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MSFS Reflection windows

I'm trying to make my windows on my model reflect the real world (i.e. reflect aircraft etc in the windows)

I've followed a youtube video

It says in the video to change some settings in the properties. Under "Special Functionality" I change "Reflection scale" to 1 and then change "Use global environmental map as reflection" to True.

but I get this error;

19:13 AssimpReader Information Starting reading of file E:\models\Terminal-1.dae
19:13 AssimpReader Information Finished reading objects
19:13 AllObjectReader Information Cleaning object: Terminal-1
19:13 AllObjectReader Information Removed 6 triangles with small area
19:13 ObjectRenderer Information Loaded texture: E:\models\terminal-1\__brick_antique_01_1.jpg
19:13 ObjectRenderer Information Loaded texture: E:\models\terminal-1\__translucent_glass_tinted_1.jpg
19:14 ObjectRenderer Warning Failed to load texture: GlobalEnvTest.dds
19:14 ObjectRenderer Information Loaded texture: E:\models\terminal-1\__brick_antique_01_1.jpg
19:14 ObjectRenderer Information Loaded texture: E:\models\terminal-1\__translucent_glass_tinted_1.jpg
19:14 ObjectRenderer Warning Failed to load texture: terminal-1\__translucent_glass_tinted_1_lm.jpg
19:14 ObjectRenderer Warning Failed to load texture: GlobalEnvTest.dds

This file isn't apart of the model, so I presume that changing the settings it's supposed to creates it, but it doesn't.

My SDK didn't have the GlobalEnvTest.dds file so I downloaded it and put it in the sdk folder as per instructions, but it failed to load.

Can anyone help?



the GlobalEnvTest.dds file is part of your FSX/P3D installation, it is in the main texture folder. It's the global environment map that you have enabled with the materials settings you did.

The fact that MCX can not find it for the preview does not mean that the reflections won't work in the sim.
The texture is not part of the SDK, it is part of the sim itself.
It seems to me that the video the op saw was for FSX/Prepar3d, whereas he is working with MSFS?
True, I would have to check if the MSFS main texture folder has the same file.
True, I would have to check if the MSFS main texture folder has the same file.

GlobalEnvTest.dds? I can assure you, it does not.

However, GlobalEnvTest.dds will not provide the visual effect described by the OP. The texture serves as a reflection and does not contain any airplane images.

From the P3D SDK:

A cubic environment map is used to generate reflective surface qualities on objects. The cube map itself is a virtual cube, comprised of six individual textures which are all arranged to form the six faces of a cube. This cube is not visible as a separate object in a scene since it exists solely in the texture buffer, but represents a cube with the object at its center and its faces directed inwards. As such it acts as a stand-in for the real environment surrounding the object.

The screen shot shows the Negative Z direction cube map face, of the GlobalEnvTest cubic environment map. This is the global map most often used.

For some very reflective materials the GlobalEnv_AC_Chrome cube map is used by aircraft.
The advantage of a cube map is its relatively small file size. It is certainly possible to generate real-time updating cubic maps, but this would require processor cycles and a constantly updating texture buffer; both of which would have detrimental effects on performance. The major disadvantage of a cube map is that the map is fixed. In other words, the cube map, once generated is always the same. So in all cases and in all environments within the simulation, the reflection on the object will always be the same since the map is the same. In an attempt to offset this static quality of the cube map, is it updated with both lighting and color values which are taken from the sky at that specific location and time during the simulation. For example an evening scene, with a red-orange sky will affect the cube map by darkening the values and colorizing them to a more red-orange hue set. The result is often highly effective.

Of course, FSX/P3D do not support the exact reflection of the user aircraft in a window. The environment map is a way to mimic it. But the use global environment map material option does specify that this environment map is used, instead of a custom one the modeller can make.

How MSFS handles the material settings when it renders a FSX MDL I don't know.
MSFS appears to use a different algorithm for rendering reflections. I have extracted a default chrome spinner, but I've yet to attempt to reproduce it. I have seen videos that imply MSFS reflections include images of in-scene ground markings and static objects, but I do not remember seeing reflections of moving objects.
MSFS is using screen space reflections and presumably some kind of real time EV - either cubemaps or spheres.
The GlobalEnvTest.dds file does still exist in the MSFS main texture folder btw. So it might be that it is still used when legacy FSX MDL files with the global environment map are used.
Apologies, while testing my FSX native conversion, I'd gotten the impression GlobalEnvTest.dds is not available, I'm probably just recalling the warning in the MCX viewport. So while I can assure that it is called by the model, I don't know for certain, that the model properly renders it.

I do remember reading a thread where the OP attempted to recreate an astronomy mirror, with astonishing results.


There is no airplane reflection and no statement to that effect, it seems likely the poster would have included it if it were possible. I think it is amazing that he did this on a whim.

Here is another example that may be helpful to Steve. In this case, the developer has made use of a parallax texture. The windows on his test building have the environment reflections and he has included his material settings, fascinating stuff imo.