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arno

CAT beta released

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Hi all,First, no I have not started making some kind of zoo :D. I have finished the first beta version of my new Conditional Animation Tool or CAT for short.What can this tool do for you? It provides an easy way to make the kind of changes to your GMax source file that I describe in my Frequency Controlled Animation tutorial. So you don't need to spend hours tweaking it, it will only take you a few mouse clicks now.Besides that it also contains some new things I have "discovered" after I had finished the tutorial.You can for example display different animations depending on the value of a variable (for example if you make a gate you could display a different animation depending on the height of the aircraft). And each of these animations will still be triggered by another variable as before.Another option is to only display the animation when another variable has a certain value. In the gate example you could use this to only display the animation when you are at a certain range from the gate (to prevent all gates on the entire airport from moving at the same time).For more information and downloading the beta version please take a look here:http://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen/cat.htmlAnd please remember it is still a beta version, so please report back all problems, suggestions, questions, etc :).

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I downloaded it this morning, and it looks very interesting. Maybe I'm a tad dense (which is likely) but I'm still a little unsure as to how to use it to make my hangar doors open when triggered by a Nav2 frequency. My main challenge is that I've got 10 separate animations that have to run (a pair of 5-part folding doors), all of which are triggered by a frequency selection. Am I correct in assuming that this tool will not work for so many animations? I'm going to try it out with a simple one-animation project this morning and let you know how it turns out. Thanks for doing this!thanks,

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Yes, it should also work with more then one animation in your source file (I haven't tested it with 10, but with 2 it works fine). So I assume you should be able to process your hangar very fast with it :).If you only want to trigger for the frequency you don't need all options of the tool (not the animation condition and secondary condition), I hope the manual is clear enough there?

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Guest

Hi Arno thank's for this tool it will save me from having to hand code simple animations like hanger doors etc by not having to tweek the source by hand. Gee I might even try to make some simple ramp personel. Dan

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Okay, I officially don't get it. Here's what I'm trying to do: I've got a hangar with folding doors. There are two different asm files right now, one with the doors animating open, one with them animating shut. From reading the documentation, it looks as though I'm not trying to do any secondary condition checking, since all I want is for the doors to open when a certain Nav2 frequency is tuned to a given frequency and close when it's tuned to another frequency. There doesn't seem to be a way of entering what asm files I want the tool to use though unless I use the secondary conditions box. Can you give me a "for instance" on how a theoretical anim like this would be processed using CAT?thanks,

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Guest PaavoP

One important tip: add letter "h" to the variable. For exaple 33Bh, 07C2h etc or You will encounter compilation problems.

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Guest PaavoP

Hi Arno, I'm having a small problem. I assigned a freq. controller to my hangar door, but in FS09 the animation loops as it usually does. Is there a fix for it? Would You like to see the source files?

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You are correct about writing 07C2h, but did you also write the h behind the frequency? Otherwise it will not work. So if you want to check the frequency 112.00, you need to write 1200h.If that does not fix it, please send me the files so I can have a look.

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Hi Bill,You only need to enter the file with the opening animation. That was is automatically reversed and used for the closing when you deselect the frequency again.So what you would do is enter the trigger information in the appropriate boxes, load your file with the opening animation in the first file box and then save the new source.

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OK, I had a look at your files and it is the user variable. usrvr3 seems to be giving the trouble. So don't use that one. I will remove it from the list in the next version.

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Thanks for the reply, Arno. It sounds like it's even easier than I was making it. However, I'm trying a simple test animation of two cubes moving away from one another on setting 112.0 on Nav2 and although it's compiling fine in CAT, it's throwing errors when compiling in BGLC. I've attached screenies of what my CAT screen looks like before I create the new file, the error that's thrown by BGLC and the source asm files for before conversion (animTest.asm) and after (animtest_cat.asm). Any idea what's happening?thanks,

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Thanks, found a little bug in the code. I will upload the fixed version later this evening.

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Great, I'm glad it wasn't just me. Looking forward to the next version! By the way, just a thought but would it be possible to have a combo box in the "Variable" field under "Animation Trigger" that lists the common variables and their corresponding funtion? It'd make the process of selecting a variable that much faster. Just a thought.thanks,

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You are already the second person with that thought, so I can not just ignore it :D.I am thinking about it, but I want to prevent that you can only use the hardcoded variables, as that would limit the designer.

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I'm not sure what language you're using to program the tool (VB?) but I know that there is an interface element that allows for a combo box that can also be typed into like a text field. Maybe that's an option, I don't know. I never really liked that concept from a strictly UI standpoint, but this is one time it might be acceptable. Either that, or two options that must be chosen between: either a combo box with pre-filled variables, or a text field into which the user could type their own variable. You'd have to activate the method you'd be using via a radio button. It's a little clunky, but might work fine as an alternative. Sorry to make more work for you!thanks,

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Yes, I use VB. I already have another idea, going to give it a try right now.... :D. If it works I will make the people happy that don't like working with BGLC code and hex variables and also the people that want access to that info.

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Fantastic! It works great now on my test project... I'm proceeding directly to trying it on a more complex animation. I really like the solution for variable choosing, it's quite elegant and works great. Good work! I'm going to really give it a workout and see how things turn out.thanks,

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Hi again, Arno,I've been doing some more testing and have come up with an interesting scenerio. My hangar door animation is (as I'm sure you're tired of hearing) comprised of 5 separate door sections that are each animated. With the exception of the innermost sections, each section has three keyframes, the first is the doors closed position, the second keeps the door in place until its "turn" to open and the third is the section's final position. So to make the doors open in a realistic way on a 400-frame timeline, the innermost sections would just start at closed and open all the way at 400, the second section would start closed, then have another keyframe in that same position at frame 80, then be all the way open by frame 400, and so on for each section.Because of the more complex keyframing (not just "open" and "closed"), CAT creates a backwards (doors closing) animation that isn't the reverse of the doors opening. I understand why this is -- after all, the final (outside) door sections would start moving only at keyframe 320 and stop at 400 on the forward animation, but would start moving at keyframe 80 and stop at 400 on the reverse animation. If you think about this, it's pretty clear. I assume CAT is just reversing the translation positions for each keyframe on the reverse animation, right? If so, do you think the math could be worked in to change the keyframing on the reverse so it's a true backwards animation on multiple keyframe anims? You've done a lot already and I love the way the tool works, I'm just curious about how far the concept can be extended. Feel free to tell me to screw off if it's just too much to consider ;-).I've attached a sample gmax project to illustrate my conundrum.thanks,

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Hi Bill,OK, I think I know what the problem is (already got another report about it). Do all your animations end at the same frame? So do they all stop at 400? Or do some parts have lets say 300 as end? In that case the reverse would indeed go work. Will have a look at it.

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Guest PaavoP

Oh my God, You upgrade it every day. : )By the way, I got my animation to run as it should. I just simplified the animation a bit.

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That why it's called a beta version isn't it? As long as you guys keep sending bugs I will upgrade it. If all (or most) bugs are gone I will release a version 1.0 :).

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Excellent, Arno! I'll d/l it and give it a shot straight away.-Bill

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