Using Generated Scenery [User]

Finding and Downloading a osm2city Scenery

The FlightGear wiki article Howto: Install Scenery has a general overview over installing scenery in FlightGear.

Areas populated with osm2city scenery is the best way currently to find osm2city generated sceneries. That wiki page also list which sceneries can be downloaded in Terrasync and for which FlightGear version. The plan for the future is to have the whole world available in constantly updated versions — however as of spring 2017 this is not yet a reality.

Even though a scenery might be available for download in TerraSync, you might want to download offline by using a tool like TerraMaster or, because the volume of data can be quite comprehensive — the faster you fly and the slower your internet connection, the rougher the experience will be.

Adding to FG_SCENERY Path

You need to add the directory containing the Buildings, Pylons and Roads folders to the path, where FlightGear searches for scenery. You can to this either through the command line option --fg-scenery or setting the FG_SCENERY environment variable. This is extensively described in the README.scenery and the getstart.pdf [1] documents found in $FG_ROOT/Docs as part of your FlightGear installation.

If you followed the directory structure presented in chapter Preparation and we take the example of LSZS then you would e.g. use the following command line option:

[1]As of November 2016: chapters 3.1 and 4.2.2

Adjusting Visibility of Scenery Objects

The osm2city related programs and especially are using heuristics and parameters to determine at what level of detail (LOD) scenery objects should be visible. This is done by adding the objects to one of the three FlightGear LOD schemes: “rough” or “detailed” (“bare” is not used).

For before creating a scenery you can influence into which of the two LOD ranges the objects are placed by using the following Parameters:


In FlightGear as a scenery user you influence the actual distance (in meters) for the respective ranges by one of the following ways:

  1. In The FlightGear user interface use menu View > menu item Adjust LOD Ranges and then change the values manually.
  2. Include command line options into your fgfsrc file or Properties in FGRun like follows (adjust the values to your needs and depending on your hardware capabilities):

See also PagedLOD.

Disable Urban Shader and Random Buildings

There is no point in having both OSM building scenery objects and dynamically generated buildings in FlightGear. Therefore it is recommended to turn off the random building and urban shader features in FlightGear. Please be aware that this will also affect those areas in FlightGear, where there are no generated scenery objects from OSM.

Use the FlightGear menu View, menu item Rendering Options.

  • Scenery layers: * Buildings: Choose OpenStreetMap Data (i.e. Randomly Generated is turned off) * Pylons and power lines: not only used for electrical power pylons and cables, but also e.g. wind turbines * Detailed Roads and Railways: draped over the grey roads and railways lines in the default scenery.
  • If you also enable Atmospheric Light Scattering (ALS) you also get better effects during day and night as well as moving cars. Not using ALS might give odd graphical effects.

In the same dialog press the Shader Options button and set the slider for Urban to the far left in order to disable the urban shader.


Showing Detailed Objects

NB: this is only needed if you are using a FlightGear version 2020.3 or older.

Some of the generated sceneries might contain a sub-folder Details apart from e.g. Buildings. If you want to show more scenery details like railway overhead lines, smaller electrical pylons and cables, railway platforms etc. (and accept that this might drain some system resources), then rename the folder to Objects.

Change Materials to Hide Urban Textures

FlightGear allows to change the texture used for a given land-class. More information is available in $FG_ROOT/Docs/README.materials as well as in the FlightGear Forum thread regarding New Regional Textures. There is not yet a good base texture replacing the urban textures. However many users find it more visually appealing to use a uniform texture like grass under the generated buildings etc. instead of urban textures (because urban textures interfere visually with ways, houses etc.). A drawback of using different textures is the absence of trees — however in many regions of the world there are lot of trees / vegetation in urban areas. An important drawback is that you will find the texturing missing when flying high over ground (due to level of distance not loading OSM objects) or for stuff far in the distance, where OSM data has not yet been loaded.

E.g. for the airport LSZS in Engadin in Switzerland you would have to go to $FG_ROOT/Materials/regions and edit file europe.xml in a text editor: add name-tags for e.g. BuiltUpCover, Urban, Town, SubUrban to a material as shown below and comment out the existing name-tags using <!-- -->. Basically all name-tags, which relate to a material using <effect>Effects/urban</effect>. The outcome before and after edit (you need to restart FlightGear in between!) can be seen in the screenshots below (for illustration purposes the buildings and roads do not have textures).


  <!-- <name>Town</name> -->
  <!-- <name>SubUrban</name> -->
_images/fgfs_materials_urban.png _images/fgfs_materials_cropgrass.png

Depending on your region and your shader settings you might want to search for e.g. GrassCover in file global-summer.xml instead (shown in screenshot below with ALS and more random vegetation). However be aware that you still need to comment out in e.g. europe.xml and within global-summer.xml.


Change Materials to Not Crash FG for Sceneries with Shader Buildings (BUILDING_LIST)

If you are using a scenery, which uses BUILDING_LIST and your FlightGear version is older than 2019.2 (e.g. 2019.1.x, 2018.3.x or earlier), then FlightGear will crash. The easiest way to handle this is to not use such a scenery. Alternatively you can follow the instructions below - it might help.

You can spot whether you are using such a scenery by finding files with names like *_buildings_shader.txt (e.g. TEST/Buildings/e000n40/e008n47/e000n40_e008n47_3088961_buildings_shader.txt).

Add the following after the last </material> tag and before the </PropertyList> tag at the end of $FG_ROOT/Materials/regions/global.xml: