Wake Design Revisited

Scaling wake effects

I’ve been playing around with wake effects for a while, but most of it is trial and error after finally understanding roughly what each of key parameters do. One problem is that what is shown in Arno’s effects editor is not what the wake looks like in the sim because the boat is moving. So it’s edit, test, edit test. And once you have an acceptable effect, it’s tied to the size and speed of the boat. It’s very hard to scale the effect up and down because some of the parameters are extremely non-linear. That means that you have to make a rough guess and then go through the whole process, and it’s not just the length and beam of the boat that matters but its speed too.

I finally got around to trying to understand the mathematical relationships involved, and with that create a spreadsheet that will plot a predicted shape of each part of the wake effect based on all the key parameters as well as the length, beam and speed of the boat. The beam is critical because you don’t want the wake to start outside the hull as do many default FSX wake effects. I think I’ve managed to make such a design aid. It appears that the fundamental relationship is very simple, almost elegantly simple. The names of the ‘scale’ and scale rate’ parameters now make sense.

The key relationship appears to be that the distance that the edge of an effect travels on an axis is:

D = SeSR*t

where D is distance, S is scale, SR is scale rate and t is time.

The result is that now have a spreadsheet that will plot the overall shape of each portion of the wake effect based on entering the various parameters from the .fx file. It also outlines the boat as an aid to getting the scale right and sets some of the parameters semi-automatically. So far it seems to agree quite well with top down screenshots of the effect.

If this continues to work, it will mean that it will be easy for me to customize the wake effect for specific vessels going at specific speeds. This way I can spend the time adjusting the fine details like color and alpha.

A few random thoughts about the scenery

I’m a self taught novice modeler, not a scenery designer. Not only that, what’s fun for me is figuring out my own way of doing things, another way of saying I’ve been too lazy to learn the hard lessons people have learned over the years in making objects for computer simulations.  The result is that there are bound to be problems.  But I’m doing this for fun, and the fun is in discovering something. Each model I make has some new-to-me technique that usually comes to me in the middle of the night. Probably one tried a long time ago and discarded, but that’s not the point. I’m slowly developing my own style, and that too enjoyable.

I think of the bits and pieces I’ve done to date as kits, like the old model airplane kits I build as a kid. Nowadays  ARFs are the big thing in model airplanes; Almost Ready to Fly.  None of this stuff is ARF.  Like the model airplane kit, there are a bunch of parts and some instructions that I try to make clear within the limits of my dyslexic brain. You can follow the instructions in the kit, or do it some other way. About all I can tell you is that at least some others have successfully built the kit. My basic assumption is that you know far more about scenery and its uses than I do. Actually, I’m flattered that you would be willing to try this stuff.

Compatability of Addon Pack with my older scenery


In order to maintain compatibility with the Vic+ manual, the object library was renamed from LR_Sketchup_Objects to LR_Object_Library.

In order to avoid having two object libraries, all the objects needed for previously posted scenery have been rolled into the LR_Object_Library folder. The intent is to update this library if and when new scenery is posted.

Do this:

So as not to have duplicated objects from previously posted scenery,

1) in FSX or P3D, deactivate the old LR_Sketchup_Objects  object library and then delete it.

2) copy the new LR_Object_Library to your Addon Folder

3) activate the new library, LR_Object_Library

Question: what will happen if I ignore this? At a minimum, you could then have two versions of the ship Tai Harvest with different GUIDs.  Depending on your configuration, there might be warnings about duplicated GUIDs on startup.

May 15, 2014

Addon Pack for Vic+ v8 now linked

As per the Orbx Community Scenery forum:

 The addon pack for Vic+ version 8 and Orbx PNW is as done as it’s going to get for awhile. You can download it via links here: https://larobinson22.wordpress.com/

 It contains the Belleville ferry terminal in the Victoria Inner Harbour, filling in the blank area in Vic+ v8, a detailed ship model that is visited by the pilot boat in Vic+, a static version of the Port Angles to Victoria ferry MV Coho, and for people comfortable with disabling a default FSX or P3D file and willing to do so, an AI version of the Coho which will replace the scene-spoiling default FSX ferry. The AI Coho will dock at the proper position at the ferry terminal albeit with a minor compromise because of the shape of the terminal dock . There is more about the AI ferry in the instructions, including a ferry schedule.

 All of these objects also work in P3D v2.2.1, and there are optional adjustments for the custom ferry wake in P3D.

 Vic+ v8 is discussed here:   http://www.orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/78154-victoria-special-release-for-pnw/

 I would not recommend using this stuff with earlier versions of Vic+ because the elevations of many of the objects are based on having version 8 installed. I for the same reason I would not recommend using it without Orbx PNW installed.

 >I suppose ‘addon pack’ in the conventional sense is a misnomer. To me it’s more of a kit, and it’s definitely not for everyone. For a lot of flight sim use it’s overly detailed with large and poorly optimized textures. There is a half size texture set for the terminal included that could be tried you wish.

 If you are bold and want to try any or all of the objects please read the instructions carefully because if they do not work, the chance of me figuring out what’s wrong is slim. Nonetheless I can say that it works on more than one machine. Imagine that!

There is no installer.



Addon Pack for Vic+ and Orbx PNW

The Addon Pack for Vic+ an Orbx PNW is now posted on the links page.  I’ll add more about this later. This is definitely not for everyone; perhaps it’s more of a kit than anything else. Please read the instructions carefully, because if it does not work, my chances of figuring out what’s wrong are not good.

Nonetheless, it does work on my machine, and both of Jon Patch’s test machines. Yours, I don’t know!

About the new VicPlus

A quick note now that Jon Patch has released a new version of VicPlus.

You might want to hold off downloading any of the parts Jon has mentioned until I get a chance to revise and update the downloads.  Specifically, there well be some revisions to the placements of  the MV Tai Harvest and the static ferry MV Coho. I’ll probably have and update within a week.