Thursday, June 29, 2006

Touching Base - June 29

The bulk of my design activities over the past couple of weeks have mainly focussed on the FS2004 Bristol Fighter. I have an exterior model and virtual cockpit that I am quite satisfied with. There is very little difference in the external mesh of the CFS3 and FS2004 versions. The virtual cockpit required much rework as mentioned in other posts. There are a few things still to tweak.

Currently I am working on the instrument animations. I am creating what are commonly referred to as smooth gauges, in the land of FS2004 designers. Essentially these are gauges that are animated directly in the model in a similar manner to those in CFS3. The difference between CFS3 and FS2004 is that the gauge math is hard coded in the CFS3 engine, a designer only has to create the key frame animations, whereas in FS2004 xml work and some coding is involved, in addition to key frames. This requires an understanding of RPN (reverse Polish notation), a bit of mathematics (arghh!!), and knowledge of variables supported by the FS2004 sim engine. Quite a learning curve.

I have just started modelling a pilot figure which if successful will be used both in FS2004 and CFS3.

I am also in the process of modelling a Boulton and Paul Defiant for CFS3 which I am in the process of starting.

Once I am on top of the Biff's instruments for FS2004, I'll resume work on the Sopwith Snipe for CFS3. It's unlikely that I will release the Snipe for FS9. I hope to create a Snipe for FS X. However that's a different story.