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If an object is not showing up correctly in Tacview - if it has the wrong name or is represented by an inappropriate 3D object - maybe it just needs to be added to the database.

Send an ACMI file to support@tacview.net and we will probably be able to add the database entry natively.

Alternatively, make the changes on your own computer by creating and XML file and placing it in the appropriate folder as described below.

Extending or modifying the Tacview database[]

The whole database is available for your perusal on GitHub. Decide where your entry belongs. Is it a Fixed Wing Aircraft? A Civilian Ground Vehicle? Look at the existing entries which are similar to your new entry. Or, find the entry that you wish to modify.

To extend or modify the database, create an XML file in %ProgramData%\Tacview\Data\Database\Default Properties\ or %APPDATA%\Tacview\Data\Database\Default Properties\

Start like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes" ?>
<DefaultPropertiesCollection LoadingOrder="0.5">

    <!-- Put your definitions here -->

</DefaultPropertiesCollection>

Use LoadingOrder="0.5" so that your file gets loaded after all of Tacview's native files, which all have LoadingOrder="0.1"

To modify an entry, copy the entry exactly and make the desired changes. Say you want to change the engagement range of the M163 Vulcan AAA from 2600 to 2850, and the displayed name from "Vulcan" to "M163 VADS". Your file would look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes" ?>
<DefaultPropertiesCollection LoadingOrder="0.5">
    <DefaultProperties Id="AntiAircraft.M163" Base="AntiAircraft.AAA">
        <Criteria>
            <Name>M163</Name>
            <Name>Vulcan</Name>
        </Criteria>
        <Properties>
            <ShortName>M163 VADS</ShortName>
            <LongName>M163 VADS</LongName>
            <FullName>M163 Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS)</FullName>
            <EngagementRange>2850</EngagementRange>
            <Shape>Vehicle.APC.M113.obj</Shape>
        </Properties>
    </DefaultProperties>
</DefaultPropertiesCollection>

To add an entry, copy a similar entry and make the necessary changes.

3D objects[]

If you have a 3D object to be added to Tacview, nothing would make us happier than to get our hands on it and add it to Tacview natively, so please send it to us at support@tacview.net .

If you are not in a position to share the object, we understand! You can add it to Tacview on your own end.

See all the 3D objects which are currently available on our GitHub.

Your object needs to be in the Wavefront .obj file format. Furthermore:

  • The filename is case sensitive.
  • It is recommended that the filename is the short ICAO / NATO code of your aircraft (e.g.: f-16.obj, Su-27.obj, f-15d.obj, c-152.obj).
  • The folder name is case sensitive, it is important to not forget to capitalize its words such as: \Data\Meshes\
  • The object scale is in meters.
  • The orientation has to be: -Z Forward, Y Up.
  • The object center has to be the center of mass of the aircraft or ship. For ground vehicles, the center has to be the middle of the vehicle at the ground level (bottom of the wheels).
  • Quads are not supported (only the first half of each is going to be displayed).
  • To ensure consistent rendering quality, normals are ignored and recalculated by Tacview.
  • For aesthetic reasons, materials are ignored. Your object is not going to be textured. Since transparent surfaces are going to be rendered as opaque, remember to remove any transparent surface like rotating propellers before exporting your object.

Place your file in %ProgramData%\Tacview\Data\Meshes\ or %APPDATA%\Tacview\Data\Meshes\.

Add or modify a database entry as described above, using your filename as the <Shape>.

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