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GMAX vs FSDS

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Hi Guys I wonder if I can ask your advice. I've had FSDS for a year or so but have not done very much with. I now have more time available and hope to get stuck into it. My first project is to build an Auster D4, which is the aircraft I flew first solo on my 17th birthday back in 1964.Hope I'm not giving my age away! Anyway I've now got FS2002 and had a look at GMAX and it looks a pretty slick program. Which program do you think I should use, GMAX or FSDS. What are the pros and cons.I would very much appreciate your adviceThanksJohn

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It's personal preference really. FSDS is easier to learn while Gmax has more features. If you want an aircraft with all the features that the default a/c have i.e. Lighted Virtual Cockpit, Opening doors etc., you'll need to use Gmax. I've used FSDS for 2 years now and I didn't like Gmax at first, but after using it for awhile it's actually pretty simple to use...Rick

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:) RickThanks for the comments. Appreciate you taking the time to answer. Tell me, are there any websites that offer tutorials or resources for GMAX specifically for FS2K2ThanksJohn

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John, I've used FSDS to design two aircraft. Now I use Gmax and I would never consider going back to FSDS, although it's an excellent program. The learning curve for Gmax is certainly steeper but the Discreet documentation and tutorials are excellent. I think that once you've got to grips with Gmax it's no harder than FSDS, maybe even easier. The user interface is far, far better. In Gmax animation is incredibly simple. Just enable animation, move the slider to the required frame, move or rotate the objects and you've created a keyframe. Repeat for the whole animation and then play the animation in the same edit windows. In contrast, in FSDS you have to buy an extra program, Aircraft Animator, and it is difficult and fiddly to use. I got to hate AA, as it repeatedly lost the settings and I had to set up the animations again. It's a joy to use animation in Gmax. Texturing is also far easier in Gmax (though you need to know a few important things). In Gmax you can adjust the texture and simultaneously see the result in the edit windows, something you can't do in FSDS. Also Gmax allows you to literally morph the texture over the object (Unwrap UVW). This is seriously powerful. For example, you can correct the texture mapping at one place while leaving the rest of the texture mapping unchanged. An excellent source for Gmax FS tutorials is http://www.freeflightdesign.com/ If you try Gmax, my advice would be to forget aircraft design for a bit. Work through the first basic Gmax tutorials (they are included on the FS2002 disk). When you find yourself opening modifiers with hardly a thought you'll know you're on your way. There will be problems, but there's plenty of help available, particularly the excellent forum at freeflightdesign. The forums at http://www.gmaxsupport.com/ are also very useful. Gmax is beautifully designed, probably has more power then most of us need and - most important - it's fun! Best regards, Chris Wright

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ChrisGreat, thanks, it really is a terrific help to get feedback like this. Life is too short to struggle with both programmes!!! Thanks again for all the useful infoBest regardsJohn

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you should start getting used to GMax because i heard future versions of Flight Simulator 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010....etc all aircraft in them will be GMax and thats all the planes they'll take GMax..which means..no more Vans Air Co, DreamFleet, AF99, Abacus planes.... luckily we have major companies starting to make GMax planes, like UAD, PSS, Stewart Global/Flight FX....etcFS2004 releases next year.....time flies!

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