Notes on the RotateToAircraft Modification


Do you want to make your people or trees always face your view point? Here are a couple of really simple ways of doing this. This is information gleened from various FS forums and assembled here for easy reference. I am NOT a programmer or real good at understanding programming languages.

In the first case, I have made a single sided polygon in FSDSv1 as described in Populating Your FS World. and exported it as an API macro for Airport for Windows. If you are using FSDSv2, it seems to be pretty much the same. The file was exported to the

C:\Program Files\Airport for Windows\UserAPI

directory where I keep the APIs that I make or download.

Next, open the API file with a regular text editor and look for the line I have highlighted and underlined in the image below. If you click on the image, it will open the complete original text in a new window.



The modification is highlighted and underlined the image below. Clicking on the image will open the modified text in a new window.


After making the modification, save and test it out. Real simple, huh?


But you say "I don't use FSDS!!! I use Max" OK, not a problem! Make a single sided poly in Max, assign material and texture and export Keeping Files along the way till you have a *.ASM and *_0.ASM.

The export path I use for 3dsMax is
3dsMax > PandasoftX file exporter plugin > *.X file.

The export path I use for gMax is
gMax > FSModelExp.dle ( gamepack / plugin / exporter, whatever you want to call it. ) > Middleman > MdlCommander > *.X file.

The following apply to either 3dsMax or gMax:

Compile the *.X file to a BGL file with the latest version of MAKEMDL.EXE from the MakeMdl SDK with the Keep Files option checked. Assign a lat/lon and so on if you are going to a standalone BGL file. Set your lat/long to all Zeros if you are going to a library file in the end via FSRegen. Now you should have the ASM file to modify. You can delete the BGL file that was just made.

After the modifications are made, compile to a BGL file using BGLC.EXE and place it in your Scenery directory or process with FSRegen.

Arno Gerretsen, of the NL2000 Team and someone I admire for his scenery and programming knowledge, has rightly pointed out that is is NOT necessary to have Middleman and MdlCommander in the export cycle when when exporting from gMax to get to the ASM files. But you DO need the MAKEMDL.EXE from the SDK so you can select the Keep Files option. The older versions did not have this option.

Keeping *.X files is just a personal preference of mine as I can make changes in them as well as view and render them in DeepExploration as well as combining more than one file into one in MAKEMDL.EXE.

Open the *.ASM file ( NOT the *_0.ASM file ) with a text editor and look for what I have highlighted and underlined in the image below. Again, clicking on the image opens the source text in a new window.



Replacement lines are highlighted and underlined in the image below. Clicking on the image opens a new window with the modified source text.



If you are processing with FSRegen you will have to fix any APIs generated in the same way I have done with the FSDS made API.

This page was made on September 21, 2003 and at that time all links were tested and functional.