Edit: the original post listed the version as 2.0 – the new WED beta is 1.1, MeshTool is 2.0, and my brain doesn’t work in this heat.

More scenery tools: I have posted a new beta for WorldEditor 1.1:

Like previous betas, this build mostly fixes bugs around import and export, which was the area that caused the most trouble.  Please file WED bugs via the scenery tools bug base; I don’t often get to work on WED, but when I do, I can kill off a bunch of  bugs at once if there are good reports.  Thanks to all of the users who have submitted good bug reports with example scenery packs to help reproduce the problems.

Future WED Versions

Simultaneous to bug fixing on the WED beta, we are adding new features to support X-Plane 10 ATC: WED will be the tool you use to edit taxiway routing diagrams and airport layout flow information for an airport.  (This means that you’ll have your physical pavement, your routings, and your custom scenery all in one environment.)

These features are disabled in the WED 1.1 betas, but once version 10 is released and WED 1.1 is final, we should be able to rapidly go to beta on the new features; since we use WED to build our test layouts now, it should be in reasonably good shape.

In the long term, I’d like to see WED provide a visual front-end for MeshTool*, but I won’t let this hold up a release of an ATC-ready WED; so far having “future features” floating around in the code (disabled for release) hasn’t caused any bug reports or stability problems for the existing 1.1 beta candidates.

WED also needs a file format change; my original decision to use an sqlite3 database was the wrong one; when the file format change happens, there will be full backward compatibility for reading old projects, so you’ll be able to bring your old projects forward just by opening them; you won’t have to reimport the DSFs and you won’t lose your groups and other WED-specific information.

* There’s no reason why WED has to be the only front-end for MeshTool, and it may not even be the first one released.  One option might be to make a MeshTool export script for qGIS.

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.

28 comments on “New Scenery Tools: WorldEditor 1.1 Beta 3

  1. Hi.
    last time i used WED i did not find any way to import airport data from the x-plane database.
    are/will it be a way to import this data?
    because it at your local airport is just a tiny bug/thing you want to edit/add it is easier to import existing and accurate data rather than creating everything from scratch.

    anyway: keep ut the good work with x-plane and this blog!

    1. Hello

      Please read the manual, there you will find the explanation how to extract YOUR airport from the x-plane database. You CAN edit standard airports in WED.

  2. Hi Ben,
    Wed did not open in OS 10.4 and 10.5 (the last OSX version for G5).
    Does that mean that you will be dropping these systems for the final version?

    1. Good question. First, everything I write is for the scenery tools; X-Plane has its own requirements that are less restrictive.

      10.4.x is definitely not supported for WED 1.1, MeshTool 2.0, or any other new tool. The issue is that we need GCC 4.2 to compile a number of the tools, and it’s not available for 10.4 without a lot of hacking; those hacks can only be done on a 10.4 machine, so I dropped the OS. A user with 10.4 is welcome to (attempt) to compile the tools directly if he or she can get GCC 4.2 running locally.

      Re: PPC, originally I had dropped it due to lack of universal libraries, but it looks like Janos fixed that…I will figure out in the next 24 hours whether we can get universal builds working again. I can’t dedicate a ton of time to ppc tools though…if they don’t work, I can’t hold a release to debug them.

      1. Follow-up: it looks like the Apple compiler tool chain has a ppc-specific linker that causes it to fail with CGAL-based tools – this includes WED 1.1 and MeshTool 2.0. So at this point I think we won’t have an official PPC binary distribution of the tools. I do not know if it’s possible to compile them on a native ppc machine – if someone does a ppc build or can fix the project, I can post them.

  3. e ATC: suppose I import my custom scenery library from v9. Will taxiway flow diagrams need to be created separately for every airport or will ATC support something out of the box? you can remove this post from the other comment thread..my bad.

    1. The sim will generate a layout for you if an airport doesn’t have one … but it’s not the greatest layout ever; if you make your own layout the results will be more predictable and realistic. (At least, that’s our theory, the auto-layout generation code is only partly done … it works better than expected for this early phase but it is still enormously buggy.)

      1. Allrighty. One further Q: Let’s assume you don’t make any specific customizations with an editor or such — will the sim just randomly pick A/Cs from the user’s library and use those as AI?

  4. I played with the resources of the WED world map. The current resources are eight tiles of images each at a resolution of 1024 x 1024. I was interested to see if those resources could be played with so I downloaded high resolution earth imagery from NASA and kept scaling it down until WED no longer crashed on launch for me. In the end I found that each tile can actually be 4096 x 4096. This means that the world map I now use regularly contains 16x more pixels, which truly lends to a much nicer experience. The larger imagery means that WED will load slower as there is more data, but it is stable. Would you consider making this a possible change in the next beta so others can experience it too?

    1. Maybe. What is the copyright limits on the source imagery you used? Also, 4096 x 4096 is video card specific (which doesn’t mean we can’t use it).

      EDIT: one concern – if I understand correctly, that’s 512 MB of VRAM for the world map. That’s probably not a good idea – it would make WED pretty unusable for users with less powerful machines and/or video cards. Let me look at the images and investigate. But…I may have to punt this until _after_ WED 1.1; if the feature can’t be done without adding engineering or increasing minimum requirements, then “enhanced map” probably shouldn’t be in the core distribution.

  5. I’m not sure what NASA’s policy is on the use of their (freely downloadable) earth imagery. All I know is I did it for my own use, and enjoyed the end result and thought it was worth sharing. I’ll post more details of my hardware in the forum you suggested I post in.

  6. NASA’s useage policy for the imagery dictates that the imagery can be used freely, so long as credit is given (such as “map imagery provided by NASA Visible Earth” or wording of your own choosing that gives NASA credit). The website URL for the terms is: //visibleearth.nasa.gov/useterms.php

    anyways, I’ve provided those details and more on the x-plane tools developer site…

  7. Hey Ben. A little off-topic, but since you have/had the same hardware around, do you have any advice for a video card for a 2008 Mac Pro? The 8800 GT I got with it broke, and I’m looking for a replacement. It seems a Radeon HD 5770 or 5870 should work in spite of the 2008 Mac Pro not being on the supported list. Would it be a good idea to get one of those? (in general; not for X-Plane in particular)

    1. I don’t know compatibility, except that my Mac Pro (3.1 version) will run with a 4870, and that seems to work for me. If I upgrade to a 5xxx I’ll post, but I don’t have one now. The 48xx is a nice card, of course now the 5xxx and 6xxx ones sort of bury it.

      1. This looks hopeful: //www.barefeats.com/wst10g6.html

        Seems the 5770 is comparable to the 4870, give or take some shading and bandwidth differences. And then the 5870 (apparently the only other choice in Mac land) is essentially a doubled 5770. I’ll have to see if that’s worth it. I like to run at high resolutions and prefer to be CPU-bound, but it’s a little expensive just to keep the thing alive.

        One more thing, do you know how the anisotropic filtering quality compares to the 8800? Nvidia was better in that respect, I believe. Or maybe the Mac drivers influence things a little (in my experience they tend to avoid certain optimizations).

        Thanks for helping out!

  8. More than a week since last X-plane Developer Blog update, panic. PANIC!
    Do you guys have some sort of Blog update schedule?, eg. Every month you aim to post something.

    1. In a rather astounding coincidence, everyone in the company has been separately eaten by freak Tiger attacks that simultaneously occurred in NYC, Connecticut, Massachussetts, South Carolina, Texas, San Antonio, and um, Spain.

  9. Unrelated to this article, but do you plan on simulating wake turbulence?

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