B777ER

Still Confused

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Yes I read the manual and parsed through the forum here and I am still confused. Maybe I need Poppet (Elaine) to do one of her excellent video tutorials on how this program works. I still don't quite understand the nuances of it with respect to adding scenery. I understand there are two ways for P3Dv4 to see the scenery, via the old scenery.cfg method or the new xml method. What confuses me is two things:

1. Creating xml files. I have all the Taxi2Gate scenery that I want to add into v4. They use old installers as well. I would like to do it in a manner that I can update P3Dv4 say when a new version comes out without having to reinstall these sceneries but still not sure how that is done.Do I install them the old way and then manipulate them with this tool?

2. How does this tool work when it comes to updating P3Dv4 to say v4.1 when that eventually comes out in the future? Not understanding that process either. How would one point the scenery back to v4.1 so it sees everything again?

The manual I think is written from a perspective that the user already has a sound understanding of how this all works but for a new user that does not I think there needs to be more of a step by step type guide. Thank you

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Hello Eric,

you are correct, the manual and the tool were basically written for the advanced user. Because of the dangers involved in using these tools it is advisable that you know what you are doing. The tool just makes it easier.

About your questions:

1. You install the scenery the old way, but you change the installation path. What I personally am doing is, I have a special folder, where I point the installers of the addons to, for example "F:\MySceneries". I make a backup copy of my config files, in case that the installer should decide to mess with my cfg files. Then the installer does whatever it wants - in that remote folder, not in the P3D base directory. I have created one add-on.xml file referencing the MySceneries folder where I then add the new scenery area to - if necessary.

2. You don't have to do anything. The P4AO creates the add-on.xml files in the autodiscover directory of P3D. So even if you fully uninstall the sim, as long as you leave "\Documents\Prepar3D V4 Add-ons" intact, the addons will be rediscovered automatically by the sim when you reinstall it. No further action is required.

Best regards

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44 minutes ago, Lorby_SI said:

 I have created one add-on.xml file referencing the MySceneries folder where I then add the new scenery area to - if necessary.

 

Okay, beginning to understand it better now. Question, this add-on.xml that you created, when you say you created do you mean you did this with the P4AO tool? And if so how is that done and how do you reference that folder you're dumping your sceneries into? In P3Dv3 I had a folder outside of it that I dumped my scenery into and referenced back to it via the scenery.cfg "local" line.

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1 hour ago, B777ER said:

Okay, beginning to understand it better now. Question, this add-on.xml that you created, when you say you created do you mean you did this with the P4AO tool? And if so how is that done and how do you reference that folder you're dumping your sceneries into? In P3Dv3 I had a folder outside of it that I dumped my scenery into and referenced back to it via the scenery.cfg "local" line.

Hello Eric,

yes, with the tool, that's what it is for.

First page, "Add scenery", select if you want to create a new add-on.xml or use an existing one, navigate to the scenery folder with "Select scenery", enter a title, "Submit", push it to the desired position in the list, "Save".

This will automatically create the add-on.xml file and make it known to the simulator.

For the next scenery, you just select the same Add-on xml in the top drop down list on the "Add scenery" dialog. An add-on.xml can contain as many scenery areas as you want, think of it as a localized scenery.cfg that just has a different format. Which leads to an advanced concept: as you can activate and deactivate these add-on.xmls at will (there is a dialog in P3D for that too), you could have one add-on.xml for North America with photoreal MSE and a second one referencing Ultimate terrain (and a third with OrbX if you go through all the trouble and externalize it) . By always only activating one of them you can switch between different types of scenery. That goes for every type of content that you leave outside of the sim. Addon.xmls work for every type of simulator content, not only scenery. You can organize aircraft, textures, shaders, sounds...etc. in them.

Best regards

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Ahhh, very good. Clear now...many thanks for your assistance in this matter. 

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On 7/16/2017 at 11:21 AM, Lorby_SI said:

Hello Eric,

you are correct, the manual and the tool were basically written for the advanced user. Because of the dangers involved in using these tools it is advisable that you know what you are doing. The tool just makes it easier.

About your questions:

1. You install the scenery the old way, but you change the installation path. What I personally am doing is, I have a special folder, where I point the installers of the addons to, for example "F:\MySceneries". I make a backup copy of my config files, in case that the installer should decide to mess with my cfg files. Then the installer does whatever it wants - in that remote folder, not in the P3D base directory. I have created one add-on.xml file referencing the MySceneries folder where I then add the new scenery area to - if necessary.

2. You don't have to do anything. The P4AO creates the add-on.xml files in the autodiscover directory of P3D. So even if you fully uninstall the sim, as long as you leave "\Documents\Prepar3D V4 Add-ons" intact, the addons will be rediscovered automatically by the sim when you reinstall it. No further action is required.

Best regards

Thanks for posting this regarding the addon xml.. one question though, what about fsdt installers.. for instance.. the path it wants is Addon Manager\FSdreamteam upon installing.. are you just chaning every installer fsdt, airplanes, etc to point to F:\MySceneries in your case.. what of the case where the installer installs effects and other things in the root p3d folder, world/scenery , textures etc?  How do you capture what those files are and then move them to the custom folder, under what i would assume is the same structure for each category?  

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1 hour ago, theskyisthelimit said:

Thanks for posting this regarding the addon xml.. one question though, what about fsdt installers.. for instance.. the path it wants is Addon Manager\FSdreamteam upon installing.. are you just chaning every installer fsdt, airplanes, etc to point to F:\MySceneries in your case.. what of the case where the installer installs effects and other things in the root p3d folder, world/scenery , textures etc?  How do you capture what those files are and then move them to the custom folder, under what i would assume is the same structure for each category?  

Hi,

I haven't specifically tried FSDT, sorry. And I am not an expert on all matters scenery - I don't have time for using the sim for any other purpose than development. Isn't the "Addon Manager" path outside of the simulator anyway? Currently I am depositing all aircraft in a folder in "Documents". All scenery is on other SSD drives anyway, so the "externalizing" of scenery is something that I have always done.

Usually, when you point the installer at a different folder, all subfolders (including Effects) are created automatically. So it is realtively easy to collect the files. Some installers want a FSX.EXE or Prepar3d.exe in that folder, so I copied those two into my temp folder too. After "installation" I move the files manually to where I want them. Back in the day with FSX I was using a tool that I made that took a snapshot of all files in my simulator setup and alerted me to any changes. There are more professional tools for this too - not necessarily specific for the flightsim, but for registering changes in the file system in general.

Best regards

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