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WED : Orthophoto layout changes in coming version 1.3


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You remember the bad old days don't you...  If you had taken a course in CAD/CAM and could think in a world of one dimensions you could create basic airport layouts in WED (World EDitor).  Frustrating but only really for the use of the intelligent few with doctorates. I did a few airports back then but I mostly used WED to take out nasties!...  like a church sitting in the middle of a runway or worse a default rotating beacon that loomed out of nowhere on a dense foggy runway.


WED 1.2 is still in a one dimension form, but otherwise from that it is a completely transformed application. Over the last year more work has been put into this application than any other item in the Laminar workshops. The results are showing for all this work as the production line of airports are now gracing our simulator world with instant gratification. The ease of use has become a major factor as well...  speed and placement are now the applications real benefits over Marginal's Overlay Editor (I still really like the 3d view better in many cases)... and any one now with a great skill set can create brilliant sceneries for the masses in hours... for the rest of us we can also quickly create a scenery worth boasting about.


One area in WED that was the worst was in the laying out and the use of ortho-photo backgrounds...  you have been there haven't you. In trying to find the correct co-ordinates or rotate it around to somehow make them fit and scale within the WED airport layout.


It was painful...  again only the real experts could do that.


Ben Supnik on the developers blog has posted that such a painful experience was soon going to be a thing of the past. From WED 1.3 we will have a newly created "ortho-photo importer"...  "hallelujah!"


It was created by Ted Greene (remember that name) who has been a summer co-op student working for Laminar Research... His work has been to work on "workflow items" and make WED an even better place to create. His work on the ortho-photo is simply outstanding as he has reduced the hair pulling, forehead bashing pain down to a few simple steps that Ben noted that one of those steps included a cup of coffee (anything that involves a cup of coffee is always a good workflow enhancement).


The process will soon be as noted by Ben:

  1. Import the TIFF files into WED as orthophotos.
  2. Hit control-B to build your scenery pack.
  3. Go get a coffee – WED is grinding your TIFFs to DDS for you, which is a time-consuming operation.  Don’t worry, it won’t grind them again unless you change the source file.
  4. Open in X-Plane and enjoy your orthophotos – with correct load-center directives!



and it looks like this when it comes out of the code-oven.




And that is it done. The really great part of this is that the Othro-photo is correctly set to the scenery boundaries in that making the WED scenery fit in perfectly with the default X-Plane world scenery...  anyone who follows my feelings on this will know I really hate poorly set out Ortho-photo images, as these big huge square things of out of focus images can really totally ruin even the best of great work. This solution will again change the way we use WED and the follow-on of how our X-Plane world will look in the future...  Well done Ted, enjoy school but please come back soon to give us some more of your talent.


This significant tooling change will hopefully come in WED edition 1.3.


The full Developer post is here:


X-Plane Developer : What Hath Ted Wrought


28th Aug 2013








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As a 3rd party scenery dev this innovation is absolutely fantastic. If I had any hair I would have pulled it out long ago as a result of orthophoto manipulation. This is going to save so much time I just can't believe it.

Next some clever bod will get WED to draw all the buildings etc based on the overlay image now that would really be a piece of software engineering. Lol

Wycliffe Barrett

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