MSFS 2020

All things Military AI that don't fit anywhere else.
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TheSilverSurfer
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MSFS 2020

Post by TheSilverSurfer »

Hello. I am a newbie on the site so pardon me if the question is dummy...
I can't find any package or file to download in th file library for MSFS 2020.

Is this site limited to FSn and P3D ?
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Firebird
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by Firebird »

Hi there.
It is certainly not a dumb question. The answer is yes and no.

At the moment there is no MSFS packs. This is not because we are ignoring it or even want to ignore it. It is simply that not all the pieces are yet available from Asobo to enable us to produce them. Until they get the AI engine sorted and finished it will unfortunately remain that way.

However, I can report that behind the scenes some developers are at this moment starting to investigate the process so that we can hit the ground running - once all the pieces are available.
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barticus300
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by barticus300 »

Any news or progress on getting some military Ai into MSFS2020 yet guys ?
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TimC340
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by TimC340 »

Frankly, you may be best asking that question of Asobo and Microsoft!

There are a number of issues with AI in MSFS which Asobo have acknowledged. On their Feedback Snapshot, it shows that resolving the issues has 'started', but there's no more detail.

Some MAIW users have managed to convert a few FSX aircraft to appear in MSFS, but I believe that getting them to work as AI in the way we understand it in FSX/P3D has not yet been achieved in a repeatable and reliable way - and the experiences seem to have varied widely. Kai over at AI Group has been co-opted on to the group advising Asobo on how to improve the AI implementation, and I think we all hope that some results from that aren't too far away.

In the meantime, I believe there is work going on within the community to streamline the aircraft conversion process from FSX to MSFS, and there are now a fair few UK military airfields on flightsim.to, so I would hope that an official MAIW MSFS 'department' is on the horizon!
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John Young
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by John Young »

I did at the weekend, manage to get one of my Tornado's to appear in MSFS and to fly an IFR circuit and land. That followed some detailed tutoring from Pete to understand the conversion process. Each version of the simulator made it harder to design AI aircraft. FS9 was relatively straight forward, while FSX introduced animation tagging to make designing much more time consuming. MSFS re-jigs everything and is probably 10 times more complex and time consuming to produce a workable AI aircraft, if indeed that is possible at this stage, given the deficiencies that Microsoft/Asobo have acknowledged.

Although the Tornado flew the circuit, half the animation didn't work. The FDE was so slow, the speed triggers, eg for the swing wings were not reached. None of the braking devices, like the spoilers, thrust reversers and Horizontal Stabiliser deflection on landing worked either. It's really a case now of changing the FDE and exploring xml code that MSFS will accept that can be used to trigger the animations that are not working.

The problem here is the test time. If I need to change anything in the Gmax model, I have to go through the conversion process again. That, with a bit of practice, might take an hour because it has to be done carefully. Loading the sim to the test flight takes 5 minutes and a circuit to view the braking devices takes another 25 minutes, including the taxi time.

There is no traffic view window in MSFS, so observation depends on practice with an Xbox controller to follow the aircraft with the Drone Camera around the circuit. That can only be done at normal speed at the moment - I can't speed up the AI aircraft to get it around the circuit faster, not can I slow to 1/4 speed so that I can view the animation in slow motion, like the gear retraction. It's quite easy to lose the aircraft completely and have to start the flight again.

So each test can take 90 minutes compared to about 10 minutes in the other sim versions. Those versions allowed me to make changes and test at will. Now, I can only do 3 or 4 tests a day, involving a change to the model source.

It will help enormously, once we know for sure what xml code works for the various animations in MSFS. Until then, there's a lot more work involved in trying to figure it all out. I haven't even mentioned PBR texturing.

I'll keep at it, because I like the new sim very much and it would be great to have AI working as we know it. That's until my sanity calls a halt and the fun drops out of the task.

John
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TimC340
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by TimC340 »

I suspect that what little information exists in the SDK refers to models made in 3DsMax, and I think that's currently the only officially-supported creative 3D program - and it costs a fortune. However, there is a conversion plug-in available for Blender (2.8 and later) which I understand works well (available at FSDeveloper) and also a preset for the free program Armour Paint for PBR material creation. (here). Of course, that means learning Blender, and you know how I feel about that, John!

None of that helps with the testing, however.
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John Young
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by John Young »

The cheapest 3DsMax option costs £5610 for a 3 year licence. That's out of the question. I don't want to learn Blender either and then still have to rely on a conversion program to model for MSFS. That method might preclude me continuing to provide models for FSX and P3D users unless I use sim specific conversion after that. The best all round option for me is to continue to make FSX native models to serve all 3 sim versions and to try and get the MSFS conversion from the FSX native models, working well.

John
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TimC340
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by TimC340 »

To be a little clearer, the conversion plug-in to allow Blender to create for MSFS "features a customized glTF 2.0 exporter, batch export for multi-LOD scenes, and support for all 15 materials of the sim platform." In other words, I believe it produces output that is just as valid as any from 3dsMax. There is also a similar plug-in to allow export in FSX/P3D-compatible formats. That doesn't alter the fact that Blender is a nightmare to learn, but it should be possible to use it to create FSX models which can then also be exported in an MSFS-compatible form. However, that's my understanding, not a statement of personal experience. There is, of course, much discussion over at FSD for those who are interested in taking it further.

Yes, 3dsMax is out of the question for the majority of us!
TheSilverSurfer
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by TheSilverSurfer »

Hello. Any updated intel ?
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John Young
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Re: MSFS 2020

Post by John Young »

Not as far as building from scratch with Blender is concerned, but certainly by converting from FSX native AI models.

One of the reasons for me discontinuing FS9 models was to free time to be spent on learning conversion to MSFS - a lot of time indeed as it's turned out.

We are indebted to Pete (PB68) who piloted the conversion process and has tried to teach some of us the techniques, also taking a lot of his limited time. It's a tortuous route that has a few booby traps - the inability to save after the first stage of MCX conversion and come back to it (the second stage has to be completed in one go), and an SDK that changes from time to time.

This is my Tornado GR1 conversion, fully functioning as AI, including afterburner and PBR textures, with a lot of input from Pete:

Image

What I am doing now is trying the whole process myself, with Pete's guidance, so that I can do it again and again, hopefully. I've learned a lot about PBR texturing and can apply it to my part-converted F-35A model. It's a bit dark in tone at the moment:

Image

I think I might have corrected that, but as a further example of how frustrating MSFS can be, I've spent about 4 hours now, trying to get the aircraft to display again in MSFS, without success. I'm going to have another go this afternoon.

Now that I know it can be done, I want to stick with it, but it's eating up time that I can't spend doing other FSX and P3D stuff at the moment. All part and parcel of trying to move forward I guess.

John
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