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News! - Plugin Development : Alpha Materials plugin

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News! - Plugin Development : Alpha Materials plugin


Most aspects with simulator flying is mostly always focused on the flying areas and scenery. But another exciting dimension to simulation is the way third parties can create enhancements and ideas to push the realism to higher and higher goals.


Plugins are mostly the way to do this, and here DDen has created a new plugin to create better shiny and chrome effects on aircraft or any X-Plane object. If you have DDen's lovely Challenger 300 private jet then in the last 10.36 update you would know and use an early version of this effect plugin.


Bombardier_Cl_300_Gloss 1.jpgBombardier_Cl_300_Gloss 2.jpg

Bombardier_Cl_300_Gloss 3.jpgBombardier_Cl_300_Gloss 4.jpg


The NG plugin idea worked of course but it was in a very early in the development cycle, so there was a few areas or angles that wasn't working (strangely in conflicts with extended scenery?) but the development has continued and the plugin can now be used on other X-Plane aircraft like the default Boeing 744.


If any aircraft needs any help in looking better it is the default B748, and it does look good, doesn't it.
The plugin will be available to add into any aircraft in time, at this point you can test two aircraft for five minutes with the B744 and Cirrus.
The first alpha setting controls the amount of reflections from 0% (no reflections) to 100% (chrome like reflections). Diffuse channel also controls the reflection colour (gold - bottom right).
Second texture alpha setting  controls roughness and the amount of reflection polishing.
Do not use 0% alpha, it will cause artefacts, use 1% instead. 100% make it look almost plain grey, useful for lighting effects. Diffuse channel is usual normal map texture.
X-Plane 11 will have a similar shiny chrome system with what Laminar Research calls "Physically Based Rendering" or "PBR", this will allow reflective light to be just that in being reflective, but have also different properties with different conditions. Most X-Plane aircraft do to a point look quite dull, or flat in the simulator. But with the active use of PBR then they come very much more alive and look far more realistic.
Both systems are coming to create the same goal in better reflections in the X-Plane world. Both are very exciting but the DDen plugin is going to more adjustable for developers than the global version from Laminar Research, which means both will have their different roles to play in the same area. The DDen Alpha plugin is not just restricted to aircraft but any object that requires a shiny coat or finish.
You can follow the development here: Materials NG plugin - reflections for X-Plane 10.50+
Or download a development version here: Materials NG plugin alpha demo for x-plane 10.50+ 0.8A_d



Stephen Dutton
16th August 2016
Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews

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