Scenery Objects - P3D v4.3xxxx

#1
I've been out of the FS game for a number of years. I loved creating airports back in the day for FSX and Instant Scenery 2, ADE, AI Flight Planner, and several other great apps making my life easier... Now, back in the game and I am not seeing anything that is anywhere close to what we had in FSX... I have the newest apps that actually work... ADE being my main happy place. I am beyond unhappy about Instant Scenery pretty much going away. I don't have time to create my own models...so finding great ones by those with the time and the talent to make them was one of my favorite things back in the 2000's and up til about 2011. MANY web sites with 1000's of files (some good, some bad, some amazing!!!) to get to add to the scenery we created. Some of these sites still exist but my God, where are the goods??? When it comes to P3D especially v4.xxxx it's like a virtual ghost town. For me, it sucks enough that I can't use a great app like IS to SEE what I am putting in my scenery LIVE and place it exactly how I want...but now I can't even find places to GET the items..

Is no one actually creating stuff that works in P3D? I mean there were 100's if not 1000's of people creating items for use in FSX that were freely available (Surclaro, Avsim, Simviation to name a few) for those of us that wanted to design the scenery, not the objects going into the scenery. Am I just not figuring out what to type into Google to see these things anymore? Those sites have a couple items...but really, nothing to write home about.

If anyone knows of a place to get P3D v4. library items that I can get to add to scenery and airports, please let me know. I wish I had the talent to model and the time to do it...but I simply don't. Thanks for any help or thoughts on this... Else, what FSX items WILL work in P3D v4? I read that some do, but then I read somewhere else that most don't, some don't, most will but you have to make modification, blah blah blah.... Also, is there ANYTHING like Instant Scenery that will allow me to pull up my object library while INSIDE P3D so I can place them while looking at them. I use ADE now which at least allows me to get accurate placement...but I have to guess on exact rotation, scale, etc... Doable, but not MY ideal way... Less time than not using it...but more time than I have to give currently.

Thanks much,

Greg
 

MOUSY

Resource contributor
#2
To give you a a quick start.
1) Short of creating the models by hand, ModelCoverterX is a great tool for converting old objects into the P3D format. A few simple button clicks will do all the proper model and texture conversions for you. It will also allow you to build up a library of objects that you would like to place. The only thing you will have to worry about is whether you are allowed to convert somebody else's work.
2) P3Ds SimDirector will actually allow you to pull objects from any object library in the scenery library and place them live. Although that requires you to have the Professional Plus version as opposed to the Academic version I believe. Whisplacer was another tool that allowed you to connect to the sim and place items in its library live, but I think it has stopped being supported. SODE has a tool called SODEPlacer which took over Whisplacer's core code, though the setup is very slightly different. It still allows you to place objects live (If you can get it to connect, which, for some reason, I haven't, lately).

As for where to find generic free-to-use models, I once had a look on a few Xplane sites. Most have licenses that allow free use, but I decided against using them for performance reasons that would have arisen from file conversion. Also when you start from scratch you can get maximum similarity to the real life object. :cool:
 
#3
I don't think this is really a Prepar3d issue, it is more of a 'mid 2010s' issue. Things were already starting to change towards the end of FSX's reign, but of course developers had already done a lot of work over the lifespan of FSX. Going back to when I started, with FS2002, I went looking for local addons, and found quite a few which sparked my initial interest and excitement about the hobby. What I didn't realise was that these were produced over a number of years, and after my initial 'discovery' of addons for FS2002, things got very quiet, with just the occasional new release. Which brings me to the main problem -- too much work to do, and too few developers. Even back then I knew that if I wanted a steady supply of new scenery, I'd need to do it myself.
From experience, I also know that the keen freeware developers of yesteryear don't always move to the new platforms, or use the new tools. They are happier to move elsewhere for their development kicks, or try a different hobby completely. The only folk who can afford the time and resources to keep on top of things are those why realise early on that they need to charge for their work. This leads to a lot more releases, but all at a price. Plus it starts to make sense to collect the best developers together, hence we have Orbx going from strength to strength. A poor freeware developer has no hope of making a dent compared to the big developers.
But in reality most 'proper-FSX' libraries will work in Prepar3d, even the default libraries supplied with Prepar3d haven't changed much since FSX, if at all.
You are right about the lack of good placement tools, I use Whisplacer, which is great and does a lot of useful things, but I'm aware that it is a tricky thing to get installed and working, and it is no longer supported as Mousy mentioned. I understand it is now open-source, so I live in hope that someone will restart the work on it.
 
#4
First, Simdirector also comes with the Academic version of P3D (v4.3), but I've tried it and it somehow messed up my P3D so I couldn't start it again. Had to delete some files, which meant I had to start over again with installing addons.
Second. I also have P3d v3 and IS3 works in it, so I place my objects with it and then take the .bgl file it creates, and place it in P3Dv4, and it seems to work fine.
I'm also looking for decent object libraries and wouldn't mind paying for them. So my hope and wish, is that ie. ORBX, FlyTampa, and whatever companies that have custom made objects, would release a library of their objects for us to use. I'm also quite sure that never will happen, but we can all dream, right? :)
 
#5
Thanks to you all!!! Yeah, you are probably right...when I was big into FS9 and FSX devs had been making those models for years. MOST fs9 objects worked fine in FSX thus huge library to select from. My God, I can remember going to the great download sites for FS goodies and just hundreds of pages of objects you could get. Nicely, 99% came with free use permission and those that didn't simply asked for you to let them know you wanted to use it. Which I always did. Libraries of objects by many people gets to be a real pain in the ass as you have no clue who to ask permission from for 1 or 2 objects from that library. Thus, like you say, you must either just use it and give a link where others can get it (to me, NOT providing everything needed in a download package is absolute CRAP!!!!! If I download a cool airport for my sim, I don't want to find out I then have to download 8 things from other sites that may or may not still even exist...and trust me, this has happened WAY more than once!!!!)

I was, back in early 2010's, getting really good at Sketchup, which was starting to be a new option for making FS objects. However, life came calling and it's been at least 6 years since I even looked at it.... Probably wouldn't take months again to learn back what I have forgotten but since I actually need to earn a living and pay bills, I don't have that much time. LOL Oh if we only knew how great we had it when we were teens (for me that's way back machine times in the 80's...lol) living in a home where bills were paid, and all we had to do was go to school and have fun doing what we wanted to do!! Summers of nothing but free time! I digress..... :)

With all of the people that paid for IS2 (I actually bought it and then for reasons only got to use it for about 3 months before life took me out of FS'ing) I can't understand why they don't see a need or want to FIX IS3 or make an IS4 to work with P3Dv4+... I don't code anymore but would be surprised if it would take their talented programmers an insane amount of time to make new or update.. But I could be very wrong. Pretty sure I am not, though. I didn't buy P3D until v4.3 thus as far as I know don't have access to prior version where I could actually still use my IS2... :(

I have P3Dv4.3+ Professional. I have not seen Simdirector but will see if I have it and will check it out if I do. Never heard of Whisplacer or the SODEPlacer...but have SODE and will check that out when I have time..

It would just be nice if we could get a site to actually REALLY support P3Dv4+ with it's own section. A couple sites will have files for P3D but you end up reading tons of descriptions (usually) to find those that work properly in P3Dv4.3+... I mean hell, I have unlimited server space and unlimited bandwidth on my provider and would run a site myself if someone wants to do it... Again, I simply don't have time as of right now (new job, moving, etc...) to do it... So if anyone reading this is interested, message me and we'll make it happen!!!!

Greg
 
#6
Wow!
When I stumbled onto your post, here, it seemed like dejvu. My history in FS is very similar to yours. I really worked Instant Scenery, back in FSX. I've used SimDirector to place some library objects. I have many ORBX products installed in P3D v4 But since you're basically stuck creating scenarios, you sometimes have issues.

PrePar3D v4.1.722841
SimDirctor v4.1.72284?
P3D SDK v4.2.21.24048
Photoshop Elements 9 v9.0 (20100905 m.9093)
Sketchup Ver. 17.0.18899
ModelConverterX Ver. 1.4.0.0 af331ea1 Dev 1-15-2019
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz, 4008 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s) 64 bit
Graphics Card Manufacturer: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
Graphics Card: MAXIMUS VIII HERO
Physical RAM: 16.0 GB

I fly primarily helicopters (MilViz McDonnell Douglas MD530F). The objects for helis are near nonexistent. Out of over 13,000 objects in the SimDirector catalog there are less than 12 helipads.
My old group HoverControl.com had a training site that used a practice landing/pad (HoverCircles). I really enjoyed honing my hovering skills on this pad.
MS_Hover_Practice.jpg
I just want to place this 2D graphic on my home (L12 Redlands Muni) airports tarmac. Seems simple enough.

1. Created the image (1,024 x 1,024 BMP) using Photoshop Elements 9.
2. Built the object (140' x 140' x 1" .DAE (Collada format).) using FREE SketchUp.
3. Imported object into ModelConverterX.
4. Followed instructions on editing objects.
5. Compiled the .BGL. The .BGL and textures are in their proper folders.
6. The new area is added in P3D Scenery Library.
7. Nothing appears.

I have done this exercise many, many times with the same results. Either there is something wrong with the programs or I have not followed the instructions correctly. Very frustrating. With Instant Scenery it would have taken less than 5 min.

Maybe with more ears and eyes on the job and working together, we might be able to draw more people into help find a solution to both our problems.

Mark Self
 
#7
Wow!
When I stumbled onto your post, here, it seemed like dejvu. My history in FS is very similar to yours. I really worked Instant Scenery, back in FSX. I've used SimDirector to place some library objects. I have many ORBX products installed in P3D v4 But since you're basically stuck creating scenarios, you sometimes have issues.

PrePar3D v4.1.722841
SimDirctor v4.1.72284?
P3D SDK v4.2.21.24048
Photoshop Elements 9 v9.0 (20100905 m.9093)
Sketchup Ver. 17.0.18899
ModelConverterX Ver. 1.4.0.0 af331ea1 Dev 1-15-2019
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz, 4008 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s) 64 bit
Graphics Card Manufacturer: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
Graphics Card: MAXIMUS VIII HERO
Physical RAM: 16.0 GB

I fly primarily helicopters (MilViz McDonnell Douglas MD530F). The objects for helis are near nonexistent. Out of over 13,000 objects in the SimDirector catalog there are less than 12 helipads.
My old group HoverControl.com had a training site that used a practice landing/pad (HoverCircles). I really enjoyed honing my hovering skills on this pad.
View attachment 47317
I just want to place this 2D graphic on my home (L12 Redlands Muni) airports tarmac. Seems simple enough.

1. Created the image (1,024 x 1,024 BMP) using Photoshop Elements 9.
2. Built the object (140' x 140' x 1" .DAE (Collada format).) using FREE SketchUp.
3. Imported object into ModelConverterX.
4. Followed instructions on editing objects.
5. Compiled the .BGL. The .BGL and textures are in their proper folders.
6. The new area is added in P3D Scenery Library.
7. Nothing appears.

I have done this exercise many, many times with the same results. Either there is something wrong with the programs or I have not followed the instructions correctly. Very frustrating. With Instant Scenery it would have taken less than 5 min.

Maybe with more ears and eyes on the job and working together, we might be able to draw more people into help find a solution to both our problems.

Mark Self
As I don't do modeling I can't comment on how to possibly get it into the sim. And yes, I really wish they would update IS to work with P3D v4.3/4+ I'd BUY it again!!! I have paid full price for every copy, 1, 2, & 3. Because I always missed out on the discounts for prior owners. But at least they do still give me my keys and fix my counter when I run out of installs. LOL Since I do so much with my sims screwing them up to the point of total wipe and start from scratch I have had to install many software packs over and over and over again.. I have written them numerous times almost begging them to update the software for those of us that want to design but don't have the time nor ability to do all of it from scratch. IS was simply THE best software for making FS better.

BTW, if you ever figure out the issue with the heli-pad I'd love to add it to my sim as well.

Greg
 
#8
Greg:
I apologize for being so late in my reply. Had a death in the family.
I have figured out how to place the objects that I create (using Sketchup 2017) into P3D SDK v4.2.21.24048. I did some towers kinda like racing pylons. They turned out nice.
I've place a custom helipad MS_Hover_Practice.jpg 140'x140'x1" (using ModelConverterX). The pad placed perfect. Only trouble is that it flickers like crazy (this is probably due to the surface being so close to the ground).. Also it has reflections like a black mirror. I think I'll be able to figure out the properties of the object to reduce it's reflecting qualities. I'd really like to just place the markings on the existing tarmac. I think that may have something to do with "Ground Polygons". I'm still searching.
Armo, the guy who writes ModelConverterX, also writes a program "Library Creator XML". I'm working on that one also. If it works, I think you might be able to use the libraries like from P3D, FSX, ORBX and others. If that's the case then you could grab a library, load objects from the library into ModelConverterX and place then in P3D. ModelConverterX is not as user friendly as "Instant Scenery". But, it's my understanding that a library is a place where objects can be stored. Remember when you experimented with "SimDirector"? There is like 13,000 objects available in many libraries.to use in P3D. So I'm pretty sure that the library function is pretty standard. If it is, I'm planning to create my personal library with my own objects.
I've attached a small Zip file. I've scanned it with my antivirus program (ESSET/NOD32). It contains two very simple addons to m home field (L12 Redlands Muni) if you enter via runway 8 then look out your windshield on heading 112 deg., you'll see the helipad. If you swing a bit further to your right (heading of 165 deg you'll see my towers.
Neither of ese are not very fancy, but I'm learning how to use ModelConverteX. If he libraries and Library Creator XML wok then I can help you use ModelConverterX to place library object something like you did in "Instant Scenery"
Talk to you later.

Mark.
 

Attachments

#9
Hey Mark, Yeah, I used to create my own libraries as we, many many years ago, ran a Virtual Airline. We created paints for all of our aircraft but also I created scenery for the airports we used and/or created. So as I found objects that I liked I gained permission from the authors to be able to include them in my own libraries for distribution. So you are 100% correct as to what they are and how they work. That was soooo many years ago that I would have to spend some time remembering exactly how to do it. There are some (as I recall) really great posts and tutorials on exactly how to create them. It all has to do with, and you must be very careful with, the guid numbering of the objects. (https://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Library_Creator_XML_2.0)

I've been away from the computer myself as I replaced my CPU and ended up having to build an entirely new system (still need to upgrade graphics card but all else is NEW.) :) Just now got P3D v4.4 installed and about to delve back into my work with KCVG and KHAO.

Keep me updated on your progress and I'll do the same.

Greg

PS. I am sorry to hear of the death in your family. A year ago I lost my dad so I totally understand!
 
#10
Greg:
Armo suggested that what I was trying to do with the hovercircles would probably be better done with ground polys.. He was spot on. I've been able to place several of the images on the ground. The problem right now is the reflectivity or specularity issue. I create my background images, using Photoshop Elements 9. I've found that if I go into slew mode and pick outside view. The position myself at the exact location where I want to place the hovercircle and then slew up about 70 - 76' and capture the image of the tarmac. I then place the markings on this image, in Sketchup. It works fine but it reflects the sun like a piece of glass.
I used the texture converter in MCX. I was able to create a .DDS file that has the black area as transparent. It's not working, but I'm thinking it probably will.
I'm going to try to place some of ORBX's objects from their Object Library.

Mark
P.S. Yeah it was my older brother. Willie says "You don't get over it, you just get through it".
 
#11
Greg:
Armo suggested that what I was trying to do with the hovercircles would probably be better done with ground polys.. He was spot on. I've been able to place several of the images on the ground. The problem right now is the reflectivity or specularity issue. I create my background images, using Photoshop Elements 9. I've found that if I go into slew mode and pick outside view. The position myself at the exact location where I want to place the hovercircle and then slew up about 70 - 76' and capture the image of the tarmac. I then place the markings on this image, in Sketchup. It works fine but it reflects the sun like a piece of glass.
I used the texture converter in MCX. I was able to create a .DDS file that has the black area as transparent. It's not working, but I'm thinking it probably will.
I'm going to try to place some of ORBX's objects from their Object Library.

Mark
P.S. Yeah it was my older brother. Willie says "You don't get over it, you just get through it".

Can't wait to hear your progress on this one. I have some things in the fire now. Working on KCVG as well as KHAO and 8B1 and KNKL. I have also purchased a new domain name that will be used for the new sim site I am going to be working on. Want to get back to flying at some point. LOL But I do love all this other stuff as well. Especially the design work.

Greg
... Yeah, I lost my older brother when he was just 51. He was 7 years older than me. Now I am 51.. He had pancreatic cancer and it ate him up. That one was hard. He was one amazing person and we had a great friendship. Funny the things you think about over time... And it may sound odd...but I really miss his smile. He had a great one and was sooo much fun. He smiled a lot and it brought others joy. I try to live up to what he shared.. You do get through it...and like I said...over time, the memories will make you smile and laugh...and sometimes...cry! Can't wait to see him again..I know he is up there making the angels laugh...and probably farting on them!!! LOL Yup, that's my brother!
 
#12
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#13
As I am doing my KCVG free and payware versions maybe we could collaborate. I have spent insane # of hours just working on the correcting of runways, taxiways, parking, tarmacs, as well as correct placing of all signs, beacons, markers, vasi, roads, etc... Will be going down soon for a behind the scenes tour to get photo's and information on all the buildings, landmarks, and such. Most are down to the FOOT of where they actually go. I have also done a ton of research on the airport as far as materials used, aircraft types, etc.. (and I mean right down to the types of piping they use for the deicing systems and sewage systems. LOL) I have so much data it's insane!!!!

I don't do much modelling so that's the part I need others for. I can do the afcad and other scenery stuff. I have a new company called The Simdicate. That's the umbrella name for the entire thing but will also be the name all internal scenery design work will be released under. If interested in taking part in that as well let me know. Working on that web site now as well...(need more hours in a day) but tossed up a place holder page for now. http://www.simdicate.com

Greg
 
#14
As I am doing my KCVG free and payware versions maybe we could collaborate. I have spent insane # of hours just working on the correcting of runways, taxiways, parking, tarmacs, as well as correct placing of all signs, beacons, markers, vasi, roads, etc... Will be going down soon for a behind the scenes tour to get photo's and information on all the buildings, landmarks, and such. Most are down to the FOOT of where they actually go. I have also done a ton of research on the airport as far as materials used, aircraft types, etc.. (and I mean right down to the types of piping they use for the deicing systems and sewage systems. LOL) I have so much data it's insane!!!!

I don't do much modelling so that's the part I need others for. I can do the afcad and other scenery stuff. I have a new company called The Simdicate. That's the umbrella name for the entire thing but will also be the name all internal scenery design work will be released under. If interested in taking part in that as well let me know. Working on that web site now as well...(need more hours in a day) but tossed up a place holder page for now. http://www.simdicate.com

Greg
Sounds great, would be happy to help! Email me at jasonzhanglunjie@gmail.com or clefsdevelopment@gmail.com if you want to go over specifics but I also have contacts who work at CVG who can also collect information. I've got some google drive folders with some very basic research. I can also add you to our Discord where we can talk about stuff as well (Email me and I'll send you the link). My main concerns are
A) Compatibility: I only have FSX and the scenery was developed for FSX so I don't know how our stuff will come together for both platforms
B) Payware stuff: I've never dealt with any payware stuff/legality and all that. I've only created freeware and everyone who helps me out are doing so voluntarily so I was hoping to release the scenery as freeware. Further, a lot of my textures I obtained from other sites that only allow individuals to put it in freeware and cannot profit from it. Don't know if that interrupts your plans to release a payware version.
 
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#15
Sounds great, would be happy to help! Email me at jasonzhanglunjie@gmail.com or clefsdevelopment@gmail.com if you want to go over specifics but I also have contacts who work at CVG who can also collect information. I've got some google drive folders with some very basic research. I can also add you to our Discord where we can talk about stuff as well (Email me and I'll send you the link). My main concerns are
A) Compatibility: I only have FSX and the scenery was developed for FSX so I don't know how our stuff will come together for both platforms
B) Payware stuff: I've never dealt with any payware stuff/legality and all that. I've only created freeware and everyone who helps me out are doing so voluntarily so I was hoping to release the scenery as freeware. Further, a lot of my textures I obtained from other sites that only allow individuals to put it in freeware and cannot profit from it. Don't know if that interrupts your plans to release a payware version.
See the private message I sent you. As for textures, they are easy enough to get. A good camera on your phone will capture great ones. I do that when I do modelling.

Greg
 
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