Scenery Design

:Category:Scenery Design


Before getting into Scenery Design proper it is important to start making a few airports. This way you will get a better idea of what you want in making your own scenery objects and developing new scenery around your airports. One of the easiest airport design programs to start with is "Airport for windows v3.0" which can be used for FS98, FS2002 and FS2004.

Making an Airport

in Airport For Windows

How to design and produce an airport (For FS98, FS2002, FS2004.)

Firstly how to prepare and research a fictional airport.

Using 'Google earth' go and look at an area to decide a suitable place for your new airport. Happy with your selection write down Latitude and Longitude, then open up Flight Sim.

In Flight Sim select the 128R Cessna aircraft, go to an airport about 30mls from where you want to make a new airport.
Fly around picking a flattish area that looks suitable and then land. Press 'Y? to put into slew mode and go to your chosen Latitude and Longitude, then note altitude and minus 3.03ft from it(to allow for your position in the Cessna and its wheels, write this down as the altitude of your airport.
Open up 'Airport for Windows' and if you haven't done so, do the tutorial that comes with AFW, making an Airport on an island. If you are like me you probably won't remember a lot of the details from this first encounter with airport design and construction, that is where my tutorial can help.
Now for your new airport click on 'New' you are given the edit screen.

New Edit screen


First from top menu click edit then preferences

Display tab


- on the Display tab you can leave most as default but make necessary changes to the file path such as..C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator 9\Addon Scenery\scenery...or which version and file path you require.

Now click on Program Directories tab

Display tab


Most of thes entries can be left as default, except change the file path to where your Executable Zip Program resides.

Next click on the Compile Configuration tab and select your version of
Flight Simulation version. And if the file paths are not appropriate then change to your version.
Compile configuraton tab


For now leave the color tab not necessary to change anything.
Next click on Sections from top menu- then General fill in the form, your name,
altitude, decide whether you want to use feet or meters, easy to make a mistake later on.
Put in the Latitude and longitude making sure you have North or South and East
or West correct, as the program will usually use its default otherwise.Fill in
name of Scenery, ICAO ID ( follow the style of the country/area your airport is
in.; Your group, usually the continent the city is in;
and your new Airport name.
Section General


Check that you have entered everything correctly and close the General box.

Now for the runway; move your mouse pointer to the dominant cross grid lines in
the centre of the edit area and read the status bar at the bottom of page , it
should read the Lat and Long that you entered. Right click on here and select
'runway' the runway dialog box opens.

Runway Dialog box


Put in length and width of runway ( remember what you decided about feet or meters and keep consistent) make Altitude 0 above ground. Decide what direction you want the runway to point, if say direct east it would be 90 degrees and the ID would automatically show 09.
Select surface of your choice ? grass, concrete, asphalt. I usually go with asphalt and click in all the boxes on the right, (looks good!)
Save as Airport name click on compile icon, Close Airport for Windows, and open FS, click on Settings then Scenery Library and you should see the name of your new airport. Click OK and select Create a flight navigate to the region, country, city, and your airport. Go fly! You should be centered at the end of your new runway. (If you are in the middle of the ocean off the coast Africa and slowly sinking then you have done something wrong, most probably a mistake in the lat or long. So go back and check everything).

If everything looks ok then close FS and open AFW. Click on 'Objects' (top menu) select the runway and in the dialog box continue with the details of the runway.
For Lights, I put medium intensity.
Check that the Lat and Long is correct to what you want.
Click on Lights and Threshold tab.

Lights and Threshold tab

Just fill in the left hand panel as the active runway for now.
I usually enter green/red threshold lights, click in threshold lights 'on' , approach lights 'Odals flashing'
click in Papi, and Papi with 30' 'normal'.
On righthand panel click in 'Runway closed' for now.Click on lefthand ILS tab, make active. Just check there is no error in Lat and Long.
Mostly everything is done for you here. For ID you can change it to 2 or 3 letters that refers to your airport name for example if it was 'Portobello you could just put PBL and the morse would use this instead of 'I-L-S'
For IM put 1km or mile, MM 2kms and OM(outer marker) I put 3 or 5mls according to what aircraft I will mostly be flying to here.Close Runway Dialog box.

Now in the edit screen we want to put some nice grass around the runway so right click and choose polygon, click on fixed texture tab, click in fixed texture then on texture viewer and choose grass.r8. For surface type I find that choosing 'invisible runway' I don't get problems with 'top down' view. You are given a triangle which if you select then press shift plus the insert Fkey you are given an extra point to make a rectangle. Pull it around the runway.
Next create Taxiway and pull it alongside the runway, in the dialog box fill in lights making centre line 09 yellow. Make several more small taxiways 1 for each end and 2 or 3 as on/offs.

Next, to put in a Control Tower right click somewhere left or right 30 m from side of runway- select '3D object'

3D Objects Dialog box


Click in Adjustable and select control tower 1 or 2, then adjust length and width and for total height = 50, floor 1 height= 40 m that will make the view deck 10m then choose colors.
This is a good time to save & compile again close AFW and open FS to check everything.
Now to complete the airport ...
Open AFW again...

To insert the Airport Facilities Directory for FS2004 you have to use AFCAD2so don't complete this section , jump to the Polygons Flatten section.
For FS98 and FS2002 click on Sections top menu again and select Airport Facilities Directory Data
Airport Facilities Directory Data Dialog box


Click in Create AFD entries BGL file most of the rest will be filled in from your 'General entries' Make sure the Altitude is correct. The tower Latitude and Longitude should reflect the place where you placed your tower. Leave radio frequencies empty for now just click 'defaults' tab.

This is now probably a good time to make polygons for flatten, exclude and surface.

Imagine a large rectangle around everything on your airport so far and Right click at its top left corner

choose create flatten area you are given a small triangle, select it and press shift+insert (F lock key on) now you have 4 nodes, pull the corners around everything.

Flatten Area -green
exclude area - yellow

Do the same with the Create exclude only it will present with a yellow rectangle so you just pull on top left or bottom right corner around the complete airport area you want.

With Create Surface right click in the centre of the airport and in the dialog box pick a type of surface I usually pick dirt, grass.




surfaceArea -purple
completed excluded, flatten and surface


Put in x-width 2000 and in the y- height 1000 then check if its about the same as the other polygons, if not click on 'Objects' (top menu) select Surface Type and double click on your entry to open dialog box again and try another combination of x and y so as to fit.




Building Dialog box


Creating buildings is an art form,
for Air terminal buildings ground level-1 choose something like number 49 at 10m high, for ground level 2 something like Number 69 is good at 10m. Put 0 meters in level 3 as Airport buildings shouldn't be too high, in my book. Flat roof - anything from numbers 9 ? 17.

Here is a completed airport.
Finished airport.


There is still a lot more you will learn as you are making airports.

If you want to put Ground and Tower communications at your airport, instead of just
'Traffic announcements' then you need to download Traffic Tools by Lee Swordy and go through his Tutorial on AFCAD FS98, FS2002. but AFCAD2 for FS2004.

--Davejey 18:19, 11 July 2008 (EDT)--Davejey 04:02, 11 July 2008 (EDT)

Credits; Tom Hiscox, Brian McWilliams for their "Airport For Windows" - Lee Swordy for his AFCAD and Traffic programs
--Davejey 20:49, 11 July 2008 (EDT)
--Davejey 23:36, 11 July 2008 (EDT)

SBuilder Page

Adding scenery to an existing airport in MSFS 2004 by using Sbuilder

Make a folder in your Flight Simulator 9\Addon Scenery named DAOA the ICAO code for the airport we are going to change. Open FS2004, Select the skyhawk aircraft and GOTO Hamguir airport in Algiers, you will be on runway 27.


As you can see it's mostly desert here, but water has been discovered and its blossoming into an Oasis. So we have to make the changes to the landscape by using SBUILDER ctrl + S for view top-down and press Y for slew mode and press your up arrow twice to slowly move along runway at 13 kias. (or you can use the num pad.

Press the minus key to view from about 5mls above the airport view or 'view options' and select 5mls

Move the aircraft along the runway until you are in the centre of runway , ctrl+ period to put the brakes on.


Write down the Latitude, Longitude and Altitude that you see at the top of the screen.
This is the position of the airport. Minus 3.5ft from the altitude the height of your cockpit to the ground and change it to meters by multiplying it by 0.3048 this is important for later. You can get this information from FS by clicking World / Map , but then you still have to do the conversion to metric; or by opening the airport in AFCAD2. It should be 748 meters for this airport.


OK open up SBUILDER.



Click NEW - Files, Properties




In Project name put DAOA

Next tab - Folders -



Click the small tab with three dots and browse to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator 9\Addon Scenery\DAOA\Scenery

Do the same for the lower little tab.

Click on Class scenery tab



and put in the lat. and long. of the airport (that you had written down)

Now is the time to do a 'save as' into the sbuilder folder, call it DAOA(Sbuilder will add the file extension SBP


Click on View - 'show aircraft' and you will see a red cross which is the
position of your aircraft in the middle of the runway.


In FS move your Aircraft back to the start of rwy 27.

Now in Sbuilder zoom up to 32 by pushing your centre wheel of the mouse, or Options zoom, you get a magnifying glass to make it to 32 or 64 will do. Click on 'Poly' on the top menu bar and draw a rectangle around you aircraft one line at a time and right click after the last line is drawn, it changes to yellow.

At rwy27



In FS move aircraft to other end of runway.

In Sbuilder Zoom out so you can see the rectangle you drew. Drag the two points of the rectangle to expand from rwy 27 to where the aircraft position (cross) is now making a long rectangle surrounding the runway, give it plenty of room around it. It may not seem to be going in the same direction as it looks in FS, but it is correct.
With the poly cursor still on, right-click on the side of the rectangle and a message box appears,





click 'properties' a dialog box appears,


grass dialog



put in name 'grass' and click in VTP circle,





and in the 'classes' - 'land classes properties' list appears with accompanying thumbnail pic, go down list and choose '128 Y grass' click OK

rectangle should change from yellow to green.





Click on Save but don't compile yet. Before we compile the bgl files we have to make an exclude polygon to overlay the existing airport polygon.

Click on View menu, Grid - choose LOT 13 Otherwise you can just Press F3 and a grid will appear over the screen. This is the LOD 13 grid.

(LOD means Level Of Detail.)




Check your zoom level to be 32. Click 'poly' and make a large square rectangle covering most of the airport, nine grid squares in this case.


Airpt xcld



Right click a side > properties > name it 'exclude' and add layer 7,





The square turns black.





You can turn the grid off if you wish by pressing F1.

Rightclick on the blacksquare - properties - click in 'bottom' and 'change'- to put the black square under the other polys.


Now start drawing other Polys, go through the same routine as you did for making the grass strip but choose other land classes,ie 'crops' or suburbs or cities etc..(To make more sides than 4, add more points to the poly by holding down the letter I key and left-click on a side.)





Surround the runway with about 4 large areas of different classes





Here click 'view' then click off 'show aircraft' - and

Close Flight Simulator


In SBUILD - Save , click on pointer tool, then top menu 'select', from list click on 'select all' then click BGL tab, click in 'copy BGL files to folders' - then - 'compile' tab.


Open FS and select settings then 'scenery library - 'add area, browse to Fs9\Addon Scenery\ DAOA

Move your new area 'DAOD' down below the Addon Scenery line ie making 'Addon Scenery' number 1.Priority again in the list. click ok and you will get a lot of red type telling you to exit, so exit FS,

Now open FS again and go to airport and see the difference you have made. You will probably have to fly aicraft to about 3000ft-4000ft and view 'Top down'.


Excluding FS objects. If there are trees and autogen buildings on or too near the runway, we exclude them by using the exclude menu tab - looks like an X.

In FS, your aircraft is at rwy 27. To the right of the runway there is a large autogen building.
Slew across to it.

In SBUILDER click on the X top menu - Left click and drag-draw a rectangle around the red-cross position, big enough to surround the building.






Release and Left click to finish and this dialog box appears, click in 'All objects'-

then OK.





You won't see a black rectangle line around the cross, but it is there and will get rid of the building.

Close FS.


In SBUILDER

Now to add a couple of objects. Click on Objects tab, with object cursor left-click on side of the grass strip, the objects dialog box appears with library object selected.





click on the 'small tab >>>' another dialog appears with a picture of a fuel tank, click OK,- then click OK. (Later If you have API files accessable you can click in 'Macro' instead of 'library objects' and navigate to the folder where your APIs are.)





Repeat this exercise and click on the other side of the grass strip and choose a different object.
Save, select all, compile BGLs

Open FS and see what you have.



This tutorial was using an existing airport.

To make a Fictional airport you have to do more preparation.

This is what I do; first go on Google Earth and see if there is a place that looks suitable for an airport and a reason why there could be one there, but isn't. I fly around the area in Flight Simulator, land and get the latitude, longtitude and altitude. Go to the closest airport on the same longtitude to compare agnetic variation, you can find this in Afacd2 or FS Navigator if you have it. When you make a fictional airport you usually have to use an 'airport exclude' using grid LOD13 as already described, and a 'LWM Flatten polygon'. This flatten is necessary, unless the ground is completely flat from one end of the runway to the other, otherwise the runway can disappear one end and be off the ground the other.

Secondly the flatten will help the aircraft to run more smoothly on the groundand not bump all over the place.

Here is how to make a flatten polygon.

Click on Poly tab and draw a rectangle freely in a large area covering the runway and a good deal around the airport ground.




With poly cursor right click at the edge and choose LWM then in the next dialog click in Flatten. Next put in the altitude/elevation in meters which is 748 for this airport. To put the flatten poly under the other polys make sure 'Bottom' is selected and press the change tab.




That's done. Click OK, the color changes to brown. Send it to the down a couple of levels as you did with the Airport exclude.





If things don't go to plan it is usually a little thing you have missed, so check everything again, Longitude, latitude. Altitude is in meters? You can sometimes cure something by deleting all the BGLs in the addon scenery airport for the airport your working on and go back to sbuilder and 'select all' ? 'compile' bgls to folders again . Another is make sure you have added your airport in FS >Settings >Scenery Library and moved it down below the Addon Scenery line ie making 'Addon Scenery' Priority 1. again in the list.

Acknowlegments to:
Luis Sa' for the Sbuilder Program.
Scruffy Duck, John Masterson for his tutorials for Sbuilder
Jay Langham for the tutorial for installing Sbuilder

Sites for Sbuilder Forums and programs:
http://www.ptsim.com/forum/
http://ccgi.scruffyduckscenery.co.uk/
http://www.fs-freeflow.com/forum2/index.php

P.S. I like to put ATC communications and parking on my airports and upgrade the runways by using AFCAD2 by Lee Swordy, great program.

Cheers, David Eyles
[email protected]


Easy Object Design Tutorial



Easy Object Designer The download for EOD is http://www.echos.ch/eod/

Using EOD to design and build buildings for use in Sbuilder.

Open EOD
From Top menu Click on Options and Path tab, write the paths to your folders.
Presuming you have Airport for Windows and FS Scenery Creator on your computer for the added textures and API folder in AFW, the paths should look like this picture...


Otherwise you may just have FS textures, which is OK.

Now click on NEW.



In Project Settings choose 'Fixed scale' for FS2004. And move the slide to 'large object' about 16.

Click on 'Cube' from the tools menu then Dim for putting in the dimensions 10 meters width by 20 meters length and 10 meters height.

Click on texture tab, you are presented with this dialog box.



click in 'Paint this side' and you are presented with a selection of textures and a selection rectangle to select the area of the texture you want.The little square at the top left hand corner of the dialog box will automatically have the 'front' selected.
For this tutorial we will pick the Genericbuildings1.bmp and select the bottom part of the texture.



Now click the next little box named 'Back'This dialog box appears...



Click on the tab - Copy texture/color from...in the message box that appears, select 'Front' then OK

Carry on clicking the next little boxes and 'Front',the same all along the row.



If you don't put textures in all the squares the building may have gaps in its joints.


Now from the tools menu click on 'Roof'



Then 'pos' then 'Z height' and click your up arrow key to move the new object to be on top of the cube object.



Then click on the Dim tab and move the slide bar to 10 width, 20 length 15 ridge and 5 height.

Click on Texture Tab and select blueroof2.bmp



Position the select tool only across the grey area, as shown. Now you can save as.. AirprtBldg into the project folder of your EOD folder as an EOD file type. On the top menu at the right click on the API tab and it will save this 3D airport building into your API folder.

Open 'Sbuilder' click object tab and left click alongside the taxiway and select macro then the >>> tab, as shown in the tutorials, browse to your API folder and select the Airprtbldg.API file
Save, select all and compile.That's all there is to it!

Open FS2004 and see your new Airport building.





Experiment with different textures to make your own 'Unique' buildings and objects. There is a lot more to do in EOD which you will find in the help files.

Acknowledgment: Matthias Bruckner for his Easy Object Designer program.

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