FSX:SE MDL File Issue

#1
To whom it may concern,
I downloaded a realistic model to use for one of the airports I have been working on. I placed it in ADE, but it is not showing up in FSX after I compile it. What could be the problem here? The original model was an OBJ, but I converted it to an MDL file in MCX. I wasn't able to upload the OBJ, as it is not a supported format on this site. Any help you can provide is appreciated.
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 

Attachments

#3
Hi Tom,
The scenery texture files associated with the X-Plane models are in DDS format, but I thought ADE only accepts PNG files. I put the MDL file in my Documents folder. Should I put the MDL file and the DDS files in a separate folder? Is this the texture folder you are talking about? C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\texture
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
#4
Hi Kevin:

Although I do not use X-Plane, since you are attempting to 'port' X-Plane scenery into FS, some clarification is in order.


MSFS / LM-P3D will only recognize / load scenery content in Area layers added into FS Scenery Library GUI and set 'Active'. :pushpin:

*.BGLs must be in a nested \Scenery sub-folder along with a paired \Texture sub-folder containing any mapped textures

The above cited \Scenery and \Texture local paired folders must be located as nested sub-folders under a 'Top' folder, typically named in part for the airport ICAO and any other custom name desired by the developer using 'legal' alpha-numeric characters.


FYI: MSFS / LM-P3D only loads *.BMP or *.DDS texture image files at run time when mapped onto 3D scenery model objects.

IIRC, ADE does not actually perform texture material mapping; it simply 'copies' / 'manages' mapped textures already in their existing format required by MSFS / LM-P3D ...when packaging / placing MDLs via SDK BGLComp into BGLs.


AFAIK, *.PNG file format is accepted as a 'source' file by X-Plane SDK, but its recent preferred output file format is also *.DDS.


BTW: The X-Plane *.OBJ 3D scenery model format is distinct from the more well-known 3D model *.OBJ file formats otherwise supported by many 3D modeling applications / utilities, and is not widely supported by such 3D applications / utilities.

With a "industry-standard" , *.OBJ, one needs to have all textures in the same folder along with the *.OBJ file in order for MCX to 'find' those textures mapped onto the 3D model.

Although X-Plane SDK apparently has a "DDSTool" conversion utility, it is advisable to let MCX 'Material Editor' perform all mapped texture file conversions internally using FS SDK ImageTool to output into correct formats required by MSFS / LM-P3D.


Your attachment above must also include the *.BMP or *.DDS textures mapped onto the model that were converted via MCX.

You can package an entire set of files in a *.ZIP archive using freeware 7-ZIP or WinRAR utilities ...to attach a ZIP here. ;)

GaryGB
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
#5
I assume you are adding this MDL using the technique of adding the MDL file to the ADE Lists/Models listing and then using the right click/Add.../Model sequence to add it to the airport. If so, while the MDL will be incorporated into the ADE BGL file (and as usual should be placed into an active scenery folder), ADE does *nothing* with the textures. You must manually add them to the adjoining texture folder next to the scenery subfolder where the ADE BGL resides. AND they must be in a valid flightsim format - DDS, DXTBMP, etc.

Hope this helps,
 
#6
Hi Tom,
I put the DDS files associated with the textures for the model I'm using into the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\scenery folder, where my BGL files are located. Is this what you mean?
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#7
They need to go in the texture folder which is alongside the scenery folder - so C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\texture
 

gfxpilot

Resource contributor
#9
Kevin, assuming you are compiling an airport the compilation have two file sets, scenery will be the blg files, basically the structures including taxiways runways buildings and then the textures that cover the structures. Example: buildings wiill go in the add on scenery folder and in there you will normally have a folder named the same as your new airport. I.e kewd , in there are two further folders , one called scenery ,in there are placed the bgl files, then you have the texture folder, in there go all the textures that are complied by ade for your airport plus the textures that make up ANY of the models you have used in the ade so in this case the Mdl for the hospital (structure). The textures that make up the Walls roof etc of the hospital go in the texture folder. I hope that's clear?
 
#10
Ok. This is the folder I created to place the DDS files, based on my understanding from your post. Is this right? WS03 is the ICAO of the airport C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\scenery\ws03\texture
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
#11
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/mdl-file-issue.444693/post-816201

Ok. This is the folder I created to place the DDS files, based on my understanding from your post. Is this right? WS03 is the ICAO of the airport C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\scenery\ws03\texture
Regards,
Kevin Davis
[EDITED]

Hi again, Kevin:

IMHO:

After the MDL is packaged into a BGLComp-compiled *.BGL with placement info by ADE, that BGL should be located in:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\WS03\Scenery


After the MDL is packaged into a BGLComp-compiled *.BGL with placement info by ADE, the textures mapped onto the MDL within that BGL above, should be located in:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\WS03\Texture


Thus, both a \Texture and \Scenery folder should be locally paired with (aka "alongside") each other ...under a 'top' folder ex:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\WS03. ;)



The path configuration I described above 'should' work, if you Add a new Area for WS03 at / near the top of the FS / P3D Scenery Library GUI stack of layers (...for the resulting BGL and its mapped textures in this sub-folder chain):

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\WS03\Scenery

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\WS03\Texture

[END_EDIT]

GaryGB
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
#12
As Gary says, no - that's not correct. Jon already told you the exact folder you needed to add your textures to.

If the ADE BGL file is in:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\scenery

then the textures need to be placed into:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\texture

Almost no other folder will work.
 
#13
Ok: The BGL is in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\scenery
and all of the texture files associated with the model are in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\Addon Scenery\texture. Still no dice on the building showing up. Would attaching the ADE file help? Maybe it could be an elevation issue?
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
#14
Hi Kevin:

You have already attached the ADE airport BGL above; that is OK for now, but generally it is otherwise a good idea to attach the ADE *.AD4 project file.

3D scenery object placement typically defaults to 0 Meters AGL, so you should have no elevation issue unless you changed Altitude during placement.


AFAIK, the issue here IMHO, is that you have not yet attached the textures as recommended above.

If you will ZIP and attach the textures mapped onto the MDL you already attached above, in MCX Material Editor on the {Textures} tab, we can:

* check that the textures have been converted into the proper graphic file format for use in FSX / P3D

* check the 3D model in MCX to see if the "Path" for the mapped textures is correct (...that 'path' info is written by MCX into the MDL itself). :pushpin:


FYI: Not having specified the intended output "Path" for the \Texture folder in MCX Material Editor on the {Textures} tab before the 3D model is exported from MCX as a "scenery BGL", may also disable display of the mapped textures ...even when you have the BGL and texture files in a proper sub-folder structure linked to an active Area layer in the Scenery Library GUI as you have described above in your latter post. :idea:

GaryGB
 
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#15
Hi again, Kevin:

Assuming this is for a personal use and/or freeware project:

You might be interested to know that one of the 3D models of Columbia St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee, WI (location of WS03 Helipad) used in the X-Plane freeware scenery package:

"Milwaukee VFR Extreme 1.0.0"

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/48938-milwaukee-vfr-extreme/

[C Milwaukee Install path]\objects\STMaryHosp2-XPlane.obj


...appears to be exactly the same 3D 'geometry' as one in Sketchup 3D Warehouse by "PeterX":

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/cdd878e06df577397688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital


BTW: This object can be seen in Google Earth with the new 3D photogrammetry-derived objects disabled (aka in 'Legacy building' mode) via:

Google Earth Menu > Options > {3D View} tab > Terrain > un-check "Use 3D Imagery (disable to use legacy 3D buildings)"


That 3D Warehouse model containing the Helipad for WS03 can be downloaded as a Geo-located "KMZ From Sketchup" file: :pushpin:

Columbia+St+Marys+Hospital.kmz


It may then be imported into Sketchup for fine tuning a few textures which might benefit from some repositioning for Altitude, texture mapping, and perhaps to replace a few textures with newer ones from ex: Google Earth Street View.


After modifying that 3D Warehouse model in Sketchup, You can then re-export the *.KMZ file from Sketchup, and import it into MCX for conversion / automatic placement when exported as 'scenery'..


You may ultimately find that work-flow to be easier for you to utilize ...rather than attempting to convert the 'same' 3D model from a X-Plane *.OBJ (...and the *.PNG < *.DDS ? > files, which the latest 2019-26-01 version of MCX thus far has not mapped onto the model correctly.)


BTW: There are also (3) other Sketchup 3D Warehouse *.KMZ models for other buildings at that location by 'PeterX': :idea:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/b8b07f4e7e1b2aa47688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/fc78c9116b59d6687688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/69dfb661dd1765587688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital

These may also be downloaded as Geo-located "KMZ From Sketchup" files.



PS: This thread is also related to your discussion on this topic in the MCX forum ...here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/dsf-file-to-fsx.444633/unread


Hope this helps. :)

GaryGB
 
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#18
Hi again, Kevin:

Assuming this is for a personal use and/or freeware project:

You might be interested to know that one of the 3D models of Columbia St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee, WI (location of WS03 Helipad) used in the X-Plane freeware scenery package:

"Milwaukee VFR Extreme 1.0.0"

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/48938-milwaukee-vfr-extreme/

[C Milwaukee Install path]\objects\STMaryHosp2-XPlane.obj


...appears to be exactly the same 3D 'geometry' as one in Sketchup 3D Warehouse by "PeterX":

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/cdd878e06df577397688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital


BTW: This object can be seen in Google Earth with the new 3D photogrammetry-derived objects disabled (aka in 'Legacy building' mode) via:

Google Earth Menu > Options > {3D View} tab > Terrain > un-check "Use 3D Imagery (disable to use legacy 3D buildings)"


That 3D Warehouse model containing the Helipad for WS03 can be downloaded as a Geo-located "KMZ From Sketchup" file: :pushpin:

Columbia+St+Marys+Hospital.kmz


It may then be imported into Sketchup for fine tuning a few textures which might benefit from some repositioning for Altitude, texture mapping, and perhaps to replace a few textures with newer ones from ex: Google Earth Street View.


After modifying that 3D Warehouse model in Sketchup, You can then re-export the *.KMZ file from Sketchup, and import it into MCX for conversion / automatic placement when exported as 'scenery'..


You may ultimately find that work-flow to be easier for you to utilize ...rather than attempting to convert the 'same' 3D model from a X-Plane *.OBJ (...and the *.PNG < *.DDS ? > files, which the latest 2019-26-01 version of MCX thus far has not mapped onto the model correctly.)


BTW: There are also (3) other Sketchup 3D Warehouse *.KMZ models for other buildings at that location by 'PeterX': :idea:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/b8b07f4e7e1b2aa47688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/fc78c9116b59d6687688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/69dfb661dd1765587688e67ac1793ffc/Columbia-St-Marys-Hospital

These may also be downloaded as Geo-located "KMZ From Sketchup" files.



PS: This thread is also related to your discussion on this topic in the MCX forum ...here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/dsf-file-to-fsx.444633/unread


Hope this helps. :)

GaryGB
Greetings, Gary!
I have actually been in communication with Peter since I was trying to get MCX to work in the "DSF file to FSX" thread. I seemed to get that to work, but then I ran into the texture issue, hence why I started this thread. Peter admitted that he didn't use FSX at all, so that's why I started this to get insight from FSX users. All of the models I want to use are in his gallery. The particular one that I was interested in was the third 3D warehouse hyperlink you posted. If I just import the KMZ file into MCX, will that add the textures automatically? I don't think editing the texture with Street View will be necessary, as the textures in the model are accurate. Also, are you saying that if I imported that file into MCX, it would add the GPS coordinates automatically, rather than me having to change the Lat/Long in ADE. Am I on the right track here?
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
#19
Ok. I converted the file I'm trying to use into a KMZ format. I then used MCX's "Convert and place object wizard," and imported said KMZ file. When I clicked, "OK," it filled in Lat/Long coordinates. I checked an online Lat/Long converter, and verified that the coordinates was the same as the model I'm trying to import. Is this the right route to take here? Unfortunately, because the wizard is a popup screen, I couldn't use the Snipping Tool to capture it. The model I wanted was not in the 3D Warehouse page. The one I wanted has the actual helipad marking on the top of the building, which will help me place the heliport in ADE.
Regards,
Kevin Davis
 
#20
https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/mdl-file-issue.444693/post-816365

Greetings, Gary!

I have actually been in communication with Peter since I was trying to get MCX to work in the "DSF file to FSX" thread. I seemed to get that to work, but then I ran into the texture issue, hence why I started this thread.

Peter admitted that he didn't use FSX at all, so that's why I started this to get insight from FSX users. All of the models I want to use are in his gallery. The particular one that I was interested in was the third 3D warehouse hyperlink you posted. If I just import the KMZ file into MCX, will that add the textures automatically?

IIUC, Arno has some additional work updating MCX to correctly read and translate UVW mapping of the texture materials from the *.DDS 1-piece texture sheet / atlas (used for draw call minimization in the X-Plane rendering system ?) when transferred onto the MDL which MCX internally converts from X-Plane *.OBJ 3D models.

To the extent that I have tested this new functionality in MCX, that texture translation and re-mapping of Material onto the 3D MDL is incorrect.

I'm confident that Arno will be interested in fixing this particular MCX feature ASAP. ;)

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/mdl-file-issue.444693/post-816365

I don't think editing the texture with Street View will be necessary, as the textures in the model are accurate.

Also, are you saying that if I imported that file into MCX, it would add the GPS coordinates automatically, rather than me having to change the Lat/Long in ADE. Am I on the right track here ?

Regards,
Kevin Davis
Yes, IMHO, you are already "on the right track"; however, the Altitude position on the ground of the buildings must be manually adjusted ex: downwards by 19.5000 Feet / 5.9436 Meters within Sketchup prior to exporting to a *.KMZ file, in order to compensate for the 'extended base' geometry of 'this' 3D model which was intended for use partially submerged within Google Earth's 90 Meter SRTM-derived terrain model.

I'll try to post some images of what this involves ASAP. :coffee:


PS: FAA records:

https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/airportdata_5010/menu/

https://www.faa.gov/airports/airpor...&County=&City=MILWAUKEE&Use=PR&Certification=


...show WS03 (aka FAA Identifier: "WS23") Heliport with an Altitude of 895.0000 Feet / 272.796 Meters (AMSL)

The default FSX / P3D local terrain mesh ground surface is 672.5702 Feet / 205 Meters (AMSL)

895.0000 Feet (AMSL) - 672.5702 Feet (AMSL) = 222.4298 Feet ...Heliport Altitude (AGL)

IIUC, this "estimated" Altitude AGL may be in-flight approach clearance for the highest nearby part of the building. :scratchch


Google Earth's photogrammetry-derived 3D building model shows 807 Feet / 245.9736 Meters (AMSL) at the Helipad surface

Google Earth's 90 Meter SRTM-derived terrain model shows 669 Feet / 203.9112 Meters (AMSL) for local ground surface

807.0000 Feet (AMSL) - 669 Feet (AMSL) = 138 Feet / 42.0624 Meters ...Heliport Altitude (AGL)



[EDITED] After closer inspection...

Google Earth's photogrammetry-derived 3D building model also shows a NW staircase of 16 steps from roof to Helipad:

16 steps x 7.5 Inches each = 120 Inches / 12 Inches per Foot = 10 Feet / 3.048 Meters (AMSL) Helipad surface above roof

* Assuming texture material mapping scale is already 'close' to real life in the existing 3D model

...and:

* Assuming a walkway from the building to the Helipad is 'level' at 10 Feet / 3.048 Meters (AMSL) Helipad surface above roof

...the building roof under WS03 Helipad Altitude ...may require manual correction of 11- 1/2" less distance AGL in Sketchup. :pushpin:


NOTE: That is in addition to the prior (-)19.5 Feet the 3D model was already lowered (...for Google Earth display).

[END_EDIT]


BTW: A "Platform" with a 'hardened / concrete' attribute may be added to the Helipad using MCX Attached Object Editor. :idea:


Although there are default and custom Helipads already with a built-in Platform to prevent falling-through on 'most'
landings, if one lands too hard, one can still fall through, so it is often helpful to add an additional Platform.

Since it is likely you would want to use the custom imagery Helipad texture, you may want to make a custom Helipad that has (2) built-in Platforms for a "hard" surface ...more accommodating to 'all' landings (unless you are a very good Helo pilot ! ) :cool:.

GaryGB
 
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