Creating X-Plane 8 Scenery: Getting Started

    Revision History
  • 12-21-05

    Initial Draft

Welcome! This document will point you toward useful resources for creating X-Plane scenery.

If you are just looking for tech support

If you are not trying to create scenery for X-Plane, but you are looking for tech support, most of the information you need is here:

Please note: if you are having trouble installing X-Plane or the flight simulator simply does not work at all on your machine, please email or telephone tech support; do not file a bug report.

Creating Scenery - Technical Information

This website ( contains information, documentation, tools, sample code, and tutorials for authors who are creating custom scenery for X-Plane 8 and programmers who are writing utilities for X-Plane 8 scenery:

  • The library contains scenery documention: introductions to parts of the scenery, file format specifications, and explanations of various scenery topics. All of our scenery documents are on this page.
  • The tutorials listing contains step-by-step instructions with illustrations for a few scenery tasks. If you are looking to learn by example, the tutorials can help.
  • We provide some free tools to create scenery. All of the latest versions of our tools are on this page, as well as links to other tools made by third party programmers.
  • The request for comments page contains proposals for new scenery extensions that are under consideration.
  • The code section contains C/C++ source code to read and write scenery and object files and other scenery-related functions. If you are a programmer, our libraries can save you a lot of time. All of our libraries are free and available under a permissive MIT/X-11 style license.

Contacting the Scenery Creation Community

We have a moderated yahoo mailing list, x-plane-scenery. The purpose of this mailing list is to give scenery authors a place to discuss technical issues regarding the creation of scenery. The group home page has both a "join" button (if you have a Yahoo ID) and mailing addresses to join the group without a Yahoo ID. has web-based forums, including a forum dedicated to scenery creation.

Finding Out About Updates and News

The X-Plane Scenery Website contains a listing of newly released tools and documentation on its front page. If you use an RSS/Atom reader or your web browser supports RSS or live bookmarks, you can subscribe to this feed to automatically receive news on new tools and documentation.

Usually a new tools announcement is also sent to the x-plane-scenery mailing list.

The xplane-news mailing list is another moderated Yahoo mailing list, used to announce new versions of X-Plane.

Sergio and Ben also have a blog with notes on the scenery system.