FS2004 Wanting to optimize my old work

Hi All

I wasn't sure were to post this specific question so I apologize if this is the wrong area. Now I have searched and read a lot of posts but I guess I've overloaded myself and am no further than when I started.

I need some input from you on what would be the best way to create or recreate as the case may be some of my scenery for FS2004.

In the past I've used AFCAD 2 to design my airport(s), EOD to make the simple buildings and hangers (API) and FSSC to place the created macros. Everything has worked out fine in FS2004 and I've been happy with the results but I know that those tools are old and that there is better tools available that will let me make a more complex scenery with better performance from FS2004. I've seen and have scenery that had a lot more objects and things going on while not causing too much of a hit in the fps. The one thing I did notice is that those scenery authors have many bgl files where I have one main one, not including any exclude bgl's.

So I guess what I'm asking is, what would be my best choice for making the objects and what to use to place them. I'm thinking Gmax for the objects, but I'm kind of stumped on what to use for placing them as I would like to use FS2004's XML format instead of the older FS2002 way that FSSC was created for.

Thanks
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Hi,

For creating the 3D objects GMax and FSDS are the most popular tools indeed. You could also use Google Sketchup and then convert the objects with ModelConverterX.

With ModelConverterX you can also convert your old API macros into FS2004 scenery MDL files by the way.

For making airport layout AFCAD2 or ADE are the most often used programs for FS2004 I think.

For placing objects you could also use ADE and besides that there are a number of object placement tools for FS2004, like Rwy12, Instant Scenery or ObPlacer XML.
 
Thanks Arno

I'm just playing around with your ModelConverterX program now and converting some of my old API's. Nice work by the way. It sure would be nice if I didn't have to rebuild all the objects in a new program. Being able to tweak the EOD files and then using your converter to make the FS9 MDL files would be great.

I'm also reading Tom Gibson's Sketchup tutorial that was linked from here. A nice tutorial that goes right from Sketchup to placing the finished BGL into FS2004.

Would doing the conversion of API to MDL to BGL and then placing the objects with one of the programs you mentioned allow FS2004 to better handle the data and allow it to run smoother than the old way of API and FSSC placement ?

Also when converting my API object I noticed this Warning message in ModelConverterX:

Unsupported command ifVarRange in line XX

I'm guessing it's because I use the default Fixed Scale (SetScaleX) in EOD with the V1 setting set to Auto (see image).
 

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arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Hi,

In general you will get better performance when you use FS2004 MDL files, compared to old API macros. That is because the FS2004 rendering engine is more optimized to handle them. So converting your objects should help for the performance.

About the ModelConverterX warning. ModelConverterX can not convert objects that have conditions at the moment. For example an object that only shows at a certain time of day or something like that. That is what the IfVarAnd command is used for. If your objects do not have such special features you can probably safely ignore the warnings
 
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