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FSX Airport Studio vs AFX

Discussion in 'Airport Design General' started by kmanning, 7 Oct 2017.

  1. kmanning

    kmanning

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    Hi Gary,
    I've decided to purchase the Airport Studio because it like it much better and I assume ADE does everything that AFX does. AFX will allow me to place objects using the sim but I have to place both windows on the screen, one being the sim and the other being AFX. I just don't like to have to use both windows to do my project, and I have to keep remember or reminding myself that I have to work in AFX and monitor what I do in the 2nd window. With Airport Studio, it's like using IS3. The other thing I did not like was the fact that the demo would not allow me to save my file and reload the sim after I've done my work, even though I'm at KSEA. I posted at their website questioning why is this case.

    One thing I've noticed when I save a file is that it is saved as AFX_KPVD.bgl. At first, I thought this was just a placement file, for example, a placement file for the jetways. But it turns out that it's an airport file because I can load it in ADE. Since this file opened in ADE and I assume it to be an airport file, I got to thinking that I no longer need to keep my project file that I originally worked on - KPVD_ADEX_KM.BGL. So, I removed it and placed it on my desktop. When I did, the old default terminal showed up in my simulator, along with my new project terminal, all at the same time. I remember removing the old default terminal but I figured that if the AFX file is an airport file, it would have saved or stored that information. So I had to put my original file KPVD_ADEX_BGL back. But I was just curious at to using 2 airport files, but everything seems to look okay in the sim. The only thing is that when I first saved and reloaded the sim, using the Airport Studio Tool Bar button, the jetways did not show up. I guess it may be require that I also close the sim and restart it as well. By the way, all the jetways animate.

    Ken.
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2017
  2. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    I did not see your post in the "official" designated support forum for products by Konstantin Kukushkin, which include Airport Facilitator X (aka "AFX"), Airport Studio, Instant Scenery (aka ex: "IS3" = current version #), Instant Object Studio (aka "IOS"), Instant Mission Maker, (aka "IMM"), and FSDiscover! ...here

    http://www.simforums.com/forums/scenery-and-mission-making-tools_forum31.html


    ADE and AFX both output BGLComp-XML "airport code" BGL files which can also contain any type of BGLComp-type scenery object placement with- or without- certain 'attached' sub-objects, as well as any size of Exclusion Rectangles.

    Personally I consider it an inappropriate use of a technicality in the BGLComp compilation process to combine substantially distinct types of such scenery objects all within the same BGL, and prefer to always keep them in sepasrate BGLs.

    If you acquire a "ProKey" to use with ADE, you will enable a somewhat expanded set of feature options, including the ability to exercise greater control over what scenery objects are compiled into separate BGLs.

    There is a minor risk of complications by using more than (1) airport BGL with the same ICAO in active FS scenery library Area layers, depending on the type of scenery content and BGLComp.XSD synatx parameter values those BGLs actually contain.

    I would not recommend attempting to manually edit or merge the XML elements from your reported current (2) 'airport' BGLs for the same airport ICAO ...into (1) BGL. :alert:

    [EDITED]

    BTW: Because your jetways are being 'placed' using specific XML 'elements' within a BGLComp-XML "airport" code context, they are allowed to render as "animated" in FS at run time. ;)

    [END_EDIT]


    Although one 'may' normally be able to force a 'refresh' of the loaded scenery code saved into a airport BGL by AFX / Airport Studio by clicking on the "Preview" icon on the AFX toolbar, if that fails to trigger the 'refresh', single go into the FS scenery library GUI, and click [OK], then FS will force a 'refresh' of all active scenery layers /BGLs rendered in the current flight session.


    One may also need to de-activate, then re-activate the AFX / Airport Studio child process within FS, and perhaps even re-start FS itself, to get some scenery objects implemented /edited via AFX / Airport Studio to display or exclude properly ...after an airport BGL editing session.


    BTW: Note that the elevation AGL relative to the local terrain, for the "3D virtual airport ground surface preview object", can be assigned within the AFX / Airport Studio feature options configuration dialog. :idea:


    Congratulations on your new purchase of Airport Studio ! :)


    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2017
  3. kmanning

    kmanning

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    Hi Gary,

    My post is under the heading "AFX Demo." at the Flight1 forum.


    Yes, I'm kind of that way too. I actually thought Airport Studio saved files as it's own placement file. Whenever a file is saved, for example the jetway, or whatever scenery object is saved and it's compiled, I though it saves those files in it's own bgl placement file, but it's saves and compiles as an airport file. The reason I say that is because I can actually open it in ADE. If it were a separate bgl placement file, ADE will not open those files.


    Well, regarding to the FS Scenery Library, there is only one Folder with the ICAO KPVD. What I was concerned about was having 2 airport files with the same ICAO name in the same Scenery Folder of the Addon Scenery. Their file names are different but there're 2 airport files with the same ICAO. Let me show you my bgl file structure:

    AFX_KPVD.bgl
    KPVD_ADEX_KM.bgl
    KPVD_Terminal.BGL


    Let me explain each one. The KPVD_Terminal.BGL is the new terminal project. The KPVD_ADEX_KM.bgl is my new and corrected airport file. The AFX_KPVD.bgl is the file that was placed by Airport Studio in placing the jetways. But as far as I can tell, the AFX_KPVD.bgl is also an airport file and not a placement file, but correct me if I'm wrong. So, it looks like I have 2 airport files in this one KPVD Scenery Folder. Now, if I remove the KPVD_ADEX_KM.bgl, the old default terminal will show up in FS along with my new project terminal. I can see why because that file, KPVD_ADEX_KM.bgl was the file used to delete or get rid of the old default terminal. So, this file has to remain. The AFX, which I think is another airport file has to remain as well or otherwise I would have no jetways as this file was used to place them. I could be wrong thinking that this is an airport file rather then a placement file, but I'm just not sure, so let me know rather it's an airport or a placement file.


    I think I may understand what you're saying here. Don't combine these 2 separate files into the same, or 1 bgl file, correct?


    What are the specific XML elements that make these jetways animate?


    Ken.
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2017
  4. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    It is actually both. :pushpin:

    A 'airport' BGL compiled via SDK BGLComp can contain any- or all- of certain scenery object creation / placement types specified via the BGLComp.XSD 'schema' for a particular version of MSFS / P3D.


    BTW: Such a BGL can also contain the MDL files for 3D objects in a "scenery library" format, and also contain the placement code for same, thus effectively preventing them from being placed elsewhere outside the local area, and thereby "Geo-locking" them.


    FYI: When one has more than (1) 'airport' BGL, depending on how that BGL was created, it may be perfectly capable of co-existing with another 'airport' BGL for that same ICAO.

    This is how altitude adjustments (and other more obscure types of "tricks") at airports are implemented so that they are properly displayed via the FS run time rendering engine.


    Additionally, in FSX, certain scenery object creation / placement types specified via the BGLComp.XSD 'schema' for a particular version of MSFS / P3D can also be placed via a (non-SDK) SCASM / ASM compiled 'airport' BGL.


    Correct; do not attempt to MANUALLY combine those (2) airport BGLs into (1) airport BGL.


    That is a complex subject that very few outside of the original ACES team comprehend, or would be willing to explain in a forum thread such as this (...beyond what you might see inside the decompiled XML code context of a 'airport' BGL, originally compiled via SDK BGLComp, which also successfully places a animated jetway).

    I shall not claim to have either sufficiently comprehensive experience, or an inclination, to undertake such an explanation at this time. :)

    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 10 Oct 2017
  5. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    • AFX and Airport Studio use a 'home grown' compiler which does not always comply with the MS standard as used in BglComp
    • AFX and Airport Studio load and save from the bgl file - there is no intermediate XML source
    • This explains how FS deals with different bgl files containing the same airport: https://scruffyduck.screenstepslive.com/s/help_docs/m/20268/l/199760-priority-matters
    • The XML source used by BglComp.exe is specified in the relevant SDK. Different versions of FS and P3D can have slightly different XML specifications - in each case these are identified in the SDK and controlled by an XML Schema file which you probably don't need to know anything about
    • The XML code for a jet way just defines the placement of that jet way and which model (mdl) to display. There is nothing in the XML that specifies animation which is controlled by the model itself. Whether a jet way is placed by ADE, AFX or Airport Studio has no bearing on whether it animates or not
    • Using a compiler version and schema file that is not matched to the FS/P3D version can cause unexpected results.
     
  6. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    For information and off topic you can easily see what XML is being generated in ADE for a given object such as a jet way by selecting it and choosing Show XML from the menu

    upload_2017-10-10_8-53-6.png

    upload_2017-10-10_8-53-39.png

    Here you can see that a jet way is specified as to which gate and the rest is just placement code for the model that contains the jetway itself
     
  7. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi again:

    I am also compelled to add (1) more link to info which relates indirectly to this thread and a couple of others Ken has recently opened on the subject of animated jetways, and the factors which determine when and how the animations are displayed:

    http://forum.justflight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=30778&title=jetways


    Hope this helps ! :)

    GaryGB
     

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