• Sidney Schwartz Scenery Developer Interview

    When creating an airport, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect?

    The most challenging part of a project is finding images of all or most of the airport buildings so that I can make at least a reasonable approximation. This can be time consuming, and sometimes I'll have to give up on a project because I just can't find what I need. Google Earth and Bing Maps street views are a great source of images, and a general web search usually turns up a surprising amount as well.

    Sidney Schwartz - Rattlesnake

    What have been your favorite projects so far Sidney?

    I collaborated on two WWII airfields that no longer exist; the KPYT Rattlesnake bomber base in Pyote, Texas, and KSWW Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. Flight simmer Zeb Gardner wanted to do these as a tribute to the men and women who served at them, and approached me to create the buildings and other 3D objects. Learning about these facilities and the men and women who served at them was fascinating, and I felt a much more personal connection with the projects than I usually do.

    Sidney Schwartz - Avenger Field

    During the development process, what software packages and tools do you use?

    I use the free version of SketchUp for creating 3D objects as I find that it's very will suited to the kind of work I do. Arno Gerretsen's Model Converter X converts them for use in FS and also optimizes the use of textures. I use Jon Masterson's Airport Design Editor for placing objects in the scenery and pretty much every other aspect of airport design. Without these great tools I wouldn't get to square one.

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

    I'm pretty much self taught and so I can't really say I've had any mentors, although there are plenty of other scenery designers whose work I greatly admire and take inspiration from.

    Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney, do you only create freeware sceneries, or have you considered payware as well?

    Strictly freeware. I do this for my own enjoyment and for the fun of sharing with the flight sim community, from whom I've gotten so much.

    The Team

    During your time as a scenery author, have you ever worked with any other developers or teams

    My most frequent collaborator was Pete Ham. I've also worked on Dutch Harbor and some other Alaskan airports with Roger Wensley. In both cases my main job was 3D modeling.

    Sidney Schwartz


    Sidney, how do you go about choosing your next new design or project?

    Sometimes I'll come across an airport that's out of date or otherwise inaccurate. I'll check to see if someone else has already done a better version of it. If not, it becomes a candidate. Sometimes if I have nothing in the works I'll go looking for an airport of suitable size (one that hasn't already been enhanced) and start working on it.

    What simulators do you design for now and which ones do you plan to develop for in the future?

    I design primarily for FSX, mostly because my system isn't capable of running P3D or X-Plane very well. I'm planning on getting a better system, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. In the meantime, if anyone wants to convert any of my FS2004 or FSX scenery to work in Prepar3D or X-Plane, they are welcome to do so, as long as I'm given credit for my work.

    Sidney Schwartz

    Your Thoughts

    What can sites like FlightSim.Com do to support you and the hobby better?

    I think you already do a great job. FlightSim.Com is a prime resource for information and downloads.

    Sidney, how do you feel about the future of flight simulation in general?

    Back when I starting flight simming I didn't think it would last as long as it has. However, it's not only lasted, but improved by orders of magnitude. I see no reason why that shouldn't continue.

    As a developer, what are some of the most important things a site or community can do to help you?

    For someone like me, feedback is always appreciated. I don't mean just reporting errors or problems, but also general preferences and ideas.

    Lastly Sidney, what would you like people to know about you and work?

    I really, really appreciate all the great stuff I've gotten over the years from other members of the flight sim community. Some truly great work! Thank you so much.

    Sidney Schwartz
    Download Sidney Schwartz Freeware

    1. Roger Wensley's Avatar
      Roger Wensley -
      Sid, your beard is getting bigger. You are right about the ramp lights (I use them, so thanks for those) but you have mentioned but way understated your contribution of a bunch of other scenery objects for free use, and hardly mentioned your northern Canadian contribution. One pic, of a terminal building, and that's all. Enjoyed working with you.
    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      Sidney...I greatly appreciate your contributions and objects which I use in my own personal creations. Much thanks.

      But now, I have moved heavily to XP11+ and its a whole new world of fun.

    1. darrenvox's Avatar
      darrenvox -
      agreed rogerr, you have way way way understated your mark on this place, but am amzed to finally see you on this thing
    1. vegasjon's Avatar
      vegasjon -
      I always wondered what Santa did when not flying a sled...Awesome scenery!
    1. anaismith's Avatar
      anaismith -
      A long overdue recognition.
    1. sky44's Avatar
      sky44 -
      Sydney has given us so much along the years, happy to see him recognized as one of the Great Ones!!
    1. fredz1939's Avatar
      fredz1939 -
      It is always great to be able to put a face to a name, especially someone who has done so much for the hobby. Thanks Sydney!
    1. Sidney Schwartz's Avatar
      Sidney Schwartz -
      Thanks all for the kind words. Being part of this great community has been almost as much fun as the flying.

      Like Bryan I have recently moved to X-Plane and very impressed with it. Whatever your favorite sim is, go fly somewhere!
    1. HardCub's Avatar
      HardCub -
      Mr Schwartz, Your work has always inspired me, and I am forever thankful to you for the many, many scenery objects you have created and shared with the FS community. I truly appreciate your talents and your work. I used many of your freeware objects in the creation of the freeware GA airports I designed several years ago and uploaded to this website. They were local airports I grew up near and they're very special to me. Your freeware scenery objects made everything so much easier. Thank you again for everything you do. I'm so glad to see you interviewed. I really enjoyed reading it. -Glenn Mullis
    1. Muir Air's Avatar
      Muir Air -
      I was just earlier today using sidney's fs2004 libraries on an ADE project for FSX. Fantastic stuff.
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