A DSF can place polygons (beaches, facade buildings, forests), points (objects), mesh patches (terrain) and vector networks (roads). Note that while there are only four geometric types in DSF, there are now six “graphics” types. The versatile DSF polygon can be a beach, buiding or forest depending on what type of text file the DSF links to. This gives us a way to expand X-Plane scenery and invent new tricks without changing the fundamental DSF file format.

A few new graphic types will be coming to X-Plane 850, all based on polygons:

  • Draped polygons overlay the terrain with a texture – useful for making custom airport pavement or fixing some terrain in a city.
  • A “string of objects” follows a linear path placing objects periodically – useful for putting down airport lights or putting a row of bushes between two farm fields.
  • A “ground marking” type places a painted line on the ground – useful for airport markings, for example.

In all three cases, these tricks are available in the new apt.dat version 850 based on some predefinde types (a yellow taxiway line, green taxiway centerline lights, concrete apron pavement), but are also available in the DSF in a customizable manner. This will allow you to use these powerful techniques outside the airport environment or with custom artwork.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.