Was the MDL format changed? Unable to use most tools with Prepar3d v2.0.

Discussion related to terrain/scenery design.
minime
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Postby minime » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:35 am

My custom scenery stopped working with v2.0. It worked fine with v1.4, but now the texture coordinates are not respected anymore and the building is half transparent.

While trying to fix it I noticed that ModelViewerX and SBuilderX both can not read the MDL format outputted by the Prepar3d converter.



So did we lose compatibility?



Is there a way to go back to a compatible format again by using a different converter? And then, which one will be displayed correctly by v2.0?

Are all the ones using the new SDK also using the new MDL format?



If anyone has an idea WHAT exactly is leading to texture coordinates being ignored or interpreted incorrectly in v2.0, please let me know as well. Obviously SOME scenery is working, so there must be a fix for this.



Thx!

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Max Perry
Lockheed Martin
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Postby Max Perry » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:22 pm

hi minime, there have been changes to the .mdl format including a new material option Zbias, and we removed the previous limits on .mdl sizes. The intention was to be backwards compatible, but the rendering engine has undergone significant changes I don't think we caught this issue. Have you posted screenshots of your issue yet in another forum to see?



I'm curious which exporter you are using for the .x format. What are your materials transparency (srcColor dstColor) and alpha test settings? Did the problem start when you exported using the v2 SDK or do models compiled in 1.4 have the problem in v2.



I'm using 3dsMax2012 to export to .x.

skyflashde
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Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:49 pm

Postby skyflashde » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:51 pm

Ok... I was using the 3dstudio max 2014 exporter from the v2.0 SDK to export to .x



Then I was first using the XToMDL coming with the v1.4 SDK to export to MDL. This .mdl works fine in ModelViewerX. I then used SbuilderX to recompile my scenery and it displays fine in Prepar3d v1.4. That .bgl however does NOT display correctly in v2.0.



Then I updated the XToMDL to the one from the v2.0 SDK. This .mdl does not work in ModelViewerX and does not work in SbuilderX and thus I have not managed to put it into my scenery yet. But I assume it will work in v2.0... :P



I have no clue what you mean with alpha channel and transparency, I unwrapped the model in 3Dstudio, exported a .png and then converted it to .dds with xnview after photoshopping the walls and windows onto it. I believe that the 3dstudio material is at 100% opacity for the map, if thats what you mean? There is nothing fancy in that .x, its the most basic 3D modelling and texturing... its basicly an unwrapped box. :P



The holes in the texture are transparent in the .png. To me it looks like v2.0 completely ignored the exported texture coordinates.



I will create screenshots in 5 minutes, I only have the new version on my laptop... standby for that.



Ok:



DisappearingTextures.jpg



Also, same scenery, here are the missing taxiways and lights:



DisappearingTaxiways.jpg

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Max Perry
Lockheed Martin
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Postby Max Perry » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:09 pm

I'm curious if your lights and light pole show up, and buildings appear correctly if compiled strictly using the P3D v1 or v2 SDK and manually with bglcomp and .xml source, since I don't use ModelConverterX / SbuilderX to compile to .bgls for scenery placement.



What is creating that light effect from the poles? Is that additive texture or a landing light like effect (.fx).


skyflashde
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Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:49 pm

Postby skyflashde » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:29 pm

Hm.. I have no idea what that light effect is. Its an object from another compiled .BGL that I am using. I have not decompiled it, so I do not know whats inside. :P But it looks like some .fx to me, the light is coming from the poles I believe.



I need some time to figure out how to manually compile, I never did it before. There are like 200 handplaced objects on that airport, so I hope its all automated. :P



How the hell do you do scenery without those tools? Do you write the .xml code by hand? :P


hesynergy
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Postby hesynergy » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:51 am

gentlemen,I do my stuff in Gmax 'cause I simply cannot afford it's big brother.. Can we still create a usable 2.0 model, and can we use the 2.0 scenery dev files in ModelConverterX?

I have used ModelConverterX, by the renowned scenery designer,Arno Gerretsen...its a wonderful model and object scenery tool. You guys need to get together with Arno .. I am sure that both of you, would clearly benefit from the intellectual paring,and, as a result, we scenery designers would be able to continue to work with our new 2.0 tools much more effectively!



see, as of TODAY -> http://www.scenerydesign.org/author/arno/



What do you think Lockheed Martin? Scenery Developers?



Chas

minime
Posts: 1198
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:33 pm

Postby minime » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:01 pm



Quote:

Quote from ChasMan on December 2, 2013, 10:51

gentlemen,I do my stuff in Gmax 'cause I simply cannot afford it's big brother.. Can we still create a usable 2.0 model, and can we use the 2.0 scenery dev files in ModelConverterX?

I have used ModelConverterX, by the renowned scenery designer,Arno Gerretsen...its a wonderful model and object scenery tool. You guys need to get together with Arno .. I am sure that both of you, would clearly benefit from the intellectual paring,and, as a result, we scenery designers would be able to continue to work with our new 2.0 tools much more effectively!



see, as of TODAY -> http://www.scenerydesign.org/author/arno/



What do you think Lockheed Martin? Scenery Developers?



Chas




Well as soon as I realized its another MDL format I messaged Arno and asked him to update ModelViewerX (I probably wasn't the only one).



So yeah its a very useful software.



I also messaged the SbuilderX and ADE developers.



I would wish that Prepar3d had all those tools internal and integrated, but oh well.

hesynergy
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Postby hesynergy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:26 pm



Quote:

Quote from minime on December 2, 2013, 14:01

...but oh well.




The question remains can I export an FSX model from Gmax to produce a usable model for p3dv2 using the 2.0 SDK??...it appears not!



The p3dv2 SDK only supports 3ds Max....ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION OF Gmax !!!





The below was quoted from the P 3-D learning center help file found inside of the main P3D folder.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In order for 3ds Max to work correctly with the scripts and tools of this SDK, go through the following steps:



Install and run 3ds Max 7+.

Select Customize on the main menu. Following this the options vary slightly depending on which version of 3ds Max is being used.

Select Customize Paths/Configure Paths/Plug-ins in 3ds Max 7, Configure User Paths/3rd Party Plug-ins in 3ds Max 8, or Configure System Paths in 3ds Max 9, 2009, 2011, 2012 or 2014.

Select Add, and then browse to the Plugins folder of your version of 3ds Max:

3ds Max version 7 or 8: Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2 SDK *\Modeling SDK\3DSM7\Plugins

3ds Max 9: 3DSM9\Plugins

3ds Max 2009: 3DSM2009\Plugins

3ds Max 2011: 3DSM2011\Plugins

3ds Max 2012 32-bit: 3DSM2012\Plugins

3ds Max 2012 64-bit: 3DSM2012_x64\Plugins

3ds Max 2014 64-bit: 3DSM2014_x64\Plugins

Select Use-Path and OK, and this path will appear in the dialog.

It is now necessary to shutdown and restart 3ds Max.

On restarting, a new main menu item named Aces Tools should appear with drop-down options for the tools, including: AttachPointTool, LODNameTool, AnimationManager and FSCloudTool. You will also see a menu item ACES Documentation which connects to the Prepar3D modeling and texture SDK documentation

You are now ready to use 3ds Max to create Prepar3D® ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Now, support for Gmax is not included in the latest version of P3D? What is it? The redheaded stepchild???

GMax has been the Legacy design tool for those of us who were not fortunate enough of pocket-book, to afford 3DS Max... Gmax has created innumerable objects in all versions of flight sim... planes, ground objects...the list goes on and on.



Assuming the new version of ModelConverterX can still import FSX models from Gmax's Fsx gamepack,I guess it can output P3D 2.0 objects, but it sure would be nice if we could output v2.0 models directly through Gmax, since every user of flight sim owns a copy of Gmax!!



Lockheed Martin, please get it together and give us impecunious legacy developers the support that we need!!. Include Gmax support in your 2.0 SDK!



chas

RobinCorn
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:23 pm

Postby RobinCorn » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:11 pm



Quote:



Lockheed Martin, please get it together and give us impecunious legacy developers the support that we need!!. Include Gmax support in your 2.0 SDK!



chas




GMAX gamepacks were discontinued by Autodesk back in 2005, so we were very lucky to get a FSX gamepack. We won't get a P3D gamepack, though.

minime
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Postby minime » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:42 am

You can export with GMAX to .x and then use the Prepar3d SDK to convert it to the new MDL format.



At least you can try, it should work in theory... but then, there always is reality.

hesynergy
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Postby hesynergy » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:41 am



Quote:

Quote from minime on December 4, 2013, 04:42

You can export with GMAX to .x and then use the Prepar3d SDK to convert it to the new MDL format.



At least you can try, it should work in theory... but then, there always is reality.




Do my knowledge the dotX output is only available in the 2004 game pack ...is that true?



Thanks for your reply



Chose

hesynergy
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Postby hesynergy » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:02 pm

Looks like LM pretty much screwed the pooch re any of the smaller devs out there who have their files in the same format I did....I wonder how many third party proggies are permanently "broken" in V2.0

hesynergy
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Postby hesynergy » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:23 pm



Quote:

Quote from ChasMan on December 4, 2013, 23:02

Looks like LM pretty much screwed the pooch re any of the smaller devs out there who have their files in the same format I did....I wonder how many third party proggies are permanently "broken" in V2.0






ahhh...here's one...



EXTREMELY IMPORTANT INFORMATION



IYP currently DOES NOT WORK with the newly released Prepar3D v2 due to newly adopted flight file XML formatting. IYP only WORKS with the original Prepar3D.

N4GIX
Posts: 617
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:52 pm

Postby N4GIX » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:30 am



Quote:

Quote from minime on December 4, 2013, 04:42

You can export with GMAX to .x and then use the Prepar3d SDK to convert it to the new MDL format.



At least you can try, it should work in theory... but then, there always is reality.


No, you cannot. MS/ACES had jump through many hoops in order to obtain permission to compile an exporter/compiler for FSX using the Autodesk/GMax SDK.



Among the many other things, they had to guarantee that the export chain could not be compromised, and that the intermediate .x and .xanim files generated by the export module would be completely destroyed after the compiler had finished with them. So, DocMoriarty couldn't 'break the chain' anymore with his programming magic. :(
Bill Leaming
Modeler and Programmer
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