Meet SAM, Stairport Sceneries' platform for dynamic environments

By: Peter Tram
October 13, 2018

Stairport Sceneries is synonymous with many quality scenery conversions from Aerosoft that users have come to know and love. Today, as a token of gratitude, the scenery developer is giving back to the freeware scenery developer community with a versatile tool that focuses on providing animation related functions; meet SAM, or Scenery Animation Manager.

SAM is a native C++ XP11 plugin offering different possibilities to scenery authors focused on animations. It is currently seperated into two main parts:

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.

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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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SAM will be available by the end of the year. Support will be given in the Threshold forum, a seperate club will appear soon. At the moment, the team is looking for some developers to help beta test. If you're interested in implementing SAM into your scenery, either free or payware who used or want to use jetway animation via the provided library or animate one object; be sure to contact Stairport Sceneries on their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/stairportsceneries/

*UPDATE: Stairport announced that they will not receive any further beta testing requests and thanks everyone for their interest in SAM.*

Note: included images are very early WIPs and does not represent final product. More previews and content will be showcased in the coming few weeks. For developers (and interested users!), be sure to check back on Threshold for more information.

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