• 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.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • 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.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • 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.

Creating 3D Assets for airport usage in MSFS

I can create 3d models for airports using SketchUp 2020 with no problems. I've created 4 airports worth of 3d models so far. My problem is that I do not know how to texture said models, nor how to place them into their respected sceneries. I have an astute eye for detail when creating these models, but I am too ignorant to be able to figure out how to texture anything. I've tried to learn Substance Painter as well as Blender, but apparently I am a moron. I'm a 58 year old disabled Navy veteran with time on my hands, but all the texturing videos I've watched, and the associated lingo has done nothing but leave me utterly baffled. Can someone help me? I can provide anyone with the 3d models in whatever format you require if you want to perform the texturing and create the airports with them. If I've created this post in the wrong area of this forum, I do sincerely apologize.
 
Are you talking about the actual creation of textures from scratch or applying existing ones that you find elsewhere? For the latter Sketchup is the easiest by a country mile and the basics can be picked up in a couple of hours. Most of the time it's simply a matter of clicking on your chosen face and applying the texture you've added.

In comparison Blender's level of intuitiveness, or near total lack thereof, is laughable. I use it for exporting and nothing else. I presume it doesn't take massively long to get in the swing but I think I refuse on principle to bend my mind to it when it should be bending to mine.
 
Hi @superspud , Agree about Blender and Sketchup. Blender is like learning to fly in a 747-200, while Sketchup is more akin to a glass Cessna.(my first visit tonight following your comment) though, that said, ketchup free needs some time, as a lot of things 'hidden', compared to Blender having tools everywhere.

I am taking this journey, just so I can create a cone for a runway edge boundary. For some reason, the MSFS SDK does not have any runway edge cones created. When I finally get this little guy created, I will then be right alongside Davidws10, trying to work out how do get my cone into MFSF, and for it to be there for other users when they download my airport.

When I see a comment in the several tutorials on external objects being brought into MSFS, 'you just do this etc, then like David above, I feel very inadequate, as others apparently find the process not too difficult.

Anyway..the journey continues. In fairness, MSFS is pretty new, and in time, it will mature.
 
I'm starting to think Blender has a committee that vets anything logical or intuitive.

If you want a complete rundown of how to get from Sketchup to MSFS via Blender let me know. That's one thing I can do.
 
Thanks @rhumbaflappy The airstrips I am building are all in the tropics, very close to the equator (PNG). Many in very high rainfall, mountainous areas, with sloping runways. Great fun to fly between. Funny to see warning on the doc you sent advising of snow. In PNG, all cones appear to be white. And yes, the doc was thorough. I have been using an Australian manual, attached.

Thanks @superspud. I managed to cheat a tad and found a suitable? cone on line with a lot of digging and searching. When I downloaded it, it has two files.
Scene.bin ... a BIN file ..[4KB]
scene.gltf .....a 3D Object file ..[3KB]

I also downloaded another extension version with a download folder called, source, with a file inside called, cone.obj ..a 3D Object. [3KB]

I guess because the item(cone) will be all white, textures are not an issue, as smoothly painted? Because there will be many cones, a small KB size is preferable.

When I started building airstrips, took a bit(lot) to get the process sorted, but now I can get them built and modified not too bad. Terraforming takes a bit of trial and error. After each project, the experience level builds up.

So, where to from here. Any assistance more than appreciated to keep the frustration levels down...
 

Attachments

  • AIRPORT DESIGN.pdf
    2.7 MB · Views: 93
First off do you have Blender and do you have the Blender2MSFS plugin installed?

The final version that goes in your project file will be a .gltf but you need Blender and the plugin to export the model with a XML with a GUID for the model that the sim can read. The final version is a .gltf, .bin and .xml

I don't know if vanilla Blender can import .gltf. A .obj is just fine.
 
@superspud Thanks for the reply. I have Blender 2.83.12.0 and I have the Blender plugin installed...I think. See attached pic.
'vanilla Blender' ?
Do I need to import my downloaded scene.gltf file?

Can I change the file name, 'scene. gltf to cone.gltf to make it more finable in MSFS?
 

Attachments

  • BLENDER ADDONS.JPG
    BLENDER ADDONS.JPG
    41.3 KB · Views: 22
You set the name when you export it from Blender as it's basically a new file.

Steps are - import the file into Blender. I always do .obj but it appears to do .gltf too.

With your file in there, assuming there are no colour problems, which is a whole different area, but unless they're textures Blender will read Sketchup's colours in a different way so they'll need to be readjusted.

Since your model is white that shouldn't be a problem this time. But if you want to double check, the view that gives you the 'final' look is this one

image_2021-01-31_041353.png


In theory all you should have to do with the object in there is click on 'file' at the top left.

Go down to 'export'.

Select 'extended gltf 2.0 for MSFS'

A new window will open for the location to save to. For me I usually save direct to the model's own folder in the modelLib folder in packageresources.

On the right of that new window you'll see this

image_2021-01-31_041721.png


Click on MSFS and tick the 'generate/append xml file'

That'll then add a new box with 'XML file name' which'll be the same name as the one you give the file when you export. And also tick the 'generate GUID' box.

image_2021-01-31_041944.png


And that should be that as long as the three files are present and in the modelLib folder. My most regular balls up is giving the XML file a different name so double check before.

Build the project in the SDK. Exit MSFS. Put the package in the community folder and the next time you fire up the model should be present in your object list.
 
Last edited:
When I import scene.gltf using the MSFS glTF(.gltf) I get an error. see pic.
When I import scene.gltf using the gltf ver 2, nothing happens
When I import the obj version I have, it returns the cube, with an outline of the cone see pic.
 

Attachments

  • blender gltf error.JPG
    blender gltf error.JPG
    45.1 KB · Views: 21
  • Blender obj LOAD.JPG
    Blender obj LOAD.JPG
    190.9 KB · Views: 22
You have to delete the cube, light and camera or they'll export with the model.

You can set blender to start without them. Can't remember how at the moment.

Right click on them in the object menu on the right near the top and delete there.

The msfs plug in is for exporting. Never tried importing. If. Obj works stick with that.
 
Are you talking about the actual creation of textures from scratch or applying existing ones that you find elsewhere? For the latter Sketchup is the easiest by a country mile and the basics can be picked up in a couple of hours. Most of the time it's simply a matter of clicking on your chosen face and applying the texture you've added.

In comparison Blender's level of intuitiveness, or near total lack thereof, is laughable. I use it for exporting and nothing else. I presume it doesn't take massively long to get in the swing but I think I refuse on principle to bend my mind to it when it should be bending to mine.
I'm asking about the application of textures.

If I read your responses to everyone correctly, I don't have to jump through any hoops as with X-Plane, and I can just use textures as is within SketchUp (I'm using SU 2020 Pro)? I do have blender installed and can export from SU in pretty much any format required to proceed further. From here, can I just take my X-Plane .obj file and run that through Blender and then export from Blender using the MSFS script? My texturing for XP is pretty rudimentary as I've never learned what sort of methods are used to create more realistic objects as well as how to create Lit textures for night scenes. Everyone's help is invaluable to me as this is something I really want to learn.

I totally agree with everyone's assessment of the usability of SketchUp versus Blender. Geoffb's analogy of the 747 versus the 172 in regards to using Blender instead of SketchUp. Blender was obviously designed by a committee who deemed ease of use as being an unnecessary trait.

Thank you!!!
 
Hi @superspud , thanks for help. Getting closer. I notice though the actual cone, when in Blender, seems to be in the 'rough' with several faces. Looks like I need to battle Blender and see if I can smooth them. If not, then it is what it is....
@Davidws10 Can't help you at all. Though, I do want to learn about textures, as very handy for creating projects...small steps.
 

Attachments

  • BLENDER CONE.JPG
    BLENDER CONE.JPG
    63.8 KB · Views: 198
Hi @superspud , Agree about Blender and Sketchup. Blender is like learning to fly in a 747-200, while Sketchup is more akin to a glass Cessna.(my first visit tonight following your comment) though, that said, ketchup free needs some time, as a lot of things 'hidden', compared to Blender having tools everywhere.

I am taking this journey, just so I can create a cone for a runway edge boundary. For some reason, the MSFS SDK does not have any runway edge cones created. When I finally get this little guy created, I will then be right alongside Davidws10, trying to work out how do get my cone into MFSF, and for it to be there for other users when they download my airport.

When I see a comment in the several tutorials on external objects being brought into MSFS, 'you just do this etc, then like David above, I feel very inadequate, as others apparently find the process not too difficult.

Anyway..the journey continues. In fairness, MSFS is pretty new, and in time, it will mature.
There is a cone in the default objects, just search in the object library when in Dev mode
 
If I read your responses to everyone correctly, I don't have to jump through any hoops as with X-Plane, and I can just use textures as is within SketchUp (I'm using SU 2020 Pro)?

Correct. Almost always the textures will remain attached as intended and will export straight through Blender and into the sim. The main thing you have to watch for is the size of the textures as MSFS will only digest ones divisible by four - 32,64,128,256,512 etc.

I check and adjust that after exporting from Sketchup but before importing into Blender. Sketchup's stock textures are often 530x530 or 600x600 which is a poor show on their part.

Also Sketchup has that annoying habit of renaming all its textures to 'auto' something and if you have multiple models in the MSFS folder they're going to overwrite each other so need renaming before export. You probably know all this from previous sims.

Like I said if your model has some materials rather than textures Blender won't export their colours as intended and you need to re tweak them in Blender as they're almost always washed out. There's something different about Sketchup's treatment of colour.

9.6 times out of ten I'm in Blender for 30 seconds purely to export and then straight into the sim with no trouble at all.
 
Last edited:
@superspud Hi...ok, getting closer. I managed to bring over into my modelib folder the cone.gltf and the cone.xml. So, it seems the .bin file did not come over for some reason. I am not sure if my file structure is correct now that I am brining in my own objects? Once I can confirm the structure, I will redo the exercise with a live project. and then carry out the whole import the cone into Blender, export the cone out process and see if things improve.

My file structure is: Documents>MyFSProjects>
Packagedefinitions
packageresourses>modelib>texture
scene
 
Lack of .bin is a weird one and I've never had that. That's the biggest file with I presume the most information so nothing's going to happen without that.

Folder structure seems to vary between people but I do -

Main Folder
packagedefinitions
packagesources-modelLib-texture
-scene

Like you with a folder in modelLib for each separate model.
 
@superspud Agree that people seem to have different folder setups, with maybe a common theme, depending on if they bring down xml files from the SDK samples or not, then requiring changes to the xml files.

Thinking back to what I did when I lost my .bin file..I did not specify the texture location in the Blender export module, thinking I had no textures. So, this may have spooked it.

Anyway, thanks for the help. I will attack it this week, and hopefully, get my little cone working, as I have a few bush strips needing them.
I will report back.
 
Textures automatically go to the same file as the model along with everything else so it looks like the .bin wasn't created, but have a look for it on your system just in case as I don't know if it'll export without one.

It's down to you to move the textures to the modelLib's texture folder yourself.
 
Hi @superspud , thanks for help. Getting closer. I notice though the actual cone, when in Blender, seems to be in the 'rough' with several faces. Looks like I need to battle Blender and see if I can smooth them. If not, then it is what it is....

blender-cone-jpg.68511

You may wish to review this info on use of "Smoothing" features in Sketchup ...prior to import by MCX and/or Blender: :idea:


GaryGB
 
Last edited:
Top