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MSFS Material Colors not Displaying in MSFS

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Why do colors of untextured materials not display on objects in MSFS as designated and shown in MCX? All untextured materials are showing as bright white. This is on .gltf objects converted from .mdl objects using MCX.
 

arno

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Hi,

The diffuse/albedo color should be exported to the material in the glTF file. But I don't think I ever tested if they work correctly in MSFS. Do you get any warnings when processing the objects with the package tool?
 
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Hi,

Do you get any warnings when processing the objects with the package tool?
No errors or warnings except for the usual missing business file. This hasn't always been a problem, and I think it started when I updated MCX to the latest build. The .mdl file loaded into MCX shows material colors correctly, but the MCX generated .gltf file displays all materials as white in MCX. Is there a material setting in MCX that I have overlooked?

Edit: The .gltf file displays colors correctly in MCX (although lighter than the .mdl file). It is only in MSFS that the materials are all bright white.
 
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arno

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MCX uses PBR rendering with glTF files, while MDL files use a different shader. That will explain the color difference.

I would need to double check in MSFS if I also have the issue of colors not showing. But since it is a while ago I started MSFS, I am afraid I first have to downloads many GBs of updates before I can test anything :)
 

=rk=

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MSFS does not support colored polygons. Below is a model sent to me for conversion into a flyable model, it was made with colored polygons and you can even see the light blue of backside polygons on the tail fins and exhaust.

missilemsfs.JPG


After adding material texture:

glossy.JPG
 
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No errors or warnings except for the usual missing business file. This hasn't always been a problem, and I think it started when I updated MCX to the latest build. The .mdl file loaded into MCX shows material colors correctly, but the MCX generated .gltf file displays all materials as white in MCX. Is there a material setting in MCX that I have overlooked?

Edit: The .gltf file displays colors correctly in MCX (although lighter than the .mdl file). It is only in MSFS that the materials are all bright white.

I have experienced this also with 3D models output by MCX, using non-PBR PNG actual texture image Materials instead of 'Colors'.

In MSFS, the object is White, but with a slight "ground grunge - dirt spatter' on the walls closer to the ground / object base.

There is also an apparent ability to display with shadows and IIRC, Ambient Occlusion via MSFS' run time rendering (without PBR ?).


I have been spinning my wheels with this MSFS SDK unreliable "wheel-of-Fortune" nonsense for more than a year now. :banghead:

GaryGB
 
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MCX uses PBR rendering with glTF files, while MDL files use a different shader. That will explain the color difference.

I would need to double check in MSFS if I also have the issue of colors not showing. But since it is a while ago I started MSFS, I am afraid I first have to downloads many GBs of updates before I can test anything :)

Hi Arno:

Do you need us to "pass the hat" to help defray the costs of the bandwidth so you can get MSFS updated ASAP ? :oops:


I believe many of us would greatly appreciate your expertise to "get up to speed" with MSFS development activities via MCX etc.


Many of us here are sick and tired of "Blender mania", and want to use Sketchup instead, with a reliable work-flow via MCX to import / export various 3D model file formats, including a PBR format already implemented via a Sketchup plugin and glTF viewer: :idea:









< Help us, Obi-Wan ...you're our only hope ! > :wizard:

GaryGB
 
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rhumbaflappy

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I have been spinning my wheels with this MSFS SDK unreliable "wheel-of-Fortune" nonsense for more than a year now. :banghead:

The SDK is only examples and documentation, as well as a very few tools or plugins. The compiler and core are in the sim.

Many of us here are sick and tired of "Blender mania", and want to use Sketchup instead, with a reliable work-flow via MCX to import / export various 3D model export formats, including a PBR format already implemented via a Sketchup plugin and glTF viewer: :idea:

Blender does not have a totally reliable workflow... it's better than the non-existent Sketchup workflow for MSFS.

PBR from Sketchup is not the same PBR as MSFS, I believe. I don't know if MCX can translate this.

Does Sketchup have a glTF export? That would simplify MCX' workflow. Just export as glTF and import to MCX, then export as MSFS gltf.

I was very hesitant to use Blender, but I have crept into it. Some output from Sketchup can be imported to Blender, and then adapted to MSFS materials and exported to an MSFS gltf. This bypasses MCX.
 
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Thanks, Dick, for sharing your experiences and insights. :)

Indeed, the on-again / off-again community-based importers / exporters between FS and Blender are AFAIK, unreliable.


IIUC, the work-flow via the above referenced Sketchup plugins and external viewer are reliable, and can export to glTF 2.0 format.


I would still process glTF files via MCX to ensure all PBR attributes required / desired / exported ...are fully MSFS SDK compliant.


I 'may' consider Blender on a very limited basis solely to implement complex animations not available via MCX' own feature set.


IMHO, updates by Arno to his utilities are important to the future success of MSFS addon development.

The future success of MSFS addon development is important the future success of MSFS.

The future success of MSFS addon development is important the future success of MSFS via MS-Store.

The future success of MSFS via MS-Store is important to the future of Asobo's purported 10-year commitment by MS for MSFS.


Bearing in mind many of us here have repeatedly endured a long slow process by MS to finally produce 'reliable' FS SDKs, I must say that if I was Asobo, seeing how the overall relatively few forum threads regarding MSFS development are declining here / elsewhere, and seeing the numerous complaints about MSFS functionality issues that IMHO, should not even be occurring in a RTM product, I would:

Be Afraid ...Be Very Afraid.


Fly_poster.jpg


Oops ...I used the"F-word" at FSDev again. :rotfl:

GaryGB
 
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arno

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Do you need us to "pass the hat" to help defray the costs of the bandwidth so you can get MSFS updated ASAP ? :oops:
The cost of the bandwidth is no issue at all. It is just that I don't spend that much time flying and spend most time making tools. So it is many once a month or so that I fire up MSFS to test something. And that usually means I missed a couple of updates and have to download a lot of stuff again. Which usually takes a whole evening, just to test a small stupid thing.
Many of us here are sick and tired of "Blender mania", and want to use Sketchup instead, with a reliable work-flow via MCX to import / export various 3D model export formats, including a PBR format already implemented via a Sketchup plugin and glTF viewer: :idea:
I am not sure how SketchUp does PBR and have that would be stored then in an exported file. The plugins you mention seem to be mainly to add PBR rendering in SketchUp itself. Although it looks like they export glTF as well. In that case MCX should most likely to able to import most of it already.
PBR from Sketchup is not the same PBR as MSFS, I believe. I don't know if MCX can translate this.
If I can see a few samples I can probably see how big the differences are.
Does Sketchup have a glTF export? That would simplify MCX' workflow. Just export as glTF and import to MCX, then export as MSFS gltf.
It seems the plugins Gary mentioned do allow exporting to glTF as well. That should indeed help for a workflow.
I would still process glTF files via MCX to ensure all PBR attributes required / desired / exported ...are fully MSFS SDK compliant.
The MSFS plugin for Blender is as much compliant with MSFS as MCX I would say. We both tried to implement all attributes the SDK and I have had discussions with Vitus on certain features.
 

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And to vent some of my MSFS frustration, when I start the sim now it says I need to install a mandatory update from the Microsoft Store, but in the store no update is shown of course. Looks like I might need to do a clean install and waste even more time on downloading and installing MSFS. I think I prefer the situation with FSX where we just have a service pack once or twice.
 
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Many thanks for looking into this Sketchup PBR / glTF MCX I/O option, Arno. :)

IMHO, the important distinction between MCX and Blender I/O utilities is that MCX is not "palindromic abandon-ware". :wizard:


And to vent some of my MSFS frustration, when I start the sim now it says I need to install a mandatory update from the Microsoft Store, but in the store no update is shown of course. Looks like I might need to do a clean install and waste even more time on downloading and installing MSFS. I think I prefer the situation with FSX where we just have a service pack once or twice.

I feel your pain; I also had that the other day along with many others. :oops:


FYI: After recurrent MSFS "mandatory updates" that never appeared in MS-Store, I found that one can actually update MSFS rather quickly via:

1.) Manually ensure all pending Windows 10 updates are allowed / forced to immediately download / install

2.) Make a backup of the "active" MSFS packages folder chain (containing all 'current' Community / Official folder chains); do not delete originals

3.) Start Menu > Apps > Settings > Apps > MS-Store > Advanced Options > Terminate, Reset, and Uninstall / Reinstall MS-Store

(AFAIK, MS-Store always immediately re-loads itself automatically, and always finds one's "All Owned" content)


4.) Start Menu > Apps > Settings > Apps > Microsoft Flight Simulator > Advanced Options > Terminate, Reset, and Uninstall MSFS

5.) MS-Store > [...] button > Download and Updates > [Get Updates] button


NOTE: I do not have a "XBOX App"; instead I have 'XBOX Console Companion' ...offering optional download of "XBOX App" (not required yet ?)

I also have a XBOX Game Bar (which IIRC, I never need to load / use)


6.) MS-Store > [...] button > My Library> Microsoft Flight Simulator (version) > [Manage] button > (download / install MSFS update)


NOTE: During MSFS Re-install, browse / select prior "active" MSFS packages folder chain (containing all 'current' Community / Official folder chains)


Important: Do not use submitted default location on C:\ drive unless it actually was the prior "active" MSFS packages folder chain


Apparently MSFS installer will inventory / re-use 'most' files in the prior "active" MSFS packages folder chain

This process allows MSFS installer to decide which files it actually needs / wants to update.


During subsequent MSFS downloads, one initially gets a ~1 GB core file set, followed by a smaller-than-RTM-size total GB update.


Some content is now treated as "optional" downloads via MSFS Content Manager in MSFS' GUI menu system (a ~160 GB 'base' is not required)

This approach results in smaller / quicker MSFS updates, and less down time waiting for a minimum required GB download to finish. :stirthepo


I hope this info makes the MSFS "mandatory update" process less inconvenient for this- and other forthcoming- updates. ;)

GaryGB
 
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=rk=

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And to vent some of my MSFS frustration, when I start the sim now it says I need to install a mandatory update from the Microsoft Store, but in the store no update is shown of course.
I'd had the same condition and by following other advice posted, I simply left the MS Store window open, maybe one minute and the update commenced automatically.
 
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Interrupting the rant against MSFS SDK, updates, etc., a further comment on the OP is that adding textures to all surfaces of objects could solve the problem, but removal of textures on the final LOD of the object creates a flash of bright light as the object fades into the background. A dark object suddenly becomes bright white.
 
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Sorry for the brief sub-topic digression, Art; I do consider your topic both timely and important. :pushpin:


I would welcome having an admin move a few of the above latter posts to their own meritorious thread(s). ;)

GaryGB
 
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Hi Arno. Has there been any progress on this issue? If you need any examples or other input, let me know. Ambient materials are displaying fine.

I'm too old to learn to use Blender and MSFS Developer Mode, so I still use FSDS to create models, MCX to convert them to gltf and ADE to place them at airports. Therefore, you and Jon are verrrrry important people in my life, thank you.
 

=rk=

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MSFS does not support polygon color, MCX can not change this fact. FSDS does however, support material textured polygons. You'd want to apply a texture in the same color, as your polygon color, to have the same effect within MSFS.
Why do colors of untextured materials not display on objects in MSFS as designated and shown in MCX? All untextured materials are showing as bright white. This is on .gltf objects converted from .mdl objects using MCX.
The question contains a contradiction, in that "materials," are textures; "material" being the industry term and "texture" being the MS flight sim specific term. "Polygons" are the objects that color, or materials are applied to, MSFS will render all colored polygons as white, or light blue, the only distinction being face orientation.
 
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The question contains a contradiction, in that "materials," are textures; "material" being the industry term and "texture" being the MS flight sim specific term.
In FSDS, materials are colors (with other characteristics) and textures are applied images. Asobo wants objects to have no textures in the final LOD. Should I ignore that requirement? My objects converted prior to the latest MCX build show the "material" color properly instead of the bright white when texture is eliminated.
 

=rk=

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In FSDS, materials are colors (with other characteristics) and textures are applied images.
An "image" can be of the color "green," in which case, the "textured" polygons, are the exact same color as would be colored polygons, with the added caveat of allowing PBR enhancement.
Asobo wants objects to have no textures in the final LOD.
Can you show us your source for this information? Because I do not follow that convention, I create all my LOD models using the MCX automatic algorithm, occasionally textures are removed from lower detail models, because those polygons do not exist in the reduced geometry models, but my final, most simple LOD, always has textures.
In fact, I just read through the entire LOD category within the most recent version of the MSFS and I found no reference to removing all textures in the final LOD. Could it be possible, that you refer to this paragraph?

Remove textures you may not need at a distance, such as a normal map, and try very hard to avoid creating extra textures at a smaller resolution, this will just increase total memory usage. Prefer simply removing textures whenever possible.

My objects converted prior to the latest MCX build show the "material" color properly instead of the bright white when texture is eliminated.
Please endeavor to communicate as clearly and plainly as possible, it may been redundant, since you know your situation very well, but we do not. You did not inform where your objects showed the polygon color, that you refer to as "material" color, if it had been in the MCX viewport, or if it had been within MSFS.

We have already explained the contradiction between materials and color that you insist on maintaining. Presently you will discover you had been mistaken about a requirement to remove textures, although you do seem extremely sure, of your beliefs. In fact, I feel you have this well under hand. Perhaps Arno will oblige you and confirm your hypothesis. Best of luck with it.
 
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