XtoMDL

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XtoMDL

Original Entry by Bill Leaming

The new XtoMDL.exe program for FSX and Prepar3D is "command line driven," meaning that there's no fancy-schmanzy GUI to use.

Did you know that you could create a shortcut on your desktop that would 'proxy' commands to another application?(1) Create a shortcut on your desktop, name it something clever like CompileAircraft and enter the following for the 'target' (fix up c:\temp to be the appropriate paths to the files):

%windir%\system32\cmd.exe /K c:\temp\xtomdl.exe /DICT:c:\temp\modeldef.XML

For example, my "Target:" path is -

%windir%\system32\cmd.exe /K E:"\FSX_SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Modeling SDK\3DSM7\Plugins\xtomdl.exe" /XANIM /DICT:E:"\FSX_SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Modeling SDK\bin\modeldef.XML" > buildlog.txt

My "Start in:" path is -

"E:\FSX_SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Modeling SDK\3DSM7\Plugins"

You can drag and drop onto that shortcut and a new .CMD window will open and stay open so you can see your results. The redirect command "> buildlog.txt" will write a text file with the results of the command, which is useful to review if there are any error messages.

Aircraft models

As an "improvement" to the above(2), move or drag the shortcut to your ..\SendTo folder:

WinXP

C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\SendTo

Vista - and - Win7

C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

Now, in Explorer right-click on the .x file and select "CompileAircraft" from the popup menu.

NOTE: The chief advantage of the "Send To" method is that you can have the .x file(s) anywhere you like to keep them, and the compiled .mdl will appear in that same location.

Scenery models

Creating scenery requires one additional command line switch: /XMLSAMPLE to be added to mix.

Copy the existing CompileAircraft shortcut you just made, and paste it back in the \SendTo folder. Rename is something clever like - say - CompileScenery, and then edit the Target path and add /XMLSAMPLE to the end, so it looks something like this:

%windir%\system32\cmd.exe /K E:"\FSX_SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Modeling SDK\3DSM7\Plugins\xtomdl.exe" /DICT:E:"\FSX_SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Modeling SDK\bin\modeldef.XML" /XMLSAMPLE > buildlog.txt

Common Problems

1. XTOMDL.EXE generates only MDL-Files with ZERO SIZE -- International windows settings must be set to US (dot used as decimal character)

2. XTOMDL.EXE shows ERROR: NOT CORRECT DIRECTX OR DIRECTX NOT FOUND -- DIRECTX 9.0c Update from October 2006 is needed

3. XTOMDL.EXE doesn't start because it needs the MICROSOFT .NET FRAMEWORK 2.0505 -- Download it from Microsoft

References

  • 1) Thanks to John Kane from ACES (MS Developer) for this tip!
  • 2) Thanks to Tom Gibson for this tip!