• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
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    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
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    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

MSFS Blender to MSFS Exporter on day one?

Vitus

Resource contributor
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1,480
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newzealand
Dear Friends,

I'm happy to announce that there will be Blender2MSFS toolkit uploaded to the fsdeveloper resource section on the 18th of August! I want to give you all a quick heads-up here, while avoiding some pitfalls of the NDA... :duck:

1597413275281.png


While I worked hard to get as many features as I can into the new addon, there will be some limitations to the use for now. For the most part, this is simply due to the lack of documentation of the new sim. For example redacted, like redacted won't be included in the addon yet, and need to be added manually right now by editing the glTF files and the accompanying XML file. All those holes will be filled eventually, but with this Blender addon, you'll have the ability to export into the new sim from day one.

The addon is capable of exporting perfectly into the native MSFS glTF 2.0 format. The exporter that will come with my Blender addon, is heavily reliant on the Khronos glTF2.0 exporter that is shipped with Blender 2.83 (and above), however some core function of said exporter had to be re-written to allow for some of the MSFS extensions to be injected.
All of the redacted (big number!) material types that MSFS is utilizing are supported. This includes even some of the more esoteric materials, like redacted and redacted! I try my best to make the materials render similarly in Blender as they will appear in the sim, but there is some limitations to that. Similar to the latest Blender2P3D/FSX toolset, the shader node tree is automatically generated when selecting one of the flight sim materials, and all the necessary values can be accessed through a custom interface.

There's also a batch export available to automatically export different LOD models for your project. The only thing you need to do to allow the batch export, is organizing your scene in collections with a specific identifier for each LOD.

One thing that I need to point out is that this new toolkit is NOT compatible with the Blender2P3D/FSX toolkit! You can leave both installed at the same time, however you won't be able to use them in the same scene. So you'll need to work on different blender files if you want to export to different sims. But since SO MANY THINGS ARE SO, SO, SOOOOO DIFFERENT in the new sim, this seems a necessary thing to do anyway - and we'll get into the details of that on the 18th.


The toolkit will be donation ware, and a number of generous individuals from this community already contributed towards this project, for which I am very grateful! The same individuals also help out by collecting and sharing information and testing the addon, while simultaneously using it for their projects. We also have some valuable help from a few Asobo developers, who answered our questions as best they could and as their time allowed, which is spectacular!

The Blender addon will be licensed under the Apache 2.0 license, so you're essentially free to do whatever you want with it. Use it privately or commercially, for freeware or payware, change or share the code, make it better or worse.

I will continue the development of the addon, as more and more information on the sim becomes available to us and I am planning on putting it up on gitHub after a few iterations, so others can contribute their changes more easily.



Since GMax won't be a viable option for the foreseeable future, I hope to see many of the freeware developers joining the growing community of Blender users here.
 

scruffyduck

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FSDevConf team
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unitedkingdom
Great News Otmar and thanks on behalf of the community for this tool. We are pleased to be able to host it
 
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559
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france
Many thanks to you Otmar, so my investment in Blender was the best thing (for the moment) I made in 2020 :cool:
Maybe the next one will be the purchase of MSFS ... ;)

For the problem of cohabitation of the two plugins Blender2PSD/FSX and Blender2MSFS, Blender's launch splashscreen allows you to choose between several operating modes.
Nothing prevents to create two modes, each one calling a different plugin and thus to have both plugins available from "one single installation that can be updated very easily, the modes being stored in the user's profile.
I can easily wrote somes indications to provide this function.
 
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Vitus

Resource contributor
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1,480
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newzealand
Nothing prevents to create two modes, each one calling a different plugin and thus to have both plugins available from "one single installation that can be updated very easily, the modes being stored in the user's profile.
I didn't know that this was possible, thanks for that! Like I wrote: it's not necessary to keep the two addons separate, the problem is actually just the fact that both addons modify the shader node tree, based on their specific requirements. Therefore a material can never be both for MSFS and P3D - let alone FSX - at the same time.
Both addons append scene, objects and materials with some custom variables, but I made sure that the one from the new addon won't collide with the ones from the old one. I'm running both addons at the same time, and it works fine. :wizard:
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
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3,248
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unitedkingdom
That’s a terrific contribution to the community and entirely in the spirit of the FS tradition! Thank you very much indeed, Vitus, more power to your coding!! :D :wizard:
 
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1,176
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canada
Wow. This is great. Hope the FSDeveloper server can handle the onslaught on the 18th! :):eek:
 
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Messages
176
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finland
Excellent! I have already in the spring made some detailed Blender models of some of the buildings in my airport sceneries. Looking forward to introducing them in MSFS2020!
 
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466
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us-arizona
Spectacular news for us all, thank you for the hard work and future work for this valuable plugin. Looking forward to getting objects into MSFS2020 as I'm sure many others here are too. Most curious about the methods used in making scenery as well as how the textures are assembled. Let the learning begin!
 
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229
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ecuador
Hi @Vitus...

A huge piece of good news that I wasn't expecting... so soon! The word "thank you" is far too weak to express my gratitude...! All modest developers like SwissMilSim, can only rejoice that members like you make our dreams come true...

Thank you Otmar! You've done a fantastic job...!
 

spotlope

FSDevConf team
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338
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unitedstates
I'm shocked at the speed with which you got this done, Vitus! So far it's working really well, too. It means that instead of fighting the export tools, I can concentrate on porting over my previous work to FS20 as quickly as possible. Well done! :cool:
 
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75
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us-louisiana
I too would like to add my thanks. While I am not in the same building with Bill, Deano, and others. The thought that I might be able to recreate my local airports in 2020, excites me. I will be contributing to the fund.
 
Messages
466
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us-arizona
Now, I just need to bury myself in Blender to help the time pass whilst being off work all week. The wait is killing me y'all but just knowing these tools could be working day one is easing the pain! :cool: Well, that and a real blender mixing cocktails. :wizard:
 
Messages
30
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I really didn't expect the Blender plugin to be ready day 1 so this is a very nice surprise. Although I have used 3DS in the past since 1999, I much prefer Blender these days as my mind is now adapted to it's workflow and shortcuts. I just updated to Blender 2.83 in anticipation for Tuesday. :)
 
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