This topic is not 100% specific to MSFS2020 but my current workflow is aimed at that sim so for now I placed the topic here.
As I mentioned in the addons thread I have started to mod MSFS2020 myself, and since I cannot find the perfect assets for my project (I am working on a glider airfield near my hometown) I am getting back into 3d modeling a bit.
My previous experience with that was ten years ago in… 3DsMax9 or so, and some things (like texturing or modeling something that isn’t basically box shaped) I couldn’t do back then either.
Now is a new time (we reached the future a few years ago) and I thought I’d share and discuss my workflow and progress with y’all.
I am surprised how many things are SO much easier than they used to be, right now it looks like it could be actually possible for me to produce some not too dire looking stuff.
The tools and sources I use are usually open source or free. So yeah I am aware that I could do even better using expensive software or assets that I have to license, but that’s just something I am not doing right now, not for this kind of fun project.
So yeah, what am I doing right now?
The pipeline looks like this:
- create 3D model in Blender 2.91
- use the blender “building tools” addon so I don’t have to do everything manually.
- get basic textures from textures.com or texturehaven.com
- use blender to create UVmaps
- export to obj.
- create and paint textures in ArmorPaint
- import textures back into blender
- apply MSFS-specific stuff using the Asobo plug-in
- export to MSFS2020 format
- place stuff in the built-in dev tools of the sim
ArmorPaint is a program I discovered yesterday and it blew me away.
It is similar to the very expensive 3D painting programm “Substance Painter” and it makes texturing an order of magnitude easier and quicker. I always hated texturing and sucked at it. Now I feel like I have a chance.
It is OpenSource and free if you compile it yourself, or you can spend 20 bucks on it.
I compiled it myself of course (using git, nodeJS and Visual Studio 2019) but don’t worry, you don’t have to be a developer to do this.
I am sure that there are a few problems in my workflow still, but I want to figure those out and share my experience here as I progress.
If you are experienced in that field or not, feel free to ask, or post your own ideas, especially if they help 3D-noobs like me. Maybe we can learn to create assets together.
Links to resources, software, and tutorials are welcome of course.
I’ll post a few links and pics later, typing this on the phone right now.