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XPlane2Blender v3.5.0-beta.2 is out!

This beta brings in many new bug fixes and heavily requested new features! As with any beta, be aware that this could break your project SO MAKE BACKUPS! We don’t think there are any drastic changes to the data model, but, better safe than sorry.

Bug Fixes

  • #355 – A small UI fix relating to too many manipulator fields being shown
  • #360 – A bug fix for Drag Rotate manipulators giving false negatives
  • #353, #363, and #260 – All relate to warning people and correct what was allowed with NORMAL_METALNESS and BLEND_GLASS. Previously Blend Glass was in the same drop down menu as Alpha Blend, Alpha Cutoff, and Alpha Shadow. Now it is a checkbox allowing you to correctly specify a Blend Mode and apply Blend Glass to it. Existing materials with Blend Glass will see this new checkbox automatically checked. Blend Mode will be set to Alpha Blend or, if your plane is old enough to have been worked on during X-Plane 10, it will be set to whatever it was back then.
    3_5_0_beta_2_blend_glass_checkbox

See the internal text block “Updater Log” for a list of what got updated, including this. You may see, for example:
INFO: Set material "Material_SHADOW_BLEND_GLASS"'s Blend Glass property to true and its Blend Mode to Shadow

  • #366 – An Optimization! Useless transitions in the OBJ were being written, now they’re not. Custom Properties still work, there won’t be any visual changes to your OBJ. We haven’t done any profiling but it might have decreased OBJ loading time by a small amount too.

Features

Command Search Window

Thanks to #361, just like the Datarefs.txt Search Window, we now have the same capabilities for searching Commands.txt (for manipulators). We are shipping with X-Plane’s latest Commands.txt file, but of course you can replace it with your own (as long as you keep the name the same). One day we hope to make it much more flexible.
3_5_0_beta_2_command_search_window

Particle Emitters (not very useful to most yet, I know)

Thanks to #358, some people who have access to X-Plane’s cutting edge particle code can use XPlane2Blender to specify particle emitters. Don’t worry, we’re all working as hard as we can to get these into the hands of others. Fortunately, XPlane2Blender users can hit the ground running the minute it drops!
3_5_0_beta_2_particle_screenshot

Build Scripts And Test Runners

  • #302 and #307 – Are you a professional XPlane2Blender maintainer and developer (if so we should probably talk!) Then you need a better build script, and a test script to match! Introducing mkbuild.py, the build script for the modern developer! It creates, it tests, it renames without messy mistake prone human intervention! To top that off, how about a testing script that doesn’t give false positives!
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X-Plane 11.26 and WED 1.7.1

Two notes on stuff we released today:

X-Plane 11.26r1 is now in public beta – click “get betas” to get it. It’s just a translation update except one bug fix: we think the weird errors about missing taxiways mid-flight should be fixed.  This bug was specific to users who loaded additional nav data into the sim, but if you are one of those users this will hopefully help.

WorldEditor 1.7.1r2 is now officially final. WED 1.7.1 supports all of the new airport line types from X-Plane, and also has a slew of new editing options for working with vectors.

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Widget Windows, You Fancy Now!

I’ve gotten a handful of emails from third-party devs recently asking the question:

I have a bunch of XPWidget-based windows. When will I be able to use them with fancy new features like UI scaling, pop-out support, VR support, etc.?

Happily, the answer is: now!

I really buried the lede on this one, but back in X-Plane 11.20, as part of adding plugin support for VR windows, we added a new “mode” for XPWidget-based plugins. It all starts with a call to opt-in to the “modern” window APIs like this:

XPLMEnableFeature("XPLM_USE_NATIVE_WIDGET_WINDOWS", 1);

From this point forward, all widget windows you create will be backed by a modern XPLM window, and can therefore be used with all the new XPLMDisplay APIs. All you have to do from there is call XPGetWidgetUnderlyingWindow() get the XPLMWindowID of your window to pass to those APIs.

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X-Plane Live TODAY

A quick correction – the X-Plane Live session will actually be today, Tuesday at 4 pm (20:00 UTC) – I apologize for the total confusion and chaos on this one.  We have your questions from the developer blog and social media, and we’ll try to take live questions as best we can.

EDIT: T-minus 30 minutes to live stream! We’ll be live here on YouTube.

EDIT 2: If you missed the live stream, you can watch the recording: Part 1 and Part 2 (split due to technical difficulties).

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RFC: Questions for X-Plane Live

As Tyler previously posted, we’re doing another X-Plane Live video stream this Wednesday – this one a bit earlier for Europe.

A number of commenters pointed out that the Q&A has been a bit of a free-for-all in the past live-streams. It’s hard for us to pick up all of the questions, things get missed, etc.

So this time, we’re going to do a mix of live questions and questions submitted ahead of time. If you have something you want to bring up, please post in the comments section for this post. You can also ask questions via Facebook or Twitter – Thompson will post start a feedback thread on FB tomorrow.

Please only use this blog post for questions for the live session next week.

We are almost certainly not going to be able to answer everything that gets asked, and there will probably be questions where the answer is more or less “we’re working on stuff but it’s rully rully secret right now”. But we will read everything that gets asked here and do our best to make sure big things don’t get lost.

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FlightSimExpo 2018 Slide Deck

I meant to post this weeks ago, and basically just lost track of it, so thanks for the reminders in the comment sections.  Here is a PDF export of our slide deck from FSExpo.

Flight Sim Expo 2018 Slide Deck

There is professionally shot video of the event, but it wasn’t shot by us, and I’m afraid I have no idea when it will be posted. We’re looking into using our own cameras next year so that we can ensure a video post on a more timely basis.

 

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X-Plane Live: European Edition

Edit: the X-Plane live session is actually on the 14th – today, Tuesday.

At the request of our European friends, the next round of X-Plane live Q&A will take place on August 15th—excuse me, 15 August!  August 14—at 20:00 UTC (translate that to your time zone). Previous Q&A sessions have been scheduled at times that were convenient primarily for Americans, but why should they get to have all the fun?!

In case you missed the first and second rounds of this, this is a streaming broadcast (via YouTube) featuring:

  • Austin Meyer, owner & creator of X-Plane
  • Ben Supnik, desktop product manager
  • Chris Serio, mobile product manager
  • Alex Unruh, art director
  • …and anyone else we happen to drum up. 🙂

Dear Europeans, the fate of the livestream is in your hands! 😀

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X-Plane 11.25 Release Candidate 1

X-Plane 11.25 release candidate 1 is live. If you were using an 11.25 beta, you’ll be auto-notified to update. If you’re not using the beta, you can check “get betas” to get the beta. (Steam users: 11.25b1 is available as a Steam public beta – we’ll put the release candidate on Steam early next week if nothing blows up.)  Release notes are here.

This update includes the addition of the “High Roller” Ferris wheel/rotating bar to the strip – when we were at FSExpo, the High Roller was very close to the Flamingo, and it was quite clear how visible it was to the skyline.

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Usage Data as of June 2018

Here are the results of the latest X-Plane 11 usage data as of 04 June, 2018. If you’d like to compare, here is the previous post from November 2017.

X-Plane collects diagnostic & usage data on a strictly opt-in basis. All information we collect is anonymous; it does not include contact information like your name or email address. We share the aggregate usage data with the community but we do not share or sell (or even have direct access to) the raw data.

Below is a handful of easy-to-digest charts, plus the raw data at the bottom of the post for those that are interested. Read More

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