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TL:DR Textures are split up and scattered into different sections in game assets. Need a way to align the sections for design work and quickly get the sections back into their scattered form for the simulator to load.

I am trying to design a livery for an aircraft in X-Plane. The way people do it is by taking the blank white textures and painting over them. Here is an example of the finished livery, and the image below is the actual file that gets loaded to produce the livery. enter image description here

enter image description here So as you can see, the image can be edited in PS or GIMP, but I am having a lot of trouble getting lines to, well, line up. Right now, it takes a ton of trial and error to avoid super obvious seams where the parts of the image connect. The way I've had to do it so far has been to create multiple different paths for a single line, export the image, load the aircraft, look at it, move the line a few pixels at a time, and try again.

This takes forever to get a result, and I'm wondering if there is a way to do this faster.

Is it possible to maybe create an "aligned" file, where I can do the paint work with all the sections neatly arranged as they would be in the simulator, and then reference sections of it in the "texture" file that the simulator actually loads? A lot of video games load textures in this way, so I imagine there must be a way to do this without losing your mind. Any help is GREATLY appreciated as this is super frustrating.

TL:DR Textures are split up and scattered into different sections in game assets. Need a way to align the sections for design work and quickly get the sections back into their scattered form for the simulator to load.

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    The problem is that this unwrapping is not meant to retexture, but to optimize loading times. One option is that the 3D elements have a more controlled projection, like a planar projection, and then unwrapping it again. But I do not know how. – Rafael Apr 7 at 18:26
  • One solution: All 2D final appearance designers unite and change the design system so that you define where the surface piece borders are. If there's some surface curvature discontinuity which forces a texture have a seam, make acceptable that the seam is also allowed to be a visual texture border. no visible texture form shoud be wanted to continue over it seamlessly except a constant solid color fill. – user287001 Apr 7 at 19:06
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That looks like a pretty typical well-packed game-ready UV to me.

I would say if you can't comfortably work with that texture file and those UV alignments, you'd need to take one of two approaches:

  1. re-UV the model in a way which more suits your purposes for re-liverying, and re-import the plan's model file to X-Plane once you've done your work, but that may be quite hard, given Planemaker's vagaries.

  2. Export an .obj or .fbx from Planemaker, take that into a 3D texture painting tool like Substance Painter, Mari, Photoshop (per edit!) or even Blender or modo, repaint your textures there using the existing packed UVs, export out only your textures when complete, and load those into Planemaker or X-plane.

I think I'd have a much easier time with (2) than 1, and it's less likely to fall prey to "you can only use outside 3D models for reference - you need to re-build your model here" which, IIRC, is the X-plane / Planemaker response to "can I bring in my own models?"

Hope this helps - good luck!

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    You can actually paint textures in PS usn 3D projections – joojaa Apr 8 at 17:31
  • @joojaa - added that to my answer - thanks for pointing out! – GerardFalla Apr 8 at 17:38

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