Chris Metzler wrote:

Have pity on me; I'm new to this stuff.

As I get it now, the textures applied to 3D models are specified in the
.ac file (or .3ds file or whatever). This, in turn, means that if you
want a different paint job for the Cessna, or different airline's
livery for the 737, you need a different .ac file. And since the .ac
model is uniquely specified in the .xml file for the model, which in
turn is uniquely specified in the .xml file for the aircraft as a whole,
a different paint job/livery effectively means a new aircraft. Is
this right?



Here's a couple things to consider.

For a particalar model it would be possible to just modify the existing textures to give it a new livery.

If you want to create an entirely new livery without disturbing the original, you could make a copy of the <aircraft>-set.xml file. Then make a copy of the .ac file and update the new -set.xml file to point to the new .ac file.

.ac files can be hand edited with a text editor and it's pretty easy to find texture names and change them. So you could copy all the textures, give them new names and then update the .ac file to point to the new names. Then you can modify the copies of the original textures to the new livery.

It's important to test that your new aircraft will run at every step of the process though. It's unfortunately very easy to mess up a path or any number of other things and wind up with something that flightgear can't load ... and unfortunately it often doesn't produce any useful error messages when this happens so it's very difficult to know what to go back and look at and fix ... unless you know what you just fiddled with so you can go back and revert it.

Regards,

Curt.

--
Curtis Olson http://www.flightgear.org/~curt HumanFIRST Program http://www.humanfirst.umn.edu/
FlightGear Project http://www.flightgear.org
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