This chapter covers most basic aspects of scenery editing with Whisplacer. You should read it if you're not familiar with the interface of the current version of Whisplacer or with scenery editing in general.
The general interface layout is similar to most Windows applications. The center of the application is a top-down map view that display objects placement like on a satellite/aerial view. Most editing actions are present in both a menu and a icon toolbar.
Specific keyboard & mouse shortcuts are used to navigate in the map :
Before you can use the interface, a file must be loaded or created. By default no files are loaded, so most menu and buttons items are greyed out because you cannot use them yet.
Choose the load item or the new item from the file menu before editing. When loading a file, you can choose a existing file. Whisplacer does not use a proprietary file format, so you can use it cooperatively with other softwares. The file formats supported are :
The BGL file format is the native format used for scenery inside FS. All sceneries must be compiled or saved to BGL before they can be used in FS. XML is a source format, which contains the same informations but in manner that allows them to be easily edited by humans or third-party programs.
Be aware that “BGL” and “XML” file extensions are rather generic in FS scenery design. A file can be a BGL but do not contain any information useful for whisplacer. Whisplacer will show you an error message if the file does not contains any usable data or extra data that are not supported.
Warning : When reading or
saving files, Whisplacer only keeps informations that are relevant to the
software use. For instance, airport data will be deleted from XML files since
Whisplacer cannot edit them. Be sure to separate placement
informations from other data.
Keeping your scenery files tidy and especially separating different data kinds in different files is a good practice. See the page on best scenery practices?.
The save and save as items will save current loaded scenery. The same choice of file formats is proposed. Saving as BGL will be done using a built-in compiler and allows you to immediately add the file to FS and fly over it. This compiler was made from partial informations on the file format and the saved scenery may contains errors. If you experience scenery display problems, especially on geographically wide areas, you should use manual compilation?.
When choosing to create a new file, the map center view will be situated at 0° North and 0° west. The menu item “Display – Enter coordinates” will jump at a specified position. If you don't know exact coordinates, you can launch flight simulator, go to the location of your choice. The position of your plane in FS will be synchronized in Whisplacer. See the chapter on FS communication? for more informations.
When you had created a new scenery or opened an existing one, you're ready for adding and editing objects. In this page we will cover only 3D Library objects, as they are the main focus of whisplacer and allows you to enhance significatively your scenery. More informations about other objects types will be providen in separate pages. The general procedure for adding and editing them is however very similar to library objects.
3D Library objects (sometimes abbreviated as 'LO' in this document) are a set of default scenery objects shipped with Flight Simulator. More than 3,000 of them are available in a dozen of distinct categories ranging from trees to churchs, ground vehicles, static airplanes, hangars, etc
Whisplacer can also use objects shipped by third party creators or modeled by yourself?. See the chapter on library management on this topic. The object adding process is done using the edition toolbar. The first icon of the toolbar (a mouse pointer) is used to reinitialize or abort the current operation (usually to revert back to selection mode),other buttons are used to insert a specific kind of object. Inserting LO is done using the second button.
Select the add object button to insert a new object. This function can also be called using the “INSERT” keyboard shortcut. The mouse pointer will show a specific text giving an indication the current function, here “object” meaning that the next mouse click will indicate where to place the object. Then, click on the map where you want to insert it. It's better to have a precise idea of the map position, using a background image? or FS synchronisation?. If you want to abort the operation, then press escape or click on the first toolbar button.
The map will show a top view of the object, here the hangar and a descriptive text (extracted from FS database, so it may looks rather cryptic)
By default, the first object placed will be a
large airport hangar. To speed up multiple objects addition, whisplacer does not
ask you the type of object to add each time you click. It simply use the model
of the last selected object.
Double click on the object you added to edit its properties. The properties box shows you a number of fields that can be modified to tweak the object placement. Perhaps the most important one is the type button that shows you a little image of the object (only if you installed the thumbnail package)
n object in the air. They can be defined relative to sea level or ground level using the AGL checkbox below
Click on the image thumbnail to select a new object type. If the library was correctly initialized on first startup and you installed the thumbnail package, you should see a tree of all library objects available and images representing them. Select a new object and click on OK. If you made some custom objects using a 3D modelling program, refer to the library management chapter to use them.
A basic set of mouse shortcuts are available in the map view to deal with objects :
Also some standard keyboard shortcuts are available
Whisplacer can also edit other object types :