Scenery Development Documentation

Manuals

World Editor (WED)
You canĀ read the latest WED manual online.

MeshTool
Read the manual online.

Command Line Tools

Tutorials

TitleDateDescription
Facade Creation2015-03-11 12:42:11A tutorial on how to create a facade from scratch for X-Plane 10.
Advanced Airport Creation2015-02-06 10:36:59This tutorial will walk through the creation of an airport from scratch, including runways, taxiways, air traffic control frequencies, and more.
Airport Customization2014-12-23 15:51:47This tutorial walks through how to do very basic customization of an airport using WorldEditor. It covers the program's interface, how to import data, adding objects and facades, and exporting the created scenery pack.
Using Decals to Add Detail To Scenery2014-05-13 10:19:19Describes the use of decals to add texture to scenery (e.g., to add a grassy, leafy pattern to a field, or a gravel pattern to a runway). Includes info on the decal texture format and how the textures are applied.

Guides

TitleDateDescription
ATC Taxi Route Authoring2016-08-31 15:31:57This guide explains the basics of the types of taxi route segments and how to design a correct taxi route. Use this information plus the validation in WED 1.5 to create accurate taxi routes.
ATC Flow Authoring in WED2016-08-08 11:13:38The basics of creating & debugging airport flows in WED.
Guide to Ramp Starts2016-08-04 11:38:22Detailed explanation of every field on Ramp Starts, as well as art controls to use for debugging.
Correctly Forming Taxiways and Junctions2015-12-16 13:13:16Examples of how to correctly author junctions in WED.
Controlling Draw Order2015-09-23 15:00:30This article describes how you can control draw order inside a scenery pack.

Tips & Tricks

TitleDateDescription
Calculating Rendering Load2015-09-22 16:00:56This article describes how to find metrics on the amount of rendering work that X-Plane is performing. To calculate these metrics, you will need DataRefEditor, a free plugin that lets you view datarefs.
When to Use Global or Mesh Attributes in X-Plane 102012-03-20 09:13:55This article gives guidelines for using the new GLOBAL_xxx object attributes to get fastest framerate with instancing.
How to Debug Scenery Pack Loading2012-03-13 12:46:48This article explains how to trace which scenery is loaded.

Reference

TitleDateDescription
Scenery System Version History2015-12-22 15:00:24This page contains information about changes to the simulator's scenery system in versions 8 & 9.
Scenery System for MSFS Developers2015-12-22 14:57:03This page tries to explain some of the differences between X-Plane's scenery system and MSFS's scenery system.
Performance Tuning and Scenery2015-12-22 14:35:13This article highlights ways to optimize scenery.
Named Lights for Scenery2015-12-17 12:45:14A list of the default named lights for ships, towns, and obstacles.
Facade Overview2015-03-06 15:38:06This article is a basic overview of facade creation. It includes some tricks and troubleshooting.
Taxiway Specification2014-10-28 01:05:05This article describes how taxiway signs are created in WorldEditor and includes examples.
Airport Scenery Gateway2014-08-12 12:13:40Instructions for scenery artists and X-Plane users on how to use the Airport Scenery Gateway.

File Formats

TitleDateDescription
Autogen String (.ags) File Format Specification2015-11-30 11:58:49Describes X-Plane's autogen string (.ags) file format, which is used to place a large number of tile-based scenery buildings around a polygonal shape.
Autogen Block (.agb) File Format Specification2015-11-30 11:58:07Describes X-Plane's autogen block (.agb) file format, which is used to tightly fill and pack rectangular scenery areas.
Painted Line (.lin) File Format Specification2013-06-23 20:38:12Describes X-Plane's painted line (.lin) file format, which defines taxiway markings that can be draped over DSFs in scenery.
Vector Network (.net) File Format Specification2013-06-23 20:35:58Describes X-Plane's vector network definition (.net) file format, which is used to render road networks.
Draped Polygon (.pol) File Format Specification2013-06-23 20:33:08Describes X-Plane's draped polygon (.pol) format, which defines how a DSF polygon should be draped over the existing terrain mesh.
Object String (.str) File Format Specification2013-06-23 20:31:42Describes X-Plane's object string (.str) files, which place objects (such as taxiway lights) along a bezier curve.
Terrain Type (.ter) File Format Specification2013-06-23 20:25:40Describes X-Plane Terrain (.ter) files, which tell X-Plane how to paint terrain patches. Discusses the contents of TER files and how DSF files are combined with a TER file to create a mesh.
Library (library.txt) File Format Specification2013-06-23 20:18:05Describes X-Plane's library.txt format, which tells X-Plane how to use the objects & other graphic resources located in other parts of the simulator.
X-Plane 10 Autogen Scenery File Format2013-05-09 21:22:15This document describes the syntax of the X-Plane 10 autogen art asset file formats.
X-Plane 10 Facade (.fac) File Format Specification2013-05-08 12:12:05This document describes the complete X-Plane 10 facade file format.
Standard Shading Options for X-Plane 10 Scenery2013-05-06 21:17:51This document describes the syntax and options for shading in most X-Plane scenery file formats.
Forest (.for) File Format Specification2012-03-21 21:33:07A detailed file format explanation for X-Plane 10 forest files.
OBJ8 File Format Specification2012-03-21 21:29:58A complete file format specification for X-Plane 10 object (.obj) files, including all new v10 features.
DSF Usage In X-Plane2012-02-19 12:57:02This articles explains how X-Plane interprets raw DSF data to render scenery.
DSF File Format Specification2012-02-19 12:53:07A low-level specification of X-Plane's binary DSF scenery file format.

5 Responses to Scenery Development Documentation

  1. Pepel81 says:

    Good work ! Is it possible to have a pdf format please ? Thank a lot for all

    • Tyler Young says:

      It’s actually surprisingly difficult to create a really nice PDF for printing. In updating the new documentation, we basically had to choose between a Web format and PDF. Since the Web is more universal, we opted to forego the PDF.

      If you don’t need a professional-quality PDF, you can always use something like PDFCrowd.com.

  2. Alex Krug says:

    Great job!

    Please, tell me, is it possible to place .agb and .ags files with this version of WED? Or is there any other way to customize autogen?

    Thanks

  3. Claudio says:

    Hello great guys,
    running the installer I get:
    ./WED: /usr/lib/libcurl.so.4: version `CURL_OPENSSL_3′ not found (required by ./WED)
    How can I solve it?
    Thanks!

Comments are closed.