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Idea

IcemanFBW avatar image
IcemanFBW suggested IcemanFBW commented

Make the specification of the Asobo GLTF extensions (asobo_primitive schema) public

Given that the new Asobo Blender addon supports importing non-compiled glTF files, I would like to propose adding the ability to import compiled files. This can be especially useful for livery creators, addon developers, and many more use cases. Especially with the addition of model attachments in SU9, this feature only makes more sense. Of course, the concern of piracy does arise. However, glTF files are meant by their nature to be an open format, free to anyone to use. There are already a few addons out there that support this, however they aren’t perfect. Implementing this into the official Blender importer is the most logical move to assist many third party developers. Thanks!


Scratch what I mentioned above - I see pepperoni's proposal as the best method - simply opening up the gltf specification, which by design is meant to be open:


"However, I do see a sort of counter-proposal. Asobo already offers schemas for the rest of their glTF extensions, except for "ASOBO_primitive" and "ASOBO_asset_optimized". As previously mentioned, the glTF format is meant to be open and accessible to all. Taking a look at the official glTF repository, we can see a few extensions that have been publically documented: https://github.com/KhronosGroup/glTF/tree/main/extensions/2.0/Vendor. These are from companies such as Adobe, Facebook, and even Microsoft. I do not see any harm in Asobo publically releasing the schema and markdown explanation (see here for example).

In my opinion, this is the best of both worlds. We can be able to see what their modifications to the glTF spec are, without Asobo officially supporting importing. I do not see any downside to them doing this."

blender
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5 Comments

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Simbol avatar image
Simbol commented

Really agaist this.. It will make it official to allow anyone stealing 3D art.. Something that is already happening in our community and I would rather get instead help from Asobo to prevent this from happening instead of encouraging it.


If a re-painter needs access to the 3D to proceed, they should contact the 3rd party developers to get such. I have no issues providing un-encrypted content to official re-painters as long as they ask for permission, they do an amazing work and it helps to promote the product.

However unfortunately, there are others (non re-painters) that instead takes advantage of the nature of the gltf format to do shortcuts and avoid doing their own 3D art, stealing the hard work from many, this has happened now many times with Msfs, and we need to find ways to stop it.

Best,

S.


2 comments
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This would not make stealing 3D art "official" in any way - that will always be a violation of your own copyright license that you would pursue in the same way you would for anyone who steals assets - this is software, some small minority of people will always be ripping things no matter the obstacles placed in front of them, and there will always be due process for dealing with it.


By definition, GLTF is an open, interoperable spec (https://www.khronos.org/registry/glTF/specs/2.0/glTF-2.0.html), so not allowing for importing freely would go against that spirit.


Anyone with enough motivation can import an MSFS GLTF model at the moment regardless (as you've mentioned this has happened "many times with Msfs") - so I'm not sure what point you're attempting to make by opposing this. This proposal only makes it easier for legitimate developers and livery creators to produce quality content, especially given the large number of improvements that can be made to default aircraft that ship with MSFS, and the upcoming ability of model attachments.


1 Like 1 ·

How allowing people importing the 3D art from anyone would help to legitimate developers? Are you really thinking this very well? Don't you know about certain individuals that have already stolen lots of these 3D parts to copy it and release addons competing against the original creator? I mean is insane...

I really don't understand why on earth we need to be able to import GLTF files from MSFS, The official way to transport 3D art has been FBX or the original source for a long time, and for this it requires the original developer providing it, totally under control of the creator.

I know gltf is open source, but this doesn't mean we have to make it even easier for our content to be stolen.

Making a 3D model takes a long time, and it represents a lot of money, we need to protect intellectual property, we don't need now an official software from Asobo allowing anybody to copy our 3D parts, animations and textures in a blink of an eye. Totally the opposite, and I hope the market place tools encryption prevents such thing from happening.

So my purpose in opposing this of course is to protect the hard work and investment that many 3rd party developers are putting into this. Some of them do this for a living, and their families depend on their success and this is what we should take in consideration.

S.

0 Likes 0 ·
rhumbaflappy avatar image
rhumbaflappy commented

ModelConverterX can already give you enough data to make a repaint. No need for Asobo to go that direction. You can get a model (no Animations) and a texture set with UV already mapped, ready for Blender.

2 comments
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For modifying the UV, model, and animations, this is not sufficient. This proposal is advocating for a more comprehensive solution.
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But modifying the model, UV, and animations becomes more than just a re-paint, and I agree with Simbol's suggestion that if you need to go down that path it's best to try to contact the original author.
1 Like 1 ·
WombiiActual avatar image
WombiiActual commented

Another point of data in support of this, even though I understand this policy probably won't be changed:

The fastest and easiest way to learn have been to import asobo models into blender with the other importer/exporter and seeing how the models are set up and comparing it to the xml. Learning by real life examples is something SDK documentation and limited samples can't fully match.

I don't think limiting access makes piracy much more difficult. It mostly makes learning for beginners more difficult.

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pepperoni avatar image
pepperoni commented

I'd like to add my two cents.


I see why Asobo would never want to officially support importing compiled glTF files. As discussed in this thread, piracy is a huge concern. If Asobo were to officially allow importing in this style, they would essentially be enabling anyone to steal others' work.


However, I do see a sort of counter-proposal. Asobo already offers schemas for the rest of their glTF extensions, except for "ASOBO_primitive" and "ASOBO_asset_optimized". As previously mentioned, the glTF format is meant to be open and accessible to all. Taking a look at the official glTF repository, we can see a few extensions that have been publically documented: https://github.com/KhronosGroup/glTF/tree/main/extensions/2.0/Vendor. These are from companies such as Adobe, Facebook, and even Microsoft. I do not see any harm in Asobo publically releasing the schema and markdown explanation (see here for example).


In my opinion, this is the best of both worlds. We can be able to see what their modifications to the glTF spec are, without Asobo officially supporting importing. I do not see any downside to them doing this.

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So basically, provide a set instructions to people about how to create an import so they can perform imports from others?


Really don't see the advantage of this whatsoever for any serious payware 3rd party developer. Neither it is in Microsoft interest, we pay a considerable amount of money in royalties as an official partner, and this move is definitely counterproductive for everyone involved.

Typical example, some entity decides to copy PMDG 737-700 or DC6 3D model, then releases a freeware version.. From stolen 3D work..

Good bye to all the hard work, and all those hardworking developers that put years into such projects would end up most likely un employed.

Sorry guys, but what we need is more support to protect intellectual property, not the opposite, we need much more powerful changes to the SDK to allow us to create better content and improve the simulator more and more, don't see why asking Adobo to waste resources on allowing other entities to copy 3D art should even been considered.


What blender comunity needs is Msfs examples in blender format.


S.


3 Likes 3 ·
This is like saying, "we oppose making public the details of the .mp4 extension because it will set back movie studios and lead to more piracy." It will have zero effect on it.


Microsoft Flight Simulator is a platform, not just an ordinary game (or simulator, or whatever you wish to call it). By design, it succeeds when there is a wealth of third party content available to the end user. Therefore, it will attract more users (and money) the more content is available, and that is only possible by making the platform's SDK and developer-facing implementation details open to allow creators to harness the full power of the platform.


Attempting to keep what is essentially an OPEN SPECIFICATION, private, through the red herring argument of "piracy", of which this will have zero effect on, is fear mongering. Saying that we pay "a considerable amount of royalties as an official partner" in an effort to sway the decision in your end is disregarding the massive contributions made by countless freeware developers, working in their own time (often in addition to their regular job and a family and other obligations) who have made Microsoft Flight Simulator great. In terms of economic impact, you'd be surprised how many people have purchased Microsoft Flight Simulator simply because of freeware like the A32NX, WT CJ4, H125, and countless airports and sceneries.


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You missing my point entirely, and I suggest you read all my concerns again.



I have never said that freeware developers don't contribute, so I suggest you better measure your words carefully. If you research about me, you would find out that not only I started as a freeware developer many years ago, but also that I had and continue to support many freeware developers in the industry, not only via advice but also providing free source code as much as I can, Kaii from AIGM is just one of them, and there are many more around, with many of them now calling me a friend after many years.

At the same time, I know many payware developers, which also call me a friend after many years, and they depend entirely on this business to feed their families

There is a big proportion of 3rd party devs running a legitimate business here.

If the SDK has all the required samples in blender, there is no need to go down this path.

Unless of course the purpose is to reverse engineer how certain developers do certain things, in which case, you will find it is against the EULA of many products out there being payware or not.

Many freeware developers have fought also many times to prevent their content being stolen and used against their will.

We can continue going in circles and I think it would be counterproductive. I am a big fan of all the work you guys have done, wish you guys more successful ventures because you guys totally deserve it. But this is a subject that I totally disagree with you, and if this idea ever take off I can assure you that I would raise it directly with Microsoft to oppose to it and shut it down, and I am 100 percent sure that I would not be the only one doing it.

All the best,

Simbol
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+1 on the Need for Blender sources, i think and hope that the official release of the Blender Exporter Will be shipped with the SDK as well as the samples (and updated docs where appropriate)


Anyways, everyone publishing opened format files takes its risk that his work can be stolen.


At the Moment there Is no way to protect your own work other than having access to the Microsoft Marketplace. The downside of this Is that It took ages get into It, and there Is no room for freeware (the so called freeware category has "started" but only fbw and working title are there)










1 Like 1 ·
I agree with you on the samples, and I am pretty sure they will be provided on a wider release. Per the SDK docs, asobo are working on a universal encryption even for non-marketplace items.
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as long as we have no way to protext the files outside the Marketplace the glTF "protection" is the only way to protect the work from the developers.

Yeah there are licences but we have saw in 2021 what many users think: Freeware = OpenSource, which is ofcause not always the case.


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Just want to clarify. The glTF changes are not there to prevent against piracy, rather they are added to make it easier for Asobo’s custom engine to be able to render the files.

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This would be a great compromise, and would require no additional development work from Asobo aside from making public what documentation on the custom extensions most likely already exists internally

2 Likes 2 ·
MV-JimStewart avatar image
MV-JimStewart commented

I've upvoted the reply, but I'd like to highlight and agree with what Simbol has said above:

"Sorry guys, but what we need is more support to protect intellectual property, not the opposite, we need much more powerful changes to the SDK to allow us to create better content and improve the simulator more and more, don't see why asking Adobo to waste resources on allowing other entities to copy 3D art should even been considered."

I'm fully in support of the idea that there needs to be a greater focus on expanding the SDK and providing usable samples. The argument in favor of opening up glTF imports and allowing people to import other developers models is simply shifting to others what should be a responsibility of Asobo to provide the SDK and functional examples. And in doing so, opening up a major security issue that many 3rd party developers absolutely cannot accept.


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I think the issue in this case, for payware developers, lies with the fact that there is no effective DRM outside of the marketplace - and that should be a separate idea request IMO because there are very few developers who would solely list their aircraft on the marketplace (for any number of reasons).


Opening up the glTF specification as pepperoni mentioned seems to be the best approach for this idea request going forward.


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