Question Orbiter Development Overview?

Balto-the-Wolf-Dog

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I've broken into developing mods for a few games now, and so far it seems the best way to go about it is to just start a general thread and hope for the best. Most of my development experience has been with KSP, but recently I've been getting a nostalgic urge to revisit Orbiter since it was my primary simulator from 2006-2013, and I'd like to revisit it developing. As such, I was hoping I could get a quick overview of what the workflow looks like and maybe a feel for how it compares to KSP and FSX, the two I've worked on in the past.

I'm a 3dsMax modeler for the most part, if it's relevant, but I'm competent enough with blender to use it for format conversions should it be necessary.

For what it's worth, the cockpit below is a recent KSP project of mine. Perhaps it can give you some idea of what you're working with, particularly since I'm a first time poster.

4P91BpX.png

PbzPVDA.png


The short version is I'm basically competent (I think), but not really good. I have managed to be successful with FSX though, which I hear is on the upper end of development difficulty. Here's hoping Orbiter is a bit less arduous.



A few specific questions to begin:

  • What does exporting look like? Are there any intermediary programs involved?
    What about with respect to virtual cockpits? How should they be arranged to properly align with the exterior? I'm assuming by coincident origins, since that's how it seems to work elsewhere.
    What are Orbiter's systems for transparency and general window behavior?
    What are Orbiter's likes and dislikes with respect to model topography and texture development (is there a hard poly limit; tris or quads; what are my texture options (diffuse, spec, bump, etc); is it okay to have multiple materials per mesh; etc)?
    How does Orbiter handle lift, wings, and engines?
    How much of the above can I get a good handle on by doing exploratory surgery on other work, and where should I be looking?
    What are some common stupid mistakes?

Thanks for whatever help you guys can offer. Looking forward to getting back to my space sim roots and building some full scale models instead of parts of models.
 

marcogavazzeni

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Welcome to the Orbiter community.


I suggest downloading the latest version of Orbiter and reading the files in the Doc and SDK folder, you'll get information about 3D models and programming.

I also suggest downloading spacecraft4 if you are not capable of programming in C ++.

The D3D9 for visual effects(diffuse, spec, bump, etc).

OrbiterSound4.0 by Dansteph

:cheers:
 

Capt_hensley

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I've broken into ... ...of parts of models.

I model in 3DS max as well, I'll be facing the same challenges you're asking about here, look forward to any progress you make. Been working on H-10-K Gateway Station for years now, currently in revision 60. See my thread. Never been flown in full up capacity, keep running into limits with respect to poly count and high res textures in 3DS MAX which prevent me from assembling the entire station. over 400 separate modules comprise the station, I'm luck to get 6 in proximity with each other in orbiter, calling me a novice is an understatement. I'll be needing to mimic the ISS A-Z model, some coding for animation, and a massive rewrite of how Docking, Berthing, and Latching, and Peripheral Attachment mechanisms work in the orbiter environment. To date I count over 700 attach points that must be type matched, and mapped. Good luck, I'll be monitoring for tips, tricks, and procedures.
 

4throck

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A few specific questions to begin:
  • What does exporting look like? Are there any intermediary programs involved?
    What about with respect to virtual cockpits? How should they be arranged to properly align with the exterior? I'm assuming by coincident origins, since that's how it seems to work elsewhere.
    What are Orbiter's systems for transparency and general window behavior?
    What are Orbiter's likes and dislikes with respect to model topography and texture development


For that I'd advise setting up some simple test geometries and materials.
Much faster to export a few meshes see what works that way.
There are no set guidelines, you must see what works on your case.

A VC can be a separate mesh or part of the overall mesh.
You can place the meshes at any relative position or rotation (using code).
But yes, the simplest way is to have the same center (requires less or no code).
 
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