Sign in to follow this  
Guest

About virtual cockpits...

Recommended Posts

I've seen a lot of posts lately about aircraft models lacking VC's and I've gotten quite a few requests for VC's on my own aircraft. So I thought I'd just toss out a few thoughts from a designers perspective.A VC is not just a casual add-on. You don't say, OK now that I've spent the last 100 hours doing the aircraft model I'll take an extra 15 minutes and whip out the VC. A VC is a whole new model of the aircraft, only viewed from the inside. And because its intended to be viewed from up close rather than a distance, the need for fine detail is much greater. It is a BIG project in itself.But this is NOT the primary reason my aircraft lack VC's. When you ask yourself "Why didn't he make a VC for this aircraft?" you are making the assumption that the designer in question is familiar with the interior of that particular aircraft. You can't model something if you don't even know what it looks like. When I research my models I search the net high and low for photos to work from. And its always the same. For a given aircraft you'll find hundreds of fine exterior shots from all angles and about 5 pictures of the cockpit, usually fuzzy and taken of just the instrument panel. But what's the floor look like? The overhead? Behind the seats? Even the fine collection of photos various people sent me of the Meridian didn't have all round views of the cockpit.Oh and the same applies to making good 2d panels. A couple of (usually dark) photos of the panel usually taken from 6 feet away don't give you a clue as to what some of the instruments are, how they read, and what they do. I'm not a pilot and I don't have access to any aircraft, except at air shows. And 99% of those are tactical military planes. I think you'll find that the large design groups which create outstanding VC's with their aircraft either have direct access to the aircaft they model, or the cooperation of someone who does. As I said, you can't model what you don't know.Just something to ponder.Mike Stone

Share this post


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

Thanks Mike, for your post. I do not design aircraft, inside or out, but I am well aware of the tedious, time consuming job even simple graphics can be, I do this every day myself. But the amount of time you talented designers must spend just in the research phase must be overwhelming. I often wonder how anyone could find the time to sit for hours on end in front of a computer designing these wonderful addons for us. Thanks to all of you great and generous designers and I will gladly accept what I consider to be cherished gifts from those so willing to share.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too understand where you are coming from............But, I'm a fellow that will shell out some bucks for a good vc, The 3d glasses really add a perspective that I've found I can't live without. I appreciate good freeware and respect those that create. No offense, just the other side of the coin.Have A Good Day !!!! Rex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike. Please come on up to Oshkosh, WI this summer for the EAA Fly-In. Lots of access to GA aircraft cocpits, from biplanes to warbirds to 1950s airliners.Just a thought. VCs are very cool. And as you said, lots of work. But you certainly have the talent to be up there with the best. Heck, I'd pay you for one.RegardsRick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You forgot another factor (which is important in freeware). Freeware authors make what they want for themselves mostly, and not everyone likes VCs.Why spend 100 hours or more in frustration making something you'll never use yourself which others will just flame you over because the colour of the carpet is the wrong shade of green?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said Mike!! I have just finshed designing Geof A's Beech Debonair, and were actually going quite well with the VC...until Gmax decided to pretty much kill the nice thing and destroy it. So I've decided to drop it until I can figure out what went wrong and re-do it. If people start complaing it doesnt have a VC, then they can get Gmax out and see how hard it is.Keep up the good work Mike!!http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/edenw/fs_banner_je2.jpg Think highly of yourself, for the world takes you at your estimate -Anon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MikeThat brings us almost full circle back to the question of how far to go with an aircraft and the level we take them to.It also brings up the question of peoples changing expectations from both freeware and Commercial releases as the standards and possibilities become greater.Do you go the full hog with detailed VCs, flight models and 2D panels and sounds making more complete but longer projects or take the aircraft conveyor belt approach and churn them out :-)It also brings up the question of whether freeware isnt becoming more of a "combined" effort with a group of enthusiasts banding together and each taking a specialist area of their own.Access is important not only to the aircraft but to the manuals and a pilot who knows the characteristics of the plane IMO.My own feeling is that you have enough standing and respect in the fs world to attract other developers who would join you in the more complete project and I would love to see the Mike Stone Falcon 50 of the free ware world.At the end of the day its your hobby, your pleasure and your choice.btw what is your favourite aircraft? The one that you could commit to as a flagship of your designs.Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is true - mind then your "model" gets flamed because it is apparently "lacking" in features. Personally I would ignore the Muppet Squad and create whatever you are happy with .. ..(.. and if you did want a VC with the carpet the "wrong shade of green" then why not .. or for that matter fluffy dice hanging from the compass)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[table][p align=left style=font-size:12pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:times new roman;color: #5a5754]gazzareth,Went to your website and took a look at the Grumman project.Looks nice! Hope you follow through to completion with it! http://www.cableone.net/joesumralliii/hook.gif[/p][/table]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments. I should have some basic textures done by the end of this week - so you may want to have a look then. When (or if) it gets complete I will ship it without a VC to start - which then gives me time to start work on that !!!....It could also do with some model improvements but that could go on forever, luckily I am getting slightly better at GMAX !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[table][p align=left style=font-size:12pt;font-weight:bold;font-family:times new roman;color: #5a5754]gazzareth said, "It could also do with some model improvements but that could go on forever...".Well, I have always loved this group of Grummans...from the Widgeon on up!You picked a great plane to work with!Hang with it!http://www.cableone.net/joesumralliii/hook.gif[/p][/table]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike and any other plane makers out there,My $.02.I have done some 3D modeling, but very different types from planes. I understand how laborious it must be. As someone who really likes VCs, I'd like to say that even very simple ones are many times better that none at all. Not to long ago I downloaded a DC-9 that had a VC with just a static bmp on the panel. While less than ideal, it still is much better than nothing. I mean, with a good model, you've already got the shape of the windows. Just sitting inside with the correct perspective looking out correctly shaped windows is light years ahead of looking at bitmap panel, and other interior views, that may be taken from god knows what angle, if they are even from the particular plane in question. Also, the ablility to adjust your viewpoint in the 3D pit adds greatly to immersion factor. Granted, a good 2D panel is nessessary for IFR and doing all the clicking for AP and NAV stuff. And, I understand that personal pride might make the thought of including a less-than-perfect VC a no go. But, in this users opinion, a simple VC with just basic instruments makes all the difference between a keeper and a "nice try".I'd just like to add that I use a TrackIR to pan the view in the VC. If you haven't tried it yet, you probably don't know why I'm so hyped on the VC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I certainly see where you're coming from, but like I said, its not so much the amount of work involved as the lack of useful information. Take for instance the Caribou I'm working on. I have only one photo of the cockpit, and its taken from way back between the seats centered on the main panel. I can barely read any of the instruments at all. I'm going to just have to wing it to even make a 2d panel. I have no idea whatsoever what the rest of the cockpit looks like. If I did a VC it would be just a featureless empty space with windows in it, and something that looks like a dashboard and seats. I don't even know what the yokes look like. If that's what people want, I'll give it consideration. But given the nit-picky nature of the many complaints I get, I don't know how well it would be received. What say others?Mike Stone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MikeIf this is sound advice? my opinion is to make aircraft that you or friends do have access to and dont touch the others even if you love the looks or someone says please build plane X.At RealAir Simulations we are trying to only get involved in aircraft that (A).I or one of the others have flown so that we have an idea of the flight characteristics (if this isnt possible talk to a pilot who has.(:( only touch aircraft that you have access to or someone close has access to.There are a mass of pictures you need to take and having an aircraft at hand is a must.©Only touch aircraft where you have access to the manual (specs from the back of an advertising brochure dont hack it)You are well known and respected and Im sure a quick posting here would give you plenty of offers of help to collect the above.If you want to try the Meridian VC it is most likely that I will be at the main distributors with my camera on thursday ;-)Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone must begin a project somewhere, and few are experts at all points. And to a Caribou working now, and an Army or AF Caribou in 'Nam are two different animals/conditions. (meaning, one does what one must when being fired at..one does what one is told in FAA territiory). Compare the C-130 which can take off in 1026 feet, and what it is "said" to take off in? I would say, let the designer do as he will/can..and those who are experts/specialists at VC, or other areas, write "add ons"? There are well more than a dozen worthy aircraft for which we don't have a even a crummy rendition of yet.

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