• Interview With Paul Mort

    Interview With Paul Mort

    Conducted by Dominic Smith

    Paul Mort

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

    Back in 1998, Microsoft introduced Flight Simulator 98 which was probably one of the first serious attempts at flight simulation for the home market. FS98 really grabbed my attention (many a great time was had with this sim) and sixteen years later, the inspiration it gave me is still going strong. From that (relatively) early age in simulation, things have now changed beyond anything I, or anyone else could have imagined. This advancement in both hardware and software, has now given me the opportunity to channel my creative side into the making of scenery and objects for X-Plane.

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

    Although I have created scenery for large international airports, my real passion is in the charm that the smaller rural airfields situated across the UK possess. Each one of these has its own unique character and individuality which I find is more of a challenge to create. I, like quite a few others, was initially disappointed with X-Plane 10 because of its lack of ready made airports, but since becoming aware of the countless scenery objects and tools available to create/customise my own scenery, I see it as an advantage.

    What do you consider your best or most popular work?

    My most popular work, judging solely on the number of people who have downloaded it, must be Ronaldsway Airport (EGNS) located on the Isle Of Man. In my own opinion though, my best work has to be Brunei International Airport (WBSB) which was built over a period of two weeks for a good friend of mine who lives over in Brunei. The attention to detail I managed to achieve with this scenery, was far higher than any other of my previous projects.


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

    For me, the believability factor of a scenery has to be paramount. To achieve this, the selection of the appropriate buildings and ground objects must suit the environment of that particular project. Not only must the object be as close as possible to its real life counterpart in terms of looks, but its accuracy and placement is vital too. X-Plane is an extremely powerful piece of software, and I do my best to compliment its many features.

    What have been your favorite projects?

    As well as the serious side of flight simulation development, I also enjoy creating what you would call 'comedy objects' which hopefully make a few people smile. I recently made a leather suitcase for my fellow X-Plane fanatics, so as to use in their sceneries (useful for when they get kicked out of the house for spending too much time on the computer). The 'Handy Suitcase' as it's known, was quite well received...albeit in a lighthearted way!

    What software packages and tools do you use to develop?

    If the scenery requires custom made objects, then I will use SketchUp 2014 for the modelling. These models are then converted into .obj format by a very clever plugin called SketchUp2Xplane. This plugin was created by Jonathan Harris (Marginal), a truly gifted developer. Overlay Editor is then used to place the objects within the scenery. Finally, X-Plane 10 is used with its Free Camera mode, so as to check object placement.


    Who would you consider to be your mentors or inspiration in the development world if you have any?

    My inspiration for my work comes from the countless individuals who spend both their time and effort on a project, and then who donate that work to a community (no matter how modest or complex it may be). I believe that the sharing of scenery objects (with the authors' consent) is not only the way forward when it comes to scenery design, but it also helps keep this rewarding hobby alive by enticing new developers. We have all seen what happens to software that requires constant payouts...it goes to the wall.

    Do you develop payware/freeware or both and why?

    At this present time, all my creations have been freeware and donated to the X-Plane community. I get great satisfaction by seeing other like-minded enthusiasts get pleasure from my work, but that doesn't rule out the possibility of making the transition to payware somewhere down the road. However, in saying that, I would have to be certain that the quality of my work was at least up to the standards set by today's commercial developers. These designers create totally custom scenery and some of their work is truly exceptional.

    Tags: paul mort

    1. LowTransition's Avatar
      LowTransition -
      Great interview with a great contributor to the X-Plane Community! Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, Paul!
    1. flightplanes's Avatar
      flightplanes -
      I've downloaded many of Paul's work and they are amazing. Like Paul, I was disappointed at first by Xplane's lack of recognisable scenery from out the box...until I saw just what the buyer could do once you learn the very basics of WED and SketchUP. Both are so easy to use and create such professional scenery! It's also the generous community like Paul and others such as Thomas Rasmussen https://plus.google.com/100853680940...67212508/posts who a are more than happy to help you create the same with no emphasis on commercial gain that makes X-Plane so unique. Far too many people in this commercial world of ours are all about MONEY, MONEY, MONEY...but with X-planers it seems to be all about helping each other and getting the best and most realistic outcome from your sim!

      Well done everyone.. keep up the good work...and the unique friendship amongst you all!

    1. Roger Wensley's Avatar
      Roger Wensley -
      He forgot to mention the main danger of becoming involved in scenery creation. It is addictive. I started so I could make three grass fields near Ottawa that I had noticed during flight training; now 10 years later and over 300 posts.........
    1. 5171's Avatar
      5171 -
      A Really nice interview of a really great guy! Through our common interest in X Plane and constructing scenery Paul has become a great friend! He makes both scenery and objects that are invaluable to our community! As a meager scenery designer myself I can say without reservation we could not carry on very well with out his talent and wonderful sense of humor, we could use more people like him!

    1. SSI01's Avatar
      SSI01 -
      Sure do like his new cenotaph he just recently put out. I do not have X Plane, only FSX. Too bad there isn't a copy of it formatted for use in that sim.
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