• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
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    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

Understanding aircraft animations in Blender (familiar with X-Plane development)

Hi everyone,

I recently reinstalled MSFS again and it has always been on my bucket list to work through the SDK and port some of my X-Plane models over. I am reasonably proficient with Blender and have created 3D assets for various different sims and game engines. The MSFS SDK refers to a lot of 3DS Max terminology and workflows that seem a little different from what I am used to and I would like to make sure I understand things correctly before I dive in.

Traditionally I would use Empties (as bones) in Blender for all my animations. For an elevator for instance I would then parent the elevator mesh to the elevator empty and perform my animations on the empty directly. It is my understanding that the same workflow applies to modelling for MSFS using Blender. Using empties I could then nest complex animations for landing gear etc, while all are being driven by the same dataraf/sim variable.

Where the SDK starts confusing me when it states that elevator animations are handled in 3 frames (down, neutral, up). I agree with the keyframe states but I am not fond of using only 3 frames for my animations. Typically I would start at say frame 1 for down, frame 51 for neutral and 101 for up for instance. Seeing that MSFS (much like X-Plane) evaluates animation progress as a percentage, the number of frames between the keyframes should not make a difference. Am I taking the 3 frame approach as discussed in the SDK too literal?

If anyone here is familiar with X-Plane development and have gone through this process before, any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated to help understand what the big differences for animations are.