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n4gix

A technical question or 5

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Having been unhappy with fsx from the start I am now really trying to like it and as we have many highly qualified and competent people on the forum I would like to pose a question or two.why is it in FSX we now have a better instrument panel presentation yet in the main the exterior models are not as good as those in fs9, is it so much more difficult to make a model in fsx? why are there so few amateurs having a go at modelling now?Also when one purchases a lovely plane such as the new eaglesoft premier (Or carenado and others) why is it when one swivels around from the superb instrument panel to a view of the rear and is met with what appears to be a very amateur reproduction of the rear seats/interior. Is it that difficult to take a picture of the real interior and digitize it? and just cut holes where the windows are for the exterior view this also applies to the wing view yes the flaps work but the wing modelling could be better drawn with a stick why cant we make it more realistic?why is it so difficult to get the nose leg to aim where the a/c is actually going? Minor gripes I know but they do detract from the enjoyment somewhat and I would just like to know why these things cant be done properly.

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Whew, what a loaded series of questions!Honestly, I think the best answer for people who don't understand modelling and computer artwork is just to try it out for themselves. You can even get freeware GMAX and GIMP, so that the only restrictions to your endeavours are your time and your creativity.Once you spend some time on a project, you will come to understand better what the limitations are for developers. Your own personal project does not have to be any good, and you most likely will make many, many mistakes, including the embarrassing and time-consuming ones that rookies make all of the time. Still, from all of that mess, you will learn. Even if all you do is link two primitives together to make a box with wings, you will at least learn that there's a lot more to modelling than drawing with a stick. I don't know what level of artistry you believe you have, but I do know that won't matter. Pretty much any answer to your questions will not be satisfactory unless you try these things out for yourself. Certainly, you will have a difficult time having anybody answer your questions seriously until you yourself have a better understanding of computer modelling. Some of you answers relate to cost versus benefit. Sometimes, it's the actual cost of the project, in that the developers run out of budget to pay the artists. When that happens, the project leader has to prioritize what needs to be developed the most.Sometimes, cost relates to the cost to your computer system. For example, you really can only have so many different textures before your system will start to bog down. Some developers will put a priority on textures that are seen often, like gauges. That means to make way for these important textures you end up removing unimportant textures like the backs of seats.In some cases, like for aircraft that are ported in from FS9, the developers take "short cuts" to reduce the amount of things the computer has to draw. FS9 is much more sensitive to memory overhead than FSX. These developers' shortcuts do not take into account modern advances like TrackIR or Walk & Follow, which put the camera into places we ordinarily would not see.For example, look at the VC for the Piper Cub in FS9 versus FSX with a TrackIR. Or better still, look at the VC in IL2 Sturmovik: TrackIR has only two axes of view enabled because you have to see the VC straight-on. Any lateral movement of the camera will show gaping holes in the VC! Lastly, I don't quite know what you mean by getting the nose of the aircraft to point in the direction you are going. I suspect that you are dealing with crosswind issues. The Learning Center in FSX has some good information on this topic. You can apply some rudder to point your nose the way you want it, or you can apply yaw trim. You will point the along your course, but you will lose on fuel economy. Or, you can just turn off the wind.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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>why is it in FSX we now have a better instrument panel>presentation yet in the main the exterior models are not as>good as those in fs9, is it so much more difficult to make a>model in fsx? >>why are there so few amateurs having a go at modelling now?Both question are best answered thusly. It is much more complicated to build models to the new FSX standards, and many are simply unwilling to invest the hundreds of hours required to first, break old and often bad habits, and secondly to learn the new methods.Even after ten years of professional 3d modeling and gauge programming, I still have a lot to learn! :-eek >Also when one purchases a lovely plane such as the new>eaglesoft premier (Or carenado and others) why is it when one>swivels around from the superb instrument panel to a view of>the rear and is met with what appears to be a very amateur>reproduction of the rear seats/interior. Is it that difficult>to take a picture of the real interior and digitize it? and>just cut holes where the windows are for the exterior view>this also applies to the wing view yes the flaps work but the>wing modelling could be better drawn with a stick why cant we>make it more realistic?First of all, this is perhaps not the best model to have chosen for your example, as it is in fact - and advertised - as a non-FSX native model. More to the point though, when you are in the VC of any model, when looking to the rear you are not seeing a "digitized photo," but are -in fact- seeing the 3d model.The same holds true for when you view "out the window" of any FS model. What you see is a 3d model. There is no option to display a "digitized photo" as you seem to think.>why is it so difficult to get the nose leg to aim where the>a/c is actually going? The nosegear of nearly all models is linked to the rudder pedals. If you don't have pedals, and don't have "autorudder" turned on, the nosegear won't "turn with the aircraft." :)

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Bill, may you can comment. ISTM that in the past there was a number of different utilities that could be used for modeling and in many cases the cost of entry in both dollars and learning was light. But in FSX it seems like 3dsmax is almost a requirement. I know there is still use of GMax or even Blender, but that seems on the way out.scott s..

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>Bill, >may you can comment. ISTM that in the past there was a number>of different utilities that could be used for modeling and in>many cases the cost of entry in both dollars and learning was>light. But in FSX it seems like 3dsmax is almost a>requirement. I know there is still use of GMax or even>Blender, but that seems on the way out.Scott, even though I've had Max8 for what seems like ages, even today 90% of my work is done in GMax v1.2... There are also alternatives such as FSDS that've been updated to create "pure FSX," particularly when coupled with Dave Nunez's TweakFSDS utility program.Blender still remains a non-starter, even with the "Export Script" that's been available, because it is incapable of doing any animations, and textures are limited to only the Diffuse (base) bitmaps.For those who don't own Photoshop v8 or better, Paint Shop Pro is far less expensive (~$70), and there's even a version of the FREE Gimp that has been redesigned to have the same appearance as Photoshop v8.0 :9 Tools aren't the real problem at all. It's the 400+% increase in the amount of work involved that's the real knuckle buster... ;)

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>I take your points gentlemen i did try the free gmax but I>was hopelessIdeally I would like to look over someones>shoulder to get some idea of how to get started and go from>there.Fair enough! The closest thing to "look(ing) over someones (sic) shoulder" would be one of the several threads at http://freeflightdesign.com or perhaps Milton Schupe's excellent series in which he takes the padawan learner from start to finish on a simple aircraft model.http://www.flightsimonline.com/C162/Although this particular project is aimed at FS9, the focus is on the modeling and texturing of the aircraft, most of which applies equally well to FSX modeling. ;)

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Another thing I can reccommend is to go back to school! Many community colleges offer decent entry-level courses on computer modelling and texturing. You can learn in a structured setting and seek the discipline that you need to be a modeller.As Bill has pointed out, it's not the resources but rather the time that is the heaviest factor. Teaching yourself modelling is the most time-consuming way to learn, as you will pick up bad habits and make all of the rookie mistakes. With a certified (or at least qualified) instructor, you will learn what works and what does not work.Modelling and texturing in a professional studio environment can be like being in a meat grinder, and you're the hamburger du jour. It's not for the faint of heart, or at least not for those who value their free time. Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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Some time ago, I tried out a FS9 Gmax tutorial exercise - and realised how difficult and time consuming it is. It didn't help to later discover that the tutorial itself was faulty :-( I don't really have that amount of time - and I can see that there are many great freeware models already released which also have very good VC's --However, one thing I have noticed is that often/mostly, these are excellent except for the quality of the texturing inside the VC.I am curious about why this is so - as, for me, it really lets down an otherwise very good model.An example of really superb VC texturing is the Carenado Mooney make-over done by Orbx (as freeware). Is there a reason that we don't see more internal VC texturing of this quality? Is there an opening there for interested capable enthusiasts to pick up this aspect of Simming as a hobby?Thanks for any infoBarry

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>However, one thing I have noticed is that often/mostly, these>are excellent except for the quality of the texturing inside>the VC.>>I am curious about why this is so - as, for me, it really lets>down an otherwise very good model.That's simple. The VC is so "in your face" that doing a highly detailed and textured VC will take up to four times as long as the entire exterior model! :-doh Quite honestly most folks just aren't that good with texturing either. It takes a real artist to do a credible job, which I'm most certainly not!. That's why Eaglesoft has a number of highly talented graphic artists on the team. :)My fellow modelers and I can prep the canvas and get the basic details in place, but require the artists to bring 'em to life! :-beerchug

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Barry, keep in mind that the project you refer to is produced on top of an existing model.I haven't looked at it closely but it appears that extra large photo real textures were applied to an already fair VC mesh.If that is the case then any good mesh VC can be treated the same way but it should be noted that there can be an extreme performance hit if...the base model/mesh is already high poly count and the original draw calls are not reduced.In short, each project has its own unique properties and all must be balanced to provide best use :-)To the OP. Load up GMAX or other modeling tool and build only an interior model of VC and Cabin with seats, windows, etc. It needn't be perfect, just recognizable. Now set the properties and map the textures, name, format, and call textures then load in sim and we're sure you'll gain insight into the challenges and tradeoffs involved:-)

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G'day Ron and BillI think also that it may be a matter of priorities - as Bill alluded to. I can certainly see that perhaps, after spending hours and hours modelling the exterior and interior VC to a very good standard, the modeller just runs out of steam when it comes to texturing the VC.But for me, as I fly in the VC , a beautifully rendered and textured VC is more important than the exterior model- which frankly I don't pay much attention to at all. But perhaps, I am in the minority in this. I do notice that the great majority of screenshots in this forum are of the exterior of a/c. We all want the best of everything - and I think that it would be very difficult to get people to state their preferences one over the other - but it would be interesting to see whether a model with an exceptional interior and less finished exterior would outsell a model with an exceptional exterior but less finished interior (the second of which seems to me to be more commonly available) Regards Barry

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Interior is much more important to me if we are to retain realism. When you fly a real plane you probably would get hurt quite badly if you tried to follow out behind it. Just think of the crash that would result if the plane stopped suddenly and you rearended it!!!!:(

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It's good that folks have high expectations but that must be tempered with a bit of reality. Scale, blockiness, distortion, and poor texture display are only a few of the drawbacks to producing VCsMy personal view is that I've never seen a VC by our team or any other vendor that really overcomes all of the limitaions involved in building VCs.Open your favorite vendors VC textures in photoshop and you will find excellent texture sheets. Now go to the sim and observe the same textures. You will be surprised at the differences because what was a beautiful texture sheet now appears to be a grainy, half hearted effort by the artist.This effect is lessened by use of large texture sheets but usually at the expense of poor in sim performance. It's about finding the right balance between what folks expect and what can actually be accomplished:-)

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As an addendum to Ron's comments, I whould also point out that depending on screenshots -regardless of size- to evaluate any VC is truly fruitless......after all, it's not as if anyone is going to post the worst screenshots......further, taking a screenshot with the sim paused only freezes one moment in time. What the view looks like with the sim actually running will nearly always be quite a different matter! :-lol

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