Real Flight Content Creation ((!!Please DO NOT post in this thread!!))

Boof69

Well-known member
This thread is here for the express purpose of providing Tutorials and Tips for all related software and processes to create custom content for Real Flight. I ask that you not post within this thread to make it easier to sort through for those seeking help. If you have questions you are welcome to message me.

I feel its most appropriate to start this thread off with the most important information first.

>>These are all of the reference materials offered by Knife Edge<<
These include the Airplane,Helicopter and Airport Objects reference guides as well as the Artist's reference guide.
Airplane Tutorial Includes:
Naming of Parts
Parenting of Objects
Pivots Requirements
Landing Gear and Wheels Setup
Springy Landing Gear
Collision Meshes
Materials & Textures

Helicopter Tutorial Includes:
Parenting of parts
Canopy and Accessories
Stabilizer fins
Tailboom
Rotor Setup
Landing Skids

Airport Objects Tutorial Includes:
Dynamic Scenery Object
Static Scenery Object
Projected Scenery Object
Windmill Object
Windsock Object
Roller Coaster Object
Ferris Wheel Object

Artists Reference Guide Includes:
Additional Information and Examples to support the Airplane and Helicopter Tutorials

Multi-Rotor Reference PDF: (Author Boof69)
Reference Guide includes:
Naming of Parts
Parenting of Objects
Pivots Requirements
Materials & Textures
 
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Boof69

Well-known member
>>Custom Propeller Tutorial<<

This tutorial was made by Zach Brockway an employee of Knife Edge at the time.
Custom propellers works with Real Flight G6 and up.

>>Custom Motor Sound Profile Tutorial<<

This tutorial was made by Ryan Douglas Employee of Knife Edge and Administrator here at these forums
Custom Motor Sounds works with Real Flight G6 and up.

>>Custom Visual Blades Basic Tutorial<<

This tutorial was made by Ryan Douglas Employee of Knife Edge and Administrator here at these forums
Custom Visual Blades works with Real Flight G6 and up.
 

Boof69

Well-known member
Software required for producing content for Real Flight

Free Software:


>>Autodesk 3ds Max<<
3D Design software All aspects of making 3d content for real flight is possible with 3ds Max
Capabilities:
Modeling
Mapping
Hierarchy
Naming
Pivots
Export
This software is free by signing up for as a student and having full access perpetually.
Providing you do not make money using this software it is 100% legal

>>Blender<<
3D Design Software. All aspects of making 3d content for Real Flight is possible with Blender
Capabilities:
Modeling
Mapping
Hierarchy
Naming
Pivots
Export
and it's free!!!!

>>Wings 3D<<
3D design software. Limited design software for making content for Real Flight. You will need to export from wings as .obj. Import into 3ds Max to finish the Hierarchy, Parts Naming, Pivots, and .fbx export.
Capabilities:
Modeling
Mapping

>>Gimp<<
Image editing Software fully capable of creating textures (Color Schemes) for your custom content.
Works in much the same way as Photoshop but not quite as powerful but it is entirely free!

Payed Software:
>>Adobe Photoshop<<
Image editing Software most powerful available. Subscription service only, but kept up to date with new features at no additional cost.

>>AC3D<< Under $100
User friendly 3D design software. Limited design software for making content for Real Flight. You will need to export from AC3D as .obj. Import into 3ds Max to finish the Hierarchy, Parts Naming, Pivots, and .fbx export.
Capabilities:
Modeling
Mapping

This list may be incomplete so PM me if there is something I should add here.

This thread will be concentrating on the workflow I am familiar with, so all tutorials will use Photoshop, 3ds Max and of course Real Flight 9 as of this date.
 
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Boof69

Well-known member
3ds Max User Interface and Workspaces

This video, that I tried to keep short but didn't, is all about the user interface of 3ds Max.
I walk through all of the relevant to Modeling for RealFlight menus and give some examples of features and workspace customization.
 
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Boof69

Well-known member
Setting Up Project Folders and Setting Relative File Paths

This video tutorial will show you how to set a project folder and set all external files to a relative path.
This will keep all you associated files, multiple scene files, autobackups...etc relative within one file location.
You can start a project with the file being on the desktop then move that folder when your project is finished to an external drive or even zip a copy and send it to someone and all associated files will be ready when the scene file is open especially texture files.
 

Boof69

Well-known member
Workspace Customization for 3ds Max

This video will show you how to cut some of the fat from the the workspace layout to give more space for relevant windows and tools.

The save method at the end of the video is incorrect. Attached is a quick walkthrough of a proper workspace save.
 

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Boof69

Well-known member
The Process from 3ds Max to Real Flight (RealFlightBoxTrainer)


The main purpose of this video is not to show how to model but to show all of the required elements for Real Flight to recognize and manipulate your model withing the sim.
This includes:
  • Required Parts
  • Required Pivot direction and Locations
  • Required Naming
  • Required Parenting (Hierarchy)
I made this video years ago but the process is still the same except for the exporting of the model from 3ds Max
KEX files made using the old KEMax plugin for 3ds Max 2012 will still work, along with FBX files generated from 3ds Max using specific settings. We recommend using the 2014/2015 version of the FBX format.

Quoted from Ryan Douglas
FBX Export Settings

The following settings should be set when exporting an FBX from 3ds Max:
  • Smoothing Groups
  • Units - Automatic
  • Version - 2014/2015
The following should definitely not be set:
  • TurboSmooth
  • Split per-vertex Normals
The Vehicle Editor will handle the above automatically. An increase in vertex count is expected. The axis orientation setting will not affect the final imported orientation, so that option can be safely ignored.

Turned edges in Editable Poly objects do not currently function well when imported into the Vehicle Editor with the Preserve edge orientation FBX export setting, so you’ll need to manually convert any existing such objects into Editable Mesh objects first before exporting.

FBX files generated in 3ds Max are the only ones we are currently supporting. Unexpected behavior may occur using FBX files generated through other tools.


File Naming
When importing the FBX file, make sure all associated textures (including normal and specular maps) are located in the same directory as the FBX with the proper naming suffix (_n and _s, respectively). The diffuse texture suffix (_d) is optional. All base names should be identical. Textures are required to be in TGA format.

Note that the name of the imported aircraft will match the name of the imported FBX file, so take this into account when selecting the FBX file name.
 
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