Panels and airplanes aren’t really my thing. But we’re using the OBJ engine more and more in aircraft, blurring the lines between scenery code and aircraft code.
In X-Plane you can actually use the panel texture in any object. Pleaes don’t do this! There are two cases:
With X-Plane 860 you can attach many objects to an aircraft. But…you should only use the panel texture in the cockpit object.
The cockpit object is special! It is the only object that gets mouse-click tested. In the future we will decide how much of the 2-d panel to render to a texure (for the 3-d cockpit) based on the cockpit object. So…don’t use the panel texture in your other aircraft objects. Put your panel-textured triangles in the panel object.
(You should do this anyway; switching to the panel texture creates a new batch*, so using it in a lot of separate objects is bad for framerate.)
Technically you can also use the panel texture in scenery objects. This is really just a big hack — all of the issues with optimzation apply to this case, plus: how can you even know the layout of the panel texture in scenery? Don’t do this!
* “Batch” is the technical term in the game development and authoring world for a set of triangles that can be drawn by the graphics card via single CPU command. While graphics cards can process tons and tons of triangles, the number of batches they can process is limited by CPU and bus speed, which advance much more slowly. Generally the number of batches is the limiting factor in X-Plane’s framerate.
It’s easy to see how many batches your OBJ8 contains: open the file and count the number of “TRIS” and “LINES” commands at the end. Ignoring lights, the sum of the TRIS and LINES commands is the number of batches! (HINT: fewer is better, and only one batch is great!)