FSX FS2004 to FSX Aircraft Conversion Tutorial

tgibson

Resource contributor
Hi all,

I have been working on an online tutorial over the past few weeks to allow the conversion of flyable FS2004 aircraft to FSX (or later) format using ModelConverterX.

I have uploaded the first draft of Phase One, the Exterior Model. If there are any big differences in converting the VC that will have to come later. Anyway, feel free to take a look at it and see what you think - heck, even give it a try. While not a "quickie" procedure, it's a lot easier than previous procedures. For those of you well versed in converting aircraft using MCX, I've create a Quick Reference page at the end which gives a summary of what you need to do and in what order.

You can access the tutorial here:

http://www.calclassic.com/convert_tutorial

Let me know here in this thread if you see any problems or corrections needed, thanks. I'm sure there are lots of errors.

PS. Thanks again to Arno for his recent tweaks to ModelConverterX that made this tutorial possible.

Hope this helps,
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
Well, that was easy:

Custom animation and tooltip displaying in VC:

fsx_dc6b_vc_day.jpg


Night lighting:

fsx_dc6b_vc_night.jpg


All without changing any textures, etc. VC conversion should be added to the tutorial in a few days. :)
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
You're welcome, hope it helps you.

The VC has been added to the tutorial (what little is needed), and I have given improved settings for bare metal and glass.
 
Thank you Tom :) I am doing your tutorial..however when I type prop in find..i get the SceneGraphNode (I am sure this is the "parent" for SceneGraphNode for prop0 and 1 but not the Model Parts.. I did type 5000 in the variable box...how do I open up the hierarchy here to expose the parts? I tried it on a second aircraft and it did the same thing. The first is the B1900C and 2 second is the Jetstream31 (both of these are Premier Aircraft. So maybe I am doing something wrong?

This is so exciting. THANK you for doing this..standing by :)

OK, I talked to Arno, so I had to remove the word prop to expose the hierarchy but I am following your tutorial. On this model...the model part that turns red is the bottom model part, the one above it is "white" and then the Scenery Graph Node above that is red...see pics, so do I pick up on the second that is red? I am still at "Find the Slow Prop" for slow people...

Warmest Regards,
Bob M.
 

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tgibson

Resource contributor
Hi,

As stated in the tutorial click on the pencil button just to the right of the search box (Clear Search) and you will get all the parts back, and your part will still be highlighted. This is the same thing as removing the word from the search box, but only takes one click. The SceneGraphNode contains the animation (prop0_slow) and the two ModelParts underneath it appear to be the little name plate on each prop (first ModelPart) and the prop blades (second ModelPart). Each of these need to get the Visibility Condition of prop0_slow assigned to it.

Hope this helps,
 
Let me start by saying thank you for you amazing tutorial, I'm very appreciative for it. I have scanned throught it, haven't went in dept.
when converting an aircraft from fs9 to P3Dv4, I know fs9 comes with one model for both interior and exterior where as FSX/P3D comes with two one for interior and one for exterior.
Here's my question, is it possible to separate the fs9 model into two where as I could merge another interior model of my choice to work in P3Dv4 or it can't be done?
 
Iflyfsx214 : What you want is the default FS9 import mode. The default value for import condition variable gen_model = 2 which extracts only the exterior from an FS9 mdl.
If you want to extract the interior from an FS9 aircraft mdl, you need to have Options > Importer Settings > Use Conditions = UserSpecified. When the importer conditions dialogue appears, set the value for gen_model = 1.
Obviously setting gen_model = 1 only works if the FS9 aircraft mdl has an interior (some older ones don't).

Hope this helps, Henk.
 
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I have gotten thru the slow and the blurred. I have a 4 blade propeller now showing 8 pieces for prop0 and prop1, which I assume is the blurred and the slow. I never created a "still prop" I am at #45 with looking in the hierarchy for still. I have no such animal.

I believe that I have merged the slow and the blurred but nothing with "still yet" Had to leave and go to a doctors appt..am back..waiting further instructions.... In the meantime.. I will go back thru tutorial and see if I missed something about the "still" prop. The closest is wher we read:

Props in FS consist of three separate parts - prop_still, prop_slow, and prop_blurred. Most jet fan disks use the same system, but are called N1_still/slow/blurred. There are several different ways people deal with this; in my planes the prop_still parts are detailed propellers used for stopped and very slow rotation, the prop_blurred parts are solid round disks, and the prop_slow parts are wedges cut out of the blurred prop disk (the number of wedges is the number of prop blades). When we imported our plane with the engine0/1/2/3 variables set to 0, the plane displayed the prop_still parts. This is what we exported in Part Three.

I did the 5000 to get the slow part and 10000 to get to the blurred but "stuck" on "still".. Won't proceed any further till I hear back. Don't want to screw this up for the 10,000th time..lol. Just as a side note..this is the Premier Aircraft B1900C that I believe was updated for fsx. I went back to there website and the mdl for the fs9 and fsx are identically named B1900C_fix3_up.mdl and the same kb's. Not sure if that has anything to do with the "still prop"... In the sim. this is an ai that has not started up yet.

Thank you,
Bob M.
 

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tgibson

Resource contributor
First, your plane looks like it has two sets of still props. If one set was the still props that you never renamed and one set is the slow props that they modeled the same as the still props then that’s okay, as long as both sets turn when you move the animation slider. If not, it appears that something is wrong.

In Part two you import your entire plane with the engine variables set at 0. This gives you the still props attached to the main model, so there is no reason to need to merge them later. Before converting the plane to FSX format, you are to change the engine0/1/2/3 variables to prop0/1/2/3_still, long before you work on the slow and blurred props.

So if you do not have still props that rotate you need to start Part 2 over again, and end up with an FSX aircraft MDL file that includes the still props, ready for you to merge in the slow and blurred props that you have already saved.

Hope this helps,
 
Tom..I did the Jetstream and I did still and blurred like before and only assigned visibility to the blurred and then I merged the parts, exported and re-imported and this is what it looks like. It has the appearance of front 4 and back 4 blades and blurred at the back in MCX animation. .It does appear that the front blades are rotating and the back four are still and the blurr or halo at the back in the animation. i have not tried it yet in the sim.. scared too...lol
Is this better?
Bob M.
 

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tgibson

Resource contributor
As long as you have still, slow and blurred props and they all turn that is OK. All the prop ModelParts should have visibility conditions.
 
Looking at the animation..as close as I can in MCX....its hard to tell....it looks like the back blades are moving although they appear to kinda go through each other? Now I only have still and blurred because I only have two model parts for either the Jetstream or the B1900C. In the blurred only, there were 2 and 2 model parts for 4 total and the visibility of prop0 and prop1 blurred were assigned in the visibility according to which engine.

One other question..the fx….file that is created in the model needs to be copied to "effects" and removed from the model because I believe leaving it in crashes p3dv4... and the mdl's like prop0 or props or whatever can be moved into a separate folder inside the plane for safe keeping is ok?
Bob M.
 
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Iflyfsx214 : What you want is the default FS9 import mode. The default value for import condition variable gen_model = 2 which extracts only the exterior from an FS9 mdl.
If you want to extract the interior from an FS9 aircraft mdl, you need to have Options > Importer Settings > Use Conditions = UserSpecified. When the importer conditions dialogue appears, set the value for gen_model = 1.
Obviously setting gen_model = 1 only works if the FS9 aircraft mdl has an interior (some older ones don't).

Hope this helps, Henk.
Thank You very much for your help, I appreciate it
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
The tutorial does mention this, at the beginning of Part 2 and on the VC page. Also, set the light states to 0, since the VC does not need any lights.
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
Hi,

You don't need the fx file that MCX creates because you are renaming the effect to fx_landing. So that fx file can be ignored.
 
Tom, I have been a bad boy..and did not read the first four sections...setup etc and never did the prop still business. I jumped in at the props section 5.. thats why. So I am working my way through. I did notice..now I have the latest sdk 4.4 and i pasted your stuff at the bottom but the automatic 100 stuff for c.gear etc is 0.. ...well anyway, working my way through this stuff...lol.....so sick of props :) Haven't done anything about fx_landing......I am just trying to get the props working. So I can delete that when its in the model file? the fx thingy.
Thank you for your hard work on this,
Thank you,
Bob M.
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
Have you downloaded the LATEST version of ModelConverterX? That should set the c_gear at 100 and the g_lightstates at 4 automatically. If not, THIS TUTORIAL WILL NOT WORK.

Yes, you can delete the fx file if it bothers you. ;)
 
Maybe you don't have p3dv4 but the fx file crashes p3dv4..just so you know..thats why i ask. Yes...I am using the latest development.....seems like changes and new ones every day lately. I am using the 4.4 sdk and pasted your modeldef at the end of the modeldefxml. I know the 100 has been poping up automatically but I may have been using the modeldefxml that was posted as the latest from SOH. Should I point to sdk 4.3 instead and add yours? Have not done anything to modeldefxml in fsx sdk So you know..I just assigned prop_still but have not isolated and exported as props_still.. Seems prop still got kinda lost in all the other animation stuff about stairwells etc....I still export the props_still just like slow and blurred, right...the only changes to visibility in the model parts is only in the blurred when i get to it?
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
NO. You do NOT export props_still, they are already on the airplane. Why remove them and put them back?

You may use any SDK you prefer, from FSX to P3Dv4. They all should work.

I say you can ignore the fx file because it's in the model folder and will not be loaded. I do not say anywhere in my tutorial to copy it to the Effects folder, nor should you do so.

If you do not follow my tutorial from beginning to end, I can assure you it will not work - I've tried it. :)
 
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