Kronovan

Converting FS9 Aircraft Textures to FSX DX10?

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Posted (edited)

I run FSX:SE with DirectX 10 Preview enabled along with Steve's improved DX10 shaders. I like the roughly 5 fps increase I get and the look and effect on my stock aircraft and those I've purchased. Running like that of course eliminates using any of the FS9 aircraft that have been updated for FSX, but never had their textures converted to the new DDS file format.

So...I've been trying to convert 2 fan made editions of the Junkers 52, but I'm very frustrated by the process and are about to throw in the towel. I noticed with everyone of my stock FSX:SE aircraft and DX10 compatible ones I've purchased, they have textures in a 1024x1024 DTX5 format with a DDS file extension. I've tried the DXTBmp, Convimx and ImageTool (Prepar3D SDK 1.4 version) utilities to convert them, but have failed each time. Every time I get a little step forward in that any previously missing parts are now present, but aircraft always appear as if every single texture on them was sprayed with a fresh coat of grey primer. I've never seen any of the liveries display correctly. With one of the Junkers I was able to get a few textures that were initially in a 256x256 format to correctly display by converting them to DXT3 format, but those are only a few. I've also tried flipping the original bitmap image, flipping the bitmap image + alpha channel and have event tried creating a new alpha channel for textures where it seemed to be missing, but nothing works.

Meanwhile I've scoured the Internet for a good "How To" document, but have come up dry. I did find this this thread from the DX10 forum posted in 2012 , but it never really provides a solution for aircraft textures, or any it does haven't worked for me. I'm hoping someone here might know of a good, definitive document that can provide me with step -by- step procedures that actually work.

Edited by Kronovan

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a) http://stuff4fs.com/newpage.asp?Folder=TM&Docs=TextureManager.pdf

b) The DX10 Fixer utility has an option that enables shader extensions which will make FS9 portovers usable in DX10 without prior texture conversion. Consult the manual.

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Many thanks for the info Bjoern - I'll give TextureManager a try.
BTW The link to the PDF that you provided didn't work, but I was able to find the TextureManager archive and PDF easy enough on the Developer Utilities menu.  :)

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Posted (edited)

Well I gave TextureManager the college try, but no joy with it either. I should have probably mentioned that the interiors, dashes and pilots convert just fine. I'm impressed with a lot of what I see on that stuff4fs website and Texture Manager seems like a very good tool, so I might email the site owner about my experiments. I guess I could use the aircraft I've converted if I could be content with a lovely, uniform grey primer exterior - or never go to an outside camera view.  😉

I can just imagine the fictional conversation at the airport, between an admirer and the aircraft owner.

Admirer: <whistles> "Geeez, that's the most uniform and even primer job I've ever seen - beeeeauuuutiful!  But why the heck did your painter paint the tires, props and all the cables too?"

Owner: <Sighs> "You just can't find good help these days. They either aren't enthused enough, or do the job with way too much enthusiasm."

😁

Edited by Kronovan

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Back in my FSX/DX10 days I used FlightSimTools Addon Converter X - http://www.flightsimtools.com/adconvx/.  It does not convert the textures permanently but on the fly.  When you finish your FSX session, the FS9 addon textures will still be in the DX9 format.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the tip Jim. I was aware of the Converter X add-on, but I'd read it has some impact on performance. I'm already frame rate challenged (low 20's) in large urban areas with extensive coastlines and diverse topography (i.e. a major city I often fly from & to), so I didn't want to introduce anything that could lower those further.

Edited by Kronovan

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Bjoern said:

b) The DX10 Fixer utility has an option that enables shader extensions which will make FS9 portovers usable in DX10 without prior texture conversion. Consult the manual.

I missed this part of your post earlier, but yes I have Steve's DX10 Fix installed. That's one of the reasons I want to keep the DirectX 10 Preview setting enabled - FSX:SE looks great and performs well.  :)

Edited by Kronovan

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There is actually no issue with texture formats in dx10 - the problem lies with issues  in the fsx dx10 engine handling legacy models that are  coded in fs8 format or scenery models coded  in fs9 format.  The model format changed in different releases for aircraft and scenery.

The payware dx10 fixer handles all of this and most old aircraft and scenery should just work with it.  It does not alter any textures to do this.

My free dx10 shader patches ( which is what I think you are using) are unable to correct for these errors and so fs8 aircraft models will still appear grey and untextured. Sometimes you can get the fsx dx10 engine to use a slightly different code path by removing the alpha channel from textures ( note that this is not necessary with the payware fixer). This leads to a myth that there are dx10 compatible texture formats.  Doing this loses environment reflections and chrome effects.

The one exception to all this is that due to a second fsx  bug any 8 bit textures get their alpha channel reversed in dx10. This format is relatively uncommon except  in models  that have heritage stretching back beyond fs7/8. .  They may be used for small items like wheels, pilots etc that have been copied over from older models. This is what Bjoern is referring to. the pay ar fixer includes a tools to scan for these and convert them to a format that works.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, SteveFx said:

...The one exception to all this is that due to a second fsx  bug any 8 bit textures get their alpha channel reversed in dx10. This format is relatively uncommon except  in models  that have heritage stretching back beyond fs7/8. .  They may be used for small items like wheels, pilots etc that have been copied over from older models. This is what Bjoern is referring to. the pay ar fixer includes a tools to scan for these and convert them to a format that works.

Ahah, well that probably explains why I can get the 256x256 textures to successfully convert, but none of the others. Those panels, pilots and interior textures in the Junkers 52 are probably legacy.  I was under the impression it was a FSX DX10 issue and not universal to DirectX 10, I just don't understand the intricate details of the cause, or know of a way to fix it. It's all sounding like it's too much effort, while at the same time I'm not willing to chance further degrading performance with any real-time texture fixers; only running an i5 2500 quad @ 3.3 Ghz, with 8 GB DDR3 RAM and a Nvidia TX 680 w/2 GB.

At this point I'm going to finally throw in the towel with converting/adapting/massaging (whatever the correct term is) any aircraft textures. I'll either just fly aircraft  fully compatible with FSX DX10 (all of the ones I've bought), or live with the lovely, smooth grey primer paint jobs.  :) 

BTW Thanks for all your excellent work on the DX10 shader fix.
 

 

Edited by Kronovan

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