Scenery Development Documentation

Manuals

World Editor (WED)

You can read the latest WED manual online. Fan translations of the WED 1.6 Manual in Chinese or WED 1.6 Manual in Spanish are also available.

Older versions:

MeshTool

Read the manual online.

Command Line Tools

Tutorials

Title Updated Description
Airport Customization 16 Aug 2018 This tutorial walks through how to do very basic customization of an airport using WorldEditor. It covers the program's interface, how to import data, adding objects and facades, and exporting the created scenery pack.
Facade Creation 11 Mar 2015 A tutorial on how to create a facade from scratch for X-Plane 10.
Advanced Airport Creation 6 Feb 2015 This tutorial will walk through the creation of an airport from scratch, including runways, taxiways, air traffic control frequencies, and more.
Using Decals to Add Detail To Scenery 30 May 2014 Describes the use of decals to add texture to scenery (e.g., to add a grassy, leafy pattern to a field, or a gravel pattern to a runway). Includes info on the decal texture format and how the textures are applied.

Guides

Title Updated Description
Guidelines for AI aircraft airport use 21 Sep 2020 This guide explains X-Plane's internal requirements for AI to use airports.
Guide to Ramp Starts 29 Mar 2019 Detailed explanation of every field on Ramp Starts, as well as art controls to use for debugging.
ATC Taxi Route Authoring 29 Mar 2019 This guide explains the basics of the types of taxi route segments and how to design a correct taxi route. Use this information plus the validation in WED 1.5 to create accurate taxi routes.
ATC Flow Authoring in WED 10 Sep 2018 The basics of creating & debugging airport flows in WED.
Correctly Forming Taxiways and Junctions 26 Jan 2018 Examples of how to correctly author junctions in WED.
Controlling Draw Order 23 Sep 2015 This article describes how you can control draw order inside a scenery pack.

Tips & Tricks

Title Updated Description
Building Better Gateway Airports 23 Dec 2019 This article contains explains how to build better Gateway airports with examples and tips.
How to draw airport boundaries 16 May 2018 Guidelines on the purpose of airport boundaries and how to draw them.
WED Tricks & Shortcuts 16 May 2018 Shortcuts in WED 1.7 and newer that will make editing airports faster.
Tips for getting your airport approved on the Gateway 15 Feb 2018 This article explains how to fix common mistakes airport artists make which prevent their Gateway submission from being approved.
Calculating Rendering Load 22 Sep 2015 This article describes how to find metrics on the amount of rendering work that X-Plane is performing. To calculate these metrics, you will need DataRefEditor, a free plugin that lets you view datarefs.
How to Debug Scenery Pack Loading 13 May 2014 This article explains how to trace which scenery is loaded.
When to Use Global or Mesh Attributes in X-Plane 10 13 May 2014 This article gives guidelines for using the new GLOBAL_xxx object attributes to get fastest framerate with instancing.

Reference

Title Updated Description
Airport Pavement and FX 3 Nov 2022 X-Plane 12 includes new pavement & textures to create more realistic airport grounds. This includes dirt, grunge, lawn mowing tracks, drains and more.
About the Airport Scenery Gateway 28 May 2021 Instructions for scenery artists and X-Plane users on how to use the Airport Scenery Gateway.
Embankments and Piers 7 Nov 2018 This article explains how to use the embankment and pier facades available with WED & X-Plane 11.30.
Terminal Kit 4 Apr 2018 This article explains how to use the Terminal Kit to customize buildings using WED & X-Plane 11.
Customizable Jetways 16 Mar 2018 X-Plane 11.20 includes new jetway facades that allow an artist to customize jetway shape and position for almost any real world situation.
Scenery System Version History 29 Jan 2016 This page contains information about changes to the simulator's scenery system in versions 8 & 9.
Scenery System for MSFS Developers 22 Dec 2015 This page tries to explain some of the differences between X-Plane's scenery system and MSFS's scenery system.
Performance Tuning and Scenery 22 Dec 2015 This article highlights ways to optimize scenery.
Named Lights for Scenery 17 Dec 2015 A list of the default named lights for ships, towns, and obstacles.
Facade Overview 6 Mar 2015 This article is a basic overview of facade creation. It includes some tricks and troubleshooting.
Taxiway Specification 29 Jan 2015 This article describes how taxiway signs are created in WorldEditor and includes examples.

File Formats

Title Updated Description
Library (library.txt) File Format Specification 26 Jan 2023 Describes X-Plane's library.txt format, which tells X-Plane how to use the objects & other graphic resources located in other parts of the simulator.
Forest (.for) File Format Specification 10 Nov 2022 A detailed file format explanation for X-Plane forest files.
OBJ8 (.obj) File Format Specification 9 Nov 2022 A complete file format specification for X-Plane 10 object (.obj) files, including all new v10 features.
DSF Usage In X-Plane 2 May 2022 This articles explains how X-Plane interprets raw DSF data to render scenery.
X-Plane 10 Autogen Scenery File Format 9 Oct 2019 This document describes the syntax of the X-Plane 10 autogen art asset file formats.
DSF File Format Specification 3 Oct 2019 A low-level specification of X-Plane's binary DSF scenery file format.
Painted Line (.lin) File Format Specification 18 Jul 2019 Describes X-Plane's painted line (.lin) file format, which defines taxiway markings that can be draped over DSFs in scenery.
Terrain Type (.ter) File Format Specification 28 Jun 2018 Describes X-Plane Terrain (.ter) files, which tell X-Plane how to paint terrain patches. Discusses the contents of TER files and how DSF files are combined with a TER file to create a mesh.
X-Plane 10 Facade (.fac) File Format Specification 5 Feb 2018 This document describes the complete X-Plane 10 facade file format.
Autogen String (.ags) File Format Specification 16 Dec 2015 Describes X-Plane's autogen string (.ags) file format, which is used to place a large number of tile-based scenery buildings around a polygonal shape.
Autogen Block (.agb) File Format Specification 16 Dec 2015 Describes X-Plane's autogen block (.agb) file format, which is used to tightly fill and pack rectangular scenery areas.
Draped Polygon (.pol) File Format Specification 2 Mar 2015 Describes X-Plane's draped polygon (.pol) format, which defines how a DSF polygon should be draped over the existing terrain mesh.
Vector Network (.net) File Format Specification 25 Jun 2014 Describes X-Plane's vector network definition (.net) file format, which is used to render road networks.
Object String (.str) File Format Specification 25 Jun 2014 Describes X-Plane's object string (.str) files, which place objects (such as taxiway lights) along a bezier curve.
Standard Shading Options for X-Plane 10 Scenery 7 May 2013 This document describes the syntax and options for shading in most X-Plane scenery file formats.

5 comments on “Scenery Development Documentation

    1. It’s actually surprisingly difficult to create a really nice PDF for printing. In updating the new documentation, we basically had to choose between a Web format and PDF. Since the Web is more universal, we opted to forego the PDF.

      If you don’t need a professional-quality PDF, you can always use something like PDFCrowd.com.

  1. Great job!

    Please, tell me, is it possible to place .agb and .ags files with this version of WED? Or is there any other way to customize autogen?

    Thanks

  2. Hello great guys,
    running the installer I get:
    ./WED: /usr/lib/libcurl.so.4: version `CURL_OPENSSL_3′ not found (required by ./WED)
    How can I solve it?
    Thanks!

Comments are closed.