How to Debug Scenery Pack Loading

What do you do if your scenery simply isn’t showing up in X-Plane?  This article explains some debugging techniques to trouble shoot your package.

X-Plane puts a log file (called Log.txt) into the X-Plane directory; this file is rewritten each time X-Plane runs.  So to use the log file, run X-Plane, go to the airport where your scenery is placed, then quit and do not restart X-Plane.  Now you can view the log.

Did X-Plane Find my Scenery Pack?  In the Right Order?

The first questions to answer are: did X-Plane find my scenery pack?  Is another scenery pack higher priority?  To tell, open the log file and look for the scenery package list – it’s near the top and looks like this:

I found the following scenery packages (prioritized in this order):
  0 Custom Scenery/KSEA Demo Area/
  1 Custom Scenery/KSEA Demo Terrain/
  2 Resources/default scenery/1000 autogen/
  3 Resources/default scenery/1000 decals/
  4 Resources/default scenery/1000 forests/
  5 Resources/default scenery/1000 roads/
  6 Resources/default scenery/1000 urban terrain/
  7 Resources/default scenery/1000 world terrain/
  8 Resources/default scenery/700 roads/
  9 Resources/default scenery/900 beaches/
 10 Resources/default scenery/900 europe objects/
 11 Resources/default scenery/900 forests/
 12 Resources/default scenery/900 roads/
 13 Resources/default scenery/900 us objects/
 14 Resources/default scenery/900 world object placeholders/
 15 Resources/default scenery/airport decals/
 16 Resources/default scenery/airport scenery/
 17 Resources/default scenery/default apt dat/
 18 Resources/default scenery/default atc/
 19 Resources/default scenery/sim objects/

In this case, there are 20 scenery packs – the highest priority one is the “KSEA Demo Area” pack and the lowest priority one is “sim objects.”  If your scenery pack is not listed, it is not in the Custom Scenery folder.  If there is another pack with higher priority, you may need to rename it to be earlier in the alphabet.

Did X-Plane Load My DSFs?

Every time X-Plane loads a DSF, it puts out a log message.  This is why it is important to go somewhere in your scenery’s area, e.g. to an airport.  Here is the log for the airplane starting at KSEA:

0:00:00.000 I/SCN: DSF load time: 701866 for file Custom Scenery/KSEA Demo Area/Earth nav data/+40-130/+47-123.dsf (0 tris)
0:00:00.000 I/SCN: DSF load time: 5123485 for file Custom Scenery/KSEA Demo Terrain/Earth nav data/+40-130/+47-123.dsf (243770 tris)

Every pack that is loaded is listed – in this case the KSEA Demo Area is an overlay, and the base mesh is loaded next.  Once X-Plane loads a base mesh, no more overlays are loaded.

Possible causes of not loading include the path to your DSF being wrong, and the priority order of the scenery being wrong.

Detailed Error Messages

If there is a problem with your scenery pack, X-Plane will show a dialog box that reads:

Error loading the scenery package:

Custom Scenery/KSEA Demo Area/

The scenery may not look correct.

Please see the log.txt file for detailed error information.

This message will show only once for your scenery pack the first time the error is hit for each session of X-Plane.  The message is simply meant to alert you that the log needs inspecting for problems.

When you open the log file you will find one or more lines like this:

Custom Scenery/KSEA Demo Area/KSEA_objects/DeltaCargo.agp:3:The file has an invalid .agp header.

The log will contain (hopefully) detailed information about the particular files that had problems and what was wrong with them.

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