Reading X files

I have added a new function to ModelConverterX. It can now also read X files. This can be a X file generated by the FS2004 or FSX gamepack, but also a X file generated by another tool that does not contain the FS specific information. The following features will be read from the X file: Geometry, normals and texture coordinates Material settings (including FSX specific material settings) LOD information Animations This new functionality is in the latest development release. Let me know if you have any issues with this feature.

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

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

Library Creator XML 3.0 beta available

A first release of the new Library Creator XML 3.0 is now available, you can get it as part of the development releases of my tools. The main changes are in the user interface, I hope the tool is even easier to use. Another reason for the changes is that with the changes I made now it will be easier to add new features in the future. One feature high on my list is being able to import a library from BGL. So that will come in a future update. I made a quick video to illustrate the new version: … Continue reading Library Creator XML 3.0 beta available

Level of detail for FS2004 models

Tonight I have been improving how ModelConverterX reads levels of detail from FS2004 MDL files. The LOD values are now calculated more accurately. Since I spend quite some time figuring out some details I had figured out last year already (but forgot since then), let me sum up my main findings about levels of detail: The LOD switching distance is determined by the object radius and the LOD value. For example a LOD value of 40 means that the object will switch when 2.5 times the radius of the object covers 40 pixels. The LOD value of the highest LOD … Continue reading Level of detail for FS2004 models

Another object placement tool?

For a while I am thinking about how to integrate the different tools I have made better. An example of this integration would be to open objects from Library Creator XML directly into ModelConverterX or easily insert an object from ModelConverterX directly into a library. While playing with those integration idea I had another idea. ModelConverterX already has a simple object placement function, so why not extend it with a proper object placement tool? Like a FSX update of ObPlacer XML. Below is a quick video of a prototype tool I made for this. [View:] My question is would yet … Continue reading Another object placement tool?

Coordinate confusion – part 2

After all the theory I blogged about yesterday, I thought it might be a good idea to illustrate the difference today. So let’s take a quite common example. I have taken the threshold coordinates of runway 06-24 from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. And I have chosen the reference point to be near the middle of the runway. What are my XY coordinates of the threshold when I am modelling the runway in my 3D editor? The two screenshots above show the XY coordinates for the threshold of 06 (top picture) and 24 (bottom picture). In the screenshots you can see both … Continue reading Coordinate confusion – part 2

Coordinate confusion

OK, I got a question for you. What kind of coordinates does your 3D modelling tool use? I mean a tool like GMax, FSDS, SketchUp or 3DS Max. Ah, that is an easy question you must think now, all of these programs use a 3D axis system where you model your object in meters (or maybe feet or inches for the developers in the US). So that question does not seem so difficult, does it? But how do these meters related to the position of the object on earth? The earth is a sphere (or more accurate an ellipsoid) and the … Continue reading Coordinate confusion

First version FXEditor released

I have just released the first beta version of the new FXEditor tool. With this tool you can edit the special effects of FS and it gives you an interactive preview while you are editing the effect. On FSDeveloper I have opened a new support forum for this tool. Especially take a look at the general information topic there, since it tells you where to download the tool and where to find the manual. Make sure that you set the path to your FS version in the options before using the tool, as else certain parts will not work correctly. … Continue reading First version FXEditor released

ModelConverterX special effects update now available

I have just put a new development release of ModelConverterX online. The main change in this version is that it is now possible to visualize special effects in the 3D preview as well. So if you are placing such an effect, you will be able to preview how it is going to look in FS. Next to the paperclip button that toggles the display of attachpoints, you will find a new button now that toggles the display of the particle effects. Since effect files reside in the effects folder of your FS installation, it is important that you make sure … Continue reading ModelConverterX special effects update now available