ModelConverterX usage survey

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In early 2010 a survey was run to ask the users of ModelConverterX how they use the tool. The main reason to do so was to get a better understanding of how you are using the ModelConverterX tool. Knowing which functionality, importers and exporters matter most to you, helps me to make the tool even more useful in the future.

In this article the results of the survey will be listed and analysed.

Results

Which version of ModelConverterX do you use?

MCX survey version.png

Do you mainly use ModelConverterX in full screen mode or in windowed mode?

MCX survey fullscreen.png

Can you indicate how often you use ModelConverterX for the following tasks?

Convert objects between different formats

MCX survey task convert.png

Make small changes to an object

MCX survey task edit.png

Visualise an object to see how it looks

MCX survey task view.png

Can you indicate how often you use the following importers?

SCASM files (including API macros)

MCX survey import scasm.png

FSX MDL files

MCX survey import fsxmdl.png

FS2004 scenery MDL files

MCX survey import fs2004mdl.png

Library BGL files

MCX survey import libbgl.png

COLLADA files

MCX survey import collada.png

Google Earth KMZ files

MCX survey import kmz.png

FSDS FSC files

MCX survey import fsds.png

Wavefront OBJ files

MCX survey import obj.png


Can you indicate how often you use the following exporters?

FSX MDL files

MCX survey export fsxmdl.png

FS2004 MDL files

MCX survey export fs2004mdl.png

X files

MCX survey export x.png

3DS files

MCX survey export 3ds.png

OpenFlight files

MCX survey export flt.png

Wavefront OBJ files

MCX survey export obj.png

Can you indicate how often you use the following functionalities?

Object information dialog

MCX survey function objectinfo.png

Material editor

MCX survey function mateditor.png

Mass texture editor

MCX survey function masstexeditor.png

Drawcall minimizer

MCX survey function drawcallminimizer.png

Attached object editor

MCX survey function attobjeditor.png

Transform object dialogs (move, rotate, scale)

MCX survey function transform.png

Level of detail creator

MCX survey function lodcreator.png

Save preview image

MCX survey function saveimage.png

Object report

MCX survey function objreport.png

Batch conversion of objects

MCX survey function batch.png

Missing texture finder

MCX survey function missingtexure.png

What do you consider to be the most important functionality in ModelConverterX?

Here is an overview (in random order) of the feedback received:

  • Import/Export converters
  • Conversion
  • COLLADA to FS objects
  • Converting old API files to FSX
  • Pre-visualize the model
  • Optimized conversion of objects between a wide range of formats.
  • Allowing to convert objects backward (FSX to FS9)
  • The ability to use Sketchup objects in FS
  • Getting designs which can't be used by FSX into FSX-compatible format, with ability to fix errors, either in ModelConverterX (preferred) or via GMax
  • The creation of LODs that Converter X makes as simple as possible
  • Recovers MDL files that have otherwise been lost
  • The ability to review models for missing textures, misnamed textures, incorrect attachments and correct as needed
  • Making converted COLLADA texture files frame-rate friendly, without this feature, converting buildings found on Google Earth would be impracticable for use in FS
  • Ability to recover model files and reimport into Gmax (via 3DS)
  • So many...

Which functionality are you missing most in ModelConverterX?

Here is an overview (in random order) of the feedback received:

  • Platforms
  • FS2004 aircraft MDL files
  • Conversion of FS2004 aircraft to FS X scenery MDL
  • Keeping imported animations intact
  • An exporter to X-Plane obj format should be useful
  • Export BGL geo-located
  • Night view
  • Export to FSDS FSC
  • Maybe the ability to open Gmax/3dsmax files directly
  • I could see some value in converting a generic building XML into an MDL
  • Export in Gmax native format - with full FSX materials
  • Reading and exporting of Bump Map "percentage" amount into FSX MDLs (always seems to set to maximum bump)
  • Export of FS2004 animations
  • I would like very much to minimize drawcalls for a group of objects (like everything in a library BGL), both day and night textures
  • Transparent textures from COLLADA to MDL
  • The ability to open FS2004 aircraft models, review models for missing textures, misnamed textures, incorrect attachments and correct as needed and export in FSX format. Yes, some might abuse this functionality and release "new" FSX models that really pirated from older FS2004 versions, but having this functionality would give folks like myself the ability to upgrade their FS2004 AI (for example).
  • A beer dispenser would be nice
  • None at moment

Other feedback or suggestions

Here is an overview (in random order) of the feedback received:

  • Very often i use Library Creator XML after I used ModelConverterX, maybe the functionality of Library Creator XML could enrich ModelConverterX
  • What about the difference between FSX and FS9 alpha (transparency) problems? The FS2004 SDK built alpha channel is not working properly in FSX. Is it possible to easily solve, convert with this tool?
  • I'd like to be able to convert multiple objects in a row but still maintain the ability to see the textures on the model.
  • When SketchUp uses components for construction, ModelConverterX interprets each component as using a separate texture, even if they are indeed the same texture. It would be nice if you didn't have to select the same texture over and over in the materials editor.
  • This is a wonderful little program, and does EXACTLY what I want it to 96% of the time

Analysis

Tasks

When the tasks are put in order of popularity, the following list is the result:

  1. Convert objects
  2. View objects
  3. Edit objects

Importers

When the importers are put in order of popularity, the following list is the result:

  1. FSX MDL files
  2. Library BGL files
  3. FS2004 scenery MDL files
  4. COLLADA files
  5. SCASM files (including API macros)
  6. FSDS FSC files
  7. Google Earth KMZ files
  8. Wavefront OBJ files

Exporters

When the exporters are put in order of popularity, the following list is the result:

  1. FSX MDL files
  2. FS2004 scenery MDL files
  3. 3DS files
  4. X files
  5. Wavefront OBJ files
  6. OpenFlight files

Functionalities

When the functionalities are put in order of popularity, the following list is the result:

  1. Material editor
  2. Object information dialog
  3. Mass texture editor
  4. Object report
  5. Missing texture finder
  6. Level of detail creator
  7. Drawcall minimizer
  8. Attached object editor
  9. Transform objects (move, rotate, scale)
  10. Batch convert objects
  11. Save preview image