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Guest cwright

FSDS 2.0 - Better for the beginner?

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Several have mentioned that the FSDS beta testers are no longer bound by their NDA...Simple question, is it an easier product to grasp than GMAX? I want to start designing my own aircraft, especially homebuilts, ultralights, etc.... GMAX just eludes me. I configure routers, switches, servers, workstations, design network layouts, write specs....and I'm still a stupid idiot when trying to do anything with GMAX. My best creation? A flying cylinder with a flat piece of wood for a wing. Could FSDS help, or will I be forced to seek treatment?-John

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With either program, treatment is useful.gmax is the more powerful modelling program.FSDS is the more flightsimmer-friendly program.I find that my problems in gmax stem from not giving it enough time. "I can't do this in gmax, but it's so easy in FSDS" translates to me as "I haven't found the way to do it in gmax yet."Having said that *I* find FSDS a lot easier to ramp up to producing a flyable FS model.For ME - I find FSDS the easier program. For the non-modeller, gmax has a much steeper learning curve.Whatever program you settle on, it's worth spending some time playing with it and doing not only the tutorials that come with it, but, also the other tutorials available on various site, including (blatant plug warning) Freeflight Design Shop (http://www.freeflightdesign.com)Felix/FFDSPegasus Aviation Design

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John, no question, FSDS is easier to learn. But if you approach it in the right way I don't think GMAX is a lot harder. But, what is more important, I think that once you gain some experience with Gmax it is actually *easier* than FSDS. THat's because of the more advanced user interface. Take one example. In FSDS you do the texture mapping in a single dedicated window (I believe FSDS2 has a larger window display, which is welcome - in FSDS the window was so cramped as to be very difficult to use). In Gmax you can use any of the edit window views including perspective to do the mapping, so you get real-time feedback as to how the textures look. That's why it's easier. By the way, I do much of the design and editing work in the perspective view, something I believe is still impossible in FSDS2. I think the Gmax user interface is the biggest reason why I won't be going back to FSDS. Once you get comfortable with it it is nothing short of superb. As I said, success with Gmax depends on the way you approach it. 'Don't run before you can walk' sums it up. My advice to anyone contemplating using Gmax is to work through the standard tutorials before even thinking about designing a plane. But at the end of the day I'm sure lots of people will use FSDS2 to produce some great designs. It's great that there are two choices.... Best regards, Chris

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