• Getting Around Missing X-Plane Object Libraries

    Getting Around Missing Object Libraries

    By Dominic Smith

    Over the last 17 years, I have watched with great interest as X-Plane has grown in both features and popularity, and with the release of the last two versions of X-Plane, that trend seems only to have been amplified. In the case of X-Plane 11, a lot of this is down to the new and improved interface, and while it's true that there are some among the community who dislike this new look; on the whole, it works reasonably well.

    Another area which seems to have enticed a fair number of converts, is the plethora of freeware sceneries which are created on a daily basis - and this is true for both X-Plane 10 and 11. The rate at which these are released is quite staggering, especially when compared to other simulators.

    One of the reasons why there are such large numbers of sceneries being developed in such a short period of time, is due in part to the ease at which they can be created - they use and rely on third party libraries. These, much like the sceneries they help to populate, are again free, and are developed by generous members of the X-Plane community. By using already created objects, realistic representations of locations can be modelled in next to no time at all, which is great news for all.

    However (that was always coming), there is a slight snag which is often overlooked by new adoptees of X-Plane; that being, making sure you have ALL the required object libraries installed in your Custom Scenery folder. Most of the time, a developer will state which libraries are required, (often with links to the download) which makes everything extremely easy. On other occasions, a few libraries might be listed, or, worse case scenario, none at all, which means that if you don't have the necessary requirements installed, you're going to run into problems.

    While X-Plane 11 does a good job at pointing you in the right direction, the same can't be said for X-Plane 10.

    So, how do you get around this issue?

    Well, there exists in the world of X-Plane, a utility by the name of X-Publish, created by the very talented, Jonathan Harris. Jonathan created X-Publish as a way of creating cross platform scenery/aircraft zip files, and it is available for both Windows, OSX and Linux. One of the many great features of X-Publish is that it can be used to inform you of what libraries are required, and which ones happen to be missing from a scenery, and this is what I primarily use it for.

    As a long time user of X-Plane 10, I find this utility invaluable, as on more than one occasion during the X-Plane loading process, I have found myself stuck in front of a scenery error message. This is normally down to a missing object, and while the scenery usually loads, you will find that there will be objects missing and the scenery will look incomplete.

    For new users attempting to ascertain what the issue is, it can be quite a daunting process, especially when a long time veteran of the sim, tells the user to check through their scenery_packs.ini file for missing objects!

    A far easier option (in my opinion), is to check the scenery with X-Publish.

    So, first things first - let's go and download X-Publish:

    Now, to show you how I use this program, I am going to create a situation, where an object library happens to be missing from a scenery description.

    The scenery is question is Gun Lake Airstrip by Nils Lips:

    As you can see from the description above, the author of the scenery has kindly listed and hyperlinked all of the libraries needed to properly display the scenery as it should be. However, for the purpose of this demonstration, let's imagine that 'The Handy Object Library' (THE_HANDY_OBJECTS_LIBRARY.ZIP), was mistakenly left out by the author of the scenery and is one that I don't have installed.

    With Gun Lake Airstrip installed in my X-Plane 10 Custom Scenery folder, I fire up the sim ready for a spot of bush flying.

    But wait...what's this I see, a scenery error? I thought I had all the sceneries listed!

    Fear not young Dominic (how I wish), for help is on its way, in the form of X-Publish.


    7 Comments
    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      What a great tool. I just tried it out and its perfect, exactly what every X-Plane user needs.

      I am up to date using lastest XP11 but have found that there are many sceneries listed as XP11 for instance that work just fine.

      This utility along with x-plane library installer (a mother of all library installer) will likely do the trick for everything.
    1. ColR1948's Avatar
      ColR1948 -
      I downloaded it but not used it yet, I will admit puts me off downloading any scenery when I see I also have to download/update 6 or more other folders.
      I understand the person who makes the scenery sometimes can't include others work unless they have permission, but it can be a pain sometimes.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Quote Originally Posted by ColR1948 View Post
      I downloaded it but not used it yet, I will admit puts me off downloading any scenery when I see I also have to download/update 6 or more other folders.
      I understand the person who makes the scenery sometimes can't include others work unless they have permission, but it can be a pain sometimes.
      Object libraries; once installed in your Custom Scenery directory, can be used by any scenery that references them.

      Keeping them up to date, for the majority of X-Plane users, is no hassle at all, and ensures that we continue to enjoy quality freeware sceneries.

      Sometimes a wee bit of effort is required on our part, but why not, as this is a community driven hobby
    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      I checked and found out due to a bandwidth issue the combined library installer that I used a year ago is not longer available...file "X-PlaneLibraryInstaller-3.4". Too bad because it was very convenient. It would be useful for this installer to be regularly updated and uploaded to various FS sites for download instead of having to download the many libraries that are needed.
    1. FlyingDragon's Avatar
      FlyingDragon -
      Thank you! X Plane 11 makes flying fun again and makes scenery installation a breeze.
    1. Nicolas522's Avatar
      Nicolas522 -
      Brilliant! I always use X-Publish to clean up my sceneries before publishing; but had not thought to use it to check others.
    1. RayH's Avatar
      RayH -
      This looks quite interesting. At the moment I am trying to redo EGLB, with WED and the Scenery Gateway. Maybe I am expecting too much out of it, do you know if this if this utility is still useable with all the new workflow? I also need to make lots of custom hangars and buildings using Sketchup, but don't wish to do too much until I know I can actually upload them. The documentation is pretty poor, too technical, no walk through case study, although is some new Youtube stuff that lifts their game a bit.
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