There is nothing more to buy to create plug-ins. As long as you have a programming language that can handle ActiveX. If you have bought 3DC Pro or 3DC LP, you can create plug-ins and other Pro/LP users can use them (If you want to distribute it). You could even create plug-ins that you charge a fee for if you want.

There are some samples in the Plug-Ins folder installed with 3DC that are written in Visual Basic 6. The API is documented in the online help for 3DC. The only difference is the calling parameters for the andquot;mainandquot; function – the samples show you the correct calling parameters for plug-ins. I forgot to include documentation of these when I sent out 5.0. The neat thing about this is that these parameters permit you to store your own data (singles, long and text data) in the 3DC file.

An interesting use for this is that one could create a plug-in that would export an ENG/WAG file. The attributes could be all stored in the 3DC file. For example you could have entry fields for the weight and other attributes of a wagon and this information could be stored right in the 3DC document so that if you modified the model you could recreate the wag file without having to re-enter any of wagon’s attributes. But of course someone has to write the code to do all of this.


Another train sim, Auran Trainz, is due out in December that will probably be as popular as MSTS. andnbsp;The current object formats it supports are 3DStudio, Lightwave and Maya. andnbsp;There will also be a native format. andnbsp;Trainz will be releasing the native format. andnbsp;Do you think you will be able to develop an exporter for the Trainz native format? andnbsp;It might give you a leg up on the competition that expects to release a MSTS exclusive model design package this Fall. <!– s;) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!– s;) –>

Thanks again for all your great work!


It would depend on how well the format is documented and my other commitments.

Do you have any specific information about the file format to point me to?


They have not released the details yet, but they have said that they will be open about the format, and they have a totally different relationship with their potential users to that which we enjoy with M$ and Kuju. Take a look in at their forums to see what I mean.

Unfortunately, they have said that import of user created models will not be possible until the second release of the ‘Surveyor’ module, and there is no indication of when that will be.

They are also building their system around a different modus operandum in that they will be selling ‘collectable’ models, which will be tagged in some way so that only one ‘instance’ of the model will be allowed, but the model can be traded somehow. Also they are intending to get businesses to ‘sponsor’ models in their liveries that can be freely used by downloaders, but which, I presume, will not be repaintable. There could therefore be some interesting complexities associated with whatever formats they come up with.

There is some info on the Trainz modeling issues. andnbsp;Maybe you can get in on this

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Thanks for the link. I doubt I will get to it any time soon.

There is a plug-in architecture for 3DC that that could be used for a 3rd party to make an exporter. I doubt that the makers of Trainz will be interested in creating one themselves. But perhaps some other 3DC user might.


They say that 3D Studio Max is the only one that works so far, but they are in contact with other makers of 3D programs. It would be a shame if 3DC is not in there somewhere as I expect Trainz to be every bit as big as MSTS, initially at least. I don’t fancy learning a new program, I have got used to this one now:

Ian M.

What is the plug-in architecture for 3DC. Do we have to buy it from you?


Cool engine Ian.


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