A quick note on 11.30: we have an internal build of 11.30 that seems to be working and we’ll be rolling out private betas next week, as soon as we get menu items for the particle system editor. Once we get some feedback on the private beta we’ll know if we’re close to public beta or not.

Two new feature for aircraft authors coming in 11.30:

4K Panels. I do not promise that this is going to have good performance, so try it and go back to 2K if things get slow, but in X-Plane 11.30 you can use a 4K texture for your panel. This is mostly useful for aircraft that are generating a lot of plugin-based dynamic texture effects.

Cockpit Objects. Before X-Plane 11.30 the cockpit object is a magical object found by file name (aircraft name_cockpit.obj). In X-Plane 11.30 the cockpit object is just one among many “misc” objects in Plane-Maker, with the “cockpit object” check-box set.

X-Plane and Plane-Maker will automatically upgrade/interpret old planes, so there’s no “todo” here or compatibility loss.

This feature means that, starting with 11.30, you can now share a single cockpit object amongst multiple .acf files in the same folder. This means you can create multiple editions of your aircraft (e.g. for engine types) and not have to duplicate your cockpit .obj files.

Update: just to clarify something that a number of authors asked about, you cannot have multiple cockpit objects under the new system. You are still required to put all of your manipulators and camera-stopping surfaces in a single cockpit object. Now you have complete control over which object that is. (Panel texture may be used in any aircraft-attached object; this is true for all of X-Plane 11 and some X-Plane 10 versions.)

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.

38 comments on “4K Panels and Cockpit Objects in 11.30

  1. Is the new shaders you use in 11.30 will make any improvements to FPS or this is not related. Are you find yourselves close to Vulkan & Metal now? I can’t wait to use VR on macOS.

  2. Hi Ben,
    How do I request the privet beta and what are the requirements to be a part of the group?
    Thank you.

  3. 4K panels. Major “yay!” We talked about this over a year ago, Ben – glad to see it coming to life.

    Will the cockpit object still be the only object that can have manipulators?

    All sounds very cool, and plays right into multiple projects that I’m working on right now. So…. THANKS!!

    1. Yes – in the new interface you select the cockpit object amongst misc objects (your old cockpit object has automatically been added to the list) and you get at most ONE in and ONE out, and only the inside cockpit object gets hard surfaces/manipulators/etc.

      1. Sounds very good, but… …new interface?

        Has Tyler been working on updating Plane Maker to match the rest of X-Plane 11? Or is this simply an enhancement necessary for the new shared cockpit object paradigm?

  4. Thanks for the 4K panel textures! A much needed improvement.

    Cockpit obj: Now can be located anywhere (ie. objects folder), have any name, but all manipulators and displays mapped to the Panel textures must be in this objects only, right?

  5. Hello Ben,

    So if I interpret it correctly in 11.30 manipulators will work in all the “misc objects”?

  6. Hi Ben, can’t wait for each and every patch right up to the long awaited Vulkan implementation.
    You mused about ray tracing with the new RTX cards but I don’t think mentioned DLSS?
    Can you foresee Xplane performance being helped with DLSS and do you see it being implemented in a future patch?

    1. SO MUCH this DLSS would be huge for the sim and take no work from you guys other then putting in the option and code to let the driver know to run the AI library that nv would send you back

      you only need do that and send nv the sim to train the AI

  7. Being among the first 500 Kickstarter backers for Pimax 5k+, I really hope you keep all of us VR enthusiasts in mind when redesigning the rendering pipeline for Vulkan.
    Also, please integrate native Leap Motion support ASAP as this will truly distinguish this platform from its competitors.

    1. Vulkan 1.1 is by virtue having better support for Virtual Reality applications.

      VR requires rendering two different perspectives of the same 3D scene, one for each eye.

      This is possible today through brute force—first, submit all the commands to draw the left eye to the GPU, then submit all the commands for the right eye.

      With Vulkan 1.1, developers can use multiview, where a single set of rendering commands produces multiple, slightly different outputs with a single call.

        1. yeah single pass stereo rendering helps a ton with VR i really do hope you guys make that thing and make use of it since both Pascale and Turing can make use of it

          id also like to see multi GPU VR which is also supported by nvidia
          its one of few areas that see good scaling with multiGPU

  8. The Addition of 4k support is – as though simple to implement from a technical point of view – having a huge visual impact.

    When I watch youtube on 1440p i never go back to 1080p
    equally wise, when getting used to 4k, one can never go back to 2k.

    if any performance hit would be there, or extra hit on video ram utilization, that should be up to third-party developers to consider, also not to forget, that the mainstream user-hardware-setups nowadays are coping more and more with the 4k gaming era … which is around corner now as 60+ fps at 4k with quality graphics is sought after trend at least ,,, whereas others engines are targeting 75/100/120/144/165/200+ fps respectively … these figures are representative of G-Synced/Free-Synced New Age of 4K Monitor refresh rates with True HDR.

    This monitor is available now and is pinnacle of industry at the moment.

    In the next few months, we will have the new Standard that will supersede, as the new king arrives at 200 hz with 4k + Full HDR


    In short, we badly need 4k support due to the above reasons, and also due to our expectation from 11.30 to be the release which should give out the old washed-out look of x-plane and along with the new shader system bring the sim into crisp-detailed warm cockpit feeling achieved that give that 4k monitor a use for its investment.

    It is know for a fact that those who have new graphics cards will use these higher resolutions, but at least, the road is paved to bring the sim into the next level.

    I really wonder how would a two nvlinked rtx 2080 Ti perform on 11.30 with 4k display, 10bit color depth, true HDR and 60+ fps.

    1. Ben’s not really talking about 4k resolution of the monitor(s), more about using 4k textures to draw instruments/screens/other cool stuff in the cockpit and exterior of aircraft. The panel.png file is redrawn each frame, often from scratch, which means that increasing it’s resolution by 2x increases pixels to be redrawn each frame by 4x, which has the potential for a frame issue. We (magknight 787 people) have been using a 4k panel texture for a while, as it technically worked in the older versions (by setting the PANEL_REGION to 4096 4096), although unsupported. The 787 has stupidly huge screens, which can only look any good at that kind of resolution.

      1. Exactly correct! This is about giving authors more room for glass, needed for modern and complex aircraft. The post has ZERO to do with 4K game res.

        1. Indeed, what you say is correct.
          I may have misunderstood, as we all know about support for texture size is all about the central theme of the post.

          i may have highlighted an important association between a 4k texture and a 4k screen —- as these are best to go hand to hand.

          to make my point clear, it is pointless and a waste of resource to use 4k textures inside cockpit to end up being displayed in 1920×1080.

          For this, i say a 4k texture deserves a 4k display to be fully appreciated.

          Stretching subject further, i have shed light on other extra aspects of recent developments in performance of 4k panels as a quick glimpse of what is possible in future.

          Reason is, i feel x-plane with wave of new hardware coming soon, like intel’s i9-9900k 5Ghz 8-cores CPU coupled with Vulkan, coupled with Two Nvlinked RTX 2080 Ti , would eventually land the sim in the 60 – 120 fps zone ….. by then all people who have a 60hz monitor will be capped by 60fps and waste the extra fps that their hardware is capable of doing.

          This is all , sort of ‘thinking big’ of natural consequences, all just because 4k texture support triggered opening “more room for glass”

          1. I’m sorry but what you say makes no sense to me. Higher resolution textures means, for example, that the labels (text) in the cockpit will become clearer, particularly when zoomed in, regardless of the resolution of your screen.

          2. Yes True Bruno, but also equally wise
            a 4k texture on a 4k screen, can equally be crisp and clear without needing to zoom in.

            but on a standard 1080p screen, you still need to zoom-in order to read the smaller blurry-text-labels on the airplane panel, regardless if the texture of the panel was 1k,2k, or 4k.

            i only highlight the fact that a 4k texture is a perfect blend with 4k resolution, irrespective of need to zoom.

            whereas you wont get the full sensation of texture crispness and quality if the display mode is 4k whereas the textures 1k or 2k, as scale sampling will occur with a slight blur effect.


          3. I think it’s only psychological. If the cockpit is divided into 8 512 pixel textures, or it is just 1 4K texture, it’s the same number of pixels for the cockpit. This is totally unrelated to screen resolution. It’s absolutely *not* a waste to have 4K textures and seeing them in a normal FHD screen. It makes a huge difference!

          4. i really wish to see X-Plane topping the SIM-WORLD

            it has all the potential to crown it, which i believe it already does to an extent.
            i expect that 2019 will be a paradigm shift into how we experience the spirit of dimming as if being there. my ‘prophecy’ is nothing more than a mere learned guess based on the recent developments on different fronts:

            0) Continuous ambitious improvements and fine-tuning of core engine (physics/systems/graphics)
            1) New unlocked 5GHz per-core performance.
            2) New graphics cards with more memory and speed for 4k + HDR quality.
            3) New big monitors supporting high refresh rate and HDR.
            4) New Vulkan-API graphics engine streamlined form grounds up to take advantage from new HW.
            5) Next gen weather depiction heated competition (ASXP, XENVO 1.10).
            6) Door way to better multi-GPU / multi CPU Core work load sharing.


  9. Ben,
    Will the 4k panels have a noticeable effect on the clarity in VR? Aside from any performance hit, that should substantially clear up gauges in VR I would think. Correct me if I am wrong?

      1. not as much as you think super sampling of any type DLSS or just using Oculus tray tool makes HUGE improvement in gauge clarity

        the issue is the GPU power needed to run at 1.5x or higher res of the head set to start with this is where DLSS, single pass VR, and multi GPU VR comes in

  10. One thing I will add… as a compliment to the new order of things, it would be just simply smashing if some of the older X-Plane instruments could also get a kick in their resolution. I’ve been harping on the airliner NAV map for some time. I don’t ask that it be changed, but a resolution boost is overdue, especially considering Philipp’s gorgeous Garmin equipment. Airliner maps deserve love too. 😉

  11. (wrong post – but re your Facebook post on joystick axis curves)

    Just want to thumbs up the upcoming ‘response curve’ for joystick axis.

    My home-brew vr cockpit has a Saitek yoke (noisey potentiometers) on kitchen drawer runners, levering a regular joystick (smooth hall-effect sensors).
    I absolutely needed to install the Saitek drivers for the same response curve feature, in order to translate the linear motion to the arc motion.

    Shout if you’d like an early test.

  12. This is somewhat unrelated to this post, but can you point me in the direction of some good tutorials on how to modify the instrument panel of a 3D cockpit? Specifically, I would like to update the 3D cockpit of a plane to include X-plane 11’s default G1000. Any advice on how to go about this project would be greatly appreciated.


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