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scott967

AFCAD Question

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I note some AFCADS in the library that, presumably, improve on some of the default airports that I fly into. My question is, "Are all AFCADS compatible with each other?" I realize that I should not have more than one for the same airport but does it matter what software created them? --Tom________[a href=http://www.corpairamerica.com]http://mysite.verizon.net/tjrush/tjrcaasig.jpg[/a]

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Tom,It doesn't matter what program was used to create them. As you say, you just can't have more than one for the same airport.The whole thing is confusing because of the use of the term "afcad".I was posting my airports under "FSX Afcads" in the library because that was the basic part of what I did, adding parking spaces and making AI parking assignments. But I alwo added scenery elements. Some people weren't downloading them because they thought they were merely "afcads". So now I post them under "FSX Scenery".I've also started posting using file names beginning with the airport identifier so that it's easier for the user to scan his list of "afcads" to make sure he doesn't have any duplicates. (Provided everyone uses the same file naming conventions.)JimDell XPS 420 Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0 ghz3 gb dual channel 800 mhz DDR2 RAM512 mb nvidia 8800GT500 gb SATA drive 7200 rpmSoundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Music22" Acer widescreen LCDWindows Vista Home Premium

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>The whole thing is confusing because of the use of the term>"afcad".That is the truth! "AFCAD" has quickly became a generic name for any airport modification, irrespective of which program was actually used to create it......much the way that "Kleenex" has become a generic term for tissue.Properly speaking, AFCAD is simply the name of a specific design program designed to produce FS2002 and FS2004 "Aircraft Facilities" files.

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>>The whole thing is confusing because of the use of the term>"afcad".>I was posting my airports under "FSX Afcads" in the library>because that was the basic part of what I did, adding parking>spaces and making AI parking assignments. But I alwo added>scenery elements. Some people weren't downloading them>because they thought they were merely "afcads". So now I post>them under "FSX Scenery".>No kidding! I think they ought to move all the FSX-Afcads files over to FSX-Scenery.RhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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>...does it matter what software created them?As mentioned already...no, as far as how they work in FSX.But it CAN matter when you start using external programs to "look at" or modify the file. There are two main programs being used today to create "afcads"...AFX and ADE. If you open an ADE created one using AFX, you will normally get a message that warns you not all of the items in the "afcad" will be shown, and some of the items will be "stripped" from the "afcad". If you accidentally SAVE the "afcad" then before exiting AFX, you will lose those items in the file (some scenery, ect). So you have to be carefull with "afcads" nowadays if you use ADE or AFX to view or edit them. Something as simple as using AFX to change the Tower Elevation on an ADE "afcad", then saving it, can cause you to lose a lot of the "scenery" in the ADE created "afcad". In THIS case, you WOULD want to have "duplicate afcads" in FSX. You would place the new one with the Tower Elevation modification from AFX ABOVE the original ADE created one in the Scenery Library in FSX. Then both "afcads" would still show the scenery and modifications in them. If you do this, make SURE the two "afcad" files have different filenames though, or it won't work. This is also the reason you should NEVER place all your "afcads" in the Addon SceneryScenery folder in FSX. They really need to be LAYERED in other folders in the scenery library nowadays to avoid scenery conflicts with other scenery addons, etc.FalconAFEDIT: For new users of FSX (and even some "veteran" users who may not understand this whole issue yet!), here's what is happening. Prior to FSX, if a developer wanted to create new "scenery" for a whole airport, AND include an "afcad" file for the airport too, they had to use TWO DIFFERENT programs to do it. To add buildings, fences, etc, they would use a "scenery design" program. Then they would use "AFCAD2" to make the AFCAD file for the runways, taxiways, parking spots, etc. They would "package" both files together as a complete "airport" and upload it to the "Scenery" library area of places like AVSIM or Flightsim.com.But now, with AFX and ADE for FSX, a developer can do ALL of the above using just AFX or ADE. They can build a WHOLE airport with not just runways, taxiways, parking, etc...but they can also include ALL the buildings, fences, whatever in it at the same time. AFX and ADE can insert these objects into the "afcad" from a variety of third-party addons that contain all the files for these structures. So only ONE file needs to be created nowadays for an ENTIRE airport. So...where do you upload this file? To the AFCAD section or the Scenery section of AVSIM or Flightsim.com? It does get confusing. Many of the "afcad" files in the "AFCAD" sections of these download libraries are COMPLETE AIRPORTS...not just your "old time" separate "afcads".Hope the above helps anybody who might still be confused by all this.

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>But now, with AFX and ADE for FSX, a developer can do ALL of>the above using just AFX or ADE.>>Hope the above helps anybody who might still be confused by>all this. Rick,You're confusing this "veteran" user. But first, there are three design tools for making FSX airports. You forgot FSXPlanner; http://www.zbluesoftware.com/fsxplanner/index.cfm And to get really specific, AFCAD2 files will work in FSX, though lacking FSX specific functions.But you mention AFX will place scenery objects. I can't find that functionality in my version of AFX, 1.06. From the earliest days of AFX I have never been aware of it's ability to place scenery objects. Clue this old gray haired geezer into how you do it, please!Lance

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>But you mention AFX will place scenery objects. I can't find>that functionality in my version of AFX, 1.06. From the>earliest days of AFX I have never been aware of it's ability>to place scenery objects. Clue this old gray haired geezer>into how you do it, please!>>LanceAh, nuts! Living proof I shouldn't respond to forum messages before my first TWO cups of coffee after I wake up. x(Yes, I forgot about FSXPlanner. Sorry!And Instant Scenery is what I was thinking about when adding "buildings", etc. Yes...AFX can't directly add those type of objects in an AFX created "afcad" (it can do things like jetways for the gates, but not whole buildings, etc). That's why if you use AFX to "open" an ADE designed "afcad" that DOES contain those type of objects you can place in ADE "afcads", AFX will prompt you with the message about them being "stipped" from the file if you save the file in AFX.Sorry for the confusion I caused. I'm gonna make it a point to increase my caffeine consumption before posting in the future!FalconAF

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All the more reason why there ought to be just one FSX-Scenery file area here. :) :) I have been uploading KSTL airport scenery to the afcads section, but I am strongly contemplating uploading my newest version to FSX-Scenery, forever ending any association with FSX-Afcads.I read here where someone petitioned AVSIM to make this change, but it was never acted upon.RhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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Just throwing all FSX "afcad" creations into the Scenery download section won't necessarily solve the entire problem. And in fact...in could create MORE problems.There are FOUR variables involved with this whole mess:1. "PURE" scenery for an airport created WITHOUT an included "afcad" file of any sort. Like just a building added to an existing airport in FSX. This could be a .bgl file and some texture files for the building. It wouldn't have to be created using ADE...another scenery design program could do it. In FS9 libraries, this would have been uploaded to the FS9 Scenery section.2. An ADE created "afcad" file WITHOUT added scenery. This would be almost the same as using AFX or the old AFCAD2 program. Like if someone used ADE to just create a "crosswind runway" afcad only. In FS9 libraries, this would have been uploaded to the FS9 AFCAD section.3. An AFX created "afcad". This contains no extra scenery for the airport (as opposed to item #1 above), and is essentially the same as item #2 above or an FS9 AFCAD created for FS9 using AFCAD2. In FS9 libraries, this would ALSO have been uploaded to the FS9 AFCAD section.4. An ADE created "afcad" WITH extra scenery included for the airport. This is essentially an "airport package", like an FS9 scenery addon that included both buildings, maybe some surrounding airport scenery, AND an AFCAD file for the airport. In FS9 libraries, this would have been uploaded to the FS9 Scenery section. Note this is SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT than an addon created using the SAME ADE program from item #2 above. One goes into the Scenery library, and one goes into the AFCAD library (or it should!).The problem with just throwing ALL FSX "afcad" type files in the Scenery library section is you'll never know just what type of "scenery" you are getting anymore. Is it "just an afcad ONLY like the old AF2 files or the new AFX files?" Is it a "complete airport package" with the old style afcad qualities, PLUS additional scenery?"We still need separate Scenery and "AFCAD" sections for the download library. But in addition, what we REALLY need is to get rid of the FSX "AFCAD" library entry, and create THREE SEPARATE entries for "AFX", "ADE", and "FSXPlanner" created addons (and hope nobody comes out with any more "afcad" design programs for FSX!). Then the scenery addon developer needs to put the addon they developed in the APPROPRIATE download section depending on which program they used to develop it. AND if there is a possibility that it could be "old afcad style only" or "new afcad style with additional scenery included" (like if uploaded to the ADE section), the developer needs to SPECIFY in the download description EXACTLY what it is...a complete overhaul of ALL the airport scenery, or just an "afcad" for something like adding crosswind runways with no EXTRA scenery.Yeah...I know the above sounds like a "major change", but let's face it...it is TIME for a major re-organization of the FSX download library section. With the advent of new "afcad" type programs that can do more than the FS9 ones could, continuing to use the FS9 library structure for the FSX library just doesn't make sense anymore. And it causes too many problems in determining what files DO in the FSX AFCAD and Scenery libraries. It's time to take the step forward. The library is "behind the times" and isn't in sync with the capabilites of FSX creations by third-party developers using more powerful addon tools nowadays.Respectfully submitted of course,FalconAF

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May I critique your post? I feel I must since I think the solution is in FEWER file areas rather than more...unless I can be convinced otherwise...>Just throwing all FSX "afcad" creations into the Scenery>download section won't necessarily solve the entire problem. >And in fact...in could create MORE problems.>How so? I don't see how it would create more problems. I think it would simplify something that is at present a situation where a designer has a little bit of everything in their project, and doesn't know quite where to upload it. I'll read on...>There are FOUR variables involved with this whole mess:>>1. "PURE" scenery for an airport created WITHOUT an included>"afcad" file of any sort. Like just a building added to an>existing airport in FSX. This could be a .bgl file and some>texture files for the building. It wouldn't have to be>created using ADE...another scenery design program could do>it. In FS9 libraries, this would have been uploaded to the>FS9 Scenery section.>What does it matter to the end user what design program was used? I made Terminal D at KDFW. I used gmax and Photoshop and a few other programs for minor tweaks. How is that going to matter to the end user? Then end result was a bgl file that conformed exactly to the SDK specs, and that's all the end user need know about. How is that going to affect what file area I upload it to?If the end user reads the documentation, they should be able to determine what's in the scenery and what is not. And again, how does this affect the end user? The only issue I can think of is one of duplicates, which is an issue no matter where the files came from, and the matter of duplicates is an end user responsibility, anyway...because a scenery designer cannot know or predict what each user has installed on their machine.>2. An ADE created "afcad" file WITHOUT added scenery. This>would be almost the same as using AFX or the old AFCAD2>program. Like if someone used ADE to just create a "crosswind>runway" afcad only. In FS9 libraries, this would have been>uploaded to the FS9 AFCAD section.>And why not just "FSX-Scenery" file area? My KDFW Terminal D scenery included an ADE-created "afcad", yet how is the end user harmed by my file being included with the MakeMDL bgl and the cvx bgl that were also in the package?>3. An AFX created "afcad". This contains no extra scenery>for the airport (as opposed to item #1 above), and is>essentially the same as item #2 above or an FS9 AFCAD created>for FS9 using AFCAD2. In FS9 libraries, this would ALSO have>been uploaded to the FS9 AFCAD section.>What does the user care? Actually in the case of AFX, I don't know if they've fixed that bug that broke ILS's and navaids. Now that would be something the end user has to worry about, but should we split the file library on the basis of one bug in one creation program?AFX also uses its own custom bgl compiler, but again, how is the end user affected? Why split these files into their own file area?>4. An ADE created "afcad" WITH extra scenery included for the>airport. This is essentially an "airport package", like an>FS9 scenery addon that included both buildings, maybe some>surrounding airport scenery, AND an AFCAD file for the>airport. In FS9 libraries, this would have been uploaded to>the FS9 Scenery section. Note this is SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT>than an addon created using the SAME ADE program from item #2>above. One goes into the Scenery library, and one goes into>the AFCAD library (or it should!).>What difference does it make to the end user? :) It matters to me, a designer, but I can't fathom how it affects an end user. The only thing I can think of, is the issue of duplicates for airport scenery, but then that is a problem that can occur no matter WHAT file area a bgl file came from. That is simply a matter of the end user having control of their files, and its an issue that has been around a long time, way before FSX.>The problem with just throwing ALL FSX "afcad" type files in>the Scenery library section is you'll never know just what>type of "scenery" you are getting anymore. Is it "just an>afcad ONLY like the old AF2 files or the new AFX files?" Is>it a "complete airport package" with the old style afcad>qualities, PLUS additional scenery?">:) see above.. :)>We still need separate Scenery and "AFCAD" sections for the>download library. But in addition, what we REALLY need is to>get rid of the FSX "AFCAD" library entry, and create THREE>SEPARATE entries for "AFX", "ADE", and "FSXPlanner" created>addons (and hope nobody comes out with any more "afcad" design>programs for FSX!). Then the scenery addon developer needs to>put the addon they developed in the APPROPRIATE download>section depending on which program they used to develop it. >AND if there is a possibility that it could be "old afcad>style only" or "new afcad style with additional scenery>included" (like if uploaded to the ADE section), the developer>needs to SPECIFY in the download description EXACTLY what it>is...a complete overhaul of ALL the airport scenery, or just>an "afcad" for something like adding crosswind runways with no>EXTRA scenery.>No way! How about "FSX-GMAX SCENERY USING DXT3 TEXTURES", and "FSX-GMAX SCENERY USING DDS TEXTURES", and "FSX-3DSMAX SCENERY USING DDS TEXTURES", and "FSX-SBUILDERX SCENERY"... etc.Again fundamentally, outside of duplicates (an issue which exists irregardless of the file organization or type), I cannot see any logic in splitting areas by origin program. Perhaps this can be explained to me, as I am in a hurry right now and may be missing something.There is way, way more to design than AFX, ADE, and FSXPlanner, and those three programs are technically speaking not even required. I made FSX airport scenery before any of those progs came out; yet to the end user, they would never know it. Yet I didn't have a file section that said FSX AIRPORT SCENERY USING NOTEPAD AND THE BGL COMPILER SDK.>Yeah...I know the above sounds like a "major change", but>let's face it...it is TIME for a major re-organization of the>FSX download library section. With the advent of new "afcad">type programs that can do more than the FS9 ones could,>continuing to use the FS9 library structure for the FSX>library just doesn't make sense anymore. And it causes too>many problems in determining what files DO in the FSX AFCAD>and Scenery libraries. It's time to take the step forward. >The library is "behind the times" and isn't in sync with the>capabilites of FSX creations by third-party developers using>more powerful addon tools nowadays.>Yes I agree the file lib is "behind the times" so to speak. The answer is less not more>Respectfully submitted of course,>Sorry if I was blunt and terse but I am in a hurry, respectfully answered in intent, cheers FalconAFRhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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I pretty much agree. It's not necessary to have four seperate library sections. It doesn't matter what program the scenery was created with. It should be incumbent upon the designer to specify in the readme if the file contains correct AI parking spaces, etc.By the way, AFX has fixed the navaid bug. There were several other enhancements in the latest update.JimDell XPS 420 Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0 ghz3 gb dual channel 800 mhz DDR2 RAM512 mb nvidia 8800GT500 gb SATA drive 7200 rpmSoundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Music22" Acer widescreen LCDWindows Vista Home Premium

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I agree with a single FSX scenery library. The separate AFCAD was based on the FS2000/2k2 AFD files concept, separate from scenery. FS9 merged facility and scenery data, but the separate AFCAD concept lingered on, partially because there still was a lot of FS2k2 scenery used on FS9. Note that even in FS9, SceneGenX was capable of dealing with both facility and scenery data in a single app.scott s..

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