All posts by Dave Noonan

3DSimED 3.1n Release Notes

12-02-2018 18-05-34

New: Tracks from Forza Apex and Forza 7 can now be imported.

Enhanced: Import of Forza 7/Apex/Horizon cars has a new option to convert Swatchbin to DDS, this option will also ensure all texture maps referenced by all the materials will be available as DDS.

Enhanced: When writing .SCN files for rF2, the REFLECTEDENV and REFMAP0 sections are written and populated with the names of objects tagged as reflected.

Enhanced: When closing a model, the option to never be prompted has been added. The option can also be set at File->Options->User Options.

Enhanced: Wavefront .OBJ. The normal and texture coordinates are exported with the same number of decimal places as the XYZ coordinates.

Enhanced: Collada Export of a single object will try to use the title of the filename for the geometry name.

Fix: Tools->Rename Objects would change the case of the object names to lower case.

Fix: Editing an object name within the Object Instance Edit pane.

Fix: Opening a .3SE would change object names to lower case.

Fix: Exported geometry using the stamp billboard shaders would be incorrectly rotated in rF2.

Visit the download page for new version.



3DSimED 3.1m

10-01-2018 20-19-31

Enhanced: Added support for the new shaders of rF2 v1109. Some of these are DX11 only shaders, they can be used in models and exported to rF2 but are rendered in 3DSimED with a simple diffuse map.

Enhanced: Fully defined Searchpaths in rF/rF2 .SCN files now supported.

Enhanced: More Swatchbin (Forza textures) formats supported.

Enhanced: Two ‘Decal’ shaders added: one with cube map & specular colour; the other supporting bump, specular & cube maps.

Fix: Importing models. If Object names contain ‘:’  characters they are replaced with ‘_’ (this was a problem with Race Sim Studio models).

Fix: Forza Apex/Horizon 3/7 improved handling of texture coordinate channels.

Fix: In some circumstances an object could be clipped out when visible.

Visit the download page for new version.



Working With Studio 397 rF2

Studio 397 have made some great improvements to rF2 particularly by adding DX11 rendering. A number of new  & updated shaders to take advantage of DX11 features have been included, and as a result 3DSimED has been extended to support these enhancements.

3DSimED 3.1m includes the new shaders from rF2 v1109 in the Select DirectX Shader window. This allows materials to be assigned these shaders and saved when exported to one of the .GMT format 3DSimED supports. If the game does not include the material shader then it will just use a default shader (which appears to be the simple diffuse texture map).

Shader 11-01-2018 16-34-34

One of the filters for the shaders in the Select window is ‘rF2 DX11’ which are for shaders included in rF2 DX11 but not in the DX9 version. 3DSimED can include these shaders in the models, and can export them in the .GMT materials, but cannot render them correctly because of the DX11 features used, so it just renders them with a simple diffuse texture.

Shader 11-01-2018 16-30-20

3DSiimED now includes 3 ‘Decal’ shaders included to make it easier to work with some models from other games. The Download Page includes a .zip of files required to ensure rF2 can understand and render these shaders, just ensure these are placed in the same folder as the CoreShaders.mas.

Shader 11-01-2018 16-58-55






3DSimED 3.1l

21-11-2017 16-42-56

New: Forza 7 Support. Earlier versions of 3DSimED could import Forza 7 models with the Forza Apex Import Plugin but version 3.1l has many improvements to help import Forza 7 car models. The plugin understands the new pcfamily and base sub-folders of media, has improved diffuse texture handling, includes an option to import the blur wheel materials and will read more swatchbin texture types.

New: Wavefront .OBJ export plugin.

New: F1-2017 _model Import Plugin . This allows individual models to be imported but requires game ERP archives to be decompressed.

New: Tools ->Expand-> Single ERP Archive/Batch ERP Archive. Decompress individual or folder tree of ERP archives.

Enhanced: Added rF2 shader “car body paint with damage”.

Fix: Forza 7/Apex/Horizon 3 Import has better handling for missing materialbins and should not crash if files are missing.

Fix: Models with deeply nested objects could crash 3DSimED.

Fix: Wavefront .OBJ import could not import quoted texture map names.

Fix: TDU Import would corrupt some meshes.

Visit the download page for new version.

F1-2017 Import Plugin Update

This is an update to the F1-2017 Import plugin included with 3DSimED 31k – it will not work with versions before 3DSimED 31j.

The following issues are addressed in this release:

  • Opening some tracks could cause the plugin to terminate.
  • The classic cars were not using the classic tire objects and textures.
  • The higher resolution texture maps (mipmaps) were not used if the original DDS was in DXT1 format.

Go to the Download page.

Importing F1 2017 Models

Version 3.1k 3DSimED and later can import models from F1 2017.

To import F1 2017 models F1-2017 (*.erp) must be selected as the import file type.

Importing Cars. To import a car you must browse to your F1 2017 game and look for the f1_2017_vehicle_package folder within the asset_groups folder. Inside the f1_2017_vehicle_package folder there is the teams folder with all the cars, select the car, and then the wep folder. The wep folder should have the car’s erp file to select and import.

Note: to import a classic car browse the f1_classic_02_vehicle_package folder.

11-09-2017 20-49-35

Importing Tracks. Within the game’s asset_groups folder find the environment_package folder and then the tracks folder. Select the track and find the wep folder. For each track there are two erp to select from, one named <track_name>_2017.erp and the other named <track_name>_classic.erp, select one of those and the track should be imported.

12-09-2017 12-36-48

Forza Apex/Horizon 3 Import Plugin

This is an update to the Forza Apex/FH3 Import plugin included with 3DSimED 31j – it will not work with earlier versions of 3DSimED.

The following issues are addressed in this release:

  • Objects with identical titles but different disk files would load incorrectly.
  • Importing a modelbin with all LOD would fail.
  • Sub-meshes instanced more than once could be scaled incorrectly.

Go to the Download 3DSimED page.

3DSimED3.1j Released

New: Forza Apex/Fh3 now includes secondary texture maps such as specular, bump, and ambient maps

New: 3DSimED Materials can reference texture maps not used by the Material’s Shader this allows extra texture maps to be imported and exported.

New: Export FBX will reference specular, bump, ambient, opacity and cube maps allowing the maps to be imported to 3DS Max.

New: Export Collada has option to copy textures to the same folder as the exported .DAE. Spaces in the texture filenames are converted to underlines to ensure the names match those in the Collada DAE.

New: Export FBX includes option to copy textures to the same folder as the FBX. The full path to the textures still has to be included in the texture names to ensure that 3DS Max can import the textures.

New: Texture Map conversions now has the option to remove trailing GUID strings from texture maps names (this is particularly for Forza import because the swatchbin filenames often include a long GUID string).

Enhanced:  Forza Apex/FH3 The use of ‘#’ has been removed from imported materials and texture map names.

Enhanced:  Forza Apex/FH3 The positioning of wheels, rotors and calipers improved.

Enhanced:  Forza Apex/FH3 LOD handling improved.

Enhanced:  Forza Apex/FH3 LOD revised material detection, resulting in higher material resolution.

Enhanced: Tools->Split Objects The objects created are smaller with less vertices.

Enhanced: Tools->Texture Browser->Batch Convert. The limit on the number of files that could be selected has been increased.

Enhanced: The Material Edit Pane shows textures missing for the material shader with a magenta border.

Fix: Primitives->Add TSO could fail to find texture maps referenced by the object.

Fix: JPEG grey-scale images were incorrectly decoded.

Fix: JPEG files could not be converted inside the Texture Map Browser.

Fix: PNG files written by 3DSimED had reversed red and blue.

Fix: Some cars imported from Forza Apex and FH3 could have zero sized tires and wheels.

Fix: Dialog windows with multiple floating point input windows could corrupt the values if one of the inputs was negative.

Fix: Assetto Corsa fix for ksMultilayer_fresnel_nm shader MultA variable.

Visit the download page for new version.

Working with Forza Apex car models.

Version 3.1h of 3DSimED can import car models from both carbin and modelbin formats.

Preparing For Import

Before importing is is very important to have decompressed the .zip archives which store the resources for the car models. The quickbms program does a wonderful job of extracting the files but, there is a problem. When used to process a folder tree of .zip files, the folder tree created by quickbms is not correct.

To overcome this limitation batch files and a Powershell script can be downloaded:

  • The simplest option is to use the batch file unzipCars.bat. This batch file skips the tracks which, at present, cannot be imported with 3DSimED.
  • Open the batch file in an editor such as Notepad and change the source (game folder ) and destination folders so they are correct for your system (in Notepad you would use the Edit->Replace function).
  • If you cannot find the source folder you should make sure that hidden files are switched on in Explorer and then look for the WindowApp folder either in C:\Program Files\ or the root of the drive on which Apex was installed.
  • In Explorer, with the shift key held down, right click on the WindowApp folder and open an Admin Command Prompt. From that command window you should be able to see the full folder name for the Forza Apex installation.
  • The second batch file, unzip.bat  will decompress the cars and tracks.
  • The Powershell script will generate a batch file, this is useful when the Forza Apex content has changed or to unzip another set of .zip files such as those from another Forza title.
  • At the time of writing, the permissions to execute a Powershell script are switched off by default in Windows 10. A quick search will reveal how to enable permissions .
  • The Powershell is intended to help out please feel free to improve it and offer it to to others


Importing Forza Apex Car Models

With the Forza Apex resources decompressed and in the correct folders it should then be possible to import .carbin and .modelbin.

  • The .carbin files define a car while the .modelbin files are the components of the car.
  • The .carbin files contain addition material definitions so even when editing a single component for a better result open the .carbin and then isolate the object to edit it.
  • Many materials in Forza Apex appear to use procedural shaders and do not have diffuse texture maps. To help with compatibility  with other sim formats, solid color texture maps are created as the diffuse texture maps, for example,

Below is an example of how a Forza Apex car model should appear in 3DSimED3. The file imported was MAZ_70_B1280_14.carbin


Working With FH3

Forza Horizon 3 files from a dump can be unzipped easily because there is no encryption but the filenames look very strange.

A Powershell script and example batch file can be downloaded here , the script and batch file use 7-zip to unzip.

After unzipping the files will need a renaming utility to process the filenames and when finished the layout and names should resemble those from an unzipped Forza Apex.

Apex/FH3 Materials & Textures

The files from a car folder are not enough to correctly import a .carbin. Many of the materials (.materialbin) and texture maps (.swatchbin) are located in the cars\_library folder tree.

The image below is the result with only the car folder:

FH3 1965 Cobra only car folder

With the full set of files this is the result:

FH3 1965 Cobra Full file set