FS2004 Animated Pilot

I have a question regarding the animation of pilots. I understand Tick18 is the animation name for such things, I'm wondering how I would set that up in Gmax.

I would like the head to move, I kind of like seeing the pilot's head turn in the direction of a bank. Other than that joystick related incident, I would like the head to roam around on a seamless loop - looking left, right, at the panel. and up.

Also I would like the hands to follow the yoke and therefore the arms must have some movement as well, so would the arms be called Tick18_01, and 02 ? In the similar way we relate animated parts of a main animate object together?

If this is the case, could I animate eyelids called Tick18_03, and 04 to blink once in a while?

Any help is greatly appreciated, cheers fellas.

Hey Doug,

You are right on with the names and how it would be done. You have to separate the components of the pilot and animate each one to work accordingly. The hands to control sticks will take some time, getting them to move synchronously with the control stick.

With the head, I always make the top joint and the bottom joint of the necks rounded outward. Same with arms if I use animations on them. That way, large gaps dont show well.

You are also not limited to 100 key frame points. Mine average 750 to 800 KF's. Remember though to change your max KF setting on Gmax to that number, such as 750 or 800, etc.


Resource contributor
Well, if you want the head to "do a scan" animation, then tick_18 (for FS9) or Ambient animation tag (for FSX) is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you want the head to track turns, you would need to use either rudder or aileron animation tags!

For the hand and arm movements, to follow a stick or yoke you would need to use the same tags as the stick or yoke!
Thank you Bills.:) I got an email from Milton as well explaining the procedure a little further. I'll post that here in case someone else would like to know how to do this.

".. Tick_18 is used for the head and can be used for eyelids and any movement not dependent on other things.

Put a small object named Tick_18 inside the head and set the pivot point low around the center of the neck. Make the head a child of that Tick_18 object. Change your max frame to either 500 or 1000. Animate the Tick_18 object.

If you want the head also to look left right with turns, you will need another object as a parent to Tick_18 called either l_aileron_nn or r_aileron_nn. Be advised that the Tick_18 movements will continue even when looking left or right.

For arms and legs to move in the exterior model ( a lot of work and may be overkill), you need to decide where you want the hands to be and use the animation tags of the yoke or throttle or rudder pedals to animate them. The hands (wrist), forearm, upper arm all need to be animated separately..."

Thank you Milton!