MDL files into FSX

#1
Hi all,

I have made a water ramp for FSX,


but i wanted to have a trigger for the ramp (nav1 frequency)

I have done alot of reading and asked many questions in so many area's - leading me to CAT, the conditional animation tool.

Therefore i had to change the animation from Ambient to Tick18 and compile the model for fs9 formatt, useing makeMDL from the fs9 SDK.

I have followed a tutorial telling me how to change the '.asm' file ect ect to the piont where i have the file create by CAT. with the 'cat' extension.

So far so good.

The problem is placing the model.

Before i recompiled into fs9 model i could add it via the ''add model'' option in ADE and put it where i liked.
Now when i try to add the model to the list in ADE it says that fs9 models cant be used.

How do i add the model to FSX?

Thanks
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#3
That is a very excellent animated model, it looks fascinating and like a great and innovative implementation of the features in the simulator. Many items use external .dll's to conditionalize animations and models, consider "FollowMe," Aerosoft's "AES" and "GSX." They all use a scrollable menu that is similar to the atc interface to select the animations. "AICarriers" by Lamont Clark and "CCP" by FSX@WAR also inject animated models into the simulator during a running session.
The thing about SODE is that it is designed to have all the plumbing be "under the hood" and the user "only" has to compile to that standard, program the variables and then require all users of the resulting file to run the SODE module in order to use it in the simulator. Drzewiecki Design uses this route to deploy jetways and to me it seems somewhat bulky for your situation. It's great if you need it but why make your users download and acquaint themselves with something, when simply using existing animation tags will work excellently?

Most users of water ramps, moving docks, tie downs and elevators, in my experience, rely on the timeworn but proven carrier animation sequences. The attach point "attachpt_blast_shield_0" should be sufficient, by using MCX to add it to the model and animate your elevator with the "blastshield_0_pct" tag which has a required length of 100 frames. When you add the trigger of launch bar deployment to any relevant aircraft's .cfg file, the key sequence "SHIFT+U" will activate the elevator. Bear in mind that you do not have to model the launch bar or "physically" add it to the aircraft model, it is sufficient to modify the .cfg and this can even be done while the sim is running, so long as it is not the currently selected user aircraft, in which case it would have to be switched and reloaded. You may also have to add dummy catapult start and finish points and possibly other parts of the system, like the runway, in order to enable the animation. They don't necessarily have to be visible or work, but they may have to be present as part of the ramp model, in order to enable the "blast shield" animation. Here's some links.
http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Catapult/Arrestor_Operations_(FSXA)
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526950.aspx
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526970.aspx
 
#4
Hi rk

Thanks for the detailed reply. If the blast shield animation was used, would that mean i can compile the model and animations for FSX? ( at the moment its compiled with the fs9 SDK, so that i could animate through CAT useing the old fs9 Tick18 animation). It would make placeing it easier..and texture. As for DLL's, i dont have the knowledge (although that would be awesome to have a ATC type menu)

I'd prefer to complete this without having to learn another programe ( taking all free time to sim! :) ) I can only get any real work done on weekends...

I am useing FSDS 3.5.1, so what would be the best way to do this in regard to the animations? add them within FSDS or MCX?

If MCX, can you direct me to a good tutorial for animations?
Again, thank you for your reply, it has given some new light on this project.
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#5
I model mostly in SketchUp and export the parts in Collada format to be animated separately. MCX will import Collada and export the animation parts as FSDS format and I complete the animations in that program. Then I use the merge object tool in MCX to join the animated part(s) back to the whole model. You would want to use the FSX or later SDK, in order to have access to the carrier type animations. You could always use the default carrier as a test, using the Hierarchy Manager to remove a blast shield and then replace it with your own model. That's just one approach that allows you to incrementally replace default components with your own, so you can change as little as possible until you understand that aspect.
 
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