FXEditor is an editor for Flight Simulator special effect (FX) files. It gives you a live preview of the effect, while you are editing the parameters. This manual describes how to use FXEditor.
The information on how to get the latest version of FXEditor can be found in this thread on the support forum.
Once you have downloaded the ZIP file containing the program, you need to unzip it to a folder of your choice. Since FXEditor shares a number of DLL files with ModelConverterX, it is suggested that you install them both in the same folder. If you have used a previous version before, you can replace those files with the new version.
This section describes the user interface of FXEditor and explains how to use the tool. Below is a screenshot of the user interface.
The two main elements in the user interface are the text editor and the 3D preview. You can alter the width of each of these elements by dragging the divider between them as you like. Besides that there is a menu bar to give instructions to the tool. Each of these elements will be described in more detail below.
The 3D preview gives a rendering of the currently loaded effect. When a new effect is loaded or when you make changes to the parameters of the effect in the text editor, the preview is automatically updated.
The navigation in the preview is the same as the navigation in the ModelConverterX 3D preview. So that means that with the left mouse button down you can rotate around the effect. And with the right mouse button down you can pan the preview. The mousewheel is used to scroll in or out.
The text editor is the area where you can alter the parameters of the effect. The text editor comes with all usual text editor features. For example undo (Ctrl-Z) and redo (Ctrl-Y) are supported.
- This creates a new blank effect file.
- This brings up a file selection dialogue where you can select the effect you want to load.
- This saves the current effect with the same name that you opened.
- Save as
- This saves the current effect with the name you have selected in the file selection dialogue.
- Restart effect
- This restarts the effect in the 3D preview. Some effects only run for limited time, so this will run them again from start.
- Mute sound
- This mutes the sounds of effect files. Else FXEditor will play the sound associated to the special effect.
- Fade particles
- This determines whether the particles of the effect are faded in and out in the 3D preview or not. FS does fade, but by disabling the fading it is sometimes easier to see what happens.
- Here you can set the path to FS2004 and FSX. And you can also select which FS version is your preferred version. This preference is for example used when looking for sound files in the FS sound folder.
- The tool tries to renders the effect as similar as FS would render them, but since it is not documented how FS does this exactly you might see that the effect is shown different in FS. If this is the case, please provide me some feedback so that I can improve the tool.
- Besides that the type of effects that are extruded along a line in FS, like waves, are not visualized correctly at the moment.
- At the moment the tool can only play one sound file per effect. So if you have a controller which calls different effects, only the first sound will be played.
If you have any problems while using the program or if you have suggestions and other feedback to improve the tool, please let me know. You can either contact me directly or visit the ModelConverterX subforum at FSDeveloper.com.
The following persons or organisations deserve credit for helping me while creating this tool:
- Bill Womack for the idea to visualize special effects, which resulted in this tool in the end.
- Colin Fahey for his C# OpenGL wrapper
- The Tango Desktop Project for their icon set
- DigitalRune for their text editor control.
(c) 2011 SceneryDesign.org / Arno Gerretsen
This software program is distributed without charge to other addon developers. Redistribution of the original ZIP file is allowed. You are NOT allowed to sell this software program or ask money for its distribution. Special effects created with this software program can be used in commercial scenery projects if you wish.
The copyright and any intellectual property relating to this program remain the property of the author.
The software distributed in this way may represent work in progress, and bears no warranty, either expressed or implied.