ObjConverter is a utility that converts 3-d models from various file formats
to X-Plane object version 7 files. An X-Plane object file (.obj) contains
geometry and texture information describing one 'object' for X-Plane scenery.
An X-Plane object can be one building or many nearby buildings, contain
only a few polygons, or be a detailed model. Typically you create
an object in a 3-d modeling program like AutoCad, 3D Studio Max, LightWave,
SketchUp, ObjectMaker, etc., and then convert it to an X-Plane object version
7 file for use in scenery.
ObjConverter can also convert files to 3DS or DXF format. This can
be useful in case you need to do additional editing, but converting the objects
sometimes removes information from the object files.
To use ObjConverter, start the program, then drag files into the ObjConverter
window to convert them. For each file you drag onto ObjConverter,
ObjConverter will create a new .obj file with the same name and a _new extension.
ObjConverter files will be created with the same line-ending format
as the platform you are working on.
Converting X-Plane Objects from DXF or 3DS Format
You can convert DXF and 3DS files to X-Plane object files by dragging them
into the ObjConverter window. The objects will be converted, but no
texturing information will be provided. You must use a separate program
to add texturing and level-of-detail information to the files later.
Converting X-Plane Object from VRML97 Format
ObjectConverter can read limited VRML97 files. VRML97 is a very flexible
specification and only some VRML97 files will work. Some VRML97 files
may contain S&T texture specifications that ObjConverter can read. However,
ObjConverter cannot properly handle objects with multiple bitmap files.
Converting X-Plane Objects from Version 2 to Version 7
You can convert X-Plane version 2 objects to version 7 by dragging them
into the ObjConverter window. The object will be converted, and all
texture information will be preserved. All verison 2 object options
are supported in version 7.
Note: You cannot convert version 1 objects to version 7 using ObjConverter.
Christian Franz created a utility for Mac OS 9 to convert version
1 objects to version 2 objects called "ObjectConverter"
(no relationship to this program); since Christian is no longer working
on ObjectMaker, I do not know the status of this program.
Converting Objects to DXF or 3DS
Any object (VRML, X-Plane OBJ2 or OBJ7, 3DS, or DXF) can be conevrted to
DXF or 3DS instead of OBJ7; simply choose the appropraite format from the
settings menu (see below).
When you convert to DXF, texturing information will be lost, and all geometry
will be converted to triangles, quads, and lines. When you convert
to 3DS, all geometry will be reduce to triangles and lines will be lost.
These are limitations of the file formats.
Because converting to 3DS and DXF are lossy, you are probably better working
with your modeler first and only converting to OBJ7 as the final step of
ObjConverter has a number of settings to customize the conversion process.
These settings are applied to 3DS, VRML, and DXF files but not to x-plane
You may choose either inches, feet or meters for the conversion. This
is the distance that 1 "unit" length in your source object will hold in the
X-Plane world. ObjConverter cannot read any kind of unit hints from
your source files. Usually a 3d program will always export a file with
the same units. The default is meters.
Center Object Horizontally:
When this object is checked, the object will be moved horizontally so that
an approximate center of the object is used as the anchor point in X-Plane.
(The object will rotate around this point in WorldMaker too.) Use
this option if your object appears far away from the placement point in WorldMaker.
Flip X, Y or Z axis:
ObjConverter can flip the orientation of any of the axes in the object.
However this may cause polygons to face in the wrong direction and
become invisible. This is provided as an advanced option only.
Polygons are Clockwise/Counterclockwise:
This defines the orientation of a polygon's vertices when facing it from
the outside of the object. most 3-d programs use counterclockwise polygons.
(X-Plane uses clockwise polygons; ObjConverter will swap as necessary.)
Note: for a VRML file the polygon orientation is specified in the file,
so this option has no effect on VRML files.
Y Axis is up/Z axis is up:
This defines which axis faces up in the model. Most 3-d programs use
the Z axis to indicate up. However, others use the Y axis for up. X-Plane
always uses the Y axis; ObjConverter will rotate your model as needed.
Saves as OBJ7
This is ObjConverter's default setting and causes ObjConverter to save all
output as X-Plane 7 .obk files.
Save as 3DS
This causes ObjConverter to create 3D Studio Max (3DS) format files.
Save as DXF
This caues ObjConverter to save AutoCad Data Exchange (DXF) files.