Scenery Development Documentation

Manuals

World Editor (WED)

You can read the latest WED manual online. A fan translation of the WED 1.6 Manual in Chinese is also available.

Older versions:

MeshTool

Read the manual online.

Command Line Tools

Tutorials

TitleDateDescription
Facade Creation11 Mar 2015A tutorial on how to create a facade from scratch for X-Plane 10.
Advanced Airport Creation6 Feb 2015This tutorial will walk through the creation of an airport from scratch, including runways, taxiways, air traffic control frequencies, and more.
Airport Customization23 Dec 2014This 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.
Using Decals to Add Detail To Scenery13 May 2014Describes 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

TitleDateDescription
Guidelines for AI aircraft airport use22 Jan 2018This guide explains X-Plane's internal requirements for AI to use airports.
ATC Taxi Route Authoring31 Aug 2016This 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 WED8 Aug 2016The basics of creating & debugging airport flows in WED.
Guide to Ramp Starts4 Aug 2016Detailed explanation of every field on Ramp Starts, as well as art controls to use for debugging.
Correctly Forming Taxiways and Junctions16 Dec 2015Examples of how to correctly author junctions in WED.
Controlling Draw Order23 Sep 2015This article describes how you can control draw order inside a scenery pack.

Tips & Tricks

TitleDateDescription
WED Tricks & Shortcuts16 May 2018Shortcuts in WED 1.7 and newer that will make editing airports faster.
How to draw airport boundaries2 May 2018Guidelines on the purpose of airport boundaries and how to draw them.
Tips for getting your airport approved on the Gateway15 Feb 2018This article explains how to fix common mistakes airport artists make which prevent their Gateway submission from being approved.
Calculating Rendering Load22 Sep 2015This 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.
When to Use Global or Mesh Attributes in X-Plane 1020 Mar 2012This article gives guidelines for using the new GLOBAL_xxx object attributes to get fastest framerate with instancing.
How to Debug Scenery Pack Loading13 Mar 2012This article explains how to trace which scenery is loaded.

Reference

TitleDateDescription
Customizable Jetways16 Mar 2018X-Plane 11.20 includes new jetway facades that allow an artist to customize jetway shape and position for almost any real world situation.
Terminal Kit20 Oct 2017This article explains how to use the Terminal Kit to customize buildings using WED & X-Plane 11.
Scenery System Version History22 Dec 2015This page contains information about changes to the simulator's scenery system in versions 8 & 9.
Scenery System for MSFS Developers22 Dec 2015This page tries to explain some of the differences between X-Plane's scenery system and MSFS's scenery system.
Performance Tuning and Scenery22 Dec 2015This article highlights ways to optimize scenery.
Named Lights for Scenery17 Dec 2015A list of the default named lights for ships, towns, and obstacles.
Facade Overview6 Mar 2015This article is a basic overview of facade creation. It includes some tricks and troubleshooting.
Taxiway Specification28 Oct 2014This article describes how taxiway signs are created in WorldEditor and includes examples.
Airport Scenery Gateway12 Aug 2014Instructions for scenery artists and X-Plane users on how to use the Airport Scenery Gateway.

File Formats

TitleDateDescription
Autogen String (.ags) File Format Specification30 Nov 2015Describes 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 Specification30 Nov 2015Describes X-Plane's autogen block (.agb) file format, which is used to tightly fill and pack rectangular scenery areas.
Painted Line (.lin) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's painted line (.lin) file format, which defines taxiway markings that can be draped over DSFs in scenery.
Vector Network (.net) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's vector network definition (.net) file format, which is used to render road networks.
Draped Polygon (.pol) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's draped polygon (.pol) format, which defines how a DSF polygon should be draped over the existing terrain mesh.
Object String (.str) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's object string (.str) files, which place objects (such as taxiway lights) along a bezier curve.
Terrain Type (.ter) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes 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.
Library (library.txt) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes 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.
X-Plane 10 Autogen Scenery File Format9 May 2013This document describes the syntax of the X-Plane 10 autogen art asset file formats.
X-Plane 10 Facade (.fac) File Format Specification8 May 2013This document describes the complete X-Plane 10 facade file format.
Standard Shading Options for X-Plane 10 Scenery6 May 2013This document describes the syntax and options for shading in most X-Plane scenery file formats.
Forest (.for) File Format Specification21 Mar 2012A detailed file format explanation for X-Plane 10 forest files.
OBJ8 (.obj) File Format Specification21 Mar 2012A complete file format specification for X-Plane 10 object (.obj) files, including all new v10 features.
DSF Usage In X-Plane19 Feb 2012This articles explains how X-Plane interprets raw DSF data to render scenery.
DSF File Format Specification19 Feb 2012A low-level specification of X-Plane's binary DSF scenery file format.

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.