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Converting FSX scenery to X-plane

Discussion in 'X-Plane' started by jonmkj, 29/8/11.

  1. jonmkj

    jonmkj

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    Does anyone have any experience at all in converting scenery developed for FSX to be compatible with X-plane? With the new X-plane 10 coming out soon, I'm very much interested in finding out what is involved with such a conversion so products can span multiple platforms :D
  2. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi Jon,

    Not much practical experience yet, but I have been studying the standards a bit. And for 3D objects I have been working on adding support for X-Plane OBJ format to ModelConverterX.

    One obvious limitation I came across is that object can only have one texture in X-Plane. So that would mean that many FS objects can not be converted that easily, since they often have multiple textures.

    I haven't look at other aspects like placing objects in the world or making airports. But I am tempted to try it in the future. Just pick a little scenery project (few landmark buildings or so) and then compare FSX, X-Plane and FlightGear to see what the differences are if you want to make the same scenery for all three.
  3. jonmkj

    jonmkj

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    I was not aware of the one texture per object limitation.... that will definitely put a damper on most of my scenery objects.
  4. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    I am planning to see if I can add an "aggressive" drawcall minimizer to ModelConverterX for this purpose.
  5. Addcrew

    Addcrew

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    I have small expirience in converting.
    First of all, we need to download FS2X-Plane tool (http://marginal.org.uk/x-planescenery/tools.html)
    It's tool convert FS9 and FSX sceneries in to X-Plane format.
    Conversion result is usually bad. Scenery needs some work with WED (X-Plane's afcad) and OverlayEditor(Object placer).
    Tool doesn't use drawcall minimizer, it divides MSFS object with many textures to some X-plane objects with a single texture.
  6. solid

    solid

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    One of the nice things in X-plane is that you can make airfields anywhere and do not need to make a "flat" area for them.....
  7. Maxman

    Maxman

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    That is a plus for me as I usually use one texture to help with drawcalls in FSX. I look forward to your tools Arno, I am very interested in XP10 and seeing how hard/easy it will be to do scenery for it.
  8. tsgucci

    tsgucci

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    Hello!


    We at LHSimulations have some X-Plane sceneries. Actualy some X-Plane enthusiast converted it from our actual FS9 scenery. Personaly I have the X-Plane 9 version on my computer I bought it half year ago to be able to cooperate better with the converter guys.
    My long term strategie to gather a little bit more experience in X-Plane design. I'm wondering what will happen in 5-10 years, which FS platform will be choosen by the FS community. The question is especialy interesting now as we are aware what MS Flight will or will not bring. And seeing the awesome graphics of X-Plane 10 I'm not sure where we go.

    I would be more interested in the capabilities and features of X-Plane 10. For example: how the materials can be handled. Can we do bump maps, specular maps, reflection map like in FSX? The tweaking of the objects like visible in a certain distance such things.
  9. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I am doing the same, keeping a good eye on the X-Plane 10 developments.

    I think X-Plane 9 already allowed bump maps. For the specular maps I am not sure. The main problem as far as I see it is the one texture per object limit. That is great for performance, but most FS models won't convert to well to just one texture.

    I still have it on my todo list to try to place some models in X-Plane. Just to see how easy it is. I did it in FlightGear some time ago and it was quite technical. I hope in X-Plane it is easier.
  10. AFTRS

    AFTRS

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    Arno,
    this is what I am tring to figure out at the moment.
    From my point of view multi materials are in MS FS forced by GMAX or 3DS. It is engine secific, as far as I think now that it works.
    (I found some ways to avoid it in FSX DX10 compatible objects, including shadowed ground objects with aircraft or GMAX .mdl objects in addition rendered shadows, overlaying themselves as shadows :) )

    Just started to use Blender instead of GMAX. Blender seems as if it doesn´t force the multi materials that much.
  11. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I am not sure if GMax really forces that. I mean it is the developer in the end who chooses to use one or multiple texture sheets for his model. With GMax you can also make a fine model using only one texture sheet.
  12. Tejal Bernardo

    Tejal Bernardo

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    People talk about convert to fsx but what happen if you want convert X-plane sceneries to Fsx ?. it's posible ? would be interesting to know. I've took a look to X plane forum and is amazing the good work at least in the scenery area.
  13. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    3D objects can be converted. I haven't looked at other parts like airport our terrain yet. I think Jon was looking at the way airport are done some time ago.

    Send from my phone using Tapatalk, so excuse the short sentences and possible typos
  14. Tejal Bernardo

    Tejal Bernardo

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    Yes, at firt glimpse the objects have not problem but the runways mesh and lights animations, etc could have another configuracion, they have an application apart for sloped runways, but seem all a litle more complicated, not much more. they are getting great photorealistic sceneries but somone should talk to them about the mesh, very poor indeed.
  15. neilb

    neilb

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    I too after many years with Microsoft have begun looking at scenery design. In Sketchup you can export models directly into xplane is it possible to write a script for Gmax allowing you to do this? Neil
  16. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    No, that is not possible. The exporting functionality is limited. You would need to make a new gamepack in that case and for that you need to pay autodesk.
  17. adamjedgar

    adamjedgar

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    im only new to modelling but i have found that it is very easy to go from blender to xplane...and likewise it is easy to go from 3dsmax to fsx. fortunately, it is also very easy to go between blender and 3dsmax.

    and we already know that there are .dds plugins for both photoshop ("Nvidia Texture Tools") and gimp(found in the "gimp plugin registry" ) allowing them to edit textures directly from the fsx directory files without the need to use DXTBmp.

    that would be my pathway for moving models between the two simulators. obviously, the textures issue would need addressing through photoshop or gimp before exporting i'd imagine.

    My main interest in Xplane is the planemaker modelling software that comes with it. im reckoning that since its models import into blender very easily, i can then send mesh from blender to 3ds max for editing and refinement and finally, into fsx! I havent yet checked whether 3dsmax imports the planemaker format directly, or whether there is a plugin... but in any case... i dunno what other equivalent modelling software to planemaker is out there, but if any of you have used planemaker, im sure you'd agree its a damn great way to create aircraft models!
  18. Hangar32

    Hangar32

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    Arno, et al,

    This thread is a couple of years old but the only one I could that directly speaks to X-Plane, gMax, Sketchup, etc. for X-Plane scenery design.

    I was just was just wondering if there are any developments on the issue?

    The MAR-APR 2014 issue of PC Pilot, has a tutorial for creating airports in X-Plane's World Editor (WED) by Jessica Bannister-Pearce. The only 3d modeling tool it mentions is Sketchup, but only in passing, indicating that it would require its own tutorial.

    So, is that the "state of play"? If I want to make X-Plane airports I need to learn Sketchup?

    Warm Regards, Hangar32




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  19. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    I'm (still) no expert on X-Plane scenery, so I don't know which tools are often used for it. Maybe there is an exporting script for Blender as well for example, but I don't know for sure.

    There is a tool to convert FS scenery to X-Plane, I have tried it in the part and it worked quite well.
  20. spotlope

    spotlope FSDevConf team

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    I'm a bit curious about porting my scenery to XP10 as well. Arno, just thinking out loud, but would it be possible to defeat the 1 material per object rule by splitting models into multiple objects using their texture assignments? That may be nuts, but it was my first thought about it.

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