Have you ever wanted to create your own buildings for Flight Simulator, but found that it was far too complicated or you just lacked the time to do it? Well, with Flight 1's Instant Object Studio (IOS) you now have the ability to create your own custom objects, buildings and scenery for FSX!
Where to get it
Instant Object Studio is available from Flight 1 and can be purchased via their webpage either by download or boxed product and the cost for the product is just under 30 bucks! Installation is relatively simple and straightforward, download the product, purchase it via the wrapper and install it.
After installation you will have access to the manual and a module will be installed into FSX so that the program can be used. Those of you that have used Instant Scenery Designer will feel right at home with this software and the two work very well together!
Using Instant Object Studio
The first thing you need to do with this add-on is look over the manual and gain a general understanding of how the program works and orient yourself to the menus in the program and most importantly understand how movement is controlled in FSX while designing objects; ultimately this is done using both the control-shift keys along with the mouse buttons.
Initially, I decided to just jump in and have a go at the program without looking over the manual, but I found myself cussing and hollering because I didn't know how to manipulate the objects while designing them which created a lot problems in FSX, but after reading the manual it became much clearer and I was a lot calmer.
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The program itself runs through FSX much like Instant Scenery Studio and requires that you run FSX in windowed mode when using, in fact IOS will not run at all in full screen mode unlike Instant Scenery Studio. Once run you can access the program and its many features from the programs main interface and from it you can create a box, roof, cylinder, round roof, dome, sphere, polygon, fence, rod, create guidelines, merge and subtract parts and set reference points.
From the main interface you can also adjust width, length and height as well as assign textures, create textures, raise the model, magnify the model, show night textures and of course display it in FSX. To be honest there is no one easy way of just figuring out how it works, though the manual is extremely helpful you will find yourself trying things as you go and learning as you go and this will make it much simpler in the long run.
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I have spent hours with this program and I am still learning, so the first thing I need to tell you is that I do not have a natural talent for doing this type of stuff and you will probably find my buildings somewhat laughable as far as designs go, but I am sure with practice I will become more acclimated to IOS and I will have much better results in the near future.
Designing a building is a relatively simple process if the building only has four walls and a roof, throw on some paint, windows and bang you are done! But, a detailed building can be a challenge, the first building I designed was a simple store with skylights and an overhang on the front. This did take some time but it was worth it in the end. I think the building came out looking pretty good, though I made a lot of mistakes.
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The second building was a mock image of my boyhood home; in real life the home stood two stories with a deck around the front and it had an attached car port. The home itself was large in that it had two bedrooms upstairs with a large living room and two bedrooms downstairs with a rather large family room.
I was able to assign textures, set the scale and create the base objects for the building and the process took little over 2 hours. Understanding the menu and all of its functions are key, especially when it came to understanding points!
The first thing I did was create a basic appearance of the house and then added the roof, car port and the deck. Once the primary structure was complete, I added a red brick texture to the main house, wood texture to the deck and a light grey roof to both the main house and the carport and ultimately added the windows in as I remembered them. Setting the points are crucial during design phase because it makes the whole object look more believable when it is completed.
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Creating textures can be achieved in one or two ways; you can use default textures, change their colors and appearance to your liking making your own or you can import your own textures from photographs in BMP format. Though I have not tried it, importing your own texture sounds and looks rather fascinating and with it you can actually take a picture of your house and super-impose it over the model that you create in IOS giving it a real world appearance instead of the default FSX textures.
Applying said textures should be a simple process and knowing what the menu options do is critical here because if you click on the wrong thing or apply the wrong feature you can find yourself undoing a lot of your own work, thank god there is an undo and an undo-undo button!
Once you are happy with your model you will need to save it and this is done by IOS through the save option. Once there you will be prompted to either save it to its current location in FSX (only if you have created the option in the location you want it to stay at), or save it as a BGL and or save it to the Instant Scenery Studio data file. To do the latter of the two you will need to have a folder in your add-on scenery folder to save it to.
I set mine up simply as MySceneryObjects and also direct the program to your Instant Scenery Studio install if that option is chosen. The program will then save the object to said directories and will transfer their associated textures as well.
The placement of the objects can be done with IOS, but because I use Instant Scenery Studio I opted to use that option instead and add it an existing scenery project I have for the Yakima, Washington area and this is easily achieved if you are familiar with Instant Scenery Studio.
Again, the manual makes all of this much easier to understand and I found that having the manual readily available in the background on my PC and/or having on my Nexus 7 for quick reference while I was designing made things much easier for me to understand.
The end result for me was that I could now fly over the home I grew up in and that it resembled what that house used to look like, though my scale was a bit off it still came out convincing when viewed from the air in FSX!
| Publisher: Flight 1 |
Reviewed By: Gene Davis
Instant Object Studio is a wonderful addition to the Flight Simulator X product line because it allows for so much customization within the Flight Simulator environment and if you like tinkering with scenery in Flight Simulator like I do, then this program will be right up your alley!