CONVERTING FS2004 AIRCRAFT TO FSX TUTORIAL

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction and Downloads
Part 1:  Setup
Part 2:  FS2004 Import
Part 3:  Setting Up Landing and Taxi Lights
Part 4:  Conversion to FSX
Part 5:  Saving, Merging, and Animating the Props
Part 6:  Editing Materials and Textures
Part 7:  VC & Appendix
Part 8:  Quick Reference


PART EIGHT - QUICK REFERENCE

Once you have followed the detailed conversion guide in Parts 2 to 6 a few times, you may want a quick "checklist" to remember the order of the steps for any further conversions.  Hopefully this Quick Reference Guide will provide that.
To set up the VC model and for differences between converting the exterior model and the VC, refer to Part 7.

FS2004 IMPORT

1.  Back up your FS2004 file as xxx_FS9.mdl.
2.  Import the plane's MDL file into MCX.
3.  In the Set Condition Variables box, set any custom_anims to 32000.  If loading the Virtual Cockpit, set the gen_model to 1 and the g_lightStates to 0, custom_anims can remain at 0.  Export to xxx_interior.mdl instead throughout.
4.  Check plane's parts for location and animation.
5.  In the Animation Editor, fix unknown animations that do not need separate animations.
6.  Assign animations and visibilities to unknown animations that need them. Animations to SceneGraphNodes and/or ModelParts, and in the Hierarchy Editor visibilities to all ModelParts (only) in the node.

ASSIGN STILL PROP ANIMATIONS, CUSTOM VISIBILITIES AND SPECIAL ANIMATIONS

7.  In the Hierarchy Editor assign proper visibilities to the parts that had custom_anim definitions in the Set Conditions popup box. like airstairs, chocks, ground equipment, etc. Assign to all ModelParts in the node.  For the VC, set animations instead.
8.  In the Animation Editor search and assign proper animation(s) to parts with different animations in FSX vs FS2004, like c_wheel to c_wheel_FS.and reverse any lever_water_rudder animations.

SETTING UP THE LANDING AND TAXI LIGHTS

(Not needed for the VC)

9.  Click Display Attached Objects button. Change to Wireframe Render mode if desired.
10.  Click on  Attached Object Editor button. Find the attachpoints that are to be used.  Delete extras at exactly the same place if desired.
11.  For all landing and taxi lights, set
CustomFileName:  fx_landing
UseAutoGeneratedName:  False
AttachPointName:  a logical name like landing_light_L or taxi_light_nose
Orientation:  (0;0;90) - green line should point forward when deployed.
Position:  Edit as desired to get attachpoint to center of landing/taxi light lens.
12.  Assign visibility conditions to the landing and taxi attachpoints. (search for landing and taxi in Hierarchy Editor)
Landing lights:  general_light
Taxi lights:  light_taxi_visible

FSX CONVERSION

13.  Export Object, type = FSX MDL Object, click on original MDL filename (xxx.mdl), click Save.  Yes to overwrite.  Remember, if you are exporting the VC, use xxx_interior.mdl.
14.  Use RADItor or MDL Tweaker to check and change bounding box, if needed.  This instruction will not be repeated again; if you needed to change the bounding box, do this after each export before viewing in sim.
15.  View in sim, if there are displaced parts try Importing the converted MDL and using Export Object again.
16.  Make a backup of this MDL file, called xxx_FSX1.mdl.  (xxx is the name of the original mdl file).

ISOLATING THE SLOW PROPS

(For the VC (if it includes props) use the  prop filess already isolated for the exterior model)

17.  Set CollapseNodes to FALSE.
18.  Import the FS2004 MDL file, called xxx - FS9.mdl.
19.  In popup Set Condition Variables box set prop0/1/2/3_still to 5000.
20.  Find the engine0/1/2/3 parts in the Animation Editor, change:
        prop0_still to prop0_slow
        prop1_still to prop1_slow
        prop2_still to prop2_slow
        prop3_still to prop3_slow
21.  In the Hierarchy Editor, type prop in search box.  Add the prop0/1/2/3_slow visibility conditions to all model Parts in the slow prop nodes.
22.  Export Object to xxx_FSX_Temp.mdl.
23.  Import xxx_FSX_Temp.mdl.
24.  In the Hierarchy Editor, type prop into search box and select all slow prop SceneGraphNodes and ModelParts.  Clear the search with the pencil button (Clear Search).
25.  Select the node  from just below the bottom slow prop to the bottom of the file (keeping in the same vertical line).  Press the Remove button.
27.  Remove any ModelParts at the bottom of the file (do not delete the Crash Tree). The bottom prop part should be at the bottom of the file.
28.  Remove any nodes between the prop parts, working upward until you have all of them at the bottom.  All the prop parts should be at the bottom of the file.
29.  Remove any nodes above the prop parts in the same vertical line.

select up

30.  Remove any nodes above the prop parts in the vertical line to the left of that node above.  Avoid SceneGraphNodes and ModelParts that start a new line to the right of their attached line.

remove up to top
  
31.  Export Object, giving it a name of xxx_props_slow.mdl.

ISOLATING THE BLURRED PROPS

32.  Repeat steps 17 through 30, but this time:
Enter 10000 into the prop_still  lines of the popup Set Condition box. to get the blurred props.
Change the animations:
prop0_still to prop0_blurred
prop1_still to prop1_blurred
prop2_still to prop2_blurred
prop3_still to prop3_blurred
Change the visibilities to prop0/1/2/3_blurred.
33.  Export Object to xxx_FSX_Temp.mdl (overwrite)
Import xxx_FSX_Temp.mdl back into MCX.
Delete the parts that are not the blurred props, but leave the extra required parts as before.
34.  Export Object to xxx_props_blurred.mdl.

MERGING THE PROPS INTO THE AIRCRAFT

35.  Import the plane's MDL file (xxx.mdl).
36.   If the isolated slow props included any other parts, Remove them in the Hierarchy Editor.
37.  Click the Merge Objects button.
38.  Load the xxx_props_slow.mdl file and press Merge.
39.  Export Object as xxx.mdl (overwrite).
40   Import xxx.mdl.
41.  If the isolated blurred props included any other parts, Remove them in the Hierarchy Editor.
42.  Click the Merge Objects button.  Load the xxx_props_blurred.mdl file.  Press Merge.
43.  Export Object as xxx.mdl (overwrite).
44   Import xxx.mdl.

ASSIGN VISIBILITIES TO THE STILL PROPS

45.  Type in still into the Hierarchy Editor search box.  Click on one and Clear Search.  Assign visibility conditions to all parts in that node.  If the animation of the main node is prop0_still, assign prop0_still visibilities to all ModelParts in that node.
46.  Continue assigning visibilities to parts with  prop0/1/2/3_still animations, adding them only to all the ModelParts in that node.
47.  Export Object  to xxx.mdl. (overwrite).
48.  Check in the sim, if you have displaced parts Import the plane back into MCX and Export it again (overwrite).
49.  Make a backup of this MDL file, calling it xxx_FSX2.mdl.

SETTING UP THE MATERIALS AND TEXTURES

(For the VC, see Part 7 for any special situations)

50.  If you want a material to have a night texture:
Emissive Properties
Emissive Mode:  MultiplyBlendUserControlled
Textures
Emissive texture:  night texture name (i.e. xxx_L.bmp).
Specular texture:  remove any name here if desired.

51.  If you want it to be shiny:
Colors
Specular Color:  55,55,55
Specular Highlights
Specular Level:  64

52. If you want it to have bare metal reflections:
Special Functionality
Blend environment by inverse diffuse alpha:  True
Reflection Scale:  0.8
Specular Map Power Scale:  64
Use global environment map as reflection:  False
(this can be set to true, but I prefer this False and:

Textures:
Environment texture:  GLOBALENV_AC_CHROME.DDS
(a better version is available, see tutorial for details)

53.  If you want a material to have some transparency:
Drop down  box at top:  Set Default Transparent
Click Apply button.

54.  If you want a realistic glass texture:
Alpha Test
Apha Test Function:  Always
Z-Test Alpha:  True

Bloom
No Specular Bloom:  True

Colors
Specular Color:  55,55,55

Enhanced Parameters
Z-Write Alpha: True

Final Alpha Blend
Final Alpha Multiply:  255
Set Final Alpha at Render Time:  True

FrameBufferBlend
Destination Blend:  InvSrcAlpha
Source Blend:  SrcAlpha

Special Functionality
Blend diffuse by diffuse alpha:  True
Reflection Scale:  2
Specular Map Power Scale:  256
Use global environment map as reflection:  False

Specular Hightlights
Specular Level:  64

Textures:
Environment texture:  GLOBALENV_AC_CHROME.DDS

55.  These can be added to the drop down box using the Material Template Editor.
56. Repeat as needed for all materials.
57. Export Object to xxx.mdl (overwrite).
58.  Check in the sim, fix displaced parts if needed.
59. Reset the final bounding box if needed using RADItor or MDL Tweaker.
60.  Make a backup of the final MDL file as xxx_FSX_Final.mdl.

Hope you made it all the way to the bottom - thanks for reading my tutorial!