My last few posts have tried to paint a picture as to where the various art assets and files will live for the new ATC and airport lego bricks in X-Plane 10.  I want to specifically point out how the library interacts with these features because the library lets you do some very powerful things, and I suspect that it is often misunderstood.

First: if you want to use our art assets, you get them via the library.  Almost every scenery art asset we provide in X-Plane sits in the library somewhere.  This includes most of the art assets we use to build airport apt.dat layouts.  So whether you want our lego brick terminals, ATC voices, taxiway centerline light strings, or autogen buildings, they’re all in the library and you can “just use them” in your  custom scenery by referencing the library.

But second: since the default scenery goes to the library to get art assets, you can replace our art assets with your own using a scenery pack.  Don’t like our runway lights?  Make your own and put them in the library via a custom scenery pack.  Want more variety of cars?  Make a few more and put them in the library via a scenery pack.

Since the library can be customized in location specific ways, you can also make new themes.  Replace our autogen with something appropriate for your own country, and put the pack in the library with the locations you want your art used for.

There are only a few files we intend to collect and redistribute – and they’re all files of data.  But modifying the sim’s art assets is still really easy – if you want to add art assets to the default parts of the scenery system, just make a custom pack that puts your assets in the library – it’s as good as if it was built into X-Plane.

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.

18 comments on “Art Assets and the Library

  1. How might one edit image files in the scenery system and X-Plane in general?

    A simple example may help:

    I’m trying to edit the DDS image file used for the solid rocket motor flame. “”

    When I edit and re-save using the NVidia DDS plugin for Photoshop, X-Plane rejects the edited file and basically says I don’t have it.

    What is the correct format to save the edited file with so that X-Plane will accept the edits? I imagine this will pertain to any new scenery contribution since X-Plane will need to load files that may be based, even if only partly, on existing library assets.

    Thanks for any pointers…


  2. I like the idea of regional textures for the autogen, I cant wait to get my hands on this. Those little tweaks are what make this sim interesting….

  3. Would we be able to share the scenery packs Ben, say someone creates a Chinese building theme or other regions, could that then be packaged and then inserted in to your system, and would they go into either the custom scenery or Xplane resources.

    Other point is on the above, could dev’s create packages to sell say a package of as you mentioned cars and trucks or airport equipment and various themes, this is very FS territory i know but it does have the potential to move XP upmarket very quickly.

  4. Do you support any type of DRM on scenery files? I imagine many commercial developers would like to have some way to prevent people from distributing their assets without consent.

    1. No. We’ve discussed it internally but that’s as far as we’ve gotten. Some third party ACFs are DRM-protected by being heavily dependent on a plugin that can enforce the DRM.

      1. Thank you for choosing the right option by not implementing some kind of DRM. While I understand the need for protection that authors may ask, these had never protected anything from pirates, and even worse they introduce severe problems for the people who actually bought the content and have a genuine license.
        DRM is more a problem than a solution. This technology has some history now and I think we should learn from our mistakes.

        1. We didn’t choose any right option, and we didn’t pick no-DRM because we think it’s better. We simply haven’t done anything yet.

          The most likely plan is to provide hooks and let third parties decide what they want to do about DRM on an individual basis. The hooks we’re looking at it would have a number of uses other than DRM as well.

          1. I see, you will implement them, but not activate them as default, and the content creator will have the choice using them or not. I can’t say I’m happy reading this, but hey market has its reasons I suppose.

            I’m curious, what other uses of that hooks do you have in mind ?

          2. Wait – this is not correct. We are going to provide our lego bricks _and_ use them in the sim by default! The content creator can use them or ignore them.

            And as always (even in x-plane 9) a custom scenery pack can use “exclusion zones” to _delete_ the default airports, so you don’t have collisions between overlays and default airports.

  5. Sounds as it will be very easy to edit and add art assets in V10. That will make it easy for 3rd party-developers to create additional content at a low price. And of course it´s good news for freeware-developers too.

    But: Most of the scenery stuff “released” is 9 or even more month old and I still have no real idea of what a mayor city, a large airport, the ocean, the clouds or a mixed landscape will finally look like by default…
    Any chance we will see more of the art assets / v10-scenery soon?

    PS: Someone left the lights on in the parked cars @ “Airport Lego Bricks / in_sim_1”.
    Bug or feature?

  6. Speaking of art assets I would like to ask you what about the sound assets in XP-10. Do you want to leave the airports silent? Silent air traffic, no background sounds etc? AFIAK the only source of sound in X-Plane planet is the very basic sound of the single airplane (int/ext). Any plans to change that situation? Every other serious simulator has such a environmental sounds.

  7. Am I the only one that starts feeling depression symptoms every time this blog goes without an update for more than a week? 😉

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