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FSDS 2.0 - What do you want to know?

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Abacus has released the FSDS 2.0 beta team from their NDAs. We are free to answer any and all questions you might have about FSDS 2.0Davewww.daviator.com

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did you already compare gmax aircraft to fsds2 aircraft? is there a difference in mdl-filesize and/or fs2002-fps? does fsds2 create the correct material highlight "level" values (ms-xfile exporter doesnt)? does fsds2 support different smoothing groups and/or textures/materials on the same object? keyframe animation? custom animation macros? maximum texture size? does fsds2 has something similar as gmax

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FSDS 2.0 produces true FS2002 compatible MDLs. A side by side comparison is difficult. The new 2.0 MDLs are considerably smaller than the old FSDS produced MDLs. To the best of my knowlwdge FSDS supports material hightlight level values and varying levels of specularity. Yes, smoothing groups are now supported. You can select any number of polygons for a part and have them smoothed or not. In addtion, you can texture any number of polygons on a single part you desire. Three types of animation are supported: The standard way of naming the part (I.e. rudder) and the part will pivot along it's axis. Keyframe animation is now fully implemented and SDL Macros will be supported (pending a new version of SDL Edit from Mike) In addition, FSDS now supports stacking of display conditions. Maximum texture size is 1024x1024 and now the texture window is twice the size it used to be. In addition shiny surfaces are now fully supported. I don't know what a modifly stack is. Still one level of undo. The the viewports stay the same. (front view ing being flipped to match top view)Part/child hierachies are now implimented. You can now copy/cut and paste groups of parts. You can also animate "parent" parts and all children parts assigned to the parent will animated as well.Hope this helps!Dave

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>I don't know what a >modifly stack is. Still one level of undo. The the viewports >stay the same. (front view ing being flipped to match top >view) Thanks for the details... it sounds as though it is going to be a very nice and complete program!The 'modify stack' is a feature of GMax (and its big brother 3dsMax), which allows the designer to work on each 'part' in a variety of ways, such as vertex, edge, face, polygon, and element sub-level, and will maintain a separate (configurable) 'undo' record for each operation.What makes this so powerful, is that the designer can go backwards in the stack, modify the part's properties, etc. without destroying or undoing changes made in a higher level of the stack.

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sounds good.....does fsds2 stil support crossection mode (add, delete, scale, moove)?if yes, anyway to place pre-orders?cheerstom

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>I wrote up a brief preview for anyone who's interested: >>http://www.kazoku.org/xp-38n/articles/fsds2pre.htm That was an interesting read. Thanks...Check again though to see if the key-frame animation can be increased to 200 frames.The reason is, that keyframes 101-200 are used by FS2k2 for specific movements. For example, keyframes 1-100 are used for gear retraction, and keyframes 101-200 are used for gear compression.Surely the author hasn't overlooked this... :)

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Yes! Keyframes 100-200 are included. (Needed for strut animation among other things)Davewww.daviator.com

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Hello Dave,I don't have any new projects in mind right now, but do think there is anything to be gained by taking a current FSDS model and running it through FSDS 2?Thanks,John Woodward

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Well it depends but in most cases, yes. You now can have shiny parts, better animation (wheels that stop rolling slowly, working struts, etc), better frame rates, night lighting...Dave

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Hi DaveDoes FSDS 2 really have full support for SDL macros in the FS2002 Mdl format?Also could you animate a gear retraction in FSDS without using keyframe?I guess the 100 frame limit is forced on us by FS2002 itself, but it is just not enough for a decent gear retraction animation.ThanksDavid Maltby

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Hi David, FSDS supports SDL Macros for FS2002. However Mike C. is currently in the process of updating SDL Edit with the new FS2002 variables.FSDS uses 200 frame keyframe animation. However I think, like Gmax, that frames 100-200 are used for suspension animation. I don't think there is any other supported way on animating landing gear at this point. Dave

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So hopefully I will still be able to animate a smooth gear retraction using SDLEdit?The frames 100-200 that you mention for suspension. Can they be used independantly of the first 100 frames, or is all the gear animation kind of lumped together?Thanks for your helpDavid

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David,0 is the gear up, locked position. 100 is the gear down, no-weight-on-it position; for example, with tilting bogies, it's the tilted position you see when the plane is in the air. After 100, you are animating the compression, so first your bogies would un-tilt, and then your struts would compress as you moved from 100 to 200. I'm not sure what 200 signifies exactly...whether it's MTOW or some programmed weight at which the gear collapses or what.I'm not sure what you mean by using the second section independently...you don't need to animate compression when the gear is up!Matt

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>I'm not sure what >200 signifies exactly...whether it's MTOW or some programmed >weight at which the gear collapses or what. >>I'm not sure what you mean by using the second section >independently...you don't need to animate compression when >the gear is up! 200 represents the maximum compression of the system! :)Even fixed gear a/c have some compression! :)

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I've been using Lightwave's modeller for more years than I can now undo, and I was getting by with importing as DXF with the old version. However I went over to using GMax and then transferred stuff with 3ds format, which had a few other bonuses as I could make some rudimentary surface decisions back in the lightwave set up.So what can it import now? Is there finally some native ability, or do we have to wait in the hope of plugins like the last ones, or maybe they still work?Sure hope there's some good news in this one for me! :()Tell me it's not creaky on screen handling like the old one, please? :()

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I know Louis is actively seeking collaborators to build (free) plugs-ins to support as many different model formats as he can. Dave

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>I know Louis is actively seeking collaborators to build >(free) plugs-ins to support as many different model formats >as he can. Oh dear, looks like I'm stuck with GMax till there's a way then. I hope he'll do Lightwave, so much nonsense could be bypassed then - only has to go as far as the old 5.6 format too, that would serve as complicated as it would ever need to get!

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Right, but when does FS consider the system to be at its maximum compression? Does it assume maximum compression at MTOW, and zero compression in the air, and interpolate between the two? Or does MTOW put you at something like 75% compression, so that you can slightly overload the plane and see it compress even more?Matt

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>Right, but when does FS consider the system to be at its >maximum compression? Does it assume maximum compression at >MTOW, and zero compression in the air, and interpolate >between the two? Or does MTOW put you at something like 75% >compression, so that you can slightly overload the plane and >see it compress even more? Now you are asking things that involve the FDE, which I know little about! I know that there are parameters in the aircraft.cfg and/or .air file that deal with this, but how the internal algorithim of FS2k2 does its calculations is unknown to me.For example,empty_weight_CG_position=-8.724, 0.000, 0.000 defines the spatial position of the a/c when empty.These three entries in the contact_points section deal with strut compression and stiffness://8 Static Compression (feet) (0 if rigid)//9 Max/Static Compression Ratio//10 Damping Ratio (0=Undamped, 1=Critically Damped)Entry #8 defines the compression of the strut when a/c is on the ground at empty weight.Entry #9 defines a ratio between empty weight compression and max load compression.Entry #10 defines how much damping (shock absorbtion) there is. Set to a value of zero, the a/c will bounce up and down like a car with no shocks! :(I hope that this is helpful!

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Hmm...but what constitutes "max load"? I'll bet that whatever that "max load" value is, it's the same value that's used to achieve the 200 keyframe visual on the model.Matt

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I am currently in the finishing stages of a new DHC-2 Beaver. I hear FSDS II will be out in late October. Is there a more firm release date. I would like to add reflective surfaces and such from the beginning, rather than come up with a bunch of updates later.

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I think they'll come very close to the target release date. Your model looks excellent! A few hours with FSDS 2.0 and you can add shiny surfaces, working water rudders, working gear and more. Dave

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