Stairport Sceneries release Scenery Animation Manager

By: Sam Clark
December 6, 2018

Our friends at Stairport Sceneries have released the long-awaited Scenery Animation Manager. Threshold has had the privilege of exclusively previewing S.A.M. twice since it's announcement back in October.

Scenery Animation Manager is a tool for developers to implement a bunch of moving parts into sceneries. Some of the possibilities include animated jetways with multiple connection points (much like SODE for Prepar3D), opening/closing hangar doors and animating ground staff.

[To find a link to download, see the bottom of the article, which also has information on where to find support]

During an impromptu interview with Marten, I asked him how SAM be installed for the end user:

"The plugin is a global one so the user only has to install it once into the [X-Plane] Plugin folder and install our free object library. If you then install a scenery where the developer included a SAM configuration file it will work straight away"

Stairport have been dropping various previews since the announcement on Thresholdin mid-October and have now announced an official developer live-stream which is available on the Stairport YouTube channel.

Marten has also provided us with the feature list for SAM.

Custom Datarefs

You can create custom datarefs without any knowledge and control the values through a settings menu. With user checkboxes you can even let the user control animations such as opening hangars, switching lights and anything else a scenery developer might think of.

Jetway Animation

We made a deep dive into the world of math to create realistic jetway animations basically because the current software available is not sufficient. Now you can add jetways within seconds to a scenery.

Performance

The plugin is highly optimized for performance. The most obvious part is the fact that calculations for datarefs only start when an object is loaded and in visible range. It can be used in hundreds of sceneries without any noticeable fps impact. The plugin will be installed into the main plugin directory, thus it's a global plugin and not per scenery. The sceneries only contain an xml file with the settings.

Library

A library with pre-animated objects like Jetways, VDGS, Marshaller, Hangars, Wind Turbines etc. will be created as a starting point for developers to experiment with. You can either use these objects or create and animate your own.

License

The plugin will be licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 which means it is free to use for all users and for all freeware sceneries.

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To get your hands on Scenery Animation Manager, take a look at the Threshold Forums, where Marten has put together a club (sub-forum) for further information and support.

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