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Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.0 by X-Codr Designs

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Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.0 by X-Codr Designs


We all look at the extremely created MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator) scenery, and dream of the same detail for X-Plane. The fact is a bit of a misnomer, in that highly produced video's can hide the reality of the weaknesses of the product. A lot is very, very good, but it is also not the full story.


In X-Plane that superlative quality and quality is available if you want it, surprisingly it is not the most expensive scenery on sale either. Only issue is, there isn't enough of it. But the point here is that the same level and quality can be done or achieved in the X-Plane Simulator, and yes it can match MSFS when it wants to.


Two names come to mind. ShortFinal Designs and their magnificent San Francisco and Munich, both are currently updated to X-Plane 12. The Second is X-Codr and his first mega scenery in Denver... or KDEN, Denver International in Colorado, USA.


Big here in Denver it is on another level again. DEN is by land area the largest airport United States, and second largest in the world. At over 16,000 feet long, runway 16R/34L is also the longest public runway in the United States, and seventh longest in the world. Big here has another dimension added to it, not to mention the extra taxi fuel required to get to the takeoff points, in fact on some routes, you can spend more time taxiing on the ground at KDEN, that being actually in the air.


X-PlaneReviews covered the release of the KDEN mega scenery for X-Plane 11 here...

Scenery Update : KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v1.5 by X-Codr Designs


On September 5th 2022 there was a version update for the DEN scenery, "Added link for the X-Plane 12 version", and that was about it. The update allowed you to use the scenery in X-Plane 12, but it was not actually a X-Plane 12 scenery, if that sort of makes sense. There were no X-Plane 12 features or details, it worked...  and that was about it.


X-Plane 12 KDEN v2.0

First of all is the install. Basically you have to totally rip the guts out of the earlier version and replace it with the new. And not just the actual scenery either, but all the plugins as well. There are three downloads...  Main Scenery file (7.54 GB), KDEN Mesh (3.82 Gb) and the X-Codr Library (2.97 Gb), and all have to be downloaded to replace the original files, and they are all big download sizes to a total 14.33 Gb. Then there is another change to Living Scenery Technology (LST) as well, so that the correct plugin in v1.10 has to be installed for it all to work. The SAM3 Plugin is also required, but again the correct one in version v3.1.10. It is all slightly complicated, miss or not install a step and it won't all work correctly, get it right and lo and behold you get quite a sight...


KDEN_2.0-Head 5.jpgKDEN_2.0-Head 1.jpgKDEN_2.0-Head 2.jpgKDEN_2.0-Head 3.jpgKDEN_2.0-Head 4.jpgKDEN_2.0-Head 6.jpg


Your covering a very large area, and have a huge if massive object count as well. Does that affect your framerate...  unfortunately the answer is yes, a lot. But there are options. The best is to reduce your "Rendering Resolution" from OFF (Full Resolution) to Ultra, oddly reducing the Texture Quality won't have any impact on the framerate, RR will, and gave me a far more working movement in the scenery. So there is a payoff in using the scenery.


Notable are the hard areas between the custom (photo/ortho) base and the X-Plane default, it is a lot like that in the real world, but not as pronounced. The problem is not the custom textures provided by X-Codr, but the far older X-Plane default textures, overall it still works fine, but again this highlights the age of the ground textures in X-Plane. That said, all custom mesh is new and updated to current standards, no grass though, but it is a gigantic area to cover, and maybe a framerate killer to far.


Denver International Airport


KDEN Charts.jpg

07/25 - 12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

08/26 - 12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

16L/34R - 12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

16R/34L - 16,000ft  (4,877m)  Concrete

17L/35R -12,000ft  (3,658m)  Concrete

17R/35L - 12,000ft (3,658m)  Concrete

Elevation : 5,431 ft / 1,655 m


Not obvious at first, but all the Terminals and three separate huge concourses have all been remodeled, re-textured as well. And close up the buildings are all quite different (wear) in look and feel. "Grittier" is the word I would use, and not so "shiny, shiny"


KDEN_2.0-Buildings 1.jpgKDEN_2.0-Buildings 2.jpgKDEN_2.0-Buildings 3.jpg


Remember that X-Codr's original KDEN was quite early in his career, brilliant actually for the time. But there has been a lot of developer progress in the intermediate years, certainly with his surface materials in the later work (stone and concrete here is all very realistic). That aspect certainly shows here, as you don't stand still in making the product more realistic with the better tools and skills you have.


KDEN_2.0-Buildings 4.jpgKDEN_2.0-Buildings 5.jpg


It's impressive to spend time on just looking at buildings and the detail, it is all quite impressive.


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The main arrival Elrey B. Jeppesen Terminal and it's unique sail roof is hard to get right. It can come across as modeled, but here the flowing fabric feel is now very evident, extremely well done.


KDEN_2.0-Buildings 10.jpgKDEN_2.0-Buildings 11.jpgKDEN_2.0-Buildings 8.jpgKDEN_2.0-Buildings 9.jpg


The first release of X-Codr's Denver was late November 2018, five years ago. Since then and partly displayed in the earlier scenery releases, was the terminal developments going on at DEN. There are two. First is the new inner section on the Concourse B (East) Gate B62-B71...  all new and it looks like it, but the detail here is extremely realistic.


KDEN_2.0-Buildings 12.jpgKDEN_2.0-Buildings 13.jpg


Second is the extensive extension to the Southwest Concourse C (again on the eastern side) Gates C48-C71.


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Clever is the relationship between the original and new structures. Both have weather wear, but the new Concourse feels and looks more modern, so hard to get right, but very authentic...  There is a lot of see through glass in the new Concourse as well, exceptional is the word again.


Both the United and Frontier Hangars have been re-textured, again with that exceptional concrete feel, and come with more ground detail.


KDEN_2.0-Hangars 1.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 2.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 3.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 4.jpg


All new at Denver is the Southwest Engineering facility, and now also depicted here in the KDEN scenery. It is situated in the far north section of the airport.


KDEN_2.0-Hangars 5.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 7.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 6.jpg


The General Aviation area has also been remodeled and textured, with an excellent "Signature" facility centre (Terminal).


KDEN_2.0-Hangars 8.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 9.jpg


Cargo is not a really big feature at Denver, the facility is big, but not huge by comparison. Again the area has had a lot of attention, remodeled and has far better "grittier" textures that are excellent up close.


KDEN_2.0-Hangars 10.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 11.jpgKDEN_2.0-Hangars 12.jpg


With the change to Living Scenery Technology (LST), and away from the very dated GroundTraffic plugin. This technology allows more flexibility and the introduction of new features. The Original KDEN had realistic interiors, but now you not only get a full internal interior, but an extreme fitout as well...  certainly as good or even better than of the many MSFS scenery standards.


KDEN_2.0-Internal 1.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 2.jpg  KDEN_2.0-Internal 4.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 5.jpg


I will repeat that point... every part of the INTERIOR! The arrival Terminal, all three Concourses, even the connecting bridges are all modeled internally here, the TOTAL area is totally explorable and accessible, the detail is totally overwhelming....  Mindblowing!


KDEN_2.0-Internal 6.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 7.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 10.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 11.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 9.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 8.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 12.jpg


The new Southwest C Concourse is simply well worth a few minutes of your time to explore, as is the new B Concourse, so masterful is the work, this is DEN in miniature, all of it...  even the McDonalds.


KDEN_2.0-Internal 13.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 14.jpg


The above alone is enough to blow your mind...  but we haven't finished yet? there is also the animations, walking people, flexing people, people reading their phones....  moving escalators, yes real operating moving escalators between floors...  "you gotta be kidding me!"


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It's just all so damn awesome...   even then the new Signature (General Aviation) reception is also expertly modeled internally.


KDEN_2.0-Internal 17.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 18.jpg


Control Tower Internals are also modeled... lovely glass! also is the lower control room modeled as well. A tip is that you can listen in at LiveATC.net which provides live air traffic control (ATC) broadcasts from air traffic control towers, and KDEN is on the list.


KDEN_2.0-Tower.jpgKDEN_2.0-Tower 1.jpgKDEN_2.0-Tower 2.jpgKDEN_2.0-Tower 3.jpgKDEN_2.0-Tower 4.jpg


But even the experience of all this external and internal detail, can be ruined by getting something else wrong, that is not the case here of course, but it is worth pointing out... and that is the mentioned glass. Getting glass wrong here would have made the interiors not work at all, it is getting the feel right, too clear and it looks artificial, too dense and you can't see the internal detail. But that aspect is covered well here, as all the glass is excellent, even perfect in it's "see-through" factor, but not hiding the interiors. Aircraft are visible as well from the internal perspective.


KDEN_2.0-Internal 19.jpgKDEN_2.0-Internal 20.jpg


SAM3 interaction works here as well, and on every gate. (Plugin required)




Reasons are multiple. But here is the (real) Denver International update to X-Plane 12 with all the X-Plane features like wet surfaces and more importantly for this part of the world, snow and ice. Grunge was always brilliant here, but add in rain and pooled water, and it brings the excellent dirty elements to the surface...  the realism is overwhelming.


KDEN_2.0-Weather 1.jpgKDEN_2.0-Weather 2.jpgKDEN_2.0-Weather 3.jpg


Colorado or Denver is famous for it's spectacular snow in's. X-Plane 12's winter seasons can now oblige in that factor as well.


KDEN_2.0-Weather 4.jpgKDEN_2.0-Weather 5.jpg


This KDEN Denver scenery by X-Codr Designs, does show the heights that can be obtained in quality and extreme features for the X-Plane Simulator...  almost to being the standard bearer of what can be achieved with in the X-Plane 12 platform currently. Yes it can out perform MSFS, even then some more with exceptional talent and a minute attention to detail.



This is the X-Plane 12 update from X-Codr Designs of KDEN Denver International to version v2.0, in Colorado, USA. Originally released in late November 2018, now five years ago. This is a comprehensive update to X-Plane 12.


Not just a quick transition to X-Plane 12. But a full modeling and texture overhaul, including new extension terminals on Concourses B and C, new Southwest Maintenance Facility, redone GA Signature Terminal, and total ground texture update. Added also are excellent animated active people, with moving escalators, and a full interactive coverage of all interior areas. Detail of such externally and internally is simply off the planet. Probably the best airport scenery example currently in the X-Plane Simulator


Download is however quite large (total 14.33 Gb), and a change or update to the Living Scenery Technology (LST) plugin, and SAM3 has to be the current version, it is complex and requires time to get right, but the wait is worth the effort. Framerate can be hard as expected, so minimum a 8Gb+ Graphic capability is recommended, Adjustments to your graphic settings may also be required, but considering the extreme requirements here the scenery is however very usable in the Simulator. This is also a free update to anyone that has the current (X-Plane 11) to the X-Plane 12 version, another brilliant deal, with no upgrade cost.


Really the X-Codr KDEN scenery should be labeled "Extreme", but for all the right reasons. In every area the scenery would score a perfect 10, a deserved award...    certainly the current contender for the best airport scenery of 2023, and it's only September!


Denver International HD will blow your mind! Certainly it can top anything Microsoft can throw at quality scenery, and all this for under US$30 bucks....  "Blows your mind man!"



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! KDEN - Denver International Airport HD v2.0 by X-Codr Designs is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


KDEN - Denver International Airport HD

Price is US$29.95



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 7.5 GB
Current version: 2.0  Sep 6th 2023



✓ High Quality Rendition of KDEN - Denver International Airport
      o Detailed, realistic terminals, accurate as of mid-2023.
      o Realistic terminal interiors with numerous POIs (such as hanging display aircraft).
      o Lively terminal interiors with animated escalators, and thousands of animated sitting, and walking people, whose density varies with time. All of which are visible from the aircraft.
      o Windows on buildings with interiors loose opacity at night, mimicking the optics of real glass, for gorgeous night views.
      o Realistic, high resolution, hand-crafted textures complete with PBR normal maps and realistic, accurate wear.
      o Accurate, highly detailed buildings through the airport, including the new Southwest hangar.
✓ Realistic, natural ground textures
      o Tile-free pavement textures with textures detailed down to the pebble
      o Realistic normal maps give pavement depth
      o Accurate, detailed markings, with realistic reflections
      o Hand aligned concrete lines where possible, for natural transitions to newer, brighter pavement areas
      o Realistic, hand painted grunge, with unmatched up close detail, that is cohesive with the rest of the scenery.
✓ Lively scenery through use of our Living Scenery Technology plugin for animations, and Stairport Sceneries SAM for jetway systems
      o Thousands of walking animated people, with minimal performance impact
      o Cars traverse the airport roads realistically, vs spawning in the middle of a road.
      o Accurate, realistic speeds for people and cars throughout the airport.
      o Animated electronic display boards on Concourse B display local time and temperature.
      o AC fan blade speeds vary with the local temperature.
      o Realistic, ultra detailed jetways through use of SAM
      o All major parking spaces have excellent SAM marshallers to guide you in
✓ Maximum performance
      o Every model is meticulously optimized for the best possible performance.
      o Localized LODs reduce rendering load by over 80% on average, relative to traditional LODs
      o Texture reuse other technical techniques improve VRAM efficiency.
      o Shadows are disabled on objects that don’t benefit, for big performance gains.
✓ Full X-Plane 12 support
      o Realistic weather effects
      o Optimized native aircraft services.
      o Use of the excellent native 3d vegetation


The v2.0 update is free to all current X-Codr KDEN purchasers, just go to your X-PlaneStore account... 


Note the Living Scenery Tech and SAM3 plugins are required for this scenery.



Review System Specifications

Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.06r3 (This is a release candidate review).

Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00, Living Scenery Tech and SAM3

Scenery or Aircraft

- Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research (free with X-Plane Simulator)


Update Review by Stephen Dutton

12th September 2023

Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews


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