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Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:42 am
by decaff_42
Hey ya'll

Is there an option to adjust the spacing for planes using the "Form on my wing" command, or the default formations? I want to make a few wallpapers of some planes flying in formation, but with a larger gap between the planes. I was looking for a four plane formation, with about 50m lateral separation and a 20m stager.

LEAD
^
20m
wing <-50m-> v <-50m-> LEAD2nd
<-50m-> wing2nd

Is this a setting i can adjust in YSF or is it a coding thing that I don't want to mess with?

Thanks

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:57 am
by waspe414
It is modifiable as a .ysf file.

Select your airplanes, choose the formation you want, click OK (rather than Fly Now), and save the flight before flying. Now open the file in Notepad and find the line "FORMATIO 0 -7.92 -1.50 -7.92". There's one for each AI plane in the formation (meaning you can have some planes in formation, and some not).

Each of the last three numbers specify the AI's position relative to your aircraft (left/right, up/down, front/back). Change them to whatever you want, save the file, and reopen and fly it in YS.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:59 am
by decaff_42
Thanks.
I can change the distance to what I want, but is it possible to delete a couple of the AIs so that they don't cause a massive fireball behind me after I start the flight? When I start, the planes start in their default positions really close to me, but then spread out making a lot of collisions. NOTE: I'm simply selecting the plane I want and then select a delta formation flight.

Would it be better to crunch the numbers and adjust their start positions [AIRPCMND POSITION -20180.71m 3298.50m 3153.00m] to incorporate the spacing I want?

If i only want four planes total, would it be possible to create three planes as wingmen and then go in and edit their formation distance? That way I'd be able to avoid the fireballs behind me that would take out the planes I wanted.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:18 am
by waspe414
You can remove aircraft by deleting everything under that aircraft name line (AIRPLANE "name" FALSE) to the next one.

You could also turn off collisions.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:37 am
by decaff_42
Thanks mate.

I'll get to experimenting tomorrow after classes. I should be able to post some pics if it all works out.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:25 pm
by Honey Badger
Turning off collisions will keep them from crashing but the formation is formed based off the .coll file. They might just form a straight line right be hind you.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:56 pm
by decaff_42
aragorn15 wrote:They might just form a straight line right be hind you.
Not quite a straight line, more like one inside the next inside the next. Take a look:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/41 ... at334.png/

When i first started out, they started zooming all around behind me and weren't in formation. When I used the form on my wing command, I got the above response from the planes

My formation settings were like this:
FORMATIO 0 -50 -1.50 -20
FORMATIO 0 50 -1.50 -20
FORMATIO 0 -100 -3.00 -40

I also altered the start positions so that they would be more spread apart to begin with.

Why weren't the planes simply in formation but with slightly more space between them?

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:43 pm
by Honey Badger
That's pretty much what I meant.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:33 pm
by decaff_42
So any idea how to fix that? I'd like to get a shot similar to this:
http://southeastasianews.org/images/USA ... _edit2.jpg
But the spacing of the standard formation flying, makes everything too close together, hence why I tried to make the spacing a little farther apart to make it more like a combat formation rather than an acrobatics formation.

Aragorn, you mentioned the .coll file. How could I edit that to make the spacing work?

I noticed that when I simply made 3 wingmen and saved the flight. When I opened it up, there wasn't an option for changing the formation spacing, so the .coll file makes sense.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:09 am
by waspe414
After the last one there are a few "FOM_TRNS" lines. Not at all sure what they do, but you could try changing them.

Also, the coll will only modify the set formation distance. The distance of the formation from the "Form on my wing" command is controlled by the HTRADIUS line in the .dat. (Not sure if it's both aircraft radii added, averaged, or what, but play around with it.)

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:16 am
by Honey Badger
I believe the .coll file is dis-activated when collisions are turned of. Many people turn off collisions to milk out some extra FPS. Why? The .coll file's best friend is the htradius line found in .dat file of the aircraft. It warns YS of collisions and set the camera distance from the aircraft in F7 view. When two htradius lines meet YS begins to lag a little. Not good for formations. However, formations appear to be based off the htradius line rather than the .coll file as I thought earlier. That is how the AI aircraft know which position to take in the formation and avoid hitting each other (only 5% of the time). Without the htradius line then the aircraft have know idea where to go so they line up behind you. Not knowing where each other are (is?), they assume the same position behind you resulting in screwed "formations". I don't know of a work around except to keep collisions on and keep movements nice and slow. Or learn to do a manual formation. ;)

Edit: This is going into a lot of detail but Waspe summed it up pretty well.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:43 am
by decaff_42
Manual formation flying would be time consuming to an extreme (I have maybe 5 minutes experience with that). Shouldn't the AI planes know where they are supposed to be in relation to the lead plane I'm flying if I specify the formation distances in the .yfs file? All that input is only tied to the lead plane's position and if that is the only variable that I'm changing, then there shouldn't be any reason for the planes to ignore that piece of data when flying in formation.

Also at the start when the planes start flying into each other and everywhere, I'm not jerking my plane enough to cause the flight to scatter like I suddenly pushed hard right stick. Could it be the planes just trying to move from their start positions to their formation positions and getting 'lost' on the way? I tried to edit the .yfs file to also change the starting positions of the AI planes to their formation positions, but it didn't seem to do anything.

The only edit that seemed to work was the deletion of two planes. At least that's a step in the right direction.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:12 am
by Honey Badger
Try choosing your airplane and start position. Before hitting "Fly Now", go over to the "formation" tab and select "Diamond" or "Delta" from the list. This will make YS hack the .stp file and auto select aircraft. The .stp hack simply adds the necessary start positions to put the aircraft on your wing perfectly for take off. It will also assign the AI aircraft as the same plane as yours. This can be over ridden at the "Wingman" tab (you can manually select an aircraft for your wingman to fly. Leave the start positions alone. That can over write the hacked positions) If that fails, I'll be at a loss.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:30 am
by waspe414
aragorn15 wrote:Try choosing your airplane and start position. Before hitting "Fly Now", go over to the "formation" tab and select "Diamond" or "Delta" from the list. This will make YS hack the .stp file and auto select aircraft. The .stp hack simply adds the necessary start positions to put the aircraft on your wing perfectly for take off.
No, making a formation doesn't hack the .stp. It adds the lines

AIRPCMND POSITION 45739.29m 2.10m -10563.83m
AIRPCMND ATTITUDE -100.00deg 0.00deg -0.00deg

rather than filling in a start position slot. (And those lines can be applied to any aircraft, player included.) Wingmen will take the start position assigned to them, formation aircraft will be spawned relative to you.
decaff_42 wrote:Also at the start when the planes start flying into each other and everywhere
Try starting at one of the North or South STPs. From what I've seen, that crazy maneuvering is the AI attempting to get into position, but over correcting. If you immediately set it to autopilot they may fall into the correct places. Keep in mind that the farther the AI is from your plane the more your motion has an effect on them, so the more violently they have to fly.

I'll take a look at the FOM_TRNS lines and try and figure out what they control.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:43 pm
by decaff_42
Waspe, you're right in that those lines get added to the .yfs file. I've seen that first hand with some of the experimentation that I've done.
waspe414 wrote: Try starting at one of the North or South STPs. From what I've seen, that crazy maneuvering is the AI attempting to get into position, but over correcting. If you immediately set it to autopilot they may fall into the correct places. Keep in mind that the farther the AI is from your plane the more your motion has an effect on them, so the more violently they have to fly.
When you say have some start at north and south positions, you mean to simply have selected wingmen and starting positions and to forget about the default formations options, right? When I tried this and opened up the .yfs file, there was no longer the ability to manipulate the formation positions of the planes, which is the only thing I want to do. When i use the form on my wing command, they are too close.

Quick question about the numbering of the planes. Are the plane number like this?
1
2 3
4 5 6

I have been trying to figure our what planes to delete and with all the crashing and scattering I can't see which plane actually leaves my formation.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:01 pm
by Honey Badger
1
23
546.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:20 pm
by decaff_42
Okay thanks.

I was able to crunch some numbers and edit the start positions and formation spacing of the planes and It seems to work out. I got the lateral spacing much wider but a little more than I wanted, and it looks like I made a mistake with the forward/back dimension in this pic:

Image


I think that all the scattering that was happening was a result of not changing the starting positions while expanding the formation positions of the planes. As you can tell I also deleted two of the planes.

I was able to find the starting position of my controlled plane by doing a little math based on the starting and formation position of the second plane. From there I edited the starting positions of the three AI panes to be in formation at their spawn and edited their formation positions so they wouldn't need to move from their relative start positions.

Instead of the four finger formation, i got a straight diagonal line. This is shot from the maximum zoomed out position and I'm still getting some fish-eye on the right most plane. The one I'm controlling is the one second from right. Is there a way to reduce the fish-eye effect? I know kuro's video tutorial mentioned something with zooms, but my mouse's scroll wheel doesn't seem to work for zooming even though that is it's only assigned function in YSF.

Is there any way we can post requests for coding additions to YSF for the next release? It would be nice to have a few options in the formations tab to set our own number and positions of airplanes in the formations.


EDIT: I got the planes to form the formation I want. I'll be posting pics in a while. Thanks for all your help guys

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:58 pm
by waspe414
decaff_42 wrote:Is there a way to reduce the fish-eye effect? I know kuro's video tutorial mentioned something with zooms, but my mouse's scroll wheel doesn't seem to work for zooming even though that is it's only assigned function in YSF.
Mac version may be different, but for Windows it's at the bottom of the Keys tab.
Image
decaff_42 wrote:Is there any way we can post requests for coding additions to YSF for the next release? It would be nice to have a few options in the formations tab to set our own number and positions of airplanes in the formations.
Toss it in the Fantasy Wishlist. I don't know how often, if at all, Soji looks there, but it's really the only place there is.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:56 pm
by decaff_42
Mac version may be different, but for Windows it's at the bottom of the Keys tab.
I got the same setup, but my mouse's scroll wheel doesn't work for it. I've tried it in replays and and such, but without luck. It's a Kensington Model# 72121
http://eio.com/p-29666-kensington-72121 ... mouse.aspx

It's no gaming mouse, but I've had it for years and it works...except for this small, but highly wanted function. The scroll wheel works for web pages and even COD4, so I'm not sure why it's not working in YS.

Re: Formation flying spacing

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:23 pm
by waspe414
What I was more hinting at was change the controls to something other than the scroll wheel. + and -, for example...