Markito

Scenery configuration in P3Dv4

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Hello Captains,

I migrated from FSX to P3Dv4 and I am having some scenery configuration issues. In FSX I was able as desired and almost without no restrictions to move up and down my scenery items, which is apparently not the case in P3D.

For example, I installed some FSDG freeware (Oresund, Cape Verde, Tromelin, etc.) items which can't be moved. I tried to group/move these with the most recent version of the Scenery Config Tool Software (version 1.1.9). After moving these items up and down with Scenery Config Tool, my scenery library was somehow messed up in P3Dv4. I had scenery items which originally couldn't be moved, nor edited together with - I think - exactly the same layers, but with a different name created by the SCT. Apart from that, whenever I want to refresh my Scenery Library, I receive the following message box:

Prepar3D has detected non-sequential layer ordering within the Scenery Library list. Would you like Prepar3D to attempt to repair the issue? Yes/No.

I clikced 'yes' the first time hoping that the issue would be solved. At the same time I put the previously backed up scenery config file back to the respective folder. However, whenever I install a new scenery item and when adding it manually to my Scenery Library the message still appears again and again.

There is obviously something wrong. Otherwise that irritating message would certainly appear never again.

Any help and support appreciated.

Nice flights,

Marco Furtado

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Hi Marco,

Grayed out sceneries in the Scenery Library within the sim are sceneries that are installed using the add-on.xml method; they cannot be moved around. I do not like this method at all, it's complex and confusing for many users and it's completely unnecessary in my opinion: the old scenery.cfg method was just fine and must be used by some scenery developers anyway because of the layering issue you just ran in to. I'm afraid it's not an easy task to solve your issue if you do not understand how the add-on.xml method works (which is understandable). The best thing to do (apart from uninstalling and reinstalling everything) is to uninstall all your add-on scenery, delete the %ProgramData%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\scenery.cfg file, run and close the sim (this will create a new scenery.cfg file) and install your add-on scenery again.

Maarten

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Marco,  I am about as far from an expert on this subject as it is possible to be, but there is another way. The Lorby-Si Addon Manager will enable you to position xml addons in your scenery library to your desired position. This is a freeware program available on the Lorbi-Si website:  http://lorby-si.weebly.com/downloads.html   I myself have used it with great success for this very purpose, as have many others who visit this forum.  It has a graphical interface which makes it really easy to use.

Good luck and Cheers,

Tom

 

 

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Hi Tom,

The Lorby-Si Addon Manager can certainly do that (just like my own SimLauncherX application), but the question is if it can fix the situation where Marco has ended up in. It's at least worth a try.

Maarten

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Dear Maarten and Tom,

Thank you very much for your replies and suggestions. I am sure they will be very helpful once I am not an expert on editing xml-files neither.

I will try not to think about uninstalling every single scenery item and install it again. But if that is really necessary, I will certainly do so and follow Maarten's suggestion.

However, I would be very pleased if Tom's suggestion was a final solution to the issues I am facing now. Does LORBY-SI Addon Manager fix the situation I have described above? 

Thank you very much again.

Marco

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Hi Marco,

That's difficult to predict, it all depends on how 'messed up' your situation is. You just need to try; if nothing works, reinstalling your add-on scenery or reinstalling everything is always an option. Lorby-Si's Addon Manager can certainly fix some issues. My own SimLauncherX application can also fix a number of scenery library issues.

Maarten

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Hi Maarten (and also Tom),

I was able to establish my desired scenery library priorities with Lorby SI Addon Manager, but I still get the message "Prepar3D has detected non-sequential layer ordering within the Scenery Library list. Would you like ... bla, bla, bla...", in spite of having checked encoding errors, which have not appeared anymore.

Do you think that FSDG xml files are still responsible for that message?

Thanks again very much...

Marco

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Hi Marco,

Yes, that could be the case, but it could still be something in the scenery.cfg file. To rule that out, you can PM me your scenery.cfg file and I will check it for you.

Maarten

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I was able to establish my desired scenery library priorities with Lorby SI Addon Manager, but I still get the message "Prepar3D has detected non-sequential layer ordering within the Scenery Library list. Would you like ... bla, bla, bla...", in spite of having checked encoding errors, which have not appeared anymore.

Do you think that FSDG xml files are still responsible for that message?

Hi,

The nature of this "error" you see here is with P3Dv4 and how it is - in its' current version - evaluating the layer information of the add-ons listed in the scenery.cfg file and potential layer information being present in add-on.xml files. It is not something to do with FSDT scenery.

You will see this error as soon as one add-on is installed via the add-on.xml method. The scenery and everythign will work just fine. There is a post on the LM forums where one of the LM staff is responsing on the same question that they (LM) will look into changing this evaluation in a future version to make it not appear again. (I wanted to link to this post, but I could not find it anymore.)

 

One word to the usage of Lorby's tool (maybe the same is true as well for other tools that attempt to re-order the scenery layers).

I used that tool to re-order my addons for quite some time with mixed success. I was partially able to re-order the scenery but some titles would not nicely fit in and change their order or keep it whenever I wanted to push them up or down. Then, I installed OrbX vector and this screwed up my scenery order to a point that even the OrbX region entries where all over the place, i.e. in no obvious order anymore (when looking at the Scenery Library Editor). When looking at the add-on.xml files from e.g. FSDT or other scenery that made use of this method of registration I realized that most of them had the same layer number in the <layer> tag. This was definitely conflicting heavily with what the scenery engine could handle, thus the confusion in the Scenery Library Editor.

I was able to repair scenery configuration by manually removing all layer information from all add-on.xml files I had in the folder "C:\Users\me\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons". I kept it only for the airport altitude correction files from FSDG's add-ons (not FSDT!). Now every other addon installed via add-on.xml is above all my addons installed via the scenery.cfg file and in no particular order. I have since not attempted to reorder any entry with Lorby's tool.

Now, you can start asking, why LM did allow all this to happen ...? Well, we better ask them, and hope for the next version of P3Dv4 - which IMO is a great sim and I felt deeply in love with it - if there just would not be that unfinished business with the scenery registration....


Cheers
Frank

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, mdata said:

 

I was able to repair scenery configuration by manually removing all layer information from all add-on.xml files I had in the folder "C:\Users\me\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons". I kept it only for the airport altitude correction files from FSDG's add-ons (not FSDT!). Now every other addon installed via add-on.xml is above all my addons installed via the scenery.cfg file and in no particular order. I have since not attempted to reorder any entry with Lorby's tool.

Now, you can start asking, why LM did allow all this to happen ...? Well, we better ask them, and hope for the next version of P3Dv4 - which IMO is a great sim and I felt deeply in love with it - if there just would not be that unfinished business with the scenery registration....


Cheers
Frank

 

Since you took out the layer info from the addon xmls.. how do you deal with certain addons that need to go above others.. ie: there are some like the hawaii freeware's that certain islands need to go above others.. and the landclass at the bottom.. i'm doing this with a custom folder for addons and scenery and using the Lorby tool to move them up and down.. i also have ftx entries.. so far i'm just keeping everything above the ftx entries with the exception of maybe landclass (and i'm thinking of moving photoscenery addons just above this as well).

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Dear all,

Thank you so much for all replies willing to help me with this issue. I am happy to have been able to reorder my SL priorities and not having to uninstall and reinstall every item again.

Nice flights to all of you.

Cheers,

Marco

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Hi Marco,

I'm glad you were able to get everything working again!

i agree with Frank: the whole add-on.xml thing has not been thought over very well by LM. It's unnecessarily complex (configuration files all over the place) and reordering layers is nearly impossible. Some sceneries simply need a specific order and the only way to do that (apart from processing all those configuration files in an installer...) is by using the scenery.cfg file, defeating the purpose of using add-on.xml files. It's also a nightmare for addon developers like myself that need to build a database of airports, navaids, aircraft etc.. Funny enough some people seem to think that using add-on.xml files is better than using the scenery.cfg file and start to convert everything. There's absolutely no need to do so, unless the scenery uses things like e.g. effects or sounds.

Just about the only person in our community that is in favor of the new method, is mr. FlyTampa (aka Virtuali). For someone making airport sceneries only it's indeed a nice solution, but not for the rest of the community I'm afraid.

Maarten

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Since you took out the layer info from the addon xmls.. how do you deal with certain addons that need to go above others.. ie: there are some like the hawaii freeware's that certain islands need to go above others.. and the landclass at the bottom.. i'm doing this with a custom folder for addons and scenery and using the Lorby tool to move them up and down.. i also have ftx entries.. so far i'm just keeping everything above the ftx entries with the exception of maybe landclass (and i'm thinking of moving photoscenery addons just above this as well).

I think this can be achieved by combining the parts needed by an addon in one XML file. E.g. by adding one <AddOn.Component>... </AddOn.Component> entry for each required item (landclass, airport, etc). I assume the order in the XML is used as the order of loading the respective entry.

 

Quote

i agree with Frank: the whole add-on.xml thing has not been thought over very well by LM. It's unnecessarily complex (configuration files all over the place) and reordering layers is nearly impossible. Some sceneries simply need a specific order and the only way to do that (apart from processing all those configuration files in an installer...) is by using the scenery.cfg file, defeating the purpose of using add-on.xml files. It's also a nightmare for addon developers like myself that need to build a database of airports, navaids, aircraft etc.. Funny enough some people seem to think that using add-on.xml files is better than using the scenery.cfg file and start to convert everything. There's absolutely no need to do so, unless the scenery uses things like e.g. effects or sounds.

IMO LM needs to create an interface and engine that is either able to manage both addon registration facilities. Or they must force all developers (as well OrbX ...!) to start registering their addons via the new XML method.
Somehow I sense LM wants to get everybody out of the classic configuration files sooner or later. But I cannot imagine that LM would then leave developers and end users without a tool to specify layer information - getting this right is too important for the proper functioning of the world layers.
I have thought about how this tool and the engine could look like (from the naive perspective of an end user) but came back only with the idea of centralizing the scenery information again.
At the end, like you say Maarten, the developer knows best which parts of his scenery need to go above which. And the end user must be made aware of where these part in the scenerey library may or must not go. There is so many different permutations of scenery on end users' computers that I cannot imagine an automatism would be able to get scenery perfectly in order when adding addon after addon. So, the end user must be able to reorder scenery and LM must provide a tool for it whatever method for scenery registration they will prefer at the end.

Best Regards
Frank

 

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Let's see what LM will provide to solve issues like these - and other ones (like for example the exaggerated stuttering when dynamic lighting is turned on during night flights).

Thanks again to each one of you...

Best wishes and nice flights,

Marco

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Lord, I hope this situation gets straightened out.

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I don't think there is a problem with LM... if there is a problem is not understanding the method.  You can order things any way you want to with how you order the add-on.xml files and the order of the document folders containing those xml files.  Real simple rule, first read goes on top, next read goes on top of that.  Anything that needs to be below something else needs to be read before that other thing.  Simple.  Multiple addon components can be included in one add-on.xml file.  I have one file for each developer and one for the ole' Addon Scenery folder where we put stuff like AFCADs from Smith, and I have a Global add-on.xml for the scenery\world\scenery type of stuff.  The latter is the only addon component I have with a layer number specified (3).  You have complete control over the order of things.

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Hi Dan,

All very well, but that means that each and every user has to go and start manipulating folders, add-on.xml, add-on.cfg and scenery.cfg files. That's hardly user friendly I would say. I know how it works, but you cannot expect an ordinary user to do all of that. It's also very impractable for scenery publishers: you cannot make an installer that takes all of this into account.

Maarten

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26 minutes ago, downscc said:

...if there is a problem it's not understanding the method.  You can order things any way you want to with how you order the add-on.xml files and the order of the document folders containing those xml files.  Real simple rule, first read goes on top, next read goes on top of that.  Anything that needs to be below something else needs to be read before that other thing.  Simple.  Multiple addon components can be included in one add-on.xml file... You have complete control over the order of things.

I am mirroring this in my setup and have completely jumped on board with the format. Not only is it simple (once you get the hang of it) but it will make updating each iteration of v4 a breeze. 

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33 minutes ago, downscc said:

 Multiple addon components can be included in one add-on.xml file.  I have one file for each developer and one for the ole' Addon Scenery folder where we put stuff like AFCADs from Smith, and I have a Global add-on.xml for the scenery\world\scenery type of stuff.  The latter is the only addon component I have with a layer number specified (3).  You have complete control over the order of things.

For your world/scenery bgl files.. i assume then.. for multiple vendors that have these files going in the world /scenery folder.. you are looping them all in one big custom scenery/world/scenery folder?

I think thats maybe where i differ.. as of now i have a different worldscenery for each vendor set to layer 3.. which i dont think will work.. i think i need t just make one single add-on.xml that covers all vendors scenery/world/scenery files in one shot with layer set to 3?

 

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4 hours ago, theskyisthelimit said:

For your world/scenery bgl files.. i assume then.. for multiple vendors that have these files going in the world /scenery folder.. you are looping them all in one big custom scenery/world/scenery folder?

I think thats maybe where i differ.. as of now i have a different worldscenery for each vendor set to layer 3.. which i dont think will work.. i think i need t just make one single add-on.xml that covers all vendors scenery/world/scenery files in one shot with layer set to 3?

 

Quite the opposite, of the 80-90 sceneries I have installed only a few (less than 3) include stuff in the world/scenery folder... it is very manageable... more manageable than putting in the p3d\scenery\world folder in my opinion.  However, you can put multiple components that point to multiple scenery\world\scenery locations I guess.  This is what I do with FlyTampa who includes effects and simobjects\boats in a few of their products, which I put right alongside the rest of the FlyTampa locations and their Library all in the same add-on.xml.... there is not wrong way, but I think the best way is one that is easy to maintain.

 

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51 minutes ago, downscc said:

Quite the opposite, of the 80-90 sceneries I have installed only a few (less than 3) include stuff in the world/scenery folder... it is very manageable... more manageable than putting in the p3d\scenery\world folder in my opinion.  However, you can put multiple components that point to multiple scenery\world\scenery locations I guess.  This is what I do with FlyTampa who includes effects and simobjects\boats in a few of their products, which I put right alongside the rest of the FlyTampa locations and their Library all in the same add-on.xml.... there is not wrong way, but I think the best way is one that is easy to maintain.

 

Ok, so you are just dumping them into one single world/scenery folder then with a layer 3 setting?  I just figured that if they were separate, it wouldnt know what to do with 3 entries (for example) that all had layer 3 set.. i would think 2 of them could become 4, 5 etc, and it wouldnt work right as a world/scenery layer then.. hence i think ill just combine them all in one folder across vendors.

The other thing was on aircraft and the effects folders.. someone mentioned they ran into an issue installing aircraft with multiple effects folders (they werent dumping all aircraft into the same install path).. so they had multiple effects folders, some 55 or more and that seemed to be a limit.. 

How are you handling your aircraft again?  All in one big folder (so one effects folder for instance), or separate subfolders.. any known issues so far?  I only have 3-4 aircraft done so far, so too soon to tell, though i may redo and dump em all to the same install path.

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5 hours ago, ZLA Steve said:

I am mirroring this in my setup and have completely jumped on board with the format. Not only is it simple (once you get the hang of it) but it will make updating each iteration of v4 a breeze. 

The idea of dumping multiple addons into the same addon xml file makes sense in terms of layering by placement in the file.. however.. what happens when you have SceneryA which has say 5 components layered for that scenery, but SceneryB has his own xml file with his own components (ie: layers) in a certain order.. but SceneryB needs to go in a certain order above scenery A in order to see things correctly.. maybe i'm missing something here.. 

For now i've been brute force layering all xml addons one by one by moving them in the addon tool, but i guess ill redo with the component idea.. just curious how more complicated scenerios get handled.

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Lord, I hope this situation gets straightened out.

Yes, LM need to sort this out. Reading the last seven posts and understanding the consequences when end user wants to add more and more addons just confirms that a unified tool / user interface is urgently needed.

Regards
Frank

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hi all

i for one am a little lost with all this

what i think we need is poppet

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11 hours ago, theskyisthelimit said:

Ok, so you are just dumping them into one single world/scenery folder then with a layer 3 setting?  

I never said that.  Why do you think I said that?  Why this fascination with the world/scenery folder anyway... it rarely is used by addon developers and when it is it is usually an airport flattening polygon by itself in a bgl file.  Give me an example of what you are trying to do, a specific example please.

11 hours ago, theskyisthelimit said:

. what happens when you have SceneryA which has say 5 components layered for that scenery, but SceneryB has his own xml file with his own components (ie: layers) in a certain order.. but SceneryB needs to go in a certain order above scenery A in order to see things correctly.. maybe i'm missing something here.. 

You can do it anyway you want as long as you understand next component read goes on  top.  First of all you are creating a problem that doesn't exist, however there would be a solution if you gave me the specifics.  I cannot think of an addon scenery that has five components all requiring a certain layering.  The most "layering" I've run into so far is T2G LFPG latest where there is a Terrain layer below the airport scenery and a "layerup" layer as they call it that has to go above the airport layer:

	<AddOn.Component>
		<Name>LFPG Paris Charles de Gaulle - Terrain </Name>	
		<Category>Scenery</Category>
		<Path>D:\Addon\T2G\T2G - LFPG P3Dv3\data\LFPG-TERRAIN</Path>
	</AddOn.Component>
	<AddOn.Component>
		<Name>LFPG Paris Charles de Gaulle - Airport </Name>	
		<Category>Scenery</Category>
		<Path>D:\Addon\T2G\T2G - LFPG P3Dv3\data\LFPG</Path>
	</AddOn.Component>	
	<AddOn.Component>
		<Name>LFPG Paris Charles de Gaulle - Layerup</Name>
		<Category>Scenery</Category>
		<Path>D:\Addon\T2G\T2G - LFPG P3Dv3\data\LFPG-LAYERUP</Path>
	</AddOn.Component>	

Those three addon components add T2G LFPG to P3Dv4.  They share the same add-on.xml file with all other T2G sceneries that I have (9) and the order of each airport scenery in the add-on.xml file is irrelevant as long as each airport is kept together.  This is not hard, but the "what ifs" you guys are coming up with might reveal that you have not taken a look at it and given it a try.  Once you build a few add-on.xml files the light will go on and you will wonder why you ever thought it was difficult.

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