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MSFS How to export a (self-made) object bgl-file from FSX to MSDF?

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I feel kinda lost in space... Some years ago I produced a radio tower that is situated close to EDAZ, serving in real live as a famous landmark for visual approaches. As I'm usually not developing objects, I used a relative simple tool named "Instant Object Studio" from Flight1 that allowed building objects right within FSX. Nonetheless, it took a while and I would like to keep this mod if possible. The only thing I have is a BGL being a single object library, a couple of BMP-textures with alpha (probably even not all of them) an a placement info that is readable in an ADE-environment where I had used it.

1652382398008.png
1652386098319.png


Recently I've switched to MSFS and got the idea converting the object in order to use it again in the new sim.

My first idea, using Blender (my very first attempt using this tool), failed as I wasn't able to produce textures this way being even similar to the originals (BMP with Alpha). Now I tried MCX (dev-version) and finally had a partial success, as it wrote a couple of files into two folders (PackageDefinitions, PackageSources) that I detected at a place where the orginal BGL was placed. However, I didn't find neither any placement information nor the used (converted?) texture files.

Compared to other add-ons in my Community folder I'm obviously missing lots of additional files and I have no idea how to produce those. The MSFS-SDK is up to now (at least in my present state) a dark pattern and my attempt using the development environment within the sim ended somewhere <you may select here between "jungle", "desert", or "swamp">.

To make it short: Is there anybody here able and willing giving me a helping hand?
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
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My first idea, using Blender (my very first attempt using this tool), failed as I wasn't able to produce textures this way being even similar to the originals (BMP with Alpha).
1 - Have you found Bill Womack (IBlueYonder) brand new Blender into MSFS2020 scenery tutorials series already over here?
-
- Youtube playlist
-https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...ies-for-creating-scenery-with-blender.447046/ - Fsdeveloper support thread

2 - "MyPhysical World" is another great Blender into MSFS2020 scenery resource to learn from:
- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRO7cRdKa6spwfB3NXIR29Q/playlists - Youtube channel

3 - The Blender section of this forum is over here:
- https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/forums/blender.136/

4 - DragoB - "Introduction to MSFS SDK (scenery)" thread over here:
- https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/introduction-to-msfs-sdk-scenery.448469/

I hope these resources can get you going again...

 

arno

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Hi,

You could try to load your existing files in MCX and export them as a MSFS package. That should be a good starting point to get the existing object in MSFS.

I guess you might have to merge the library and placement bgl into one bgl first. I would have to check if loading them separately works.
 
Messages
603
Country
germany
1 - Have you found Bill Womack (IBlueYonder) brand new Blender into MSFS2020 scenery tutorials series already over here?
-
- Youtube playlist
-https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/t...ies-for-creating-scenery-with-blender.447046/ - Fsdeveloper support thread

2 - "MyPhysical World" is another great Blender into MSFS2020 scenery resource to learn from:
- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRO7cRdKa6spwfB3NXIR29Q/playlists - Youtube channel

3 - The Blender section of this forum is over here:
- https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/forums/blender.136/

4 - DragoB - "Introduction to MSFS SDK (scenery)" thread over here:
- https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/introduction-to-msfs-sdk-scenery.448469/

I hope these resources can get you going again...

Thanks Ronald, that seems to be a longer way than I was hoping. However, I'll have a look into it. Blender is a mighty tool and can remember well that I've tried it in the past and did not even find any similarity of my (newer) version to the way that had been described. For me it appears to be a fast moving target...
Hi,

You could try to load your existing files in MCX and export them as a MSFS package. That should be a good starting point to get the existing object in MSFS.

I guess you might have to merge the library and placement bgl into one bgl first. I would have to check if loading them separately works.
Hi Arno, I was hoping that it would work this way (as it did in the past for FSX). It seemed that the package is incomplete (or I made fundamental mistakes). My main problems are the missing files, that are needed by MSFS to get them working. I cannot find the obviously required 'layout.json' nor the 'manifest.json' and there is no folder material/texture added, too. The latter would be no problem as long I could take the textures as they are. A contribution of Dick I found somewhere here, how to deal with textures within MCX had been beyond my present horizon.

The library was placed by ADE. However, I tried to include the placement data already, but I'm not sure whether I handled the process correctly. Probably I tried the export before reloading the changed and stored BGL. I'm not really sure anymore. EDIT: By the way, ADE 2020 Alpha produces the complete package and I successfully used it already.

I hope that I can find some time during the next days circumventing my present problems. Otherwise I'll prepare a package containing all available information (including the CC-BY-NC 4.0 ;-)).
 
Last edited:

Ronald

Resource contributor
Messages
859
Thanks Ronald, that seems to be a longer way than I was hoping.
1- But your rewards @ the end will be likewise FlyiingAxx

However, I'll have a look into it. Blender is a mighty tool and can remember well that I've tried it in the past and did not even find any similarity of my (newer) version to the way that had been described.
2- I must admit this myself too. It took me much to long to let go of the old Blender V2.79x GUI and switch to the new Blender V2.8+ interface and relearning everything again, but it all was so worth it now FlyingAxx

TIP: Make sure to follow Blender(s own (or 3r party) "Fundamental courses" to get up-to-speed with the new user interface and add-ons in there:
-
- Blender 2.8 basics (Blender itself)
..
-
- Blender 3.0 basics (CgCookie)
-
- Blender 3.0 basics (Grant Abbitt)
 

arno

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Hi Arno, I was hoping that it would work this way (as it did in the past for FSX). It seemed that the package is incomplete (or I made fundamental mistakes). My main problems are the missing files, that are needed by MSFS to get them working. I cannot find the obviously required 'layout.json' nor the 'manifest.json' and there is no folder material/texture added, too. The latter would be no problem as long I could take the textures as they are. A contribution of Dick I found somewhere here, how to deal with textures within MCX had been beyond my present horizon.

The library was placed by ADE. However, I tried to include the placement data already, but I'm not sure whether I handled the process correctly. Probably I tried the export before reloading the changed and stored BGL. I'm not really sure anymore. EDIT: By the way, ADE 2020 Alpha produces the complete package and I successfully used it already.
You need to run the package files through the PackageTool inside MSFS before you can use in the sim. Files like the layout.json are generated in that step.

For the textures you indeed need to save them manually to the correct folder, MCX does not do that when exporting the package (maybe I should add that). I normally use the material editor to convert them to PNG and save them in the right folder.
 
Messages
603
Country
germany
1- But your rewards @ the end will be likewise FlyiingAxx


2- I must admit this myself too. It took me much to long to let go of the old Blender V2.79x GUI and switch to the new Blender V2.8+ interface and relearning everything again, but it all was so worth it now FlyingAxx

TIP: Make sure to follow Blender(s own (or 3r party) "Fundamental courses" to get up-to-speed with the new user interface and add-ons in there:
-
- Blender 2.8 basics (Blender itself)
..
-
- Blender 3.0 basics (CgCookie)
-
- Blender 3.0 basics (Grant Abbitt)
That's a lot of stuff, thanks again.

Well, my first attempt will be to understand better the MSFS SDK and how to produce a proper package. As I already wrote, I'm still new in MSFS 2020 and quite shocked about the fact how MS had thrown an early Beta on the market and how many construction sites are still open within the product. Probably these limiting condition have triggered a lot of devs, working on incredible and creative solutions based on open source concepts. I'm rather the user of tools and, first of all, an armchair pilot for many years. Jon's ADE had been my preferred tool, completed by other excellent and useful aids. However, I never had the ambition to produce airports with all aspects of visual confomaty - except their layout and functionality. If the standard objects did not fit sufficiently the buildings, I mostly used SBX to get a bit closer (often with limited success).
 
Messages
603
Country
germany
You need to run the package files through the PackageTool inside MSFS before you can use in the sim. Files like the layout.json are generated in that step.

For the textures you indeed need to save them manually to the correct folder, MCX does not do that when exporting the package (maybe I should add that). I normally use the material editor to convert them to PNG and save them in the right folder.
Okay Arno, meanwhile it works up to the point where it obviously doesn't find the required textures. I've just converted them to PNG-format but will try the next step after getting some sleep. At the moment I can see a beautiful pink landmark between the trees and I think I have to add an exclusion area around the tower. Obviously the woods are not as exactly placed as necessary in this case. However, this will be the next challenge. :scratchch

I'm a bit worried about the PackageTool as I didn't explore the dev-settings too intensive up to now.

Last question: I've set the path to FSPackageTool.exe already in the options of MCS, but left the compile-settings still to "false". Is it worth toggling the latter?
 

arno

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If you set that option to true, MCX will automatically compile the package for you after saving. Else you need to do it manually from inside MSFS. It just depends on what your workflow is.
 
Messages
603
Country
germany
If you set that option to true, MCX will automatically compile the package for you after saving. Else you need to do it manually from inside MSFS. It just depends on what your workflow is.
Thanks Arno - eh, what flow? :banghead:

To be honest, I think I'll take MCS.
 
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