AI drones and FSX

AI drones and FSX

Postby BeechV35Pilot » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:36 pm

How does FSX handle the drones that fly about the PE skies? Does PE tell FSX what aircraft models to use from the pilot's library of installed aircraft? If so, can these specific aircraft choices be changed by the pilot?

Either the number or the type of aircraft being chosen for the AI drones is causing an occasional but pretty noticeable drop in my frame rates. Is there a way to tell PE to use other aircraft, for example those designed to be AI aircraft (very low detail from afar, which means low hit to framerates) if I have those types installed?

If not, this would be a very appreciated enhancement to the client software.
Regards,
Peter
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby Brandon Grchan » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:34 pm

What is your multiplayer visibility range set to in the client?

Sometimes having this value to high can cause issues. I usually keep mine set at around 15 miles as you cant see traffic much farther than that in the sim.
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby Keith Smith » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:13 pm

It is possible to adjust the mappings based on aircraft icao code, rather then drone vs real.
If you are interested, I will post some info about how to do that.
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby BeechV35Pilot » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:49 am

Keith Smith wrote:It is possible to adjust the mappings based on aircraft icao code, rather then drone vs real.
If you are interested, I will post some info about how to do that.


Absolutely. Please do.

I will also look into the visibility range. I didn't think it was too high for that reason (since realistically one cannot even see aircraft 7-10 miles out) but let me look and report back here.
Regards,
Peter
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:34 am

in the PilotEdge\aircraft folder you'll see a series of .smx, .sms, or .sm9 files. These are aircraft mapping files for PilotEdge. The SMS files (if there are any), will be loaded by FS9 and FSX. The SM9 files are only loaded by FS9 (FS2004), and the SMX files are only loaded by FSX. The reasons for this will become obvious shortly.

Let's examine the pe.smx file:
Beech+Baron+58+Paint1 BE58
Beech+King+Air+350+Paint1 BE20
Cessna+Skyhawk+172SP+Paint1 C172
Learjet+45 LJ45
Mooney+Bravo M20T
Piper+Cub J3
Piper+Cherokee+180 P28A
Boeing+747-400+Paint1 B744
Cessna+Grand+Caravan C208
de+Havilland+Dash+8-100 DH8B
Douglas+DC-3 DC3
Extra+300S E300
McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing+MD-83 MD83
;
Bombardier+CRJ+700+Paint1 CRJ7
Boeing+737-800+Paint1 B738


The first field on each line is the FSX aircraft title, with spaces being replaced with + signs. The second field is the aircraft ICAO code. There are also additional fields to identify the airline and livery when they're applicable, but I'll leave them out for simplicity sake.

PilotEdge uses a 'closest match' algorithm to determine which aircraft to use to represent a given aircraft. For example, if a C182 joins the session and we don't have a C182 explicitly listed in the mapping file, it will consult the 'related.txt' file (in the PE root directory), where it finds this line:
C120 C140 C150 C152 C170 C172 C175 C177 C180 C182 C185 C188 C190 C195 C205 C206 C207 C208 C210 C72R C82R C77R CMAS ULAC P210


In this case, a C182 is related to a C172, and since we DO have a C172, it would use that instead.

We ship with a set of low-fidelity multiplayer aircraft (the vip.sms and sb.sms mapping files), but we also make use of the higher fidelity models that ship with FS2004 and FSX. If you want to remove the high fidelity models, simply remove or alter the extension of the pe.smx/pe.sm9 files to .bak and they will no longer be used by PE.

Btw, if anyone has the Ultimate Traffic add-on, feel free to build a sms file to capture all of those models/liveries and post it here.
I hope this helps.
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby BeechV35Pilot » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:39 am

Excellent info, Keith. Thank you for taking the time to post. I will definitely dive into this with my setup over the weekend.
Regards,
Peter
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby BeechV35Pilot » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:15 pm

Keith, is there a hierarchy of these SMS/SMX files that PE uses to determine which aircraft model to use? In other words, does PE first search PE.SMX, then SBX.SMS, and finally VIP.SMS (and I suppose after that, the related text file) in order to determine what model is used in the sim when required?

Here's my scenario -

I have a really complete set of AI Cessna single engine aircraft I had purchased for FS9 back in the day that I have converted over to FSX. In this set of AI aircraft are C120s all the way up to C208 Grand Caravans. What makes this set perfect for AI and multiplayer aircraft are the number models and paints that came with the package, as well as their very low hit to frame rates.

What I would like to do is to use these models in place of the FSX-delivered models listed in the PE.SMX file. Thus, if I wanted to replace the default FSX C172 used in PE with one of these models, I would make the following change in the PE.SMX file (yes, I have backed up all three of these files in the event I make a mistake):

Replace:

Cessna+Skyhawk+172SP+Paint1 C172

with:

HTAI+Cessna+172+Skyhawk+01 C172 (this is the aircraft title of the model and variant of the AI Cessna 172 added to my hangar of FSX aircraft)

Is that correct and will it work?

Second quick question - if there is a hierarchy of files searched and I wanted to add a model currently not in the PE hangar collection (not counting the 'related.txt' aircraft), to what file would I add this model?

The above-mentioned set of AI aircraft has a C182 and I would like to add that rather than use the 'related.txt' method for using similar models.
Regards,
Peter
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby Marcus Becker » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:54 am

I'm going through my aircraft list and matching what is flying around as drones so I can see the appropriate type should I have it. Working very well so far. The one aircraft I can't seem to make appear is helicopters. I can't seem to get any to display. Not even as the wrong model.
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby Marcus Becker » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:58 pm

I like they way my drones are looking now (minus rotor craft, but I understand the problem with that and FSX). However, I did my first flight in the dark tonight and I noticed that I can't see any airplanes again because their lights weren't on. I verified that the drones where there by right clicking and selecting one of them to view. I could then verify that the lights weren't on. I don't suppose there is a way to correct that?
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Re: AI drones and FSX

Postby Keith Smith » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:16 pm

That would only occur if the models don't have lights on them. The lighting setting for all drones is correct afaik. However, if you find specific drones where the lights aren't on for a phase of flight where they should be on, and you find other drones of the same aircraft type where the lights ARE on (ie, the lighting problem is specific to one of the drones), then let me know. Otherwise, it's an AI model issue where they haven't enabled lighting on that model.
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