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Plane Maker obj file problem


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I am new to X-Plane and the tools for developing aircraft.  I am trying to replace the 3D cockpit on one of the aircraft so it matches the plane I fly IRL.  I have successfully deleted the previous 3D cockpit and replaced it with a 2D cockpit created in Plane Maker.  The plane works in X-Plane although obviously the cockpit view is not so good.  

 

So I need to create the 3D cockpit and I plan to use Blender and xplane2blender.  A basic need is to export the plane from Plane Maker as an object file so it can be imported into Blender (2.49).  This is what I get as an object file when I go in Plane Maker to "Special" then "Generate OBJ from aircraft:"

 

A
800
OBJ
 
TEXTURE Aircraft/General Aviation/TecnamBravo/TecnamBravo_paint.png
POINT_COUNTS 0 0 0 0

 

This is the entire OBJ file for the plane.  I get the same result no matter which plane I use - the fact this particular one is downloaded from the Internet rather than shipped with X-Plane does not matter.  Nor is this a result of me replacing the previous 3D cockpit with a 2D one since I get the same useless OBJ file with all planes.

 

I have seen lots of posts about exporting planes as obj files (usually to use as static objects at airports) which all reflect that this Plane Maker function works.  I have the feeling (entirely appropriate for a noobie) that I am missing something very basic here.  Can anyone help?  Thanks

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

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The 3-D cockpit has it's own separate OBJ plane maker only exports the plane's flight model not the OBJ's of the aircraft. the cockpit is stored in the [insert plane name here]cockpit.OBJ in the aircraft's folder all exterior OBJ's are in the objects folder and it should be noted that to give an object a texture that texture should be in the objects folder of the aircraft and be named [insert object name here].png for day/normal and [insert object name here]_lit.png for night also you may use these resolutions for texture

1920x1920

2024x2024

4048x4048

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I think he means that the flight model that x-plane is supposed to be exporting as an object has no geometry in it at all.   In planemaker, you can elect to "hide" plane-maker geometry and when this geometry is hidden, it will not export out as an OBJ with the export OBJ command.   When authors make custom objects for aircraft, they generally elect to hide all the flight model geometry entirely therefore there is nothing to export.  If this is the case, then go to the menu "expert > invisible parts" and in the lower left corner, elect to show all parts.   After that, THEN execute the export OBJ command and you should have geometry export out at that time....and as mj12345 points out, this will NOT be the 3D objects used by the original author, but rather the flight model geometry.  If you want to import the 3D objects, then you simply import those directly into blender.

 

One caveat to blender importing of objects though is that it is pretty limited and it can choke on the import for a variety of reasons.  The most common when importing exported flight models from Plane-maker is that the exported OBJ will reference its texture inside the aircraft folder but because the exported OBJ gets written to the X-Plane root folder, the texture path will be messed up and the blender importer will throw an error saying the texture doesn't exist.   In this case, you  open the exported OBJ file and delete the path after the word, TEXTURE at the top of the file...leaving it empty.   When importing cockpit objects also...I think the importer chokes on manipulator commands and those commands have to be stripped out of the OBJ file before importing....and manipulators are found in the cockpit object only though so if you're not importing the cockpit, you won't encounter this situation during import.  Importing "regular" old  3D objects as found in aircrafts "objects" folder usually works.

 

Tom K

 

Oh...and blender also imports x-plane 3D objects relative to the 3D cursor location, so make sure the 3D cursor is at point 0, 0, 0 before import or your imports will be misaligned when you export them back out.

Edited by tkyler
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Tom K:  If only my ex-wife understood me as well as you do.  That is EXACTLY what I was looking for and it worked.  You even answered questions I did not know to ask.  Thanks a bunch.  

 

I understand that the aircraft OBJ file is not the cockpit and does not include it.  I am trying to following danklaue's video series on X-Plane and Blender and the aircraft OBJ is used as a reference for placing the cockpit.  I will be creating the 3D cockpit in Blender to I should not have manipulator problems.  Thanks again.

 

Geoff

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Glad to hear you are up and running Geoff.   If the original aircraft that you are modifying includes a fuselage object that you plan on keeping, then you can, of course, use that instead of the aircraft object as a reference for your new panel.  Exporting out the aircraft object from Plane-maker is useful for initial alignments of your custom 3D objects and landing gear placement but if the original author already did that and created the fuselage, then there is no reason for you to repeat the process and you can simply import the fuselage and build your panel relative to that since that is what you will see in the final output....unless of course you want to go through the process as an exercise, which is certainly worthwhile if you plan on doing more  in the future..you can certainly never learn too much; however, if you are following Dan's tutorials linearly, then I just wanted to give you a heads up that you might not need to do this PM aircraft import step and could instead jump straight to importing the fuselage object and building your panel inside that if that is more preferble to you.

 

Tom K

Edited by tkyler
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Thanks Tom.  I did notice that I could import the fuselage no problem but, since I am a complete noobie, I did not know if that would suffice.  I'll go with the fuselage.  Since you are obviously an expert in this stuff, do you have an opinion about Blender 2.49 and 2.65?  I understand that, in order to use 2.65, I need to import the OBJ file into 2.49, save it as a Blender file, and then open it in 2.65.  Since I am new to all this, I would much prefer to learn the current software, 2.65 as well as xplanetoblender 3.2.  Other than having to do the initial import into 2.49, is there any reason why I should not use 2.65?

 

Geoff

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Geoff,

 

The latest version of Blender is 2.66.   The "Bmesh" feature was introduced in version 2.63.   Kieran is suggestion that you only work in a version that does not use "Bmesh" as it's basis for mesh modeling....so 2.62 in essence.

 

Bmesh is a term blender uses to describes it's 3D mesh engine that supports 'ngons' in a mesh along with triangles and quads.  You can read a bit about it at the link below:

 

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Release_Notes/2.63/BMesh

 

The issue though is not that Blender uses Bmesh but rather that the exporter probably does not export out 'ngons'   You can convert all your ngons in a mesh to triangles in blender though and thus should be able to export out in any version of blender...at least thats my hypothesis without testing.   It would be nice if the scripts supported ngons as it would eliminate the step of converting ngons.    So I'd say to Kieran also to try converting all your ngons to tris and see if the exporter successfully exports then.  You could use the latest version of Blender if this works for you.

 

Tom K

Edited by tkyler
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Unfortunately not. With the introduction of BMesh came a new format for the mesh. If you try opening a 2.63 or later Blender file in an earlier version you only get the edges, no faces. If you do model in a version with BMesh you will have to 'save as' and choose the 'legacy mesh format' option on the left-hand panel, before opening it in an earlier version.

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