• Interview With Stuart McGregor X-Plane Developer

    Interview With Stuart McGregor

    Conducted by Dominic Smith


    When did you start developing for flight simulators and what got you interested in it?


    I only started in June this year (2014), and after seeing some of the great work from other people in the X-Plane world, I just thought, well why not give it a go myself.

    Tell us about the nature of your designs and what you do?

    At the moment I have been limiting myself to small rural airstrips and farm strips, the occasional disused military base in the UK and the occasional object. I was amazed at just how many of these there are dotted around the United Kingdom. Also by creating these sceneries, I'm able to give something back to the X-Plane community.

    What do you consider your best or most popular work?

    My favourite so far is Charterhall (XCHA) in Scotland, which is completely fictitious I should add, so I was able to use my imagination a little here. If I ever happen to win the lottery I know what I will do; buy an old airfield and fill it full of classic aircraft! I really love vintage aircraft, especially aircraft like the Spitfire and B-17, as there is something very special about these. To be honest I'm pretty proud of all my contributions so far (considering that I have only been doing it for a couple of months). My favourite object I've created is the wooden pallet I made. Yes, I know it doesn't sound much, but believe you me it was pretty tricky to model. With just a little bit of practice, you'd be amazed at what you can achieve in SketchUp!


    What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of a project?

    As I am very much a beginner, the biggest challenge for me personally is finding good reference material such as photos. In some cases all you have is the view from Google Maps, so it can be quite tricky to identify what is actually down there. There is also a pretty steep learning curve with the graphics software, however every time you start a new project you find something else which makes things just that little bit easier and more enjoyable than before.

    What have been your favorite projects?

    To be honest I have really enjoyed them all (so far). I get a great deal of satisfaction in making things from scratch, particularly the objects.

    What software packages and tools do you use to develop?

    For scenery layout and object placement, I use WED, which is a fantastic tool and one that every X-Plane developer should learn. It can seem daunting at first, but you soon get the hang of it. I also use GIMP for texturing objects and SketchUp 2014 for 3D modelling.


    Many of your custom designs were created in SketchUp. Would you recommend SketchUp to beginners?

    Personally, I think SketchUp is great! Once you've got used to it, it's pretty easy to use and the best bit about it is that the basic version is free!

    1 Comment
    1. LowTransition's Avatar
      LowTransition -
      Great interview with a great contributor to X-Plane!
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