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Guest Milton

How long does it take to make a plane?

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I was just curious, how long does it take to make a plane for FS2002 strating from scratch using either Gmax or FSDS2?

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To start with the short answer: Usually it takes a LOT of time. Hundreds of hours is not unheard of when it comes to this.Now, for more information:It all depends on the complexity / detail the modeler desires to achieve in the aircraft, and especially whether it contains a Virtual Cockpit or not, as this will add greatly to the time involved. Also, an airliner is not necessarily more complex than a light aircraft. The latter can be more complex in some cases.Also, the experience of the modeler comes into play. Usually, with greater experience can come greater speed. If one has designed a Cessna 172 previously, this will be of great help if they then go on to design a Cessna 182. Same for a Boeing or Airbus of similar origins. Experience means a lot.Ultimately, the amount of time it takes can vary greatly based on the above items I mentioned.However, in the case of a highly detailed model with a VC, fancy animations and other features, and let's not forget texturing / painting, it is quite conceivable that one could spend "several" hundred hours on this work. For example: When Mikko Maliniemi added an opening / closing chart case with 3D contents inside of it to the right seat of our Cessna 310's VC, that alone, between modeling it, animating it and texturing it, took over 3 hours. That's just for one detail in the VC. I then spent the better part of another hour tweaking the textures for it, and changing the original plaid interior lining to a "Gucci" interior!I would estimate that between modeling and texturing the 310 Mikko and I spent at least 500 hours on it, and it might have been even more. :-eekBTW, I consider Mikko to be a "fast" modeler, and I am rather fast in Photoshop!Sadly, most of us who do development work do not "punch a clock" when doing this, so it is all "guesstimation" on our part, though we're usually pretty good at guessing it.Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...RUM_LOUF_A2.jpg

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I have always wanted to take the plunge and learn modeling in Studio 3D Max. I realize that it is a very complex software and a tremendously powerful tool (hence the complexity). I was wondering if someone might be able to tell me if an idea I had for some time now might actually work. I am contemplating building a plastic model of a certain plane, could be anything really. I would then let a professional house make a 3D scan of the model. If I understand the technology behind such process, one can decide how many polygons would be acceptable. For example, a digital scan of a Super Connie in high resolution might yield 80 thousand polygons (a total guess) while a low definition scan might give us 30 to 40 thousand polygons (again, I'm totally guessing to illustrate my point). The question then is how to deal with moving parts. I suppose that the propellers and landing gear and other moving objects would have to be scanned separately? Would one then be able to put the digital scans together to work within MSFS? I assume that even though much work would need to be done after the digital scan, still one would save a lot of time and effort during the modeling phase.Just thinking out loud. Would someone with modeling experience chime in? I appreciate your valuable input.Regards,Gianluca

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And you will get a set of data points, you don't get polygomns, you get a point cloud, and a bill for several thousand dollars. My son has turbine blades scanned and it is not easy to turn that point cloud into a drawing. You best know what you are doing and have some powerful software. If you can't loft and work with nurbs, better stay away.It is much easier to fake it and just capture the essence of the design. I like the fake better then making it to absolute scale. I haven't seen a scale model yet in the downloads. They are models which are only capturing the essence of the design. Some do it better then others.Build your model, take pictures for your background in the model program, keep a scale (ruler to most readers) handy, and have fun.It is only a game and the "essence" works best in the pretending.

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Yes... ADS makes a good point, seems like a ton more work than the visual itself.I can knock out rough exterior models in short order. The time consuming part is animations and textures and gauges and panels and flight dynamics and sounds and....see my point? The 3d exterior model is just a small percentage of the work involved.just grab GMAX and beat that muther into submission!joeedit: I guess I have nearly 1000 hours vested in my Cessna 195, and I have 3 team members who added time in there too.I looked at my FS log book the other day and have 160 hours of test flights in it... yikes. Im glad GMAX doesnt show that :-)

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Lou has it right on. (LOL and Joe too ... we posted at the same timeframe)From someone on the low-end of the experience curve, yet wants a high quality product, the hours can be much higher.The Dash 7 project had 2500 hours in it albeit much in learning curves for gmax, modeling, mapping, texturing, and flight dynamics. Add in the many re-do's, the layered texture details, experimentation with alpha channels, panel and gauges, special effects, alpha and beta testing, project management, and packaging and you end up with a lot of hours.The Aero Commander project from data collection to release came much more quickly at about 1500 hours for the first release. Each subsequent model release added about 300 hours for model, VC, panel, flight dynamics, texture changes/additions and testing.I would expect future project hours to improve as well though I don't think I can ever be as efficient (or as good) as the experienced designers. Hopefully this will give you a sense from the other end of the spectrum for an almost full-package release. :-)Milton

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