Bachian

Best way to add sceneries, Add-ons or Scenery Library?

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In fact LM wait that a develloper make their job to help the simmers to layering sceneries+addons.

The want of LM that devellopers don't mixt their datas in p3dv... Is a very good idea but the way to do it is obscure for simple users.

We want to be able to create easily addons following xml method with maitrised layering order. Simmers must not became programmers to resolve the mixt between addons and sceneries methods.

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1 hour ago, GSalden said:

Where did you get the idea from that SceneryConfigEditor is not compatible with V4.1 ?

It is working perfectly and to it. It is the easiest way for scenery library control.

All my addons are installed outside the P3D root . 

You are not good informed about SCE..

 

oops you didn't read thru the whole thread before posting :-)

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47 minutes ago, Shomron said:

Gabriel, how do you manage out of the main P3D v4 folder addons which require updates under effects/sound/global scenery and other P3D main folders using only SCE?

Who is Gabriel ? :blink:

Before updating to a complete new version I make backups of : Autogen , Effects , Sound , Texture ,  Global. Takes less than 5 minutes..,

The ease with how I can enable/disable scenery or make a new order etc is worth those 5 minutes..

regards

Gerard

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4 minutes ago, GSalden said:

Who is Gabriel ? :blink:

Before updating to a complete new version I make backups of : Autogen , Effects , Sound , Texture ,  Global. Takes less than 5 minutes..,

The ease with how I can enable/disable scenery or make a new order etc is worth those 5 minutes..

regards

Gerard

Sorry Gerard :blush:

So I understand (since you are making backups) that you do install effects/ textures etc to P3D main folder? In that case what is the advantage of keeping specifically the addon folder out of P3D main folder?

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7 minutes ago, Shomron said:

Sorry Gerard :blush:

So I understand (since you are making backups) that you do install effects/ textures etc to P3D main folder? In that case what is the advantage of keeping specifically the addon folder out of P3D main folder?

You are wondering why I keep 1.5TB outside P3D in case of reinstall ?

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Maybe I am completely missing the discussion here, but here is what I know or am aware of:

SCE only manages scenery.cfg, and can't do anything about addons that are added by the new .xml-system. 1.1.9 was merely adapted to v4.1, so that it can read the appropriate folders.

Lorby_Si's AO sees and manages .xml-system-addons, at the same time it also seems layers in both scenery.cfg and add-on.xml, thus being able to sort both together.

And both SCE and FTXcentral can cause mess with layers, since they are not aware of add-on.xml layers.

Is that correct?

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19 minutes ago, GSalden said:

You are wondering why I keep 1.5TB outside P3D in case of reinstall ?

I haven't tried a reinstall yet but was guessing that a reinstall wouldn't touch modified folders and files within P3D main folder. Am I wrong? After reinstall won't overwritten files and folders remain intact?

Thanks for clarifying

Shomron

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24 minutes ago, Shomron said:

I haven't tried a reinstall yet but was guessing that a reinstall wouldn't touch modified folders and files within P3D main folder. Am I wrong? After reinstall won't overwritten files and folders remain intact?

Thanks for clarifying

Shomron

With V3 we had to reinstall P3D completely at least one time , so with further inprovements that might be needed again.

 

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9 minutes ago, GSalden said:

With V3 we had to reinstall P3D completely at least one time , so with further inprovements that might be needed again.

 

Thanks Gerard will make sure I do as well!

Can someone who has had exhaustive experience with older scenery installation within P3d v4 confirm if SCE is sufficient and does the trick in P3D v4? Or does anyone experience issues/errors etc... and would require the usage of Lorby-SI tool for scenery management as well. From previous threads I could not get a clear picture.

Since I'm new to P3D v4 I want to make sure I am managing my scenery correctly from the start.

 

Thanks!

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3 hours ago, SimonC said:

Nothing changes: effects/sounds/textures within P3D folder, and filenames were always unique (they had to be, otherwise would get overwritten by other addon). They have to stay unique. Now we only have additional job - we have to check for uniqueness, because of separate folders for addons. The priority at which sim loads, if I understand it correctly, is now that .xml loads last, and what is declared there, wins. Right? (except what I wrote above about texture folder)

But I think there would a very cool solution to our problem:

There should be an ability to declare autogen/scripts/effects/sounds/textures etc. globally and locally. We should be able to set that per declared .xml entry, as we are now able with global/world, if that's correct anyway.

Question aside: did anyone try to declare FSUIPC or EZCA or Activesky via .XML? Basically exe/dll.xml files. It should be possible. Will try later :)

Simon,

Again you are forgetting that the XML method was released and designed for developers so we can improve the simulator without affecting PD3 base files.

Let me give you my particular example:

AI Lights Reborn Free edition 

I designed new special lights for AI traffic to improve the end user experience, in order to be installed for any AI aircraft I was faced with 3 choices:

A) Edit each Aircraft.cfg file light section for all AI planes installed on the end user simulator to instruct them to use my new effects, alternatively I could just deliver the files and teach end users to edit their files themselves, there could be thousands of these files depending of the user AI packages so this is not ideal or a trivial job.

B) Make a backup of the default effect files used by all AI planes that are located inside the PD3 default effect directory and overwrite the default files (example fx_navred.fx), however the SDK 4.0 and 4.1 explicity says that base files should be leave intact, so there were potential issues with LM guidelines if I followed that path.

C) Use the new method provided for developers by LM to deploy the effects using an alternative directory and instruct PD3 to override the default effects with mines, this leave the original bases files unaffected, it also leaves the originals AI aircraft.cfg files unaffected, it allows the effects to work immediately after installing without any user intervention and it also allows my add-on to survives any re-installation of PD3.

For obvious reasons I used C and it worked perfectly.

Now imagine for a second that you were using my Add-on and you decided to "Manually" move one of your planes from the base folder, you use the XML method but unfortunately you performed these steps:

1) You move a carenado plane for example, so you copied it to D:\Planes\Carenado\Phenom300

2) You noticed that carenado placed effects inside the default effect folder, so you decided to copy all the effects in that folder just to be sure and you place theses inside D:\Planes\Carenado\Effects

3) You create an XML file and declared the alternative SimObject folder for D:\Planes\Carenado\Phenom300 and also the alternative "Effects" folder to D:\Planes\Carenado\Effects

4) you launch PD3, it ask you if you want to activate the Phenom300, you and you say yes.

NOTE: The correct thing to do was to determine what effects is the carenado Phenom300 using and copy only those particular effect files, instead of all the default effects!!.

Now PD3 will use all the effects inside of D:\Planes\Carenado\Effects in preference to anything else installed on your system and guest what? AI Lights Reborn Free edition stopped working because PD3 is using the effects from D:\Planes\Carenado\Effects instead the ones created by me.

Same thing could happen with textures used by other add-on's, a typical example is REX which will override Runway Textures, Runway Lights, Halo.bmp. REX use a redirection technique and by performing mistakes explained above you could just corrupt the operation of your REX add-on's textures by using wrongly defined XML files.

So as you must appreciate the fact that developers would use or should use different effects or textures names is irrelevant, we as Developers are following the SDK instructions created by LM to deliver our products, some of these products will need to use the same file names as the PD3 base files as we have no other option (halo.bmp, generic building textures, vegetation textures, lighting effects, etc.) and if end users use these techniques without understanding the consequences it is inevitable that add-on's will break due to conflict names resolution. 

This is how complicated the XML method can be, I have already seem the problems stated above and had to spent a considerable amount of time debugging some of my customer systems to discover they created wrong XML due to misinformation or miss interpretation from the SDK.

So please guys be very very careful, that is all I am asking!!, you need to be 100% sure your XML files will not interfere with other developers designs or other parts of the PD3 system, and this is the tricky bit as it would be very difficult to understand how all your add-on's have been designed.

Best Regards,

Simbol

 

 

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25 minutes ago, simbol said:

So please guys be very very careful, that is all I am askin

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1 hour ago, simbol said:

Again you are forgetting that the XML method was released and designed for developers so we can improve the simulator without affecting PD3 base files.

You are right. I am forgetting that. Nothing wrong however with expanding the horizon beyond the edge of the plate, and the fact that the system could be improved so that user might also use it - not each user will ever convert to the new SDK, and certainly not every scenery. Using XML might allow many advanced users to manage flightsim way easier. The fact that there is often a need to reinstall, mostly for troubleshooting, then there are new FS versions, etc.

I am also aware that there are problems if for instance developer creates a scenery which is looking for default autogen definitions and looking to edit it to add it's own - in that case the thing becomes even more complicated, if even solvable for a normal user.

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2 hours ago, simbol said:

So please guys be very very careful, that is all I am asking!!, you need to be 100% sure your XML files will not interfere with other developers designs or other parts of the PD3 system, and this is the tricky bit as it would be very difficult to understand how all your add-on's have been designed.

I had somewhat crazy thought yesterday.

To make sure to only use the files that were installed or modified, one could actually install the addon into P3D folder, and then do a search for all files, sorting them after changed date/time, and then analyze. But I'm talking here already about crazy methods.

Now I'll stop, I think anything more might cause "damage".

I am with Simbol though, although it might not seem so, we need to be very careful if doing that, and actually if problems arise, first thing of order should be to deactivate all custom created .xml-files.

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22 hours ago, Bachian said:

After migrating to P3Dv4.1, I started do add some sceneries that does not have a installer using the "Add-ons" method, like modern companies (A2A, FSDT, Flightbeam) are doing. In that way, I don't need to copy effects files to the sim folder, keeping the installation folders cleaner.

But after adding about 15 sceneries this way, I noticed some collateral effect. Some GSX vehicles loose their textures and even some aircraft like A2A and PMDG stoped to load their textures (and became black). Removing all the sceneries xml from the add-ons directory, makes everything comes back to normal.

Now, I'd like to know how you guys are doing. What's the best way to add manually installed sceneries?

1. Use the modern way, through Add-ons folder and xml
2. Use the old way, through Scenery Library

Interestingly, it appears that the black/missing texture issue related to .xml may (emphasis on "may") be involved in the loss of panel lighting on PMDG and FSL 320.

See: https://forums.flightsimlabs.com/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F13973-fcu-isis-and-other-secondary-instruments-go-dark-during-cruise%2F

 

From Lefteris Kalamaras on the FSL A320 forum in the link above:

"These replies strengthen my impression that something inside Prepar3D is causing textures to be lost gradually and eventually when a lot is happening. When Lockheed Martin first unveiled their 4.0 edition, there were several discussions that I am not at liberty to reveal which revolved around the possibility of texture loss, especially when enough add-ons are installed.

These discussions are on-going (I am not even sure I am allowed to mention their existence here) and there is ongoing effort to resolve these issues.

I am very grateful for your feedback, gentlemen, it helps us make our reports stronger and more detailed. When I have more information, I will certainly try to share it here without breaking any NDAs."

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All i can ask is there a cure for this black plague i am experiencing? Now all aircraft are just black textures. 

Thanks in advance

so disheartening

Steve 

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