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MSFS c152 six pack transfer to a c172s - model misalignment issue

Messages
6
Country
unitedstates
Long Story:
When recently purchasing MSFS I have found that I miss my old FSX 172, and only like choice is the 152, everything else has a glass cockpit. I don't want to learn that yet. So I tried to find one or convert the FSX. No joy. I finally just decided to mod the files within MSFS and put the 152 cockpit into the 172 so I could have my cake and eat it too. Now, I did all this before I knew there was an SDK, so this is all hand modified files.

Short Story:
I lifted the C152 cockpit definitions, models and textures and linked them into the C172 external model. Works great as one would expect as all the definitions and links are the same. No reason not to.

Problem:
The internal model sits about a foot (300mm) high and a few inches (100mm?) forward of the external model. So when in the cockpit looking outside things clip, you can't raise your sitting position high enough to see well for landing and you can lower your sitting
position through the floor.

Solution:
None

Question:
It seems the simple solution should be to import the GLTF into blender, move it en masse, and export it. But I cannot find a way to export it properly where MSFS will work. Seems to loose all the textures and show nothing.
I've also poured over the SDK documentation and find no reference to aligning internal and external models. I am assuming that this is something that is implied when the models are created.
Because it is a modeling location problem (my guess) I think I would have the same issue using the SDK and porting things over.

Honestly I've spend thrice the time trying to get these two items to gel than I did in creating the port. I feel there should be a simple and easy solution but I've gone down a deep dark rabbit hole and cannot see it.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

D

20220902225912_1.jpg
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
Messages
3,684
Country
us-washington
MCX can make this conversion. You will need to familiarize yourself with the software. For what you need, it is very powerful, however the interface is incredibly primitive. For example, there is no mouse support, only "point clicks." You'll want to take hte model, as you have it, into MCX and use the Hierarchy Editor. You want to click through the "SceneGraphNodes," until the one that contains the entirety of the cockpit, is highlighted red. Then right click the "Transformation" header to select "edit transformations." From here, is is simply a matter of changing values, until you get the results you desire. It all changes in the MCX viewport as you confirm clicks, you'll probably have to start over a few times.

Here is an image of the Hierarchy Editor pane and I have highlighted a front landing gear that imported to the model.

nodes.jpg


Now, if you cannot contain your cockpit into a single SceneGraphNode and you don't want to individually edit all the nodes, you can do the same "transformation" upon import of your 152 cockpit, using the offsets in the Merge Objects tool.

merge.jpg


This will be another WYSIWYG operation, however since undo works only once, for me, I simply use the Hierarchy Editor to delete the just added SceneGraphNode, because in that operation, before compiling, the cockpit will be contained below that single deletable node.
 
Messages
6
Country
unitedstates
Trying it, looks like I'll need to set it up like a full MSFS project for it to see all the textures. Will have to muck with it. Thanks for the response.
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
Messages
3,684
Country
us-washington
Part of the situation is that the 172 uses the "hidden" XML format some Asobo models use, so it is harder to assemble hybrids from the two models, using the hierarchy editor. Can you say how you accomplished this?

Short Story:
I lifted the C152 cockpit definitions, models and textures and linked them into the C172 external model. Works great as one would expect as all the definitions and links are the same. No reason not to.
You would not be able to use Blender, because it can export most, if not all flight sim specific attributes, but it cannot import those, so they'd be lost. You have to be able to work with fully functional components, that can be reconfigured, the way you did your procedure. I am pretty certain you could add the necessary offsets, for example.

cockpits.jpg


In this image, I've merged the two cockpits, the 152 cockpit is without textures and checkered. You can see the 152 cockpit position is approximately consistent with yours, placing the wing roots about a foot forward and 6 inches high. However, it seems like maybe the seats, do not maintain that same ratio. Anyway, I'd like to see your work, if you could, thanks.
 
Messages
6
Country
unitedstates
You are most welcome to view the work, what is the norm around here for sharing large chunks of data? Zip and a google drive?
 
Messages
6
Country
unitedstates
Because it is a modeling location problem (my guess) I think I would have the same issue using the SDK and porting things over.
FYI, I did a version of this with the SDK and have the same offset problem.

Thumbnail.jpg
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
Messages
3,684
Country
us-washington
I am sorry to have been unclear, what I'd really like to see, if possible, is a detail of your procedure. I took a look at what you linked and I am going to guess that you accomplished this, by editing the glTF and bin files manually. If that's the case, the detailed procedure could be a confirmation of my guess. I could not use creation dates to check, because zipped files are always "as new," however, I see the heavily edited .json, which is to be expected. There is actually a utility called "MSFS Layout Generator" and I use it all the time when I hack my Community folder files. MSFS "canon" insists we build all assets outside the simulator and introduce only sterile software.

What is really remarkable, to me, is that you merged these two models without editing them individually, or their distinct file structure, apparently. I use a different software to examine and manipulate MSFS models offered by a different developer here, Aeno's Model Converter X and using it, the models all appear to be intact. If you have the inclination, I encourage you to explore MCX and particularly, try the "Hierarchy Editor." You might be able to see we can isolate and extract sub assemblies of models.

Also, the MSFS SDK itself has section on sharing components between models, it is contained in the thread linked below:

Asobo Aircraft Submodel exporting

 
Messages
6
Country
unitedstates
Ha ha, procedure. You're funny.

I opened file explorer.
I looked at contents of files (json/cfg/Pak/flt/xml) with notepad++.
When I felt confident enough, I copied the 172 into a directory in community.
I then copied the 152 model and texture parts that seemed to be for the interior.
I then manually edited the files (above) to splice them together. I did not edit any gltf or bin files although I did look at them.
This represented about a half of day of my time to get it up and running.
Only issue text editing could not fix was the offsets between the two models.

The files had a clear and logical split between inside and outside, which is why I even attempted this.
As an example, model.cfg: just comment one line out and add the other ...

[models]
exterior=Cessna172SP.xml
;interior=Cessna172SP_AS1000_interior.xml
;exterior=C152.xml
interior=Cessna152_interior.xml

I'll try to make some time for MCX, but I just bought iRacing so no promises ;)
 
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