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N400QW

tuned in to read the thread that started with Francios' ideas...

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...but it's gone...Did it go south and get removed?It had some interesting content, sorry I missed it if that is the case.Bob

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Yeah, someone posted a message in the thread that I went to delete and I hit the wrong button. Fat Fingered again. My apologies folks. It was not my intention to remove the entire thread.

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Hi Tom, how are you?Don`t mind, accident happens.I hope the post that should be deleted was not mine. If it was not mine and as I`ve delayed my participation on the topic, being able to post just this morning, I would appreciate to copy it down here again, as it would be interesting to let my users and other simmers know my scenery developer point of view on the matter. Here it is.--------------------- -------------------------- ---------------------Hi.I've been following all these posts related to the FSX/SP1/SP2/3PDs affair here with interest. I've delayed my participation because I was too busy finishing our last scenery and then installing FSX on my new machine, so I would have a better base to contribute on a constructive way.These discussions have been very centered on aircrafts development and issues on FSX-SP2 ambient, and this is a completely diferent matter from sceneries development under the same ambient/platform.Some participants are mixing the two things togheter, when posting about the issues up to now, the development stages, tools / SDK usage, and level of problems. That can not be a true commom and simple discussion on some points.Allow me to post some opinions:- As an user, I have never had problems with FSX, in fact, I use both sims here and produce for both, as we have a split customer base, and this is what we think is the best way to follow. Each of the new generation sceneries ordered goes with two independent installers: one for FS9 another for FSX, the user chooses what to use or uses both, paying just for one product, and we had no price increases for that, indeed having a lot more work to do so on a new quality standard we've adopted after FSX release. A new scenery takes up to 6 months now to be made. This way, we have no ways to configure exactly witch version is selling more, if FS9 or FSX, but we are receiving positive feedbacks from both kind of users, so... we'll keep on this path for a long time.- When I mention (and I will be very sincere on this) a FSX scenery I don't mean that this is a pure-breed FSX/SDK developed one, and I have no problems with that. What matters for me is to deliver a scenery to be used at FSX, that it's bug/issues-free, and that will deliver a lot of fun departing or arriving on it, retracting the real airport on details and making flights more imersive, and along all this: very light on frames, as they have been.- Why this? Because I doubt there would be here at least one simmer that would like to order a FSX scenery that would bring him nicely modeled and textured buildings over a default or AFCAD style ground work, and that is what he would receive if that was a "pure-breed FSX/SDK developed scenery". Simple as that. No way to do that. Or you use and tweak old SDK tools, or you don't have a nice painted customized ground work. At least for us.- problems on exposing that? None. I'm not that guy that says: "Hey, look at me! I'm the ONE, I make FSX sceneries completely inside and by FSX/SDK, as I want to be modern and forward thinking, a step ahead the others or the best... Not me, I am already very very happy and proud to make and deliver sceneries to be used on FSX or FS9, to let my users happy, and to earn enought with their orders to mantain my family for another month, as after FSX this seemed to be the concern: survive month after month. Thanks God, things are much better now!- Regarding problems on FSX-RTM, FSX-SP1, FSX-SP2 like broken functionalities and other issues, as discussed by my fellow developers mates, this is indeed a problem and hit us all, but, the only way to deal with that is: they broke it, we fix it! No matter how painfull, how disgusting or how long it takes, but we can't afford to let it on bad shape for our users. So, we called all the bad names we know and went working on that after each released SP.- With FSX-RTM came the so called "round-earth" problem. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to propper plant a scenery on this new platform, without allowin bugs like flickerings, distant ground parts floating or sunking and we managed to release our FSX sceneries on a sucess way: working nice, bug free and extremely frame friendly.- With FSX-SP1, we had the bad surprise to discover that all our seven FSX already released sceneries, that have a nice working bug-free customized ground work started suffering bad issues on this, like floating ground on external views. Then, we had just released our Rio's airport, and managed to discover (after another painfull and long work) how to change things already done and ok on this airport and the other six ones, releasing updates for them all soon afterwards. Bad for us, bad for our customers, having to download and install all updates to fix things that were no more working as they were before this SP1.- When all was looking calm and nice, there comes SP-2 and we take a hit again. All trees and the few objects using transparency textures on our sceneries were no more transparents and not enough, were making other objects behing them vanish, pure and simple. Another case of broken functionality. This time, we were caught in midway development of Cura

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Hi Carlos,Different Tom here (we're everywhere). To ease your mind a little, I believe, and I could be wrong, but I have used it, the 3DSMax interface is very similar to GMax (GMax was developed from 3DSMax with less functionality). At least it was. I haven't seen 3DSMax for a couple of versions I believe. I do believe, however, that the price of 3DSMax is very prohibitive, and freeware would be virtually killed off. So I agree with you Carlos; on that point, it is also my opinion that a move to 3DSMax would be bad.Unfortunately, it may also be true that Phil's hands are tied on this, unless they want to develop their own tool. GMax is no longer supported, and perhaps they've caught wind that whoever owns GMax now will no longer make it available to the public?Phil - How about adapting Google Sketchup or something like that for the job? Hmm, perhaps a bad choice for a Microsoft company. But, in the interests of your user base, could it work?Tough problem this - the need for a very functional yet somewhat esoteric tool at a reasonable price.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Thomas, Gmax support started downhill two years ago and it is our understanding that Microsoft was caught between a rock and hard place at that time.I forget the details but is seems that the change of ownership of the 3D Studio Max/Gmax makers left MS holding the bag wrt to free Gmax support. Those who know the specifics can fill in the blanks.

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Hi Thomas.Glad to see what you`ve written about 3DSMax, at least the similarity with GMax is a positive point, but it might remains a very epensive tool anyway, I believe.On the other side, you have just had a very nice idea: why don`t ACES develope a new and simple tool that would permit us to compile our adds to VNext? Allowing developers to buy it (for sure we would do so, on a accessible price) and use. Something simple, for example, treating on scenerie, we would pick our structures and ground works produced by 3DSMax, compile them on such a tool, and there would be the stuff. Done with a certified tool and compiled by an official tool.I really don`t know if it would be nice for producing aircrafts, but for nice sceneries it would be just that: simple and fast to use, nothing about dealing with that soup of letters and numbers used on some codes :-) , GUID numbers, extense coordinates and misterious XMLs, or something that would not force us, simple graphic artists, to have a programer knowledge or skills.Could it be possible?My best regards,Carlos Pereira.www.tropicalsim.net

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1- The idea of having to use 3DsMax replacing Gmax on VNext.Not only killing present freeware developers off, this will certainly restrict the opportunity for people even those with artistic talents, access to the basic functions of 3DSMax. 3DSMax has been the industry standard for many years, and until GMax was released, the only legal way a person could use 3DSMax would be to work for a company who had a licence, unless of course that person could afford 3DSMax. With the demise of GMax surely this will drastically reduce new talent. There are many developers who have cut their teeth on GMax but will have very little opportunity to ascend to 3DSMax

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>On the other side, you have just had a very nice idea: why>don`t ACES develope a new and simple tool that would permit us>to compile our adds to VNext? Microsoft has a Google Sketch-up analog called 3DVIA (check latest MS Virtual Earth release). I don't know the details but it is a free tool for creating the objects that can be placed to Virtual Earth (and possibly to FSX??. http://www.3dvia.com/shapeit/Maybe this is our next "GMax"?Cheers,=S.V.=eMachines T5026/P4/3.07GHz/1Gb RAM/160Gb S-ATA HDD/Windows XP Home SP2/ATI RADEON 9250 PCI 256Mb/ViewSonic VX910 19' 1280x1024/Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2

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Within the world of design tools something akin to a monopoly has been formed by Discreet Software or Autodesk and it effectively becamethe Industry standard and about the only choice one had , Maya , Soft Image, AutoCAD ,3DSMax , The Avid Suite of products , and danglingat loose ends sits Gmax, Arguably the most powerful and comprehensive free modelling tool out there and i would contend a direct and persistent drain on the sales on some of their other products.Granted there are others and i have them all , wings 3D...Not badBlender powerful tool, Squirrelly UI never liked it never will but it does good hair, Daz is also not bad , modelling tools are limited but the rendering engine is not ,MilkShape , it works .FSDS , Lou Sinclair bless him and a host of notables who have done everything possible to make a Flight Sim specific modelling tool and have managed to keep up to date and for many this tool is the option of choice.If i had "me druthers" i would see Flight Simulator Design Studio as a viable partner, the foundation is already there as is the "good will" and i would suspect a flexibility in discussions would be possible without the interventions of one hundred legal professionals ensuring the periods are round.All options might be on the table at this point besides Gmax, as i understand the workings of it a games manufacturer ( such as MS ) buysthe rights to produce a games pack such as exists for an ever dimishing number of titles , i am told they are very expensive. In this instance what amounted to a last minute deal to seal off the transitional files and export a flight sim specific model only permitted the inclusion of the current game pack for FSX ,an undisclosed amount of money sealed the deal but if pressed to prognosticate the law of diminishing returns dictates that the amount MS and other games producers are willing to pay will not exceed the revenue Discreet might feel it loses by having a tool as powerfulas Gmax out there for free competing against its own potential sales.The future is often drawn into focus by looking at current trends, 3DS is what the professionals use although not exclusively, you only licence one machine , Gmax not so and it makes for a great scratch pad + there is a fair bit of 2002 mesh kicking around and in need of update but its days are numbered and i think Lou can fill the gap better than Blender any day.

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Agreed Chuck, Louis Sinclair has done a great job and continues to provide excellent support as well. Our own Bob Hayes has spent a lot of time helping Louis integrate some of the things that modelers need to have.:-)

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Nice post. I have a couple of comments:1. 3DSMax interface is very similar to gmax.2. I have not heard anything from Phil Taylor about moving solely to 3DSMax in FS11. In fact at one point in the last year he mentioned a desire to keep gmax as an SDK-supported tool in FS11. It's cost (free) was a prime factor in this.3. All signs indicate that FS11 *will* have, to borrow your words, "radical" changes. This is not necessarily bad news. I think ACES will not be shifting the target so many times with FS11, as they did with FS10--this is excellent for designers. The reason FS10 shifted so much was because of ACES first moves toward modernizing the platform--away from legacy and toward a modern paradigm. Compound this with DX10 and multicore and you have the Perfect Storm that hit us in 2006-07. This should not happen in the near future.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2585 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2gb Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8 (1T), WD 150 gig 10000rpm Raptor, WD 250gig 7200rpm SATA2, Seagate 120gb 5400 rpm external HD, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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Mace, your analysis seems to be spot on. Transition to vNext should be MUCH smoother than the FS9 to FSX transition. Especially so since users are beginning to obtain good hardware and the current and future situation looks much brighter to us now than only a few months back:-)

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