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Guest cwright

GMAX vs. FSDS

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I made the mistake of getting the 2k2 standard edition several months ago. Still, with Pro prices around the price of FSDS, now that I want to try my hand at A/C design, I could probably justify moving over to Pro to get GMAX (Just to pick up the Mooney, Baron and Kingair).What's the opinion of those on the forum? Is FSDS easier, or is GMAX? Does GMAX support part animation? With FSDS I have to purchase A/C animator, which increases the cost. I've also noted that many GMAX GA aircraft don't allow for viewing of external parts like wings, engines and tail surfaces from within the cockpit, unless static bitmaps are used. Is this something that is done by design, or does GMAX simply not support it?Appreciate any feedback folks might have to offer...-John

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i tried gmax once. i couldnt get it to work for some reason so i went back to fsds. there are many things gmax can do that fsds doesnt. i believe animation is one of thoseGen. Ernesto AlvarezNational CommanderVirtual Civil Air Patrolhttp://ealvarez.net/vcap.jpg

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AT THIS TIME....gmax is the "better" program for FS2K2. Yes, it supports animation within the program. I feel that gmax has a stiffer learning curve (for me, but then, I'm used to FSDS), but it is currently a more powerful modelling program.An advantage of FSDS is that it was developed FOR flightsimmers, so it may not have all the bells and whistles of gmax, but it gets the job done.I prefer to do my modelling in FSDS, and finish off in gmax. .. but that's me.The general trend is to get the latest - gmax.

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While I still like FSDS I now do most modeling in 3DSMaxgmax (I am used to using 3DS and Maya so for me picking up Gmax was not too much of a problem as it's a subset of 3DSmax 4 anyway. But it does have a somewhat steeper learning learning curve if one has neverused a "real" modeling program before. Gmax's big "thing" is the fact that the code it out puts is far more frame rate friendly than FSDS's code is plus if one takes the time to learn it(gmax) one can do far more with and with MUCH better results (take a look at some of the posts over on the commerical forum from the people at Real Air simulations to see what I mean) I beleve that we are all in for some real sweet eye candy. Even scenery objects(buildings etc) lookfar better when done in gmax and like I said before stuff done in gmax is FAR more framerate fiendly than the same done in FSDS. If you need any help with either pgm just post here or in the "scenery"forum and someone will answer you and try to help. Hope this is of some help Dan http://members.rogers.com/klasik2/danlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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John, no question, the learning curve for Gmax is steeper, but if you approach it carefully and don't attempt to run before you can walk, it's not all that difficult. The documentation and tutorials that come with Gmax help a lot. I regard Gmax as a superb program and the extra effort is well worth it. FSDS has the advantage that it is specifically designed for aircraft design, while Gmax is a totally generic modelling program. But after that I think the overwhelming weight of advantage lies with Gmax. The Gmax user interface is superb, while FSDS is closely based on an ancient program called Imagine, and its interface is a bit primitive by today's standards. Animation and texturing is far easier in Gmax, because in both cases you can do it in 'real time', while you watch the result in the edit windows. In FSDS you need an add-on program, Aircraft Animator (which costs extra). I found AA very fiddly to use, while Gmax animation is very easy (just move your objects to create a few key frames and then play the animation straight away). In Gmax texture mapping is easy, because you can watch the textures in the edit windows (including the perspective view) and you can zoom in for accurate adjustments. In FSDS you have a small, restricted 2D view window and you have to adjust UVW numbers as you watch it. To get a better view you have to leave the editing mode and look in the perspective view - which itself is far inferior to the Gmax perspective view. Frame rates seem very good with Gmax. My design has tens of thousands of polygons but it has excellent frame rates. I could go on, but I won't! I think that Gmax is a far more powerful program than FSDS, but it does require a bit more effort to get into it (but then, many things in life are like that). It's just such a shame you have to buy FS2002 a second time - Microsoft really ought to have an upgrade package. Best regards, Chris

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