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Materials/Texture guide for MSFS and BLENDER

Hi there,
I´ve been writing these document as I was suffering a lot creating and using materials and textures for MSFS
There are also some doubts on it.
Feel free to answer/comment, so I can keep improving it.
I thought it was worth sharing it here...be aware it´s still a draft, so some parts might not be 100% accurate. It also includes links to videos and free programs used (Materialize, MagicK)
 

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  • UsingMAterialsinMSFS.pdf
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Nice write-up. One quick correction: if you have an emissive texture, you definitely do want to use it. You link it to your material as one of the MSFS textures. The box is below the one for your normal texture. The "Emissive Color" setting is only used to adjust the emissive effect from fully on to fully off. Also, to get the emissive texture to show up properly in game, you need to check the box for "Day/Night Cycle" down near the bottom of the MSFS material settings. For a good explanation of the whole emissive textures setup, watch this tutorial:
.
 
Nice write-up. One quick correction: if you have an emissive texture, you definitely do want to use it. You link it to your material as one of the MSFS textures. The box is below the one for your normal texture. The "Emissive Color" setting is only used to adjust the emissive effect from fully on to fully off. Also, to get the emissive texture to show up properly in game, you need to check the box for "Day/Night Cycle" down near the bottom of the MSFS material settings. For a good explanation of the whole emissive textures setup, watch this tutorial:
.
Thanks a lot, another doubt resolved :)

Any ideas about the use then of "Emissive Color" under color multipliers?
1617790464909.png

Also, (and I guess it´s normal...) Am I the only one that when makes a change in the texture of object in Blender, or adds/replace additional textures needs to fully restart the simulator for the changes to take effect?
Even worst, if I create a new model and add it, then I need to do it even two times, the first one to compile the object, and then a second one for the object to be shown... that is not less than 10 minutes every time :(
 
As suggested by the title, "Emissive Color" is a multiplier. Assume you have an emissive texture for a building that is all black except for a yellow square for a window (e.g., RGB = <160,160,0>). If the Emissive Color is set to white, then the window will display at its full yellow color. If the Emissive Color is set to black, then the emissive texture will be fully turned off and the window will be dark. If the Emissive Color is set to middle grey (e.g., RGB = <128,128,128>), then the yellow in the emissive texture will display as a darker yellow (i.e., <160,160,0> x <128,128,128> = <80,80,0>). So this multiplier lets you fine tune the brightness (and tint) of your emissive texture.
 
To speed up my work on textures in Blender, I do the following:
  1. Export the current model with its textures using Blender2MSFS.
  2. In MSFS 2020, go the airport or other location of your scenery.
  3. Using Devmode, load the project file for the scenery (many people recommend NOT placing your scenery in your Community folder while developing the scenery).
  4. Open the scenery BGL in the Scenery Editor; this should load your models and their textures.
  5. Make changes to your existing models and their textures in Blender.
  6. Re-export the model using Blender2MSFS.
  7. Wait 5-10 seconds for MSFS to sense the change to the project files; it should now reload the scenery with your latest Blender changes.
You should not have to restart MSFS unless you add a new model. To get a new model into your scene, you have to compile the project that includes the new model, then load the project in Devmode in MSFS and add the new model to your scene. So that does require multiple steps.
 
As suggested by the title, "Emissive Color" is a multiplier. Assume you have an emissive texture for a building that is all black except for a yellow square for a window (e.g., RGB = <160,160,0>). If the Emissive Color is set to white, then the window will display at its full yellow color. If the Emissive Color is set to black, then the emissive texture will be fully turned off and the window will be dark. If the Emissive Color is set to middle grey (e.g., RGB = <128,128,128>), then the yellow in the emissive texture will display as a darker yellow (i.e., <160,160,0> x <128,128,128> = <80,80,0>). So this multiplier lets you fine tune the brightness (and tint) of your emissive texture.
Thanks!!!! That will save me sometime later: I did a small test with the texture used in the document, and I liked the result, but still prefer normal lights for illumination. I think the perfect combination might be a mix of both...
I´m trying to learn well now different combinations with MSFS Glass (for that kind of material I don´t use any texture behind...)
Would like toahieve the following scenario as accurate to reality as possible:
1 Glass outside should be more transparent than the bulb, so hopefully I can see the bulb during the day
2 Understand the effect of Light object combined with emission color... I´ve noticed that just assigning Emissive color to any material without a light illuminating itjust changes the color during the night and makes it visible :)
I´ll update with any achievements done.
1617823343510.png
 
To speed up my work on textures in Blender, I do the following:
  1. Export the current model with its textures using Blender2MSFS.
  2. In MSFS 2020, go the airport or other location of your scenery.
  3. Using Devmode, load the project file for the scenery (many people recommend NOT placing your scenery in your Community folder while developing the scenery).
  4. Open the scenery BGL in the Scenery Editor; this should load your models and their textures.
  5. Make changes to your existing models and their textures in Blender.
  6. Re-export the model using Blender2MSFS.
  7. Wait 5-10 seconds for MSFS to sense the change to the project files; it should now reload the scenery with your latest Blender changes.
You should not have to restart MSFS unless you add a new model. To get a new model into your scene, you have to compile the project that includes the new model, then load the project in Devmode in MSFS and add the new model to your scene. So that does require multiple steps.
THANKS!!!! I´ll give it a go... As far as reloading textures is resolved that´s a big advantage!!!! So far I was always receiving this error when I was changing or creating a new PNG file.

1617824576947.png
 
I pretty much only use PNGs for my textures. And I don't get this error.
That´s my biggest issue.... Some materials look nice in Blender, but they don´t in MSFS... as soon I change any file, I have always to restart to check the impact.
I tried even a different approach, changing the content of the file while keeping the name, but I have noticed also that the same error appears. Even worst indeed.... the content shown does not change, you keep seeing the old content.
Few days ago I lost a whole evening while changing a simple material for a decal in a parking spot. I forgot to flop it.... and then I thought... easy... let´s turn it around,
So step 1 I did: Change the content of the PNG file and expect MSFS would detect it and made the magic.... FAILED
option 2. Reload the file.... FAILED (still the original content was being shown)
Step 3. Delete the material, and load it again (with the same file name). Result... ALSO FAILED!!!!! The original picture was appearing.
At this point I was becoming mad, I didn´t knew what I was doing, if I was crazy, or what was going on...
Step 4. Delete the material, Delete the file, Create a new material with a new name and a new file... then it finally worked.
Conclussion, that is what I do when I´m working with DECALS and I need to change anything (god thanks my decals are not repeated in multiple aprons.... ) but with textures used in Blender... it´s a nightmare
MSFS was completely ignoring me... I think it records it in memory somewhere.... and ignores any change to the file, or god knows what...
 
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This is again what happened while I was doing tests with Parallax windows.... changed the material, add the Albedo and the "BehindGlass" picture, export ... and... Bingo!!! Material appears white ...so close and open again MSFS (another 5 minutes or more lost and fingers crossed what I did was right... otherwise...another 10 minutes.... etc etc... )
1617838011343.png
 
I have never tried parallax materials. But with standard materials, I get the same error if I change the PNG file referenced in Blender for the Albedo or other texture that is part of the material, until I recompile the project. I have found that you do not need to leave MSFS to do this. These are my steps:
  1. Do the first four steps from my previous posting.
  2. Change the PNG file associated with a texture in a material in Blender.
  3. Re-export the model and its associated textures using Blender2MSFS.
  4. When MSFS tries to reload the scene, you should get the error above about failing to load a texture.
  5. In MSFS Devmode, select your project in the Project Editor, then in the Inspector click "Build package" to recompile the project.
This should allow MSFS to load the newly compiled texture file without leaving MSFS, and the error should be resolved.
 
I have never tried parallax materials. But with standard materials, I get the same error if I change the PNG file referenced in Blender for the Albedo or other texture that is part of the material, until I recompile the project. I have found that you do not need to leave MSFS to do this. These are my steps:
  1. Do the first four steps from my previous posting.
  2. Change the PNG file associated with a texture in a material in Blender.
  3. Re-export the model and its associated textures using Blender2MSFS.
  4. When MSFS tries to reload the scene, you should get the error above about failing to load a texture.
  5. In MSFS Devmode, select your project in the Project Editor, then in the Inspector click "Build package" to recompile the project.
This should allow MSFS to load the newly compiled texture file without leaving MSFS, and the error should be resolved.
This has worked perfectly well. Thanks, you´ve saved me lots of time.
 
That´s my biggest issue.... Some materials look nice in Blender, but they don´t in MSFS... as soon I change any file, I have always to restart to check the impact.
I tried even a different approach, changing the content of the file while keeping the name, but I have noticed also that the same error appears. Even worst indeed.... the content shown does not change, you keep seeing the old content.
Few days ago I lost a whole evening while changing a simple material for a decal in a parking spot. I forgot to flop it.... and then I thought... easy... let´s turn it around,
So step 1 I did: Change the content of the PNG file and expect MSFS would detect it and made the magic.... FAILED
option 2. Reload the file.... FAILED (still the original content was being shown)
Step 3. Delete the material, and load it again (with the same file name). Result... ALSO FAILED!!!!! The original picture was appearing.
At this point I was becoming mad, I didn´t knew what I was doing, if I was crazy, or what was going on...
Step 4. Delete the material, Delete the file, Create a new material with a new name and a new file... then it finally worked.
Conclussion, that is what I do when I´m working with DECALS and I need to change anything (god thanks my decals are not repeated in multiple aprons.... ) but with textures used in Blender... it´s a nightmare
MSFS was completely ignoring me... I think it records it in memory somewhere.... and ignores any change to the file, or god knows what...

I had the same problem. Dropping in new textures won't work -- "Reload not implemented for type: PNG"

Dropping in new model produced some change, but not in the texture.

However, both together, followed by Build All, did sync up the new texture. May have also needed to close the project, open it again, then rebuild before using Inspector to open in editor.
 
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