Why would anyone want to open a DDS file?

A download of a good repainted model aircraft is much easier to repaint or modify than the color scheme of a stock aircraft consisting of a TARGA file. The stock color scheme is usually a photograph of a real model. In a photograph the lighting ,shadows etc cause non-uniform RGB values of the aircrafts colors and are very difficult to modify. A good quality downloaded color scheme usually has the photograph repainted with colors having uniform RGB color values. These are much easier to work with. A downloaded airplane file is usually in DDS format because it is a very compact file for the simulator program. You must open the DDS file and convert it to a TARGA file if you want to modify it.

How I installed a DDS file opener in Photoshop

This works with Adobe Photoshop 7.0

1) Install dds.8bi in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop 7.0\Plug-Ins\File Formats

2) Download these 3 files (msvcp70.dll, msvci70.dll and msvcr70.dll ) to the Windows\System folder.

3) The above installation requires you to have DirectX 9 installed on your computer for proper operation. It is free and can be downloaded from Microsoft’s download page. I have the latest revision of DirectX 9 installed and both my Realflight G-2 and Aerofly Pro run with improved graphic performance. I am using MS Windows XP home version. Follow all instructions and recommendatioms on Microsoft’s site prior to installing DirectX 9.

4) You should now be able to download any color scheme (usually a DDS file due to its compact size) and Photoshop will open it. It will usually ask if you want “mit maps” and I answer no. I then save as a TARGA file to the color schemes folder. I then close the DDS file and load the TARGA file for any repainting or modifications. When you restart G-2 your program will automatically create a new DDS file from your new TARGA file. Your new scheme will now appear. If you make any further changes to your TARGA file after this point, don’t forget to kill off the old matching DDS file and restart G-2 or your changes won’t appear.

If you download the file DDS_viewer.exe, just click on it as it is an automatic installer program and will install the “Viewer” on your computer to the folder you specify. When you look at your G-2 color schemes folder, just click view thumbnails and all planes will appear on the screen at once. I don’t think it is part of Adobe but is neat if you are looking for a scheme. Not required but a cute toy that is free.

The dll files may be available at this website:


The dds.8bi plug-in and installer may be available at this site:


To download the plugin click on “DDS Photoshop Plug-in” in the tool column

The optional DDS_viewer.exe is also on this website.


           1) Thank You to all who created the programs I show links to and I take no credit for their fine work.


Since all computer setups may vary, I (and any website where I may post this write-up) cannot be responsible for damages of any kind arising from your use of the information contained here-in. Use at your own risk.