Here’s a feature that went into X-Plane 11.35 that will be really exciting to a very small number of scenery authors: in X-Plane 11.35, line files (.lin) can have custom painted end-caps on each end, and the texture repeats can be aligned to a grid.

Scenery authors who have gotten deep into X-Plane’s scenery system will already know from that first paragraph why this is useful, but for normal people who have seen the sun in the last 30 days, .lin files are the art files that define the look of thin linear features. X-Plane uses them for the painted yellow and white lines in the airport environment, but a developer can use them for anything linear.

Line files repeat, tile, and can follow the ground in a bezier curved path, which makes them great for curved taxiway lines. Their achilles heal up to now has been that when the line ends, the line just … stops. This makes them inappropriate for really thick uses, where that hard “cut” at the end of the line would be really noticeable and ugly.

In X-Plane 11.35 you can provide a start and end cap for each line definition. Like the line itself, it can be mulit-layered if desired. So, for example, you could use it to make dirt paths between buildings in a rural airport – where the path ends you can have a “soft” ending to the path and not have to worry about tucking the line under another scenery element to hide the cut.

We’re not using these in the default art yet, but the code is done, and I have updated the .lin file format specification with the new syntax.

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.

3 comments on “End Caps for Line Files

  1. As one of the abnormal developers that hasn’t seen sunlight in 30+ days (haha ;)) this will be very very very useful for my scenery, especially for roads as you mention! This in particular was one issue I struggled with for my payware Telluride scenery for the roads, but this new feature will completely resolve that issue and save quite a bit of time! Thank you guys so much for adding this feature, I can’t wait to use it!

  2. Hi. Some users of my sceneries are complaining that my lines are “all black”. I use two layers for the lines, the lower layer is black, the upper is yellow, right? So the yellow merge when lines cross. This is happening now, but it didn’t before. What’s the word on that?

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