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Don't ADD Static Aircraft to Airports! - Please (a moan

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I usually don't moan about people's free offerings, and I certainly feel a little bad about doing it now, but after three hours of trying to figure out how to decompile a BGL file, I just had to get this off my chest.I have downloaded a number of really nice addons for airports (mainly around New Zealand, but also Aussy, England and US etc) and I have been really impressed with the workmanship... many of you Scenery creators are awesome!HOWEVER,There is one thing that ruins it - badily placed, or WAY TOO MANY static aircraft. A lot of scenery people do it - they make a perfect rendition of an airport, then litter the airport with a number of confusingly placed Aircraft to - I presume - give the airport some "realisim"An example is the Wellington Airport I downloaded - it is prefect in everyway (I live in Wellington) - however, with the AI, and the Static Airplanes there is over 18 parked aircraft in Wellington (it is lucky to get 4 or 5 IRL)The parked aircraft take up too many parking space for AI (and me) to find a place to settle, and the amount of static aircraft slows down the system pretty well (from usually 12fps, to 6fps with Static Aircraft showing - 1280x1024 with AA on) - and I have a system faster then the author stated he tested it on!I like what Airport creators are doing - and you certainly get my support, but I believe you ruin your efforts when you include static aircraft which honestly could be taken up with more mundane things like static vechiles, or maybe people... So pleaseeeee - from the begging of a pilot - either don't use static aircraft, or limit them to areas of the airport that are not going to cause AI, or Pilot frustration - and framerate distruction.Either don't use them - keep them "out of the way" - or the next (and probably best option) is to make two different BGL files. 1 with all the static aircraft you like, the other with no static aircraft. It shouldn't be that hard to do from what I have seen with Airport 2.6.Again I'm sorry for the moan, and I hope no one takes offense - but again, I just had to get this off my chest - it really has frustrated me over the last week.Thanks for all your effortsWiNCXP1900+Geforce 4 Ti4600Sblive! (yuck!)768megs Memory DDRand a little sticker on the front which makes it go faster

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hey,Most designers have the forethought to set the framedraggers to appear only when scenery slider is set to very dense. have you experimented with this setting?Please bear in mind that alot of guys make scenery projects based on what they like to see, not necessarily what you like, and just share it with the rest of us.odog

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odog,Yeah - to turn off the static scenery in most you have to turn the scenery slider down to the bottom, and that usually turns off the buildings :(And I know - which is one of the reaons I don't like moaning in regards to free stuff... it is free - and it is their own projects. I don't have to use it after all.In most cases - people will look at this as either 1) me being a ##### (I can live with that :() 2) A request - which is what it really is.I have managed to get a fs2000 wellington Airport working. The fs2002 airport is GREAT!! I LOVE IT! He even put in the Wellington Logo - but, because of the placement of the static planes it is worthless, and is far too "busy" for a useful AI airport.I have found a number of reasons why my fps are so low - but even fixing all those the airport only gives me 8fps - which is very low (I suspect there is something fishy going on somewhere just can't find what yet)...Please - don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to enforce my opinion on anyone... I am just basically having a moan, and making a request, that I hope creators take notice of when they share their wares. Again guys - keep up the great work, bar my static plane issue - I have been majorily impressed with almost everything I have seen out there in the community!! :)WiNC

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Since the forethought exists with respect to frame rates as you state, then does it not make sense to include static aircraft in that thought? Obviously designers take into account the array of PC's in the community and the sharing of their creation is a consideration.As a designer myself, and to be fair, Airport 2.6 being my program of choice, it is a simple matter to alter the *.apt file in "Notepad" for example, so that everything in the original *.apt file is 'removed' and the static aircraft are left remaining. This revised *.apt file is then renamed, 'opened' within Airport 2.6 program and finally, compiled as a separate *.bgl file.This procedure can be adopted for any of the objects, etc., within a scenery area. I suspect that this procedure can also be adopted for other design programs, though this is strictly a guess.

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Or you could just put 1 maybe two aircraft in well placed areas to give the idea that there is life at that airport. It is hard not to want to decorate the Christmas tree without a lot of decorations though! ;)

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Hi WiNC.I don't think that's a bad request at all. If the designer doesn't want to share the source code so you can alter it, why not make the static AC as a separate BGL, so it may be deleted if the end-user can't use it with his AI settings... I think that's possible, and reasonable.Dick

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hey,In regards to gmax you are given some choices on export...where you can determine when your models will show up, very dense, dense, normal and so on. This is pretty simple, the only draw back I see is youll need to make multiple bgl's, but thats not a big deal.Im sure other design tools offer this feature as well. I guess Id rather see guys solve this problem with the scenery settings than by hacking up the bgl.This is good advice, I must say, I had my flamethrower ready and set to crisp, when I read your first post. With the emergence of gmax as the standard building tool, I have a feeling youll see less and less posts regarding these types of issues.

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Barney - very good point - though fps isn't the only problem. Wellington Airport for example (I'm only using this because this is the one I'm spending hours working on) has only a small number of true gates to begin with. The creator of the piece has included all those gates (which is great - again - in top down view it is almost like looking at a true aireal view :) ). However, out of all the gates there, there is only 3 gates left for AI, and myself. In places a Static aircraft has been placed across two gates, preventing its use.Yes, again I can turn down the detail level - however again if one does that they have to decrease it right down to very sparse, and the gates disappear also (not much fore thought.)The airport was done in Airport 2.6 ... though for the life of me I can't find out how to decompile it for reuse back into airport 2.6. I just spent six hours rebuilding the taxi ways for it - adding different gates where gates were not originally etc... (and that is a nightmare in itself :() figuring out taxi ways - how to add them - how to name them... getting the run way lined up correctly - LOLI am going to try contacting the author of the Wellington Scenery today - have a chat to him about it, see if he is willing to release (or give me permission to release) a no-static aircraft version. What I am hoping however is that other designers will think on this issue when they do their stuff and give people the option :) It isn't just FPS... some of us like AI craft, and the hum of AI craft taking off and landing... can't do much of that when you can't use those gates/ramps...Thanks for your comments -

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Frank Betts,Oh I can understand the Xmas Tree idea - it isn't easy to hold back. But again - I don't see how it would be hard to create a "before Static Aircraft" scene, and then a "after static aircraft added" scene.As a programmer I just basically make a save version of software before I add something (that not everyone might like) and then a version with everything on it... Like offering Flash and non-Flash in a webpage :)Of course - it isn't my work - so I canna force anyone :) (because if I did, I'm sure one creator who makes things might fly to new zealand and break my knee caps :( lol)WiNC

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odog,The only problem with using the scenery settings is that many people I know still want to see all the static stuff, just not the 100 thosand static airplanes littering the parking gates.Unless their is a standard in which we say, "Very Dense = All Static Airplanes""Dense = Extra cars, etc"then using the scenery setting isn't going to help.Example - another scenery I have downloaded - you turn down the scenery and the extra buildings disappear... static planes still there. Turn down another notch, the cars, and transport vechiles (and people) disappear... static aircraft still there...So to get rid of the static aircraft (which is the only part I want to remove) I have to remove all the other stuff that makes the airport worth while (imho)...Again - these are the creations of people who offer them for free. They can do what they want. However, from one of the people who uses them - I just wish there was some extra thought into what problems static aircraft can cause some people.I for one like AI aircraft more then static - AI makes it a lot more realistic then static in my opinion. Not eveyrone can use AI (slows my machine down some what at 100% still :() and static is probably get for them... I'm just asking for the choice to have static aircraft or not... :)And yeah - I know some people probably still want to shake and bake me - but if I want to make my feelings known, I have to also be willing to accept people disagreeing with me :)

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You make some valid points, I have been doing scenery for awhile, I strive for the most realism I can get, but this is usually sacrificed due to FPS. Did you email the author about the problem before you did all these modifications, could have saved you the trouble? I get emails on my sceneries and have made adjustments in the past. With the ability to add AI easily, the need for statics is becoming less and less, I get about the same hit on FPS with statics or AI, so I prefer moving AI. Some people don't know how to use TTools, maybe this is his way of adding aircraft, nothing worse than a dead airport! LOL. I am working on a project now in Hawaii and it is very detailed, it affects the FPS yes, but it is acceptable for me and my 'middle of the road" PC, I don't go into it wondering how it will effect others FPS. As much as I would love to please everyone, it just isn't going to happen.http://www.geocities.com/res052cd/cmhbanner.gif

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Ah but where can I find models in GMAX which I can use as static aircraft...? Lead me to them...Shez

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Now wouldn't emailing the author(s) have been giving up and just asking for help :(I didn't email to start with because I honestly didn't think it would be that hard to alter (it is)... and yeah I probably could have saved time, but it appears his email address doesn't work anymore anyway... so if anyone knows Shayne Butler, please ask him to come visit me :)I don't think I have a middle of the road machine (okay - my processor isn't the fastest in the world, but for what else is being offered right now, it isn't really that slow) so fps are usually in the double digits even with AntiAlaising at 4xS and 2 x AntiStropic ... Static Aircraft are a problem when 1) they cause a big drop in fps 2) clutter free gates which could be used for AIs 3) are just placed in the wrong way (ie - over a taxiway) 4) Are in flight (there is nothing worse then seeing a static aircraft hovering above a empty runway, or over a building and not moving - it just... looks creapy :()Mike - what scenery have you built?WiNC

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You make some very good points concerning forethought and the need to organize scenery in a rational way.Perhpas we could add that scenery designers might also consider systematically compressing textures to dxt format, as well as compressing the bgl. This will surely save a lot of space.Nevertheless, it is worth remembering:1. As you point out a number of times, the designer is making the project for himself. Commercial projects are made for a market, freeware scenery is made by some one for his own use. Then, he has the generosity to share his creation with the rest of us. No point in complaining that the project is not to one's taste, when it was not made for us.2. The scenery has been offered as a gift - the old argument about whether one should offer criticism of freeware. Still, it seems rather rude and somewhat inconsiderate to criticize what is essentially a present. If it is not up to one's standards, then it is quite simple to just not use it. Or, even better, modify it or make it oneself. This is not directed at you, as you have not been at all rude in your comments, but at so many others who do not hesitate to tear into somebody's work.3. Most scenery designers are not computer programmers, graphics designers, in fact, most are not even pilots and have only seen airports from the passenger seat of a commercial airliner. We cannot expect perfection in a project made by an amateur as part of a hobby, a pastime, a game. 4. Scenery creation can be very complex, particularly when getting into the areas that you mention, that is, optimization (especially with the new LOD levels and the corresponding added effort to create multiple models.) A designer also likes to have fun and enjoy his hobby - optimization is no fun, just work. 5. Flight simulators are just computer games. This is not the real world, and there is no reason to expect it to replicate the real world. For more realism, we can simply go to the local FBO, rent a Skyhawk, push in the throttle, and pull back on the yoke. No beating it. And no reason to complain when a game looks like a game.Best regards.Luis

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