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Guest Erick_Cantu

Interest in way to display updated .mdls without restarting FS2004?

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Hello,If I'm not mistaken, if you reload an aircraft in MSFS after changing it's .mdl, the changes are not displayed. This same thing occurs with textures.For some months now I've been using some software that I wrote, for a totally unrelated purpose, to let me reload an aircraft with changed textures in FS2004 without restarting it. I find this very helpful when I'm painting and I don't particularly like Abacus' product that many folks use for the similar purpose.However, as I've been fiddling with modeling the past few days, I've been using the same software to allow me to, after exporting a new .mdl, load it in FS2004 without having to restart FS2004.Would there be any interest out there in this? The reason I ask is that I'd have to write up a bit of a tutorial with a few caveats and such. But the software is available as freeware.Cheers,Greg

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I'd be rather interested in this program... the worst bit about testing is having to re-load FS every time.CheersAlun

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You are aware that you can reload the new .mdl by simply assigning the keyboard shortcut "Reload Aircraft," to some key combo, right?I use Ctrl-Shift-R to do the task...However, a way to reload textures without having to choose another a/c, then switch back to the one you're working on would be a definite plus! :)

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Nope, that's actually exactly why I asked. While I'm not new to painting I am new to modeling and wanted to be sure there wasn't already an "easy" way to accomplish this. When reloading via Select Aircraft... it doesn't seem to reload the new .mdl, so I assumed it worked the same way as textures do. I'll try mapping that command. If it can be done as easily as you say, then that's obviously the best bet. Thanks much for the pointer!I've been meaning to write up a tutorial to use it for painting, and will do so sometime soon. I'll let y'all know when I do since I brought it up here and I suspect many of you might do painting in addition to modeling.

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>I've been meaning to write up a tutorial to use it for>painting, and will do so sometime soon. I'll let y'all know>when I do since I brought it up here and I suspect many of you>might do painting in addition to modeling.Well, I'm not a 'painter' by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have to at least create some reasonably good facsimiles to be used when mapping the textures to the model! :)The difference between what I can do and our "master artist," Bobby Hayes can do is like comparing "Marge Simpson" to the Rembrandt's "Mona Lisa" ... mine are *that* "cartoony..." :)

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Hey all,Textures do get updated when "Reload Aircraft" is used, but only if used twice in a row.

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Sometimes textures don't even get reloaded after switching a/c from the same "manufacturer." More than once I've had to load a default a/c to get updated file reads on texture changes...I've even tried "Reload Aircraft" three or more times in a row without success.

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Strange. I tried it with .mdl edits and indeed, it loads the new .mdl which is just very, very spiffy. :) But no matter how many times I hit Reload Aircraft, it never updates the textures, however. I wonder what is different between our two systems/configurations. If I could get Reload Aircraft to update the textures, even if I have to hit it twice, it would be even more efficient than the method I used with my software.I'll keep playing with it, though, just in case I can get it to work. I'd be interested to hear if other folks have had success with using Reload Aircraft to reload new textures.

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Hey Bill and Gregg,The Reload Aircraft I use is via a C gauge, so that might be a different event than the one FS uses when you assign a key combo to the Reload Aircraft function. It does work every time through the gauge, but we had to call it twice in a row, as I stated, to make it work.

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>Hey Bill and Gregg,>>The Reload Aircraft I use is via a C gauge, so that might be a>different event than the one FS uses when you assign a key>combo to the Reload Aircraft function. It does work every>time through the gauge, but we had to call it twice in a row,>as I stated, to make it work.I'll have to give that a try, then. I long ago wrote a small XML guage that performs a "Reload Panels," but of course that only works for unlocking XML gauges so they can be created/modified/updated on the fly while the sim is running.I'll put together a small C gauge to invoke "Reload Aircraft" as well to see how well it might work.

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Bill, please let us know how it turns out. Such a gauge could be a huge timesaver for painters in the community as it sounds like it may be even more efficient than my software method.Interestingly, I've found Reload Aircraft doesn't always work for my .mdl updates. Sometimes it does, often it doesn't, and doing it multiple times doesn't help in the latter case. So I've fallen back onto my software method for the .mdl changes as well. Once I write that tutorial (it'll be valid for .mdl and texture changes, but doesn't work for .fx edits unsurprisingly) I'll let y'all know and anyone who finds a use for it will be free to use it.

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To reload textures, rename the texture folder, and change the name in the cfg. Do this back and forth as necessary. Never fails.

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>To reload textures, rename the texture folder, and change the>name in the cfg. Do this back and forth as necessary. Never>fails.Well, sure it will work... but it would take less time to load another a/c and then reload the one you're working on... :)

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>To reload textures, rename the texture folder, and change the>name in the cfg. Do this back and forth as necessary. Never>fails.That's pretty close to how my software works, but the software method is easier/faster and has been a huge timesaver for me. The purpose of the software is actually to pre-set .flt, aircraft.cfg, etc. settings before launching a flight. In order to never modify original files, it creates a new aircraft. By alternating between two aircraft directories that it creates automatically, it allows for the switching you describe above without the manual hassle. So while it wasn't written for this purpose, it works well for it. I like it, not everyone will.

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Hey guys,To reload the aircraft in C, use:trigger_key_event(KEY_CONTROL_RELOAD_USER_AIRCRAFT,1);This is what we use twice on the RV-7 and works every time for textures.

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THis would be outstanding! Especially if you can mouse around the views of the airplane. I'd love it if you could look at the planes without even having to fire up FS!!! What an excellent Photoshop plugin that would make.Eric

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Hey Eric,WOuld be very interesting, yes. But I am affraid it would not be possible in Photoshop, since that program does not seem capable of running DIrectX inside of it.It would most likely be a standalone program, which would be easy to make if the aircraft were in .x format, instead of .mdl. For the later, we would have to probably decompile the file completely before reading it in DirectX, which is the best way of showing it in a 3D environment with textures applied and mouse interaction to zoom in and out, and spin it.

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I've reloaded MDLs quite a bit and the reload aircraft function in FS works everytime. On the other hand you are correct about the texture thing. I have found you do not have to reload FS or rename any folders but what you can do, and works for me, is in the display settings in the far right tab where you can set the resolution. Change the world texture size (bottom of panel) from say maximum to one step lower and that will reload all the textures. when making textures in the sim I will simple switch between high and maximum on the world texture size to see my changes and it works everytime.I would like to see if this works for everyone else!!Kevin

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Dear Greg,While looking for some tools to extract the aircraft .mdl, I found this forum. Does your tool allows me to decompile the .mdl file? If yes, I'd be most happy to try it out.Thanks in advance.Steven

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Fortunately no, it does not. Otherwise he'd run the risk of being one of the most disliked people on the planet... :)After spending nearly a full year on my latest model, I'd be pretty ticked off if anyone 'decompiled it' for any reason; more so since it will be a commercial release.

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I'll definitely try that. It'd be a lot easier.

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