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turner112

Why no FAQ here?

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Man.With all the stuff to keep track of... SCASM, FSUPIC or whatever, fsregen... onward...I'm just getting started here and now I'm gonna have to post about something I already know I've seen an answer for (but can't remember!) in another thread.This happens to me, like, every day. Just wondering why a FAQ has never been created as this seems like one of the more complex forums here.Andrew

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use the search function...works great.Feel free to compile the faq, if you wish...it could be useful, sounds like a big job to me...not something I have time to do.

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Ok, first, searching is vastly irrelevant to a FAQ. Searches often turn up far too many hits to be useful when a concise paragraph is what is needed.Next, obviously, I don't have the expertise to build an accurate FAQ. If I did, I wouldn't need it.Thanks for your help,Andrew

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Pretty negative energy here. no reason for it. this is a sharing forum, many people have learned to design here. Those of us who can teach do so on a regular basis. I find the search engine the most useful, and reading more than a concise paragraph helps me learn. The learning process is not best served by concise paragraphs because scenery design is not a precise exact science. Reading a variety of viewpoints on an issue is therefore ideal for any learner.One of the major reasons I suspect no one wants to spend time on making the bible of design is that design concepts change every two years, very common for these changes to be extreme, and often during the first year of that cycle, no one is the definitive person on all subjects. We all figure it out together...then we spend a year or so implementing, perfecting, and then it starts all over.Who wants to spend their time collating the known, only to have that work obsoleted a year later?Anyway, please put away the icy energy, no offense intended by me.Cheers,Bob Bernstein

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"Anyway, please put away the icy energy, no offense intended by me."Fair enough. No harm done. My point is that I'm interested in fixing up some airports, maybe some rivers... I've had some good advice about where to start but then it's through the door and into a vast wilderness.I've always found it's best to "ask someone who knows" and my yearning for a FAQ is meant to just express a little bewilderment...I know it's a learning process, and I'm willing to learn it, I just want to avoid spinning my wheels unnecessarily. Cheers,Andrew

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I do understand that feeling. Its like there's no shallow end to this pool. If you want to swim you pretty much have to jump in big time.Or like buying your first house in Seattle...but that's another discussion altogether.One thing I've suggested to folks just starting out is to realize that design has become a big world of options. Its not like it was years ago, when design meant some polygons and objects, learn a smattering of scasm and you're there. In the past the fewer options made some of us imagine design is done by "a" tool...like ASD back in the fs98 days. Its too big a concept now for that thinking.You can see design consisting of a number of notions, with different learning required to do them....and no one can learn all these techniques at the same time. And you can't make the learning short by claiming your only going to make a small number of (whatevers), its a one or zero, if your going to make afcad taxiways, it needs to be done by learning how whether you want to do one or a thousand.For instance I see categorization like: Terrain creation - falls into either mesh clinging imagry like megascenery makes using sdk tools, or..vtp/lwm design techniques using sdk concepts. Most folks choose one or the other to focus on.Mesh creation - Customizing the elevations of the meshMaking airport taxiways, runways, ai aircraft custom tracks, afd customization....good stuff to do with AFCAD. Associated with this is making custom traffic.bgl files.Making 3d objects ... pretty much the realm of cad type modellers, like Gmax or fsds.I may be forgetting some category or other.Now, you'll note I didn't say the word "scasm" (one of your specific areas of interest)....its because scasm is a code language, a way of getting some of the above categories to show up in flightsim....but....its no longer current! FS2004 pretty much obsoleted it. Yes, there are some reasons for using it still, I'm old so I still see its logic better than the newer code languages, but I wouldn't learn it now if I didn't already know it.Notice I didn't mention "airport design" as a category, such as using Airport or FSSC (in some writing, I've used the word "integrating front ends" to describe those products. Its because this is the remnant of the old thinking that airport design is one idea. FS2004 has gone a long way to eliminating the value of such programs with the implementation of xml code as the wrapper to combine objects, effects, etc...kind of like the previous role of airport, fssc, and such. Both airport and fssc create scasm output, which has an uncertain future. The airport people have created an xml output product, which may be useful, I can't say specifically.So, the way I recommend a beginner get over the feeling of being overwhelmed is to take it slow. Pick your favorite category and read....use the search engine, and don't look for ways to make the discovery practice short....accept that its not like that and enjoy the learning. Equally important to reading, is experimenting. Try stuff....don't hold yourself to any pre-expectation for how your efforts will pan out...accept that in learning mode, your goal is only to learn, the output is secondary. If you do this, you'll really learn best and start getting the enjoyment of seeing the process begin to make real sense to you.This last point seems to be natural to some folks, and very hard for others. If you hesitate to try something unless you're sure it will work, you're in the second group. Try to force yourself to just 'see what will happen'. Pretty unlikely anything bad will happen, and often you begin to have real world experience that makes the reading materials make much more sense. Good luck! Bob

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Ok, now THIS is very helpful!Because of my nature, of course, this morning I figured "aw, f#ck it", downloaded FSSC, found it very easy to use... and can't find my airport in FS ;)I'll be posting a new thread about that.Also, I downloaded AFCAD and was, within probably 5 minutes, able to extend turnaround areas at each end of my local field - backtaxiiing is required to use the whole runway but the default "jughandles" were only about half as long as needed. (If AFCAD let you bring in reference bitmaps and add scenery objects, I'd be really happy..)Correct me if I'm wrong, but the complexity of this stuff doesn't stop addiction, does it?My goal at this point is to find a way to get an airport diagram into some layout program and be able to modify taxiways and add buildings based on that diagram, then to modify the airport file in AFCAD to add parking and so forth.Yikes!I can imagine how many people would purchase a package created by MS specifically for scenery creation right within FS, wysiwyg.Thanks again, I'm rolling..Andrew

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Andrew, glad you're making progress. The addiction caught me back in the days of SEE04. I'd just been learning to fly then and found it disappointing that the vfr reporting landmarks weren't in the scenery. Course that was back in fs3.0 I think...very few objects were present then. Once I saw my work show up in a way that I could "fly" around it, I couldn't stop...There is a feature in fssc that lets you import a background image. Using the runway as the "known" and fiddling a bit, you can end up with a good alignment of the image to the sim. Once you do that you can lay down fssc taxiways over the image. I tend to do it differently, but I have good skills at gmax. using that kind of proggy its easy to create a polygon and put an image of hte airport on it...align it to the runway. This I can imagine to be a template, rather than final scenery itself (or keep it assuming the flat polygon works in the given scenery). Either way, using the fsconnect or fsuipc (I forget which), you can then trace the image of taxiways in fs, hitting the period key now and then and create a dot pattern of the proper taxiway config in afcad. Then go to afcad and connect the dots..its nice to have the taxiways image and the ai layout all from afcad...then if you change something you'll not likely end up with ai planes running of the image of a taxiway.For objects...fssc I guess using avaliable objects until you are ready to jump into the world of modelling!Cheers,B

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Hi Bob - Actually I've been creating 3d... "stuff"... far longer than I've been trying to add anything to FS...I think I may give gmax a crack. Someone said in another thread that FSSC is obsolete for 2k4; do you know if any other editor like that or AFCAD will let you import a template image?Thanks,Andrew

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Cool about being up for GMAX...it took some relearning to get it, but I have more fun with gmax than any other part of design.I agree with fssc being obsolete insofar as the afd indexing...that's what you were talking about in that thread. And I no longer use it, that's for sure, I only suggested it cuz it seemed to me you were stuck using other peoples apis.If you really gobble up gmax, then we can really go for the real current mainstream approach, which is to use an xml file to collect your objects, with the lat/long supplied from within the sim itself, captured by either obplacer from ARNO, tcalc from Dick (Rhumbaflappy).Best,Bob

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Hi Andrew.Arno is currently on vacation. He has been considering creating an object placer for FS9 that will use XML/BGLComp.As Bob suggested, TCalc2004 can now give you the decimal degree position of a slewed aircraft which allows very precise placement of objects when the value is placed in an XML file.At the present time, you may find placing objects by coding XML the simplest and most direct method. FSSC is for pre-FS9 scenery, and SceneGenX is still experimental, and has some problems with both positioning objects, and accurately scaling background maps. I don't have a lot of experience with SBuilder, but that program relies heavily on the latest SCASM version, which I don't see as an asset.I had hoped Christian Fumey would have added object placement to Ground2K4... or Jim Kier would have developed LWMViewer code into an XML-based object placement utility ( Perfect! as it could import LWM and VTP scenery BGLs to aid in the placement. ) Perhaps if we beg Jim, it could happen. ;)Other things we could use are simple, FPS-friendly generic vegetation and building object Libraries in the new FS9 format.Dick

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In addition to all that's been said, I had another thought...You enjoy placing objects on an image of the end result, so do I. Being a devoted GMAXer, I've been "faking" the whole background image thing for ages, by making a top down image of the scenery, and pasting it on a box. Placing the box at ground level, and cutting off all but the top polygon, gives me that working image for placement.GMAX lets to freeze an object, making it non-selectable, which then makes it work the same as a background image.Usually working on an airport means you have a runway...I use that feature to scale the box properly, meaning that before I really do design I make a runway sized box and place it on the image over the runway in the image. Then compile. Tweaking as needed to have the runway box match the default runway. Once they match, its off to the races.(what I'm really alluding to is that I use GMAX like I used to use FSSC)B

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This keeps getting better - quite frankly, I'm anxious to learn gmax; having used 3d for a long time, I doubt it would take long to pick up, especially compared to a monster like Lightwave 8, which I'm currently chomping through.Without knowing exactly how gmax and FS go together, I'll take the risk of looking silly and ask if what you're suggesting - a template in gmax (a throwaway I assume) is used to place scenery in an area, aside from the runway and "afcad-type" functions, and that collection of, let's say, airport buildings and structures, individually textured, can be successfully brought into FS?If that's the case, I mean, hot damn. I'll learn gmax next week. BTW, was gmax actually included with FS? I didn't see it, but downloaded it from Discreet. I assume there may be some difference I'm unaware of.One thing I really want to replace is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which at this point, for me, actually seems easier to model than to get into FS. But adding a little landmark water tower to my home area is certainly enough for me to get going on. Lathe, baby!That aside, I know nada regarding xml, other than for some odd reason the thought of using it makes me want some good coffee. Most things do, though.cheersAndrew

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<Pretty much that's right. You can make taxiways, runways, tarmacs, parking, all in AFCAD....you can make all objects in gmax...stir...bake...and enjoy.The template can be a throwaway or a keeper, depending on how much you want to put into it. If you keep it, you have to name it zbias_objectname, so that fs sorts the display properly, and you have to have the area covered by it be flat. But if you can have a flat area exist, it opens up the possibility to have nice looking grounds.B

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Oh, this is just fan-freaking-tastic.I don't spend enough time with my wife as it is. Yow.Well, I'm off to make a pizza - thanks for the information, it's greatly appreciated and sorely needed.Maybe I'll start that FAQ afterall. I can already smell the coffee...Andrew

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