Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Using Animation Keys

Recommended Posts

This tutorial explains how to set up the toggleable animation keys introduced in the previous service packs for all SF series games. This applies to SF, SFG, WOV, WOE and FE.


First, you need to know how animations are created for an aircraft. This is a process that the modeler performs in 3D Studio, so if the modeler did not animate a certain part of the aircraft, such as the canopy, then you will NOT be able to use this method to make that part animate. Within 3D Studio, each animation is assigned an ID number from 0 to 9. So a given aircraft can have up to 10 animations.


As long as the part you want to manipulate has been animated in 3D Studio, you can use the instructions below to assign that animation to a key, so that it can be "played back" at will. Please note that when you activate an animation in this method, it is purely visual. For example, if you toggle the canopy animation while flying at Mach 1, it will open up and nothing else will happen--the game does not "know" that the canopy is open, nor does it care.



Step 1: Assign Keys


From within the game, open the options menu, select Section IV: Control and then click the Customize button on the lower right of the menu.




Next, scroll to the bottom of the Customize Keyboard Map menu and find the section labeled Misc. Commands. Under that section, you will find entries for Animation Key 1 through 10. Assign whatever keys you want to these functions. Be careful not to assign keys that are already used. If in doubt, I suggest assigning the keys as I did in the screenshot below:





Step 2: Configure Aircraft Data File


Browse the folder containing the aircraft you want to modify, and open it's data INI in notepad. For example, A-7E_DATA.INI. Before doing anything else, I reccomend searching the file to see if the author has already set up the animations. To do this, use the search feature in notepad and search for "SystemType=ANIMATION" without the quotes. If the search does not find anything, you can move on. If it does, it means that animations have already been assigned to keys. Read the rest of this tutorial but don't make any changes until you understand how the system works.


Consult the screenshot below. If your search turned up entries like this, you are OK. If not, you will need to add them:




Let's examine what each line does.









[Canopy] is the label for the aircraft subsystem. This will be explained in a moment.

SystemType=ANIMATION tells the game what type of subsystem this is, in this case a toggleable animation.

InputName=ANIMATION_1 refers to the key assigned to this animation, 1 through 10. This corresponds to the keys you mapped above.

DeploymentMethod=MANUAL means that you will activate this system manually, via a keystroke.

AnimationTime=6.0 defines the speed at which the animation is played, in seconds.

AnimationID=9 refers to the animation ID assigned in 3D Studio, as I mentioned above.


OK, seasoned modders will be able to figure it out from here. If you are new to this, what you need to do is add a section--such as the one above--for each component that has an animation that you want to be able to toggle. For example if you look at the screenshot above, there are sections for the Refueling Probe, Wing Fold, and Canopy. The label, such as [Canopy] needs to be unique but you can call each section whatever you want, so [Cockpit] would work just as well.


NOTE: You will probably have no idea what animation ID is assigned to each part of the aircraft. You can figure them out by starting with animation ID 1 and trying all of them until you find the one you want. You can also search the data INI for refernces to "AnimationID" and see what IDs have already been assigned. Things such as the landing gear, speedbrakes, tailhook and other parts may have animations assigned and this will help you eliminate those.


The last step is to assign the subsystems you just created, such as [Canopy] to one of the major components of the aircraft, such as the nose or fuselage. Until you do this, the subsystem won't work. Look at the screenshot below:




You can see that I have assigned all three of the animation subsystems for the A-7E to the nose. This is as good as any other place but you can assign them wherever you want. Theoretically, if the parent component is destroyed, the animations will no longer work because the subsystems are considered destroyed as well.


That's it, not really a lot of work. Just keep in mind that if the modeler did not create an animation for a part, like the canopy, in 3D Studio, then this will NOT work.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  


Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..