0 votes
asked by (40 points)
I have noticed that these objects will only appear once I am within a short distance of them (< 5 NM)

This really ruins the immersion... especially when departing KORD to the east and not seeing the buildings of downtown Chicago, or departing KOWD to the north and not seeing the Needham towers (I'm sure everyone has their own landmarks of favor)

I get the purpose of this is to provide greater performance, but as a user, it would be nice for me to have the option to disable...  Especially the radio towers as they are widely used as VFR landmarks

1 Answer

0 votes
answered by (3.5k points)

It is a very complex question with many possible answers. I am not part of the Laminar Research team, I just develop airports for the scenery gateway and I sometimes create objects with blender too, when I want a more customized look. So I will answer with that perspective.

I guess you are talking about third party sceneries as I think it is very well done in the default X-plane. But this solution is not limited to third party sceneries.

One of the things X-plane looks at, when drowing an object, is the LOD (maybe the sim is taking other factors in consideration, but I do not know about that).

The LOD (Level of Detail) is a parameter that is sometimes described at the end of an object file (.obj files, you can edit them with any text editor).

So if you know where to find the object file your are willing to see from a greater distance, you can always add or edit the LOD attribute which is written as follows : ATTR_LOD

More information here :


Or more precisely here :


And if you want to calculate the LOD, I recently wrote a tutorial. It is a french, sorry about that, (I do not plan to translate it into English in a near future but you could google translate it)  :


Now, some of the things you see are facades :


.fac files use a LOD description too.

Hope this helps.
commented by (40 points)
edited by

Thank you for your response!

I am actually talking about the default scenery. I am currently operating with a pure / clean copy of XP11.

If I understand your scenery lesson, I feel like the current LOD for the Building and Tower objects in the default scenery needs to be changed to better represent the real visual range of these objects as they would exist in reality.

e.g. I went looking for a set of 4 towers  (~1000ft AGL,)  that exist about 10 miles west of KBOS and could only find them when I was extremely close to them (less than a mile)... They suddenly appeared out of a blur. Oh, and visibility was >25NM at the time!

Here are some pics to better define my issue...Departing 10C at KORD... No buildings in site.

3-4 miles west of old Meigs field.... Still no buildingsBuildings begin to appear out of transparency about 2-3 miles away! You can notice that some of the buildings are still transparent. 


commented by (3.5k points)

Ok, I will take a look at it as soon as I have more time and I install this area.

You will have to find the relevant objects which are very likely to be there :

X-Plane 11\Resources\default scenery\1000 autogen

For that, it might help a lot to load the correct dsf file, probably "X-Plane 11\Global Scenery\X-Plane 11 Global Scenery\Earth nav data\+40-080\+42-072.dsf" with Overlay Editor.

Beware, the name you will find in overlay editor might not be the same as the file. You might have to check the match in the following txt file :

X-Plane 11\Resources\default scenery\1000 autogen\library.txt

And lastly, don't forget to backup what you edit. Good luck with all that ;)

commented by (3.5k points)
Well, I just tried it and for some reason, I can not open the dsf...maybe the file is too big... so you will have to find the relevant buildings (there seems to be a lot of different ones!!) thanks to the preview in WED:

commented by (3.5k points)
I finally managed to convert the dsf file with XPtools after creating an overlay from it thanks to ortho4XP.

The resulting txt file lists which elements are used there. This narrows the choice :

There are agb and ags files, these ones don't seem to be described with LOD.

There are only 12 .fac files. You should probably try first on them :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_60x60_500.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_60x60_120.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_60x60_80.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_30x30_40.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_30x30_32.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_30x30_24.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_radio_tower_30x30_200.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_500.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_120.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_80.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_32.fac
POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_24.fac

One more time, don't forget to make a backup.
commented by (3.5k points)
I happen to have extracted all the rlevant information from the library.txt file, so this is the list of objects you need to look at :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_60x60_500.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_60x60_120.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_60x60_80.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_30x30_40.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_30x30_32.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_building_30x30_24.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/point_radio_tower_30x30_200.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_500.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_120.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_80.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_32.fac :

POLYGON_DEF lib/g10/autogen/urban_high_ireg_24.fac :

Indeed, one call in a dsf can lead to different files thanks to the "library.txt" definition. The is how X-plane randomizes the autogen.

Ok, I know let you do your tests. I would reccomment to try the highest buildings first. The names are of the type length x width x height in meters.
commented by (40 points)
Thank you for sharing so much info and details on how X-Plane scenery works!

I asked an abstract question and you have provided the details on how to actually fix the problem! It will take me some time to digest it all... I will share my results in time!

Thanks again!
commented by (3.5k points)
You are very welcome. All the best to you.
commented by (3.5k points)
Just so that you know, I decided to file a bug report on your behalf here :


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