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Startup problem with ObPlacerXML--my experience

Discussion in 'ObPlacer and ObPlacer XML' started by JohnC, 25/7/06.

  1. JohnC

    JohnC

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    Hello Arno...I have downloaded ObPlacer XML version 0.82.33 and I have a specific single GMAX object I would like to place in many different areas by slewing.

    When I first open ObPlacer, I first get an error msg "pls select a valid user library". I have to click on OK TWICE and THEN I get the interface to open. I do already have under user library objects my GMAX xml (Cross.xml), and as a sub underneath, Cross.mdl. Everything else is blank except I know FSUIPC is connected OK.

    Nowhere in the PDF manual do I see how to slew around FS9 and have the lat/long values updated in my XML file, nor how to "place" the object once I am at the right location. The only
    File selections active are New XML and Open XML. I assume the "placing" is done by compiling the BGL but it is faded out and not available under File.

    If I open XML to see if I can write to it by slewing I get "pls select a valid user file" then an error 35602 then ObPlacer shuts down due to a runtime error.

    I'm missing something big here. I do not have spaces in my folder name, BTW. It is (aptly) named "THRASH"http://www.scenerydesign.org/forum/images/smilies3/stirthepot.gif
    :stirthepo
  2. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    If you get that error during startup, it means that there were some trouble with loading the user libraries already added. This can be because the file no longer exists or because it is not a valid library file.

    It is very important that you only load XML files as a "User library" that are in fact valid library files. So they should not contain any object placement. The default XML file made by GMax should work (although a library with only one object is a bit of a weird library), but usually I am loading XML files made with Library Creator XML in that section.

    Before you can place the objects, you need to create a new XML file for the placement or load a current XML file to add new objects to it. This can be done with the "New XML" and "Load XML" file options. Until you have done that, there is no XML file active that you can add new objects to, so all other options are disabled.

    Once you have loaded a XML file, you can just slew to the position you want in FS. After that you select the object you want to place in the tree list and right click on it. This will give you the object to place the object. At this moment the tool will read your coordinates from FS and use these for your object.

    You do repeat this process until you are ready, at that point you need to compile your XML file to a BGL file, so that you can load the objects in FS and actually see them. Please be aware that if you are using your own library as well, that you need to place the library BGL in the scenery folder as well.

    Hopefully this post has made things a little more clear. And thanks for posting your trouble, this gives a good indication of parts of the manual that might have to be improved.
  3. JohnC

    JohnC

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    Getting there.....

    OK Arno, some things are clearing up. I reinstalled ObPlacerXML and I now have no custom objects of my own. It opens up with no problem.
    I guess I didn’t understand the concept of a “user library”. To me, it meant a folder containing a collection of debugged XML and corresponding MDL files that I already know will work. I now read you to mean that one xml file can be a “user library” that you can add “objects” to by selecting them.

    Here’s how I got off base…….whenever I built custom GMAX objects I always kept them in pairs (e.g. Cross.xml and Cross.MDL.) I would edit the xml files with the specific coordinates needed and dropped the file on a shortcut to bglcomp and in a second out popped the bgl. I dragged the bgl onto the shortcut to the scenery folder, then double clicked on my “previous flight” shortcut.. If I wanted to place buildings across a scattered airport area, I would place them in one GMAX file. However the typing of the coordinates for many placings of one structure are a pain and that is what I want to avoid. I can edit the GMAX xml output coordinates. That is the extent of my XML understanding.



    I will work through this again but……….:yikes: .
    I do not know what a library BGL is. How is a library BGL produced? I’m a beginner here…sorry.

    I will download Library Creator XML. I assume this will clarify this.
    Last edited: 26/7/06
  4. JohnC

    JohnC

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    Getting there.....

    Downloading Library Creator and reading the manual clarified almost everything for me. I suggest (a) that downloaders of ObPlacer should be explicitly directed to download Library Creator XML as well, and (b) that the Library Creator manual contain some definitions something like these, so that new terminology will be less confusing.

    :teacher:

    An object is a visible structure or effect, custom designed or already included in FS9.

    An object name is the 32 character alphanumeric LibraryObject name one sees appearing in an XML file, that points to the MDL file.
    It is also referred to as the GUID of the object.

    An object library is a specific named collection of objects to be added into FS9. e.g. one library might contain airport objects, while another contained seaport objects.

    The object library is created by loading (1) the library object name and (2) the path to the MDL file.

    Library Creator XML allows one to create new object libraries or modify those already existing.

    This must seem simplistic to experienced users, but they will help understand the manuals better, IMOP.
  5. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for the feedback, I will certainly have a look at this when I update the manual in the future. For a more experienced designer, it can be hard to make the manual so that everybody understands it. I think it is a very good suggestion to introduce some basic concepts like libraries in the manual as well.

    Now back to your problem. Basically there are two ways in which you can place an object with ObPlacer XML. The first is to place an object from a library, this can be either a default FS library or one that you created yourself. When you want to reuse an object in multiple places, this is the best approach I think.

    The second way is to load the MDL object directly into ObPlacer XML (it is called a local MDL file in that case). These objects will be compiled into your placement BGL file, like you do when you edit the XML made by GMax. So the loading of the MDL and the placement of the object is done in the same BGL file. For a small object, that you want to place in one location, this might be the fastest way. But the downside of this approach is that the object becomes geo-locked, so you can have trouble when you try to call it in another place of the world as well. That is why have the object definitions in a separate library is usually the prefered way.
  6. JohnC

    JohnC

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    Problem solved......

    I'm happy to say your program worked exactly as promised on my first try. The key (for me) was reading the Library Creator PDF File.:cool:

    It's also time to extend a thank you for all your efforts and contributions to this community.

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