Sign in to follow this  
Guest

FSDS or Gmax ?

Recommended Posts

Hi ! After long time making my apis with simple text editor I decided now to buy a "professional" tool for making 3d scenery objects. What is your experience with FSDS 2.x or gmax. Is the new FSDS only a fresh repaint of an outdated FS2000 tool ? Is it worth to study gmax for weeks to make something working ? I need a tool with a long duration of life span I don`t want to buy a new one every time MS releases a new FS version. And I would like to keep working with scasm. Any comments ? Thank you, Marijo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I think both FSDS2 and GMax are good tools. My personal favorite is GMax, but there are also a lot of designers who like FSDS.FSDS2 works almost the same as FSDS1, but the code it generates is completely different, as it uses the new floating point commands.GMax is probably a bit more difficult to learn at first, but once you know a bit how it works it's fun. It has a lot of nice options to model your object. And compared to FSDS the advantage is also that you don't have to pay for it (if you have Fs2002 Pro). I think GMax will keep comming with next versions of FS, so it is probably a good investment to put some time in it now.Last thing you write you want to keep working with SCASM, what do you mean here? GMax does not produce SCASM code, but BGLC code (which is equivalent). I use it to tweak how my objects appear. I am working on a converter that can translate this BGLC code to SCASM code, but that is not finished yet.Also nice to see that there are more people who use a simple text editor and SCASM to create their scenery. I used the same method for my previous version of Schiphol :DArno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[link:home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]Arno's FlightSim World for scenery design hints, tips and other tricks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marijo,I totally agree with what Arno said. You really cannot go wrong with either one.Personally, I use FSDS because of it's simplicity. FSDS V2 will give you everything you need to design high quality scenery for FS2002 (with a shorter learning curve).On the other hand, if you think that you may expand your scenery design outside of FS2002, then you may be better off learning Gmax. I have heard that the GMax interface is very similar (if not identical) to 3DS MAX, which is somewhat of an industry standard for creating 3D objects.Allen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thx for your replies !Only one thing left I would like to know from someone who works with FSDS since version 1.0I heard that abacus updates FSDS for new FS versions. Is that just a cosmetic work (new paint on old FS2000 tool) or can FSDS realy compare with the possibilitys of Gmax ? I remember FS6 tools i bought and throw them away when FS95 was released because of no further development of the tool. Greetings, Marijo http://www.vacc-cro.ipfox.com/And Arno it is realy fun (and it`s a good brain training) making 3d object with a simple text editor but due to comming floating point commands i HAVE to change the way of making them ( I`m not A.Einstein ;).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FSDS2 is an almost total rework from what 1.x was (the look is similar, but the way it creates code is totally different). It will produce scenery in the exact same format as gMax, and is much easier to use. The only real advantage for gMax in FS2002 is the cost (none), but you pay for it in the learning curve.Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MarijoI would like to add that there is absolutely NO reason why you cannot go on hand coding your scenery with SCASM, as you like doing it that way. It's how I work too. SCASM already fully supports the floating point command set (and has since a few weeks after FS2002 was released), and coding using the new commands is EASIER than it was with the older command set in many ways. It's not difficult to learn.In choosing between FSDS2 and gMax, FSDS2 has to be the hands-down winner if you are a SCASM enthusiast, because it generates SCASM code rather than the clunky BGLC interface used by gMax. So get yourself FSDS2 (or wait for Rafael Sanchez' new NovaSim, which should be out very soon and is going to be an excellent alternative to FSDS2), build some models and look at the generated code to learn how to do it yourself using the new FP command set ...Hope this helpsGerrish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>he only real advantage for gMax in FS2002 is the cost (none), but you >pay for it in the learning curve.I do not completely agree here. Sure FSDS is easier to learn, but GMax has some really nice features (like the compound objects) that FSDS not has. These feature make your life in modeling your object a lot easier. I can't do without these features anymore and if I try to make something in FSDS now I get frustrated by how it works.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[link:home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]Arno's FlightSim World for scenery design hints, tips and other tricks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you define compound objects? I am unfamiliar with that terminology.I have not run into anything that I have been unable to do, and I find many things are unnecessarily complicated in gmax.Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compound objects in Gmax include a variety of functions, the one I use the most is boolean operations, addition or subtraction of parts, and/or union or intersection of two parts. Others include the ability to loft a complex shape using cross sections, shapemerge, morphing, and connections. I'd been a pretty strong user of fsds back in the days of 1.x thru 1.6. Learned GMAX only because I wasn't willing to be without a 3d modeller for a period after fs2002 came out.Since I learned it, I learned to love it.Other features of gmax that I like (and either was to dumb to learn in fsds or wasn't present in ver 1.x to 1.6) Patch modelling, modifyer stack, soft geometric editing, extrusions seem to work much better, and the material editor is much better, the zoom feature on uvwunwrap is awesome....animation.... We do what we do, I never understood what I was missing in fsds while I was using it, and its completely possible that the new version of fsds provides users everything gmax does. I resisted learning gmax mostly because it forced me to think differently about design, but it didn't take long, these horror stories about learning curve are overblown, and its really a fun program to use. The tough thing is accepting the challenge to learn a new program.Best,Bob Bernstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob,When gmax came out I tried to like it, and everytime I tried I always stopped when it came to texturing. I figured out how to apply the texture maps, but it was always the methodology by which you had to do it that I disliked. Once FSDS2 showed up I no longer had a reason to have to use gmax. The biggest advantage to FSDS2 for me is that it is designed specifically for FS, and contains no superfluous functionality that you need to work your way around to get an object out of it, and when you run into a bug there is an excellent chance of it being corrected, and within a reasonable period of time.In the end it comes down to personal taste, and personal needs, and both are capable of producing the same final result even though they require different techniques to get there.Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yep, totally agree. The best thing about fsds back in fs2000 days was the support from Louis Sinclair, he and I corresponded over the color assignment given to the "open" polygon, which I used for telephone wires...there was a bug that always set that color to blue in ver 1.6. I asked for help, and got a return email with a beta exe file with the fix overnight. FSDS was the first "cad" type object designer, and I loved it.Most of all, I'll never forget service like that...its rare.Best,Bob B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, don't understand my previous post wrong. I am not saying FSDS is not good and of course it is all personal taste. I just feeled that GMax was put in a negative light here :).Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[link:home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]Arno's FlightSim World for scenery design hints, tips and other tricks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi AllFrom someone that dowsn't have the patience to spend more than 10 mins using Gmax, I have heard that setting up Gmax is crucial if you are to get past the initial explorationary phase of use, as I can't!!Is this true about 'setting up' and configuration of the program, and if so, May be there is a tutorial out there.I have to say that apart from purchasing, the fact that I am a FSDS 1.6 user and don't know what I am missing in gmax, the fact that FSDS v2 produces scasm code and and is using the scame coding capability as Gmax makes it a temping proprosition.As Gerrish mentioned, I can afford to wait and look at Novasim which will support the new Vp commands, just have this nagging feeling that gmax will be around for a long time and will BGLC replace Scasm?Only time can tell, which way shall I jump!!! Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Is this true about 'setting up' and configuration of the >program, and if so, May be there is a tutorial out there. Well, it is important to set it up correct, because then it is easier to use (and MakeMDL has some strange behaviours now and then if you set it wrong). But it is not as complex as you think, it are only a few things you need to set.>As Gerrish mentioned, I can afford to wait and look at >Novasim which will support the new Vp commandsDoes anybody know if the layout of the program will also change? As far as I know the previous versions all had the VOD like layout and once you get used to the 3D layout of FSDS/GMax that is a bit of a step back I guess.>just have >this nagging feeling that gmax will be around for a long >time and will BGLC replace Scasm? No, it will not. Look at SCASM it now also supports mesh scenery. All the FP commands are also supported. So as long as it is developped with next versions it will be a compiler, just like BGLC. BGLC is provided by MS and SCASM by Manfred. For the rest they both produce the same BGL code.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[link:home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]Arno's FlightSim World for scenery design hints, tips and other tricks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marijo, I used the original FSDS to design two aircraft, and it's an excellent program. I'm sure FSDS2 has many improvements. However, my strong preference is for Gmax. The learning curve is certainly a little steeper, but if you're prepared to spend some time learning the basics then Gmax can be very rewarding. The standard Gmax tutorials are pretty good. My advice would be to work through the basic tutorials and forget about scenery or aircraft design for a few weeks! The main reason for my preference is the user interface. It is far more powerful than FSDS. And yet, after some time spent using it, it is quite easy. I would strongly suggest assigning suitable keys for the most basic functions (I use m, s and r for move, scale and rotate, exactly the same as FSDS, and three adjacent keys for view pan, zoom and rotate). With suitable key assignments you can work very quickly and efficiently. Just one example. In Gmax you can model in the perspective view very easily, courtesy of the transform gizmo, which makes movement of points and objects in any direction easy and intuitive. I do most modelling in the perspective view. In FSDS (I assume FSDS2 is similar) the perspective view is very limited and certainly can't be used for modelling. A major problem with FSDS is that you couldn't select objects by clicking on them, you had to select objects from a list. (In FSDS you can select axes, but only if all axes are visible, which would be hopelessly confusing in a complex VC). Texturing in Gmax is easier also because you can do it in the standard editing windows including perspective. In FSDS you had to use a special 2D view window which was very constricting. To be fair, a lot of people - including myself originally! - found it difficult to do something as basic as applying two different texture mappings to the same object. This could be very frustrating. But it does illustrate the need to understand several Gmax basic concepts, including modifiers and the modifier stack. But once you understand the modifier stack you can do some neat things with textures - for example I was able to select a small part of a texture with text and reverse just that part, thus fixing the text mirror image problem. To summarise, the Gmax system for viewing and manipulating objects and points is far more sophisticated, powerful and elegant - and yet, with a little practice, easy and intuitive. I simply wouldn' consider modelling a complex VC in FSDS2. Gmax is functionally almost identical to one of the standard industry modelling programs, 3DSMAX, which costs thousands of dollars. Bearing this in mind, Gmax is a fantastic bargain! Best regards, Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this