Scenery Creation with Ortho4XP

  • Ortho4XP is a freeware tool for X-Plane 11, with which you can create a photo scenery very quickly and easily. Here we explain how it works!

    Featured Image of the entry: Create a scenery with Ortho4XP of the Flusiboard Lexicon

    1 Install Ortho4XP

    If you don't have Ortho4XP on your home PC yet, you have to get and install the software before you can start with the first step.

    1.1 Download

    Although the software is also available in the download area of X-Plane.org, it can happen very quickly that you get an outdated version there. For this reason it is recommended to look into the creator's signature. There is always a direct link to the current version. In May 2020 this is the v1.3.0 via Google-Drive. IMPORTANT: Please don't follow the download link via GitHub, as this is the developer version of the software, which is of no use to normal users.

    1.2 Installation

    1.2.1 Unzip

    After downloading the zip file, you need to install Ortho4XP. To do this, simply unpack the contents of the ZIP file into the desired directory. However, version v1.3.0 was not a standard ZIP file, but one that was packed with 7-Zip. So this freeware software should be installed to unpack Ortho4XP.

    1.2.2 Placement

    It is sufficient to unpack the contents of the download file somewhere. Due to the fact that a lot of data is created when creating the sceneries, place the Ortho4XP main directory on a HDD hard disk of an appropriate size. If you are running X-Plane 11 on an SSD hard disk and want to save the finished sceneries there later on this SSD hard disk as well, it is still recommended to place the Ortho4XP software (if available) on a large HDD.

    2 Create the Scenery with Ortho4XP

    2.1 Open Ortho4XP

    To open Ortho4XP now, simply open the corresponding root directory. In the subdirectory Binary there is a corresponding .exe file. In our case it is called Ortho4XP_v130.exe. With a double click on this file you open the software.

    This is how the main screen of Ortho4XP looks like in v1.3.0. The main screen of Ortho4XP. In v1.3.0 this looks different than usual.

    2.2 Make the basic settings

    Now a command window opens and shortly afterwards the main window of the software. This is characterized by a green background.

    2.2.1 Point the Overlays

    To make the presettings, the Tool-Icon in the upper right corner of the main window must be clicked. Now the paths to the Custom Scenery directory under custom_scenery_dir and for the overlays under custom_overlay_dir must be set under Application. You can do this by clicking on the blue folder symbol next to it and selecting the appropriate root directory.

    The first is the X-Plane 11 main directory/Custom Scenery and the second is X-Plane 11 main directory/Global Scenery/X-Plane 11 Global Scenery.

    The view of the settings screen of Ortho4XP In this window settings in Ortho4XP can be made. Especially important: Defining the folder of overlays.

    Note: If you are using the HD-Mesh v3 from alpilotx, for example, the main directory of the mesh must be specified in the bottom line instead of the X-Plane 11 Global Scenery. For example X-Plane11/Custom Scenery/zzz_HD-Mesh.

    2.2.2 Source and Zoom-Level

    The second important point in the preferences is the definition of data source and zoom level. With the zoom level, the following principle applies: The higher the zoom level, the better the final resolution of the textures. However, the textures with a higher resolution are sometimes considerably larger. This has a negative effect on both the memory space and the later loading time of X-Plane 11.

    In Europe we have had good experiences with BI as data source for the satellite images and the zoom level 17.

    Data source and zoom level are set in the main window. At the very top under Imagery or Zoom-Level.

    2.3 Select and generate

    2.3.1 Select the desired Areas

    Now almost everything is ready to generate the scenery. Next, you now click on the globe symbol. Now another window with a map opens. With the combination of Shift + left-click you can now select one or more tiles on the map. The selected tiles now appear red dotted.

    If you have selected the wrong tile or one too many, you can deselect it by placing the mouse pointer over it and pressing Shift + left click again.

    The view of the Earth Tile Map of Ortho4XP The so-called Earth Tile Map from Ortho4XP, on which the desired areas are marked.

    You can move the map by holding down the right mouse button while moving the mouse in the appropriate direction.

    2.3.2 Generate the Scenery

    Once all the desired areas of the earth's surface have been selected that you want to create as a scenery, you can start generating. In the same window under Batch build tiles check all six sub-items by clicking on them.

    Now simply click on the Batch build button and Ortho4XP will start to create the desired scenery. The progress can be followed live via a log text in the main window. However, the creation can take a lot of time.

    When the scenery of a tile is finished, it will appear yellow dotted instead of red.

    3 Bring the Scenery to X-Plane 11

    Once the process is complete, all three progress bars in the Ortho4XP main window will appear light blue instead of grey. Now the scenery only needs to be inserted into X-Plane 11:

    3.1 Insert the Scenery itself

    First of all the Ortho4XP root directory must be called. In the subfolder Tiles are now the actual scenery folders. In our example: zOrtho4XP_+50+008. All directories of this subfolder must now be copied into the X-Plane 11 main directory[tt]/Custom Scenery.

    3.2 Insert the Overlays

    Ortho4XP creates the overlays in the subfolder yOrtho4XP_Overlays of its own root directory. This entire folder must be copied and also copied to the X-Plane 11 main directory/Custom Scenery.

    That's it. Now the scenery should be created and correctly pasted and you can already enjoy it on your next flight.

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