A Checklist for Updating Aircraft to X-Plane 10

This document lists changes that you may need to make to update an aircraft from X-Plane 9.70 to X-Plane 10.10.  Some items are optional, and some items are just checks; where possible Plane-Maker tries to update your airplane with good default settings for new features.

Make Sure Glass Is Glass

For X-Plane to render your airplane correctly with HDR enabled, the sim must know which of your objects are translucent.

  • Make sure that any attached object with translucency is marked as “glass” in the Plane-Maker attached object screen.
  • Separate your solid objects from glass ones to isolate translucent surfaces.
  • In X-Plane 10.10 you can use the panel texture from any object.  So if you have translucent surfaces and opaque surfaces in the panel texture, use the panel texture in two objects.

The draw order of objects is:

  1. cockpit object (external views only) if it is not glass.
  2. Internal and external objects, in the order of the Plane-Maker screen.
  3. cockpit object (internal views only) if it is not glass.
  4. cockpit object (if it is glass).
  5. Glass objects, in the order of the Plane-Maker screen.

Use Power-of-2 Panels for the 3-d Cockpit

Make sure your panel texture is a power of 2 in dimensions (or uses regions).  Then add GLOBAL_cockpit_lit to cockpit objects so that the HDR lighting engine can work on the panel texture too.

If you use the panel texture in more than one object (see above) add GLOBAL_cockpit_lit to every object that uses the panel texture.

You do not need to use GLOBAL_cockpit_lit if you already use panel regions and you do not need translucency in your panel texture.  You should use GLOBAL_cockpit_lit if you use translucent panel textures using ATTR_cockpit.

Resize Internal Spill Lights

Plane-Maker provides 3 internal spill lights, visible with and without HDR enabled.  The intensity of light they emit is a little bit different in X-Plane 10.10, relative to X-Plane 9.  You may have to make the lights larger or smaller – the change needed is airplane specific.

Mark Attached Objects as “Dim LIT” as Needed

Dim LIT is a new option that reduces the brightness of lit textures during the day. For scenery this effect is automatic, but for airplanes you must “opt in”.

  • Do set “Dim LIT” for exterior render-baked textures.  For example, this option will let you bake night lighting that is vivid at night but not overpowering during the day.
  • Do not set “Dim LIT” for interior lighting that is visible during the day.  For example, if you create landing gear indicator lights using a LIT texture (and animation) you would not want to “Dim LIT” them because that would make the gear indication difficult to see during the day.

Update Exterior Lights

The exterior lights tab in Plane-Maker is significantly enhanced for X-Plane 10; while Plane-Maker attempts to update your exterior lights for you, you may find that you can get better results by customizing your lights.

Enable Pre-Fill on Some Attached Objects

Pre-fill is an object setting that tells Plane-Maker to “block” the clouds using that object.  Setting prefill:

  • Can improve framerate a lot.  For example, if you enable pre-fill on the object that represents your cockpit shell, you will mask out a lot of clouds.
  • Causes the object to be drawn twice, so it’s a better choice for simple objects than for objects that have heavy animation.
  • Should not be used with translucent objects.

For users who are limited by fill rate, prefill can be a 2x optimization on some planes (e.g. it doubles the user’s framerate).

Adjust Starter Parameters

X-Plane 10.10 features an optional RPM limit on the starter; check how your airplane starts and adjust the new settings as needed.  You may find that your v9 defaults are still acceptable.

Disable Some Starter Check-Boxes in Plane-Maker

X-Plane 10 will automatically enable a number of behaviors with your starter when opening an X-Plane 9 airplane; you may need to disable them.

  • Disable the option “hitting starter engages fuel to engine” if your airplane has manual mixture/fuel-cutoff controls.
  • Disable the options “hitting starter arms igniters” and “hitting starter engages igniters” if your airplane has manual igniter controls.
  • Disable the option “hitting starter engages ignition” only if you have a reciprocating engine with separate magneto and starter controls (e.g. an airplane with push-button start).  For key-lock-style starters like in a Cessna 172, leave this checked!

Check Minimum N2

X-Plane 10.10 provides a minimum N2 for fuel introduction in the engine spoolup/boost page.  While Plane-Maker will try to initialize this from your airplane’s old data, you should check the value of this field – it affects the EGT of your engine during startup and cruise!

Check all Electrical System Settings

Check the electrical system bus assignments and amperages in the bus 1/bus 2 screens of the systems dialog box in Plane-Maker.  X-Plane 10 has had a number of bugs importing this data, so we recommend double-checking this data in X-Plane 10.10 final to confirm that it is correct.

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