captain420

How to manually add scenery/addons into P3D v4 the right way

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I believe this should be stickied or pinned. There are several threads going on about people trying to copy over existing add on airports to P3D v4 with success. But there seems to be a fair amount of confusion on a few others, including me on how to properly do this.

Currently I am manually adding the scenery from P3D v4's World > Scenery Library manual and that for the most part has worked. But I also see people manually editing xml files such as add-on.xml, and addon.cfg and such. Is this really necessary? And then again, some add-ons include more than just a scenery and textures folder but also install files into Effects, Sound, and sometimes Scenery/World/Scenery folder as well. So my next question is how do we deal with those files when we want to install everything outside of P3D v4's default install folder, keeping it as clean as possible while having all our add-ons outside of that folder. How can this be accomplished?

For example, I have moved over my Aerosoft Dillingham's Airport folder from P3D v3, and put it in a location called E:\P3D Addons\ and inside there I have made a folder called Aerosoft Dillingham, and inside of that there are Effects, Scenery, Textures. Sound folder... but there's one file that requires me to copy it into my P3D v4/Scenery/World/Scenery folder. I'm not sure how to deal with this file because I don't want it to be inside my P3D v4's default folder, so where do I place this file?

It would be nice if someone can explain the process in detail or if someone can provide us with a video tutorial on how to manage these add-ons for P3D v4, it would benefit the community greatly.

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27 minutes ago, captain420 said:

I believe this should be stickied or pinned. There are several threads going on about people trying to copy over existing add on airports to P3D v4 with success. But there seems to be a fair amount of confusion on a few others, including me on how to properly do this.

Currently I am manually adding the scenery from P3D v4's World > Scenery Library manual and that for the most part has worked. But I also see people manually editing xml files such as add-on.xml, and addon.cfg and such. Is this really necessary? And then again, some add-ons include more than just a scenery and textures folder but also install files into Effects, Sound, and sometimes Scenery/World/Scenery folder as well. So my next question is how do we deal with those files when we want to install everything outside of P3D v4's default install folder, keeping it as clean as possible while having all our add-ons outside of that folder. How can this be accomplished?

For example, I have moved over my Aerosoft Dillingham's Airport folder from P3D v3, and put it in a location called E:\P3D Addons\ and inside there I have made a folder called Aerosoft Dillingham, and inside of that there are Effects, Scenery, Textures. Sound folder... but there's one file that requires me to copy it into my P3D v4/Scenery/World/Scenery folder. I'm not sure how to deal with this file because I don't want it to be inside my P3D v4's default folder, so where do I place this file?

It would be nice if someone can explain the process in detail or if someone can provide us with a video tutorial on how to manage these add-ons for P3D v4, it would benefit the community greatly.

I was also adding sceneries manually into library early this morning but i realized used addon.xml is a better method. I will post my method using old installers how I am able to safely add sceneries without touching core structures.

I wish there was also a way to add freeware aircraft to p3d without touching simobjects folder.

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The SDK allows add-on.xml to add scenery, textures, simobjects, etc. Why not?

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Okay please share a guide or tutorial on how we can manage to get our old scenery and add-ons from P3D v3 and prior into P3D v4 the right way please. So that way we don't miss other files that gets copied into internal folders like Effects, Sound, and others that we're unaware of.

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1 hour ago, captain420 said:

Okay please share a guide or tutorial on how we can manage to get our old scenery and add-ons from P3D v3 and prior into P3D v4 the right way please. So that way we don't miss other files that gets copied into internal folders like Effects, Sound, and others that we're unaware of.

+1

I confused with all the variations on the same theme with this add-on.xml, some posts say one thing others another, a concise guide with examples for aircraft and scenery installations, writing the xml code and folders to place the add-on.xml

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You can always find the latest version in my Lorby-SI support forum here on AVSIM.

https://www.avsim.com/forums/forum/788-lorby-si-support-forum/

 

 

On 6/5/2017 at 3:06 PM, captain420 said:

For example, I have moved over my Aerosoft Dillingham's Airport folder from P3D v3, and put it in a location called E:\P3D Addons\ and inside there I have made a folder called Aerosoft Dillingham, and inside of that there are Effects, Scenery, Textures. Sound folder... but there's one file that requires me to copy it into my P3D v4/Scenery/World/Scenery folder. I'm not sure how to deal with this file because I don't want it to be inside my P3D v4's default folder, so where do I place this file?

The XML to reflect your installation would look like this:
C:\Users\...\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\Aerosoft Dillingham\add-on.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<SimBase.Document Type="AddOnXml" version="4,0" id="add-on">
<AddOn.Name>Aerosoft Dillingham</AddOn.Name>
<AddOn.Description>Content for scenery</AddOn.Description>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>Scenery</Category>
  <Path>E:\P3D Addons\Aerosoft Dillingham</Path>
<Name>Aerosoft Dillingham</Name>
  </AddOn.Component>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>Effects</Category>
  <Path>E:\P3D Addons\Aerosoft Dillingham\Effects</Path>
</AddOn.Component>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>Sound</Category>
  <Path>E:\P3D Addons\Aerosoft Dillingham\Sound</Path>
</AddOn.Component>
</SimBase.Document>

The "<Category>Scenery" tag assumes that you have the folders organized like this:
E:\P3D Addons\Aerosoft Dillingham\Scenery
E:\P3D Addons\Aerosoft Dillingham\Texture

For organizing the layer numbers IMHO you need a tool. The "<Category>Scenery" tag in this example doesn't have a "<Layer>" tag, so it will just be placed on top of the library. If you want to control this manually, then this would put it right above the default scenery.cfg

...
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>Scenery</Category>
  <Path>E:\P3D Addons\Aerosoft Dillingham</Path>
  <Name>Aerosoft Dillingham</Name>
  <Layer>127</Layer>
</AddOn.Component>
...

For those bgl files that need to go into the base layer, I suggest creating an additional folder:
E:\P3D Addons\BaseLayer\Scenery

and the corresponding XML:
C:\Users\...\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\Base Layer\add-on.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<SimBase.Document Type="AddOnXml" version="4,0" id="add-on">
  <AddOn.Name>My Base Layer</AddOn.Name>
  <AddOn.Description>BGL files for the base scenery layer</AddOn.Description>
  <AddOn.Component>
    <Category>Scenery</Category>
    <Path>E:\P3D Addons\BaseLayer</Path>
    <Name>BaseLayerBGLs</Name>
    <Layer>1</Layer>
  </AddOn.Component>
</SimBase.Document>

Example for aircraft:

To collect my fire fighting aircraft in one place, I created a folder in Documents:
C:\Users\...\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\FireFightingAircraft\Content
(that was my choice, it is not necessary to do it like that - you can put that folder anywhere)
When installing the aircraft I point the installer at this folder. So I end up having "SimObjects", "Gauges", "Effects", "Sound" in there.
The XML looks like this:
C:\Users\...\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\FireFightingAircraft\add-on.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<SimBase.Document Type="AddOnXml" version="4,0" id="add-on">
<AddOn.Name>FireFighting Aircraft</AddOn.Name>
<AddOn.Description>Content for FF addons</AddOn.Description>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>SimObjects</Category>
  <Path>Content\SimObjects\Airplanes</Path>
</AddOn.Component>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>SimObjects</Category>
  <Path>Content\SimObjects\Rotorcraft</Path>
</AddOn.Component>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>Effects</Category>
  <Path>Content\Effects</Path>
</AddOn.Component>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>Gauges</Category>
  <Path>Content\Gauges</Path>
</AddOn.Component>
<AddOn.Component>
  <Category>Sound</Category>
  <Path>Content\Sound</Path>
</AddOn.Component>
</SimBase.Document>

I suggest using Notepad++ for editing XML files.

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Oliver outstanding! Thanks for the informative and well detailed explanation. Hopefully this should help others as well. I will give this a try and see how it goes.

I use Sublime Text for my text editor btw, so I think I'll be okay.

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11 minutes ago, captain420 said:

Oliver outstanding! Thanks for the informative and well detailed explanation. Hopefully this should help others as well. I will give this a try and see how it goes.

I use Sublime Text for my text editor btw, so I think I'll be okay.

Yes, well. The scenery and aircraft developers of old used many tricks to make their products work, and so far I haven't been too lucky in finding products that work without causing a massive amount of content errors (which lead to stutters in my sim). Some addons rely on the folder structure of the base simulator, and these cannot work with the XML based method.

Textures seem to have changed. I have quite a lot of scenery and aircraft where parts are invisible.

YMMV

Best regards and good luck!
Oliver

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Q: Can I have more than one AddOn.Component of the same type in an add-on.xml? For example multiple Scenery entries?

A: Yes. You could reference all your addon sceneries in a single xml. But when in the sim, you can only disable the whole xml, not individual parts of it.

Best regards

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4 hours ago, Lorby_SI said:

Q: Can I have more than one AddOn.Component of the same type in an add-on.xml? For example multiple Scenery entries?

A: Yes. You could reference all your addon sceneries in a single xml. But when in the sim, you can only disable the whole xml, not individual parts of it.

Best regards

So for instance this could be a good way to have a set of photo-real sceneries that can be disabled with one click, or group sceneries by global area (USA, Europe etc) and only have the appropriate ones active :)

Cheers

Keith

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texturemaxload=12 could fix it too. 30 is really high and might be a drag on your system.

You can try texture bandwidth multiplayer higher than 30 I changed mine to fsx steam's setting of 160 and that got rid of the slow texture loading and I did not need to add texturemaxload

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40 minutes ago, 777200lrf said:

texturemaxload=12 could fix it too. 30 is really high and might be a drag on your system.

You can try texture bandwidth multiplayer higher than 30 I changed mine to fsx steam's setting of 160 and that got rid of the slow texture loading and I did not need to add texturemaxload

?

Think you might  have the wrong  thread here.

gb.

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For all to read is the section of the Learning Centre H:\Prepar3d V4\Learning Centre.chm  SDK> ADD-ons>Add-on Packages  this contains very clear info about add ons..

Jorge

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2 minutes ago, gboz said:

?

Think you might  have the wrong  thread here.

gb.

I did thank you in the OP's other topic right below

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7 hours ago, Lorby_SI said:

Q: Can I have more than one AddOn.Component of the same type in an add-on.xml? For example multiple Scenery entries?

A: Yes. You could reference all your addon sceneries in a single xml. But when in the sim, you can only disable the whole xml, not individual parts of it.

Best regards

I do not understand what the advantage of using add-on.xml is over using scenery.cfg and simobjects.cfg files as in V3?

If you have to import > 100 sceneries into add-on.xml this is going to be a mess....

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37 minutes ago, Cargostorm said:

I do not understand what the advantage of using add-on.xml is over using scenery.cfg and simobjects.cfg files as in V3?

If you have to import > 100 sceneries into add-on.xml this is going to be a mess....

You can do a complete reinstall of P3D and it will all just work out of the box with no reinstalling of your scenery or aircraft.  Given how many updated P3D typically do over time this will become extremely useful.

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1 hour ago, Cargostorm said:

I do not understand what the advantage of using add-on.xml is over using scenery.cfg and simobjects.cfg files as in V3?

If you have to import > 100 sceneries into add-on.xml this is going to be a mess....

At this point in time it is a matter of taste. The recommendation to use XML files is aimed at developers, as part of the SDK spec. 

If you would create the XML files manually, that would indeed be a lot of work compared to using the scenery library dialog. But if you have a tool to do it for you, there is no difference - other than the XML files will survive a full uninstall and cleanup of the simulator. Theoretically, even the next major release would not require a reinstall of your addons (unless something else gets changed in the sim).

But the biggest advantage for me is, that I can add everything with those XML files, not just scenery and aircraft. Textures, Shaders, EXEs, DLLs, Sound, Gauges, Weather, Scaleforms - every type of content you can imagine. And for each of these categories it is done exactly the same way. No more searching for and hacking of internal config files. "exe.xml, dll.xml, SimObject paths, cfg files" - are all a thing of the past.

Best regards

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biggest advantage for me is, that I can add everything with those XML files

I noticed that the A2A example posted elsewhere includes a scripts folder - the V4 SDK doesn't list 'scripts' so I don't know if that's wishful thinking by A2A or you can extend the supported folders...

Cheers
Keith

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9 hours ago, Lorby_SI said:

The scenery and aircraft developers of old used many tricks to make their products work, and so far I haven't been too lucky in finding products that work without causing a massive amount of content errors (which lead to stutters in my sim). Some addons rely on the folder structure of the base simulator, and these cannot work with the XML based method.

Thanks for the info.  Are you saying that most of your add-ons scenery moved from V3 to V4 using this method cause stutters and content errors?  May be you could share them with us so we can avoid them.  Also, the add-on.xml method is a good way to cleanly remove an add-on if it turns out to be a bad one.  As for layer, one can look at the V3 scenery.cfg and find out the current layer number and then use it the add-on.xml.  "Some addons rely on the folder structure of the base simulator, and these cannot work with the XML based method" do you have example of these?  Most likely the publisher/developer of these add-ons can be excluded wholesale, while we wait for them to get on board if at all.  I know ORBX stuffs still reside inside the P3D folder and make change to internal structure such as the World/Global folder inside the base Scenery folder.

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Dear lord, this seems like it's going to get confusing...some sceneries in addon.xml...others in scenery.cfg.  I hope something like SimStarter can help us manage it.  Huge opportunity here.

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1 minute ago, Gregg_Seipp said:

Dear lord, this seems like it's going to get confusing...some sceneries in addon.xml...others in scenery.cfg.  I hope something like SimStarter can help us manage it.  Huge opportunity here.

I would say stick to the add-on.xml method.  Yes, there is an upfront investment cost, but  if you need to reinstall P3D or rebuild your PC, you will save days of re-installing.

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8 minutes ago, Anxu00 said:

"Some addons rely on the folder structure of the base simulator, and these cannot work with the XML based method" do you have example of these?

Which addons you mean? I do not know about addon which cant be moved to different location,

 

Currently with add-on packages we can change default scenery, textures, shaders without need to replace original files, so addons like ORBX FTX Base (v4 versions still do same file replacement :( ) , REX or URP can add files from external place at same way as replacing original files. So when you remove whole sim folder, they can work when  sim will be reinstalled.

 

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7 minutes ago, Anxu00 said:

Thanks for the info.  Are you saying that most of your add-ons scenery moved from V3 to V4 using this method cause stutters and content errors?  May be you could share them with us so we can avoid them.  Also, the add-on.xml method is a good way to cleanly remove an add-on if it turns out to be a bad one.  As for layer, one can look at the V3 scenery.cfg and find out the current layer number and then use it the add-on.xml.  "Some addons rely on the folder structure of the base simulator, and these cannot work with the XML based method" do you have example of these?  Most likely the publisher/developer of these add-ons can be excluded wholesale, while we wait for them to get on board if at all.  I know ORBX stuffs still reside inside the P3D folder and make change to internal structure such as the World/Global folder inside the base Scenery folder.

Hi,

these content errors are thrown by payware and freeware addons alike. I think it would be out of place to list them here. You can check for yourself by turning on the content error log in the simulator, which will create a text file with all issues in "Documents/Prepar3D V4 Files".

Addons that rely on folder structure are often aircraft. That is an old problem actually, if you were using different "hangars" for your addons you may have run into the same issues. For example, a programmatic gauge may be looking for its artwork in a specific folder - which it may not be able to find when the DLL and the artwork reside outside of the simulator.

The deal with ORBX is, that they don't merely "add" - many of their products overwrite what is there - they massively alter the simulator itself. Not sure if this can work with an external install, but that is for them to find out. All of it is lost when you uninstall and reinstall the sim.

I have promised myself that this time I will stay away from legacy content - even if I have to cry a little bit over the loss...

Best regards

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Just now, Jiri Kocman said:

Which addons you mean? I do not know about addon which cant be moved to different location

I was asking another poster : Oliver Binder (Lorby_SI)

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2 minutes ago, Lorby_SI said:

these content errors are thrown by payware and freeware addons alike. I think it would be out of place to list them here. You can check for yourself by turning on the content error log in the simulator, which will create a text file with all issues in "Documents/Prepar3D V4 Files".

I see.  Thx  So the add-ons may log content errors and still work "fine" as far as you can tell, or if the errors are in the log, it also means that it does not work?

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