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XObjectViewer 1.3

NEW: Troubleshooting tips for texturing problems!!!  (See below)

XObjectViewer is a small Macintosh utility to view X-Plane Object (.obj) files.  XObjectViewer lets you view objects with their full texturing without opening X-Plane and placing the objects in scenery files.  XObjectViewer also works with Christian Franz's ObjectMaker, giving you immediate previews of your work.

What's new in XObjectViewer 1.3.2

  • Support for the new X-Plane 640 quad strips.
  • Correctly  integration with ObjectMaker and automatically finds textures specified in ObjectMaker.
  • Reloading of textures while an object is open (like PlaneMaker).
  • Handles the version 1 and 2 object formats automatically, including the new type 5 landable quads.
  • Better night lighting
  • Flashing lights
  • Bug fixes

System Requirements

XObjectViewer requires:
  • A PowerPPC Macintosh
  • OpenGL 1.2 or higher
  • QuickTime 4.1.2 or higher
  • CarbonLib 1.1 or higher
  • Mac OS 8.6 or higher


You can download XObjectViewer here:

    XObjectViewer 1.3.2

Using XObjectViewer

XObjectViewer opens and displays .obj files.  Simply choose open from the file menu and select a .obj file.  Since .obj files are text files, XObjectViewer does not restrict the types of files you can open.  If you open a non-obj file, you will either see an empty window, or you may crash.

You can manipulate an object in four ways:

  1. Drag the object to move it left, right, up, or down.
  2. Option-drag on the object to rotate it around its center.
  3. Command-drag on the object to move it closer or farther from you.
  4. Command-option drag to make the object larger or smaller.  Since this scales the object in all three dimensions, the closest parts of the object will get closer to you.
If the object gets too close to you, it will be "clipped", and you will not see parts of it.  If you enlarge an object by command-option dragging on it and the front of the object disappears, move the entire object away from you by command-dragging so the front of the object recedes back into the viewable space.

XObjectViewer can locate an object's textures in two ways: automatically and manually.  When you automatically locate the textures for an object, XObjectViewer searches in the folder the object resides in.  This is useful for objects that are downloaded off of the web and have a texture subfolder in the same folder as the object.  When you manually locate the textures, you pick the folder to search in for textures.  This will usually be the custom object textures folder in the resources folder of your x-plane install.  XObjectViewer defaults to automatic location; see menu reference below.

If XObjectViewer cannot find a texture, it draws the polygon in a gray shaded pattern.

Note that if you specify a path for textures in your object, for example "MyHangerBitmaps:LeftWall", and the MyHangerBitmaps folder is in the MyHanger folder, you would specify MyHander as the directory to search in, not MyHangerBitmaps.  In other words, to find a texture, XObjectViewer looks in the directory and then tries to follow the partial path specified in your object file.

What If I can't see textures?

There are a lot of ways that textures can get messed up...version 1.4 will address some of these problems but in the meantime a few things to consider:
  1. XObjectViewer does not remember your hand-located texture directory between runs; once you quit, that's it!
  2. On the Mac, to pick a texture directory, select the icon of that directory and pick choose.  Don't pick a file in that directory!  For example, you would pick the 'Custom Object Textures' folder itself in your X-System resources folder to see textures on the objects in the 'Custom Objects' folder.
  3. You must hand-locate textures before you open an object.
  4. If you change hand-located textures, it does not affect opened objects, even if you say 'reload textures'!
Please give these a try and if you still can't see any textures, drop me an email!

XObjectViewer Menus Reference


Open - Opens any .obj file.  XObjectViewer does not open ObjectMaker (.omj) files directly.

Close - Closes the top window.

Quit - Quits XObjectViewer

Rendering Menu

Enable Backface Culling - This command enables backface culling.  Backface culling is the removal of any polygons that are facing "away" from you.  A polygon is considered to be facing toward you when its vertices appear in clockwise order.  X-Plane uses backface culling to speed up drawing.  The result can be that the insides of open solid objects may not draw right.  Use this feature to make sure your vertex order is correct.  NOTE: See known bugs for problems with this feature.

Draw Solid - When you enable this, your object is drawn as a solid, otherwise it is drawn as a wire frame.
Enable Lighting - This enables two lights which shade your object.  NOTE:  See known bugs for problems with this feature.

Enable Fog - This feature enables fog, which makes farther back parts of your object look darker.

Enable Texturing - This feature enables textures.  When texturing is enabled, your object is drawn with the textures specified via Windows bitmap (.bmp) files.  If a texture cannot be found, the object will appear white.

Use Night Textures - This uses the night textures (with the LIT suffix) instead of daytime textures to draw your object.

Hand Locate Textures... - This command lets you specify a root folder to search for texturse in.  To view objects that are installed in your x-system, pick the X-SYSTEM:resources:custom objects
texture folder.  This command affects any additional objects you open.

Auto Locate Textures - This command tries to find textures in the same directory as the object you are viewing.  This command affects any additional objects you open.

Reload Textures - This reloads textures off disk; if you have updated the .bmp files with PhotoShop you will see the results.  If you have changed the location system (auto vs. hand location), this will not attempt to find missing textures; you must close and reopen the object file for that.

Known Bugs and Feature Requests

Backface culling does not appear to work the same in XObjectViewer as it does in X-Plane.  This will be fixed in a future release.
Lighting produces inconsistent results.  More control over lighting will be given in a future release.

Other feature requests:

  • The ability to specify a texture to view as the "ground".
  • The ability to control the background color.
For bug reports or other information, please contact:

©Copyright 2003 Ben Supnik, All Rights Reserved.