CAT 1.2 debugging

Poor Arno.   I drive him mad with debugging issues 🙂

Tonight we both worked on an ongoing issue where CAT / Actigate animated gates were failing to function correctly.    You see, the idea is that you can park your aircraft at a gate in Flight Simulator and then when you set the parking brake on the aircraft the module will read your aircraft type and animate accordingly.

For those that do not know what Actigate and CAT are or do – this is a quick video I did a week or so ago.  I was testing that moving into the bounding box, and setting the parking brake, detected that I was using a 737 and animated that movement. 

The cool thing about using the bounding box is that when you go to spot view the gate does not “jump back” to its start position because you move out of the field of view.   You sometimes see that happen with add-on sceneries because they are using a viewpoint condition instead of the bounding box.  The other cool thing is that the gates alongside (with a bit of tweaking) do not animate at the same time, only the one where your plane is situated moves.

Of course, doing this takes time.   You have to create an animation for as many aircraft as possible.   You then have to try to manually align them which means exporting a gate to FS lots of times!   This can be a life sucking experience for any designer. 

What I would love to see in the future is a way of doing an IK animation of FS gates.   What that would mean is that aircraft designers could essentially mark an X where the door is located and then the gate exported from the modelling program would always find the door.   Imagine how cool that would be….

I must go nudge Adrian Woods (Modelling Superbrain) and see if he has any thoughts on the subject.