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Lord Farringdon

AI Ships in FSX: Limited Effects?

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I have downloaded a couple of vessels from FS-Shipyards.org and although they are FS9 files I managed to get most of them to work satisfactorily as drivaeable versions in my XP FSX setup. They have that little bouncy problem sometimes :-jumpy but some massaging of the contact points seems to solve that most of the time. :) However, my main reason for downloading them was to setup some AI shipping around the coastal airports I frequent. I'm not talking about the default leisure craft that turn up around the coastlines depending on your traffic settings or the larger default crusie ships and merchant vessels which are all set in the 'trafficboats.bgl' file, but rather more customised large commercial vessels, container ships, ferries, oil rig support vessels, coastal traders and the occassional military vessels. I am using the AI Boat Traffic Compiler or AIBTC to generate near FSX compliant plans using a Google Earth KML file to create the routes plan...all detailed in the good documentation with this free utility. So, when creating the "aircraft.cfg" file which in the case of AI Boats is called a sim.cfg file, I find there is very little in this file and that it doesn't require a '*.air' file. My sim.cfg for the MV Kaitaki looks like this and otherwise works fine. [fltsim.0]title=challergerVX Kaitakimodel=texture=interislander[General]category=Boat[contact_points]static_pitch=0.0 //degrees, pitch when at rest on the ground (+=Up, -=Dn)static_cg_height=0.0 //feet, altitude of CG when at rest on the ground[DesignSpecs]max_speed_mph = 50 acceleration_constants = 0.5, 0.4 //Time constant (effects responsiveness), and max acceleration (Gs)deceleration_constants = 2.0, 0.5 //Time constant (effects responsiveness), and max acceleration (Gs)SternPosition = 50[Effects]wake = fx_wake_l.fxIt occured to me I would like to puts some lights on the ship so that I could see the AI vessels at night so I added the LIGHTS section from the aircraft.cfg file of the drivable version as follows: [LIGHTS];type, Z, X, Y, effect;Light types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit, 5=landing, 6=taxi, 7=recognition, 8=wing, 9=logo;---internal (bridge)light.1 = 4, 149.000, 0.000, 18.000, fx_navred ;night light;---externallight.2 = 4, 140.150,-28.200, 52.000, fx_navredh ;red portlight.3 = 4, 140.150, 28.000, 52.000, fx_navgreh ;green stbdlight.4 = 4, 5.212, 0.000, 42.100, fx_navwhih ;mastheadlight.5 = 3, -50.812, -15.000, 55.000, fx_navredh ;red portlight.6 = 3, -50.812, 15.000, 55.000, fx_navgreh ;green stbdlight.7 = 3, -90.000, 0.500, 55.000, fx_navwhih ;sternUnfortunately, no joy. I have checked to make sure all the fx_ files are located in the Effects folder of FSX and have tried to add other water and smoke effects to the sim.cfg file but to no avail. The sim.cfg file only seems to recognise one wake effect file and that's it. I can get a bow spray or a wake but I can't have both and I certainly can't have any lights or smoke at any time :(Now I know AIBTC is an early FSX utility and the model is 2004..not a great start but, am I doing something wrong or are extra effects beyond one wake file just too much for the FSX sim.cfg file to handle? I have asked this question over at FS-Shipyards.org but I suspect there aren't too many FSX gurus over there yet. :-zhelpRegardsTerry

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Terry,I am not a ship (or airplane) designer, but I think the model has to be pre-designed with lighting in mind before that approach would work (i.e., the model must have contact points for the light effects.)In other words: no contact points ... no lights.

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Hmmm... I thought the contact points were part of the LIGHTS data? light.2 = 4, 140.150,-28.200, 52.000, fx_navredh ;red port where the contact point 140.150 is longitudinal from the CG point, -28.200 is lateral from the CG point and 52.000 is vertical from the cg point? I have been wrong many times before though!! This may be no exception:)

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Looking through the default ship textures - it appears their night lighting only comes from a _LM.DDS texture file.Aircraft use that method for things like window and logo lights, and the splash effect of the landing lights on the fuselage.Does your model include a night light map file?Compared to the aircraft night light map files, the ship ones in FSX have a lot more detail of the surface textures.

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Hi Reggie,When you mentioned the default ships I thought I would try running a default ship (VEH_water_tanker01_sm) as a driveable (category airplane) by adding a *.air and aircraft.cfg file from another FS9 ship I downloaded. Your right, the night lights on the default ship appear to be represented by texture files but when I pressed 'L' the strobes, beacons and nav lights come on as well (albeit in ridiculus positions since the contact points were for the FS9 ship). These are the same lights we see on AI aircraft but if I return this vessel to the Boat category and make it AI I am left with the just the textured lights. The sim.cfg file needed for it to work in the 'Boat' category will not read the LIGHTS section that seemed to work fine in the airplane category, aircraft.cfg file?Terry

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