... the place where I learned that there is more to Microsoft's Flight Simulator than just flying.
FSDeveloper is by far the most friendly and competent place and community if you want to dive into the mysterious undergrounds of Flight Simulator.
If you come here as a complete newbie, you will be treated very friendly and you will find a lot of help. The wise guys who were the first to shed some light on what's going on under the hood of FS 2000 are still around. Click on the logo below to visit FSDeveloper.
Arno Gerretsen, who runs the FSDeveloper site, has published some extraordinary and unique tools there. All of them have their own support forum. Click on the images to open the wiki tutorial for each program.
ModelConverterX - FS9/FSX
ModelConverterX converts model files from different sources and programs. Objects designed for Scasm (API, SCM and SCA) can be imported as well as certain FS9 and FSX objects. A good reason to convert old objects is to get better performance. In some tests the conversion of 30 API objects to the FSX MDL format resulted in an improved frame rate of about 10 frames.
ModelConverterX also supports the conversion of animated objects and has unique features like pseudo automatic LOD creation. It is still under heavy development.
In Flight Simulator, a library is a file (BGL) that contains scenery objects. You can reference the objects in such a library and place them in the scenery. There are some advantages to using objects from a library instead of working with mdl files. For example, the simulator only needs to load an object from a library once, even if it is placed multiple times.
Library Creator XML is a graphical interface for creating libraries. It allows you to easily add, update and delete model files. For FS9 it creates the GUIDs (in FSX the GUID is part of the model file). After you have assembled all the objects, Library Creator XML will generate the XML code and compile the BGL file.
With ActiGate you can access Flight Simulator variables that are normally not available and provide this information to your scenery. The module reads this information from the FS memory via FSUIPC. Your scenery can then check these variables to perform special actions. Variables available through the module are for example:
* Aircraft type used by the user
* If the parking brake is set or not
* If it is raining or snowing
* The day of the week
CAT stands for Conditional Animation Tool. CAT allows you to attach conditions to your GMax animations, which run endlessly by default. For example, you might want a hangar to open when you approach the door and close when you enter.
CAT allows you to modify animations so that you can trigger them depending on a FS variable and have the animation run only once.
With MDL Tweaker you can tweak scenery objects (mdl files) without having to access and modify the ASM source code. Instead the tool changes the hex code of the MDL file. Following tweaks are supported:
* Rotation to the user
* Rotation with the wind
* Display depending on specific condition