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Thread: From sketch up in flight simulator

  1. #1

    Default From sketch up in flight simulator

    I have created an image, in Google sketch up, which is very close to the real world hangar at Marshall County Airport, my home airport. I have gotten as far as exporting it to something called a .3DS file; that being the closest I can get to a .dds file, which many library objects seem to be. Let's face it, my understanding even of that is pretty tenuous.
    So I want to figure out how to get this sketch up building I have made into Marshall County Airport. I am well aware that I have never been able to understand the relationship between library objects and getting them to where I can work with them. Are they files? I'm going to hold off on asking the big questions because I probably can't absorb all the information at once anyway. But it would be great if one of you guys could guide me from my sketch up building to putting it into flight simulator. Very grateful as always.


  2. Default

    .DDS is a texture format

  3. Default

    Nope, you're all messed up . .dds is a format you'll need for your building's texture and doesn't really have anything to do with the model itself. In a nutshell you need to:

    1. export the model from Sketchup as "Collada" (.dae)

    2. Import the .dae into ModelConverterX and convert it (export it) to an FS compatible model (.mdl)

    3. Compile the .mdl into an object library (a .bgl, LibraryCreatorXML can do this for you) and place it in an active scenery folder

    4. Convert your texture to .dds and make it available in the active scenery folder's accompanying texture folder

    5. Place the model in the sim with a placement program such as ADE, Instant Scenery 2, etc.

    There are entirely too many possible variables to give you a step by step, how did you texture your model for example, did you use the built-in sketchup textures or did you make your own texture sheet? There are plenty of FS related tutorials available, here are two that I can think of off hand:

    Best thing to do is try it using the outline above and then post back with whatever problems you encounter.


  4. #4


    I'm quitting for the day. My head hurts.

    I believe I have completed step three and am now working on step four.

    Thanks Jim. I'm going to get through this, but all this maneuvering through directories, on and off the web, FS developer kit, etc. etc. is a real b*tch. At least now I have sort of a clue and, thanks to you, some stuff I can sink my teeth into. When I started getting into playing with airport design editor, Wim Demeyer told me it would be the most challenging thing I have done in flight simulation. He was certainly right as far as I'm concerned. But I'm going to get through this. Again, thanks for your help.


  5. Default

    Once you get through it a couple times it'll seem like child's play, lol. You'll get it though. Yeah, take some time, do a flight or two. It'll seem easier when you come back to it.


  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    Once you get through it a couple times it'll seem like child's play, lol. You'll get it though. Yeah, take some time, do a flight or two. It'll seem easier when you come back to it.

    Thanks, and I know you're right; thanks to you I am very encouraged rather than discouraged. I'll be back on it in the morning unless the boss (Mary Ann, my wife) decides I'm going to the other office. I feel like I got over the hump today and you get the credit. Thanks Jim.

  7. #7


    Well, this has been the week from hell. Neither one of us has time for what would be a very long-winded description of what has gone on since Monday. The picture basically shows where I am at: the file I am working with is called hangar1tres3.mdl. It is in the following location: C:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Addon Scenery\Dan French Core LibrariesVol1_FSX.

    I can sometimes get it to show the filename in the little white box (which is currently blank) but I am just clicking things, not understanding what I am doing. I have tried new library, open library and then over in options set relative path and set BGL FSX path, but it is here that I seem to be locked up in a loop. I have a feeling I am one or two clicks away from success but, you know, I have been wrong before let's face it.

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    I should add that under the Dan French's directory in question has a scenery directory and a texture directory.
    Last edited by tres2; 12-13-2012 at 11:19 AM.

  8. Default

    For starters that doesn't look like the same Library Creator XML I'm using, I'd suggest you go here and get the latest release of Arno's dev tools of which Library Creator XML is part of. Mine looks like this BTW:

    You can click the "details" button and possibly gain a clue about what's causing the problem. That looks like the standard .dotnet unhandled exception screen, it could possibly be because you need to install a newer version of .dotnet from microsoft. Sorry, I don't know what the requirements are for Library Creator XML, probably .NET v3.5, if you have ADE installed you can go into the ADE install folder and run "ADE-Check.exe" and it will tell you which versions you have installed.

    That said, sometimes I think these things are easier if you do them on a code level once or twice before using an app to do it. Basically what Library Creator XML does is write an XML script based on the options you've chosen and then it compiles that script with bglcomp. You can manually write the XML and compile it yourself just as easily. Copy the code below to a new notepad document and save it on your desktop (or wherever) as "hangar1tres3_lib.xml":

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <FSData version="9.0"
      sourceFile="C:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Addon Scenery\Dan French Core LibrariesVol1_FSX\hangar1tres3.MDL"
    With that done, open up your "Microsoft Flight Simulator X SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\BGL Compiler SDK" folder in a new explorer window and drag & drop the XML onto bglcomp.exe. It should generate a "hangar1tres3_lib.bgl" on your desktop or wherever you saved the XML which is your library .bgl.


  9. #9


    First of all Jim, THANK YOU for taking the time to help me with this stuff.

    This is a bundle of" info you have given me and it's going to take some time to absorb it, but I think, with your help, I'm making progress. I can't do anything with it today; Mary Ann is coming to pick me up in a few minutes. Also, I'm in the Moundsville office tomorrow, so it will probably be Saturday before I really get into this. Well, I will read your post some more tomorrow and see how much of it my intellect can absorb. But FSX is in this computer up here.

    By the way; I just dropped the King air in to runway 20 at Boundary County, on my way back from Yellowknife. It was interesting. Snowing lightly, 5 miles visibility, I went about 50 feet off the end of the runway.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tres2 View Post
    By the way; I just dropped the King air in to runway 20 at Boundary County, on my way back from Yellowknife. It was interesting. Snowing lightly, 5 miles visibility, I went about 50 feet off the end of the runway.
    "Snowing lightly", you must have been using real weather - don't remind me, only six more months 'til summer, lol. Yeah two-zero is a little tight flying a larger aircraft with Dawson ridge just off the end of the runway. I worked as an A&P there in my younger days, I actually saw a Gulfstream II do that approach a few times back in the early 80s. I remember once he actually touched down in the gravel just before the asphalt and almost took out some of the runway lights . Takeoffs where fairly exciting too, he'd stand on the brakes and spool the engines up to 100% and then let 'er go. It made as much noise as a 727, thick cloud of black smoke, neighbors called and bitched, I think it registered somewhere around 4.5 on the Richter scale . It was just friggin' awesome! Nothing cool like that ever happens up there anymore, mostly just student pilots auger-ing around in Skyhawks nowdays.

    Ahem, yeah... When you get back to your scenery project give that XML script a try first. I think you'll find that the easiest and it shouldn't take you five minutes or so. You can sort out Library Creator XML later.


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