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FSDS 3.5 Early Reviews?

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I've never purchased FSDS - done my scenery work in GMax in the past. I find the work involved for FSX is just too much for the little bit of scenery I make.How are users finding FSDS v3.5 to be with FSX things such as night textures, attaching effects, etc? I just haven't read much on any of the forums about how people are reacting to v3.5. Any input is appreciated.ThanksPaul Dahlen

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FSDS 3.5 is much like 3.0, which wasn't that different than 2.0I guess that it is not like it's a groundbreaking new piece of software - it is essentially the same tool that it always was, but with the ability to use the new SDK tools effectively. I didn't check for texture compatibility, or attach points - as I recall, FSDS never really exploited attach points properly.I think that the main upgrade feature is to use the new FSX SDK compiler, and this really is more aplicable to aircraft design (due to changes in parts names). As far as I know, FSDS 3.0 could export in .x format, which could be read by the FSX compiler, so this update just sort of streamlines things for scenery designers. I haven't really examined the advantages of the new bitmap file format, so I am still using the old DXT1/3, which still work fine. I guess that for a scenery deisgner, I do not believe it is a "must have" upgrade, but I bought it anyway as a "why not" upgrade.Anyone else have anything more enlightening to say?- Martin

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I bought FSDS 3.0 when it first came out. I also bought FSDS 2.0 and 2.3. I got a refund on the 2.3 and the 3.0 because of no manual or support. I did get an answer about 3 weeks after I posted my problem. I will not support any program that has none or little support. Why not make a manual for the program so everyone will know what to do to create whatever you want. My 2 centsJoe W.

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I have to agree that it is odd that they do not even offer a support forum where we could at least get together to help each other out. The only "manual" they give us is a help file, which is of limited usefulness. GMAX doesn't come with a manual either, but at least there are how-to book s you can buy (plus GMAX is free(.Having said that, the reason I stick with FSDS is due to it's simplicity, and I've been using it so long I guess I don't need a proper manual. Still, it would be nice if they had a support forum.- Martin

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I'm new to it, and having struggled with GMAX like its simplicity. I have one problem though. I can't get home-made textures to display in FSX -- they show up as black on the model. I'm making a lighthouse, and have a texture .bmp from the real thing which I'm trying to wrap around a cylinder.The .bmp has been created in photoshop, and I can't find a bit-size or resolution that works. What's the best size file to use?

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>I'm making a lighthouse, and have a texture .bmp from the real>thing which I'm trying to wrap around a cylinder.>>The .bmp has been created in photoshop, and I can't find a>bit-size or resolution that works. >>What's the best size file to use?>>This sounds like a discussion for another thread. Thanks

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FS has specific bitmap formats that it will display. The help document in FSDS explains this a litle bit, but I recommend you read the FSX SDK. The file formats which FS supports are DDS, DXT1, DXT3, and DXT5, although older 8-bit bitmap images might still work. DDS textures have a filename extension of ".dds", while DXT textures have an extension of ".bmp", which can be confusing since they won't open up like regular .bmp files. The SDK explains what these formats are, but essentially they are compressed bitmap images. As well, it used to be that FS required bitmaps be of dimensions to the power of 2.i.e., 2x2, 4x4, 8x8..... 256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024I think they changed this (I can't remember), so that you could have 512x1024, but the same principle applies.The "imagetool.exe" program that comes with the SDK can convert your regular bitmaps into the DDS/DXT format. I still use the older "DXTBMP" program, which supports DXT1/3, but not the newer DDS format. Also, the SDK mentions that there are DDS plugins at NVIDEA's website so you can open and save these formats directly.I recommend that you start simple - try texturing you object with a basic 256x256 DXT1 version of your bitmap so you get an idea of how things work. You don't have to do this in FSDS - you can export your model to FSX and then convert your bitmap file afterwards.- Martin

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All textures must be a power of 2 I.E. 256x256 512x512 etc although they do not have to be square they can be say 128x512 as long as each side is a power of two. As for the "best" file size that depends on how many textures you will need to use in your scenery. The thing to keep in mind is use the smallest texture that works and try to make "cram" textures so that several objects can use the same texture thus cutting down on the number of textures that have to be loaded across the bus and into your video card when called by program. Hope the above has been of some help to you. Dan Martin Team Flight Ontario

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Well, I guess politely asking folks not to hijack my thread didn't work.Thanks

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>Well, I guess politely asking folks not to hijack my thread>didn't work.>>ThanksYou're kidding, right?You don't actually "own" the thread. While it would have made more sense to start a new thread when the question about textures was brought up (it would help other people with the same question searching the titles), I'm not about to turn a deaf ear on someone who asks a question. Insisting that no one else is allowed to ask off-topic questions in this thread, and telling them they have to start another is just plain rude. Sometimes the discussion leads to places that the original poster did not consider.Lighten up.- Martin

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>>Well, I guess politely asking folks not to hijack my thread>>didn't work.>>>>Thanks>>You're kidding, right?>>You don't actually "own" the thread. While it would have made>more sense to start a new thread when the question about>textures was brought up (it would help other people with the>same question searching the titles), I'm not about to turn a>deaf ear on someone who asks a question. Insisting that no>one else is allowed to ask off-topic questions in this thread,>and telling them they have to start another is just plain>rude. Sometimes the discussion leads to places that the>original poster did not consider.>>Lighten up.>>- MartinI'm flabbergasted by your response. Nowhere in my posts was I rude. I suggested that the person who wanted an answer on bitmaps start a thread asking the qeustion because 1) I had another question I was hoping to get more answers about in this thread, and 2) as you stated, it would then make the help searchable for future help. Any forum I have been associated with considers thread hijacking to be rude, and I actually consider your response to much more rude than anything I typed.

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:-sun1 How's this then? Light enough? Is there anyone else in the forums that is using FSDS 3.5 to work with FSX Scenery? If so, could you give your comments?Thank you

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Hi Martin,You wrote "...but I bought it anyway as a "why not" upgrade."Note: Upgrade from FSDS v3.0 to v3.5 is FREE...RegardsBert

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