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HIERARCHY NODES VS. PHANTOM BOXES

Posted by Dennis S (and Graham O) on Monday, 14 April 2003, at 5:15 p.m.

Hi all...

It seems appropriate to clarify the use of the Hierarchy Node in FSDS as contrasted with the use of Phantom Boxes in GMax. This grew out of a recent Rudder Trim Tab thread, but has taken on a life of its own. Hence this new thread, a joint offering of Graham O. and Dennis S....

The Hierarchy Node (= No Geometry) option is applied in FSDS to make a part invisible on compilation. That is, the part is animated and associated with its child in FSDS, but is not displayed in FS. This enables children of that part to inherit all its animations. The part tagged in this way (i.e., the parent as Hierarchy Node/No Geometry) is not drawn in FS but does exist.

In GMax, a similar technique uses the Phantom Box option, i.e. an animated part which is not visible to the eye (because it is so small) in the FS compiled model. It can be used for a wide variety of things, such as fore/aft-left/right control stick movements.

By the way, the GMax Reference describes something called "Dummy Objects," in a sense analogous to FSDS's /No Geometry option. However, Dummy Objects seem incompatible with MakeMDL and hence don't work as intended in FS2002. The Phantom Box option is essentially a workaround of this.

Succinctly, the two softwares achieve similar results, but with different techniques. What's more, it's likely impossible to tell from the final product which software has been used.

We hope this helps eliminate any confusion that grew from that previous thread.

Cheers. And all in good fun.

Graham & Dennis (FSEngEd)


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