First, the most salient point: in X-Plane 9.00 beta 16, 2-d panels and 3-d cockpits should both look the way they did in version 8. That is, your v8 plane should look good in v9 without modification. This is due to both:
- A bunch of bug fixes regarding burn-in and night lit layers.
- “3-d” lighting is not applied to the cockpit texture.
On this last point, my hope had originally been that I could apply 3-d lighting to the cockpit and simply make existing content look better. It has become painfully clear to me that this is not possible — existing planes are very carefully tuned to look good despite what I can only describe as “inconsistent” lighting rules in v8. Applying more consistent general 3-d lighting wrecks this tuning.
So new features regarding 3-d cockpits will be opt-in – that is, you will have to change your model to start using them. Existing content will work the way it used to.
I will explain what new features are available in 9.0 and what will come in 9.1 in a separate post real soon.