WorldEditor 1.4 public beta 1is available now. First, the links:
- Download from the WorldEditor page.
- Report bugs on the gateway – the scenery tools have their own tab.
- If you have reported bugs against WED in the past and the bug says “please retry in WED 1.4″ or “fixed in WED 1.4″, please go re-check the bug now!
The online user’s manual is up-to-date; pick WED Manual from the help menu to see it and read about the new features.
I’ll try to write some release notes up later but there isn’t a procedure in place for WED for that right now. Some major features:
Download from the X-Plane Scenery Gateway
I think the most important feature of the new build is the ability to directly download an airport from the scenery gateway. This feature is intended for authors and editors who want to modify and re-upload the scenery; in this case direct download has a number of advantages:
- It’s a lot quicker and easier.
- Better data quality: there’s a lot less data precision loss in the direct download because the format used is not binary DSF; overlay elements spanning DSF tiles will not be split when you get the airport directly.
- Version tracking: when you download from the airport, WED knows the scenery ID you downloaded from and sets up a history chain when you re-upload. This sets us up to more easily track changes and understand what are major airport changes vs. minor editing changes.
I think direct download is going to be especially good for bug-swatting. If an airport had one small problem, it used to be that most of the work in fixing it was the import and export; this is now totally automated, so you can just download, edit, re-upload.
WED 1.4 builds orthophoto draped polygons for you. In this workflow you:
- Import source imagery, e.g. a TIFF or PNG. If it’s a GeoTIFF, WED places it for you. (GeoTIFF placement is fixed in WED 1.4.)
- WED converts the image format to DDS when you build the scenery pack.
- WED makes the draped .pol file for you, and puts a correct LOAD_CENTER directive in place to get paging.
It’s a much quicker and simpler work-flow than the old scheme from WED 1.1 (which was basically a hack I put in for Sergio to get the LOWI demo area built for X-Plane 9).
If you want to make your own .pol files you can still use .pol files directly – WED works either way.
GeoJPEG-2000 Got Kicked Out
I turned off GeoJPEG-2000 support in this beta; our testing indicated that .jp2 was super-unstable and unreliable. I’m not sure whether .jp2 will make it into this release or whether we’ll even keep the feature, but one thing is clear: it’s holding up an otherwise solid beta. There’s no reason why anyone should have to deal with broken GeoTIFF location, crashes on certain library scenery objects, or having to manually download from the Gateway for longer than necessary.
I still need to do more investigation into the crashes we’ve seen but so far the signs don’t look good – there are multiple indicators that point in the direction of .jp2 not being ready for prime-time.