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Creating a multi-pose set

Discussion in 'Static Aircraft Model Maker' started by Gman, 25 Nov 2010.

  1. Gman


    25 Mar 2005
    Creating a Multi-pose set

    One of the great features of the Static Aircraft .mdl Maker (SAMM), is the ability to create additional poses of aircraft which have multiple animations, while utilizing a single texture sub-folder.

    A good way to start is by placing shortcuts to the SAMM.exe and SAMM\Models folder on your desktop, this is done by browsing to your SAMM program folder, opening it and right-clicking the SAMM.exe, select Send To, Desktop (create a shortcut) to more quickly open the SAMM UI. Repeat this operation for the SAMM\Models folder which will make it very easy to follow along with what SAMM is doing, and as necessary, will allow you to quickly see which poses you have already saved.

    For this tutorial, I recommend Jordan Moore's Hovercontrol Bell 412 Personal Edition (HC412PE), which has multiple poses available for each aircraft/model/livery selection. Availble HERE at Hovercontrol

    For FSX users converting static models from flying models or AI models (FS2002 or FS2004 only), the aircraft do not need to be installed to either FS9 or FSX, they could be on any drive in any location, however it is a good idea to remember to keep the names short as there will be name-length considerations later on, so something like Drive F:\Aircraft\HC412PE should keep it short and sweet.

    And, avoid aircraft name sub-folders left over from the downloads, when you open HC412PE or any other folder, you should be looking at model and texture folders and an aircraft.cfg.

    If drive space is an issue, since these aircraft were downloaded to make static models from, and won't be required to remain flyable, unnecessary folders such as Gauges, Effects, and Panels can be deleted, or saved to an "extra files" folder to cut down on clutter.

    **However it is very important to make sure the actual aircraft folder contains its "model" folder(s), its "texture.xx" folders, and its aircraft.cfg file. Any additional textures you may download should all be "installed" to the aircraft.cfg the same as they would be in flight Simulator.

    I am purposely avoiding posting images of the SAMM user interface (UI), preferring that users become familiar which SAMM's features by reading the SAMM Manual. The interface is set up quite intuitively from top to bottom, so these instructions will also follow a start at the top and work your way down sequence.


    To begin my multi-pose project I will open SAMM, and select my Get Aircraft From location at the top of the SAMM User Interface (UI). (FS9, FSX, Other)

    In my case, my HC412PE folder is in my dedicated static donor aircraft folder on a back-up drive (F:\Aircraft) so I have selected "Other", which opens a Select Aircraft Folder dialogue, allowing me to locate the my drive, directory, and desired aircraft folder.

    If I had selected FS9 or FSX, SAMM would automatically locate the installed Flight Simulator location, and the Flight Simulator version directory I selected would be opened.

    If I had selected FSX, and wanted to convert a helicopter, I would need to scroll down to the Rotorcraft folder and click on it to open it, and then select an aircraft type from the contents of the Rotorcraft folder, otherwise the FSX SimObjects\Airplanes folder is already open by default.

    If the aircraft type I have selected has only one associated aircraft title (livery), the aircraft will automatically be imported to the SAMM Static Model\Name textbox. For my HC412PE there are multiple models/liveries available, the Select Aircraft Title window now has displayed in red letters the words Select Aircraft Title and the drop-down menu button has now become functional allowing me to open the list of available models/liveries for my selected Aircraft Type, the HC412PE.

    If my selected aircraft type had only one version, it would have been displayed in Black letters in the Aircraft Titles window, and would have been entered automatically below in the Static Model\Name window.

    *NOTE: The listed aircraft titles may not always pertain to different models/liveries, in some cases they will be variants of the same aircraft created at different levels of detail in order to run on less capable computers,
    and in other cases there may be different fuel tank/weapons/utility loadouts of the same aircraft.

    From the Aircraft Titles list I will select HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog, and SAMM will then forward the selected Aircraft Title to the Static Model\Name textbox.

    At this point SAMM will display any available pose options in the Pose Options section located below the Static Model\Name textbox.

    You will also note that in this general area there is a section marked Animations, and the available selections are Auto, Custom and All. For an explanation of these animation selections and how to use them, see the SAMM Manual.

    In most cases I prefer the All Animations selection, so for the purpose of following these instructions to convert a multi-pose set of static models with SAMM, make sure All Animations is selected before pushing the Save .mdl file button.

    Another selection area which is separate from the pose options towards the bottom of the UI is the Other Options area. Again, see the SAMM Manual for a full description of the available selections.

    My standard preference in the Other Options area is to select Suppress Shadows, so I make sure it is always selected prior to pushing the Save .mdl file button.

    After making those two selections, I am ready to save the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog I selected, and the first static model pose I save will be as is with no pose options selected. (Engine(s) off/all doors

    *NOTE: Below the Static Model\Name, SAMM has displayed the name of the livery texture folder which is to be used for this .mdl, since I will be making multiple poses from the same aircraft livery, this will be the texture folder for subsequent poses too.

    I am now ready to save the .mdl file for the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog, the basic aircraft\model\livery which the subsequent poses will be made from and linked to via their .mdl files.

    I now click Save .mdl file, and SAMM will give me a confirmation that it has saved the .mdl and the associated files to the default SAMM\Models folder.

    If I look in the SAMM\Models folder, I should see that SAMM has created a folder named HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog, and inside that folder should be:
    *ACFile;HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog MDL file
    *HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog MDL file
    *texture\HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog texture sub-folder
    which contains the textures for HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog, which will also be used for each of the subsequent poses.

    Adding a new pose

    Now that the basic aircraft .mdl and texture sub-folder have been saved, I can add additional poses.
    *NOTE: Keep in mind that some aircraft have more possible poses than others based on the amount of animations included by the aircraft designer, and that different designers manipulate those animations in Flight
    Simulator differently, so while SAMM will do everything it can to assure all parts are in place and the selection you made comes out with the correct options, it is helpful to remember SAMM is creating a scenery model from an
    aircraft model that was not designed as a scenery object. Again, read the SAMM manual to learn about options which will give you more control over the conversion and animations parameters.

    Back to the next pose.

    For starters, we will not re-select from the Aircraft Titles list, but instead continue on with the currently selected HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog.

    Looking at the Pose Options available, the selections for the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog would be:
    Engine(s) Running
    Passenger Door(s)/Front Canopy Open
    Cargo Door(s)/Rear Canopy Open
    Deploy Tail Hook
    -(I have not tried this on a helicopter)

    For my first added pose, I will select Engine(s) Running. To let SAMM know that my intentions are to create an additional pose of the previously saved aircraft, I will enter a name for the new pose in the Version textbox to the right of the Static Model\Name window.

    So I will type into the Version textbox the word running.
    (you may type in whatever pose name you like as long as you stay within the naming guidelines in the SAMM Manual, I try to keep it short and simple)

    OK, now I scan to make sure the Animations All and Shadows Suppressed are selected, and click Save .mdl file. SAMM will ask me to confirm I am using the textures from the previously saved aircraft, and I am, so I click OK to continue.
    SAMM will then give me another confirmation message.

    I usually go to the SAMM\Models folder to confirm that confirmation, and if all is well I will find that SAMM has now added two files to the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog folder, they are:
    HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog.mdl BAK file
    HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog;running MDL file

    Then I verify the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog\texture folder still contains only the single HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog texture sub-folder.

    That's all there is to it, my HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog folder now has two static model.mdl's, one with engine off, and one with the engine running.
    To make more poses, I just change the pose options selections and version name, and repeat the above operation.

    *NOTE:When working with the same aircraft, the Animations All and Suppress Shadows should remain selected as you convert multiple poses. However it is a good habit to scan these selected options to make sure they are selected.
    It is VERY EASY to forget to re-name the new pose in the Version textbox, or to forget to change the pose selections, so take your time and make sure before you Save the .mdl.

    I will often make my second and third added poses of the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog as variants of Engine(s) Running. I can simply leave the Engine(s) Running selected, and add the Passenger Door(s)/Front Canopy Open selection, then I add front open to the version box after the word running = running front open.

    I click Save .mdl file, receive the confirmation, verify in SAMM\Models that SAMM has now added HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog;running front open MDL file.

    I think you get the drill, with the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog I think I can make static models of a eight total poses all using the same texture folder.

    As an Instant Scenery2 user, I am going to want to compile these static aircraft .mdl's into a Scenery Object Library to use in Flight Simulator.

    To do this, I simply click the Make Library button at the bottom right corner of the SAMM UI. This will bring up the SAMM - Make Object Library dialogue, at which point I will select the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog from the dialogue, and then name the libary.bgl HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog_variants.

    Once a library name has been entered there are two options available, the first option is to click:
    Save Library .bgl, and SAMM will create a library object folder in the SAMM\Libraries folder with the same name I entered for the library .bgl.

    The second option (after naming my library .bgl) is to select Save Libary To A Scenery Folder, at which point when I click Save Library .bgl, a Browse For Folder dialogue will come up allowing me to select where SAMM will save the library .bgl, and its associated textures.

    *NOTE: If you should cancel or close this operation, SAMM will automatically save the library .bgl, and associated textures as by the previous option, to the SAMM\Libraries folder.

    The outcome of selecting either option should be that SAMM will give a quick confirmatiom that it has compiled the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog_variants.bgl.

    Samm will then automatically place the library .bgl into a scenery sub-folder in the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog library folder in the specified location.
    At the same time SAMM will create a texture folder within the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog_Variants Library folder, and place inside it the single HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog texture sub-folder which contains the textures for the multi-pose set.

    At this point all that remains is to copy or cut and paste the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog_variants scenery object library folder to the Flight Simulator Addon Scenery Folder.

    Open Flight Simulator\Settings\Scenery Library, and then click Add Area, and browse to the HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog_variants folder within the Addon Scenery folder and click OK.

    HC412PE_Offshore_Airlog_variants should now be at the top of the Scenery Library list, and have a check mark next to it showing it is active.

    This entire multi-pose operation should take less than five minutes.


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