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



For the most part, the Virtual Cockpit (VC) is handled exactly like the exterior model; there are only a few special situations to consider.  Unless specified below, follow the tutorial's instructions.

WARNING!  In ModelConverterX you must have Options/ObjectModel Settings/Remove Scaling set to TRUE for the click spots to work in the VC!.

FS2004 Import

1.  When importing the FS9 model, in the Set Condition Variables box set the gen_model to 1 and the g_lightStates to 0.  The VC does not need any landing or taxi lights.
2.  There will likely be one or more Custom_Anim lines in this box.  In my experience, leaving these at 0 is fine but that may vary?
3.  Try to assign the custom_anim lines in the Animation Editor to definitions in the Animation Editor, if possible.  Generally MCX does a great job of creating these, but occasionally there may be a slight difference in the range of motion.  For these custom animations you would need to have the original animation definitons (added to a  modeldef.xml file), so unless you are the plane's author you will probably just stick with the MCX custom_anim definitions.
4.  One thing you may need to do to get the trim knobs to move in the cockpit is to change the Animations to:


5.  Another thing to check is each of the materials that begin with the $ sign in the Material Editor.  If the Z-Bias value is not 0, change it to 0 before any conversion.

Isolating and Merging the Props

1.  If the VC does not include propllers, you can skip this section.
2.  If it does include them, you can Merge the isolated slow and blurred prop MDL files already created for the exterior model., using the method described for the exterior model.

Assigning Landing and Taxi Lights

These are not needed by the VC, because they are supplied by the exterior model.

FSX Conversion

1.  When you Export the VC, choose a name like xxx_interior.mdl.  Do not overwrite your exterior model file!
2.  Use a name including _interior for all other files you create (such as backups), so you know they are for the VC.
3.  Once you have the xxx_interior.mdl file created and it is located in the plane's model folder, you can view it in FSX or later by:
      a.  Open the model.cfg file in the plane's model folder.
      b.  Add a line at the bottom:  interior=xxx_interior   where xxx_interior is the name of your VC MDL file.
      c.  Save the file, and reload FSX or later.
4.  Occasionally I will have one or more parts that do not display in the VC.  They are present in MCX, but invisible in the sim.  What I've done so far is load the FS9 VC, isolate that/those part(s), and save as a separate FSX MDL file.  Then remove that/those part(s) from the converted VC, and Merge them back into the model. from the separate file.

Setting Up the Materials and Textures

1.  There are different ways to design and build VCs.  The only way I have done this is:
      a.  Build the VC with large rectangles for the panel areas.  Place gauges onto these rectangles.
      b.  Specify day textures for these rectangles in the panel.cfg file and place those textures into the Panel folder.
      c.  Place night textures for these rectangles in the plane's Texture folders.
      I have only made this conversion on those types of VCs.  Therefore, I cannot gaurantee results with other types, but it's certainly worth a try.
2.  In the Material Editor you will find materials that begin with the $ sign.  In the DC-6B those are $pan1 and $panl2.  These textures do not have a BMP extension.  These need to have night textures applied in the usual way.  The nightmap textures should be specified without the $ sign and with a BMP extension.  For example, the emissive texture for the $pan1 texture would be specified as pan1_L.bmp.  Leave the day texture as $pan1.
3.  In some VCs, the area around the gauges may be black.  In this case apply Set Default Transparent to the $ materials.
4.  The other textures are handled in the same way as in the exterior model.


This section will discuss the uses and tricks for the modeldef.xml animation and visibility definitions added by the file downloaded from this tutorial.
 _2 is for twin engined planes, _4 is for 4 engine planes


light_taxi_visible - used to make taxi light effects appear only when the taxi light is pressed.  The default general_light definition will do the same thing for landing lights.
L_chocks_2, L_chocks_4, R_chocks_2, R_chocks_4 - for wheel chocks that will appear when the engines on that side are stopped and the parking brake is set.
airstairs_2, airstairs_4 - for airstairs objects on the left side of the plane.  Will appear when the passenger door is open, the engines on the left side are stopped, and the parking brake set.
ground_equipment - for ramp equipment.  Will appear when all engines are stopped and the parking brake is set.
maint_pltfm_2, maint_pltfm_4 - for maintenance steps on the right side of the plane.  Will appear when door #3 is open, the engines on the right side are stopped, and the parking brake set.
gear_down_visible - not used in this tutorial, but useful for old or simple planes that use a black polygon for a wheel well that needs to disappear when the gear is up.
gear_travel_visible - not used in this tutorial, but used for the same purpose as gear_down_visible.  For gear wells where the gear door opens, the gear extends, and the gear door closes again.


c_wheel_FS9 -  There are a few animations that are different between FS2004 and FSX.  One is the c_wheel animation, which (according to the SDKs) is animated from keyframe 100-200 in FS2004 and from 0 to 200 in FSX.  When converting an FS2004 model that uses the FS2004 animation, a different definition is needed.