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Blender What do you use for Landing Gear Animation?

Hi,

I have been struggling with landing gear animation in Blender. I rig the landing gear in blender and it animates fine, but when I export it to FSX or P3D it is not quite the same in the sim, as seen in Blender. In particular Torque Link Scissors, Telescopic and Downlock Struts.

Do you use Empties as Pivot Points?
Do you use Damped Tracked Constraints, other Constraints or no Constraints at all?
Do you use Constant or Linear Extrapolation for animation?

Any guidance or tips would be gratefully received.

Thanks.
Tyler
 

dave hoeffgen

Resource contributor
Do you use Empties as Pivot Points?
Rather use the object origin as pivot. That should save you some memory. Using a skinned mesh with bones will save even more.

Do you use Damped Tracked Constraints, other Constraints or no Constraints at all?
Constraints don't export. You have to use the "bake action" feature to convert it to a keyframe animation.

Do you use Constant or Linear Extrapolation for animation?
If you mean interpolation, use linear. That's what the sim does as well.
 
I just had to re-do some of my front gear animation. I wish I could explain what to do, but I suck as a teacher but I have included a .blend file with my front gear in it. If you have questions, e-mail me at radkedf"at"gmail.com.

You will notice the rods. I use those as rotation points. You name the part rotation something and in the transformation drop-down (top middle of screen...), use the + sign to add as the rotation for your parts. Make sure the rod is at the angle you need the part to rotate.

I had all the animation done except the turning of the front wheel left and right with the rudder pedals. I tried to animate it afterwords but it didn't work out to good because the c_wheel part (Cylinder.208) was a child to the upper piece. So I un-parented him when it was in the down position at 100. Once it was there, I selected the rotation rod as the transformation part and then started to rotate the part start at 0 at Z-360 (use r+z key...the x/y will change too but that is okay as long as z=360 in the end). From there I went up 25 frames using (360 / 270 / 180 / 90 / 0 / -90 / -180 / -270 / -360). When done, then at frame 100 I made him the child of the top part that rotates up/down.

Remember to assign just the rotation and not the location of the c_wheel (Cylinder.208) part. Very important.

Sorry for the naming convention of some of the parts. I tried to keep it up but when I was adding/removing parts, it got is to be lazy and not name them. I know...very bad habit.

Hope this helps.

PS I forgot to mention, this was done in 2.82 so if you are still on 2.79, let me know as I have the model in that version from when I started and can see what I had done in that one.
 

Attachments

  • FrontGearAnimation.zip
    226.7 KB · Views: 50

hairyspin

Resource contributor
This is interesting and highly reminiscent of other modelling programs. They also need animations reduced to keyframes before exporting to FS, and FS always needed Linear animations.
 
Thank you Dave.

I have spent a lot of time using various different constraints, trying to get them to work and that answers my question and it is good to know that I'm wasting my times as they don't export.

What is the "bake action" method?

Sounds like I need to learn skinned mesh with bones.

I have been using Linear Extrapolation in the animation menu. Is this the wrong linear selection?

Tyler

QqhIHv.jpg
 
Thank you Zoren.

I am still using Blender 2.79. If you do have your example available in 2.79 please, that would be very helpful.

Tyler
 
Sorry, I had to re-do the animation in 2.79. I am not 100% positive that it will work in FSX or P3D as I didn't compile it and test. I did add the c_wheel part to do the tire turning left - right using rudder pedals. Now I know what you are thinking when watching the animation, the wheel will rotate when dropping down but it in the sim. Compile it and try it out.

You will see that the bottom gear leg uses the post for rotation and movement up/down. If you need to walk through it, let me know.

Hope this helps.
 

Attachments

  • FrontGearAnimation_V2.79.blend.zip
    248.4 KB · Views: 32

dave hoeffgen

Resource contributor
Thank you Dave.

I have spent a lot of time using various different constraints, trying to get them to work and that answers my question and it is good to know that I'm wasting my times as they don't export.

What is the "bake action" method?

Sounds like I need to learn skinned mesh with bones.

I have been using Linear Extrapolation in the animation menu. Is this the wrong linear selection?

Tyler

QqhIHv.jpg

To be honest I didn't know that extrapolation setting but I gave it a quick try. When set to linear the animation keeps moving on beyond the set range of keyframes, and as that isn't exported either, it's not what we want. That setting should be constant.
What I meant were the F-Curves which are bezier by default:
1588324724217.png

That's how Blender interpolates between keyframes. As the sim does linear interpolation so should Blender.

The bake action option can be found i nthe 3D-Viewport under object->animation:
1588324999009.png

It replaces the object constraints (or rigid body physics) with a keyframe animation. Of course when the animation which the object was constrained to is changed the this new keyframe animation does not. So only do this step when the animation is finished or keep a backup.
 
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