View Full Version : Newbie Designer
08-02-2003, 01:23 PM
I'm new to design aircraft for Flight Simulator. I actually I haven't started yet :)
Anyway I have a few questions. How do I make planes for FS2004 (or 2002) if I don't have the FS2002 Pro? I have GMax, is there any way I can develop aircraft without the software that come with the Pro version?
I've seen that Microsoft has several files for developers available for download. How are these different from what was in the pro-version?
Also, for those who have experience with both GMax and Flight Sim Design Studio, how would you compare the two? Which one is easier to use/learn and so on.
Any other tips you can provide would be very much appreciated.
08-02-2003, 06:01 PM
Hello psingh01. I a also a newbie designer but I am a little bit ahead of you so here is what I know. If I am not mistaken, the software that comes with FS2k2 Pro is GMAX. And I know for a fact that GMAX takes much for time to master, but it creates aircraft of better quality. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
08-03-2003, 01:42 AM
Thanks for the response. So there is no difference from the gmax that comes with FS2k2 Pro and the gmax you can download at http://www.discreet.com/products/gmax/? I read that there was special software that lets gmax export to FS2k2. Is this the same as the MakeMDL program available at: http://www.microsoft.com/games/flightsimulator/fs2002_downloads_sdk.asp#makemdl
08-03-2003, 06:21 AM
There IS a difference! The version that ships with FS2k2Pro is gWax v1.0 and the version you can download from the discreet web site is v1.2 and has some improvements.
The "gamepack" also comes ONLY on the FS2k2Pro version. This consists of basically two files. The export module, FSModelExp.dle and the compiler, makemdl.exe. FSModelExp.dle takes the gWax information and writes this to a *.X file, a simple text file which if you know what your doing can be edited and tweeked. This *.X file inturn is a source file for the compiler makemdl.exe. The compiler reads the *.X source file and converts it to yet another source file *.asm and *_0.asm which also can be edited as they are a simple text files. Next makemdl.exe compiles the *.asm and *_0.asm files and writes the finished *.bgl or *.mdl file for the sim.
There have also been two versions of makemdl.exe. The one that came on the FS2k2Pro cds and the later one that was in the SDK. The first one seems to require a units setting in gWax of 1 modeling unit = 1 inch. The later one is 1 modeling unit = 1 meter.
08-03-2003, 09:09 AM
gWax 1.2 comes with FS2004 (It's in disc 1). However, the converter dle does not, which gives rise to the speculation that Microsoft will "soon" (in quotes, since it's only speculation on my part) release an FS2004 SDK or something, including the export module, much as it has done for CFS3.
08-03-2003, 09:19 AM
First of all, welcome to the madness.
As to the perennial question, gWax vs FSDS,
A: gWax is the more powerful modelling program, but needs the gamepack and "post production manipulation" to complete the flyable model process (manual setup of aircraft folders, and other files).
B: FSDS has an easier learning curve, and while having less "power" i.e. modelling tools, such as boolean functions, lofting, etc, a good modeller can produce "gmax quality" models. FSDS is also a lot easier in it's flyable model production since it creates the auxiliary files, copies the textures, etc., and places everything in its proper "folders".
Some people take to gWax like a duck to water, others swear by FSDS. Just by looking at a model you cannot (necessarily) notice it has been made in FSDS or gMax
Whatever program you choose, take a relatively systematic approach and go through the inlcuded tutorials. PLAY with the program just to see what pressing this or that buttong/function does what. Create a "balsa wood model" , make it fly, and add features to it.
Most of all, enjoy what you're doing, and when you get stuck, ask questions - and hopefully the answer you get will be to the question you've asked!
>I'm new to design aircraft for Flight Simulator. I actually
>I haven't started yet :)
>Also, for those who have experience with both GMax and
>Flight Sim Design Studio, how would you compare the two?
>Which one is easier to use/learn and so on.
>Any other tips you can provide would be very much
08-03-2003, 01:12 PM
Thanks for clearing that up. I don't have FSModelExp.dle, but I think my my brother has an old copy of 3dsmax that can export *.X files. Then I'll just use makemdl.exe to do the connversions :D
08-03-2003, 01:14 PM
Thanks for all the tips and information guys. It really has helped. Hopefully you will see my creations soon :D
08-17-2003, 05:54 PM
Lou i've got a question for you.
If you have a aircraft made with FSDS. What program do you use to view MDL files, or edit them.
08-18-2003, 08:29 AM
Bub, to my knowledge, there is no program other than the sim itself for viewing *.mdl files. The closest thing we ever had was Aircraft Animator, but that only worked for aircraft designed for FS98.
08-19-2003, 01:15 PM
>gWax 1.2 comes with FS2004 (It's in disc 1).
>However, the converter dle does not, which gives
>rise to the speculation that Microsoft will "soon"
>(in quotes, since it's only speculation on my part)
> release an FS2004 SDK or something, including the
>export module, much as it has done for CFS3.
Which gives rise to the ONLY huge beef I've ever had with MSFS. For 2002, admittingly, I wasn't as well researched, but I bought the standard edition, thinking I could download gMax from discrete (or use my company liscence of 3D Studio Max) and create my planes while saving money on the software. But no where did they say "You can only use files in the Pro version to create stuff"
Now, with 2k4 there's only 1 edition, which is nice, but you can't create a ##### plane out of the box without the .dle I haven't looked at all teh marketing jumbo, but if they claim "You can create and fly your own planes using included gMax" they are outright exaggerating, since there is no .dle. Yeah, of couse experienced users can find the file as released for 2002, but why should we go mucking around with old software.
What I'm trying to say is that makemdl and fsmodelexp are small files, why not just put them on the disk and stop stringing us along.
08-19-2003, 01:25 PM
Presumably, you should be able to convert the 3DSMax output model, created and tagged per the Makemdl SDK, to an x file, and just use makemdl directly on the x file.
webin - yas gots no excuse now... ;)
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