XPlane2Blender v3.4.0-beta1 is out!

The next version of XPlane2Blender is right around the corner, come test it! Highlights of this release are Optimized Animations, Increased Usability, and X-Plane 11 OBJ8 features (mainly Blend Glass mode and Normal Metalness). Read more about what has been changed on the release page and download it!

(Link to beta removed until major breaking bug has been fixed. Make backups of files before using any beta product.)

As with any beta, make backups before using a partially tested product. We don’t predict there should be anything breaking in it, but its never a bad idea to be safe.

Bugs and feed back on Github is preferred over this comment section, but most of all I want to hear your feedback. To stay focused, only comments related to XPlane2Blender, the beta, and Blender will be responded to for this section. The status of other 3D Modeling Plugins/VR/Weather Systems/etc is off topic.

9 comments on “XPlane2Blender v3.4.0-beta1 is out!

        1. It does not have an import function, and likely never will without significant investment by the community. Some projects exist, and they could be absorbed as part of this project, but I know I certainly could not spend time on them because of a long queue of requested features for the exporter.

          Thank you for asking however and making your opinion known. This is somewhat off-topic for this thread, so, please e-mail me why you’d like to see an import function so I can mark it down!

  1. I don’t fully understand the normal_metalness map. If I have a normal map the blue channel controls the reflection, right? With metalness the blue channel controls how metalic is the structure. So, if I have an object with a reflective window (no metalic effect), for example, and a metalic roof, do I need to split in two objects in order to normals correct work?

    1. Hi Rodrigo,

      The X-Plane 11 material model doesn’t distinguish reflectivity from metalness – when you increase the _base_ reflectivity (that is, the reflectivity when viewed straight on, of a material) by raising the blue channel, you make it “more reflective always”, and we start to use the albedo to tint reflections, rather than the diffuse light. This works because, at full base reflectivity there IS no diffuse light – all light bounces right off the surface of the material.

      In other words, you use the same functionality for reflective metallic and mirrored windows.

      Regular (non-mirrored) windows probably do NOT need any custom metalness values – the F0 (base reflectivity) of glass is somewhere between 0.04 and 0.06 if I remember right – convenient – otherwise you wouldn’t be able to look through glass. 🙂 But do note that really correct glass blending is currently only available on glass objects on an airplane. This is (for now) a fundamental limit of the scenery system, which doesn’t have a post-g-buffer ‘glass’ mode the way aircraft do. That is something that is on our todo list.

  2. Hi, thanks for the update!

    Would it be possible to export flat/smooth shade per element (vertices, edges, faces) to X-Plane? Right now X-Plane only supports flat/smooth shade for entire objects. If we could control the shading of each element (vertex normals) we could get rid of using the edge split modifier in blender, which is the actual workaround and actually duplicates vertices and has some other inconvenients.



    1. Hi Fred,

      When it comes to flat/smooth shading, duplicating vertices to make a hard edge is STRONGLY PREFERRED over ATTR_flat shading.

      Vertices are very cheap, and the dupes won’t kill you. The GPU can do a LOT of vertices. ATTRibutes are expensive – the GPU pipeline has to be reconfigured.

      So – it is intentional that the WYSIWYG shading of Blender comes out as vertex mesh tricks and not attributes.

      If you have a way of controlling flat/smooth shading that is WYSIWYG but is ignored by us, please file a bug. But we will solve this by exporting more vertices. 🙂

      (The same logic goes for two-sided geometry!)

  3. Ok, understood: if it’s faster to render this way then there’s no question about it. Thanks for the answer!

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