If you haven’t run beta 3 and already been told so, X-Plane 10.10 beta 4 is out.  Hopefully we have a beta stable enough for it to last more than 48 hours.

The ability to draw the inside of your Plane-Maker fuselage is going away.  In X-Plane 10.10 beta 4 you will still see this geometry if your airplane uses it, but:

  • There is no option to enable this in Plane-Maker anymore and
  • If you save your airplane in Plane-Maker, the feature is turned off.

I’ve blogged about the path to removing a feature before; the basic idea is that we are not forcing you to update your airplane now, but the next time you go into Plane-Maker to do work on your plane, you will have to fix your use of interior geometry too.

If you really want your interior to look exactly like your exterior, but inside out, it’s not hard to get this effect:

  • Export your airplane as OBJs from Plane-Maker.
  • Open the fuselage in a 3-d editor and flip the faces.
  • Attach your new “interior” in Plane-Maker.

Here’s the overall LR viewpoint on Plane-Maker and drawing:

  • OBJs are the way to draw an airplane.  OBJ provides all of X-Plane’s rendering features, really good performance, a stable file format, and good tools to edit.
  • Visualization of the built-in Plane-Maker geometry is good for simple planes and experimentation, but it is not at all meant for serious graphic work.
  • We will not be adding any of the new rendering features to Plane-Maker’s “built-in” drawing.
  • We don’t think “I can’t draw X without an OBJ” is a problem; use an OBJ.

In other words, we’d rather focus our effort on a single drawing path, OBJ, and not invent a parallel, inferior second drawing system using Plane-Maker beyond what’s needed to simply say “there is my airplane.”   Thus we are not adding new drawing features to the Plane-Maker geometry.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.

11 comments on “Viewing the Inside of Plane-Maker Geometry is Deprecated

  1. The aircraft shadow projected on the ground is calculated based on the plane maker geometry or on the obj geometry?

  2. So basically, if I understand correctly, miscellaneous bodies cannot go inside another body. What happens when an object, like a flap track fairing modelled in Plane Maker that extends inside a wing or a miscellaneous wing that punctures the fuselage? I take it that that is still valid but the internals may not render correctly.

    1. Misc bodies _can_ overlap. If they do, they will render correctly from the outside. I don’t know what the physics engine will do; only Austin knows that. In some cases the physics engine understands overlapping and connected bodies and in some cases it does not.

      I’m not sure I understand the question about the object. Basically when _any_ two meshes overlap, you will see overlapped geometry. It will render ‘correctly’ if what you want are two intersecting sets of triangles.

      The sim will not (and has never) clip out the “interior” of overlapping geometry. In other words, if you were two make two overlapping spheres, we would not make a new, single manifold hull surrounding all points in space that are inside at least one sphere. Instead we would draw both spheres, overlap and all.

      But this isn’t really a change in how we darw, it is a change in options. Basically “draw inside of bodies” is the equivalent (using plane-maker built-in drawing) of ATTR_no_cull in an OBJ, and we are taking it away.

      Our long term goal is to strip away all of the strange partial measures that were put into Plane-Maker during the X-Plane 6/7 era to try to fake detailed drawing before we had real 3-d attached to Airplanes (via OBJs) with real animation and real modeling programs.

      Right now there are a ton of random options that affect drawing, and the resulting code is complex, tweaky, buggy, and a maintenance nightmare. As we try to advance rendering forward to get things like HDR to work better, we don’t want to pay the maintenance tax of keeping the v7 interfaces alive. So we’re slowly starting to deprecate them.

  3. Yay! Finally the the installer has seen that 10.05r1 is not the latest version and I got the beta. Looking forward to seeing your new work 🙂

  4. So you are taking away 2-sided surfaces in Plane Maker used to represent internals, and not an internal, single-sided miscellaneous body used to represent a cabin.

    1. Uh, you should _never_ use a misc body inside-out to represent a cabin. We’re not taking it away because we didn’t think that that existed. Don’t do that – the physics calculations will be wrong.

  5. This is going to finally force me to start using .obj, except I can’t quite figure out how.

    I have the latest Blender.

    I have the scripts from here (after locating the overly subtle download link on the page) and they are installed – I can see X-Plane export.

    I have used Plane Maker to create .obj files from one of my planes.

    I seem to be missing the ability to import the X-Plane created .obj files into Blender for editing or instructions on how to do so.

    Could somebody please direct me to a current tutorial?

  6. Chris: I realize during this time that you are as busy as possibly can be. I’ll try to make this brief. While making a cockpit for new payware custom aircraft in 3DS of the extremely highest quality. The entire cockpit was created with all switches and levers, dials, and instruments as a single object with animated geometry. I run into the difficulty of AC3D telling me I can’t use multiple textures in the cockpit object during export, in an attempt to map one of the electronic displays over some of the cockpit geometry created . But if I understand it correctly X-Plane allows 2 textures per cockpit object. So that I can use my master texture and then the panel texture or is this wrong? I cannot use blender and quite frankly am a little perplexed at this whole cockpit texture business I have built each gauge as individually animated objects which works perfectly for steam gauges it’s only when I try to create things such as radar displays and navigation panels I am running into problems any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m not in the habit of asking for help as I usually can figure these things out but I am at a loss on this one. In closing I would also ask if there are any plans for the new version of AC 3-D in the form of a plug-in update. I find it much easier to use than blender and I much prefer doing my geometry and 3DS Max. I would be willing to send you whatever files you would like to look at. Of course the holy Grail for model makers would be a direct plug-in script for 3 DS Max to support X plane directly hint, hint,
    Thank you for your time

    Jim Zane
    JazAero Aviation

    1. Hi Jim,

      I can’t help you with ac3d work-flow problems (and this blog post isn’t really the appropriate place for support requests).

      I do intend to update the ac3d plugin to be current to v10; I also plan to submit my mods of the Blenders scripts to Marginal (that’s in my court – he set up GIThub for me and I need to push the changes), as those mods bring his scripts into sync with v10.

      There is already a 3ds exporter – see here.


      1. Thank you Ben for that response. Please don’t misunderstand me, I wasn’t requesting support, merely clarification I was trying to understand how Xplane handles the graphics in the cockpit, with relation to imported geometry and animated texture panel mapping of that object versus the native panel creation through plane maker. I hope this makes some sense. If you would like to correspond by e-mail I am more than happy to do that. I have held aviation close to my heart for more than 50 years and worked with computers for the last 30 before I retired. I say this because I don’t want you to think that I am looking to waste your time I know firsthand how busy and hectic things get when developing applications and answering customer queries such as this so once again I thank you for your patience.

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