• 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:

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Where and What to Begin With

Hi all,

What tools would you recommend to someone to begin learning how to model aircraft and cockpits for the simulator, and what tips would you give them?

A Good Modeling Program, there are several out there, Free, Affordable, and Outrageous . a Paint program that uses Layers . Install and Read, and Read, and Read, and Read the SDK ! Start Small, with a Ball or a Cube, and Learn the Export, Import Process . There are Literally Hundreds of Tutorials out there ! Keep in touch with the People in this Forum, they are Very Helpful, and willing to share their Knowledge, at all levels ! - Johnman
There are two free modelling programs: Gmax and Blender. There's a moderately priced modelling program called FSDS which is less capable than these and a ridiculously expensive one called 3ds Max which is the most capable of all but complete overkill. You should pick one of the free ones and learn to use that. I learned Gmax and it took a year or more.

You're going to need a lorry load of patience: there's a huge amount to learn. Don't immediately start on building Concorde: pick something simple and get it into the simulator as soon as you can.

You'll need the FSX sdk which is on the Deluxe or Gold CDs. If you have the Steam edition the SDK is also there but incomplete and you'll need the Prepar3d 1.4 sdk for the missing bits.

There are tutorials and videos to learn from, just ask. When you get stuck, and you will, just ask.
Use Blender and learn to use the forum search or Google as a primary source of information.
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Hi all,

What tools would you recommend to someone to begin learning how to model aircraft and cockpits for the simulator, and what tips would you give them?

Chris, you have been a member of this forum for over five years. If you have been paying attention then you should know everything you need to know by now. ;)
Right now the question is Blender or not Blender. if you want a solid progress in modelling I think Blender is a good option. Gmax is cool and IMHO is more user friendly. but if you want to jump to another modelling tool in the future it would be 3Ds max which is a lot of money.
I disagree. Right now the question is "can I learn to do this?" Blender wasn't an option when I started, so it's good to have a choice. Pick one tool, stick with it and get busy!
Thanks Tom! I'll check out those videos. I've tried multiple times to make myself sit down with Blender and attempt to learn all it has to offer, but every time it just seems daunting. I might go with Gmax first, just to get started.

Thanks fellas :)
Note that GMax doesn't work too well on Windows 10.

What Milton's tutorials are for GMax is Krispy1001's tutorials for Blender.
Gmax is like 10 or 15 years old or more. No updates in that amount of time.

Blender now has exporting options for FSX, its newest builds are quite recent (updates). Totally freeware and its far more powerful then Gmax.

Gmax and Max are almost the same. Gmax is like Max 4 from long ago with rendering and exporting taken out. I like modern 3DS Max best, but man, they rent it to you at 180.00 clams a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like we model makers are made of money and that is no big deal... like we live on popcorn so we can afford a model program.. sigh...

Blender I think is the way to go. unless you are rich.
I would be the last one to knock the newer tools with enhanced capabilities.

The purpose of the video tutorials is to introduce 3D modeling against 2D plans, the gmax opening screen layout, the tools, concepts, process, and techniques. For basic construction using basic tools, its a lot less daunting than jumping into more complex tools. Gmax is free and may be a good place to start especially for FS2002/FS2004 aircraft and scenery modelers. The key issue new modelers face is getting started, getting over the initial hump; that's where many fall by the wayside. That is what I hope to address. After that, the rest comes relatively easy and just flows.

Once that is accomplished, the new modeler can move to 3dsmax or other tool with basic knowledge of concepts, process, and techniques, most of which should transfer well.

Good luck on your journey; it should be an exciting one.
Hi guys,

I want to export a SimObject with animations from 3ds max 2017 to FSX Steam Edition.
I already have a plane model in 3ds max 2017. Can someone point me to the right documentation or tutorial on how to export it with animations to .mdl format?
I've tried to use Prepar3D v4 SDK and convert it to .mdl from .x file via CMD and XtoMDL but ModelConverterX_130 just won't read the file. FSX doesn't see it also.

I managed to get to something using a MakeMDL_SDK from FS2004SDK but I just can't get the animations to show in ModelConverterX.
When I open the .mdl files from FSX in ModelConverterX everything works like a charm.

I'm watching these tutorials for Blender and trying to export a simple box with animated rudder from max to FSX but no success so far.

Any suggestions on how to do this procedure? Can you please explain to me how to use Prepar3D plugins in 3ds max (Export and LOD tool, Animation Manager) or link me to documentation to this process?