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XPaintConverter is a small cross-platform utility that converts the aircraft textures from the 5.x format to the 6.x format.  It automates a task that is normally done in PhotoShop.

The problem:

X-Plane 5.x stored the external bitmaps that paint an aircraft in many small .bmp files.  X-Plane 6.x consolidates these bitmaps into two large .bmp files (one for day and one for night) to improve frame rate.  The problem is that while PlaneMaker will open and convert 5.x aircraft, it does not convert the bitmaps, so you end up with a gray aircraft.

What XPaintConverter does:

XPaintConverter resizes, rotates, and consolidates the bitmaps from a 5.x aircraft to create the two bitmaps required for 6.x.  It uses bicubic interpolation to produce a high quality resizing of these images.  It also will convert panel bitmaps without the 'pink ring' around the windshield, but see the limitations section for the problems with this.


XPaintConverter is now officially released.  If you got the beta build, this is the same one; no bugs were found in the public beta.  This release still has the limitations listed below.
Mac Version:

Windows Version:

Using XPaintConverter:

To use XPaintConverter, simply double-click on the application.  You will be prompted to pick an aircraft.  Select the .acf file for the aircraft you want to convert.  XPaintConverter will then convert the bitmaps.  Note: XPaintConverter will warn you if 6.x bitmaps are already present; overwriting them can cause you to lose your existing 6.x paint.

Once an aircraft has been converted, you can open it in PlaneMaker and see the new paint.


First of all, you will still have to convert the aircraft frame file (acf) in PlaneMaker.  Once you do this, you may have to correct some of the equipment, including setting auto-vs-manual deploy speed breaks, etc.  Each time you try to save in PlaneMaker, PlaneMaker will alert you to the next problem with the equipment settings.

Neither XPaintConverter nor PlaneMaker convert instruments.  The instruments in 5.x and 6.x are quite different; you will have to place the instruments you want by hand.  This can be quite tedious.

While XPaintConverter converts the panel bitmaps, it does not convert the handles or text bitmaps, so you will have to convert these to the new panel_test_linear and panel_test_nearest bitmaps to recreate an older panel.

While XPaintConverter does not leave pink rings around the cockpit, the cockpit windows may be jagged after the conversion.  (This is due to limitations in my resampler while trying to get rid of the pink ring.)  The rest of the panel should be smooth and is resampled bicubicly.

Finally, sometimes engine Nacelles have artifacts on their tops.  This is due to the mapping of paint from the .bmp file to the airframe being different for 5.x and 6.x nacelles.  If your engine paint goes to the edge of the engine nacelle in a 5.x bitmap, you may have trouble.  If it goes all the way to the top of the bitmap you should be ok.

The engine on the left is contoured to the shape of the nacelle as projected by X-Plane 5..  Parts of the red circled area may be shown in X-Plane 6, causing a blue line.  The engine on the right fills paint color all the way to the top of the bitmap, gauranteeing compatibility with X-Plane 5.x or 6.x.

©Copyright 2003 Ben Supnik, All Rights Reserved.