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Guest Marcel_Felde

How to improve performance of instruments in the virtua...

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Hello together,The virtual cockpit is a nice addition in FS, but in most addons it is not usable, as the framerate of the gauges (not the framerate of FS while using the virtual cockpit!) is poor. Also you may have 30 FPS while sitting in the 3d cockpit, the instruments look like a gif animation. For me, that was a show stopper. While developing the DA-20 Katana, I spent some time to find a way for fluent moving needles, attitude indicators and compass cards

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Hi Marcel,Man this is a subject near and dear to me!Bill Leaming was kind enough to point this fact of VC life out to me last August, as I have 17 VCockpit sections in my Hurricane's panel config file and a very poor gauge refresh rate.I used FSDS2 to create the aircraft for FS2004, and as xml animations are not possible with that program, many of my VCockpit sections concern invisible gauges to make the controls clickable and gauges for visible animations such as trim wheels and knobs. As you say, the problem is independent of framerates, and with only one VCockpit section the refresh rate is quite good and the gauges are smooth. As a partial workaround, you can map the same gauge to different locations. I did this with my cockpit lights, but I'm really waiting for a new version of FSDS as using GMAX/MakeMdl is not an option as far as I'm concerned!It would have been nice if the patch for FS2004 had fixed this issue for us!Take care,Robert

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Hi Robert,>as I have 17 VCockpit sections in my Hurricane's panel I assume that you had one needle movement a flight simulator session? ;-)Why isnt't GMax/MakeMdl an option for you? Too much new stuff to learn?Greetings,Marcel

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"I assume that you had one needle movement a flight simulator session? ;-)"At best! Seriously, the effect wasn't that bad, just annoying. For example, the tachometer will move in 50 rpm increments instead of smoothly. I figured no one will do much IFR flying in a warbird, but for other types of aircraft this is a serious limitation.Way too steep a learning curve with GMAX, and MakeMdl ain't exactly user friendly. I can create a fairly good-looking exterior model in a week with FSDS2, I'd be a year learning all the ins and outs of GMAX, if ever. I just returned from vacation, and I'm picking up with my aircraft projects. A really great Xmas present would be a new version of FSDS that supported the new animations and part tags, and it wouldn

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>Way too steep a learning curve with GMAX, and MakeMdl ain't>exactly user friendly.What on earth do you mean "MakeMdl ain't exactly user friendly?" I rarely - if ever - pay any attention whatsoever to MakeMDL! It's simply another automatic and intermediate process to convert a .gmax source to a compiled .mdl file.I only use MiddleMan & Model Commander in the export path to allow me to toggle on/off certain features of MakeMDL so I don't have to hand edit the MakeMDL.cfg file each time... :)For 99% of the compiled models I make, I simply use the saved defaults of MiddleMan.OTOH, I will acknowledge the learning curve of GMax, but to be honest, I would encounter an equally difficult learning curve with FSDS2! Although I own FSDS2, I only bought it to assist my partner in crime Bobby Hayes & Louis Sinclair to implement VC gauge backlighting in FSDS2...Starting from 'ground zero,' I'll posit that the learning curve for either modeling program would be about equal. However, for someone who's already at the "Adept Level" in either program, the learning curve would be much steeper than it would for someone at the 'ground zero' level... :)

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Hi, Marcel and everyone.The statement:>The framerate drops with the amount of panel entries in the virtual cockpit section of the panel.cfg. Use one panel only, the gauges work fine. With two panel entries, the gauges are still usable. Try to get more panel entries in the cfg, and your gauges will stutter.

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Hello,Of course do texture sizes, coding and the amount of polygons lower the framerate (of FS), but I am only speaking of the gauges in the vcp, how fluent they work. And if you have more than 3 panel entries in the panel config, you don't need to care of the complexity of your cockpit, because the instruments allready stutter (again, I am not talking about the framerate of FS, which can be 70 fps, your gauges will still not be usable).I hope I made clear what I mean... ;-)Regards,MarcelPS: Robert, let me also encourage you to give gmax a try. I must confess, it is not easy to learn, and yes, makemdl aborts exportation process sometimes for some reasons, and you have to search where the trouble comes from. But it is a powerfull tool, and you will be able to add much more features to your airplanes.

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>Hi Bill, when I began trying to model aircraft for FS2004 last>March, I naturally started with GMAX as it

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Hi.>And if you have more than 3 panel entries in the panel config, you don't need to care of the complexity of your cockpit, because the instruments allready stutter

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>Thanks Marcel. You and Bill have done a good job selling GMAXHow do you wish to pay? :-)If you have problems/questions, feel free to contact me via email. Greetings,Marcel

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I have a quite different experience here: one additional panel -and let it have only 1x1 pixel- drops the framerate more a lonely big panel probably could. But I can only speak for my system. :-)

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"How do you wish to pay? :-)"The check's in the mail!:)"If you have problems/questions, feel free to contact me via email."Thank you Marcel, I will do that.Take care,Robert

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First off I would like to say I was the guy Robert talked to about the welding verticies. And I would also like to disagree with n4gix if I could :)Yes you can turn off weld vertices and optimize as this is what I do for all my models. But the weld verticies ONLY applies to the exterior model. I can make a part as small as I want on the exteriors with less than 1mm between vertices and will not have a problem. The second you go into the VC if anything is within 4mm it gets welded or misaligned. I've done many tests with this and have come up with nothing. Makemdl will always weld verticies in the VC. Now before you flame me to death remember I am doing small GA aircraft. This may not be a problem in the larger GA to heavy VC's as things are generally bigger. But if I want some 1/4 nuts around the windows or a some small linkages for rudder cables it cannot be done. If you have my L-16 you will notice a few bolts on the trim lever plate and some places on the frame. Those are the smallest bolts I can possibly have in the VC. Anyway on the VC gauge refresh I haven't looked much into this issue as my last aircraft has very few gauges. Of course the gauge texture sizes are going to play a large role and also the amount of gauges in the VC. Since my last aircraft had fully custom gauges I had to play around with the texture sizes to find the best medium between speed and quality. Although I did notice the larger the gauge textures are the slower the actual frame rate will be.But really it's up to MS to design a new VC gauge system IMO.Kevin

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Hello Kevin,I solved this problem by building the vcp at 130% of the real size. As you can see in the picture (very early state of work...), switches and knobs are round and not welded. There also other bugs in FS that one can avoid buy building it a little larger. Perhabs this is a solution for you. :-)Greetings,Marcelhttp://www.marcelfelde.de/l_previews/mm_do27_vcp_041015.jpg

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Hrmmmm, May have to try that. I thought about a possible upscalling but I thought it would make things look funny if you pulled up next to another aircraft and the VC would seems very large in proportion. But I may have to try it and see what kind of nut and bolt detail I can acomplish.But anyway I really like that VC!!Kevin

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Hi Kevin, Marcel is correct about the Vcockpit sections, once you exceed three the refresh rate starts going south in a hurry. All the default FS2004 aircraft have 1-3 Vcockpit sections in panel cfg, except the C208 & C208B. Those two have 4, but Vcockpit2 is named Vcockpit11 for some reason. I don

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I think, that you won't be so close to other aircrafts to see a difference. And, in my opinion, the proportions look better. In reality, you have to move your head down and to the sides to see the instruments, and so you have to in 1.00 zoom. Many people like to fly with 0.75 to 0.50 zoom, and here are the instruments still large enough to be readable. :-cool>But anyway I really like that VC!!Thanks you very much Kevin! :-)Greetings,Marcel

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Hello Robert,I'm also thinking about making the wings scale, that the nav lights are in place. Or I'll make different effects for in and outside.Yes, it is a Do-27. The D-EIBE today looks much cleaner and "nicer", but I know this bird from my childhood, and then it looked old and dirty. :-hah

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>First off I would like to say I was the guy Robert talked to>about the welding verticies. And I would also like to disagree>with n4gix if I could :)Certainly you may disagree with me! I am quite eager to be corrected if I am wrong on some point. A closed mind is by default locked to prohibit continued learning. *:-* >Yes you can turn off weld vertices and optimize as this is>what I do for all my models. But the weld verticies ONLY>applies to the exterior model. I can make a part as small as I>want on the exteriors with less than 1mm between vertices and>will not have a problem. The second you go into the VC if>anything is within 4mm it gets welded or misaligned. I've done>many tests with this and have come up with nothing. Makemdl>will always weld verticies in the VC. Well, to be honest I've never noticed any auto-welding in the interior model, but that may well be because it isn't my practice to model tiny nuts and bolts... at least, not in FS itself.Instead, I model such parts on a HUGE scale in 3dSMax and render a high-res texture, which can then be applied to a simple shape in the FS model. I'm a terrible graphics artist, but using the advanced lighting, shadowing, ray traced vector drawing, etc. available in 3dSMax can go a long ways towards covering up for that shortcoming... :)For example, is it really necessary in the FS model to model actual geometry for the cross-head on a phillips screw, or the grooves in a jack-screw? :)

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Hi Bill,For the exterior model of the DA-20 Katana I modeled the few screws the plane has (only a few to fix the cowling), so people have not so much work to repaint here. Also other small details where made as 3d objects, so it is very easy to repaint, you don't have to worry about the details. But I won't model every screw on a piper or cessna... x( The screws on the Do-27 panel are painted on the texture btw.Greetings,Marcel

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"For example, is it really necessary in the FS model to model actual geometry for the cross-head on a phillips screw, or the grooves in a jack-screw?"YES :)I'm not saying every nut and bolt but a few to add some more character. Plus IMO a modeled screw head with a cross texture makes a better phillips screw than a pure texture.I just messed with the 130% larger scale and it really doesn't change the view much from the normal scale. But it would allow "smaller" parts since overall everything is bigger. I may have to release a nut and bolt update on the L-16 ;)

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"For example, is it really necessary in the FS model to model actual geometry for the cross-head on a phillips screw, or the grooves in a jack-screw?" I

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>For the exterior model of the DA-20 Katana I modeled the few>screws the plane has (only a few to fix the cowling), so>people have not so much work to repaint here. Also other small>details where made as 3d objects, so it is very easy to>repaint, you don't have to worry about the details. But I>won't model every screw on a piper or cessna... x( Hmmm... for parts I don't want repainters to have to worry about, I will typically use a "floating poly object" and map it to a large image on a texture sheet. Make one, and clone as many as needed, placing them precisely on the model where desired. Rotate the polys so all the head detail isn't identical also. :) You can even find photos of different screw heads with a google.com search for images to make life even easier.Here are some "screws" I have either created in 3dSMax or composited from available images on the web... :)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94537.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94538.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94539.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94540.jpg

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