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My VC Construction Memory is Flawed, Needs Jogging.`


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Hi, Felix and other builders,

After a hiatus of years (my last Flightsim upload was the Saunders Roe Princess, I think), I'm getting back into GMax/FS9.

A previous computer failure lost me my Sundtsted flying boat, but I still had the latest GMax file, which I successfully exported to FS9 where it functions just fine. For instance, I've recalled how to clone and modify an existing .air and aircraft.cfg files. I've even relearned how to align nav and strobe lights and the like.

Next I wanted to do the exterior/interior/both export trick to get a VC. Alas, I'm forgetting how to do this.

Here's what I remember: In GMax, start with the completed plane, select all, and name it exterior. Then start with the completed plane again (not the exterior), delete the stuff not seen in the VC, select the rest and name it interior.

Then open exterior, merge with interior, and name the result both.

Last, export both to FS9.

Alas, when I do this, I get the completed plane again, but no VC.

I see I'm forgetting a key step because each of my three files, exterior, interior, and both, shows a complete listing of parts. I recall each used to identify itself as exterior, interior, or both.

What am I forgetting? Thanks in advance for jogging my memory.

(Maybe I'll get back to uploading craft to FlightSim. I've done a bunch since the Princess: Santa Ana Monoplane, Mapanare Ducted Fan, Portsmouth Aerocar, Adrienne Boland's Caudron, Gallaudet seaplane, Otto's original 4-stroke engine, the Schmid land-speed record car, the Vulcan American Moth, and an Everglades airboat. Several had starred at my website http://www.SimanaitisSays.com, but I've been too lazy to document them for upload.)

It's fun being back. -- dennis

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I jogged my memory with Googling several talented designers, among them Milton S. I had forgotten GMax's Grouping. Briefly, the Group command (in the top row of actions) is used to define exterior and interior (the latter, whatever in the model you want visible to the pilot; I usually just delete him only and let the rest be seen). Then merge exterior with interior, define this merge as "both," and export it.

I now have my FS9 Sundsted vc, though it still needs fine-tuning of cg and pilot's eye points, other things that jogged into memory.

Yep, it's a time-gobbler alright. -- dennis

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Thanks, Paul. Alas, I’m not a member there; have been one here for years.


Alas, most of the freeware and even payware developers are hanging out at FS Developer these days. It's free for anyone, so not being a member is depriving one of some truly excellent tips, tricks, and answers to vexing problems... :cool:


I can empathize with your memory issues. Even though I have been doing this for nearly three decades, I still have trouble remembering what I just did a week ago, much less thirty years! Many times when I search the forums here, at FS Developer or Free Flight Design, I'll find answers quickly, only to discover they were written by me and memorialized as an answer to someone else from 2002 or even earlier! :rolleyes:


Now you and everyone reading this are in on my "dirty little secret." I answer so many question from fellow developers more for my own benefit than simply altruisim.

Bill Leaming http://smileys.sur-la-toile.com/repository/Combat/0054.gif

Gauge Programming - 3d Modeling Military Visualizations

Flightsim.com Panels & Gauges Forum Moderator

Flightsim Rig: Intel Core i7-2600K - 8GB DDR3 1333 - EVGA GTX770 4GB - Win7 64bit Home Premium

Development Rig1: Intel Core i7-3770k - 16GB DDR3 - Dual Radeon HD7770 SLI 1GB - Win7 64bit Professional

Development Rig2: Intel Core i7-860 - 8GB DDR3 Corsair - GeForce GTS240 1GB - Win7 64bit Home Premium

NOTE: Unless explicitly stated in the post, everything written by my hand is MY opinion. I do NOT speak for any company, real or imagined...

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Hi, Bill,

In my case, it wasn't fading memory, rather a matter of my latest iMac27 having no sound in its Windows 10 partition. Apple blames Windows; Windows blames Apple. This lack of sound diminished my flightsim interest, and thus I didn't touch FS9 or GMax for several years.

Recently I realized that Wife Dottie's older iMac27 was being largely unused, and it has a Windows 7 partition. This prompted the rekindling of my GMax/FS9 interest.

I seem to be fine, thus far, on short-tem memory, but the accumulated GMax/FS9 tricks evade me from time to time.

And I share a tale similar to yours: I was cleaning up files on the old iMac and came upon a folder called "My Tutorials." Ha. Guess what? Here's one of them. It's undated, but the Maksim was posted here at Flightsim.com on 1-22-06:



I recognize there's more than one way to make a VC. I've never tried the linking and dummy-object approach, but have had no problems with the technique I'll describe here. By the way, it does not use any added software, Middleman, etc. And I believe it's more straightforward than linking/dummy. Indeed, as a check of it, I just performed it on my latest project, the Tupolev ANT-20 "Maksim Gorki." It took rather less time to do than it'll take to read this.

I agree, by the way, about avoiding the dreaded OBED Scale Error. My experience has been that Ungrouping is the culprit, not Grouping. I believe it has to do with Ungrouping doing some numerical rounding that gets misinterpreted as scaling. In any case, and touching wood for luck, the following technique has given me almost a dozen GMax models with VCs with no hassles whatsoever.


1. Have the plane essentially completed, inside and out. (This, because any further revision requires complete runthrough of these steps.) Perhaps name it Final or something that'll remind you of its status.

2. Select everything to be visible in Spot Plane View. (I just select everything.)

3. Click on Group.

4. Name this Exterior.

5. Click on Hierarchy/Affect Pivot Only.

6. Place this Pivot Point at the plane's desired on-screen center. I use the X-Y-Z coordinate entries at the screen bottom to do this, typically (0,0,0) if I have the plane lined up appropriately in GMax.

7. Click again on Hierarchy/Affect Pivot Only to deselect this feature.

8. Save as Exterior.


Now, to the VC portion:

9. Reopen Final.

10. Select everything visible in VC View. (Often in my old crates, this is everything again. On modern planes, it'll be rather less.)

11. Redo Steps 3-7, naming it Interior and using the same (x,y,z) values. (Note: I used to set pilot view here, but learned it screws up VC landing lights. Now I set pilot view in FS aircraft.cfg.)

12. Save as Interior.


Now, to prepare the Export

13. Open Exterior.

14. Merge Interior. (Use whatever textures are appropriate.)

15. Save as Both.


Last, export and set up in FS.

16. Export Both using the .MDL choice.

17. Also, click on Aircraft, not Scenery.

18. In FS, the plane may be high, lower or worse (or perfect!). Set Contact Points appropriately in its aircraft.cfg file (accessible with Notepad).

19. The VC pilot's view may be bizarre. (With the Gorki, it was 30 ft. ahead of the plane.) Set it in aircraft.cfg as well.


And that's it. Any revisions take you back to Step 1 and a new "Final."

I hope this is helpful.

Dennis S

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