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How do I animate surfaces?? Noob + pic!

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HiThanks to the tutorials and advice here..I managed to put together a model...(guess waht it is?) :-hahNow I don't know where to start to animate the flaps, ailerons, elevators, rotating wheels..etc. Any tutorials on how to do that?I tried Freeflight Design Shop but nothing there...I also tried http://thegreatptmd.tripod.com/ and no luck...Here is apic of my model...half of it.IF you have any criticizm, suggestions,tips etc. about it...please give it to me...I am a newbie at this so I need all the guidance I can get.Take careMike

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Mikk,Have another look at Freeflight for a list of animation variables - you'll need it. There are at least two separate lists for these.If you name your parts in accordance with the correct variables some are automatically recognised by FS2002 and will animate without you needing to do anything. Control surfaces will operate to the limits specified in the aircraft.cfg file. For many other parts you will need to set up an animation yourself.Rename your elevator part to l_elevator and it should animate. That's assuming you've got a working aircraft.cfg file.One thing you may find is that the part animates OK but in the wrong direction - instead of pitching up/down it may yaw left/right or roll left/right. If this happens you need to alter the pivot axis.Keep experimenting. It can be frustrating at times but it's very rewarding when things work.

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That's assuming you've got a working aircraft.cfg file. :-lol...I don't have one. All i have done is the model..I have not tried it in FS yet because I don't know how. Thanks for the info..I'll go take another look.Take careMike

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Nice plane. Can you give me advice of how to make the flaps for a wing, as well as slats? Maybe also a website maybe helpful as well. Thank You

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>Nice plane. Can you give me advice of how to make the flaps >for a wing, as well as slats? Maybe also a website maybe >helpful as well. Thank You Like in cutting the flaps and slats, or animating them ??Udo.Project Saab 2000:-wave

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Hi Mike,At this stage you don't need much in your aircraft's folder to get it to work in FS2002. Compile the aircraft so that you produce the MDL file. Once you've got that here's what you do:1. Create a new folder for your aircraft. Next create the sub folders for panel, model, sound and texture just like the other aircraft have. For the moment these will mostly be empty 2. In the sound folder copy over the sound.cfg file from the C182rg folder. If you open this it should just contain the lines,[fltsim]alias=c182sound3. In the panel folder copy over the panel.cfg file from any other aircraft. Now open this file and delete the contents and replace with[fltsim]alias=c182panel4. In the model folder copy over any other model.cfg file, open it and replace the text with[models]normal=bananaIn this case change banana to read the same as the MDL file you have made. If this is C188.mdl then the line above should read normal=C1885. In your default aircraft folder you'll need an .air file and an aircraft.cfg file. You'll have to "borrow" these from another aircraft so pick one that flies as close to the aircraft you are making as you can. Let's say you've chosen the C182 files. If so you now have two files here:aircraft.cfgCessna182S.airChange the name of the air file to something suitable like C188.air (unless that's a Pawnee your making!)Now the slightly fiddly bit. Open up the aircraft.cfg file as you have to change some of the lines. The first section of this file is[fltsim.0]title=Cessna Skylane 182S Greensim=cessna182smodel=panel=sound=texture=checklists=kb_checklists=Cessna182S_checkkb_reference=Cessna182S_refatc_id=EIBCLui_manufacturer=Cessnaui_type=C182S Skylaneui_variation=White with greendescription=When Cessna saw how well their Model 180 was selling, etc etc etc.Here are the essential bits to alter to get you flying (even if the aircraft only behaves like the C182)..Title. Change this line to something more appropriate. Every aircraft title should be unique in your FS aircraft collection!sim= Change this to match the name of the .air file you've just changed. In my example it would be, sim=C188.Change the three UI lines for Type, Variation and Manufacturer. It is these three lines that identify your aircraft in the FS Aircraft Menu.Now, there are several other [fltsim.?] sections in the C182 aircraft.cfg file bit you don't need these. All you need is the [fltsim.0] section so delete the others (you MUST do this).The next section should be [General] and you can change the ATC_Type and ATC_Model lines if you wish. It's not essential right now and you can leave the rest of the file alone as well - for now.With that lot done your aircraft should show up next time you start FS. It won't have any textures but it will be using the C182 sounds, panel and performance so you'll see and hear something. The model may not sit right as I've just recalled it's a taildragger - maybe it would be best to use the Extra 300 files instead.This gets you to the stage where you can fly the aircraft and spot problems in the design. Once you are happy with that side of things the next stage is to go back into the aircraft.cfg file and start changing values to make the aircraft fly more like the real thing rather than a C182 (or Extra 300)..I hope that's clear..

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I've just realised that the lines with square brackets are missing so here are the correct sentences ..Now, there are several other {fltsim=?} sections in the C182 aircraft.cfg file bit you don't need these. All you need is the {fltsim=0} section so delete the others (you MUST do this).The next section should be {General} and you can change the ATC_Type and ATC_Model lines if you wish. It's not essential right now and you can leave the rest of the file alone as well - for now.

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Thank you bones. You are a life saver, i followed your steps and it worked. As for the modedl...ROTFLMAO :-lolAny idea why the material is see-through...it looks like the normals are backwards...they are fine in G-Max though. Could it be because the materials are not 2 sided? Also as you can see the pivots are all wrong...I have no clue how to adjust the pilot point but I'll try and see what happens :DTake careMike

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You're doing fine. At least that's one hurdle crossed!From the screenshot I'd agree with you. Some of your parts are reversed normals and the controls animate correctly but around the wrong axis. Let's look at the latter first (only because I can remember how to correct the problem!)..Click on one of your control surfaces to highlight it. Select the Hieracrchy tab in Gmax (it's the third one with a picture like a drunken lunar lander). In the Adjust Pivot section select Affect Pivot Only. Back at your control surface you will now see three arrows around a common centre and colored red, green and blue.You now use the ordinary move and rotate buttons to alter this axis control. I move it to lie somewhere on the control axis (I've never verified if you need to but it makes sense to me). Next you rotate the arrows to suit the axis of rotation. There is probably a guide to this now but my own efforts were trial and error - I never did work out the logic though. Here are the settings I used:Elevator - green arrow up, red right, blue back.Rudder - blue forward, green up, red leftAileron (right) - green forward, blue up, red rightAileron (left) - blue forward, red right, green downProp - blue forward, red right, green downWheel (right) - green forward, blue up, red rightWheel (left) - green forward, blue up, red right.I can't remember what I used for flaps but try the same as the ailerons on each side. Because my wings had dihedral I adjusted the pivot axis to lie along the aileron axis - not just left/right.The inside out effect of reversed normals only hit me when I cloned one wing to make the other using the Edit.. Clone option.. The advice I got from Freeflight was not to use this tool because of this problem. Instead I clone by converting the existing part to an Editable Poly (you've probably already done this). Then go to the Modify tab (next to the drunken lunar lander). Click on the Modifier List - the drop down box - and go down until you find Mirror. Select this and select the axis around which you want the object to mirror around. I found it awkward to use on a wing I'd already set the dihedral, sweepback and incidence to but it will mirror a "flat" wing perfectly - and produce sensible normals too.Why your fuselage has reversed normals I can't guess. There is an option to change these but I have not tried it. In the Modify tab select the drop down Modifier List again and under Mesh Editing select the Normal option. This gives you two parameters - unify and flip. Try the latter. You'll only see an effect in GMax in the windows showing shading, nothing changes on the wireframe windows.You'll end up trying lots of experimental options like this so I strongly suggest you make at least two copies of your aircraft file. One for safety and one to experiment on.

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WOW! Thank you for all the help...I really really appreciate it. I guess the fuselage changed normals because I mirrored that as well. I did the entire half of the plane then I mirrored (without the tool), welded adn exported...I'll use the mirror tool and I'll see what happens. The drunken lunar Lander? :-lol that's exactly what came through my mind when I first saw it. Thanks again..I am sure I will have lots more problems, I will be around here a lot. :DTake careMike

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I am currently working on the fire boss version. Are you only making the wheeled version?

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ummm...I thought there was only a wheeled version of it. Are we talking about the same plane? I am doing the Air Tractor 402B. :DIf there is a float version, i might give it a try if I can get some pics.Take careMike

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air tractor. different model. there's only one pic that i know of that's publicly available.

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