Aircraft Development

  • As I mentioned, I can do a lot of this basic stuff really fast for you. It's a fun exercise for me plus that brings you onto the right track in no time.

    I'll gladly take you up on that offer. Is it possible to document what you do somehow (via video, written or whatever)? Or is it stuff that can be picked up fairly easily from just reading through it? I just want to know how to do it so I can do the process myself next time.

    Also, when you said to attach all the non-functioning things to the fuselage, is it fine to have multiple materials per object? For example the Fuselage might have the exterior, interior shell, instrument panel etc etc. EDIT: I think I misunderstood, correct me if I'm wrong but you meant that they should be attached in the Fuselage Geometry List, not attached to the Fuselage itself.

    Also, is there anyway to visualise the contact points and/or any of the RigidBodies?

  • Also, when you said to attach all the non-functioning things to the fuselage, is it fine to have multiple materials per object? For example the Fuselage might have the exterior, interior shell, instrument panel etc etc. EDIT: I think I misunderstood, correct me if I'm wrong but you meant that they should be attached in the Fuselage Geometry List, not attached to the Fuselage itself.

    Actually, I'm not sure about that. I've never modeled anything for FS 2 :D

    If they use the same material it should be no problem.


    I'll gladly take you up on that offer. Is it possible to document what you do somehow (via video, written or whatever)? Or is it stuff that can be picked up fairly easily from just reading through it? I just want to know how to do it so I can do the process myself next time.

    Also, is there anyway to visualise the contact points and/or any of the RigidBodies?

    With my aircraft editor I am able to visualize the contact points, rigidbodies, aerodynamic geometries and many more things. It's still not quite ready for public though. What I do is just grab the things like the rigidbodies, move them, rotate them, resize them in 3D.

    I'll keep a change log for the things I'm doing. I would record it as I have done years ago for the Aerofly RC 5 aircraft but since the tool I am using is not yet public I want to wait for that.

  • It's not as easy but still totally doable. We didn't have that tool for years and all of the Aerofly FS 2 aircraft except the Q400 and R22 were initially developed without it.

    Alrighty, well if you have any tips and suggestions do feel free to send 'em my way :)


    Currently I've imported the whole exterior with all control surfaces set up, and about 1/3 of the cockpit. As I am moving my meshes from Blender to Max, I need to import them all then move them to be placed correctly in the origin, then I can start working on the Rigidbodies, Contact Spheres etc. Progress is good :D

  • Hi Donny


    It's ok to attach objects using different materials, it can cause problems in max if you need to update a material, as when you update the objects with a material from a differnt texture map they will get replaced and you need to re-apply to those elements that used a different map.


    Try not to overload an object with attached object's. By this I mean don't have everything attached to the fuselage. For the interior I have 3 main cockpit objects and try to attach other objects so they are even and roughly in the same area. Ejector seat, pilot, pilot head, needles, controls, knobs, switches are individual objects.


    Never attach the wings to the fuselage unless you do not want wing bending, even the Starfighter has wing bending, things like elevator, ailerons, flaps, wheels etc remain separate. For the undercarriage, try to think where things move or rotate around, if it all stays together when moved than by all means attach. So the nose for example would have NoseUpper-Oleo-NoseLower-NoseWheel and a retraction setup, probably 2 struts. You have to think like an animated system would be in the modelling program and then do it all manually in the TMD.


    Axis are very important so plan ahead, gauge needles, knob and switch axis. All these need to be separate objects. Might seem a lot of objects but they get scattered around the TMD like confetti in the end so you don't notice them. This I have 5-600 objects in the Starfighter. So if you want to animate it, it's a separate object. If you want a moving map, its a separate object, like wise a hud screen


    It's all pretty much common sense stuff but FS2 is different so you just have to be aware of it.


    Steve

  • Thanks Steve! That's the approach that I have taken - not a fan of material sub-object and all that stuff.


    Thankfully the Spitfire has a reasonably simple landing gear and tail wheel, shouldn't be too difficult (famous last words).

    Do you have any advice with getting the pivot points in Max to line up well without too much hassle? I used empty objects for all my animations/pivots in Blender, and that doesn't work with FS2 so I get to line them all up again *cries*.


    Thanks a bunch,

    Alex

  • Yes use the existing wheels and change the pivots in the physics and add in the wheel graphics.

    The gear might not withstand the changes to the wheel position, if the gear crashes attache the wheels to Body Fuselage instead of the gear for now

    What would be the cause of floating wheels? I've corrected the radius of the wheels but they all float ~ 1 ft above the surface.

    BTW is that WHEEL DEFORMATION :huh::huh::huh::huh: or am i going crazy

  • Sorry I edited my post just as you replied. Yeah the rough values for the wheel sizes are in.

    for your wheel graphics what position id and q are you using? if you attached the wheel physics to the fuselage you should do that in the graphics as well and if you still have them on the gear than use the gear or lower gear for the graphics, too.

  • Hmm, not sure I follow. I just copy pasted from the F4u and changed the pivot, axis and radius.


  • Hmm, not sure I follow. I just copy pasted from the F4u and changed the pivot, axis and radius.


    Roger, that is for the graphics but did you also change it for the [wheel] objects in the physics? Cause the collision happens in the physics, the graphics only needs the pivots to properly display the deformations.

  • I'm always working on the hot tmd and reload within the sim (we have a short cut for this, check your control settings). I think there still is a safety check before you convert, it will give an error that the tmd and tmc files in your intermediate are older than the ones in the aircraft folder.


    R0 is relative to aircraft origin, so basically the same as your global 3d model origin.

  • Hi Alex


    Making good progress


    To align a hinge I use a method I found on FSDevelopers, I think.


    Lets assume were going to setup the hinge for an aileron.


    First, Draw a tape measure helper object that roughly aligns with the aileron. Use snap to move the end points of the tape to the places where you want the hinge line to be.


    Now the important bit, make sure you are in local mode for the screen view your working in.


    Select the object you wish to setup the hinge for, open the hierarchy tab, select affect pivot only.


    Now select the align tab and select the tape helper. A dialogue box opens. Make sure all x y z positions are selected and align orientation x y z, click apply and ok.


    Your done, perfect alignment


    There may be occasions when the object moves unexpectedly when clicking the x y z orientation, if this happens, undo what you did, apply a reset Xform to your object (in hammer tab), click reset selected. un-select reset Xform, right click on your object and select, convert to editable poly, try again with the axis align.


    For knobs and switches etc, if you didn't model from scratch and the pivot is miles out then use centre to object in the hierarchy tab and manually adjust, near enough is usually ok for these small items. Animating in the aircraft TMD and controls TMD for switches etc are whole different story but still use the pivot (axis) point, so best to get it right


    Steve


    In answer to which tmd to edit, if you want quick feed back and no changes to the model ahve been made then use the documents one. If you make any changes to the model and need to convert, copy all the documents tmd (that you made all the changes to) and overwrite the intermediate one, then convert. The converter will kick up an error and not convert if the intermediate tmd is older that the one in the documents folder, goes for controls TMD as well. A good safety measure. I would issue a WARNING here, make sure your happy with the overwriting before you convert as what ever is pasted here will overwrite the documents TMD. I pasted the controls TMD into the aircraft TMD and lost a lot of work so its easily done when your editing both files, also make backups regularly of both aircraft and controls TMD, it can save a lot of screaming and shouting =O