacation” list. Today I finished the OpenFlight exporter functionality of the ModelConverterX tool. With this functionality it is possible to save the loaded objects in the OpenFlight format that is often used in image generators of professional flight simulators. The object shown in the picture below is an old API macro of a museum that I exported to OpenFlight and then loaded into OpenSceneGraph to visualize it.   The exporter is not yet perfect of course, it only supports static objects at the … Continue reading OpenFlight exporter for ModelConverterX

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is almost there, so I would like to take this opertunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Of course I will spend the Christmas days with my family, but for the rest this time of year is a good opportunity to catch up with some of the things I want to do for a long time already. So those two weeks without having to go to work are already quite full with plans for things to do. I guess the best thing I could wish from Santa Claus (apart from the fact we already celebrated Sinterklaas, so no … Continue reading Merry Christmas!

Microsoft ESP

I know this is old new, and I guess you must have read about this multiple times already by now. But as I think it is still very interesting I am writing this blog post about ESP. ESP is a new simulation platform that Microsoft has recently announced and it is based on the same simulation engine as FSX. Or to quote the description from Microsoft themself:  “Microsoft ESP is a visual simulation platform that brings powerful, high-fidelity simulations to widely available, low-cost Microsoft Windows®-based PCs. Organizations that rely on Microsoft ESP can improve their workforce readiness more efficiently and … Continue reading Microsoft ESP

Day 5: DevCon 1st day

 So today was the first day of the DevCon, my main purpose of this travelling. On this blog I can not talk about all the actual stuff being discussed there, as we are under NDA for that. But I certainly did meet a lot of interesting people. I am sure I will forget to mention somebody here, so sorry if I forgot you. For example I met Bob Bernstein and Bill Womack, two people I know for years already from different internet fora for scenery designers. It was really nice to talk with them in person. I also met different … Continue reading Day 5: DevCon 1st day


For the new model conversion tool I am working on at the moment, I took a closer look at the COLLADA format this weekend. COLLADA is an open standard Digital Asset schema for interactive 3D applications. It can for example be used as an exchange format to share models between different tools. That is also the role in which I want to use it in my tool. There are for example COLLADA plugins for tools like 3DSMax and Maya, but also Blender can work with it. I think that it would be useful to have the ability to convert COLLADA … Continue reading COLLADA