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Guest FelixFFDS

Is there one good program out there?

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Hi folks,I am a novice at aircraft design. I want to build some transports with clickable virtual cockpits, akin to Mr. Jens B. Kristensen's aircraft. I want to spend my limited dollars judiciously; hence, my question: is there a single program available that runs on windows XP that I can purchase, which will allow me to design fs2004 add on aircraft with virtual cockpits?I thought about the latest FSDS from Abacus. Some folks say it is novice user friendly, which is what I need.DO you have any recommendations?If this question has been asked in the past, I do apologize for promoting redundancy.Thank you,SD

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Practically speaking, the choice is binary:1) FSDS from Abacus (payware)2) GMax (free)Without question FSDS is the "simplest" for a novice to get started, but the limitations in the design tools will eventually prove a hinderance as one's skills improve.GMax won't "hold your hand" and automagically set up a complete, bare-bones aircraft folder for you as does FSDS, but the latent power of the modeling tools and the ability to create models strictly in compliance with the published FS SDK makes it the tool of choice for those who aim to do more than casual modeling.

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Thank you for the reply. Might I trouble you with a few more questions?1) Where can I obtain the GMAX software, and are there tutorials in aircraft construction using GMAX including virtual cockpit construction?2) Is FSDS reasonably amenable to creating virtual cockpits of larger aircraft such as, say a Avro York, 4-engined propliner (this is an aircraft with a virtual cockpit that I would like to construct one day)?Thank you,SD

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Hi 1) http://www.turbosquid.com/GameTools you will also need to active and there is only one way search for Gmax v1.2 Registration Utilitywww.scenery.org/design_utilities_gmax.htmIf you install after gmax the sdk from microsoft you will get tutorial and an example of an aircraft.2)yes but try before gmax,IMHO FSDS is more complex on approach 3D i would say that is a little bit older.

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>Thank you for the reply. Might I trouble you with a few more>questions?>1) Where can I obtain the GMAX software, and are there>tutorials in aircraft construction using GMAX including>virtual cockpit construction?As mentioned, you can download it from TurboSquid. Be sure to download the Help files also!Registration may be done at TurboSquid also, and they have a new system up so you can get the registration # immediately. You won't have to wait for an email... ;)There's also an officially winked at "registration workaround" that may be found in the GMax forum in a sticky post.There's tons of helpful information, tutorials, tips, and sample projects on modeling, texturing for Max/GMax as well as FSDS at http://freeflightdesign.com which is without doubt where many of the best freeware and not a few payware developers hang their hats. ;)>2) Is FSDS reasonably amenable to creating virtual cockpits of>larger aircraft such as, say a Avro York, 4-engined propliner>(this is an aircraft with a virtual cockpit that I would like>to construct one day)?It won't mean too much at the moment, but FSDS is primarily a "box modeling" application, meaning you start with primitive objects (box, cube, cylinder, etc.) and then push-pull-twist those objects into the shape you want.Max/GMax not only does "box modeling," but also supports more advanced (and sometimes simpler) modeling methods.Frankly, I've tried FSDS more than once. In fact, I helped Louis Sinclair (the sole author) add FSX functionality to FSDS v3.5x (the current version), even though I don't use it myself... ;)Funnily enough, I own both Max v8.0 and GMax v1.2... Can you guess which one I use most often? :-lol But yes, you can build a nice VC using only FSDS. After all is said and done, it isn't the modeling program that makes the finished model; it is the artistic ability of the person using the tool!

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Thank you so much, both of you, for your responses.At the risk of being too persistent, may I ask that you please give me a easy-to-follow "to do" list that outlines the steps I need to do in order to get started on aircraft designing with virtual cockpits in FS 2004?For example:1)go to TurboSquid and download GMAX (I am not sure which version to download)2)obtain the approval code for GMAX (I am not quite sure how to do this)3)download some SDKs from turbosquid or somewhere else to get started (I am not sure what are SDKs and which one I need to get started)4)get this online tutorial and follow it to design your first aircraft, then you can design whatever your heat pleases.If you would please fill in the appropriate information for the above points, I will be very obliged.Thank you again.Sid

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Sid,I am not much further along than you in aircraft modeling. I have completed your steps 1) and 2) and am now working on a tutorial. However, I went down this same road years ago, and after completing the GMax furnished Tutorial, I decided I did not want to expend the time and effort necessary to learn to develop models. However, I have just recently decided to give GMax another shot.Perhaps I can be of some help, and the other guys can correct any bad information I give you.YOU NEED TO DOWNLOAD,INSTALL AND BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE SDK BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE. See Item 3.Referring to your list of questions:1) You download version 1.2 of GMax, which I think is the only one now available. Actually, Microsoft suggests in the SDK that another program is preferable for FSX, but that one is in the $3500 dollar price range according to it's home site. Both tools are discussed in the SDK, and you need to read the applicable portions before installing Gmax. 2) You obtain your activation code for GMax on the Turbosquid site-they explain how.3) The SDK is a Microsoft document. The original FSX version is on Disk 1 of the Deluxe edition of FSX. You need to install it before you can download the updated SDK versions, which are available from the Microsoft FSX Download site. Try Googling "FSX Insider". The SDK also tells you how to obtain and install GMax.4) The last statement is a little on the optimistic side. The Tutorials I have found cover only the very basic steps, then you are pretty much on your own until you learn enough about both GMax and FSX to ask questions on the forums. I have yet to find a Tutorial that shows examples of how to do virtual cockpits or interiors.I don't want to discourage you, but you are facing a long, steep learning curve to accomplish what you want to do.Good Luck, hope you accomplish your objectives.Regards,Thrakete

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WRT to tutorials, have you poked around at Freeflight Design yet? There are quite a few mini-tutorials there, including this set of two posts that show how to create and map vc gauge polygons:http://www.aerodynamika.com/cgi-bin/yabb/Y...?num=1169760181I know some have asked for a comprehensive tutorial that would detail the creation of an aircraft model from the first vertex to the completed project, but such a document would take so long to complete that it'd be hopelessly out-of-date before it was halfway done!Aside from which, there is no "one right way" to accomplish any given task. What the student needs to do is break down their project into discrete steps, and then work on them one at a time...

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Bill, Yes, I've spent quite a bit of time at FreeFlight, and as a matter of fact have downloaded, and will run one of their tutorials as soon as I finish the GMax basics tutorial I am re-running now. However, I did not visit the site you highlighted. I will do so today.Thanks, Regards,Thrakete

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>Bill,>> Yes, I've spent quite a bit of time at FreeFlight, and as>a matter of fact have downloaded, and will run one of their>tutorials as soon as I finish the GMax basics tutorial I am>re-running now. >>However, I did not visit the site you highlighted. I will do>so today.>>Thanks, Regards,>>ThraketePoint of information - Fr. Bill kindly pointed you to the URL where I have the Design Forums, you can get to the same place by clicking on the "Forum" link in the FFDS site.Felix/FFDSPegasus Aviation Design

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