Airport Design Editor HelpWhat's NewDetailed Library Object Footprints (1.70)

Detailed Library Object Footprints (1.70)


ADE has so far always displayed library objects as rectangles that represent the overall footprint. This is not very helpful especially for complex buildings like terminals. Detailed footprints use code provided by Arno to draw the actual shape of the object on the ground. We have noticed in a small number of cases that detailed footprints are not always entirely correct.  Drawing them also does represent a performance overhead and loading airports into ADE may be slowed significantly while the program is creating the database of shapes needed to draw them. To avoid the worst effects of slow loading while the database is being created we provide a separate download for the database containing stock objects.  We don't ship this with the ADE installer since it is a large file

There is an option to turn detailed footprints on or off.

Display Detailed Footprints?

Display Detailed Footprints?

This new check box on the general program options tab controls whether detailed footprints are drawn or not. It also controls whether new footprints are created and stored in the database.  It can be used at any time to turn footprint display on and off and ADE will redraw the project display any time that this setting is changed.

Creating Footprint Shapes

Footprint data is stored in a new database. It can take some time to calculate the shape and store it in the database for future use. However this is done only once and is done for a whole file. So for example if an airport stock objects come from a specific stock file then all the objects will be loaded into the database as soon as one is needed. Once the load is done then the time taken to get and render the detailed footprints is small and generally not noticeable. The database is created and stored in a global folder inside the ADE main folder.

This is a large database so it is not shipped with ADE.  However it is available as a separate download from the same web page that you downloaded the ADE 1.70 installer. Note that if you plan to take advantage of this then it is important to install it at the same time as you install ADE1.70 for the first time.  It is not possible to merge these databases so the exiting one created by ADE at installation (and perhaps updated thereafter) needs to be replaced

At the current time ADE will look for a generate any new object footprints when:

  • a stock airport is loaded
  • load stock data is used from the Tools menu
  • A file is loaded into the Library Object Manager
  • A model is added to a project

It is possible that we will add other ways in future updates

How do Different Types of Objects get Detailed Footprints Created?

There are several different 'type's of objects and ADE will generate footprints for them in different ways and at different times

  • Stock Library Objects.  These will be processed when you load a stock airport, load stock data to a project that does not have stock data loaded and via the Library Object Manager (see below)
  • Third Party Library Objects.  These are only added when you load the library bgl file in the Library Object Manager so it is a good idea to do this by folder or when you get a new library object
  • Autogenerated Stock Objects.  These are objects related to specific airports and are only loaded when you load a stock airport or load stock data to a project that does not have stock data loaded
  • User Models.  The footprints for these will be added when you add a new model to your project via Lists > Models.  There is also a manual option in the Models List to generate footprints for all the models in the list

How do I Manually Load Footprint Data for Object Libraries?

The best way to get your footprint data, especially for third party library objects is to use the Library Object Manager.  Before you start make sure that you have set ADE to draw detailed footprints (see above).  Do this by going to Settings > Options > General and making sure that Draw Detailed Footprints is checked.  Save if you make a change.

Open the Library Object Manager

Open the Library Object Manager

Do this by going to the Tools Menu and selecting Library Object Manager.  Near bottom left is the number of detailed footprints already in the database.  If you make a note of this number before you start then you can check at the end and work out how many new ones have been added.

Select the folder to load

Select the folder to load
  1. Click Add Folder
  2. Select the folder that contains the library objects to want to process.  It doesn't matter if you have loaded these files before into the LOM.  ADE will generate new footprints in any case if they are required.  I have chosen ..\scenery\global\scenery which contain the main stock library bgl files
  3. Click Select Folder

Processing the folders

Processing the folders

A progress bar will appear below the Add buttons and show progress on processing the files in the folder.  Please note that this can take a long time for a large folder with many files that have not been previously processed.  Don't get impatient and believe that is has hung.  

Processing completed

Processing completed

When the job is done you will see this dialog telling you how many files were processed.  Click OK to return to the LOM.

How many object footprints are there in the database?

How many object footprints are there in the database?

You can see how many objects have detailed footprints in the database by checking the text near bottom left of the LOM.  In this case the number is the same as when I started since I re-processed this folder for this article.

How do I Manually Load Footprints for the User Models in my Project?

Footprints are automatically created for user models when they are  added via the Models List.  However if a project is loaded with existing models these may not have footprints.  You can manually create them

  1. Open the Models List
  2. Click Get Footprints

No models present

No models present

It should be obvious if there are no models in the list but the button is still active and if you click it you will just get this message

Models with missing files

Models with missing files

ADE will warn you several ways if it can't find the mdl file for a model in your list including the Issue Manager which will be Red.

  1. However you will also get this message if you do try to generate footprints
  2. If you check the list then you can see which ones have files found and which are missing

You will need to find the missing file and fix the problem before you can generate footprints.  This is in any case very important if you don't want compiler errors

Footprints generated

Footprints generated
  1. While the program is working the Get Footprints button will be grayed out.  This process may take a little while depending on how many models you have in the project
  2. Once the footprint data is collected you will see this message and the Get Footprints button will be active again


Martin Connor

Obviously early days for this fantastic new feature, so I know patience will be required. When working on a new model - such as a complex airport building, the footprint appears to only be created once per LOD. No refresh seems to occur when the source MDL file changes. This would be a great additional feature.

Jon Masterson

Thanks for your message. We are aware of this issue and it is on our list to look at it. Meantime if you recompile the mdl file with a different GUID each time then ADE will generate a new footprint. The footprint database is keyed on the model GUID.

Noa Nikolic

That's a very neat feature! But there is a problem disabling it. I unchecked that option in settings, but ADE still loades footprints.. Can you asisst me? Thanks

Ian Pearson

Hi Jon. Were you able to get anywhere with the ability to refresh model footprints for library objects retaining the same GUID? I've recently gone through replacing some very old models with much newer ones, retaining the GUIDs to retain functionality for people using my libraries, but it means that most of them have no, or incorrect, footprints now in ADE. Thanks.

Jon Masterson

Hi Ian, Thanks for reminding me - I am working on that area of ADE at the moment and will see what I can do to fix this issue

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