Warning Part I: Can ‘o worms to follow, thar be dragons here so sail on at your own risk, mate.

 

Warning Part II: This is no endorsement of making the modifications shown here, this is simply information transmittal.

 

A few FSX default files that developers and tweakers tend to “mod”, with some ( brief ) descriptions:

 

1)     Default.xml

Contains a list of all library objects that FSX uses as Autogen.  

 

This includes “added value” objects like burger joints, shopping malls, light poles, etc as well as random vegetation objects. A careful editing of this file can remove those and leave the random trees and shrubs while an unwary edit can nuke both.

 

See this thread for more info: http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3167

This can result in a performance boost at the cost of some variety.

 

2) Autogendescriptions.Spb

AutogenDescriptions.Spb  Is just a compiled version of AutogenDescriptions.xml,  which lists the vegetation  ( & regionalizations ) models in use as Autogen trees/vegetation.

 

You can control whichever AutogenDescriptions file you wish to use, as follows:
In fsx.CFG [SCENERY] section, add -
// Selected Autogen
AUTOGENDESCRIPTIONSFILENAME=AutogenDescriptions_your_name

 

Many tweak sites have mods to this file, as always back up before you mod. This can result in a performance boost at the cost of some variety.

 

3)Roofdescriptions.spb

As above (2) but for Autogen building roofs. This helps allow the regionalized roofs to be in a separate file.

 

Many tweak sites have mods to this file, as always back up before you mod. This can result in a performance boost at the cost of some variety.


4)Materials descriptions.spb

 

As (2) again, information for  clouds, taxi and runway, trees, etc.

 

Many tweak sites have mods to this file, as always back up before you mod. This can result in a performance boost at the cost of some variety.

 

http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=121&topic_id=354861&mode=full is a good thread with a tweaked download for the above 3 files. Always remember to back up your originals.

5)Terrain.cfg

 

This is one of the files most often tampered with by 3PD’s .

 

Running a repair on the affected add-on, or on FSX itself to start over is often the only fix if you start getting issues.

 

See http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6204  for a longer description of the issues. 


6)lclookup.bgl

 

Master landclass lookup file, tampering with this can affect other add-ons just like tampering with terrain.cfg can.

 

There have been interesting discussions about whether or not to modify this file is a proper approach, or whether or not developers should “live with” the default one.

 

As part of Aces I cannot advocate either approach, but each has merits in its' turn.

 

The main advantage of the “live with lclookup” approach is there is no potential conflict with other add-ons in other regions. The main drawback is living with any anomalies introduced by Aces. Overall, when considered with other add-ons and flying from region to region this does present a nicer face to the user in the general case, no argument there.

 

The main advantage the "modify the lclookup" aproach provides is overcoming some drawbacks to our default outside of NA and Europe, which in the case of "the Land of Oz" is a real issue to overcome. The main drawback with the “modify the lclookup” approach is what to do when flying outside the area the modifications to it support and/or when using other add-ons.   The biggest  conundrum is how to use the “modify the lclookup” approach in NA and Europe where there is a preponderance of other add-ons. That is a conundrum I am looking forward to Holger  and team solving for the PNW add-on they are currently working on. 

 

Note 1: The origjnal idea for this post started with this thread:

http://forum.horizonsimulation.com/viewtopic.php?t=2862

and then sort of expanded J

 

Note 2 : the AC2Scan tool in the FSX SDK will validate changes to the default.xml file.

 

Note 3: the AC3Scan tool in the FSX SDK will validate changes to the following xml or spb files:

autogendescriptions, materials, roofdescriptions, extrusions, terrainautogenclassdescription

 

Note 4: Just to pick one, a good thread that collects these tweaks that can affect (these are available all over the place) is

http://www.fsstation.com/articles/flight-simulator-x-performance-tweaks.html.

Some of the config tweaks I have explained elsewhere in my blog but these file tweaks may help users with older systems.

 

Note 5: thanks to John and Nick for dialoging with me on the lclookup issues to make sure I accurately stated both sides.

 

Note 6: As always, back up your files before embarking on any tweaks, and ymmv as to their effectiveness ( or not J ).

 

I hope this was useful.