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MSFS MSFS 3d gauges--altimeter keyframes help please

Messages
65
Country
us-washington
I'm new to 3d gauges, but am making good progress with my current MSFS project. I've got most gauges I've created working fine, but am stumped when it comes to figuring out what keyframes and related settings are needed for altitude gauge needles. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Edit: using Blender.
 
Messages
29
Country
germany
Hello,
I'm new in making 3D gauges too, but maybe I can help you. I am also using Blender.
As you can see in the pictures below, I am working on an old glider. It is my first plane, I've ever made, and I have to learn how to make the instruments for it.
At this time, I made four gauges, included an Altimeter with two needles.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Screenshot 2021.05.24 - 18.50.52.82.jpg
1621962703292.png


For this Altimeter I needed 2 animations, one for each needle.
I don't know how informed you are about gauges and their parameters, so I will tell you each step:

1.) - The length of your animation in Blender you will define by yourself in the .xml-file of the aircraft (will show you later)
I used for both needles the animation-length of 900 keyframes, 100 for each 1000 metres hight. (it's a german plane with metres)
My max-hight will then be 9000 metres, enough for an glider. If you need more, take more keyframes.

1621964303314.png


2.) - Now let's take a look at the parameters of the animation in the .xml-file:

You will now see four lines for the altimeter_indicator, each line for one needle of the gauge. I got the same gauge copied for the backseat of the plane, so there are four needles for the altimeters working.
It is very important to know, that two animations cannot have the same name in blender ! So each animation needs it's own line in the .xml-file. But they all can be controlled from the same variables of msfs !
So my airbrakes got 8 animations for the left side, and 8 animations for the right side, but they all work together with the command "Airbrakes".

3.) - The <animation name= you define here (green marked), for examble "altitude_indicator", will be the name of your animation in Blender as you can see in the picture above. (blue marked on the left side)
For more animations you can expand the names with ".001 ; .002 ; .003 ...."

4.) - Each animation needs it's own "GUID". You can download an GUID-Generator to create them. Two lines with the same GUID will cause an error and the aircraft is not working. So work conscientious here.

5.) - The number of the length you define here (900), should be the length of the animation in Blender.

1621965194010.png


The next, and last step are the PartInfo's in the .xml-file:

6.) - The <Name> "altitude_indicator" should be the same as the animation-line above, and the same as the animation-name in Blender.
7.) - The <AnimLength> should here be the same too. (900)
8.) - Now the Parameters:
The <Code> is the name of the Simulation-Variable of MSFS, that sends the values of each gauge you will realize.
It begins with (A: .... then the name of the variable, here "INDICATED ALTITUDE", followed with ", Feet)".
You will find all of the variables here:
https://docs.flightsimulator.com/ht...Variables.htm&rhsearch=simvar table&ux=search
(Scroll down to "Aircraft Flight Instrumentation Data").

The Parameter 32.808399 is the combination of the factor 10 (comes from 100 keyframes for 1000 metres), and the factor 3.2808399 for the calculation feet / metres. (Maybe you can do this another way, but i don't know....)


1621965643916.png


9.) - Now you can save your .xml-file.
10.) - Go to MSFS, open your projekt and let build your package.

Thats it !
.... did I forgot something ? .... I think not.

I hope this will help you to realize your Projekt.
 

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Messages
65
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us-washington
Thanks so much, GlideSimmer67, for going to all this trouble. It's an immense help to me. I'll give your ideas a try tonight and I'll report back here to let you know how it works out. Thanks again.

Edit: I forgot to say nice job on your FIRST plane. It looks great!
 
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Messages
29
Country
germany
Thanks so much, GlideSimmer67, for going to all this trouble. It's an immense help to me. I'll give your ideas a try tonight and I'll report back here to let you know how it works out. Thanks again.

Edit: I forgot to say nice job on your FIRST plane. It looks great!
Thank you.
I hope, I can realize it like my imagination is.
I opened a thread with questions about creating switches and buttons in cockpit, and I hope, i'll get some help there too.
 
Messages
65
Country
us-washington
One last question GlideSimmer67. If you have a sec could you post a screenshot of your Blender animation screen for just one of the needles, showing how you position the keyframes? That would be a huge help!
 
Messages
29
Country
germany
Hi,
here is the complete screenshot:

1622023287501.png


The long needle makes each hundred keyframes one complete rotation !
If you set the keyframes, turn the needle "clockwise" one complete turn forward to set the next keyframe. Then you need to set only one keyframe for each turn of the needle. So there are less keyframes to set.
If you turn the needle "counterclockwise", it will work in the wrong direktion !

The short needle shows the 1000 metres position. So you have to set it to "1" of the scale for each turn of the long needle
You can see it here on the small pictures...

1622025271731.png
1622025313443.png
1622025370072.png
1622025483072.png


If you have set all your keyframes, be sure, to set the "Interpolationmode" to "Linear" ! So your needles will work synchronous to the values.

Mark all your Keyframes with the left-mouse-button, make a rightclick and choose the option like in the Picture here:
1622025997009.png


If you don't do this, the needle will go smooth at the beginning and the end of an keyframe, it shows not in each position the right value.

OK, I hope this will help you to getting forward :)
 
Messages
65
Country
us-washington
Thanks GlideSimmer67. A big help! I've also been watching Brandon's Youtube vids. Without his videos I might have given up trying to make planes for MSFS!
 
Messages
5
Country
unitedstates
I'm happy to see you both had success. I've been following Brandon's videos and for the most part have got most everything he's showed working. However, I haven't had success with the altimeter. I have exactly what you have GlideSimmer67 but when I "build package" my needle doesn't show. BTW, you're doing fantastic 3D work. Wished I was that good. Any help would be appreciated.
 
Messages
29
Country
germany
Hello funflyer68,

We made biggleworth Altimeter working, and I think, we will get yours working too.
Is your altimeter-animation in Blender working good?
I think, the best is to send us some screenshots of your Blender-animation and one of your .xml-file.

At point 4.) of my description from may 25. , I wrote about the GUID for each animation.
This is the most important thing of the animations in the .xml-file.
Most of the mistakes are when copying the line of the animation, and it is forgotten to change the GUID.
Then your animation will not work in MSFS.

I think we will find the fault.
 
Messages
5
Country
unitedstates
Thanks for offering your help. I just now saw this but I finally got it working. I decided to start with a brand new needle and do animation in blender from scratch. I must have renamed it or something with the mesh that was causing issues. I'm actually using Brandon's code since it's in feet. Now I will go get the small wide needle and try it on that one. BTW, what are you using for you faceplate/backplate that has the numbers printed on it. On my airspeed gauge I used a png but on this one I attempted texting in Blender and it was a headache. I've had to make the gauge pretty big in the cockpit or move in real close. Also, with all of the extra mesh it takes a lot longer to export so I don't think it's an effecient way to do it. I would be interested in your thoughts.
 
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13
Country
unitedstates
I've used the Asobo template for the altimeter. I have INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_100, INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_1000, and INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_10000
Each needle is animated for 360 frames, reflecting 360 degrees of rotation.

Following code makes the needles move:

<UseTemplate Name="ASOBO_INSTRUMENT_Altimeter_SubTemplate">
<DONT_APPEND_ID>True</DONT_APPEND_ID>
<NEEDLE_100_FEET>True</NEEDLE_100_FEET>
<NEEDLE_1000_FEET>True</NEEDLE_1000_FEET>
<NEEDLE_10000_FEET>True</NEEDLE_10000_FEET>
<ANIM_NAME_100_FEET>INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_100</ANIM_NAME_100_FEET>
<NODE_ID_100_FEET>INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_100</NODE_ID_100_FEET>
<ANIM_NAME_1000_FEET>INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_1000</ANIM_NAME_1000_FEET>
<NODE_ID_1000_FEET>INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_1000</NODE_ID_1000_FEET>
<ANIM_NAME_10000_FEET>INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_10000</ANIM_NAME_10000_FEET>
<NODE_ID_10000_FEET>INSTRUMENT_Needle_Altimeter_10000</NODE_ID_10000_FEET>
</UseTemplate>

Needle positions match altitude based on SimvarWatcher data.
 
Messages
577
Country
france
Well ... and when Asobo will decide to change his code, your instrument will be to done another time.
They have yet released a Visual Effect Editor and change a lot of things so actual development will be incompatible with SU6 unless you modify again the files generated by the previous version.
I prefer the old fashion: it's more stable even if some points must be done with the Model Behaviors like effects attached to gears.
 
Messages
13
Country
unitedstates
True, Asobo can change the code as they did already with the Xbox release. However, you can save the templates you referenced and integrate them into your mod, no?
 
Messages
577
Country
france
The best is to create your "OWN" templates and not use Asobo's templates, well it's my opinion :cool:.
Anthony has write a topic on this subject.
 
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