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Ither

XP - Carenado B200 - 3D Cockpit Modify - Advice

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I am new to the whole XP deal -- and to be upfront this is for my own personal use and I probably won't release it unless Carenado says it's OK.

At this time I am not worried about knobs or buttons working -- I just want to get model in place and go from there.

After two days of messing with it I was able to get 3D models of GTN 650 in however I have two problems I can't figure out.

1. The screen gets cut off; it's almost like it's still wrapping on the GNS 430 although it's gone from OBJ file as well as the Planemaker 3D cockpit (looked for GNS 430 panel and removed both.)

2. I still have knobs/buttons from GNS 430 if I move my mouse around vicinity of those original areas.

In Carenado I found that the I3.obj had the cockpit gauges and that is where I was able to completely remove the GNS 430 3D and put in GTN 650 3D. I see some knobs/buttons in cockpit.obj file but if I modify that (remove them) and try to export in AC3D it tells me 263 things have no textures. Then the game goes nuts when I load plane.

I'm open to any advice direction to look--I literally figured out the 3D models on my own after 2 days of digging.

y0lwsz9.png

 

dawMz2u.png

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Hi,

Thank you for sharing your progress with this! This looks nice!

As for the screen 'cut off', do you refer to the 'duplicated' left part of the the GTN screen showing up to the left? This most likely is only related to how the panel.png UV projection gets mapped to your GTN screen polygon but I'm not the expert with this.

As for the buttons/knobs, this unfortunately is what makes X-Plane a little hard to mod and why I always say X-Plane has no 'gauges', but it is conceptually wrapping the cockpit, the panel and the gauge as a single entity. Nevertheless, the buttons and knobs 'click spots' and manipulators which are encoded in a separate obj file which purpose is mostly just this.

In effect, the 3D model representation and the 3D model interactions are encoded in different files. The 3D model representation may even be split in different obj files attached to the aircraft file, but the difficulty is the cockpit manipulators are all encoded in a single file regardless and it is not sufficient to just swap a 3D obj on the cockpit. It will work to 'show' the GTN, and our code intercepts the mouse in the 3D space too, but any manipulator left over in the whole-cockpit manipulator file gets precedence and intercepts the mouse before our plugin gets the chance to be notified about it.

I do hope once the XPlane developers gets over with the Vulkan port and the other things in their list they will prioritize our suggestions and requests back.

 

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2 minutes ago, RXP said:

Hi,

Thank you for sharing your progress with this! This looks nice!

As for the screen 'cut off', do you refer to the 'duplicated' left part of the the GTN screen showing up to the left? This most likely is only related to how the panel.png UV projection gets mapped to your GTN screen polygon but I'm not the expert with this.

As for the buttons/knobs, this unfortunately is what makes X-Plane a little hard to mod and why I always say X-Plane has no 'gauges', but it is conceptually wrapping the cockpit, the panel and the gauge as a single entity. Nevertheless, the buttons and knobs 'click spots' and manipulators which are encoded in a separate obj file which purpose is mostly just this.

In effect, the 3D model representation and the 3D model interactions are encoded in different files. The 3D model representation may even be split in different obj files attached to the aircraft file, but the difficulty is the cockpit manipulators are all encoded in a single file regardless and it is not sufficient to just swap a 3D obj on the cockpit. It will work to 'show' the GTN, and our code intercepts the mouse in the 3D space too, but any manipulator left over in the whole-cockpit manipulator file gets precedence and intercepts the mouse before our plugin gets the chance to be notified about it.

I do hope once the XPlane developers gets over with the Vulkan port and the other things in their list they will prioritize our suggestions and requests back.

 

Thanks Jean-Luc! I'm take look at the panel.png files and see if that's causing the issue.

I agree the knobs and buttons aren't show stopper; to be honest I'd rarely use them as i would end up opening popup because of distance away. However, that doesn't stop me from not liking seeing the GNS 430 on the 3D cockpit LOL. Hence why I went into this.

More to come as I progress--my goal now is to get the screen full length.

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I spent most of day digging into this and finally figured it out -- the layer that is affecting RTN is in the cockpit.obj file of the Carenado B200; however the actual 3D model of the old GNS 430 is in I3.obj.

The problem is I can't export the cockpit.obj without issues -- there are 217 textures in there and I have zero clues which ones go where; it's far too many to even try and figure out.

At this point I've thrown my hands up as I dont' know of any other way to do this. I even used misc object in PlaneBuilder and stuck it in same place but the RTN still renders to one panel and it's laid out as such.

A4fXmCK.png

You can see my GTN 650 model there in wireframe.

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Posted (edited)

I went back at it and disagree with my previous statement; that should be the trigger buttons for old GNS 430. If I can't remove them do to texture issue that's fine. I can live without buttons working just so long as it looks realistic.

However I found Bourrinopathe models and decided to give that a shot -- which worked a lot easier but I still can't for life of me figure out the GNS issue. I'm still digging/reading/searching.

kgMYbiF.png

Also kudos to Bourrinopathe for his models -- that is some AWESOME 3d work my friend!

Edited by Ither
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Welcome to the editing (and often frustrating) process 😉
I just replied to your PM.
Jean-Luc summed up the key elements accurately. I'm afraid without a better structure for the files and cockpit objects, the only way to achieve a decent instruments swap is to fiddle with the existing files without access to the original files (owned by the respective developers).
And as you mentioned the import plugins fail to parse the complete data for the objects (I used both Blender and AC3D for my mod(s)).

I don't own the B200, but based on your screenshots, it's likely you'd have to create new 3D planes for the screens, with an appropriate UV mapping.

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7 hours ago, Bourrinopathe said:

Welcome to the editing (and often frustrating) process 😉
I just replied to your PM.
Jean-Luc summed up the key elements accurately. I'm afraid without a better structure for the files and cockpit objects, the only way to achieve a decent instruments swap is to fiddle with the existing files without access to the original files (owned by the respective developers).
And as you mentioned the import plugins fail to parse the complete data for the objects (I used both Blender and AC3D for my mod(s)).

I don't own the B200, but based on your screenshots, it's likely you'd have to create new 3D planes for the screens, with an appropriate UV mapping.

I disected your Cessna mod and I originally was right -- the 3d panel for the GPS is in the cockpit.obj file and that is one I can't manipulate without it breaking.

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After additional work today I deemed this a roadblock -- the cockpit panel that paints the GPS screens on are in a file that I can't import/export successfully. It's unfortunately due to many circumstances out of my control and obviously Carenado reports zero plans to ever implement it.

So here is where I ended up.

- I graciously used Bourrinopathe models (which are freaking AMAZING!) and added them to cockpit

- I removed the knob acutators from the cockpit.obj file using text editor; no more mouse over GPS and picking up the random buttons/knobs from GNS 430

It's pretty decent for what it is -- though really the screen could be just bit bigger. Overall I'm happy and done (after 3 days of going at it.)

Major thanks to Bourrinopathe for my PM's and the models.

14hfpuA.png

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On 4/25/2019 at 1:13 PM, Ither said:

So here is where I ended up.

I think you've ended up very well, this looks great!

If I understand correctly, and if this could serve as a 'recipe' for other mods:

  • This mod is not altering the original panel.png UV mapping which was designed for the dual GNS 430.
  • The GTN screens render where the GNS 430 where rendering instead.
  • You've manually edited the cockpit.obj which is embedding the hard-coded 3D manipulators so that the mouse won't turn an invisible GNS 430 knob.
  • You've added the GTN bezel 3D models at the correct 3D XYZ location attaching the GTN bezel 3D objects to the aircraft file.

Is the above correct?

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41 minutes ago, RXP said:

I think you've ended up very well, this looks great!

If I understand correctly, and if this could serve as a 'recipe' for other mods:

  • This mod is not altering the original panel.png UV mapping which was designed for the dual GNS 430.
  • The GTN screens render where the GNS 430 where rendering instead.
  • You've manually edited the cockpit.obj which is embedding the hard-coded 3D manipulators so that the mouse won't turn an invisible GNS 430 knob.
  • You've added the GTN bezel 3D models at the correct 3D XYZ location attaching the GTN bezel 3D objects to the aircraft file.

Is the above correct?

Jean-Luc,

Here are my responses in red.

  • This mod is not altering the original panel.png UV mapping which was designed for the dual GNS 430.

    That is correct; the panel.png file is not altered in any way.
     
  • The GTN screens render where the GNS 430 where rendering instead.

    Yes, the GTN is actually rendering to two flat 3D panels inside the cockpit.obj file--this is same two panels that the GNS 430 default renders to.
     
  • You've manually edited the cockpit.obj which is embedding the hard-coded 3D manipulators so that the mouse won't turn an invisible GNS 430 knob.

    There are two parts; in the OBJ file there are actual manipulators (look like little 3D vertices) and then inside OBJ file from text perspective there are actual manipulator coding -- both of those were removed using AC3D.
     
  • You've added the GTN bezel 3D models at the correct 3D XYZ location attaching the GTN bezel 3D objects to the aircraft file.

    Yes, there are two ways I could have done this. I could have placed the model into cockpit file and then used the cockpit textures for both normal and LIT; but that would required me to add on to the panel texture. Other solution is to use Planemaker and imbed it as a misc object at right point -- doing this allows me to use the texture of the specific object for both normal and LIT mode.
     

Here is the cockpit.obj file where you can see the GNS screens. I was able to modify this file on Airfoillabs plane to add the 750 without any issues. I think the problem with Carenado King Air 200 is the older design (think it's really XP10 ported plane.) No matter how I exported it the file would corrupt and not be functional. I would need to be able to manipulate these 3D panels to make screen larger. I figured out that the instruments are always rendered on cockpit.obj file (at least in planes I've dug apart.) You can have other cockpit files layered over it for additional modeling but screen draw is there.

NbBM98U.png

You can see the two screen render spots in blue box. That is why in previous images you would see the GTN screen duplicate onto next screen. They're both associated to same panel tag for GPS. One thing I didn't try was maybe using another panel in front of it with same coding (might try that.)

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Just to add I was correct -- instruments are drawn to cockpit.obj file only. I just tried to draw a flat panel on another OBJ file that is added together in Planemaker and was unsuccessful in mapping the GTN to it or even the GNS 430.

This is definitely as far as I can go with Carenado since I can't manipulate the cockpit.obj without breaking the whole plane.

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Thank you for sharing all these details! The missing link to me was that it was possible to open the manipulator-only OBJ file in AC3D without breaking it. This makes things a little easier I guess. It is unfortunate the XPlane SDK is still not generalizing a little bit more some of its concepts. For example when in VR, the SDK allows creating our VR popup window you can place and orient as you want in 3D space, with rendering surface and mouse support independent of the OBJ files or the aircraft objects. This indicates XPlane already has the support for a plugin to create an SDK supported standard interactive rendering surface in 3D. They'd just have to make this capability in 3D and not just in VR, and we'll be done with any 3rd party aircraft 3D panel integration: add a GTN 3D obj and the plugin takes care to create the surface. If ever after Vulkan... let's hope!

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Posted (edited)

Excellent writeup... impressive.  So the buttons/knobs on the 650's are not working?  If they aren't you could probably add a right click function to make a 2D popup of the 650's.  I'm actually super happy RXP added that functionality.

I don't even have this addon (I'm "stuck" with the amazing AFL B350 and also grabbed your mod ((THANKS!!)) but I'm really impressed that you learned all of this stuff.

Edited by ryanbatcund

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12 hours ago, RXP said:

Thank you for sharing all these details! The missing link to me was that it was possible to open the manipulator-only OBJ file in AC3D without breaking it. This makes things a little easier I guess. It is unfortunate the XPlane SDK is still not generalizing a little bit more some of its concepts. For example when in VR, the SDK allows creating our VR popup window you can place and orient as you want in 3D space, with rendering surface and mouse support independent of the OBJ files or the aircraft objects. This indicates XPlane already has the support for a plugin to create an SDK supported standard interactive rendering surface in 3D. They'd just have to make this capability in 3D and not just in VR, and we'll be done with any 3rd party aircraft 3D panel integration: add a GTN 3D obj and the plugin takes care to create the surface. If ever after Vulkan... let's hope!

Here's interesting find -- I have two panels now to run dual 750's.

I cannot get GTN 750 2 to map onto right screen; that is actually GTN 750 1.

I'm still digging to figure out how/why that's happening.

7aI6bUN.jpg

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