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MSFS Blender2MSFS support thread

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204
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us-texas
Thank you for your answer!I'm very novice in Blender,in fact I started using it almost a week ago.The metal panels was found free on the net,I just convert them in Blender to use them in MSFS.However during the proccess I assign to them only the base texture eventhough there were available also other .png files,a "normal",a "metallic",a "smoothness" and I think a "roughness" one (?) because I didn't know how to use them and for what each one of them is used for.I suppose I'll have to experiment with these ones quite a lot although It will be hard to know how thinks will look like inside MSFS as it mostly seems that it has its own way on how Blender exported objects are shown.It will be more or less a trial and error proccess.
You can download Materialize and play around with it, and mess around with the RGB channels.

You can also see your object updated in FS 2020 in real-time from Blender to the SIM, as long as you have added the object once already.

Here is my general process for this:

1) First rule is, NEVER have the compiled airport or scenery in your community directory when you are working on an airport, always load the project in the editor window. I've had problems if having the compiled airport already loaded and then loading the project. This will cause endless issues, at least it did for me.

2) Always get a first "version" of a model compiled into your project, and usually you have to completely restart the sim at this point (as in completely exit game and reload, not just reload the airport). Sometimes it does work without restarting game, but I think it depends on the compiler's file locking state to whether it will work or not, I just always completely exit and reload to be certain, because for me it only worked maybe 20% of the time without reloading.

3) Once you have a given model already in your Scenery list of Objects you can choose from, then you can place the object on the ground and you will no longer have to reload the game, and often it will work without even having to reload the airport! Now when you export the object from Blender, any objects you've already placed at an airport will be updated in real-time with a few caveats. If you change the texture itself, you may need to re-export, re-compile, and reload the project. Although sometimes there is a file lock where it won't release and causes you to need to reload the game to see an updated texture, but this process usually works.

4) If the above works correctly, you will actually see your object while sitting at the airport blink for one second and come back refreshed with the newly edited version. Now you can in real-time just quickly export the same model over and over again to keep seeing what changes in Blender are affecting how the model looks in FS 2020.

I only started Blender around 3 years ago, but I would suggest CGTrader.com or any site that sells models that are already textured and spend like $5 or so to buy a few cheap models that have PBR textures on them. Load them in Blender, then try to get them into MSFS 2020 to match what you see in Blender. You will generally need to invert the Normal (g) and adjust Roughess/Smoothness maps to match what FS 2020 wants, but even when I've done that it doesn't always translate 100% exact (sometimes, depends). You can use Photoshop, Materialize, or Gimp to invert or edit the maps.
 
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31
Country
australia
Im having the following error messages when copying a custom made object with the latest version

any idea what could be the problem?

X4skn3H.png
Hi guys, I'm getting the same problem, is there an answer on the forum for this as I just got here.
 
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204
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us-texas
I don't recall which thing causes that specific error, but I think that's the common one.
Is this your first time trying to export an object, or have you done it before and now it's failing?

1) Make sure after you export your object, all 3 files are in the modellib\{{YourObjectName}} directory, not just 2 files
2) Delete any extra files if there are any
3) Ensure you are in Object Mode in Blender before exporting, and ensure your object is selected (green selection box around it)
4) Make sure you don't have multiple objects like a camera selected at the same time
5) Ensure the directory in your modellib exactly matches the name of your export filename, hence YourObjectName = YourObjectName.GLTF = YourObjectName.XML, Ensure you didn't accidentally rename the XML to MyXML.GLTF.XML (this has happened to me before)
6) Review all your checkboxes
7) Make sure you have ../texture typed correctly for the export texture dir.
8) Do not change any material node settings and be careful about addons
9) Make sure your object only has 1 UV Image per export
10) If all else fails, go to the image dropdown in blender above the UV, and hit the X for every unused image, save the blender file, then reload, then try again
--- # 10 isn't usually needed, but I think it solved an issue for me once or twice
 
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201
Country
finland
You can download Materialize and play around with it, and mess around with the RGB channels.

You can also see your object updated in FS 2020 in real-time from Blender to the SIM, as long as you have added the object once already.

Here is my general process for this:

1) First rule is, NEVER have the compiled airport or scenery in your community directory when you are working on an airport, always load the project in the editor window. I've had problems if having the compiled airport already loaded and then loading the project. This will cause endless issues, at least it did for me.

2) Always get a first "version" of a model compiled into your project, and usually you have to completely restart the sim at this point (as in completely exit game and reload, not just reload the airport). Sometimes it does work without restarting game, but I think it depends on the compiler's file locking state to whether it will work or not, I just always completely exit and reload to be certain, because for me it only worked maybe 20% of the time without reloading.
1) and 2) My workflow is this:
- Make a new object in Blender, export. Doesn't matter if you have started the sim or not or if you are in DevMode editor or not
- Go into DevMode. Ifyour project is open just Build Package, if not, open the project and Build Package
- Go to Community and remove the old version of your scenery
- Copy the newly built version from your project Package folder to Community
- Reopen the project in DevMode and open the bgl in the editor

Now your new object is available, and there is no problem having the compiled airport in the Community directory! You just need to copy the newly built version there. It seems that the DevMode reads the objects from the version in the Community folder if it exists there, if not it takes it from the Project folder. That's the way I have been working, and have had no problems with it. And no need to restart the sim after a build and copy., just reopen the project!
 
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204
Country
us-texas
I'm not able to edit airports when they are in the community directory, it worked at first but as too many objects get added to an airport, started making things act weird. Not sure.

When I have a fresh copy of my Airport loaded and even just loaded the game and I have done NOTHING, if I try to load the project, sometimes buildings get doubled, tripled, and I get lag, sometimes game crashes. Also it seems to induce the material editor bugs more often. I must have 1000+ objects added for my airport though, so I am really pushing it. I am troubleshooting performance issues now.

Edit
I think it is some caching bug. Sometimes even when I removed my airport from the community directory and reloaded the game, my buildings were still there. And get this, I didn't just remove my airport from the community directory, i removed EVERY airport and deleted my cache. It took 3 reloads one time to get rid of my buildings (so weird).
 
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81
Country
greece
SceneryFX many thanks for your help!
The objects I'm experimenting with were downloaded free from Turbosquid and they have except the basic texture all the necessary files like normal, metallic, roughness,softness and I think AO.
I applied the basic texture to the Albedo in Blender's MSFS settings and nothing else as I don't have a clue what each one of the others is needed for.
I'm thinking I d rather make several different exports from blender with different variations of the same basic model than alter my first ones.This way with all variations of my basic object placed side by side inside my project will be easier to see what suits me best.
I'll give it a try with Materialize too playing around with it to get a clue how thinks would look like according to a specific setting.
BTW is there any good explanatory Youtube tutorial for things like metalic,roughness, softness,AO and the rest to help me understand what they are,how are used and what for?
Many thanks again for you help and the great information!
 
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204
Country
us-texas
Its in the SDK documentation, if you want to do a full AO / Roughness / Metallic + Albedo, you'll have to embed the RGB channel.

file:///{{YOUR SDK PATH}/Documentation/02-Asset_Creation/glTF_Materials.html#material-type

Any Normal you create in Photoshop or Materialize must have the Green channel inverted, for Photoshop there is a channels button just above the layers.
You can generate the Normal in Photoshop under the Filter > 3D > Generate Normal Map. After generating, you then click the channels button and select Green and use CTRL-I to invert. For Materialize, you'll see the option on the top right, Materialize is easiest. Generally, your Roughness dark/light needs to be backwards too and sometimes metallic causes weird problems, so if you make something too rough in Materialize it will be smooth looking and shiny (sort of but it depends what all channels you are using).

I haven't mastered PBR yet, that's for sure, I often get unexpected or unwanted results. I often find myself applying Post-Editing Photoshop changes with contrast/brightness or hue controls to tweak things, but that is probably why Substance Painter is best if you want to invest the $160.
 
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1
Has anyone yet got the MSFS_Parallax material mode working? If so, could you please share your material settings?
 
Messages
81
Country
greece
So if I got it right the application of a full AO / Roughness / Metallic is optional,in fact the Albedo alone will do the job applying the texture on the object,correct?All the rest are used only if you d like to give a more realistic appearance to your object,right?
I'll study SDK documentation, that's for sure but some directions from more experienced devs are admittedly most helpful and direct!
 
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201
Country
finland
Yes, albedo is enough if you do not need more detail. Actually you can even do it without a texture, only using colors but that makes a ver flat and far too tidy look...
 
Messages
204
Country
us-texas
So if I got it right the application of a full AO / Roughness / Metallic is optional,in fact the Albedo alone will do the job applying the texture on the object,correct?All the rest are used only if you d like to give a more realistic appearance to your object,right?
I'll study SDK documentation, that's for sure but some directions from more experienced devs are admittedly most helpful and direct!

There is also a generic roughness setting in the actual Blender material properties just above the dropdown where you change the Exporter to the MSFS Standard setting, you can simulate some gloss and shininess with this without even having any AO/Rough/Metallic setup. It works on the Albedo. It's harder to control, but it works ok as a quick fix if you want to make something shiny without PBR, might work better if you at least have a normal map in there (not sure). Also, there is the MSFS Glass material which gives you automated glass without needing a texture, so for glass most people are pretty much covered unless they want to do something fancy. You can also easily tint / change color of your glass without using texturing.
 
Messages
81
Country
greece
There is also a generic roughness setting in the actual Blender material properties just above the dropdown where you change the Exporter to the MSFS Standard setting, you can simulate some gloss and shininess with this without even having any AO/Rough/Metallic setup. It works on the Albedo. It's harder to control, but it works ok as a quick fix if you want to make something shiny without PBR, might work better if you at least have a normal map in there (not sure). Also, there is the MSFS Glass material which gives you automated glass without needing a texture, so for glass most people are pretty much covered unless they want to do something fancy. You can also easily tint / change color of your glass without using texturing.
Could this also reduce a given reflectiveness of a metal surface?
This strange glowing effect is completely wrong and seems it's coming from nowhere!I even deleted every single light source from the project,changed time to night and even though the scene was pitch black (as the airfield is almost in the middle of nowhere) the glow was still there.Is there a chance to be just somekind of SDK issue and dissapear in MSFS as the package placed inside community folder?
If I apply the "roughness" asset I got with the 3D model set would it be posdible to eliminate the glow?Or the "roughness" relates to something else irrelevant to the actual "rough" meaning?
 
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204
Country
us-texas
No idea, you'd have to try it. I have only used it to mimic PBR smoothness with only an Albedo + Normal, never tried to override the PBR channels, but you could just not load the other channels in Blender and use that dial. Texturing is a long and arduous process and not something someone can just get going on in a few hours usually, it's the most time consuming part of airport design really.

There are different texturing formats from the objects you download, as you may need to invert not only the normal map's Green channel but also the Roughness grayscale and then embed it into the green channel, then maybe invert the the green channel after inverting the gray scale (I forget), or try it both ways. If you downloaded a plain grayscale with no channels, then your roughness may not work in FS 2020 until you embed it with materialize as the G channel, just depends. In materialize, you just load it into the G channel I think, sorry going by memory and haven't done that in a while. In FS 2020, smoothness is roughness, so it's the opposite of a lot of programs, because it's using DirectX instead of OpenGL.
 
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204
Country
us-texas
@SceneryFX you mentioned in this thread, that you'd successfully exported multiple UV maps on the same object? Or did I not read your post correctly?

I missed your question earlier, you can export multiple UV maps, sorry I was talking about something else before when I said you cannot. I was talking about trying to keep the object in the game updated, the more UV maps and changes, the more difficult it will be to export an object without a mistake. So yes, you can technically use as many UV maps as you want to I think, though it's probably not a good practice if you are new and not used to the exporter. Also, if designing a large airport, I would probably be more careful about textures and polys for that matter, having some performance issues from an airport I'm making that has over 50 buildings.
 
Messages
31
Country
australia
I don't recall which thing causes that specific error, but I think that's the common one.
Is this your first time trying to export an object, or have you done it before and now it's failing?

1) Make sure after you export your object, all 3 files are in the modellib\{{YourObjectName}} directory, not just 2 files
2) Delete any extra files if there are any
3) Ensure you are in Object Mode in Blender before exporting, and ensure your object is selected (green selection box around it)
4) Make sure you don't have multiple objects like a camera selected at the same time
5) Ensure the directory in your modellib exactly matches the name of your export filename, hence YourObjectName = YourObjectName.GLTF = YourObjectName.XML, Ensure you didn't accidentally rename the XML to MyXML.GLTF.XML (this has happened to me before)
6) Review all your checkboxes
7) Make sure you have ../texture typed correctly for the export texture dir.
8) Do not change any material node settings and be careful about addons
9) Make sure your object only has 1 UV Image per export
10) If all else fails, go to the image dropdown in blender above the UV, and hit the X for every unused image, save the blender file, then reload, then try again
--- # 10 isn't usually needed, but I think it solved an issue for me once or twice
Hi, thanks, I've done everything but it still doesn't work, I think I'll just hire someone for the freeware project with SDK experience who can help compile it.
 
Messages
233
Country
canada
There is something very wrong with NORMAL textures either in this addon or MSFS. I have finally nailed down the problem I had before with different-looking parts of my models with one and the same baked material. As soon as I disconnect normal MSFS material node everything looks just great (but flat of course, no lighting changes. no "bump" texture appearance). Please advise how to overcome this! It happens in almost or all my models and it's very visible on corrugated metal materials because of their very prominent striped normal map.
Here is how the model appears in MSFS - look at the different between the main wall part and top part just under the roof. Those are different faces, but baked normal texture image matches perfectly (I checked) and looks seamless in Blender.
1604080911972.png

Same happens on the side (thin stripe) and back with the hangar door etc. - different faces look differently. As soon as I cut the node connection between normal map image and normal input the problem disappears, but of course the wall is flat now. You can see that texture on those faces matches perfectly, and they were baked one right after another (diffuse and normal).
1604081002324.png

This is how it SHOULD look, but of course it should not be flat.
This is what I cut. You can also see part of the baked normal image. Believe me it matches fine. I have not edited anything after baking and assigning a baked material as "MSFS Standard" and loading two baked images to diffuse and normal slots. That's allI did. The node map below is the automatic result from assigning MSFS material. I did not use any composite maps for metallic, roughness etc. - just assigned fixed valies via sliders.
1604081078731.png

Any help or ideas on what to try veru much appreciated. My airport is ready, but this is holding me off...
 
Messages
345
Country
italy
Ms2020.jpg
today I updated to Blender version 2.83.8. When I went to install the plug-in, the message of probable problem appeared, can I rest assured?
 
Messages
81
Country
greece
I also noticed a very strange behaviour in SDK immediately after the latest update installation.Custom objects exported succesfully from blender wont appear at all in object list while at the same time almost identical objects inside the same project folder structure with exactly the same way appear normaly as they should! Comparing the "problematic" with the "correct" ones showed no difference at all in their properties inside Blender nor in the way they reside inside the same folder structure.
Has anyone noticed something similar?Seems like there's somekind of bug either inside Blender2MSFS structure or most likely in SDK itself.
 
Messages
204
Country
us-texas
I hear ya...

After this last game update, I couldn't even load any of my airports I was working on. Nothing would load, immediate CTD.

How did I fix it (this is so strange), well I loaded a nearly blank airport that had barely any info (an old XML file from FSX). After loading the almost empty airport, VOILA.... Suddenly I could load ALL my other files again. I am not talking about in a single game load or a single instance, I am saying I was about to have to reinstall the game after 2 hours of trying to get any file to load in the project editor (massive fails). There is a "secret cache" the game uses or something.

Actually, I think I am going to reinstall the game fresh given the way their update code works seems a little strange.
 
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